Jittery Dave didn’t have to look through the house, or even say her name again. A shotgun shell stood at attention on the beat-to-shit chartreuse cushion on the beat-to-shit chartreuse chair by the picture window, the one where she liked to sit and watch Buffy and put her feet up on the beat-to-shit chartreuse ottoman and do her nails and tell him not to worry about whatever had him worried at that particular moment, and to make her another shandy.
He glanced at it, and knew it was a 12-gauge. Winchester, Xpert High Velocity.
It fell over when he closed the door.
He took off his Rays cap, flexed the brim four times, put it back on, went into the kitchen and pulled a can of Natty Light from the fridge. Returning to the living room, he turned on another light and spent twenty seconds or so righting the shell on its brass rim before sitting on the other side of the coffee table, in the ochre chair facing the door.
The shell didn’t so much as wobble when the door opened again twenty-seven minutes later, and Haney slid into the room.