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DIY Dispatch

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Turning to the two sleepy children in the back seats, Emma said calmly, but firmly.

“Now darlings, I want you to take off your seat belts, lie down on the floor, and keep your eyes firmly shut and put your hands over your ears. Can you do that for mummy?”

Lowering the window she watched the Fiesta pull in behind her, and waited in the dark  car for his approach. The dogs growled softly as he came closer, a long bladed knife catching the moonlight as he moved. He stopped about six feet from the open window of the car, switching the knife from hand to hand.

She really did not need this. She was off-duty. It had been a lovely weekend. For once the weather was perfect and the children had amused themselves for hours, splashing in the shallow bay and exploring the rock pools at low tide. Emma needed this time with the children. As a working mother, in a well-paid but stressful job, she needed to reconnect and charge her batteries.

Such a pity they had to leave and start the long drive home. Thinking ahead, and checking her watch, she pulled off the motorway and parked her four wheel drive at a convenience store. It was not the most salubrious of areas but she needed some milk, bread and eggs. The children would be hungry and tired and require feeding before bedtime.

Leaving the dogs in the back on guard, she dashed in, made her purchases and returned to her car. To her immense irritation she discovered a shabby Ford Fiesta parked behind her, completely blocking her exit.  What an idiot she thought. The parking area in front of the shop was hardly crowded, so why had he chosen to thoughtlessly abandon the rusty heap just behind her immaculate four wheel drive?

“Are we nearly there mummy?”

She turned to her daughter. “Not long now, darling.”

She slipped into the driver’s seat and turned the key in the ignition. She checked her watch and waited for the owner of the Fiesta to emerge from the shop.

Ten minutes later she was tapping her fingernails on the steering wheel and he still hadn’t appeared. Oh, well, she thought, he can’t be much longer surely? She gave a slightly impatient short blast on the horn, and then he appeared. Waving his fist in the air and swearing horribly as he approached the car. She took in the details: six foot three approximately, large pot-belly and distinctly unprepossessingly shabby and ill-kempt. Utterly convinced of the reasonableness of her case, she lowered the window a couple of inches and smiled sweetly.

“Oh, jolly good, you’re back. I’m in a hurry. Would you mind awfully if I asked you to move your car which seems to be blocking me in? I’d be frightfully grateful. Thanks so much.”

The response consisted of a string of four letter words, a raised fist interspersed with threats of violence. Not to worry then, she said calmly, it’s not a problem, I’ll just push it out of the way. Up went the window, she purposefully put the car in reverse, revved the engine and drove backwards.

He moved rather quickly for a large man and when the rear bull bars were about an inch from the Fiesta, she braked and waited for him to move the car. He did.  Smiling slightly she waved him a cheery goodbye and headed back onto the motorway.

She soon spotted the Fiesta in her mirror. Reducing speed gradually she waited for him to pass. He didn’t. Obviously wasn’t the type to give up.  Taking the next exit she headed down the slip road and stopped the car at the first lay-by.

So now Emma watched, keeping eye contact.  He looked confident and menacing as he approached her car.

“Now, I’m asking you very politely to get back in the car and stop following me. I honestly wish you would. The children are tired and I need to get back home.”

He grasped the knife in his right hand, and took a step closer. He stopped and told her exactly and graphically what he would do to her and the children.

Sighing regretfully, she raised the pistol and shot him. Twice. Not wanting to frighten the children or alarm the dogs she had fitted the silencer.

Stepping out of the car she checked the body, opened the back door of the car, cuddled the children and helped them strap themselves in again.

She made a quick phone call to the office.

“It’s Emma here sir;  a slight problem. I’m on my way in.”

Approaching Lambeth Bridge turned into the secure car park of a large building, flashed her ID and asked the guards to watch the children.

“Nearly there darlings, I just have to pop into the office, check on a few things, and then we’ll go straight home. I won’t be long.”

Thirty minutes later, confident that her disposal instructions would be followed, she pulled into her driveway. Dogs and children unloaded, she scrambled some eggs, dispatched the children to bed, cleaned the firearm and poured herself a glass of wine. Opening the door she sat out on the terrace. It was a perfect night; cooler now at last after the heat of the day. The dogs settled down beside her and she listened to the soothing notes of the Brahms playing in the background.

And the moral of this tale? Do not mess with well-spoken, polite brunettes in large cars; you never know who they work for!

This month’s short story competition

 

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The two children stood at the gate, stroking Bella, my Cockapoo. I knew the house next door had been let for the summer but this was the first time I’d met any of the family. I called to Bella and the children followed her into the kitchen. This furry bundle of joy is irresistible!

“Do your parents know you are here?” I enquired.

“Mummy’s dead, Daddy won’t get up. He thinks he killed her.”

The boy looked down at his sister, who was now kneeling on the tiled floor with her arms round Bella, and she just nodded, silent tears falling into the puppy’s soft coat.

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You’re the one…

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Temple Island – start of the regatta course

It started when I was about three, but I don’t really remember the incident. The family, however, have never let me forget it. Apparently, if my mother is to be believed, she  took me to to lunch with a famous author of cookery books who according to my mother was a rather large lady.  My first words on stepping over the threshold were “That’s a very large dress you are wearing.”  The author, who was apparently rather too fond of her own cooking, laughed a bit too loudly, and declared, “what a charmingly tactful child”. I took this as a compliment but my mother didn’t quite see it like that.

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Red Kites

Free Spirits

If I can see them, why can’t you ?
Do I sense what shadows weave
And in some fashion, draw them close.
Have you seen the spirits?

It was January when death entered the house. It wasn’t obvious at first. It slithered through the sash windows, despite the heavy curtains, seeped through the floorboards and lingered in the darkest nooks and crannies of the old house. They didn’t recognise it for what it was that long freezing January but that is when it started. She noticed it first, the fine hairs on the back of her neck reacted as the air stirred but they piled more logs on the open fire and thought of Spring.

In February he confessed to an uncharacteristic lack of energy, a discomfort which he put down to the long winter, dark nights and his seventieth birthday which Continue Reading »

Crossing Over

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Dark thunder clouds were gathering as Mabel and Frank arrived at the river bank. They both appeared dazed, the ambulance sirens echoing in their ears but fainter now than before, and nowhere in sight. Frank’s face was covered in cuts streaming with blood, his clothes in tatters. Mabel was fussing with her newly permed hair, but Frank noticed that her left arm was hanging at an odd angle, and her glasses were missing.

“What happened, Mabel?” groaned Frank. “Where the hell are we?”

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Cordelia

It was love at first sight. The moment I set eyes on Cordelia I wanted her with a passion my wife neither understood nor forgave for years. Cordelia was resting on the mud, her distress obvious to me, yet her lines were classically beautiful. She had aged well, but neglect has taken its toll. She looked like a proud old lady who had fallen on hard times. She was, in fact, stronger than she appeared and cradled gently, she made the journey by road to her new home on the banks of the Thames.

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A Bloodless Revolution?

1-Light Fantastic_005_Llanddwyn Island Lighthouse_16x9Flickr-001From Melanie:

It was never my intention to start a revolution – it simply wasn’t my style.  My parents were Alphas and the Betas were just, well there! We  accepted their ministrations as normal. In fact, although we were taught as children to be polite to those who served us, we really did not consider them as anything other than slaves, which in fact, was their destiny.  It was only when I was older that I experienced an incident that made me aware they were human beings and not entirely without feelings.  Our household, although it only consisted of two adults and two children, required at least ten Betas to enable us to eat, wear clean clothing and live a life free from domestic trivia.

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