The Equalizer – Chapter Eight

What the hell did “the equalizer” mean?  I didn’t know but I was damn sure going to find out.  I told the coroner that I had changed my mind and I would take the report.

Harville’s words were once again knocking on my brain.  “Call me when you figure it out.”  I hadn’t figured anything out but I was hell-bent on finding out what those words meant and how they tied into Parker’s last word.  I also knew that Harville was the only person who could help me.

I flew into my office and told my clerk to get Harville on the phone.  “What should I say?” she asked.  I had to hold my tongue while I was thinking “you are dumber than a bag of hammers, aren’t you?”  I collected myself and calmly asked her to just make the call.

A few minutes later, she knocked on my door and said “there was no answer.”  I shook my head.  I knew what the answer to my next question was going to be but I asked anyway.  “Did you leave a message?”

“No,” she said.  “You didn’t ask me to.”  For a second, I thought I was going to go into orbit and stroke out.  I envisioned snapping her useless head off and using it as a bowling ball but on second thought, hollow bowling balls won’t knock down many, if any, pins.

This gal had been hired because she was the niece of one of the partners. How I got strapped with her, I have no idea but she sure wasn’t office material.  It was like trying to teach a first grader to write when they had never seen a pencil or a piece of paper.  I was sure I was being punished for some reason.

I emphasized every single word as I said “call him back and if he doesn’t answer, leave a message and that message should be that I would like for him to return my call at his earliest convenience.  Do you think you can handle that?”

She smiled and gave me a cutesy “of course.”  I’m not sure she was even bright enough to understand when she was being insulted.  I didn’t care.  I just wanted to talk to Harville.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to say to him, if he called back.  I hadn’t “figured” anything out but I did believe that there was a connection between the word “tattoo” and the actual tattooed words “the equalizer.”

What was she trying to tell me?  I was sure that the last word she uttered wasn’t to let me know that she had a tattoo.  I just kept asking myself. What does it mean?  What does it mean?

I waited all afternoon for Harville’s call.  It didn’t come.  I had already decided that he wasn’t going to get the autopsy report until he returned my call.  It was pure petulance on my part but I didn’t care.  If it pissed him off, tough shit.  If he wanted the report, he would have to talk to me first.

I left my office feeling a little smug, although I really didn’t know why. Maybe I felt like I had the upper hand because I was holding the autopsy report hostage.

I had a conversation with myself all the way home.  Not only was I talking to myself, I was answering myself.  “Like Harville is going to fold because you’re pouting like a child.  Like he’s going to tell you the answer to what you haven’t figured out yet.  Like he’s even going to return your call.  You’re a fucking idiot and he knows it.”

I battled myself long enough and decided I would let it go until the next morning.  I had it in mind to just barrage him with calls until he responded. Sure, with the clerk I had, that would mean a call every other month maybe, if I was lucky.

I strolled into my office and asked for Harville’s number.  My clerk said “oh. Do you want me to call him?”  I told her that I did not and I would like for her to give me his number.

I called and of course, got no answer.  I left a rather hostile, not threatening, but hostile message.  I told him that I had the autopsy report and stopped just short of telling him that I intended to keep it until he returned my call. I stressed the importance of a return call and told him that I would be anxiously waiting.

I wasn’t listed in The Chamber’s Legal Library but I tried to act like a big shot, you know, like I was someone of substance that warranted a call from the noted Mr. Morgan Ayers Harville, Esquire.

Another call went unanswered, and another and another.  I started doodling “the equalizer.”  I was trying to take an analytical approach.  “Okay.  What is the definition of an equalizer?”

“One who equalizes.  One who gets even.  One who counterbalances.  One who evens the score.  In slang terms, it can mean a gun.”

I was on to something!  I quickly dismissed the gun definition.

“Getting even.”  Who was she getting even with?  Other attorneys?  That was a good question but I didn’t have an answer.

“Counterbalancing.”  What was she counterbalancing?  Guilt versus innocence?  Righteousness versus pure evil?  I wasn’t sure.

