Summer Noir
Marjorie Carlson Davis
Tapas Winner
Early morning sun heated the kitchen and trapped flies buzz, buzz, buzzed against the screen.  Della, who’d been up for hours, eyed me as I shuffled in for my coffee.

“Read the file,” she said, waving a hand at the computer. “The one marked ‘Noir.’”

I frowned. Why would she label a file “noir”? What was she up to? You been with someone forty years, you don’t expect surprises.

I studied my wife in her hand-knitted summer sweater and polyester shorts. Della’d always been crafty, crafty in the way of scrapbookers, knitters, Martha Stewart magazine readers, crafty with her hands, not so much her mind. When had she been typing on the computer?


 “Just read the file,” she said, setting down my coffee and heading toward the door. “I’m off to buy yarn.”

I took a sip of hours-old coffee, bitter and thick the way I liked it. With a click of the mouse, I opened the file.

Heat outside crested 100 degrees but chills lifted my neck hairs, not from a story of gloomy nights, rain-dampened streets, and private detectives in trench coats, skulking along back alleys.

No, Della’s story opened with a woman frolicking in a sun-filled green meadow, and a man like me, lying in the grass, knitting needles protruding from his chest, blood blooming like flowers on his white shirt.

First published: August, 2013
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