“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.
Says he’s leaving, even bought himself a bike so he’d have his own transport, but we both know he won’t. He gets like this sometimes, says he wants a life of his own, tired of following me around. I tell him that would be OK with me, I never asked him to tag along. But, if the truth be known, we’d miss each other if he moved on. We’ve sort of got used to each others ways over the years. I’ve told him though, if he stays the bike’s got to go – can’t have that following me wherever I go.
Would often stand here as a kid, peering through the railings at the big house, wondering what it must be like inside. Used to catch a glimpse of the people who lived there, big flashy car, kids at the posh school outside town. People said the bloke what owned the place was worth millions, made his money from property, or something like that. Apparently he lives there on his own now. Wife left him for someone else, is what they’re saying, took the kids with her. Wonder if I knocked on the door he’d let me have a look round?
We stood in small groups, huddled close to one another, in the forlorn hope that this might help us, and we looked up at the sky. A loud voice echoed from behind the dark clouds that were blocking the sun’s warming rays.
“Oh my children!” it cried, “Why do you ignore me?”
We dropped to our knees, hands clasped together in prayer, eyes fixed on the ground.
“I took away your moon and stars in the hope it would bring you to your senses, but still you anger me. You leave me no choice. Tomorrow I take away your sun.”
“It’s freezing out there Jimmy, and it’s started snowing. Why don’t we give it a miss and go down the pub instead.”
“No chance mate! The boss was insistent, said it had to be tonight, and what the boss says, we do.”
“Suppose so, but why tonight?”
“All to do with the weather Billy. Seems we’re in for the coldest night of the winter. By morning the lake will be frozen solid and will stay that way for weeks. That’s why we have to kill her tonight and get her body in that lake while we still can. You ready?”