I had hired a friend of a friend who owned a landscaping company to do the work for us. They worked during the day while I was at work and would leave shortly after I arrived home. They started the work in September right around the time the days were getting shorter and the nights were arriving earlier. (Okay that sentence totally wasn't necessary, but I'm leaving it 'cause it totally sounds like me).
Anyway... the day before a big shipment of rocks were going to be delivered I came home from work to find none of the landscapers there. In fact, it was pretty obvious no one had been there at all that day. I thought it strange since I never received any calls about a problem, and I even started worrying when it was clear the rest of the watering system pipes weren't going to be completed before the next days rock delivery.
I was just getting ready to call my friend when the doorbell rang. It was Brad. You could tell by looking at him that there was a problem, but before I could even ask him what was wrong he started to tell me.
"My sister-in-law committed suicide today. I've been with the family and at the hospital making arrangements with them and trying to take care of my wife who is, as you can imagine, devastated. We had no idea anything was wrong with her, Sabrina. We're all in shock. I was wondering if you'd mind if I worked late into the night to complete the pipes. I brought a couple of outdoor lights, and I'm thinking that if you open all of the blinds and turn on the interior lighting I'll have enough light to complete the job tonight. I'll be back in a couple of days to move the rocks and get the boulders set."
Obviously I didn't care if he worked late. I even offered to help. And even if I had known my neighbors would be watching the clock and reporting back to my spouse... I still would have had him work late. It wasn't until the phone rang early the next morning that I was informed of my misdeed. Those of you that know me probably can imagine how well that went over.
And now you're probably wondering how this leads into my review of Gone Bad by Julie Morrigan, aren't you? Well let me tell you. Gone Bad is a collection of 18 tales of crime ranging from little child killers, rapists, murderers, people making bad assumptions, and other people being cruel just because they can be. The interesting thing about all of the stories is that they are told in such a way that you can actually imagine them happening to you, eh... scratch that part. What I'm trying to say is that the stories are written with an incredible sense of realism. The descriptions. The conversations. You literally see the scenes unfold before you, and the endings for some of the stories come fast and they hit hard.
The story Watching was the most powerful for me because I've been a victim of people watching me from the sidelines and making assumptions about my activities. Watching is a story about a father who has never really cared for his son-in-law. In fact, his dislike for him is so strong he hires people to follow him around and snap photos. True, his son-in-law has a standing appointment every Tuesday and Thursday inside a house with a female, but that doesn't mean anything inappropriate is going on, does it? Does it? I guess you'll have to read the story and find out.