by D. J. Herda
How could I have known? Who could have warned me?
Everything had been so right.
It all began to unravel on a cloudy Tuesday evening in May, when Lorelei was at band practice and I was fixing dinner for when she returned. Marie Franklin--I liked to call her by both names because they had such a lyrical lilt to them--had gone upstairs to draw a bath. I had finished with the Caesar's salad, which both of my women loved nearly as much as I enjoyed preparing it, and had heated the grill for the tenderloins that I had purchased earlier that afternoon at Baumgartener's Meat Shop. I had turned away only for a second or two to grab the marinade off the island when I heard a loud hissing sound. I turned in time to see the grill smoking and wondered what had happened.
I walked up to it, and a thick drop of water fell from the sky, atomizing into a billion shards of light and steam the moment it touched the grate. I looked up just as another drop splattered against the metal.
Oh, Christ. "Marie Franklin!" I yelled. I reached for the controls and turned the gas off. I grabbed a large metal bowl to set over the grate, snatched up a towel, and quickly wiped my hands. Another drop fell, making a hollow clanging sound as it hit the bowl. "Marie Franklin!" I shouted again.
I turned toward the hallway and raced up the stairs. When I got to the top, I heard the water running. "Marie Franklin, what's going on? Where are you? The tub is overflowing!" I reached the bathroom door, threw it open, and stepped into an inch of water. I looked up at the tub and saw the water running down the sides. I saw the water running down the sides and two dull lifeless eyes peering up at me.
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