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Sister Love and Other Crime Stories by John Escott

Some sisters are good friends, some are not. Sometimes there is more hate in a family than there is love. Karin is beautiful and has lots of men friends, but she can be very unkind to her sister Marcia. Perhaps when they were small, there was love between them, but that was a long time ago. They say that everybody has one crime in them. Perhaps they only take an umbrella that does not belong to them. Perhaps they steal from a shop, perhaps they get angry and hit someone, perhaps they kill…

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Sister Love and Other Crime Stories by John Escott

Marcia met Howard Collins at church. Marcia was thirty-five years old, Howard was forty-one. Howard lived with his mother in a small house on the south side of the town. Marcia lived with her sister and father in an apartment, three streets away.

Marcia did not work. Her father, George Grant, was ill and never left the apartment. He stayed in bed most of the time and always needed somebody with him. So Marcia stayed at home with her father, and only went out when her sister Karin was in the house.

The two sisters were very different. Marcia was short with a small round face and short black hair. Karin was ten years younger. She was tall, had long brown hair, and good legs, and a suntan all through the summer. People often said to Marcia, ‘Your sister is very beautiful.’ There were always lots of men ready to take Karin out to dinner or to the cinema. But Marcia stayed at home.

Karin worked in a shop in the town. When she was at home, she liked to sit up on the roof garden of their apartment building.

It was one Sunday in May when Marcia came home with Howard the first time. She took him to see her father. George Grant was in bed. He had grey hair and a grey face. Sometimes he read a book, but mostly he just sat in bed and watched television.

Sister Love and Other Crime Stories by John Escott

‘This is Howard, father,’ Marcia said. ‘He works at the hospital, and we met at church. I told you about him last week. Do you remember?’

‘No,’ her father said. And he turned his face away, back to his television. He was not interested in new people or his daughters’ friends.

Just then, Karin came into the room. She wore a white bikini and white shoes. She smiled at Howard.

‘So you’re Howard,’ she said. ‘My big sister has got a boyfriend at last!’

Howard’s face went red and he looked down at his feet.

Karin laughed. ‘Come on up to the roof garden and have some wine. The sun is wonderful this morning.’

‘Oh, I…’ Howard began.

Marcia looked angrily at her sister. But then she said, ‘Yes, I must get father a drink. See you in a minute, Howard. Go up to the roof and talk to Karin…

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