Warning: A little rough, but also a huge spoiler for Book 1.
Central VT, 18 years ago.
Randy Retriever greeted her at the door to the basement.
“Hey, sweet boy!” she chirped, making sure not to close the door until the men had heard that she was in a great mood. He was curious about the palette of smells she brought with her and had to be shooed away. It was still dark, five a.m. by the clock on the stove. That was eight hours of her life she’d never get back.
She pushed the bathroom door mostly closed, avoided the mirror, and went to the cabinet under the sink. The gun was still there. The teen wrapped it in a towel and started the shower. As soon as the water ran warm, she stepped in, slid down the back wall, and stole a moment’s peace sitting in an upright fetal position. She knew there wouldn’t be a problem getting a shot off with a wet gun but felt irresponsible for not thinking to also grab the tools and oil to clean the weapon properly, as she’d been taught since childhood. Ginger was scared to inspect herself and terrified of what she was about to do. Rabbits and deer were one thing. This was a man. A fucking monster, but a human being, nonetheless.
She drew some inspiration from the blood circling the drain. Nothing to do but wait, she thought and promised herself that she wouldn’t fall apart until she had taken care of Rex.
The water had started running cold by the time she saw the light to the bedroom turn on. The girl hung her head and tried to look unconscious, the towel wadded up between her knees making a pillow. Ginger was careful to make sure the barrel wasn’t pointed through her jaw. She was shaky and frazzled. This was when accidents happened. Was Rex coming down? That was hard to believe given how she felt.
As expected, it was Ted’s voice that followed three gentle knocks. Now he cares about my modesty? She didn’t respond. Ted entered the small room and slid the glass pocket door to the side.
“Ginny? Are you all right?”
She contemplated telling him to call Rex but then realized that he was too stupid to trust. He had already chosen his future with his boss over Ginger’s life. She continued to play possum short of shitting herself. Well, no, there was that, too.
Maybe Ted got it. Maybe he was worried and needed Rex’s advice on how to help her. Or, more likely, he saw a dirty job and figured Rex would have the cajónes for it that he lacked.
In no time, Ted was shouting for him, “Quick!”
A minute later, Rex entered the bathroom, pissed off about the disturbance to whatever important work he was up to downstairs. He showed his impatience by giving Ginger a few slaps. On the fourth, she rolled her head his way and without opening her eyes mumbled, “Mmm, Rex…Not my bum, ’K?”
“Come on, Ginny,” came Ted’s voice. She had to wait another few seconds before Rex reached into the shower and grabbed her by the shoulders. As he pulled the girl forward she let her head go back, opened her eyes to confirm the shot, and squeezed the trigger.
The bullet entered his chest just below the rib cage. It blasted through assorted vitals, and out through his spine, leaving a spray of blood and mess all over half of Ted, and his silhouette on the wall. The echo in the bathroom was deafening. Rex’s legs disconnected from his brain, he dropped to the floor but put both hands on the hole, eyes wide with terror.
Ginger was on her feet, ready to finish him off until she realized that this was just right. She got to hear some pathetic gurgling and watch the life fade from his eyes. It took just a few seconds. Too fast, she thought. And nothing compared to when you hit a deer the wrong way.
“Bye, bye,” she mouthed and waved while Ted just stood there looking stupid. Too stupid, in fact, to realize that if she had just duped him a minute ago it might be because the next bullet was for him. But she was going to need help with the body.