This is the twenty-eighth part of a fiction serial, in 862 words.
My thanks to Sue Judd for the use of her photo. https://suejudd.com/
That was the longest day of my life. Norma put a pillow over Gregg’s head so we didn’t have to look at his face, but I couldn’t even stand to be in the room with his dead body. I retreated to the bedroom, jumping at every sound from outside as I was sure it was the police coming to arrest us both. Norma came up to offer me lunch, and I looked at her as if she was crazy, shaking my head.
How could she eat?
By the time it began to get dark, I had managed two cups of tea, and started to get the shakes. I knew the time was approaching when we would have to complete Norma’s plan, by dumping Gregg’s body somewhere in the Country Park. By eight, I was dressed, but I confess that I hadn’t had a wash or cleaned my teeth. Anything normal seemed abnormal, and I was astounded by how calm Norma was. I started to wonder if she had done something similar to the man who abused her in Bristol.
When it was close to nine, I went downstairs. The tailgate of Norma’s car was already open, and she had a picnic blanket ready to cover the body. I was shaking with fear. What if we got stopped by the police? It might just be something routine, or a blown bulb in the car’s lights. They might want to look in the back, and I knew I would never hold it together in the presence of cops.
What really surprised me was how light Gregg was. She grabbed him under the arms and told me to take his legs. I averted my eyes from his face and looked down at the path as we carried him to her car. It was easy to roll him in, and Norma quickly covered him with the large tartan blanket. Then she went back for his overnight bag, and placed the empty tablet bottles inside. I was amazed at how cheerful she seemed. “I have done all the washing up while you were in the bedroom, and brought a cloth to wipe down my car. There will be no trace that he was ever in here”.
On the drive to Branscombe Hall, I was thinking about the numerous times I had been up at the house, and how tonight’s trip could not have been more different. We passed a few cars on the way, and I winced every time I saw headlights approaching, expecting the blue lights and sirens of police cars.
Norma drove past the sign advertising the luxury apartments and golf course, the turned left past a more rudimentary sign announcing the building of a Country Park for public use. The pedestrian pathway had been laid, and was just wide enough for one car. It had started to rain as we left my house, and by the time Norma stopped the car, it was torrential. She removed a large torch from the door bin, reminding me yet again just how much forward planning she had done. “This looks like a good spot”.
With hoods up against the downpour, we followed the beam of her torch to a junction where the pathway turned right past some immature trees. The corner plot had been excavated, creating what seemed to be destined to be a grassy mound. Piles of lush grass turf stood next to the hole, and in the light of the torch I could see that the hole was filled with mud and water. Norma spoke loudly above the noise of the rain. “This is perfect, lets go and get him”. She left the torch at the edge of the hole and we went back to the car. Once again, she was showing her nack for this sort of thing.
“Not the travel rug, that mustn’t be found. Just Gregg, and his overnight bag. With any luck they will never find him, but if they do it will look like he had already taken an overdose and just fell into the hole”. We lifted him out of the back of the car, and Norma placed his bag on his chest. As we made the few steps to the edge of the hole, Norma actually smiled at me. “When we get there, one swing and throw him in face down”.
His body hit the mixture of rain and sludge, and there was a sucking sound as it disappeared under the surprisingly deep water. Norma dropped the bag on top with the zip open, and stood shining the torch on it until it also vanished.
Back in the car, she turned off the torch and smiled again.
“When they start work tomorrow, they will push that huge mound of dirt into the hole, then lay the grass turfs on top. I’m betting nobody will think twice about a body being in there. Right, I will drop you back at your house then go home. This rain will cover our footprints and tyre tracks”.
It was only when I went to bed that night that I started crying.