Norma stared at the knife. It was long… sharp, and covered with her husband’s blood. She hadn’t meant to kill him. She didn’t think she meant to… did she? She stared at the knife and tried to remember why she even had it in her hand.
The Murder Knife
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
Norma sighed and reached for the dish towel to dry her hands. She hadn’t had a moments peace all day. Between Donny waking her this morning when he came home, banging around in his room, and then the twins bickering over whose toast was burn the most that morning, (she still maintained neither was burnt, just well toasted,) Bruce complaining that he couldn’t find his lucky green tie and he had that important meeting at work, the dog crapping in the living room, and then breaking one of her grandmother’s china plates, leaving only three out of the set of 4, she couldn’t imagine how things could get any worse. She had a feeling she was about to find out.
Norma opened the door and found that there were in fact two cops, not one, standing at her door. She looked at them suspiciously. The older one was fat. She didn’t trust a fat cop. “Can I help you?”
“Ma’am,” the older cop said, tipping his hat, “we’re looking for Donald Mason. Does he live here?”
“Donny? He’s my son, but he’s not here now.”
“Do you know where he is?” the second cop asked. He was skinny… like a scarecrow. Norma wondered if the fat one ate his food.
She shook her head, “No. He came home this morning, but he left after just a few minutes. He doesn’t tell me where he’s going or when he will be back. And I really prefer not to know. I probably shouldn’t ask, but what’s he done?”
“We don’t know that he’s done anything,” the fat one said, “but we do want to ask him some questions about something that happened at Vega’s Club”
“That dive? Probably nothing good.”
“You know Tom Vega?”
“Yeah, he and Donald are close. I don’t allow Tommy in my house though. Last time he was here, I caught him in my room. He said he was lost and looking for the bathroom… but same day, some of my jewelry went missing.”
“Well you don’t need to worry about him coming to your home again,” the younger cop said. “Tom Vega is dead. He was stabbed with a knife.”
“Dead. You don’t think my Donald had anything to do with it? He’s stupid, hangs around with the wrong crowd… probably even a thief, but he’s not that stupid.”
“Just want to ask him some questions.”
“I’ll have him call you when… if he comes home.”
“Be sure you do.” The fat cop tipped his hat again and then the two left. Norma watched out the window as they opened up the doors to an unmarked car and get in. The passenger side dipped heavily to the ground as the larger cop slid in. Then they sat there. Norma wondered if they would wait all day for Donald to show.
“Is Donny in trouble?” Denny’s eyes looked worried and behind him, Ben’s eyes looked the same.
“Probably,” Norma said. She didn’t even have the energy to lie to them. She decided to leave the dishes for a moment and go check Donny’s room. She knew the scraping across the floor meant he was hiding something under the floorboard beneath his bed. He didn’t know she knew about the hiding place. She did. It was where he used to hide his dirty magazines. She stopped looking when she found the Poloroids he’d taken. She also made sure he was never alone with the twins.
She pushed his bed out of the way and knelt on the floor. She hesitated, but only a moment. Whatever those cops thought Donny had done, he probably had. They might even be waiting to for a warrant. If there was something that would incriminate her son, she would need to get rid of it. She pulled the board up. Inside the opening there was a wooden box. Norma pulled it out and opened it, revealing a long, thin knife inside. It was covered with blood.
There were photographs in the box too, and a newspaper article. Norma pulled them out. She glanced at the newspaper article first. There was an image of the knife at the top of the page. Below it the caption read: Murder Knife Stolen. She looked at the poloroids next. They weren’t like the ones she’d found before, girls tied and gagged, their eyes filled with fear. These pictures were of Tommy Vega, covered in blood as someone fileted him alive with the very knife she now held in her hands. She didn’t know who took the pictures, but she recognized the hand that held the knife against Tommy… the ring on his finger was Donny’s. She choked down the bile rising in her throat.
“Oh God, Donny, what have you done?”
The knife was now in the back of her closet, buried in a box of old clothes. Not the best hiding place, but it would have to do for now. She’d burned the pictures and flushed the ashes down the toilet. Donny might very well be a psychopath, but he was her son. She would protect him. She’d get him help. Norma looked out the window. The Laurel and Hardy duo were still outside. The fat one was eating a sandwich. She thought it looked large enough to feed both him and his partner. There was no sign of Donny.
“Mom, I’m hungry.”
“Make a sandwich.”
“There’s no bread,” Ben said.
“And even if there was,” Denny added, “there’s no lunch meat. You said you were going to go to the store after breakfast.”
“I did, didn’t I. I got sidetracked. I’m sure there’s something to eat though.”
“Crackers,” Ben said.
“Water,” Denny said.
“Prison food,” they both said.
“Quit your whining, crackers and water is better food than they get in prison.” Norma sighed then and cut Ben off before the twin could protest again. “Look, I know, and I’ll go out later, but right now I have something I have to take care of. I think there’s a can of cheese whiz in the cupboard.”
“Does it have to do with Donny?” Ben asked.
“And the cops sitting outside?” Denny added.
“Yes.” Norma waited until the twins went to the kitchen and then went to the window again. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the newspaper article. She smoothed it out and read it again.
Murder Knife Stolen
The famous knife, used by the Robert Denton to kill as many as twenty people, has been stolen from the Allen County Museum. The knife was on loan, part of a display of famous murder weapons.
Robert Denton was a famous chef, known for his interesting and flavorful recipes. He has worked for such celebrities as River Shields, Tom Speed, Brad Trench, and former President, George Hedge. It was at a Presidential event that a finger was found in the roast. A following investigation revealed that Chef Robert had served the President and his guests, human meat.
At his trial, Denton insisted that the knife was demon possessed and the murders were not his fault… he’d been under the control of the devil. The subsequent insanity plea failed and Denton was given the death penalty, which is set to be carried out at the end of this month.
Norma folded the paper and watched the car outside, thoughtfully. She didn’t know how the knife came to come into Donny’s possession. She knew he was a thief, but she didn’t think he had the skill to take something from a well-guarded museum. It didn’t matter though, he had it and had obviously used it to kill. He was still her son though and she loved him, no matter what he did. He would probably not even think about the possibility of the police sitting outside his house. He might come home any minute. When that happened, he would find himself spread eagle on the ground with a fat cop on top of him… Unless she took action. She thought of the knife in the closet. Incriminating evidence against her son. She had to get it out of the house and find a way to warn Donny.