The Cookie Tin

Royal blue round cookie tin nestled among Mom’s lacy bras and panties. Mina had searched her parents’ entire bedroom for the key to the liquor cabinet. God Mom and Daddy are so extra, so into their old-timey rules. It’s like they were never young. Never knew how to have a good time. I can’t understand them. Everyone drank a little, smoked a little, it was no big deal in high school. She wasn’t a little kid anymore.

Mina had checked everywhere for the keys leaving her parents’ underwear drawers for last. Her parents had gone to an estate sale looking for antiques. She needed that key, needed that bottle.

She really didn’t want to shuffle through her father’s holey boxers so Mina checked her mom’s underwear drawer first. She shook the cookie tin. It was heavy. Something rolled inside. Her hand poised over the tin’s lid. Her buddy Tate had a friend who had his house to himself while his folks where visiting this guy’s sister’s new baby. Everyone would be there. A bottle of gin was her ticket to the party, her ticket to partying. Nothing was going to stand between her and what she wanted. Mina opened that lid.

My darling dearest Auggie, my lips are swollen from your kisses. My skin is singing from your rough hands on my hips.

My little love Etta, I must have you again and again. Don’t say no, don’t tell me this is wrong.

Love letters, the tin decorated with sugar cookies was filled with letters from her mom to her dad and his letters in return to her. Mina recognized her mother’s handwriting from shopping lists and birthday cards. She recognized her dad’s barely legible doctor’s scrawl. She and mom were the only people who could decipher his chicken scratch.

Her parents, Henrietta and August, were serious and strict. Reading the hot and steamy missives, Mina’s mouth went dry. Her respectable parents were freaky. Once Mina started reading she couldn’t stop.

My darling, please be patient. I am trying, but the powder isn’t working. Eddie said the lemonade tasted funny and refused to finish it.

The letters had been a back and forth of making out, stolen glances, and humping in various places. Wait, what powder? Mina read faster now skimming over the sexy talk.

Little love, be brave. Use more of the powder. Add it to every item. Hurry my darling. Charlotte is getting suspicious.

My darling Hank, Ed vomited over and over again but he’s still here. I am yours mind body and soul. Tell me what to do. I want only your hands on me.

Little love, your love doctor with help you with a special tonic, Price a single kiss

Mina’s heart started racing. Who? What?

My darling dearest, to finally be free. Come to me tonight and every night.

Little love, we have to be careful. As soon as the insurance and estate is settled. I will move my practice. You and I can began again.

My darling we have to be quick before I begin to show. The gossips are whispering.

Little love, My Etta, My life. I won’t wait. I can’t wait. I have told my sister in secrecy that Charlotte drinks. The harpy has told half of Connecticut by now. Tonight my wife takes the fall. You and me and ours.

Mina combed through all the letters picking for the thread of the murders. Reading and re-reading, Mina tried to fit it all together the steady, loving parents she knew with this.

“Mina,” her mother said calmly. “Come away from that drawer.”

The teen jumped in shock. Her parents were standing in the doorway of the bedroom holding depression glass and an old spinning wheel. Her mom set the antiques by the closet.

“Sweetheart, I know you have a lot of questions. This isn’t what you think. LTrust me, et us explain in the kitchen over cocoa. Stand up now and follow Mommy.”

Standing Mina obeyed wanting to be reassured. Her mother hugged her. They headed for the stairs. Her dad picked up the tin of letters and closed the lid slipping a vial of white powder that had been tucked among the letters into his pocket. Her dad placed the tin back in the drawer and hurried downstairs.

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