Easy Does It
Lindsey Bell. It’s time for you to meet your eternal roommates. You’ll be spending some time together. Well, until they finally catch me. I think I’ll take credit for it someday. It would be a shame to waste this.
I scribbled my last notes into the book and fiddled with my necklace. A few small details and a picture of the body are there too. It helps me remember who they were and what happened. I shuddered having been out in the cold earlier. A chilly night of 45 degrees ached my bones. It wasn’t cold enough to freeze anything though, and that was the important part. I didn’t need any of Lindsey freezing up tonight.
I stood up from my chair and tossed the book carelessly on top of my coffee table. Maybe it was true that the killers stopped being so careful after a while. I do however refuse to give up like they did. They were failures and it’s my job to show them that. Except that they’re dead and don’t really care. It doesn’t matter. People will be scared eventually.
I rolled out of bed and quickly got ready. I wasn’t late, but I liked to get there early to get a head start on my rounds. I hopped out the door making sure to lock it before I took off in my truck. I had something of a long dirt driveway that passed the fenced in pigs before I got on the road. I turned up the music so I could get into my work persona. You might know it as the person you pretend to be when you’re around friends or family. Not the boring psycho you are on your own.
I pulled the truck into the same parking spot I pulled into every shift. I know myself to enjoy patterns. Ben’s blue Toyota Corolla popped into the space next to my truck.
“What’s new Connie?” He shouted over my music, forcing me to turn it down. Otherwise I would be rude. I unbuckled my seatbelt and stepped out of the car. So much for my solo rounds.
“Hey Ben not much. How have you been.”
“I’ve been great. I got a full breakfast made for me this morning.”
“Your mom back in town?” I smiled to myself and pulled out the keys to the clinic.
“Haha, very funny.”
I flashed him a mischievous smile and pushed the door open heading to the back room. I turned on the reception lights to bring the place to life. We didn’t open for an hour but I did it every morning anyways. Ben followed me to the back.
“Hey why do you come in early?” He followed me to the back room where I pulled the blue vest on over my collared shirt. He did the same with his.
“Why did you come in early?” I asked back, changing from my farm boots to my sneakers.
“Well to see you of course and ask that same question.”
I stopped and looked at him. “Well then in that case I come in early to get the rounds done before I start taking new cases.” You have to be as open as possible so that people couldn’t possibly think you hide anything.
“Oh okay then. Do you mind if I help?”
“No not at all. You take the dogs and I’ll take any others.”
He nodded in agreement and we were off in different directions. With an equal ratio of dogs to other animals in the clinic, it split us up pretty evenly. I only had one more than him to check up on, the bull down in the pit. The family thought it would be so sweet to name that monster Fernando or whatever the hell his name was after the hero bull in that book. I’m pretty sure the book was a protest on bullfighting but you’d get the irony if you had met this thing. It had already broken the lock on it’s stall twice which forced me to take it down TWICE with tranquilizers. Dragging his sorry ass back into the stall after being tranquilized is not a memory I hold near and dear to my heart.
We added two padlocks yesterday and when I cautiously walked down the stairs I could see that it was still intact. I sighed in relief and trotted down the rest of the stairs with the chart in my hand. I took a look in the stall and saw him lying on the ground. Before I had to worry about having to go in there he picked up his head and looked me dead in the eyes. I swear bulls are the only thing that can get to me. I stuck out my tongue at him and tossed over two flakes of hay.
“Anything for you, your majesty.” I rolled my eyes. Him and his stupid eye surgery were going to cost me my Thursday afternoon.
“I didn’t know he was royalty.” Ben hopped down the last two stairs.
“He’s not but he acts like it.”
“Ferdinand does get some respect but only because he’s got surgery today.”
The bull stood up.
“Aww look at this handsome man.” Ben scratched the bull’s chin.
I just rolled my eyes and wrote down in my notes for Ferdinand- Glared menacingly at me. I recommend euthanizing it.
Ben followed me back up the stairs into the back room. I sighed and checked the clock. We didn’t open for another 35 minutes. I fell back into one of the chairs and closed my eyes. Maybe I’d get a couple of minutes of sleep before the techs and receptionists come in. Ben and I were the only vets on duty today which means that we had to sign for all the discharges and perform the bulls operation later.
Whenever I had surgery I would leave Leah in charge of the others. She’s the best vet tech we have.
The day went by like any other. We had 2 broken bones to reset and keep overnight, but we discharged 3 others so we were with one less animal when the afternoon came around. I told Leah to make sure all the animals were set for the night while we fixed up the bull.
