“Don’t think so George. I’ve had a quick peek up above and there was quite a frost last night. Looks like winter is on its way. You know how the cold gets into these decaying bones of mine. So I thought we’d stay in, make the most of this warm soil left over from those hot summer days we’ve had this year. Might go out tonight.”
“That would be nice love. We could sit on the bench the kids had dedicated to us and watch the stars. Just like we did when we were alive.”
It was while we were clearing out Grandma’s house that I came across her old shoes. Mum had always told me that, in her younger days, Gran had been quite a tearaway. The locals had called her the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’.
To me she was just a sweet old lady, who smelled a little of old mothballs and lavender soap. I smiled, as I remembered sitting on her lap, listening to her tales of strange lands and winged monkeys.
My thoughts were interrupted when mum shouted, “Dorothy, dear, have you finished in there? It’s time we were going.”
OK, I admit I was at the house. I was just passing and saw the door open and popped in. And yes I ate the porridge and may have accidentally broken one of their lousy chairs. Sure they were a bit angry when they came back and caught me napping in the kids bed, and we may have exchanged a few heated words, but you’ve got to believe me Inspector, when I left that place they were all very much alive. I’m telling you, as God is my witness, I know nothing about any poisoned pizza and three dead bears.
I fluttered my eyelashes as Sidney spread the map out on the table. What a bore this man was! Had we only been married three days, it felt like forever. Beneath my practised sweet smile I gritted my teeth and thought of his money.
“Are you sure you’re feeling well enough for this my precious, you look a little pale?”
“I’m sorry Sidney, being close to you my darling always makes me feel a little light-headed. Please go on.”
“I was just saying, my dearest, this is a map. Don’t look so worried, I wouldn’t expect you to understand it or be able to follow it, I just wanted to show you the route I’ve planned for our little excursion this afternoon.”
“Oh Sidney, you are so clever.”
I snuggled up closer and gave him another of my girly looks. Sidney carried on.
“Well my precious, if you look carefully you will see that parts of the map are coloured blue, that’s the sea. This wiggly black line is the route we will take along the coastal path. I’m not going too fast for you sweetheart, am I? You look a little puzzled. Probably best we leave it at that for now.”
I squeezed his arm and thanked him for his kindness.
Stupid man! If only he knew of the hours I’d spent studying this map. I had a clear picture of the route we would be taking. Even more important – I knew exactly where poor Sidney was going to have his fatal accident.