For all her faults, for all her grating grief, Jane was a sweetheart. That is to say, she didn't complain when Jim left her the paperwork.
"I've got a headache over this..." he had said, "And the wife is out tonight, I promised the kid I'd hurry home..."
That was all that was needed. Sweet, compassionate, understanding woman... How I hate her. His hate was not all together unfounded, but the lust she filled his pork-proud belly only caused frustration and confusion. Too much of any emotion was too much for Jim. Hate was an easy default for anything outside his comfort level, and easy comfort spelled Jim S. Nort.
Back home he fed the kid and sent it to bed before lugging a six-pack over to his easy chair. He flipped on the set and flipped open his list. His list was a collection of pictures, notes and addresses. Jane was in there. So was his wife and kid, his boss, a few of his neighbors and his brother Rick.
"...Rick..." he growled over the hiss-pop of an opened beer. He gulped it down and tossed it aside. He opened another.
He knew it was Rick from the beginning, but he couldn't tell Jane, or anyone else on the force for that matter, how he knew. Certain phone calls shouldn't even be thought about too loudly. He had received enough of these to know. Besides, his 'Guardian Angel' had a way of finding out about slip-ups, no matter how small. And when he slipped, something else would slip. Like his firstborn slipped out his crib and out the window. Like he had slipped when he stepped out to get the morning paper all those years ago; like he had slipped in the stinking slick remains splashed across the doorstep, to lay there on the cement atop what was left of his firstborn.
He took another long gulp, tossed the can and reached for another. The stairs creaked as the kid tried to sneak a few more minutes of television. Usually Jim wouldn't mind but tonight he wasn't in the mood for any of the kid's usual shit, so he bellowed an ambiguous threat that sent the kid running. If only Rick could be sent running so easily.
What had made Rick show up again? In my territory too, the son of a bitch! Things would get messy, no doubt about that, and soon. Jim traced a photo on his list with one shaky finger. Mr. Guardian Angel already knows you're here, brother. Soon I will know where you are. And then, it will be just like old times, for one last time. After that, we'll all burn... But first...
He flipped the pages until a set of laughing green eyes stared up at him from beneath a police cap. He slid his fingers down the photo and traced the letters written in his own crude hand beneath: Jane Bacon.