“Evening the score.”  What was the game and who were the players?  Was the game the trial?  Were the players the accused or the victims?  Somehow, I couldn’t get that to make any sense.

But like I said, I thought I was on to something and it had to do with something or someone being “equalized.”

 

To be continued_________________

 

The Equalizer – Chapter Seven

“Call me when you figure it out?”  Figure what out?  What the hell did that mean?  I yelled those exact words as I watched him ride away.

What was I supposed to be figuring out?  She was dead.  That was a fact. She had been stabbed.  That was a fact.  She was a raging bitch.  That was a fact.

I was at a complete loss as to exactly what I was supposed to “figure out.”  I went on a thirty minute rant, calling him every name but a child of God, not to mention disparaging his intelligence, character and every other shortcoming that came to mind.

When I got back to my office, my clerk said I had received a message. “Okay,” I said.  She said “Mr. Harville called.”  Again, she just stood there.  I swear, sometimes trying to get any information out of her was like trying to get a response from a tree stump.  “And?”  I said.

“And, he wanted me to tell you that in his haste to leave town, he neglected to pick up the autopsy report for Parker Patterson.  He wondered if you would be gracious enough to pick it up and overnight it to him.”

“Was an autopsy even done on her?”  I asked.  “Apparently,” she said.

“Well, did the elusive and forgetful Mr. Harville leave an address by any chance?”

“He left a Post Office Box number,” she said.

I didn’t have time to deal with that crap.  If he was so damn good, good enough to be listed in The Chamber’s Legal Library, how could be absentminded enough to forget something like an autopsy?

He was obviously upset about Parker’s death but come on.  Forgetting a vital piece of information like an autopsy report?  There was no excuse for that kind of sloppiness.  He expected me to “tidy” up his omission and I wasn’t going to do it.

I asked my clerk to run over to the coroners’ office and pick it up but just as she got to the door, for some reason I had second thoughts.  “Never mind,” I said.  “I’ll take care of it.”

As I was driving to the coroner’s office, Harville’s words kept running through my head.  “Call me when you figure it out.”  The more I thought about it, the more it pissed me off.  I didn’t like innuendo, I didn’t like games and I intended to divulge that in a rather insulting note.

Apparently, the coroner had been alerted that I was coming to get the report and it was ready when I got there.  When he handed it to me, he said “it’s pretty cut and dried.  Knife wound was COD but you already know that.”

“Anything else?”  I asked.  The coroner looked at me quizzically and said “like what?”  I told him that I was just curious.  Then I asked him if he minded if I looked at the report.  “Not at all,” he said.

I sat down and started reading what was a very short and succinct report. I intentionally avoided the pictures.  Even though I despised her on a certain level, I felt there was no need to intrude on private pictures of her exposed body.

There was the standard “unremarkable” description for every organ and extremity.  It was noted that there was not one single flaw (aside from the obvious gaping knife wound) other than a small tattoo on the victims’ left hip.  I didn’t give it much thought, put the report back in the folder and told the coroner I would be on my way.

I had the audacity to ask him if he would overnight the report to Harville. At least I had the courtesy of requesting that he bill my office for the expense.

When I got in my car, I felt like a thunderbolt had hit me between the eyes. “A small tattoo.”  I bolted out of my car and burst back into the coroners’ office, blurting out “I need to know about the tattoo.”

The coroner looked like a deer caught in the headlights.  He clutched his chest and said “what the hell, man.  You almost gave me a heart attack and I’m getting on up in years!”

I apologized and said “I just need to know about the tattoo.”

The coroner got the report, sat down and put on his glasses.  Thumbing through his notes, he smiled and said “ah.  It was two words.”

Déjà vu.  Was I back at the office?  Had he turned into my clerk?  Finally I said “what were the fucking words?”

He looked at me, crooked his head and said:

“The Equalizer.”

