What can YOU say in six sentences?
The FBI agent and police chief shared the sofa across from me, high beams glaring as I squinted with the effort of recalling exactly what I’d heard a couple of nights earlier: the hollow boom of something colliding with a dumpster, loud enough to pull me out of REM quicker than the tickle of a palmetto bug’s legs across my bare chest. The giant green box flanked the sidewalk across the street, next to the Bumper-to-Bumper store.
A black girl, last seen attending the high school dance two doors down from my 50-year-old two-story, never made it back home to momma. It had been almost 48 hours, and the mostly white law enforcement agencies, already facing heat, were going all out -- the FBI’s invitation, purely on the possibility that the girl had been abducted and taken across the Mississippi state line 10 miles away, was insurance against bedlam.
Her decaying body was found a week later in an abandoned yard behind the auto parts store. I’ve never been able to shake the image of her killer slamming her into that dumpster, which explains why thunderclaps in the dead of night jerk me into sweaty consciousness.