Outside: Part Thirty-One

This is the thirty-first part of a fiction serial, in 770 words.

Thomas looked at the monitor, and could see a man aged around fifty standing outside carrying a small bunch of flowers. When the man didn’t leave and pressed the buzzer again, he rushed upstairs to the bathroom. The tone of his voice was menacing as he spoke. “Get your dressing-gown on and get downstairs now. There’s a man at the door. Get rid of him, and make it fast”.

Gillian did as she was told, with Thomas following her down before she got to the door intercom. She could see he was carrying that horrible knife again. He stood on the bottom step as she looked at the CCTV monitor. “That’s Mister Bell, from where I used to work. I didn’t know he was coming, honest”. Jerking the blade of his knife, he snarled at her. “Don’t let him in, and don’t make him suspicious. Or it’s this for both of you”.

She pressed to speak. “Hello, Jim. Sorry, I was in the bath. I’m not feeling well, and thought a warm bath would help”. He sounded disappointed as he replied. “Sorry to hear that, Gill. I was just popping round to see how you were on my way to a meeting. I have half an hour yet, if you want to invite me in for a cup of tea”. Gillian hesitated. It had never once occured to her that Jim might fancy her, but that was before she had met the man standing on her stairs.

Now she could see that Jim might be trying his luck. After all, he had brought flowers.

“Sorry, Jim. I’m not dressed or anything, and I have a thumping headache. You can leave the flowers on the step, and I will get them later. Thanks for thinking of me”. He gently placed the flowers on the front step, then turned away looking suitably dejected. That made her convinced her suspicions were correct.

As she turned around, Thomas slapped her face so hard, the shock and the pain made her start sobbing immediately. The he grabbed the collar of her dressing gown and dragged her back up to mum’s bedroom, pushing her onto the bed. Without speaking, he dragged the dressing gown off of her, and secured restrants to one arm and leg. Pulling the commode over next to the bed, he finally spoke in little more than a whisper.

“So, that’s your lover is it? The best you could do, a sad-looking man like him? No wonder you enjoy it so much with me, he looks pathetic. Well that’s not good enough. Not at all. You can stay in here today, and use the commode if you need it. There is water in that bottle next to the bed, but no more food for you today, young lady. If I hear so much as a murmur, I will be back up to restrain you completely, and you get the gag too”.

Still sobbing, she never heard him leave.

Pausing the recording on the CCTV, Thomas opened the door, picked up the bunch of flowers, and put them into the large Biffa Bin. He sneered at the cheap bouquet as he did so, imagining that the man had bought them from a bucket on a petrol station forecourt. All he needed to get his way with the simple woman upstairs, presumably.

Raging inside, he climbed onto the exercise bike and did twenty miles on a steep gradient setting. The weather was really warming up, and he would have to start opening some windows soon. Once he had completed the cycling task, he got all the cleaning materials he had bought, and began to clean the house from top to bottom. Everywhere except the bedroom of course.

Four hours later, he was feeling calmer, and very hungry. The wine he opened was a delicious Gevrey-Chambertin, and it went well with the selection of charcuterie and cheeses that he ate with some previously part-baked baguettes that he had heated up. Gillian could smell the aroma of warm bread wafting upstairs, and lay there hoping he would bring her up something to eat. He had to believe that she didn’t know about Jim Bell coming round, but it seemed he had thought she was lying.

Two hours passed on the old digital clock next to the bed, and Gillian wondered if she had been dozing. Then she heard him coming up the stairs, and the door was opening onto the dark bedroom. She was delighted. He was bringing her food after all.

But when he walked in, he was naked, and was not carrying any food.

50 thoughts on “Outside: Part Thirty-One

    1. Well it is meant to be. And also trying to reflect that there are many cases like this going on every year. Many of which we don’t ever hear about because they don’t get reported
      Thanks, Beth.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. (1) That door is always buzzing with excitement…but disappointment soon follows.
    (2) Mister Bell prefers doorbells to buzzers.
    (3) Bad citation; “So, that’s your lover is it? A hunchback named Bell? He looks pathetic!”
    (4) The flowers were eventually collected and placed on Richard Henry Biffa’s grave.
    (5) “The weather was really warming up, and he would have to start opening some windows soon.” By doing so, he would avoid having a wood pigeon slam into a window. Because the last thing he wanted was to be seen outside trying to lure an injured bird into a box. (Also, one bird-brained captive was enough!)
    (6) Did you know that Mexican jumping beans are also prone to having a thumping headache?
    (7) Since Gevrey-Chambertin is close to Dijon, might I suggest a certain mustard for the baguette?
    (8) Poor Jim Bell. Being turned down by Gillian is a real slap in the face. And poor Gillian Baxter. Being wooed by Jim Bell got her a slap in the face.

    Note: You must be doing a lot of gastronomical and oenological research for this serial. Every time I read a serial installment, I begin to yearn for a gourmet meal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have eaten (and drunk) everything mentioned in the story, David. G-C is my favourite wine ever, but too expensive for ‘everyday drinking’.
      I enjoyed the Quasimodo reference, and the pigeon in Beetley one too.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is brilliantly written. And the psychology of all this is interesting and seemingly incredible. And sometimes no jnife or really bad treatment is required to get someone hooked like this, so that they become docile. A very interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I meant it is incredibly written Pete, with much research that has gone into it. No, the situation happens more than people know, and also, I was just making the point that it can happen even without weapons involved. I know this personally, and that is why I know that your story is brilliant. Sorry if my word came out wrongly xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Kevin asked me about his background two days ago, and I told him he was ahead of the story. You are only one day ahead, Janet. His background is revealed tomorrow. 🙂
      Gillian was correct in her assumption that Jim was ‘trying his luck’. He just thinks that she saw through his clumsy attempt to get close to her, and has no idea about anyone being in her house except her.
      Best wishes, Pete.


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