I hopped in my truck at 5pm with the sun still shining generously for May. Ben waved and pulled out of the driveway rather fast. My face relaxed and I let my head go limp and rest on the wheel. My fingers were pinched under its weight. I shook my head and put the truck in reverse. Time to spend the evening with Jenna. The fact that I don’t have to fake being sweet around Jenna makes spending time with her easier. I did like Jenna. I made a goal to not have any real relationships with these people, but Jenna must have seen right through that. She didn’t let my closed off self stop her from a new friend.
Jenna waved from her porch when she saw my truck pull up. I waved back and parked beside her light pink truck. She claimed it helped the flowers feel more at home.
“Now what the hell are you late for?” Jenna stepped down off her porch. “Me and the flowers have been waiting for that bonemeal you said you had. They’ve been awful mad.”
I lifted a small bag out from the back of my truck and dropped it on the ground.
“I didn’t know flowers could be mad.”
“They told me they were.” She scowled.
I chuckled and looked at her still standing over the bag.
“I guess I’ve got it.” I sighed when she nodded at me and I picked it up and followed her to her shed. She opened up the door and I placed it down next to her old bag that happened to be a tablespoon from empty. She beckoned me with her hand and hunched shoulders back towards the house.
“I’ve got to show you something.”
I’m not going to lie, I was a tad bit excited. Whenever she “had to show me something” it always turned out to be a new type of flower that she added to her collection. But instead of going inside to her binder of flowers, she stopped on the porch and picked up something off the railing.
“I found this in my garden.” She said holding up a small bone fragment.
“Looks like a bone.” I said uninterested. “It’s probably from the bonemeal.”
“Yeah no shit it’s from the bonemeal.” She shoved it closer to my face.
Now I was a little nervous. After a closer look I could tell this wasn’t just a regular piece of bone. A tooth had been presented before me. I could feel my stomach twist. She looked at me waiting to react and spoke up when I didn’t.
“I swear to god, if you kill another piglet I’ll kill you.” She spat at me and I shuddered in relief. She thought it was a piglet’s tooth. Thank goodness. I crossed my heart.
“Now,” She tossed it back into the bushes, satisfied “Come get some tea I’ve been bored the past few days.”
I took one last glance at the tooth in her garden. It had been so obviously human. Though maybe it was just obvious to me. Jenna poured tea into the familiar fancy teacups with delicate flowers painted on the side. Most people might drink it out of a mug but Jenna was always very serious about her tea. I admired the artwork on the teacup while she mixed honey into hers. Jenna’s emerald ring reflected the sunlight onto the wall. The same kind of reflection is used off of one’s watch or phone to blind their sibling.
“So,” Jenna started, “How is the boyfriend?”
“Yes, that guy who gave me the honey. What was his name? Oh yes, Benjamin.”
“Ben?” I asked with a smile.
“Yes he’s a sweet one isn’t he?”
“Yeah I don’t know he’s not really my type.” I said sipping my tea.
“Okay he might be built like a string bean and is destined to slip in the shower and get sucked down the drain but he’s real sweet.”
“Yeah.” I said laughing and remembering this morning, “Real sweet.”
“Okay well what about a pretty lady for you then? Huh? Like that sweet girl who sells stuff at the farmers market, Olivia?”
I laughed harder. “It’s alright I don’t need you playing matchmaker for me.”
Jenna threw up her hands in defeat. “You are impossible to please.”
“I’m pretty good just spending my time with you and my cat.” I said sipping my tea.
“Yeah yeah, how is that scrappy thing of yours?”
“You wouldn’t throw that poor thing into the bone grinder would you.”
I shook my head “Look Jen, I’m sorry about the piglet, it was a runt. It won’t happen again.”
“Well next time you have a runt you sent it my way. My chickens would love a friend.”
I nodded in agreement but we both knew that wasn’t going to happen. I thanked Jenna for her time and tea and quickly got off home to bed. Dirt had been waiting for me on the porch and I scratched her between the ears. When I stepped into the living room I could see my book laying out carelessly on the coffee table. I never put it away. I cursed at myself and quickly snatched it up and counted the pages. 1, 9, 23, 45, 51. All 51 were there. I relaxed my shoulders. I shoved it up on top of the wooden beam that supported the roof. The magnet stuck so there was no way it was going to fall down now. At least, not on its own.
Dirt sat waiting anxiously by her bowl. I tossed in her dry food and headed to sleep. I had been way too careless today. From the tooth to the kill book on my table, I needed to pull it together. No one can know. Not yet.