Nancy Bone Goff

Ocean View

Clara Sue Carpenter has been taking care of her husband, Harold, for almost ten years, after a massive stroke made it impossible for him to do for himself. Although he is extremely hard to understand when he speaks, he has no problem calling her a slut and other ugly things, better left unsaid.

Her once exciting, exhilarating life has become nothing more than a dull, boring, day-to-day existence. She and Harold have come to Panama City Beach, Florida to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. Clara Sue wants desperately to relive a time when they were happily married; before he became ill and so cruel.

When Harold refuses to see things her way, she decides she will enjoy her time at the beach, regardless of Harolds' objections. She visits a local hair salon — clothing center where she gets all dolled up, buys a new outfit, and goes out on the town, alone.

To her delight, she meets a handsome gentleman by the name of Michael Morgan. They spend the evening drinking margaritas, and dancing the night away until closing. Her new friend walks her out to her SUV, thanks her for a lovely night, and bids her goodbye. Clara Sue decides she will spend the next night and the night after that, out on the town in hopes of running into her dance partner again.

The next morning, she is making breakfast while Harold is watching the local news on TV; still angry about Clara Sue's last night escapade. A pretty young reporter interrupts with breaking news. A man is found dead inside his car at the parking lot of the Sapphire Club. The victim has been identified as, Michael Morgan. Police are looking for a woman known only as Clara Sue, as it appears she is the last person to have seen him alive. It is at that moment, Clara Sue realizes she is the prime suspect for murder.

134 printed pages
Original publication



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