Outside: Part Twenty-Four

This is the twenty-fourth part of a fiction serial, in 763 words.

Some harassed-looking young mums were struggling to get their excited kids home from school. Shouting at them to keep up, or to wait at the kerb ahead in case they got run over by a car. Many were trying to cope with a baby or toddler in a buggy at the same time, and a few had bulging carrier bags full of groceries dangling from the handles. School turn out time was always busy, but a nondescript man walking from a plain car carrying a holdall went unnoticed.

Thomas circled the block until the streets were no longer crowded. Quite soon, the older children would be coming out of senior schools, and he wanted to get a move on before they arrived.

After a nice warm bubble bath, Gillian slipped into a clean pink fluffy dressing gown, one of the new things she had bought. It was so big, it wrapped right around her, and the hood helped to dry her damp hair. Then she went downstairs to see if anything in the freezer caught her fancy for dinner.

She wasn’t looking at the CCTV camera while her head was in the freezer, so didn’t see a man casually throw a holdall over her side gate.

Still trying to decide between some flaky pastry chicken slices or crispy filled pancakes with ham and mushroom, the door buzzer startled her. She closed the freezer door, and walked into the living room to look at the camera monitor. There was a man outside wearing a reflective waistcoat, like the Amazon delivery drivers wore, and he was carrying a box that wasn’t plain cardboard.

Pressing to speak, Gillian kept an eye on the screen. “Yes, what is it please?” He held the box up so she could see it clearly. It was the biggest box of Belgian truffles she had ever seen. “Gillian Baxter? I have a delivery for you”. So Charlotte’s sister had kept her promise after all. Forgetting herself in the excitement, she opened the door all the way.

“I’m Gillian Baxter, yes that’s me”. The man reached into his jacket under the reflective vest, mumbling. “Just something to sign please, Gillian”.

She was still staring at the box of chocolates when the edge of Thomas’s right hand slammed into the bridge of her nose with such force it made her stagger back into the room. It was as if a flashbulb had gone off behind her eyes, and the power of the blow made tears flow immediately. Stumbling over the small armchair that nobody ever sat on, her legs flew into the air as she struck the back of her head on the floor.

It was over in a second. Thomas was in the room, the door closed behind him. The woman was groaning, but not moving. He quickly ran into every room, just in case someone else was in the house. Then he unlocked the back door in the kitchen, and walked around to the side gate to retrieve his holdall. Gillian wasn’t moving, but he could see her chest rising and falling under the dressing gown, so knew she was breathing. He turned her onto her side so she wouldn’t choke, then went over to the CCTV monitor and examined the recording device underneath.

After a few moments checking the controls on the remote, he erased the previous twenty-four hours of the tape, including the moment he had arrived. As the machine whirred, he turned and locked the front door, adding the short security chain that Gillian had omitted to fasten. Content that there would be no intrusion, he opened the holdall and removed what he needed for now, working quickly before she woke up.

The television was on, some inane late afternoon quiz. He found the remote on the sofa and increased the volume slightly. Not enough to disturb any neighbour, but sufficient to cover any sound he was going to make.

Although he had known in advance that she would be heavy, getting her upstairs was more difficult than he had anticipated. After two attempts to drag her up the stairs holding her under the arms, he changed to lifting her over his shoulder, feeling his body complain about carrying such a weight. He made it upstairs in one go, accelerating into the first room on his left before he thought he might drop her, then dumped her unceremoniously onto the top of a double bed.

All that effort had made him hot and thirsty, so he went down and put the kettle on, taking his favourite tea bags from the holdall.

61 thoughts on “Outside: Part Twenty-Four

  1. (1) Some of the mothers “had bulging carrier bags full of groceries dangling from the handles.” And a few of them had bulging thighs full of gross cellulite as well as unsightly love handles.
    (2) I also like a nice warm bubble bath. Cold bubbles always make for an unpleasant bath.
    (3) Bad citation: “Gillian slipped into a clean pink fluffy dressing gown, one of the few things she had borrowed from a certain blogger in Beetley.”
    (4) “Then she went downstairs to see if anything in the freezer caught her fancy for dinner.” My fancy is very elusive, but unnecessarily so. The foods in my freezer are too lazy to catch anything.
    (5) “It was the biggest box of Belgian truffles she had ever seen.” This may come as a blow, Gillian, but there aren’t any truffles in there!
    (6) “Thomas’s right hand slammed into the bridge of her nose.”
    ♬ Gillian Baxter is falling down
    ♬ Falling down, falling down
    ♬ Gillian Baxter is falling down
    ♬ My fair lady
    (7) Bad citation: “It was over in a second. Thomas put away his stopwatch, entered the house, and closed the door behind him.”
    (8) Did you hear about the boy who dismembered a Raggedy Ann and hid the body parts behind the side gate of the house? His sister unlocked the back door in the kitchen, and walked around to the side gate to retrieve the whole doll.
    (9) “After two attempts to drag her up the stairs holding her under the arms, he changed to lifting her over his shoulder, feeling his body complain about carrying such a weight.” Thomas later discovered that he had fractured his clavicle, and eventually was plagued by a pinched nerve rooted in his spinal cord. Poor Thomas! I feel really sorry for him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed the London Bridge nursery rhyme reference, but there were truffles in the box. It was still sealed from when he bought it in the supermarket.
      Whole doll/Holdall was inspired!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. He dumped her in mother’s room….how is that going to tie in….he removed bits of the security system so he’s obviously got a long range plan. He’s going to end up being sorry for Gill…he’s got a redeeming quality….guesses! It’s an interesting series!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, she is in her mother’s room, well spotted. He didn’t remove the security system, just erased the tape that showed him dumping the holdall and arriving at the door.
      Glad to see you guessing! (Redeeming quality? Haha. 🙂 His plan is definitely long-term.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This gave me the chills. I thought something like this was going to happen, but the way you described it was more chilling than I could have imagined. So well written. But what on earth is going to happen next? I daren’t try to think! But this really homes in on the danvers of the unternet which kund of makes it more scary still!

    Liked by 1 person

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