Mona opened the closet door and took out a cardboard box. She plopped it on top of the bed and glanced at the clock—2 p.m.
When she pulled back the flaps of the box, all the years of her life stared up at her. Every special event recorded: Birth, Baptism, and Confirmation. Report cards and her first-grade drawing of a rainbow. High school diploma, even her polio vaccination records.
She rifled through them. Where is it?
The photograph of her standing in the front yard next to a magnolia tree reminded her of how much she hated the dress she'd worn. The blue gingham made her feel like a housemaid.
Remembering she had but a little time before he came home, she dumped the contents of the box. Mona spread them across the cover, her fingers rummaging through the documents. It has to be here somewhere.
Pictures flashed. Envelopes flew.
She glimpsed the incriminating scrap of paper, grabbed it as relief surged through her, and held it to her chest. "Granny, hope you're not baking in hell." She tucked it safely into her pocket.
As the front door creaked open, her smug flow fading, she frowned.
Mona threw everything back in the box and shoved it into the closet. She ran her hands through her hair, straightened her skirt, and marched out of the room.
"You're home early from the senior center," she said to her husband.
"Of course, I wanted to share my 80th birthday with my beautiful girl." Herbert tottered over to kiss his young wife.
She turned a cheek--old fool.
"Let's pop the cork on a bottle of champagne. We'll celebrate and make a toast to many more years together." He smiled.
"I'll bake a killer of a cake." Like frosting, a sinister grin spread over her face. It's to die for.
Mona was already counting the money.