Note: This story is being pubbed in serial form. You should probably start with EPISODE 1.


Eric Kelvin, aka Rusty, has been in a dry spell these last couple years. As a result, the house at the end of Burkhardt Street has not benefitted from a woman’s touch in a long time. He is thinking this as he opens the fridge for another beer. Because there is nothing in the fridge except beer. And a package of Fairbury brand hotdogs.

It had been easy at first, playing the grieving father some ten years ago, desperately searching for his lost child, melting hearts left and right. Of course, he’d spent that first few hours before calling the LPD buying supplies and replacing the door frame and drywall where the bullets had gone through, and it had been a real bitch doing all that while concealing the fact that he was shot in the leg. The bullet had passed right through the outer thigh muscle; with the help of some good vodka he’d been able to sew up the wound and bind it himself (the leg only dragged occasionally now).

No two ways about it: After he’d healed up, Rusty’s bed had rarely been empty. As time went on, though, the sympathy factor had started to wear thin, and things had pretty much gone back to normal. He’d stopped worrying years ago that his daughter might return and press charges, or even try to kill him again.

Nowadays, she rarely crosses his mind at all.

He’s still got that full head of strawberry-blond hairedged with only a little graythose pretty eyes, that aw-shucks grin that always charmed the ladies. But these days, the ladies are more experienced, more cynical. He still prefers them young.

It’s a Saturday and the Cubs game is just entering the third inning when there comes a soft knock on the front door. He looks out the window up Burkhardt Street, instinctively searching for the old blue Buick. The weirdo Marshall chick doesn’t come creeping around as often as she did at the beginning. It had been that annoying quirk of hers that finally convinced him she didn’t know any more than he did about where M had gone.

The knock comes again.

When he pulls open the door, his first thought is that the cute little blonde in the pink top looks vaguely familiar. Someone he nailed years ago? But no—way too young to be the same person. His second thought is he doesn’t care.

“Well, hello there.” He leans against the doorjamb, tilting his head and giving her the look that, not so long ago, still had the high school girls creaming. “How can I help you?”

She gives him a dewy smile, blinking. Twinkling, he and the guys used to call that. “Hi, Mr. Kelvin. Um, can I come in?”

“You selling something?” He wonders vaguely how she knows his name.

She shrugs adorably, squeezing her boobs together in the process. “Maybe?”

She looks all of nineteen at most. He stands aside, holding the door for her. Another quick glance up the street, then close and lock. She is waiting in the kitchen, hands clasped behind her. She studies him openly, her grin widening. “Wow, weird.”


“I can see the resemblance, but…your eyes are lighter than hers are.”


“Marissa’s.” Her grin widens some more.


Copyright © 2018 by Shoshana Sumrall Frerking
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead, or otherwise, is purely coincidental.

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