“I’m sorry. I had to tell Melvin. It was just breaking my heart.”

“What? You what?”

“I told Melvin. I just felt so bad for him.”

Backley walked quickly in nervous circles, pressing the iPhone to his head. “But we still have three bodies!” he exclaimed, sotto voce. “There are three bodies in the back of the truck still!”


“Miranda. What are we going to do with the three bodies? They’ve already been in there a few hours!”

Miranda sat down on the edge of the fountain, the plume of water ever rising and falling behind her. “Melvin didn’t take it too well,” she said into her cell.

All the blood drained from Backley’s face. His hands were cold and sweaty. “Uhhh. Uhhh. I’m trying to think here,” he said, pacing and pacing around the courtyard. Men in suits sat nearby, having business meetings at nearby tables.

Miranda leaned back and dropped her hand into the small pool at the base of the fountain. She lifted her hand and regarded the watery blood dripping down her fingers.

“I’m just going to leave the truck. I don’t care about the money. I’ll leave the truck right where it is,” Backley went on.

“Mm, yeah,” Miranda said quietly, turning her head slightly to look back at the fountain. A body floated just there.

“Did you hear me?”

“Mm, yeah, I heard you,” she said, very quietly, very distant.

“What, you have a better idea?”

“Well,” she said. “We actually have one more body now.”

“One more…?”

“Yeah… I killed Melvin.”

Backley stood, frozen. “You…”

“Yeah. Melvin’s dead. He’s floating here in the pool.”

“He’s dead?” Backley tried to contain himself. A few business men glanced over. He walked quickly away from them. His mouth stretched into the biggest smile ever. “You’re kidding me!”

“No, I’m not,” Miranda smiled. “I’m not.”

Backley was practically jumping up and down at this point. He tried hard not to skip as he paced around. “Baby,” he said. “Let’s—let’s celebrate!”

Soon he was in the elevator, bobbing around with excitement. A business lady with a short haircut moved away from him.

But when he got to the street he knew immediately something was wrong. And while in Westchester the cops were tearing Miranda away from her bloody fountain, downtown plainclothes officers grabbed Backley in front of his building. They took him, without a struggle, into a waiting squad car.

When they arrived at the courtroom much later they didn’t even look at each other. They both knew that, at long last, it was over.

Copyright © 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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