Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I’m walking the gravel roads around my house. Down Mashie Street to Iron, down Iron to Niblick. I turn on Hazard and a mystery grabs my eyes. Across the ditch from me, carefully spread out on the grass, lie two articles of clothing. One is a peach colored sweater, a woman’s outer garment. The other is a woman’s white, turtleneck undershirt. You can see the picture I took.
I don’t know how long they’ve lain here. It’s rained recently and they’re wet, but they’re also out of place. Sometimes people do throw out trash along this road, but these don’t look like trash. They aren’t new but there are no holes in them, no visible stains that might have turned them into waste. I wonder why they’re here; I wonder who so carefully arranged them. And in this modern world I feel a little fear.
A mystery in prose is enjoyable; every book needs puzzles in it, not just those we call mysteries. But this mystery isn’t confined to a book. It lies in the dirt in front of me. Maybe it’s innocent. It probably is. It could be someone playing a joke. But my first thought, ridiculous as it may seem, is “serial killer.” My heart is beating a little faster than normal as I explore the woods behind where the garments lie. I find nothing. Thankfully.
I reported my find to the police. They said they’d check it out. The clothes are still there. I hope it’s a joke. I doubt I’ll ever be sure.