By Allen McGill

"And have you reached a unanimous verdict?" the judge asked.

"We have, your honor." The chairperson looked directly at me, her voice taking on a harsh edge. "We find the defendant guilty."

My knees buckled, and I nearly collapsed, a roaring in my ears blotting out all sound.

This couldn't be! Barb and I had planned it so carefully. Everything, every step of the way. After her mother was dead, Barb would be free to handle everything if I were accused of the drowning. We'd worked up an unshakable alibi for her. And there was plenty of money; her mother's will had already been probated.

Barb told me the judge had been taken care of, that she'd even paid off one of the jurors to make sure. What the hell had gone wrong?

I looked for her in the melee as the court officers grabbed my arms. They were pulling me away as I caught her eye. She stood talking with my lawyer, a hand stroking his upper arm. They turned to look my way, ever-so-slight grins playing around their lips.

Before I was dragged out, Barb raised her hand--and blew me a kiss.

The door slammed shut.