“April showers bring May flowers, at least that’s what my grand pappy used to tell me” drawled Beth Callaway as she stirred the sugar in her tea.
Officer John Millen glanced down at his notebook sweat glistening at his temples. It was a sticky warm morning in early June. He lazily stared at Beth as she chattered on while placing her spoon onto her saucer and daintily bringing the tea cup to her lips. Her engagement ring, 2 sizes bigger than it seemed her finger could hold, gleamed in the early morning sunlight streaming through the partially open gauzy curtains. Next to Beth sat her mother Mrs. Callaway in a lacy white summer dress and a large brimmed sunhat, absentmindedly fanning herself. Beth’s fiancé, Vander Williamson, sat in the arm chair across from her, newspaper obscuring his face. John wondered if they were used to Beth’s idle chatter and learned to tune her out.
John snapped back to attention and gazed at Beth slightly embarrassed. “I apologize Ms. Callaway. Could you please repeat the last part?” He was met with a cackle from the far side of the room closest to the open window where the slightest of breezes caught the curtains causing them to billow around the elderly lady crocheting on the window seat.
“Don’t mind her.” Beth shook her head her chestnut curls bouncing. “She is going a bit senile. I was asking why you ask about my grand pappy.”
“I just had a few questions for you and your family. When was the last time you saw Mr. Callaway?”
“Well…” Beth placed a slender finger on her chin. “It has been about 3 years right darling?” She glanced at Vander.
Behind the newspaper he responded “Yes honey pot.”
Beth glowed and turned to John. “We never knew what happened to him. He went out one evening and never came back.” She shook her head sadly.
“Oh my” breathed Mrs. Callaway. “Has it been that long? The last time I remember seeing Papa, he was out by the stables tending to the horses. He always liked going on evening walks.”
“I see. Well that is why I am here. I needed to let you know that we believe we have found the remains of Mr. Callaway. They were found last night in the fields off of Lansbury Lane. There were several puncture wounds found in his head and body. We believe he was murdered. Would you happen to know any information as to why or how this could have happened?”
It was like John had shot off a gun, in disbelief; Beth dropped her teacup her hands flying to her pink pouty mouth. Vander slowly lowered the newspaper shock etched across his chiseled features. Even grandma paused in her crocheting, still as a statue. Tears began to well up in Beth’s eyes.
“Oh dear Lord!” Mrs. Callaway cried her hand flying to her chest as she removed her sun hat and began to fan herself furiously, her dark hair flying around her face.
“I’m sorry to bring you bad news but I am attempting to collect as much information as possible to quickly solve this case. It will be difficult as it has been almost 3 years. I just wanted to ask a few questions. Was there anything strange about him that day or the days prior? Anything he mentioned; an argument with someone perhaps?” John pressed.
“None that I know of” Mrs. Callaway and Beth shook their heads solemnly. Vander stared at the folded up newspaper in his hands. John glanced at him suspiciously nodding slowly, jotting in his notebook.
“So with Mr. Callaway officially deceased who would get his estate?” John waited for the blow that he saw brewing in the Callaway women’s faces.
“Well I would!” Beth exploded “But what does that have to do with anything?!”
“Well Ms. Callaway, there seems to be no reason why anyone would want to hurt your grand pappy so I am looking into all possibilities.”
“So now we are suspects?!” Mrs. Callaway demanded crumpling her sunhat in her hands.
“I’m sorry like I said I am just trying to get as many answers as I can. A forensics group is outside and with your permission we would just like to get some samples to start an investigation.”
“Now wait a minute what type of investigation?!” Vander bellowed.
“It’s just initial evidence collection that’s all.” John’s hands shot up apologetically. “In this type of situation the family is always looked at first. Now either you can get this over with now or I will come back with a warrant and do a more thorough investigation.” All three shot out of their chairs and began yelling at once.
“But I wouldn’t hurt grand pappy I loved him!” Beth pleaded.
“He was my father! I would never hurt him he adored us!” Mrs. Callaway shook with rage.
“I had no ill will against the man. I barely knew him before he disappeared!” Vander countered. As each family member glared at him with disgust, a low cackle emanated from the window.
“See!” Beth’s face flared a deep red. “You’re upsetting grandma!” She marched over to the window seat trying to soothe the elderly woman by rubbing her arms, but the cackling became louder. John’s blood froze. She finally subsided and spoke.
“Arthur was not as wonderful as these people make him out to be.” She croaked.
“Arthur was a liar, a cheat and beat me when no one was looking. He gave all the inheritance to my granddaughter just to spite me then he threatened to kill me.” She stared at the crochet needle, the cold steel glinting eerily in the early morning light. “I gave him everything and he tried to take it all from me including the love of my family.” She coldly looked at John as he shuddered at her words. “And that, officer, is why I had to murder my husband.”