stared down at the photo that sat on the table in front of her. The face
of her brother stared back at her, his face wearing the adorable grin that
it had sported for so many occasions when she had visited him. But not the
last time, Parker reflected gloomily. The last time she had seen him, he
had been in tears because he was being taken away from her. She could hear
his little voice as he looked back at her over her father's shoulder and
the pathetic claims of 'Mine, mine' that had continued until the door had
closed behind him. But it was the other face in the photo that was more
likely, at this moment, to bring her emotions to the surface.
The furry face of Benjamin stared out at her from the lap of her baby brother and Miss Parker picked up the bottle of wine and filled the glass to the brim before downing it, looking at the splashes of red that were eating their way into her new marble table top. A drop fell onto a book that was lying near the empty glass. She looked over and stared at the image of herself that Jarod had drawn for the cover. Then she looked up at the dancing flames that lit the room from the fireplace opposite her.
As she looked, she was forced to recall the conversation from earlier that day.
"Uh, M...Miss Parker?"
"What is it, Broots?" As she had spoken, she had also glanced at the clock. “It’s six in the morning. What are you doing up? Don’t tell me there’s a Jarod sighting. Even he should be asleep by now.”
“Well, I was watching Flash Gordon…”
Miss Parker rolled her eyes but decided that she didn’t want to get involved in a conversation with the technician at that hour.
“So what is it?”
“Well, Debbie went out to talk to Benjamin. She came back in really quickly and said that she couldn’t see him, I went out and found him under a pile of hay.”
“Miss Parker - Benjamin’s dead.”
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