Step One: Set up your blender in a clear space on the counter. Clean out the inside of the blender with a wet paper towel, being careful to avoid the sharp blades. Try not to think about the little Wilson girl. Remove berries from freezer.

Step Two: Pour your berries into the blender. This recipe calls for strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, but feel free to mix and match any of those with a different berry of your choosing. Stare vacantly at berries. Disassociate for 10 minutes as you recall the night before. The blare of the sirens. The freezing wind. The reporters badgering you, “Do you have any update on a suspect, Officer McClintock?” “What is your plan of action, Officer McClintock?” “Officer McClintock, over here, does the Dustyville Police Station have a statement?” For a creamier texture, feel free to add a banana.

Step Three: Measure a quarter cup of whole milk and pour into blender. Take out your phone and dial Old Man Hatchberg’s number. He looked suspicious, smoking that cigar out in front of the Little Caesars. Hang up the phone before it rings. The boys at the station would be pissed if they knew you called Hatchberg. If you want to use almond milk, that’s fine too.

Step Four: Run a hand through your graying brown crew cut as you search for the sugar. Pour a tablespoon of sugar into the blender. Add a second tablespoon if you prefer a sweeter smoothie. Clutch the counter with both hands as the pressure of the case suddenly becomes too much. Slam fist on counter. Swear to avenge the Wilson girl’s death. Consider adding whiskey to smoothie.

Step Five: Fuck it, add whiskey to smoothie. Drink whiskey straight from bottle. Yell at wife. She doesn’t understand. She’ll never understand. Add two scoops of vanilla yogurt. You can substitute plain Greek yogurt as a healthier alternative. Lay on the cold kitchen floor tiles for 20 minutes.

Step Six: Add honey and a dash of cinnamon. Is that a reporter in the bush outside? Abandon smoothie. Stand on the front porch and scream maniacally at the reporter to get off your property. When the neighbors threaten to call the police, tell them you are the police. Kick porch banister. Return to smoothie. Add ice.

Step Seven: Pulse smoothie on a low setting to blend ingredients. Oh god, wife is back. “I’ve tried to be there for you, Boris!” she screams. “This case, this murder, these long nights at the station. Watching you run off to God knows where while I stay home. Waiting. It’s like I don’t even exist.” Pour finished smoothie into dirty mug. Leave house. Slam door.

Step Eight: Enjoy your smoothie as you pace up and down the gravel road near the train tracks. Stare off into the setting sun and take your last sip. Whoever did this, they won’t get away with it.