Three’s a crowd (fiction story)

THREE’S A CROWD. (Suspense story)

It took maybe a couple of minutes to regain my thoughts. The hysterics had not helped. It was now time for rational thinking. The wide adhesive tape across my mouth gives off a pungent smell, mixed with what I guess is fresh blood and mucus from my battered nose. The shock of a man hitting a woman so violently has triggered off the shakes in my body. The ripping of my blouse as he manhandled me up the stairs gave credence to the severity of the attack. I take stock of the situation, sensing that I am now alone in the bedroom. The nauseous tape is around my ankles and hands, firmly holding me in the dressing table chair. The blackness is down to the heavy binding of more tape across my eyes. It presses into my sockets causing that sensation you get when you rub your eyes firmly with a hand after waking. The translucent colours form a background against swirls that remind me of bacteria under a microscope. My senses gain a foothold as the pumping of adrenalin, which had overdosed my body, subsides. I am aware of the wetness of my underwear. The staining of the woven fabric on the Chippendale chair takes precedence for a moment, but is quickly dismissed as I curse myself for prioritising that situation. Gerald, he is my main concern now as I gather the pictures in my mind of the evening’s events. The casual talk over cheese and biscuits as we tried to thrash out our domestic problems seems light years away. Alone in our country house retreat we discussed the past year and the inevitable outcome of our twenty year old floundering marriage. Then we heard the screaming shouts, reminiscent of some wailing banshee, which shattered the calmness of our conversation. He appeared from the hallway with one of those grotesque Halloween masks across his face, but the focal point turned to the gun in his hand. All the time I watched the gun, mortified, as he mumbled through the mouthpiece of the gargoyles latex features. Gerald said something as he rose from the table. The intruder swiftly brought the firearm down across my husband’s head. Then the eyeholes, black sunken orbits intent only on destruction, fixed rigidly on mine. The fist struck forcibly against my face. I calm myself further, imprisoned on my chair, as those thoughts begin to chill me. My breathing is uneasy. I can’t take deep breaths. The passageways in my nose are becoming blocked. Un-lady like sweat forms somewhere across my brow as I wrestle with the damned tape. I force myself to try and free the globules in my nose by pressing air downwards and then flinging my head from side to side in order to free the blood and snot. There! In my mind I have called it snot, but these are no times for ladies etiquette. The breathing becomes easier as I manage to discharge the stuff and then sniff chunks of it upwards. Voices, I can now hear voices downstairs. Gerald must have recovered. My head screams out ‘give him the cash, anything he wants…please.’

Then I calm myself again. Pieces of the jigsaw come together. Gerald is a bank manager. That’s what this is all about. We’re hostages. Voices again. I can hear the words from Gerald, something about a time lock on the banks safe. God! I inwardly despair. Tell him you can override it. The voices stop or go quieter. My mind wanders and then wayward thoughts gain control of me as I think of fragmented conversations before the upheaval. Back to years ago when we had decided (amicably) that if we ever split up, I would have this house and Gerald would have our savings. Such has been this last year that Gerald’s little pile has gone down the tube with his irrational stock gambling. I come back to the real world. Go to the bank Gerald, take the intruder, do what he wants…and help yourself to a bag of the stuff. If it were possible I would laugh at my thoughts. Maybe this is shock setting in. I try and make some more sense of things, and then another thought comes up. Why didn’t our alarm system go off? How did this chap get into the house? Did I leave the door open after watering the potted plants in the vestibule? Surely not? Voices again. One raised, one calm. I can’t really make out which ones is Gerald’s. I feel dripping onto my knees. Blood, I think, from my nose. Maybe I’m loosing more than I should. This would explain the illogical thoughts I’m now having. Am I about to pass out? The faintness comes and then passes as I rock my head in a circular motion. My mouth becomes free from the tape as I do it again allowing me to gulp in precious air. Then movement and thoughts stop abruptly. A gunshot erupts and echoes ominously around the house. More questions compound my mixed up mind. Delirium makes nonsensical mischief of my plight. Is this some kind of wicked plot from a destitute husband? Does he rob the bank with an aide from the nether world, or maybe he has me killed off in a bungled house robbery, thus getting my share of the house? Or maybe…more blood splatters onto my legs. I’m fully conscious again because now I can hear movement. The footsteps tread purposely up the stairs. The door opens and I weakly implore ‘Is that you Gerald?’ My head turns so that my ears are homed into the space between us, waiting for the relief of sanctuary. The silence stays for a moment and then stays for an eternity. Salvation or murder? Relief only comes with the involuntarily soiling of the Chippendale once more. ***


About rossi2001

Entertainer/Musician/Freelance writer(published). My aim is to display my own short stories,articles etc,(some published, others on hold) a
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