This week's short story is written by the lovely Janet Cooper from the Rambles, Rants and Writings blog. If you haven't visited her blog yet, here's a little bit about her:
Janet Cooper is a graduate of English and Creative Writing BA (Hons) and is currently studying an MA in English Studies. She currently runs her own business as a freelance and online Tutor/Assessor, but hopes to become an English Lecturer or work in a role that utilises the creative element of her degree. She is a published writer and has other publications currently on the horizon. She is a keen blogger and social networker, and has recently been appointed as the Copywriting Team Leader for Spectral Visions Press.
Without further ado, here is her story! I hope you all enjoy it!
Innocent Witness by Janet Cooper
I sipped the bubbles carefully, sliding my fingers over the cool flute. My shoulders relaxed and I slumped back on the large, moon-shaped couch and gazed out of the large glass wall, into the garden. I could see my own reflection and callous grin.
‘All of this is mine, now!’ I said softly with a widened grin.
I finished the bottle of champagne and slinked up to bed. I unpinned the hat and veil décor from my head carefully. It had taken several hair grips to hold it in securely so it took a while to remove. One of the hair grips pulled out a clump of hair but I didn’t make a sound. I quite liked the pain, it reminded me that I was still alive, and now I was free.
I kicked off my black patent leather shoes and slipped each black, silk stocking down my smooth leg. I couldn’t help but stroke it, in the way he used to. The fact I was caressing my own leg was in fact more of a turn on.
I unzipped my black skirt and it fell loosely from my hips and onto the floor. My fingers unhooked each button on my dark, chiffon blouse, and I watched my breasts raise up and down as I breathed. If they weren’t my own, I would have been tempted to lick around the nipple as they were released from the bra.
By the time I was naked, my breathing was heavy yet quick. I felt warm, as I slipped into the silky sheets, and their coolness felt refreshing against my skin. The last week had been all about Martin, but that was all over with now and tonight, was all about me. When I closed my eyes, I imagined Maria, my son’s Nanny was with me. My breathing got faster and faster as I replicated what it would be like with her. My fingertips tickled my nipples and slipped up and down my body until I was satisfied. I clasped at the sheets in ecstasy, and eventually my breathing slowed and became normal.
This was my reward for being so unselfish over the past week and putting on a good show. It was only a matter of time before I seduced Maria anyway so what was the harm, I deserved it!
‘Urgghh!’ I moaned as the bell from my alarm screeched through my ears. My head was foggy but it was to be expected, champagne always gave me a headache. Nothing a shower wouldn’t sort out.
The hot drops dripped over my eyes and down my body. I closed my eyes and faced towards the spray. Showers always made me feel refreshed. I rubbed the soft Egyptian cotton against my skin. I could feel every stroke and I had to talk myself out of becoming aroused again. Who knew that getting away with murder could be so tantalising? I slipped into my jeans and a top, and I went to collect my son, Eric, from my mother’s.
The drive to my mother’s took half an hour and I bellowed out the lyrics to Belinda Carlisle loudly. My cheeks ached from smiling. I had to get out of this happy mood, this was not the way a new widow should act. Scalding myself didn’t work, I was undeniably perky. I practiced sorrowful faces in the mirror and it made me hysterical.
After years of being subdued and repressed I was finally free to live my own life. I went over and over the murder in my mind. I got him drunk until he passed out, then I locked him in the garage inside the car, with the engine on. It looked as though he had tried to drive whilst drunk, but fell asleep before being overcome with fumes. Martin had been prosecuted for drunk-driving before so it was plausible. I also text her a garbled message saying coming over.
The lovely Martin had been seeing our neighbour’s daughter, and occasional babysitter, Olivia, for at least 6 months. She was just eighteen. I found emails and text messages that suggested he was considering divorce and after an argument, two weeks ago, Martin had threatened to take half custody of Eric and send him to boarding school. I had nobody to turn to. Martin made sure I had no friends, I didn’t go out, the only person I had in the world was Eric, and if I wasn’t a well-behaved wife, he was going to take him away from me too. I think Martin thought I was just going to take his mental abuse for the rest of my life but he underestimated my love for Eric.
I pulled onto my mother’s drive.
‘Mammy,’ Eric shouted as he ran towards me, hugging me.
‘Eric, my beautiful boy. I’ve missed you!’
Eric held me tightly.
‘I’ve been playing outside with Suzie, it’s been fun.’ His eyes were wide and excited. My heart melted. I could maybe get him a puppy now, he loved Suzie, but now his Dad wasn’t in control, he could have one.
Mother came out and hugged me.
‘Carly, I’ve been worried about you, are you OK?’
‘I’m fine, Mum,’ I reassured her.
There was something odd about my mother’s manner today.
‘Are you OK, Mum?’
‘Yes, yes. Just grieving!’ She said clutching the cross around her neck. ‘Come inside, there’s something I need to talk to you about.’ She grabbed my arm and led me towards the door. ‘Play with Suzie, Eric.’
We went into the sitting room.
‘Sit.’ She said abruptly, almost pushing me onto the couch.
‘What is it?’ I said innocently.
‘Carly, I know!’
‘You know, what?’
‘I know you killed Martin!’
‘I, erm, I, what?’
‘I know you did, Carly’
My face burned, I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know what to say. I lowered my head and concentrated on the swirls in the carpet. She could tell if I was lying, she always knew. How did she know about Martin? I was silent for a few minutes. There was no point denying it.
‘How, Mum? How do you know?’ I lifted my head and looked her in the eye.
‘Because Eric told me, he seen everything.’
‘You and Martin were drinking, and then Mammy didn’t want Daddy in her bed because he was drunk, so she put him in the car so he could drive to Olivia’s.’
My face reddened. Why hadn’t I seen the obvious? The person who I had tried to protect and keep safe, knew what I had done, just not the extent. I started to cry. I had scarred him for life, if he remembered this memory he would know it was me.
‘But Mum, I was scared. He was going to take Eric away, he was, he was, leaving me with nothing. The only thing I have is Eric, oh my god, what have I done? I was trying to protect him from Martin’s control!’
I sobbed. She hugged me.
‘I’m sorry!’ she sobbed.
‘I’m not sorry though, Mum. I’m not!’
Two men came from the kitchen.
‘Carly Rodgers, we have your confession on tape. We are arresting you on suspicion of murder. You do not have to say anything, but anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law.’
Everything was a blur. All I could feel was the tightening of the cuffs around my wrists and I was bundled into the car. I think I heard Eric in the background crying for me. I blocked it out! Martin had finally ruined my life, but at least he couldn’t ruin anyone else’s. Martin’s murder was almost perfect, I just hadn’t banked on my son being the innocent witness.
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