 

 

To be continued______________

The Equalizer – Chapter Six

What did that mean?  “Tattoo.  Why would her last word be tattoo?”  For a split second, I called my hearing into question by thinking that maybe she had said fuck you, but I knew what I heard.  She clearly said “tattoo.”

There was a pretty good possibility that the ex-Navy Seal had a tattoo. Was she trying to let me know that he was the one who killed her?  That didn’t make any sense because there had to be at least twenty or thirty people who witnessed her death and from what I could recall in my state of shock, he had no visible tattoos.

As they were taking her away, it occurred to me that possibly she had a pet named Tattoo and wanted to make sure that someone knew.

The proper paperwork as far as search warrants for her home and car were in order and I made sure they were done correctly.  Not that it made any difference.  It wasn’t like we were looking for evidence of a murder.

I, along with one of the other partners and two seasoned detectives arrived at her residence.  I was expecting all the accouterments she had so richly described when the woman asked her how she slept at night.

As we walked through the house, I remembered the first time she absolutely crushed me and the smug look on her face when she handed me the “Understanding the Law for Dummies” book.  It infuriated me then but the truth is, I actually read the book and it still sits on one of my shelves. What sat on her shelves was a different matter.

There were no Rembrandt paintings, no Fabergé Egg collection and no 24k gold sheets.  She lived modestly and by that I mean, you would have almost thought an ordinary middle class person lived there.  It was neat and tidy but nothing extraordinary.

We couldn’t find any pets, nor did we uncover anything that made any reference to someone named “Tattoo.”  There were no cards or letters or pictures anywhere.  It was almost like being in a hotel room.  There was nothing personal at all.

We forced open her file cabinet and it revealed very well kept records as well as a sealed envelope addressed to Morgan Ayers Harville, Esquire.

I looked at my partner and asked if he had ever heard of the guy.  He said “hmm.  I haven’t but if he’s an attorney in this state, it will be real easy to find him.  If he’s in another state, it might take a few more minutes.”

I took the letter and began my search.  I handed it off to a clerk who after a couple of hours, knocked on my office door.  She smiled and said “I found Mr. Harville.”

She just stood there like a statue so I finally looked at her and rather abruptly said “okay.  Are you going to tell me?”  I think I angered her with my flip answer but she smiled and said “he’s listed in The Chamber’s Legal Library.”

I said “are you fucking serious?  The Chamber’s Legal Library?  Do you know how hard it is to get listed there?  WOW.”

After I collected myself, I said “alright.  Get him on the phone.  Tell him it’s in reference to Parker Carolina Patterson.  Maybe he’ll take the call.”

Later that afternoon, Mr. Harville and I were on the phone.  I introduced myself and told him the reason for my call.  There was a pause before he responded with a broken “I’m sorry to hear that.”  I waited for him to say something else but he was quiet.  I was wondering if he was crying.  Finally he said “I’ll take care of it.  Her final wishes were pretty straight forward and I’ll be on the next flight out.”

Hearing of her death seemed to hit him hard and I wondered if he had been in love with her.  I woke myself up with a metaphorical slap to my face and said “not unless he’s as big an asshole as she was.”

He asked how it happened.  I told him exactly what happened and any other time I would have probably concluded my account with “and she deserved exactly what she got.”

I wondered, “did this man know her at all?”  If he did, he couldn’t possibly be sad about her death.  She was considered to be the devil incarnate and it was my opinion that she had dodged a bullet…or knife…more than once. Still, we all have our own opinions.

He gave me instructions about her wishes and asked that I have them carried out immediately.

I picked him up at the airport and considering where he was “listed” and the reputation that accompanies that list, he seemed to be just an ordinary man.  No flash.  No pretense.  No query about the lack of a limousine for transportation.

There was a sadness about him and he was clearly not in the mood for mundane chit-chat when I asked how well he knew Parker.  Without even looking at me, he said “I’m not going to answer that.”

During the entire ride to the hotel, the only other words he uttered were “is everything in order?”  I told him that to the best of my knowledge, they were.  He surprised me when he shook my hand and thanked me.  We agreed to meet at the burial site the next morning.

