It didn’t take long for the calming presence of Detective Mathers to lull both Maggie and I into a ‘sit’.
As he dismissed the two uniformed officers, I followed his suggestion and took a seat on Mabel’s over stuffed floral print divan. Maggie waited patiently until the detective returned and seated himself in a pale pink armchair facing me before seating herself attentively at my side.
“I realize you two have had quite a night and I really wish I could just let you just go home, back to bed, and take over from here without you, but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.” He said, his tone truly compassionate.
“Why don’t you just start at the beginning and tell me everything you know about what happened here tonight. I’ll make a few notes and then ask you any questions I might have when you’re finished. Okay?”
With that, the floodgates opened, and I told him- well almost everything. I began with Maggie and I coming up to investigate the water leaking through my bathroom ceiling, then explained how we had found the door slightly ajar and entered the apartment when Mabel didn’t respond to my calls for her. I ended with the rugged work boot like soles I had seen imprinted in Mabel’s wet hall carpet just after Maggie discovered Mabel’s naked body enthroned upon the commode.
Something inside stopped me from mentioning the fact that I had lifted Mabel’s lifeless head and seen what I was sure were thumbprints, bluing on the pale skin of her throat. I guess I just thought it better that he make that discovery for himself.
Or maybe I just didn’t want to admit I had touched the body.
He listened attentively, making notes here and there as I spoke, and sat silently reviewing them for a moment longer than was comfortable before he broke the silence between us.
“You didn’t mention how long you have known the deceased, Mrs. Ferrier, or Mabel as you call her. Or how well acquainted with her you were over the course of time you knew her.”
His query caused me to flash back somewhat uneasily on my first encounter with Mabel.
Maggie and I had taken the townhouse, here at Spruce Tip Trace, nearly four years ago, right after my soon to be ex husband had deserted our life together in favor of a red sports car and a twenty-something blonde named Iris.
The day we were set to move in, Maggie and I arrived some time before the movers. I was doing some last minute vacuuming in the back bedroom, when Maggie began barking furiously and took off like a shot toward the front door. As soon as I turned off the vacuum, I heard what I soon found out to be, an old woman’s cane cracking repeatedly against the door.
“What on earth?” I exclaimed as I swung the door open excitedly. As soon as I did that, the woman I would come to know as Mabel, swung her cane, coming within inches of my head. Maggie jumped, pushing me out of the way and took a firm thwack, that surely would have been mine had she not intervened.
“I knew it!” the old woman shouted her tone accusatory, a strangely satisfied look on her face.”I knew it the first time I laid eyes it! You’ll not be living here long! Not with that.. That.. That wolf!”
With each ‘that’ she punctuated the air between us with the tip of her cane. Then turned abruptly and began to walk away, visually dependent in every way on the cane she wielded so deftly as a weapon.
As Maggie and I silently watched her hasty retreat, the moving van pulled up to the curb.
This is an on going saga. It can be read in it’s entirety by following the Maggie’s Story category links.