Derek and Stella

A thriller starts in the mind. All good crimes do. All crimes do. They start with a thought. Oh I can hear you argue. There are crimes of passion where the person is out of their mind. They don’t know what they are doing and suddenly, someone is dead. But all of that started with a single thought. Who is to say how long a thought is and how much responsibility it holds? And how come at that moment he was completely out of control? Why couldn’t she hold back her inclinations?

Because at some point, some place in time, there was a thought. A thought of something she could not let go of. Like a seed, it was planted. Later, it popped out of the dirt when she thought of it once more. She started looking at it, letting in light, nourishing it with water until it was grown and healthy, overtaking other, more healthy thoughts. She made excuses for not pushing it away. Vines grew and twisted ’round her arteries and synapses. She built a flower box, and made a place for it on the mantel, so she could look at it as she sat in the drawing room.

Overfed and demanding, the thought consumed her.

In this same way, the plan of Derek Daniels started. By this time though, Derek could not put his finger on when or why. By now, the all-consuming idea was bigger than he was, a life of its own, getting up and out and walking around. Everyone could see it. At work, at school, at home. He married Stella because of A Streetcar Named Desire. She used it to her advantage and pulled him in. She had three children, nearly grown.

Stella complained and harrangued until Derek had enough. He said goodbye, took the suitcase he came in with three years previous, and walked. No hard feelings where she was concerned. She was a gas and it was great fun. But he was done with it when she got unhappy with him and tired of him. There was no point.

On his way out the door he walked through the kitchen, grabbing a single pot from the elaborate hanging from the ceiling. He got into his car, the one still only in his name, and took off for the upper peninsula of Michigan, and a stretch of land Stella knew nothing about. Not that she would come after him anyway. She was tired of him and he was tired of her. He had no relationship with her children beyond an occasional evening meal. He had always stayed at arms length from them.

 

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