When I arrived at the shabby cemetery where she had chosen to “spend eternity,” to say that I was speechless would have been an understatement. It was unkempt and most, if not all the tombstones appeared to have been there for centuries.  The plot marked for her was on the outskirts of the cemetery.  It was just a hole in the ground.

I will admit that Harville intimidated me and I was hesitant to ask if there would be any kind of marker.  I decided that if nothing else, I could outrun him so I asked.  “Not what she wanted,” he said.  “She was very specific.”

I looked at him with what I’m sure was amazement and said “but why? Everyone wants to be remembered.”  Harville looked at me and said “she didn’t.”

I think that I was so overwhelmed with the whole ludicrousness of things, that it took a while to realize that there were only three people at her funeral.  I was there.  Harville was there and some pay by the hour preacher was there, doing his best to pronounce the words that he had obviously never seen in the Bible.  He couldn’t even remember the usual “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  He stumbled around and was finally able to say something about “dust eventually turns into ashes.”

For some reason, I thought Parker would find that amusing but I don’t know why.  I realized that none of us had brought any flowers and mentioned it to Harville.  “Not necessary,” he said.  “She wouldn’t have wanted it.”

Harville was a man of few words but the words he did say definitely had an impact.  He was succinct and to the point.

As we were leaving the cemetery, he said “you do know that Parker had a sizable estate, don’t you?”  I told her that I knew she commanded a high price for defending….”people.”  That was the first time I saw even the most remote sign of a smile from him.  He said “yes…people.”

As I walked toward my car and he walked toward his taxi, he handed me his card.

As I looked at the non-descriptive card, he said “call me when you figure it out.”

 

To be continued________________

 

 

The Equalizer – Chapter Five

For years, I kept asking myself that same question.  “Why?  Why would arguably one of the most talented and yes, most beautiful litigators continue to defend people who were so reprehensible?”

I was not one to accept “I don’t know” as an answer.  There is always an answer to a question.  It may not be what you want to hear but there is an answer and I wanted an answer.

I did my time with the public defender’s office and moved on to one of the city’s most reputable firms.  Within a surprisingly short time, I was named a senior partner.  The celebration was in full swing and my mind suddenly went back to those days when I had been gutted by Parker Patterson.

Her reputation had never faltered and the general loathing toward her had never subsided.  She had made millions defending the rich, who didn’t bat an eye when she demanded a one million dollar retainer fee.  They knew she was able to do magic.

My dream was to once again meet her in court.  I wanted to literally and figuratively bury her.  That day would never come but I would watch her pulling off the impossible from what seemed like an endless bag of tricks.

A case that caught national attention was about a wealthy man, named Jackson Alton Benton, who was a secret pedophile.  It had long been suspected but no convincing proof had ever been brought to bear.  His luck ran out one night when he was stopped for a routine license check.  Because they believed it was within the arm of the law, they searched his car.

A young girls’ bloody underwear was found in the trunk, along with a rope, a gun and a canvas bag.  Two weeks earlier, a little girl had gone missing and an extensive and exhausting search had turned up nothing.

The items that were found in the trunk of Benton’s car were put into evidence bags and he was arrested, the whole time screaming police brutality and pleading his innocence.

Amid cries of utter heartbreak, the little girl’s mother was notified and was able to identify her underwear.

Parker Patterson was immediately called and presented herself as counsel for Benton.  She bonded him out and began to prepare her defense.  Her immediate questions were how the items were obtained and who had issued the search warrant.  No search warrant had been obtained but at least Benton had been Mirandized.   Another fatal rookie mistake had been made.

The prosecutor argued that the law states that with “reasonable suspicion” you and your belongings can be searched but the arresting officers fell short with trying to explain their suspicions or their justifications for searching the car.

Parker Patterson made them look like grammar school students.  “What were you ‘reasonably’ suspicious of?” she asked.  “Were you ‘reasonably suspicious’ because he wore an expensive suit and drove and even more expensive car?  Tell me.  What were your ‘reasonable’ motives to search this man’s car?”

