(parts 1 and 2 appear below)
July 1987. Interlude.
My mother calls me to talk about this and that. At some point, we get onto Mrs. Potts: You know, honey, something just don't seem right down there. She's at that house just going about like nothing ever happened. She rides around the yard on that old mower like she don't have a care in the world. And she's there all alone in that house at night. Now wouldn't you be scared after what happened?
Hmm. Well, Mary Belle always was up for a good story and—I don't know—how are you supposed to act if your husband was murdered and now you were alone in the house? Back there, people aren't too keen on jumping up and leaving a house they've lived in their whole lives, no matter what. It doesn't much occur to them.
* * *
October 1988. A year and eight months after Mr. Potts' murder.
Mary Belle calls. More news about the Pottses, she says. Last night, somebody came in the house again and killed Mrs. Potts this time!
Yeah, they chased her all over the house, stabbing her, and then they stuck a screwdriver right through her temple while she lay dying on the bedroom floor.
I learned later that there was a crucifix sticking halfway out of her chest. Who stabs an old woman with a screwdriver and a crucifix??
* * *
After that, there was gossip about Patty Potts and one or the other boyfriend and drugs. For a while, Patty was living there. That didn't sit right with a lot of people.
Some of the villagers suggested that bad men from Cleveland had come down I-77 and found the place the first time by accident, and then came back to "silence" Mrs. Potts. I think those bad men would have more pressing things to do, right there close to Cleveland.
Once when I told a friend about all this, as I finished she said, I think your mom did it.
But here the story stretches into the distance, seemingly without end. There haven't been any leads in the case since. People stopped talking about it long ago. What do you think?