Murder On Heartbreak Road Part 2
My name is Izzie McNeill I am a thirty five year old widow with three daughters. My husband Sam had died three years ago in a car accident that was interesting only because it was stupidly avoidable and that it had broken my heart.
It was raining, his tires were worn, and he skidded into another car. The other driver was unhurt and my Sam was dead. A simple, boring story, as death so often is, to those it doesn’t directly effect. And I guess that is how it’s supposed to be.
I live in Ipswich, Massachusetts, A small coastal town founded way back in the 1600’s. It’s a typical picture postcard New England town, filled with little shops and antique homes. Yes, Washington slept here, although whether or not he had fried clams is unknown. Everyone else has. We’re famous for our clams here. That and our beach. Cranes Beach is one of those white sand beaches that is just big enough to fit all the tourist willing to pay the rather exorbitant price to swim in it’s pristine freezing waters. Ipswich has had a witch or two in its day, a few famous authors, and one Puritan poet. We have a few great restaurants and more then a couple of bars that each cater to it’s own select crowd. If you’re of Greek extraction you go one place. If you’re Polish you go to another. There’s a place if your rich and another if your just folks. It’s the same with the town’s churches. Everyone’s welcome to visit, but whether you’ll be considered a regular is another matter all together.
Our town has Mansions and row houses and everything in between. The liberals think there are too many conservatives and the conservatives think just the opposite. The nice thing is that there seems to be room enough for everyone. The one thing we don’t have is a lot of big crime. I swear to you the most interesting thing in last week’s police notes was the report of a duck crossing Main St. at midnight. Hold the presses. Not that I am complaining mind you. Nor am I naive to the oddities that must go on behind closed doors. Ipswich is full of regular people, just like any town. I know that there have been a few murders and acts of violence committed here in the last four hundred years. But when they happen here, the town stands still for a moment in time. The idea that such a thing has happened is so tangible that you can almost feel it like an electric shock reverberate through one citizen to the next. In Ipswich it is more likely two guys will get into a brawl outside one of the pubs. A few times some clammers have been caught catching more bales of marijuana then clams. Perhaps the one factor keeping most violent crime from our shores is the town’s love; no strike that, it’s pure, guilt free love of gossip.
I really can’t imagine anyone from our town getting away with murder with out everyone finding out.. They would what are you doing? What are you up to? What was that chainsaw noise they heard last night at midnight coming from your backyard? And hey, why haven’t we seen aunt Bertha in awhile? The one that we all know is leaving you that small fortune when she dies. All I am saying in this town not many people get away with much. It’s very Yankee. It’s kind of Puritan Pilgrim too. But without all that witch burning and more martinis. For the most part it works.
This time it didn’t.
For the sake of full discloser you should know I didn’t do it. I know just were I was at the time of Linda’s death. Although it would not be much of an alibi had I ever been considered a possible suspect? I was in bed under my covers. Trying to hide from another migraine. This one was building like thunderclouds. It threatened to become one of those rare headaches that not only incapacitates me, but actually frightens me. The bottle had read take one tablet every six hours for pain. I had already taken three in the last five minutes. For months now it had taken more and more Vicodine to even make a dent in a really bad one. It was beginning to become a problem. Of course that wasn’t what I was thinking. I was thinking what if I hadn’t taken enough pills. What if the pain still came roaring in?
I could already see the stark white flutter of wings at the periphery of my vision. Those were my birds of prey. This was my particular apparition. Migraine suffers often see flashes or hues of light. For me it was angry, panicked white wings. Occasionally there might be shadow of violet or a bright yellow streak when I closed my eyes. But that for me were only seen as the migraine was passing. Or more likely then not, it when the narcotics where kicking in.
On that sunny afternoon in June, the world for me was slowly becoming warm and sweet. I was falling in love with everyone in the world, and those white birds were becoming angels.