Excerpt: 'Green River Serial Killer'

Judith woke up on her own between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. feeling rested and ready to rise. There was enough filtered, gray sunlight, typical of the Seattle autumn, seeping in the room around the drapes to provide adequate lighting for her morning thanks and visual inventory of her blessed surroundings. While Judith did not view herself as a stereotypically religious person, having no membership in a church, she did possess a reverence for her Almighty God. She had asked for His help on many fearful occasions, and she remembered to give Him thanks for the good things in her life. Judith had reminded Gary countless times, "Remember, honey, the good Lord works in mysterious ways," a mantra she believed in with all her heart.

From her sitting position in the middle of the imitation French Provincial canopy bed dressed with floral cotton sheets, matching cotton bedspread and pillow shams she had picked up at a garage sale, she surveyed their bedroom. The room was large with plenty of open space. The furnishings were cobbled together like a quilt made of many different scraps of cloth that had been lovingly collected over the years. The beige carpet and white walls throughout the home gave a neutral background for this multi-colored quilt to contrast with. Against one wall stood a dark, wooden, 1930's chest of drawers, containing Gary's clothing. On another wall, Judith's newer, white, French Provincial dresser, a matching part of her bed set, stored her clothing and personal items. And, a miniature, antique, crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling of the bay window sitting area; the chandelier's tiny size added daintiness to the overall largeness of the room.

Judith decided to leave the bed. At 5'1" she felt diminutive in the large master bedroom. She slid her tiny feet into slippers on the floor next to her side of the bed, then reached for her glasses on the nightstand and pushed them on her face. She walked with an obvious teetering motion, back and forth, from left to right, as she headed for the closet. She typically woke with stiffness in her back and hips. The many years of chronic back pain she described to friends and family as "the needles" had affected her ambulation.

The third wall was dominated by a roomy, wide, double closet; clearly one side designated for Gary and the other for her. It held the couple's nicer clothing: dresses, blouses, and shirts and slacks that should to be stored on hangers. Cardboard boxes with clothing that Judith wouldn't hear of parting with were stacked, covering the floor of the closet. I really am a pack rat. Someday I should go through these boxes and give something away, but, shoot, you never know when you might need these again. It's a shame to get rid of perfectly good clothes! Judith removed a fuzzy, dark-blue bathrobe from a hanger in the closet and wrapped it around herself.

In the corner furthest from the bed, a door opened into the master bathroom that housed a large garden tub. Judith quietly padded into the room, slippered feet on carpet. She sucked in her breath quickly and crossed her arms against the bosom of her soft, cotton, knee-length robe. Oh -- my garden tub. If people only knew how much fun we have in that tub! But the water! It takes so much to fill it. She hugged herself even tighter. This was her favorite room in the house.

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