One of the officers finally admitted that they were bored and pulled him over for kicks.  “For kicks?” asked Parker?  “Well, we thought we’d harass him a bit maybe,” said the other officer.

“I see,” said Parker.  “And they taught that in officer training school…that you were allowed to ‘harass’ a person because you were bored?  Were you bored when they discussed obtaining a search warrant?”

Parker went on to address the judge.  “Your Honor, we have nothing here against my client.  If anything, charges should be filed against the incompetent officers who illegally searched my client’s car for no other reason than ‘they could’.’

Needless to say, the case was thrown out of court and Benton walked away, smiling at the officers and he buttoned his Stuart Hughes Diamond Edition suit jacket.

Parker had already told him to make plans to go to his own private island to rest and recuperate after his “ordeal” and she was going to make sure he traveled safely.

His journey was going to be safe but Parker Patterson’s was not.  The father of the murdered little girl, a former Navy Seal, walked up the steps of the courthouse and plunged a SOC Seal Knife into Parker’s chest.  He knew exactly where to place the knife to strike a fatal blow.

My hatred for her had never waned and for a split second I wanted to yell “how does it fucking feel?  How does it fucking feel to be gutted?”  but I didn’t.

Horror and disbelief was all anyone felt for a few seconds.  Before an officer could get the knife away from the girls’ father, he slit his own throat.  He lay dead just feet away from Parker.

I leaned over and held her head as she lay dying.  I didn’t know if she remembered tearing me apart so many years ago but the hatred I had always felt subsided when she asked me to take her hand.

I reached down and as I held it, she asked me to come closer.  I wasn’t staring into the face of Charles Manson anymore.  I was staring into the face of a dying woman, who I suddenly felt compassion for.

I put my ear close to her mouth and with her last breath, she whispered “tattoo.”

 

To be continued_________________

 

The Equalizer – Chapter Four

A jury had been carefully selected and the case was going to be heard by Judge Amy Davis.  I was delighted that we had pulled a female judge because I thought she might, although unethical, have an empathetic bent that a male judge would not.  Of course, if she did have a blatantly biased view, Parker would make sure that she recuse herself.

Even so, our case was strong and with the evidence we had it didn’t really matter what the gender of the judge happened to be.  We were ready and we were confident.

Our opening statement came to a screeching halt before we ever began.  I felt like a student who had studied for the wrong test and utter disbelief was the only thing tumbling around in my head as Parker Patterson immediately called for the dismissal of the case.

“Case dismissed? Are you serious?  On what grounds, your Honor? I queried.

Parker was a winner for a reason.  An expert at due diligence, she had discovered that the search warrant issued was for the house proper.  It did not include the grounds, therefore all the evidence, including the contents of the dog’s stomach were inadmissible.  It was a novice mistake made by a novice detective.

We stood in stunned, stupefied silence as Judge Davis granted the dismissal of the case, due to lack of evidence, illegal search and seizure and the absence of a corpus delicti.  We also listened as she granted witness protection…once again for a known murderer.  Parker had once again, done her job with expertise.

I will never forget the look on Kevin Mays’ face as he heard Judge Adams’ ruling, nor will I ever forget the look on the Judge Adams’ face as she rendered her decision.

The next few minutes were a complete fog until we reached the top of the courthouse steps.  I didn’t even remember how I got out of the courtroom.  I wanted to scream “are you fucking kidding me?  Are you fucking kidding me?”

The famous saying “justice is blind” pissed me off.  Justice was not blind. Justice had its eyes wide open when it was prevented by the very laws that are supposed to protect the innocent.  There was going to be no justice for Evelyn May.  More than once I had been given a toast when I said “justice is for the guilty.  The laws are supposed to protect the innocent but clearly they protect the guilty.”

I settled down and watched as a woman slowly approached Parker.  I was halfway hoping she would punch her in the face but instead, she calmly said “I want to ask you a question.  How do you sleep at night?”

