Disorientation gummed up her pathways of decision, damming up the free flow of common sense until it burst through as an instant of impulsive action. Arms lifted and extended; the dorsiflexion of palms signalled not defence but an action of offence. Legs pumped Mindy forward two elongated paces, the combined reactions consuming two seconds.
Barry never expected the physical attack. Unprepared, his body could only steel against the blow and move a few inches out of the way. The charge struck chest level and sent him careening into a backflip between two cars and to the edge of the first lane of oncoming traffic. The right headlight of a Subaru Legacy claimed dibs to the same spot occupied a nanosecond before by his reeling head, no match for a ton and a half of weight and thirty miles an hour of speed. The collision brushed Barry aside like a broom to dust, twisting, cracking, dead before bouncing once on the pavement.
Mindy deflated with the car strike, adrenaline redirected to shutdown horror. Her legs folded, dropping her to the sidewalk. She wouldn’t check on the victim, no need, she saw the man’s head snap hard to the side. Mindy knew.
Police officers arrested Mindy ten minutes after reaching the scene. They tossed her in the back of a cruiser, back cuffed. Held overnight in a detention facility, in the morning the defeated Mindy appeared in court, wearing a look of evil. Her shaggy dirty blonde hair, once shiny if untamed, looked like an uncleaned and unkempt rag of matted hair. Her mouth sagged in the corners, the first day of the onset of a perpetual frown.
“Ms Holland admits she drank excessively just prior to the brutal attack, Your Honour. Not five minutes before, she emerged from Butch Daiquiris staggering for her home.” The prosecutor asserted her action constituted second-degree murder, the charge a formality left unchallenged by the appointed defence counsel. Her counsel plead not guilty for her, overriding a stated preference for guilty only to give time for case research and evaluation of the best legal option for her client.
The story led regional newscasts, presented with still shots of Mindy booking photos intermixed with video of the crime scene and a smiling picture of the victim. In less than a day, the demure second grade teacher, loved by a decade’s parade of students, became chief villain of the community; contemptible, miscreant killer of twenty-six year old Barry Munson, local high school wrestling legend.
(News the way we seem to like it. To uncover how the incident happened, drag and highlight the white space that follows.)
Mindy never agonised over her sexual attraction to women; she knew from her pre-pubescent days. Too shy to date in high school, as an adult she shed some of her inhibition and developed a fondness for a dyke bar four blocks from home.
Around ten thirty, Mindy decided her three Long Island Iced Teas were enough for one night. She paid her tab, took leave from her three friends, and walked out into the cool air of the early spring night, into the path of Barry Munson, who pedi-cruised the neighbourhood scrutinising through the unique filter of alcohol. He well knew the clientele served by Butch Daiquiris.
“What, no one to take home and fuck? Everyone think you too ugly?” Mindy caught only half his comment, requiring processing time to comprehend. She said nothing and picked up her pace. “Hey, Amazon! Damn, you’re a big bitch. What, six foot, six foot one? Why you walking away? You afraid I’ll steer your straight? One night with me, and you’d forget all about women.”
Mindy tried to tune him out. She thought of running, fearing what the man with his hands held in loose pants pockets might do next.
“I’m talking to you!” Mindy slowed and turned, thought better of reacting, and tried to flee. “I’ve seen you around before. You’re ugly. Ugly, way too ugly for me to fuck. Go home alone, as you always do. Go home, still a virgin.”
Mindy needed to cross the road; she lived on a side street across Midland. She stopped, intending to pass between two cars and scoot across the road at the first opening in traffic, a fatal mistake. Barry placed a hand on her shoulder, his intent unknown. Mindy shrugged it off, not afraid of the drunk. “Too bad your mother didn’t go through life a virgin.”
“Go to hell!” Mindy shot back, stepping away, not fast enough. Barry loosened the ample phlegm in his throat with an up pressured gurgle and targeted her right cheek with a grotesque wad of spittle. Stunned by the pharyngeal ejaculate sliding down her face, fury short-circuited her evaluative ability and instituted the charge, sending Mindy into the world of misjudgement and local infamy.