"Feel the danger" she screamed in silenced tones as her face contorted with that distinct look of someone's throat closing without their consent. She passes the bowl. I looked at her for a very long time, trying to figure out what it was about her that I liked. She had limp brown hair that was too long for her features, and a long nose. With bangs, she could rein in that forehead of hers but I just couldn't put my finger on it. She was not thin, but certainly not fat, had mothering hips and stumpy legs that she tried to hide by tucking them under her and wearing lots of skirts. I hate skirts, very unattractive. She was the hippie type. The bowl came around to me. Then I passed it on to her again. “Look," I said, "no use in staying here and being bored..." I stood up and went to the front door. They followed slowly, I kept half an eye on her. I wanted to see her move again. She kind of hobbles. I bet she'd hunch if she were in heels. So as one by one they went out the door I held it open for them. She slipped by and I watched her bending over the bag she had slung around her shoulder like the precious cargo I'm sure she thought it was. Why was she so fascinating. I've not met her before, seen her around a few times, but I never found her fascinating like this. I led them out to the barn, there's always something to do in the barn. Grandparents turned it into a bar and strip joint back when times got rough. I sneezed. Blood. Bloody nose, Fuck! I get too many of these. Mostly when I'm nervous. But what am I nervous about? What is it about her? She shuffled into the barn with the two guys and three other girls we were hanging out with. Everyone parked their mellow asses on something, bails of hay, old wagon, bar-stool. I found myself wanting to look at her, truly look at her. "Dance." I said looking in everyone's direction and at no one in particular. I grabbed the boys and sat them down at the barstools at the low stage. Grabbed the girls by the hands, they were too gone to complain. We all went onto the stage and started dancing for the boys. I got onto my knees and sliding along the floor grinding my ass up for them I slid off to the side and looked back to make sure the other four were following in suit. They danced and pranced about rather slovenly but they were doing it. I slid off to the bar and grabbed a few drinks out of the cooler, a few joints off the shelf behind the lantern. It's always good to know who stashes what where. I handed the boys a couple of drinks and sat down beside them with mine. Watching the girls fall over themselves was kinda fun and glancing at the boys it was also apparently arousing. I didn't care about that though, there was something about her, some thing my primitive mind told me was more pressing. She tripped over her own foot and grabbed the pole to break her fall, slid straight down and that bag of hers opened and spilled out some of its guts.” Why do you have a gun?" I said quietly. She heard me though and looked straight at me. I was remembering something and it scared her. She looked into my eyes trying to figure out if I was bluffing. I was but I hid it well. I stared harsh daggers at her. She caught herself in my stare shook me off and scooped up her stuff back into her bag and in a brief moment scooted off stage and back to a corner. While she was hunched over it on the floor I saw what I was looking for. I was remembering how I saw her that night: In a parking lot over a heap of a body, hunching and apparently lost. She was on the ground over him like a dog over his mauled master. There was blood on her hands. Blood. That's what it was. I saw her pull a bloody hundred dollar bill out of his pocket and start running clutching her bag and stuffing the gun into it. She was sitting in the corner far from everyone here now. I went over to her.” I saw it." I said, "I know about the blood on your hands." She sneered at me and sighed. "So what happened? If I need to ask." Like I needed to ask. I was meeting the murderer the papers were all buzzing about. In a small town like this, something as brutal as a dead body in a parking lot doesn't go unnoticed and doesn't proverbially die so quickly. She stared at me and tears were welling up in her eyes. I knew then it was something she couldn't forget, was more than responsible for. Something she couldn't hide forever but wanted desperately to get away from. “You aren't sorry for what you did, don't try to kid me." I sneered. “You don't know what he did to me." She blurted out.” So what was the money about? “She looked at me, harder this time. She knew now I wasn't bluffing. I really did know what I saw. She had killed him and I wasn't the type to let it ride. She thought hard, trying to figure a way around or out of this.I leaned in close my warm breath ticked her ear for a few breaths. We didn’t touch. "And the truth shall set you free..." I found myself whispering to her ear. It worked. "He never had a chance." She said. "He was the kind of guy you only wish something bad would happen to.” “You didn't just wish." I said. I was getting impatient with this stalling of hers. I pulled out my phone. "I'm calling the police.” Don’t." She paused to watch me dial six numbers. She was finally coming around. "I did it, sure, and I'm not sorry. I'll do it again if I have to." This is the meat of it I wanted to get to. I lit up a joint and handed it to her. I wanted her tongue looser than oil.She proceeded to tell me of a monster of a man, a deep ravine and trickery. I stopped her and said: "Lying only makes it worse. If he tricked you into having sex with him, don’t embellish.”“No really…” she started, “well he kind of did. It was me. I actually took him to the ravine. And when he wouldn’t share with me…”“Share what?”She looked down at her feet and fumbled for words. I took a slow hit letting her enjoy her moments of painful silence and passed the joint back to her. “In the family we don’t judge, I don’t judge.” “His sister’s number, I wanted his sister.”I was intrigued."What do you mean by share then?"
"She was hot, I don't blame him,..."
"Woah, TMI! I don't want to know, skip that part. What did you do?"
"I threatened to kill him and he..."
"And you offed him."
"No. For someone who wants to hear the truth, you sure don't give a person a chance, do you?"
"For someone who's guilty of murder and minutes away from the authorities, you sure don't know how to make a good clean quick case for yourself. But do go on, I'm sure all the detail will matter to someone."
"No one's going to hear of this right?" She took a long drag and stared deep into my face.
"Not if I think you're innocent, you're on trial here, I'm Judge, Jury and I'm itching for a good execution lately. Give me a reason killer."
Her face tightened up and her knees couldn't fit a razor-blade between them they were so tight. "He said I wouldn't be so interested in his sister if I knew what a real man was like. I offered him money if he would just set us up on one date. He took the hundred dollars and said he'd think about it. Then he told me what she was like in bed. Told me only a real man could handle her. He grabbed me and said he'd show me what it took to do right by her. I shoved him towards the edge of the ravine and he lunged at me. I hit my head hard, I think on my car, maybe the rocks and I remember waking up to my head bleeding in his lap and my skirt was torn and he had me in the back seat and... and... and..."
And she trailed off.
"And he molested you, what a great reason to kill him. Should I call them now or have you more to say?"
"I couldn't move, I didn't know why but I just couldn't move. He held my bleeding head over his lap and he... and he... And later he bent me over and he... and he..."
Ok, so the poor thing couldn't bring herself to say he raped her; usually a sign of a fake, but most girls don't resort to murder on the first date either. "Did you bleed?" I handed her another joint.
"Everywhere." She started to tear.
"Take a deep hit and focus. What did he say after?"
"That I better like it rough 'cause I was his toy now."
"And that meant what to you?"
"It meant he had been raping her like that for a while now."
"Did you ask him?"
"He said years. So as soon as I could move. When he was off taking a piss and I was lying there torn apart in my own car. Honest all I could think of was her."
"And I shot him. I couldn't believe what all I had just done. I shot him and put him in the car and took him somewhere that I knew they'd find him too late, and I left him."
"Conviction relegated on condition we talk with the sister."
“She lit up with the joy of seeing the girl, then it faded with the thought of what she knew we had to ask her.”
I could see the love in her eyes. That’s how I knew she was innocent.