A while back I wrote Beyond the Window for Magpie Tales, which I used as an inspiration for this story. It ended by telling us "what happens next will free them both." I wouldn't exactly say they were "freed" but I guess it depends on how you look at it.
|Big Room, 1948, by Andrew Wyeth|
Six months earlier she had been coping with the day to day ups and downs of her husband's business, a business that provided well for her but at the same time left her with unanswered questions.
"I have to go to Colombia for a few days, maybe a week" said Tomas. "There are some contracts that I must see to personally. When I get back, we will take a trip. Anywhere you would like to go. I will even make the arrangements myself."
He is trying, she thought, and smiled her thanks. "I'll think about it and let you know what I decide" Maggie responded, yet unconvinced the trip would actually take place.
Tomas packed his bag and called his driver to take him to the airport where he boarded the plane.
"Welcome aboard sir" called the pilot.
"Where is Manuel?" asked Tomas.
"He came down with the flu, sir, and I am filling in until he recovers. Enjoy your flight."
"Thank you." Tomas proceeded to his seat, and after they were airborne, he asked the flight attendant for a scotch and soda. His drink finished, he tipped his seat back for a nap. He was tired and it would be a late night.
As he drifted off, his dreams turned to Maggie. He saw tears in her eyes, and flowers. There were so many flowers. Where was she, and why was she crying?
About that time there was a loud boom as the plane lurched sideways, and there was a gaping hole where the forward bathroom had been. The explosion had taken out the left engines, the wing was in flames and the pilot was dead.
NTSB investigated, and eventually the voice recorder was recovered. There was nothing to indicate any mechanical malfunction or human error. Further scrutiny found the remnants of an explosive device among the wreckage which was believed to have been detonated remotely. Investigators were still trying to piece together what happened and determine who the intended target was. Was it Tomas, the dead pilot, or Manuel who was sick with the flu?
Back in Miami, a representative of the NTSB and an FBI agent meet with Maggie.
"Mrs. Garza, we are so sorry for your loss. We want you to know that the crash was no accident, and we are continuing our investigation. Is there anything you can tell us about your husband's business?"