My mom is a weaver.
But along with the really lovely scarves and colorful rugs she was weaving a web of lies.
Homeschooling mother of four. Churchgoer. Occasional red wine drinker. I should have known it was all clever cover to hide the body count.
The same goes for my dad. Behind the facade of mild-mannered accountant, historical fiction fan, and enthusiastic stove cleaner, resides the heart of a killer.
I realized all this on my latest trip home to celebrate Christmas.
What I didn't suspect was that my parents along with celebrating "family Christmas" were planning and carrying out a daring assassination of one of the most feared businessman in our community: Amish farmer Amos Lapp.
Why did Amos Lapp have to die? Well, let's just say he pissed off the wrong people. Which isn't hard to do in the Amish world. Yes, it's that cutthroat.
Behind the pastoral setting of the Amish world, there is a dangerous underground black market. DVD players, cell phones, mini refrigerators, you can practically get anything forbidden. But Amos Lapp had gotten gotten greedy. He was ripping off his suppliers. He had to die.
That's when they called my parents.
Call isn't exactly the right word. No one meets them face to face. That's silly, not how this business works. Instead you go first to an old farmer named Zook. Then Zook sends a carrier pigeon that has been trained by my parents. If my parents accept the assignment they send a carrier pigeon back with a simple message: an X.
My parents have no morals. They kill for the highest bidder.
All this came to light on Christmas Eve morning. I woke up early and I decided to go for a run. I thought that my parents were asleep or perhaps reading the Bible or praying peacefully in their room.
I went to the Warwick trails. After about a mile, I found a lost cat, who was meowing in the cold.
"Oh no, poor cat," I said, because I'm a good person. I tried to see if she was a stray but she ran away and I followed.
That's when I saw three figures in the distance arguing by a corn silo.
"Where is he?" someone who sounded like my father demanded.
"I don't know," the man said.
"I'm not as nice as my husband," a voice that sounded like my mother said.
I peered through the trees that were providing me some cover.
This woman brought out a knife.
She cut the man's finger off.
He screamed in pain.
"Tells us or your tongue goes next. Where is Amos Lapp?"
The man mumbled something.
"That wasn't so hard was it?" my dad said.
As I was running away, I heard two shots. Were they shooting at me? I looked back but didn't see them.
I couldn't believe it. Had I been hallucinating? Surely I had.
As I returned home my parents came out of their room in their pajamas. "Good morning," they said. "What a beautiful morning the Lord has made."
That day they seemed completely normal. But what was normal? We made cookies. We watched a Hallmark movie about a woman who gave up a chance to move to Paris to stay in Chicago with a man and his son. Mom cried. Dad cried. I cried.
Later that night, after a delightful dinner and some board games, my parents said they were "tired" and went to "bed."
I waited up. I heard their door creak open. They left the house.
I followed them in my car to a barn. After I parked in a hidden spot, I snuck up to the barn. Between the decaying slats I saw them talking to Amos Lapp. Anyways I assumed it was him. He was on his knees, beginning for his life.
"I'll pay you," he said. "I'll pay you whatever you want."
"How much?" my dad said.
"Half a million," he said.
My mom laughed.
"A million," he said. "In cash."
"Where is it?"
"I'll tell you when you agree to let me go."
My mother raised her gun and shot him twice in the head and twice in the heart.
I got back in my car and went home.
How could they do this?
Were they evil?
Were they making a lot of money?
If so why hadn't they helped me with my student loans?
Maybe they just liked to kill.
Judging by the satisfied look on their faces as they killed Amos Lapp this seemed like the most reasonable answer.
I got back home and was certain I had beat them. Didn't they have to dispose of the body?
As I was about to go upstairs, they turned the light on in the dinner room. They were seated at the table.
"Hello," I said.
"We need to talk," my mom said.
"About what? It's 2am."
"We tried to protect you from all this for as long as we could," my dad said.
"From what?" I said.
My dad brought out a gun. "Sit down and quit the bullshit."
"We're going to make this easy," my mom said. "We love you, but this is our business, our life. We need you to tell us you're okay with it."
"I'm okay," I said.
"Like really okay?" she said.
"We go after bad people," she said. "Real bad people."
"Most of the time," dad said. "Sometimes we just take the money."
"Think about and let us know your answer tomorrow."
"Okay," I said.
"We're good here?"
"Yeah, we're good."
The next morning I woke and wondered if it was all a dream.
"Merry Christmas!" they said, when I came downstairs.
They poured me a cup of coffee.
"Before your brothers and sister get here, we have a present for you."
I opened it.
It was a gun with a silencer.
"Welcome to the family business," they said.
Oh parents, they're just so crazy, you know?