Excerpt: 'Green River Serial Killer'

After the cats were fed, Judith prepared herself a bowl of cereal, the usual shredded wheat with sliced bananas and milk, to have with her coffee. She made a quick mental note to take her vitamins later. She carried her breakfast to the living room and carefully placed the cereal bowl and mug on one end table. She opened the light, cream-colored drapes with a pink, mauve, and blue floral pattern. She looked out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the gray, wet day and thought it might be best to stay inside this day to organize some boxes of clothing she had acquired for future garage sales. Indeed, today would be a perfect day to sort and prepare for their final garage sale of the year before winter came in full.

She settled in comfortably on the dark, burgundy LazyBoy sofa. The couple had inherited Gary's mother's living room furniture when she passed away only three months prior. Judith felt a surreal connection to her mother-in-law whenever she sat on the furniture that both comforted her and coarsely reminded her of the painful loss.

Judith spent about two hours watching television with the cats napping on the floor, hidden among the voluminous, green leaves from a cluster of potted plants. All of the houseplants flourished under the nurturing of Judith's green thumb. Yes, she was fully aware that she probably had too many plants growing in the house now, but she couldn't bring herself to give any away. She accepted little starts from friends and took satisfaction in watching the starts develop into mature, lovely plants. She had asked Gary if it bothered him -- the over-crowding of plants in the house -- but he showed no signs of irritation, so she continued on, starting more and more plants.

Knowing how cool the temperature was outdoors, Judith gave silent thanks for the home's heat and yet another modern gadget -- an automatic thermostat.

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