#42

Paul pulled himself together.  Bending over the passenger seat to reach into the floorboard, he grabbed the box of tissues he kept in his car.  Setting himself right before he exited the vehicle, he looked up to see Alma still waiting for him in the doorway.
He had to be all cop now. Well, at least for the next few minutes.  He exited his car and kept his eyes down as he walked to the door, only looking up as he neared  the door way.  He set his face in as an unemotional expression as he could.
Alma opened the door as Paul came towards her.   In the light from the house spilling out the doorway, she saw that  Paul’s mouth was set, his face in a stern mask.  Ah, oh, this was not good.  A chill ran up Alma’s spine; she felt the goosebumps pop  up on her arms.  An inadvertent twitch shook her shoulders and back.
“Paul?”
“Alma, lets go sit in the den.”
“Alright,” Alma followed Paul through her house to the room that felt to her as if Harlan was still there.  Paul went to Harlan’s chair, started to sit down and then moved to the sofa next to it.
Alma stood briefly in the door way, finally deciding to sit in Harlan’s chair, so she could face Paul. She felt it she was going to need to look him in the eye. Something terrible had happened.  She sat on the edge of the seat, leaning on the arm of the chair closest to Paul.
“Alma, I am sorry to inform you, Harlan’s body is missing.”

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