I used a stiff brush to scrub the blood and dirt from beneath my fingernails. Through the kitchen window I glanced at the fresh mound in the garden along the fence. I read somewhere that serial killers begin by killing small animals. There are already a few neighborhood pets and woodland critters buried in my back yard.
I took the dented teapot from the stove and pushed the screen door open. Pouring hot water over the sticky blood stains on the porch, I scraped at the stubborn ones with my shoe. Filthy water and gore trickled down the steps into the dirt.
Inside, the phone rang. I wiped my feet on the mat and ran to get it.
“Hello.” I answered.
“This call is coming from Carlisle Prison,” said a recording.
“Talon, buddy, is that you?” came a familiar voice.
“It’s me, Dad.” I answered.
“Hey, man, what’s going down?” he asked, trying to sound cool.
“Not much. How ‘bout you?”
“Well, it sure ain’t resort living. Mom around?”
“No,” I lied.
“Good, cause I called to talk to you.”
“-This call is coming from Carlisle Prison,” said the recording again.
Dad swore on the other end.
“Listen,” he said, “I need a little cash. Can you throw any my way?”
Some things never change.
“No, Dad,” I said. “We’re really strapped.”
“Look, Talon, I need four hundred bucks quick, or they’re gonna slit my throat.”