“Sorry, Payton. He told me you might give me some trouble and I’m to use whatever means necessary to get you in the car and down to the station.”

The wine floating through my veins takes a detour from “I’m fine, everything’s fine, and I’m not that drunk” to “LEO HUDSON IS A JERK AND I WILL FIGHT YOU!”

Buddy moves closer, I throw up my fists in a fighting stance, Emma Jo screams MUSKRAT again, and that’s pretty much the story of the first time I got Tased…


Recorded Interview

June 3, 2016

Bald Knob, KY Police Department

Sally Plunkett: Why do your cheeks get red every time I mention my daughter’s name?

Deputy Lloyd: I…it’s…um, it’s a rash.

Sally Plunkett: I hope it’s not contagious.

Deputy Lloyd: NO! I mean, it’s not really a rash, I don’t know why I said that. And I don’t have anything contagious. I’m in perfect health, I swear.

Sally Plunkett: Can we hurry this along? I need to get over to the funeral home and make arrangements for my son-in-law’s funeral. You know, since he was murdered and my daughter has just been beside herself with grief and doesn’t need the added burden of planning his funeral. Do you know when his body will be released? It’s been extremely hard on me to make all of these plans when we don’t know what day the funeral will be. Why, I’m getting calls left and right from people wanting to pay their respects, and it’s just not right that I can’t tell them when Jed’s funeral is.

Deputy Lloyd: I’m sorry, Mrs. Plunkett, but we can’t release the body until we get the final report on his cause of death.

Sally Plunkett: I thought everyone already knew Payton killed him? Why haven’t you arrested her? I think she got my daughter addicted to alcohol. And I’ve been hearing all over town that Payton was yelling and threatening Jed the night he was murdered. Did you know she sprained her wrist trying to kidnap Emma Jo?

Deputy Lloyd: Wait, what? Emma Jo was almost kidnapped? Is she okay? Why didn’t she call me? I mean, the station. Why didn’t she call the station?

Sally Plunkett: Well, it was back when they were teenagers and they were trying to sneak out of the house to go to a party, but still. It served Payton right for falling out of that tree and landing on her hand.

Deputy Lloyd: Mrs. Plunkett, do you know any reason why someone would want to kill your son-in-law?

Sally Plunkett: Do I know any reason why someone would want to kill my son-in-law?

Deputy Lloyd: Yes, that’s what I asked.

Sally Plunkett: You want to know if I have any knowledge of why someone would want to kill Jed?

Deputy Lloyd: Uh, yes. That’s…I believe that’s what I asked.

Sally Plunkett: Like, you want to know if I know if Jed made anyone angry enough to kill him?

Deputy Lloyd: Ummmmmmm, yes?

Sally Plunkett: Like, so angry they couldn’t see straight and they might have gone temporarily insane and did something they regret, even though it might have been justified at the time, but now they’re really sorry and feel bad about it?

Deputy Lloyd: Uh, yes?

Sally Plunkett: Nope. I haven’t a clue. I noticed you’re the only one who hasn’t dropped off a dish to Emma Jo. We’re running low on lasagna and green bean casserole. And while you’re at it, can you start spreading the word that we’ll be letting off doves at Jed’s service and everyone should take heed and bring an umbrella?

Deputy Lloyd: I…Mrs. Plunkett, if you know anything about who murdered your son-in-law, I need you tell me everything you know. It’s imperative for this investigation.

Sally Plunkett: I know we’re almost out of lasagna, Buddy. What are people going to think when they stop by Emma Jo’s house to pay their respects and she doesn’t have any lasagna or green bean casserole?


I’m just waiting to see if my coffee chooses to use its powers for good or evil today.

—Coffee Mug

“It doesn’t hurt that bad. I had to be Tased at the academy during training.”

Leo leans over and holds out his hand to help me up from the floor of Emma Jo’s hallway, where I’ve been twitching, drooling and cursing for the last forty-five minutes until Buddy finally had to call Leo for help when I told Emma Jo to grab me a butter knife so I could saw off his penis.

Although, since I was in the middle of a full-body spasm from the aftereffects of being Tased, it came out like “I-I-I-I-I-I C-C-C-C-C-U-T-T-T Y-Y-Y-Y-OU D-D-D-I-CK!”. And in Buddy’s defense, he thought I was calling him a dick since there’s no punctuation in Taser-stuttering, and luckily didn’t relay to the stupid jerk of a sheriff standing over me that I had threatened him with a kitchen utensil. I’ve already threatened the penis of a man who is now dead and God forbid anything happens to Buddy in the next twenty-four hours. Although staring up at Leo while he grins down at me makes me want to grab his appendage and choke the life out of it.

I smack Leo’s hand away and roll over onto my stomach so I can push myself up from the floor. My knees give out as soon as I’m upright and Leo swoops in, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me against him before I can hit the floor again.

He smells like soap and outdoors and I close my eyes and breathe him in with my cheek pressed against his chest, until I feel the rumble of his chuckle against my face. I yank myself out of his arms and growl at him when I take a couple of steps back and out of smelling distance.

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