Her name was Gianna Golds. She was in her thirties, tall, with curly brown hair and a long nose. She liked grey sweaters. She stood in the large bay windows of a one-story home, sipping liquid out of a red coffee cup, staring out at the world. I was delivering three envelopes into her red mailbox with the wooden post. I waved at her as I drove off, just like I did every time I saw her. She smiled and waved back.
There were no other signs of life at Gianna’s house that I could see while delivering her mail. No boyfriend or husband. No children. No large dog to worry about.
I drove by her place at night too. Nobody ever came over, except for one night, when she came home with a young man. I was parked down the street, lights off. I fell asleep around 4 a.m. and when I awoke with the sun blazing in my eyes, Gianna’s date was gone. I went home to dream.
I called in sick to work the following Monday. Gianna was always home on Monday, sipping her coffee or tea, gazing out the window like she owned the world. I donned my red ball cap and dark sweater and pants and arrived in my grey Nissan at noon, just a few minutes before I would be delivering the mail in her neighborhood. I parked one street over and walked to Gianna’s place, just another neighbor strolling about on a crisp November day.
Her house had a side door that led to the garage. The door was unlocked. The garage was silent. I put my ear to the door to the inside and heard a rumbling sound. I cracked the door open and found myself peeping into a laundry room. The dryer was on. I closed the door behind me and opened the inner door to the house. I was in a hallway with two bedrooms on the right and one on the left. The smell of freshly baked bread and delicious cheese wafted through the home. My stomach rumbled, just like the dryer.
I took out my black hunting knife, let it float in my fingers, the nylon blue rope ready in my back pocket, when I heard a thumping sound from one of the bedrooms on the left. It must be the woman, rummaging around in her bedroom. I was ready. I slowly opened the door, ready to pounce. What I saw surprised me.
A black kitten and brown puppy were playing in a large gated pen. Newspaper was thrown about, shredded, toy balls rolling around, the cat jumping off boxes as the puppy bounded into them. They froze when they saw me. The cat then ran under a propped-up shoebox. The puppy put its paws on the gate and barked, tail wagging. I picked up the puppy, petting its soft blonde fur. He sure was a good doggo. A noise from behind. I turned around, just in time to see a flash of a baseball bat flying toward my eyeball and realized that my dreams of raping and pillaging were dashed by my fondness for cute, furry animals.