Excerpt from Still Kickin'
Had Mary Dodson prepared Marvin’s last supper?
Harmony Hills took an extensive medical history of each
resident and encouraged those with food or drug allergies to
wear a medical alert bracelet. Marvin never went without his.
The lack of shrimp in the pasta could mean the
administrator had accidentally served the dish to Marvin. But
if she had, it would have been her duty to admit her mistake to
clear Walt from suspicion.
Aware of Marvin’s cause of death, either Mary lacked ethics
to confess the error, killed him deliberately, or hadn’t served
him the meal. I had to find out the truth.
I pounced on her at the funeral home. “Did you fix dinner
for Marvin the night he died?”
Sucking in a quick breath, her hand flew to her throat as she
choked on the breath mint.
This must have been how Marvin felt when his tongue
swelled and his throat closed. The image of his torturous last
moments sprang to mind. He must have been terrified
struggling for air, unable to call for help.
I slapped her between the shoulder blades without success.
My CPR training kicked in. For a while, I’d been a
paraprofessional at a preschool and I knew how to dislodge a
hotdog from a toddler’s throat faster than you could say “Bob’s
your litigator.” I stepped behind Mary, wrapped my arms
around her middle, and hastily jerked up and back. The mint
flew from her pursed lips toward a spray of white mums. The
tip of the plastic pick holding the sympathy card hooked the
hole in the mint. Circling the point, the candy spun until gravity
pulled it to settle on the petals of a spidery bloom.
“It’s just that I overheard Marvin say he was going to ask
you to make dinner for him. That day.”
Coughing, she couldn’t answer.
“The day he died,” I reiterated.
Digging in her purse, she took out another tissue and patted
her lips. “I did not go to Marvin’s apartment the evening he
was…” She sputtered, “I wasn’t there the night he died.
Her nervousness palpable, clearly she was hiding
something. I’d have to find out what it was.