The plan was fairly simple. It would not have gone awry had the old man from across the street not decided to bring her a bushel of oranges from the tree in his back yard. As it was the old man from across the street had decided to bring her a bushel of oranges and was now standing openmouthed in her doorway, the bushel of oranges fallen to the floor.
She was sure he had seen everything, or at least enough, and (not for the first time) cursed the familiarity between neighbors that had led to his decision not to knock. Although even if he had knocked she could not have managed to hide the body in time.
One of the oranges rolled into the blood. She set down the knife, wiped her hands on her jeans and stooped down to stop another from sharing the same fate. She tossed it back and forth between her sweaty palms and wondered if she would have to kill the old man too. No. No, she had only ever wanted to kill him. Perhaps she could still run for it?
As she ruminated the old man slowly unfroze and started digging through his pockets while muttering apologies.
“I’ll have to call it in,” he said, still unsure, like he was asking her permission.
She was silent while he dialed, absentmindedly peeling the orange now. Her parents would be so disappointed. The old man talked shakily and she giggled at the thought of her scaring him – her!
He hung up and addressed her warily, “They’re on their way.”
“Are you going to run?”
The old man looked at the body on the floor again. The blood was still pooling and the oranges were dotted through. Pretty.
He looked back at her, “I’ll tell them… I’ll tell them what he did to you.”
She peeled an orange slice off and ate it. It was quite good; one of the best she’d ever have. The best. She didn’t think they had oranges in prison.