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Fairfield, Queensland, Australia
Fairfield Writers Group is a mix of beginner and experienced writers who meet the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Brisbane City Council Library in Fairfield Gardens Shopping Centre, Fairfield road, Fairfield, Queensland. Our passion is writing and we work hard at our craft. Our aim is to encourage, support and help each other to reach new heights in our writing. New members are always made welcome and usually whisked off to the local coffee shop at the end of meetings for sustenance and socialisation with the rest of the crew.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Short Story: Another Entrapment - Part one (Rated Mature) by Carol

Jessie plunges the knife deep into her husband’s back. He groans and slumps forward in the chair; his head hits the tabletop with a dull thud. Perspiration forms in beads on her forehead; trickles down her back. Jessie shakes as she pulls it from his back; then pushes strands of damp hair away from her eyes before examining the bloodied blade. She traces her fingers over it and licks the blood from them. She is repulsed by its metallic taste, as repulsed as she was by Frank for what he had become over the last thirty plus years. She touches the cut on her bottom lip and the bruise below her eye. They’re both painful; he had hit her hard last night.

Someone is standing in the doorway framed against the setting sun. It is nearly dark. Paralysed she stares silently at the figure. But it’s only Will, her oldest son, who’s come in from mending fences on their property.

‘It’s me, Ma.’

He sees the knife Jessie is holding.

‘WHAT have you done?’

‘I’ve killed him!’

‘Killed who?’

‘I’ve killed your father, Will.’

‘Fuck!’ he bellows as he switches on the light and sees his father slumped forward in a chair, head face down on the table, blood spread over his back. ‘Fuck, Ma! ‘How in the hell did this happen?‘

Jessie looks straight ahead stony-faced. ‘I don’t know,’ she whispers, ‘you’d better call the police.’


‘But what else can we do?’ she cries and agitated now, grips his arm. With his free hand he prises her fingers open and lets her hand drop.

‘Let me think, damn it!’

‘But, Will!’

‘No!’ I won’t call the police. You’ve put up with that monster for years and you’re entitled to a life now the bastard’s dead. As far as I’m concerned it’s bloody good riddance. If you hadn’t done it, one day I would have. Now, just let me think.’

Jessie watches Will, his young face pale and strained, pace the floor. At last he turns and faces her.

‘We can bury him down by the creek in the back paddock. No one will ever know.’

‘I don’t know, Will. It’s not a good idea. What if we’re caught?’

‘We’ll deal with that if it happens; just do as I say. Go and get a couple of old blankets and I’ll bring the Ute around to the side of the house.’

Will drags his father’s body outside. He hauls it up into the back of the old utility, which battered, worn and full of rust has seen better days. He lays the body on top of the blankets that Jessie has spread out ready. He throws a spade in and then moves to the front of the vehicle where he opens the door on the passenger’s side and puts a hurricane lamp on the front seat.

‘Go back inside and get the knife, Ma, put on a pair of gloves and wipe the knife clean just in case it’s found by someone, wrap it in a tea towel and then bring it out to me.’

Jessie returns to the house and enters the kitchen where she goes to the sink and picks up a pair of rubber gloves. Disorientated and shaking she does as Will has told her, brings out the knife and hands it to him.

‘We’ll bury it with him. We can burn the blankets later.’ Will says.

Jessie doesn’t answer but climbs into the front seat and holds the hurricane lamp on her lap.The old utility bumps along, shuddering and sometimes faltering on the gravel road that winds its way through dense scrub and trees to the creek. She hopes it doesn’t die on them. Frank had done some mechanical work on its motor recently but it needed more. On occasion they run over a pothole in the road and bounce up and down in their seats. Frank’s body thumps around in the back. The sound of it is barely audible against the whine of the motor and the crunch of tyres on gravel. Jessie hears it though and feels sick. She sticks her head out the window and vomits…

She sits on a log and rests the hurricane lamp on the ground beside her. It gives off just enough light for Will to see what he’s doing. She hugs her knees rocking back and forth while she watches him dig his father’s grave.

Jessie has told him to dig it good and deep, as there are wild pigs around this part of the countryside, or so she’s heard. She’s read stories in the newspaper about wild pigs digging up bodies and eating them. Even though she has hated Frank for a long time she wouldn’t want that to happen to his remains.

Vivid images pass before her eyes in a technicolour slideshow of Frank as she remembers: him sitting on the very chair where she stabbed him smiling at her as he eats breakfast; him working in the milking shed, the cows milling around as they wait to be milked; the two of them making love.

‘God help me! What have I done?’ she mutters to herself and cries quietly.

