Here is a first-page submission titled A BOTHER OF BODIES, followed by my comments. Then we'd like everyone to jump in.
Note: I'm posting from Tokyo using my iPad, which isn't Blogger-friendly under the best of circumstances. So please forgive any formatting errors!
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This was going to be a bad day. Kicking the scale under the bed, I scooped the phone off the night stand and checked the screen. It was my brother, Dean—or half-brother. We’re not entirely sure which.
“Mabel, you better come out to the barn. Fast.”
“Mabel? It’s important. It’s beyond important, you’ve got to get out here.”
I was heading to the back door as soon as he called me Mabel. He rarely calls me by name. Uses Maybe instead, as in “maybe I’ll keep it, maybe I won’t”, a popular phrase our mother, Della, used during the seven months she carried me. Dean was three at the time.
“I’m on my way. What’s happened?” I stopped on the porch long enough to stick my feet into an old pair of Dean’s rubber boots.
“A corpse happened.”
That stopped me cold. “You’ve killed someone.” I knew this day would come. It’s always the quiet ones.
Silence. Okay, it was a stupid thing to say. If anyone was going to guess who put a corpse in a barn, they’d pick me. Dean was a big believer in turning cheeks. I was big on smacking them.
“Don’t touch him. Or her. Or anything else,” I told him. “Have you called the cops?”
I heard him sigh. Of course he hadn’t. People whose mothers are convicted con-artists never do.
I manoeuvred the dew-slick stairs, one hand on the railing, the other still clutching the phone. “Never mind, I’m on my way.”
Stuffing the phone into my bathrobe pocket, I clomped down the porch stairs, then stopped to survey the scenery. Not a barn in sight.
Dean bought this forty acre farm three months ago while I was in Toronto doing some fieldwork for the small, semi-legitimate security system outfit that employs me.