Deception All Around

JoAnn’s father, John, was a conservative man, knowing full well the value of a dollar. Her mother, Hannah, liked to spend money on trivial things, diving into the savings in the jar labeled ‘vacation’ whenever she had a need.

John was up late. He had taken the flashlight and a heavy burlap bag out to the woods. He told his wife he was looking for nightcrawlers and always brought a few back just for cover. He had gone out to a special clearing deep in a thicket of trees where he let the brush grow high in a protective fence.

He filled the bag with the tender shoots. They would dry nicely. He dug up a few worms and headed home, the moon silver overhead.

A shadow crawled up the rose trellis beside JoAnn’s room. John angrily and stealthily plodded toward the house. He deposited his sack inside the hot house door and soundlessly closed the front door behind him.

JoAnn’s room was silent, so he turned the knob and pushed. She was lying in bed alone, but her boots were muddy. He flipped on the light.

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