The soft thuds of soil piling up as Will digs, fills her with a sense of foreboding. There’s a slight breeze and the leaves rustle. A branch snaps; there is a thump as a possum bounds past making its distinctive mating call. It stops for a few seconds to look at her. The water is running fast in the creek. It gurgles and swishes as it rushes by on its long journey to the river and eventually out to sea. The night has turned cold and she hears the lonely cry of a mopoke calling in the distance. Jessie shivers as she pulls her cardigan tight to her body. The incessant hum of mosquitoes drives her mad. She loathes them and they are in plague proportions this summer. She stops rocking for a moment to slap at her legs. Jessie wonders vaguely how she could have done what she did and fights to stop the howl that threatens to rise up like a stricken animal out of her throat. Her thoughts stray back to last night when he hit her and she fell to the floor; then to tonight when she picked up the knife and…

She’s tired and doesn’t want to think anymore. She wishes she could lie down on the ground, go to sleep and block out the pain and horror of this night from her mind.

A light moves along the top road that runs a small distance from the creek and they both hear the sound of a car engine.

‘Just turn the lamp off for a minute,’ calls Will in a low voice, as he continues to dig.

Jessie snaps out of her stupor and does as Will says. She can barely see him as he digs in the darkness of shadows and holds her breath too frightened to breathe as the car passes by.

Will pauses digging.

’It’s probably just travellers passing through. It wouldn’t be anyone from around here,’ he adds. ‘Not at this time of night.’

They watch as the light trails away in the distance. She breathes a sigh of relief.

Jessie looks up at the black night sky dotted with stars. The moon is full and its pale light casting eerie shadows heightens her anxiety. When is Will going to be finished? There in the moonlight memories stir again from deep within the recesses of her mind and she remembers with clarity when Frank and her were first married and how different things were then. She remembers the births of their children and how proud he was of each tiny bundle, nursing every baby as if it would break…

Jessie jumps as Will touches her arm. ‘Come on,’ he says gently taking her by the hand. ‘It’s time to go home. I’ve finished the job. Mind your step now so you don’t trip over.’

‘Yes, Will. I’ll mind my step.’ she answers.

‘When we get home we’ll decide on a plan,’ he says.

Will turns the key in the ignition. There is nothing but the burr of a sick motor. He tries again but it refuses to turn over. He gets out and puts up the bonnet. His voice is muffled as he bends over to examine the engine.

‘I think it’s a flat battery, we’ll have to walk.’

She climbs wearily out of the utility, and steps onto the road.

‘We must hurry, Ma. I’ll get the battery out of the Holden and come back,’ Will says in an urgent tone and he strides off in the direction of the farmhouse.

Jessie has trouble keeping up with him and trails several metres behind. Clouds scud across the sky and hide the moonlight most of the time making it hard to see where she’s going. The wind springs up and heavy rain starts to tumble down as they hurry toward home. She falls as her foot slips down a pothole and she twists her ankle; the pain is excruciating. Will doesn’t seem to notice. She hobbles along the road as fast as she can. Something crosses the road between her and Will. She stops, her heart thuds loud in her chest. It disappears into the scrub and relieved, Jessie realises it was a kangaroo. They’re near home and Will is a long way in front. She doesn’t care. She doesn’t want to go inside the house anymore. Not in there, not where she killed Frank.

Panting from exertion and dripping wet, Jessie meets Will who is waiting for her at the back door. Jessie collapses onto an old rocking chair and gazes at Will not speaking a word.

‘What have you done to your foot?’

‘It’s nothing,’ she gasps.

Will returns to the house and comes back with a towel and blanket.

‘I’m leaving to get the Ute now. Will you be all right?’

‘I don’t know!’

‘You’d better go inside now, and if you can, please clean up the blood.’

‘I can’t Will, I can’t go in there. Not without you, not after…you know… what happened.

It’ll be all right, honest! Just take a deep breath and go inside. I shouldn’t be too long and then we’ll talk.’

Will helps Jessie to her feet and guides her to the door.

‘Here, dry yourself off with this,’ he says giving her the towel, ‘and use this blanket to keep warm.’

He opens the door and she walks into the kitchen like a child doing what it’s told.

Sobbing Jessie cleans up the blood as Will told her to do, first she scrubs the kitchen chair and then down on her hands and knees, she scrubs the floor until no trace of her husband’s blood is left. After Jessie has finished, she sits, wrapped in the blanket too scared and exhausted to do anything else and waits for Will to arrive back with the utility.

The telephone rings, a rude intrusion that jarrs her already raw nerves. Jessie answers it with a tentative ‘Hello.’

She hears someone breathing, then there’s silence.

‘Hello,’ she says again. ‘Is anyone there?

Author: Carol

To be continued next Friday 12th March 2010

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