The Recluse…Part III…incomplete and unedited…

Davy continued to write as Annabelle sat next to him. The words seemed to flow out of him. Annabelle must of have been his muse because he did not quit typing for some time. When, he was done with his work, he leaned back and released the tension that had built up in his back. It was 1630.
“Shouldn’t you be headed home, Annabelle?”
“What time is it?”
“It’s 4:30 in the afternoon.”
“Oh no.”
“What is it?”
“My mom. I have to get home, Davy.”
Davy walked Annabelle to the door. Up the drive two patrol cars were at the gate with their lights flashing. Annabelle nodded to Davy, Davy gave her a small wave. Sheriff Thomas Paine watched as Annabelle trudged up the hill. Davy turned and went back inside.
“Are you hurt,” Paine asked Annabelle as she drew near.
“No sir. My mom sent you, didn’t she?”
“She was worried about you.”
“I’m sure. Can you take me home, please?”
“Of course.”
As they drove back Sheriff Thomas Paine grilled Annabelle about the recluse. Annabelle sat quietly and would only respond with a nod or a clipped answer. They finally arrived. Dorthey May sat on the porch in a bluish house coat that had seen better days. Her cigarette hung from her bottom lip, and her hair was still wet from the shower. Her hair hung like clumped fur on a wet dog.
“Where have you been,” Dorthey May shouted at Annabelle.
“I went to see a friend.”
“It better not have been that old child killing maniac at the end of the street.”
“He’s not a maniac momma.”
Dorthey May reared back and slapped Annabelle in the mouth. Sheriff Thomas Paine stood by and watched. As far as he was concerned this was a private moment between mother and daughter.
“Do not talk back to me, Annabelle. If I have told you once, I told you a thousand times. DO NOT GO BACK!” Dorthey May slapped Annabelle twice more and sent her to her room.
Billy watched from the porch of his house. His heart went out to Annabelle. “Dorthey May is fit to be tied. Someone should stop that hooker from beating up on Annabelle. She wouldn’t do that if that killer was here.”
Billy decided he would go visit the killer in the morning. As soon as he checked on Annabelle. Dorthey May would be headed to work as a stripper/lady of the night as soon as it got dark. Then, he would go check on Annabelle.
The night air was less humid than the day and the stars shined brightly. Billy watched as Sheriff Thomas Paine drove Dorthey May to work. Billy crept in the shadows to Annabelle’s house. He pushed the door open.
“Annabelle, are you okay?”
Annabelle was sitting on the couch watching cartoons. Both sides of her face was swollen from the slaps. Her bruises were changing from black to purple.
“Come in, Billy. I’m okay.”
Billy sat next to his friend. They did not say much for a long time. Finally, Billy decided to tell Annabelle what he was going to do.
“I’m going to see the killer tomorrow. He can make your mom stop hitting you. He might even be able to make the Sheriff care.”
“His name is Davy.”
“I love my momma, Billy. I don’t want her hurt.”
“But she hurts you-”
“She doesn’t mean to, Billy. She just gets crazy on those pills and then she lashes out.”
“I’m going to get the killer, er Davy, and then she will not hurt you no more.”
Nothing else was said. Billy said good night and went home. He would set out first thing in the morning and confront his fear. He owed at least that much to Annabelle. Billy headed out as soon as he got up and marched toward Davy’s house to have a word with the killer. He had taken all the money from his piggy bank. When he arrived to Davy’s driveway, he crossed the cattle gate and started down the drive.
Davy watched as Billy drew near. “What now?”
Billy stopped short of the porch and stared at the door. His heart quavered in his chest. He took a deep breath and stepped toward the door when the door opened.
“Hold it, hoss. What do you want,” Davy asked.
“I want to hire you.”
Davy paused. His eyebrows arched and he stared at Billy. “Where’s Annabelle?”
“She’s at home.”
“I’m not for hire. Why do you want to hire me?”
“Annabelle’s momma hit her a lot yesterday. I want you to make her stop.”
“Your friend should call the cops. They handle those types of things.”
Anger flooded Billy’s body, he set his jaw and clenched his fists. He stepped toward Davy. “And what kind of things did you handle? What made you run and hide?”
Davy smiled. It wasn’t an unkind smile, but there was something about his eyes. They looked dangerous. “If you want to help your friend, Billy, call the cops. Tell them what happened. They will help Annabelle.”
“The cops work for Sheriff Paine!”
“He doesn’t do anything! He stood there yesterday and watched her beat Annabelle.”
Billy sighed in exasperation and sat on the steps. Davy sat beside him. They said nothing for some time, finally Davy broke the silence.
“I will go talk to the cops. They will do something to help her.”
“Why can’t you just kill her? Ain’t that what you do?”
Davy said nothing to Billy’s questions. “Go home, kid. Get some rest. Tell Annabelle hello.”
“Okay.” Davy sat on the steps and watched Billy cross the gate. He had no desire to get involved with this situation. “Annabelle should learn to fight her own battles.” Davy turned and went inside. Someone, somewhere would see what was going on and step in to make a difference. It just would not be Davy who would get involved.
He could not bring himself to act on the behalf of another human being. The cost was too high.

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