Parker looked at her and in an almost mockingly way said “first, I slip into my silk Hermes lingerie.  Then I pull back my Charlotte Thomas Bedspoke 22-karat gold sheets to reveal my Hungarian goose down pillows.  Just before I turn off my original Tiffany lamp, which sits on a piece of my handmade Henredon furniture, I glance at my extensive collection of Fabergé Eggs and my original paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt.  I must say that I find the works of Pollock and Picasso a bit troubling.”

She turned and walked away as if she had just been asked for the time.

I will admit that I had an intense hatred for Parker Patterson.  She was like a deadly Black Mamba, stalking her prey and then striking with electrifying precision.  But she was stalking the good guys, striking like a lightning bolt and leaving us paralyzed, leaving us helpless as we watched these scumbags, degenerates, and bottom-feeders walk away as free as a bird.

My question was “why?”

 

 

To be continued___________

The Equalizer – Chapter Three

When people started questioning the whereabouts of Evelyn, Kevin concocted an elaborate story of how she and her constant companion Ralph, had decided to take a sort of “sabbatical.”  He claimed that they had discussed the trip as a way to try to salvage their floundering marriage.  “We thought that being apart for a while would make us start to appreciate each other a little more,” he said.

The women at the support group immediately suspected that something was afoul but bound by confidentiality and an element of fear, they said nothing.  

A month went by before one of them finally made a secret call to the police and with the officers’ assurance of anonymity, told them about Evelyn’s plan and how odd it seemed that she disappeared without letting any of them know.

After an extensive search of the house, it couldn’t be determined that Evelyn was dead.  There was no indication of foul play in the home and when Luminol was sprayed throughout, no evidence of blood was found. With the avenues now available, people, especially battered women are able to disappear with relative ease.

Just as they were about to mark the case as cold, a novice detective named Quince Brown noticed a large pile of wood in the back of the property. Despite Kevin’s objections, he started moving the wood.  Evelyn wasn’t found but the remains of Ralph were.  

Quince had a gut feeling and immediately wanted to have an autopsy performed.  His partner scoffed at him.  “What the hell are you talking about?  An autopsy on a dog?  It’s clear what happened here,” he said. “Somebody beat his head in with a rock.  It’s animal cruelty but we didn’t witness it, so just let it go.”

Quince was adamant and stood his ground.  “I’ve just got a feeling that there is more to this than just finding a buried dog.”  His hardheadedness prevailed and the dog was taken to the local coroners’ office.  

Flack from his partner wasn’t the only teasing he took.  The coroner, old man Jenkins, jokingly said “where do you think you are?  The animal hospital?  We autopsy humans here…or what used to be humans.  We don’t autopsy animals.”  

Quince lied when he said his lieutenant had ordered it to be done.  “Okay,” Jenkins said.  “This will be one for the books for me…and tell your lieutenant that he owes me one.”  

When Jenkins completed his report, he stood there scratching and shaking his head as he said, “I’ve seen a lot in my time but I’ve never seen anything like this.  This dog’s last meal was organs.  Now, if animals get hungry enough, they’ll eat each other and yes, they’ll eat the organs but these are human organs and it looks to me like they were actually cooked before they were eaten.”  

That was a watershed moment.  A high-five moment.  The dog had eaten her organs, which meant that somebody had to remove them and cook them.  Quince was sure of two things.  Evelyn was dead, and the dog hadn’t killed her. 

thorough and exhaustive search was executed on the property and bag after bag was found.  Some of them had been dug up by animals. leaving no flesh and very little bone but there was no doubt that Evelyn was being found, one piece at a time.  

Quince began asking for statements from neighbors who were hesitant at first but after hearing that Evelyn had been murdered, finally began to talk. They said they had heard the fighting and the screams and pleas from her. They said that they had heard his foul mouth attacking her and Ralph.

When asked why none of them called the police, one woman said “oh, we didn’t want to get involved.”

