I wrote a decent chunk of this while slightly drunk. Still, I think it has a certain trashy charm. It’s not quite as emotionally resonant as last week, that would probably require I write it over a longer period of time and whilst a bit more sober.
Have a nice day, read more stories here, please tip your waitress, etcetera.
Being Well Disposed
By Nick Bryan
Eight minutes beforehand, Katie received a text message from her friend Laura. She’d been relieved, as Laura had disappeared outside with a man twenty minutes before that, leaving her minding their possessions at the pub table and getting steadily more bored.
She’d killed this time finishing her drink, updating her Facebook and trying not to make eye contact with the strange men whose eyes were contacting with her. There was an unusually large quantity of cash in her bag, to cover the deposit for her new flat, so she was delighted of the excuse to leave.
The message asked her to come to the alley around the back of the pub, which left her wary, because she didn’t want to take part in a quite unhygienic threesome atop a crate of unwanted lettuce. Still, she really wanted to get out of there, and didn’t think Laura went that way, so decided to chance it.
Once she arrived, Katie found herself wishing she’d followed her lower instinct and run away. They were behind a gate at one side of the building, next to a kitchen exit that was conveniently wedged shut. Laura was against the wall, looking tearful and trying to push herself into the brickwork until she disappeared.
And on the floor, of course, was the guy she’d left with. Apparently they’d leaned unwisely against those stacked crates of produce, and one of them had fallen and crushed his skull. He had been fairly average-looking without that massive dent in his forehead, to be honest.
‘So,’ Katie finally said, ‘what was his name?’
Laura managed to sniffle out ‘Bob’, after quite a gap.
‘You have no idea, do you?’
And then, horrified by her own shallowness, the accidental murderer burst into a fresh bout of quiet crying. Katie, not really sure what else to do, took a longer glance at the body. No wedding ring, at least, and his flies were still done up.
But she was still sobbing, which wasn’t really productive. With a sigh, Katie tried to be an adult.
‘Look, this was an accident, right?’
Nod of sobbing head.
‘Right. So we call the police, they record it as “death by misdemeanour” or whatever, let’s all get on with it. What’s the problem?’
Obviously, Katie was hoping for Laura to guiltily admit that she was right, it had been foolish to get upset and everything would be okay. There was no sign of that. Instead, the crying continued. The man, who they may as well call Bob, was still dead on the floor.
‘Look, for fuck’s sake,’ she tried not to sound too annoyed, ‘can we get away from this body? He’s dead! You can’t cry him back to life!’
‘You’re horrible.’ Laura glared at her, before looking down at Bob and bursting anew.
Katie was being a little harsh, but come on. This was unsettling and, more to the point, the longer they hung around the corpse without telling anyone, the more suspicious it became. After all, that deposit cash was still on her, and they’d probably think she’d stolen it from the body.
‘Yes, yes, I know, but this just makes it look like we killed him. And you’ve already said you didn’t. Unless you were lying.’
For a moment, Katie was worried the crying would redouble, but instead Laura was finally calmed by the veiled accusation of murder. Katie made a note to use this trick in future arguments.
‘No,’ she began slowly, ‘I didn’t kill him. Otherwise I’d have taken his wallet.’
She gestured down at his crotch, and aside from whatever may have been lurking in his pants, there was definitely a wallet-shaped bulge in there, as well as a mobile phone.
‘Hmm.’ Katie stared. ‘We could probably work out who he is if we got the wallet.’
Laura was still sniffling a little, so with a sigh, Katie knelt down to do it herself. She had gotten as far as thrusting her hand inside his pocket, trying not to touch anything undesirable, when she noticed a small flurry of activity above her head.
She suddenly realised that Laura had reached over and given the stacked crates above her a good shove. Unfortunately, much like “Bob” before her, she didn’t notice in time. A couple of heavy wooden boxes falling from a decent height can do you a mischief, regardless of rotting vegetable content.
As a red mist floated over her vision, Katie made out Laura pulling the deposit money from her bag, before slipping out of the gate without a backward glance. And whoever found them would think she’d slipped out for a fumble with Bob and they’d both been killed in this hideous lettuce accident.
Damn, she thought. It had been a trap.Copyright me, albeit slightly inebriated me. Steal at your peril, you may have lettuce dropped on you. Email me by clicking here if you like.