This is the fifteenth episode of a fiction serial, in 709 words.
After some much needed sleep that morning, Gillian didn’t rouse until after lunchtime. There was still no reply from Matt, and she was really worried that he had taken that overdose. She thought she should ring the police and tell them, but she didn’t know his full name or his address, so they might think she was crazy. There might be a way for them to track where he lives using his email address, but for all she knew, he could have been sending them from anywhere.
With nothing new happening on her blog, she decided to email Charlotte Calder.
Dear Charlotte, thanks for sending me your email to Staceydarling on my blog Outside. My name is Gill, and when I saw your photo it reminded me a lot of me. I mostly wear a dressing gown or pyjamas, and I have slippers like those too. I’m so sorry to hear about you struggling to cope alone since your sister moved for her new job. I have only just started to feel like this since my mum died, but I don’t like to go out at all now. I had to stop putting the bins out because I couldn’t bear to walk to the front gate. So now I put the bags outside the kitchen door, in my garden. I used to like to watch DVD films and television a lot, but since I got a new computer, I seem to spend a lot of time on that. Let’s be friends, at least on email. Keep in touch. Gill. X
Instead of sitting waiting for a reply, she went into the kitchen and started to make a late lunch of two Cornish Pasties heated in the oven. Waiting for them to cook, she was still worried about Matt, and decided to send him another email when she had eaten. But before she could do anything, the door intercom buzzer sounded.
It was Kirsty from next door. She was wearing denim jeans and a flannel shirt, and her hair was sticking up all over the place. Gillian pressed the button to speak.
“Hello, can I help you?” She looked really angry on the CCTV camera, and sounded it when she replied. “Yeah, I want to know what you are going to do about the bin bags of rubbish you have piled against our fence in your back garden. We don’t need that smell when we want to relax outside, and if the weather gets hot, we are going to get a lot of flies too, maybe even rats”. In her best timid voice, Gillian replied. “Sorry, but I’m not well, and I shouldn’t go outside. I’m not well enough to take the bins to the gate at the moment, but when I feel better I will move the bags”.
Kirsty was shaking her head as she pushed the button to speak, and replied in a raised voice. “That’s absolute bollocks! Your shit is a health hazard, and if you don’t sort it out now, I will!” Not used to such aggression and swearing made Gillian nervous, but she stood her ground. “Please don’t be rude like that. I told you I am not well and will do it when I can. Now please go away and leave me alone”. Kirsty walked off muttering something too quiet to hear.
Back in the kitchen, her pasties were almost burnt. She reckoned if she cut the tops off of them, she could eat the rest. Movement to her left startled her. Kirsty was climbing over the four-foot fence, and was in the garden. She grabbed two of the bags, walked to the back of the garden, and threw them over the back gate into the alley that ran along the back of all the houses. Then she came back again and again until all the bags had been thrown over the gate. Gillian hid below the glass pane of the back door as Kirsty banged her fist on it.
“I know you’re there. You just saw me move your crap. Don’t let it happen again, or I will be in touch with the Health Inspector at the Council. Got it?”
By the time she got back to her pasties, they had gone cold.