Eight miles down the road she pulled into the driveway of her rancher and killed the headlights. The kitchen and living room lights were on. She always turned those off and worried someone might’ve broken in. Most people didn’t lock their doors, but she’d started doing it after her husband, Randy, got sent away. And when her dog died she’d never had the heart to get another one. No vehicles were in sight. The front door was locked, but the spare key was now hidden under a different flower pot out front. She wondered if she should go in alone or call the sheriff first.
But the sheriff always made comments about how she’d been able to afford the rancher only after collecting the insurance money after Randy died in prison. She didn’t care to listen to him. The wind chimes jangled as the storm descended so she unlocked the door and tentatively walked in. Once inside, she began looking around the kitchen. Aside from the lights, everything looked about the same except someone with muddy boots had left footprints on the floor in front of the refrigerator. She knew she had two six-packs in the fridge and had been looking forward to a couple brews. She looked in to find only one left.
She figured her son, Rusty, and a couple of his so-called friends had come by and drunk up her beer. That would be just like him, like his old man, to leave a single beer—at least he hadn’t drunk them all, right? In the living room she found the empties, crushed, lying on the coffee table by the television. She felt the top of the console. It was cold. For some reason, she decided to explore the bathroom. She reached in and turned on the light. Some young guy lay there on his back—she'd never seen him before. She felt his forehead. He was cold and his chest wasn’t moving. Rusty couldn’t be involved in this. If he was, why would he put the key under the wrong pot?
Her mind raced forward. Now she’d have to call the sheriff. Would Rusty have to go to prison, too? She’d miss him even if he was a pain in the ass. She couldn't bring herself to call. June sat on the couch listening to rain pelting the windows; she felt dizzy. She heard an engine approaching and tires crunching on the crushed asphalt. Headlights flooded the room through the curtains, two doors slammed, and finally someone banged on the door. It was the sheriff. Cops never knocked.