Rowe's Revenge

I didn't find it easy to write a short story this week, in fact it's been hard. We've got so much going on at the moment I fear I'm a little distracted. But I wrote, and that's the main thing. So here is Rowe's Revenge for your entertainment. Enjoy.

Rowe's Revenge

“See you later!”

Claire smiled and waved goodbye to Josh as he exited the gate. He wouldn’t be back home until at least 3.30pm, after he’d caught the bus from school. Josh disappeared around the corner and Claire closed, and locked, the front door. On her way into the kitchen she pulled out her phone from her jeans back pocket, selected her favourite playlist, and hit play before tidying up the breakfast mess. 

Music filled the room and Claire smiled. She grabbed her cleaning products from underneath the sink and got to work. As she moved dishes out of the way and her soft cloth skated across the countertops, she bounced on her feet, dancing to the music. Singing along with her favourite tunes, she felt free, lifted her head and screamed out the lyrics. She laughed to herself. The kitchen cleaning didn’t take as long as she’d expected and she moved on to vacuuming the house. A typical morning routine for Claire, tidy up after Josh and then time was her own. 

She had a specific plan today. 

After a quick vacuuming, Claire put the vacuum cleaner away and went upstairs. She turned off her music before entering the bedroom. The house was quiet. She pushed on the handle and the door creaked open. Creeping into the room, she inched around the bed. He still laid there. His head rested on the pillow, a quilt pulled up to his chin, his hair disheveled, as you would expect first thing in the morning. He looked shocked to see her, eyes wide and mouth agape. But his eyes didn’t move, and his skin had a pallid hue.

Claire flung back the quilt. He didn’t flinch. She dropped the quilt onto the floor and flattened it out, arranging it alongside the bed. Then she climbed onto the now un-made bed, hopped over his body, took a deep breath, clenched her teeth and shoved her shoulder into his right side, pushing as hard as she could. She pushed and pushed. He inched to the edge of the bed and it got easier as his body rolled off the edge. She sat upright to watch him thud onto the floor. She hopped off the bed and stood at his feet, looking at her handiwork. He needed covering so she grabbed one side of the blanket and flung it over him, then did the same with the opposite side. With the blanket gathered together in her hands, she tugged. The quilt, enveloping his body, slid along the hardwood floor with ease and she smirked at her strength.

Claire stopped at the top of the stairs while she decided how to tackle them. Rolling him downstairs was an option, but he’d roll out of the quilt. She could pull him, but he may land on top of her and hurt her. Or she could push him down the stairs, but that sounded like more effort than necessary. She decided on rolling and bundled the blanket into a ball so it would be easier to shove from the landing. She bent her knees, forced her entire upper body behind him, furrowed her brow and pushed her shoulder into the heaped quilt.

He rolled. Thump, thud, thump. Down the stairs. She watched from the landing as the mass bumped downstairs and she crossed her fingers as it hurtled to the bottom. The bundle unrolled but he stayed within the blanket, it still covered him when he came to rest.

She bounded after him and gripped the end of the blanket again, dragging it into the kitchen towards the back door. As she hauled his body through the kitchen, the quilt glided over the polished tiles while the dishwasher gushed and gurgled as it cleaned the dishes.

Outside, a pit had already been dug, waiting for a concrete base for their new conservatory. All she had to do was put him in the hole, cover him up, and wait for the builders to pour concrete on top of him. Easy. But she was on the clock. The builders arrived at 10am most days. 

She glanced at her watch - 8:30am; there wasn’t much time to get him into the space and have him concealed.

She left the back door open as she lugged the bundle into the backyard. It was harder to drag along the concrete slabs, and she winced when the cotton tore. She towed it around the side of the house, heaving with everything she had, and the material scratched along the floor. By the time she reached the hole she was out of breath and her arms felt heavy, but she smiled at the piled bundle sitting by the edge of the pit. 

Claire stared at her husband’s body bundled into a quilt, sitting on the edge of a pit. The quilt cover was one of her favourites, purple flowers dotted across the surface in a circular pattern. He’d always hated it. It felt like justice to drape him in it, a final ‘up yours’. She took a deep breath and shoved the bundle with her foot. It tumbled into the hole and came to rest in the centre. He was still enveloped in the quilt, and Claire smiled. She wrapped her hand around the shovel she’d rested against the house and dug it into the mound of soil piled high next to the hole. One shovel full at a time, she chucked soil on top of his lifeless body. She didn’t stop until there was no sign he was ever there, then she dug the shovel into the soil mound and grinned. 

Claire gave a crisp nod as she lingered in front of the hole, the smile on her face growing. 

Back inside she washed her hands, flicked on the kettle and made a cup of coffee, waiting for the builders to arrive. A hot cup of coffee in her hands, she spied the builders, equipped with wheel-barrows, wandering around the side of the house. She stood at the back door, leaning on the frame, as three of them brought the concrete. They chatted amongst themselves, but when Claire ventured outside, they looked at her.

“Is there something wrong Mrs Rowe?”

She smiled and waved her hand. “Oh no, just thought I’d watch. I’ve never seen concrete being laid before.”

The builders shrugged and chuckled. “Okay.” 

Claire stood on the grass out of the way as the three stocky builders lift the wheel-barrows filled with concrete and pour the mix into the hole. Pile after pile of concrete went into the hole, and Claire beamed as she sipped her coffee. When all the concrete had settled, and the builders moved onto the next job Claire went back into the kitchen. She put her cup on the counter top, rested her hands in front of the sink and smiled.

He’d never hurt her child again.

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