Embroidered Truths

Embroidered Truths by Monica Ferris Read Free Book Online

Book: Embroidered Truths by Monica Ferris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Monica Ferris
shallow but beautifully landscaped front yard. A big picture window in the front was underlined by a built-in flower box currently featuring deep yellow hyacinths. A modest front porch protected a wide front door with glass lights on either side of it. Though it was broad daylight, the front porch lights were on.
    Godwin went slowly up the curving walk, Betsy not far behind. The porch was a thick cement slab under a flat roof supported on slender wooden pillars painted gray. The door was deep green, its hardware highly polished brass. The thin curtains covering the tall, narrow lights on either side of the door were yellow. Betsy noted all this as she came up the walk and while Godwin pushed the doorbell over and over. She was thinking how attractive it was, and how like a photograph in a magazine. She realized she had never been inside the place. When there was no answer to the doorbell, which Betsy could hear pealing faintly, Godwin sighed and went into his trouser pocket for a key ring. “He forgot to take my spare key away from me,” he murmured, and turned back to the door, which he took his time unlocking. He opened it, and looked back at Betsy, who gestured at him to go in.
    “I said you had to go in first,” she reminded him. “You know he doesn’t like me.” That was true; on the few occasions when they’d met, John had made clear his contempt and resentment. He had tried at least once before to make Godwin give up his job at Crewel World. In Betsy’s opinion, that was because John was a control freak afraid Betsy’s trust in Godwin was causing him to become too independent.
    “All right,” he said, and went on into the house, calling, “John? John, are you here?”
    He left the door open behind him, and Betsy could see into a small reception area with gray, textured paper on the walls and a beautiful oriental rug in shades of gray and light yellow on the hardwood floor.
    “John?” Godwin called again.
    There was a small, long-legged table against the wall just big enough to hold a bronze statue of two nude wrestlers.
    Betsy could hear Godwin’s footfalls. Evidently the hardwood floor continued into the living room. They cut off abruptly, and Betsy wondered if there was another rug.
    “Oh, John! ” she heard him shout. “Are you—oh, my God, oh my God! Nooooooooo! ”
    Betsy ran into the house. Godwin was in fact standing on a larger version of the entry’s oriental rug, this one in a beautiful living room sparsely furnished with a gray leather couch, a glass and pewter coffee table, and a yellow leather chair so oddly shaped it had to be a costly designer piece. On the far wall was a magnificent fieldstone fireplace, and stretched on the floor in front of it was the body of a man.
    “Goddy?” said Betsy, coming to take him by the arm. He was trembling violently, and turned to clutch at her, breathing in odd gasps. She put her arms around him.
    After a few seconds he got enough control of himself to mutter, “I think he’s dead. What do you think, is he dead?”
    Without letting go, Betsy looked over at the body, that of a tall man with graying hair matted darkly at the back. His face was turned away. He was wearing a cream-colored sweater, straight-leg blue jeans, and brown sandals with a complicated arrangement of narrow straps. Betsy recognized the sweater: Godwin had one just like it, one he had knit himself.
    She looked at the man’s chest, which was not moving. She waited a very long time for it to move, but it didn’t.
    “Yes, I think he’s dead, Goddy. Are you sure it’s John?”
    “It must be. I can’t look. Will you go look? Wait, don’t leave me.”
    “We’ll look together.”
    The two approached the body, still holding onto one another, stepping sideways until they could look down and see the face.
    It was John. His eyes were closed, he might be asleep. Except he still wasn’t breathing. On the floor against his stomach was a statue made of iron in some abstract pattern

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