Happy Saturday! Part 11 of my horror novella, Die, Blossom, Bloom today.
You can read the last part HERE.
Last time, pensioner TED HARRIS, faced with evidence of his crime, admitted that a fragment of bone discovered in his garden was indeed, from his wife. Local teenager, JORDAN BUTLER-THOMPSON, pays the price for his discovery, when Ted strikes him with a spade and kills him to prevent the truth from getting out.
Now Ted is faced with a dilemma: what to do with the boy’s body? He recollects a similar problem when his wife died. We are taken back in Ted’s life to that fateful evening following her death, as we are granted a glimpse into how he handled it back then…
He awoke several hours later, still alongside his wife. Her body felt cold. Ted went downstairs and made himself a cup of tea, which he sat and drank in silence. He pondered Sissy’s second request. He had hoped he would not have to make that decision, but that die had already been cast. Her final wish was to be buried in her garden, the garden she had nurtured for so long. Ted knew his window of opportunity was limited, so finishing his tea, he returned upstairs.
The plan was simple. They had discussed the arrangements should it become necessary, and now it was. He was to wait until night, when he would carry his wife’s body outside, to the hole in the garden. It had been Sissy’s idea to dig the hole in advance, which Ted had done without question; he had not needed to ask what it was for. The hole was around half a metre deep. He would ideally have liked another half metre, but the hole he had dug had taken him almost three days on and off, so half a metre would have to suffice.
Standing over Sissy’s body, Ted took a long look at his wife. He reached down and brushed a lock of silver hair from her face and gently kissed her. Standing up, he slipped an arm under her head, the other behind her knees and attempted to lift her off the bed. Sissy was by no means a big woman, but her body – her rapidly stiffening body – was awkward to lift, and Ted’s strength was not what it had been twenty, or even ten tears, previously. He grunted as he struggled to lift her corpse. Blood rushed to his face as he lifted her clear of the bed and stepped backwards. A shooting pain in his lower back stopped him, and he sank heavily to his knees and fell backwards. Sissy’s body fell on top of him. He pushed her off him and climbed slowly to his feet.
He tried several more times to lift the body, but its position and the pain in his back stopped him each time. Panicked now, Ted sat down on the bed, head in hands. A glance at the clock told him that he had about an hour or so before it would be dark. He had no desire to have a decomposing body in his house, so he considered his options: he couldn’t ring for an ambulance as they would take the body away and in all likelihood, discover what he had done; he couldn’t call someone for help – what would he say? “I’ve killed my wife, I wonder if you could help me dispose of her body?” There was another option, one that occurred to him at that moment. He didn’t know how or why it did, and it wasn’t something he thought he could go through with anyway; however, his options were limited, and he needed to do something.
Standing once more, he placed his hands under Sissy’s arms and began to drag her out of the room. It was slow going, but easier than lifting. His back screamed at him with every step, and Ted could feel his heart racing, not merely through exertion, but with anticipation of what he was about to do. He was breathing hard now.
He paused briefly at the top of the stairs and looked down. The staircase was narrow and steep, and Ted didn’t trust himself to navigate the stairs safely. Instead, he backed along the upstairs landing into the bathroom. When Sissy was all the way in, he sat on the edge of the bath and dragged a shirt-sleeved arm across his forehead. He sat that way for several minutes, letting his heart rate drop. A glance out of the window told him that the stars were out. No moon was visible. The night was dark, but Ted feared he wouldn’t have enough time to complete the task tonight.
When he had rested and was able to breathe deeply again, he stood up and climbed into the bath. Reaching forwards, he once more took a hold of Sissy’s body. Lifting her up and into the bath was an effort for Ted. Aside from her weight, her arms and legs had stiffened to the point that she could no longer lie down in the bath. He struggled for over an hour to get her up and over the side, and even then her arms prevented Ted from getting her all the way in. If he didn’t have to stop every few minutes to catch his breath, he thought it could have gone much quicker, but he did stop; the idea of having a heart attack and being found like this terrified him, so he took his time.
When he finally got the body over the side of the bath, he climbed out and sat down heavily on the bathroom floor. His shirt was drenched with his sweat, and his chest burned. He sat with his back to the bath for almost half an hour, staring at a towel on the radiator. It had been her towel, blue and white striped to match his deck chair. She said it made her think of him when she was wrapped up inside it, and Ted smiled grimly at the thought. Eventually, he stood and faced the body lying awkwardly in the bath; her arms prevented the body from sliding all the way in. He would need to rearrange them. The rigidity of the limbs surprised him, and he had to exert considerable force to move them at all. He took hold of her right arm, which was by her side and attempted to lift it up and across her. After a moment there was a sickening crunch as the arm broke, and Ted fell forward into the bath. Her body slipped down, the arm flapping awkwardly across her chest.
Ted fell back onto the bathroom floor, breathing hard. He checked his watch and cursed; another hour had slipped by. He doubted he would have enough time tonight. It would have to wait until tomorrow. Pulling the bathroom door closed, Ted went back downstairs and filled the kettle. He didn’t think he would be getting much sleep tonight.
I’ll leave it there for this week’s instalment. It doesn’t get any happier next week, I’m afraid. If you don’t want to wait till then, you can read the whole story for FREE by clicking the image below: