Rhonda took out her pad and rested it on her thigh. “Let’s start with the basics,” she said, looking around. “Who found the body, and who called in the report?”
“I was asleep,” said the woman in the polka dot shorts. “I heard a noise. From outside.”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“What did you hear?”
She shrugged. “I was asleep. Something woke me up — I don’t know what it was. I listened for a moment, then I got out of bed and went to the window to look out.”
“Where is your bedroom?” my employer asked.
I didn’t look at Rhonda, and she didn’t say anything about my employer hijacking her investigation, at least temporarily. I filed this away with my earlier question about why we were there to begin with.
“Upstairs, in the back, overlooking the deck,” Kim replied. She gestured at the ceiling.
“The large bedroom?” my employer asked.
Kim nodded, but Rhonda leaned forward slightly and my employer turned her gaze to wooden beams of the ceiling, ceding the floor back to the sheriff. She took out her cigarette case, but she did not immediately open it.
Kim turned back to the sheriff and said, “I looked out, but I couldn’t see anything. I came downstairs and looked out from the window here. I thought I saw something, a shape, on the deck. I turned on the outside lights. There’s a switch there, by the window, and another in the kitchen.”
“And what did you see?” Rhonda asked.
Kim slumped a little. “Mary.”
“You knew it was her?”
“I saw her hair, and some of her face, and I know that T-shirt she always sleeps in.”
“What did you do next?”
“I ran out, onto the deck, I thought she… and then I saw the knife, and the blood. I yelled for Becky.”
“Did you touch the body?”
She shuddered and shook her head. Her posture had been pretty aggressive before, in contrast to her housemates who were all huddled up into their chairs, but now she seemed to fold in on herself.