TITLE: OPTIMIST ROAD
But will I get away with it?
Twenty years that body had been simmering in a toxic soup, peeled down to bones stained brown by shit and piss and waste water that had gone down the drain into the farm’s septic tank. Homicide dubbed him “Septic Tank Sam” and the M.E.’s office had hired a forensic anthropologist, Henry Snell, and sunk dozens of man-hours into building a model of Sam’s face, into pulling DNA out of a molar -- somebody’d gone to a lot of trouble to smash his teeth, but you couldn’t get all the roots unless you yanked them out with pliers -- and sending the information to every city police and RCMP station and every newspaper, big or small, all across the province. Trying to make a big deal of it, whip the public into a frenzy. Mystery body found! Who is Septic Tank Sam? Someone had to have missed him, maybe his wife, his teenage son. Someone must have waited up for him the night he never came home, and wondered, and wanted him back.
That’s what they thought, anyway. They were wrong. I’d waited up for him, all right -- crouched in the cold porch, crowbar ready, blood from my broken nose clotted like snot, the ache in my ribs and making me wheeze. I’d waited, but I sure as hell never wanted him back. After twenty years, I’d let myself believe he was gone for good.
I was wrong too.