INNOCENT • by C. L. Killgore

Innocent? Ha! If actions speak louder than words, she was loud and proud. Finally! Her children teased her about being a pushover, but not this time. This time she’d gotten it right. She was sure of it.

Well, she’d been sure at first. Now, as the kindly officer was taking her fingerprints, she felt less sure.

“And your other hand,” said the officer, releasing her right hand and reaching for her left.

Lois stared at her fingertips. They were clean, it was a digital scanner, but they didn’t feel clean.

“There’s hand sanitizer you can use when I’m finished,” offered the officer.

Lois nodded and stared at the wall, the one she’d stood against for her mugshot. Her? A Mugshot? It was incredulous! He’d taken her purse. Why was she the one in trouble?

Her daughter burst in. “Mom!”

Margaret looked upset. Being your mother’s one phone call did sound upsetting. Had she made a call? Lois couldn’t remember.

“That man, he took my purse and I whacked him with my cane.”

“I have your purse.” Margaret held up a handbag.

Lois shook her head. “No, the floral one,” but that didn’t make sense. She’d carried the floral one when Margaret was in high school.

“You had a floral one a long time ago, Mom. Vintage is popular now.”

Vintage? “I see.”

“You can’t go around whacking people. You’re lucky he’s not pressing charges.”

Lucky?

The officer handed Margaret some papers and held up a clunky, white bracelet. “It’ll help the next time she’s lost.”

Margaret smiled. There were tears in her eyes. “Mom, she’s going to try this new bracelet on you, okay?”

Lois eyed the bracelet. “It’s very plain.”

“It’s important, Mom.”

Lois held out her wrist. She was missing something; she just couldn’t figure out what.


C. L. Killgore is a wife, writer and pup-wrangler. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband, Michael, and their two wild pups, Wrigley and Arkkis Pond. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry Quarterly, The Abstract Elephant Magazine, Haiku Journal, Dual Coast Magazine and Jitter Press. You can find more about her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ C L Killgore.


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