ICYMI… Read: “Keys to the Kingdom – Part I By GAIL FARRELLY” http://www.yonkerstribune.com/2017/01/keys-to-the-kingdom-part-i-by-gail-farrelly
ICYMI… Read: “Keys to the Kingdom – Part II By GAIL FARRELLY”
# # #
Double trouble? Fuhgeddaboudit! Make that a triple. I figured it was time to add 1-800-lawyers to my speed dial.
Friday and beyond, the aftermath of the deed …………….. I figured right.
When I was a kid, my mother always warned me that my big mouth would get me into trouble one day. Mother knew best.
Those six words: It wasn’t supposed to be you. What was I thinking when I said them, right in front of Stan and the paramedics? Obviously, I wasn’t thinking. At all. As I had suspected, the paramedics (tattletales!) relayed my words to the police, and I really think that was what started them looking at me as a murder suspect.
Well, actually attempted murder, since Ralph Tierney (his good health and fit condition saved him) made a complete recovery from the poisoning. And by the way, he never returned to the house next door. He hired people to clean the house and move his belongings. Now the house is on the market. I suppose that having your next-door neighbor try to kill you is a bit of a turnoff. My guess is that he was never sure why the whole thing happened or whether the perp was Stan or me. Understandably he just decided I’m outta here. I heard a rumor that he moved to Fiji.
I was stupid to utter those six words but I was smart enough to lawyer up as soon as I knew I was a suspect. At first the detectives thought Stan was the perp (they theorized some sort of love triangle); but after an investigation, they concluded that even if he had motive, he probably lacked the means. He, after all, had no easy access to pathogens.
After an exhaustive investigation (including lots of interviews with friends and neighbors), the detectives concluded that I had both the means and opportunity to plan this kind of murder. They felt I had a motive too, once the state of my marriage was taken into account and they had moved on to thinking of Stan, not Ralph, as the intended victim.
I took advantage of my right to remain silent, an especially good move when the detectives summarized their evidence a few weeks later: not only those six words I had so foolishly uttered in front of the paramedics, but also traces of my workplace pathogens on the computer keys, an empty nail polish bottle from the manicure set in my home (the bottle, with trace residue of those same pathogens, having been found by two kids playing in that stream not far from my home). Then there were the boxes, hidden in the pantry, of those super duper cleaning cloths from my lab.
It was all circumstantial though. When the prosecutor charged me with the attempted murder of Ralph Tierney, I could have chosen to go to trial–and might have mounted a successful defense. As I told my lawyer, “There’s no reason in the world why I would have wanted to harm him. They can’t prove motive.”
But he reminded me that they didn’t have to prove motive. Then he looked me in the eye and said that they might have been able to make a strong case that it was my husband that I was out to get.
After lots of negotiation and with the advice of my attorney, I decided a “No Contest” plea was the way to go. I was given a sentence of two years. Not bad. After all, I had survived a sentence of being with boring Stan for 24 years. Serving two years in jail should be child’s play.
Six months later …
So here I am in prison, with plenty of time on my hands to repent. Or not. The chaplain has stopped by several times, trying to persuade me to attend Sunday services. Bad idea! That’s what started this whole mess, y’know–reflecting on the keys to the kingdom. Enough already.
The good news is that I’m rid of Stan; our divorce was finalized last week.
My life here isn’t that bad. At least it’s not boring. I have a job in the prison library and am learning a lot. Who knows? Maybe I’ll learn how to turn my life around. I don’t dwell that much on the past. Instead, I think of the future.
Sometimes, though, I can’t help but daydream about what life could have been like if sexy Ralph Tierney hadn’t flown the coop and if I had been able to persuade him of my innocence.
The worst part of this whole deal is that I never did get a chance to try out that cougar thing. Not yet anyway.
But never say never. Hey, the librarian here at the prison is younger than me but kinda cute. I think he likes me. And not just because I always volunteer to work overtime.
He’s no Ralph Tierney. But then who is?
# # #
Gail Farrelly (Twitter: @gailfarrelly) writes mystery novels and short stories. She publishes satire at The Spoof ( http://is.gd/ZjsZuy). Her short stories are sold at Untreed Reads (http://is.gd/9uwEfO), on the Amazon Kindle, at iBooks, and at many other ebook vendors worldwide. She shares a website, www.farrellysistersonline.com, with her sister, Rita Farrelly, author of the local best seller, NOT IN BRONXVILLE: A SUBURBAN MYSTERY NOVEL. Gail is working on another mystery novel and also a book of spoofs.