by James Coffey
He knows, he definitely
knows. Stop it. You’ll give yourself away. I can’t stop looking at the patch of
earth. That’s what you want, isn’t it, to give yourself away?
“You’re quite sure?”
“What? Yes. Quite sure.”
I can smell her body. He must
be able to smell it, too. Tell the truth. She's dead, but you didn’t kill her.
I must have been slightly mad. Yes that's it, I suffer from a slight
disposition, you see and the drugs we took affected my mind. I’ll say I panicked
when I woke beside her dead body. That’s it, I panicked, yes.
“Not at work today, sir?”
"I asked if you are due
at work today."
"I'm not well. I have
this slight disposition, you see."
Her body will be a
suppurating mass of larvae by now. I bet he can smell it. I can. When I woke
from the nightmare, she lay dead beside me. I started to bury her, but that’s
when the sickness came over me, and I put her in the shed. I bet he can smell
it. Why did I bring him out to the patio? So that he would smell it, of course;
so that you’d be caught.
“It’s nothing serious.”
"I see you've been
He knows! My life is over. What
will the neighbors think? They’ll say I drugged, raped, and killed her. Imagine
the headlines. You’ll go to prison for years. Think of what they’ll do to you
in prison. No, whatever you do, don’t think about that.
"I was gardening when I
became unwell,” I say pitifully. The shed door is ajar.
"You should see a
"Really, I’ll be
fine." I closed the door behind me. Are you sure? Of course I’m sure. I
mean really sure. I said I’m sure.
"The description means nothing
He's trying to trap me.
"Nothing at all, I'm sorry."
“This is a nice garden."
He keeps going on about the
"Has she has been
"She was found wandering along
Street some nights ago. No recollection of what has happened to her or who she
is. Drugs you see, people don't realize the dangers. Well, if anything comes to
mind, you'll contact me?"
"Of course, yes."
Immediately he had gone, I
ran to the shed and opened the door. The shed was empty! Oh, how I cried, as I
dropped to my knees in a daze of happiness. I had not killed her. Then my phone
rang: it was her.
“Gee, what a night that was,
and boy am I’m missing you, now. But
we’ll be together again soon, I promise you that.”
I ended the call. My God,
will I never be rid of this woman? Then came the memory of her face, her eyes,
her lips, and her body pressed against me. The doorbell rang, and in fevered
anticipation, I ran to answer it. It was the detective. He held an earring in
“I found this by your front
gate. Our mystery woman was wearing the other one. I’m told she has discharged
herself from hospital. Perhaps she might call round to collect her earring?
What do you think?”
I stood speechless, and then
felt my tears
falling “I didn’t do anything. I’m innocent.
It wasn’t my fault,” I snivel, “Not . . . my . . . fault,” I drivel.
“Your disposition seems to
have worsened,” he said. “Perhaps you’d like to talk about it?”
Coffey lives and works in Coventry, England. He started writing short stories
some years ago and enjoys the challenge of trying to say as much as possible in
as few words as possible. He has been published in Linnets Wings, Apocrypha
& Abstraction, Yellow Mama, Molotov
Cocktail, and Dogzplot.