Name: Merrilee Faber
Title: Under the Datura Tree
Genre: Magical Realism
First 250 words:
I was on the tail end of another game of who-gets-the-kids with my ex-wife when I arrived at the crime scene. My old blue bomb had one go at the steep driveway and decided it was too much. She stalled and started rolling down the hill towards the crowd at the bottom of the drive.
I dropped the phone and wrestled with steering wheel and spongy brakes. She finally swerved around and into a neighbour’s hedge, to a round of catcalls and applause.
“Goddamn bitch,” I muttered as I picked up the phone again.
“Sorry, not you. Look, I can’t take the girls this weekend, Carol. I’ve just got too many open cases, and I’ll be working overtime.” I struggled out of the car and hurried up the drive. “It’s not my weekend, anyway. What about your mother?”
“She’s in hospital again for another set of x-rays. Damn it, Mike. I need to go to this workshop. What am I going to do?”
“Well, you’ll just have to get a babysitter.” I looked up as I came to the top of the drive. Senior Constable Rowe was standing under the wattle trees in front of the house.
“I have to go Carol. I’ll talk to you later.”
“No, wait, Mike-”
I flipped the phone closed as I reached him. “What have we got?”
“Couple in their 50’s,” said Rowe, “Allen and Marjorie Winebrenner. Throats cut with a kitchen knife, no sign of a struggle, no sign of forced entry.” He led the way towards the house.
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