Name: Joylene Nowell Butler
Title and genre: OMATIWAK: WOMAN WHO CRIES, Suspense
Pitch: RCMP Danny Killian, Aboriginal, must put aside his innate distrust of the white man’s establishment to apprehend the killer of Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense.
Blood. So much blood. Pooling on the slate tiles around his head.
I always assumed he'd outlive me. Mean people are lucky that way. But maybe that's what’s wrong. He used to be mean. After our sons died, he stopped.
My palm firmly pressed to my chest, I quiet these erratic thoughts. Giddiness overwhelms me. I drop my purse and grip the edge of the countertop. Tears blur my vision. An uncomfortable heat descends upon me; so like those hot flashes I suffered for ten years. Ohmigosh, now I'm blubbering like a fool.
Leland gone? I don't believe it.
I slip off my ankle boots. Bare feet on cold tiles ground me. The kitchen phone is on the wall next to the breakfast table, clear across the room. I can't make it that far. My fingers grope across the marble countertop and connect with Leland's cell phone. I detach it from the charger and gawk at its keypad. A second passes before I'm sure I hear Leland shout: 911. Dial 911, you stupid woman!
Morning light, struggling to force its way through a ceiling of black clouds, makes the space around me grainy. Like salted air. I suck back sobs and, despite the rancid taste of death, take two deep breaths.
"911 Emergency Services. Fire, police or ambulance?" a man says.
“Oh, uh,” I stare at Leland’s body.
My call is redirected. Suddenly, a woman is speaking to me. I’m not sure what she says.