Quince, who was not one to blow smoke up anyone’s ass, said “well, I guess we should hope that if you ever need help, somebody will be willing to ‘get involved’ before your body parts end up scattered all over your back yard.”

It was our turn to take over the reports, evidence and affidavits.  Everything was in order and in our hands.

Our case was solid.  Kevin May had killed his wife.

I admit that I was ready to proverbially spit in the face of Parker Patterson and smile as I watched it dribble onto her perfect couture outfit.

 

To be continued________________

The Equalizer – Chapter Two

My second encounter with Parker Patterson was when I was assigned to prosecute a man whose crime was so heinous, actual prayer vigils were held, demanding that God grant justice.

People were outraged when Parker took his case but none were really surprised.  That’s what she did.  That’s what she did best.  That’s what she was famous, condemned and loathed for.

I had a little more experience and was joined by a senior partner for this particular case.  Again, we were sure that we had a hands down, slam-dunk, in the bag, can’t lose case.  We were wrong.

Evelyn May had been married to Kevin May for over twenty years.  During that time, she had endured drunken mental and physical abuse, coupled with what she believed were numerous flagrant adulteries…but she stayed with him.  She believed in vows.  She believed in commitment.

Sadly, she came to realize that she had been looking for love only to find indifference.  She had been looking for a soul mate only to find herself alone.  She had been looking for validation only to find criticism.

When Kevin was out doing what he did, her only companion was a German Shepherd named Ralph.  He was her protector and would growl and snarl at Kevin when he started lunging toward her.  Ralph suffered Kevin’s wrath as well.  More than once he had been struck with a broom handle and more than once Evelyn had been warned to “shut that fucking dog up.”

Evelyn was a Christian and hoped that by going to church and praying, Kevin would somehow change.  She questioned her value as not only a woman but as a human being.  She believed that his behavior was somehow her fault and spent hours praying to God, asking Him to help her be a better wife and person.  Despite her life, she was still a dreamer.

One of her neighbors who heard the fights, suggested that she join a support group for battered women.  Evelyn had the same excuse all battered women do.  “It’s not really that bad and it’s all my fault.”

Weeks went by and when her bruises had finally started to fade, she somehow found the courage to seek help but there was a gnawing feeling that she would be judged.  Instead, she found friendship, comfort and encouragement among those other women.

She didn’t tell Kevin about her meetings and he became suspicious.  He didn’t like it when he came home and she wasn’t there.  He didn’t like that she was finding the strength to start standing up for herself.  He started accusing her of cheating on him.

One night when he finally staggered home, stinking of liquor and cheap perfume, he discovered that she wasn’t there.  About an hour later when she came home, she told him that she had made the decision to leave him.

“I matter,” she said.  “I deserve to be treated like I have value.”

Kevin screamed “what have you been doing?  Screwing some other man?  Is that what he’s telling you?  That you matter?”

Evelyn for once, raised her voice and said “there is no other man.  I am just not going to live like this anymore.  I deserve to be happy and the only way I’m going to be happy is if I get away from you.”

Enraged, Kevin struck her in the back of the head.  As she lay on the floor, he kicked her repeatedly while screaming “get up.”  When she didn’t, he realized she wasn’t going to get up.  She was dead.

Ralph was barking like a crazed animal and kept charging toward him. Kevin grabbed him by the collar and locked him in the back room.

Considerably drunk but having enough sense to understand the gravity of what he had just done, he came up with a plan.  He knew exactly what to do.  He carried her lifeless body to the bathroom and put her in the tub.

He got a butcher knife from the kitchen and started carving.  He watched as her life’s blood slowly trickled down the drain.

He cut off each limb and put them into black plastic bags, wrapped with duct tape.  In succession, he put them in the back of his pick-up truck, until only her middle section was left.

When he split her open and removed her organs, he got an idea.

Each piece was put into the oven and cooked, like a prime cut of meat.  One by one, he fed them to Ralph, who was unknowingly consuming the very essence of the woman he had more than once tried to protect from her abusive husband.

 

To be continued_______________