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by Roy Dorman

Once again, it was Alan she called, crying softly, remembering his sweet bedside manner when they had played “Doctor” behind her aunt’s garage at age five.

“Was this the guy you met at the coffee shop last week?” asked Alan.

“I thought he was finally the one, but he wasn’t; he was just like the others,” she sobbed.

“Paula, you didn’t … you didn’t kill him, did you?”

“Of course I killed him!” Paula screamed into the phone.

Alan was glad Paula was at home and not calling from the mall or a coffee shop. “Just stay right there and I’ll come over and take care of it,” he said. “But, Paula? This has to be the last time; I can’t keep doing this. I don’t think we should see each other for a while.”

Alan was a police officer and what he was doing could get him fired. Hell, it could get him sent to prison. For a long, long time.

***

Alan parked in front of Paula’s brownstone and started up the walk. He was thinking he would have to be firm about his being done with disposing of the bodies of her failed relationships. Someday, somebody would be moving one area of the landfill to another and a body would turn up. That could lead to quite a few bodies turning up.

Paula’s most recent boyfriend was lying on her living room floor with the blade of a large butcher knife in his chest, in all the way to its handle.

“Jeezuz, Paula. You need to get some help. I mean for your head. The kind of help I can’t give you.”

Alan reached down and pulled the knife from the dead man’s chest. Just then, there was a knock on the door and Paula screamed, “Alan, what have you done?”

Two uniforms pushed into Paula’s apartment with their guns drawn. Alan stood in plain view in the middle of the living room holding the butcher knife. He looked at Paula and saw a look of satisfaction on her face. That look told him what he already knew too well; nobody got away with breaking up with Paula.

Alan had worked with both of these officers for over ten years. “It’s not how it looks, guys. Hey, it was self-defense.”

“Put the knife on the coffee table, Al,” said the officer closest to Alan. “You can tell it to the detectives downtown.” The other officer had backed away a bit, but kept his gun pointed at Alan’s chest.

“Hey, guys, it’s me. Come on, you know …”

“You have the right to remain silent, Al, and I suggest you do that.”

“But I didn’t do it. It was …” Alan stopped mid-sentence. He had been looking at Paula when he had been going to make the accusation and she had silently mouthed the word “landfill.”

On the way downtown, cuffed and in the back of the black and white, Alan desperately tried to think of a way out of this. Nothing came to him.


Roy Dorman is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for over 60 years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer. He has had flash fiction and poetry published in Black Petals, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Yellow Mama, Theme of Absence, Shotgun Honey, Near to the Knuckle, One Sentence Poems, and a number of other online and print journals. Roy is currently the submissions editor at Yahara Prairie Lights.

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