The truck roars past the vacant houses as the front of each building stares at me with blank disdain. For the millionth time I think of my mother, neurotic and compulsive, far away in Springfield. If she’s even on this Earth at all. Or whatever I should call this place. My heart wrenches when I think of how scared she must be, how I know she is worrying about me no matter where she is.
“Stupid…” I mutter yet again.
How foolish I was to enter the store like that. I was assuming I would be alone, that I am alone, instead of wishing that I would find others. Why?
Next to me Cleaver leans his head out the window until his ears catch the wind and bounce up like sails. He barks casually.
Perhaps I want to be alone, I think as I pull up to the most magnificent mansion in town. I’d always speculated about who’d lived here. But it didn’t matter now. I rammed through the ornate, tangled iron gates in the front and pull around a decorated driveway to the front door which is partially framed by overgrown ivy. I slide out the driver’s seat taking special care with my leg, and Cleaver follows behind me.
From the front we can see a teal pool peaking from the backyard, a covered gazebo with a built in bar and flat screen television behind that. Bay windows grace every room in the front of the house, and a cobblestone walkway connects the back to the front on either side. The front step was designed as a small patio and a cup of moldy coffee and a weathered newspaper still sit on the little slate table.
As I walk to the front door, which of course lies wide open, I think about calling for anyone. But I know there is no one.
Cleaver and I walk through the front door, I with more difficulty than he, and we are welcomed into a hardwood foyer with candles at every corner that have never been lit.
Through the first doorway I can see a kitchen with a sleek black counter and white cabinetry. To my left an entertaining area with yet another bar set up in the corner consisting of a decorative collection of olives and expensive liquors of different varieties. The martini glasses might as well have been whipped from diamonds.
With the Glock tucked into my –now shredded- denim, baseball bat still in hand, I lock the door behind us. Deadbolt and doorknob.