Contrary to the Metallica tune playing on some big shots DAB radio in the workshop Jack didn’t build houses, he fixed cars. Vans too, in fact if it had an engine Jack Draycott of Draycott’s Autos was your man. Or at least one of his four mechanics might be if the boss himself was already greased up and cursing under his breath. Bloody fool driver shagging the guts off this piece of engineering. Paid the bills though but he preferred proper breakdowns, wear and tear parts, restoration of old beasts that but for proper TLC would be down the scrap yard and crushed into a box of metal by years end.
Emmie Monks lived in a tenanted mid terrace two bedroom house with her son and a broken heart. One minute life flowed along without a care in the world and the next things changed. The love of her short life cycling to work, taking the healthy option and reducing a carbon footprint by ditching the car. Exercise, healthy eating, Sunday league football and on the career ladder to becoming a solicitor of some note. You don’t plan for long vehicles sliding past too fast, too close with a pothole in the cycling lane deep enough to jack knife the front wheel sending it’s former rider crashing into the rear of the truck. The road had been closed most of the day whilst the traffic police did their thing and the paramedics collected up what was left into a body bag. The inquest found the driver guilty of dangerous driving and the Local Council at fault for not repairing a known pothole that had been marked for just over two months.
For Emmie this process went on through a haze of nothing, an event going on at the end of a very long tunnel, someone else’s reality. Couldn’t be hers. She was married to John. They had a five year old called Callum and were on the property ladder. Life was good, better than good, immense in fact. How could it be anything to do with her? Except it was. One minute washing up after breakfast, the kiss goodbye as he got on his bike, getting ready for school and the next. A knock on the door from a policewoman and someone else. Some liaison officer responsible for victim support. Emmie remembered very little about the rest of that day, or the next few weeks thank you very much. The day she reemerged is where we join her tale.
“Hello Mrs Monks, good to see you again.”
“Thank you Dr Whitaker.” Always polite, a habit picked up from an all girls school.
“And how are we today?” He continued.
“Much better thank you. I have a part time job now as a receptionist in my sons school which solves childcare and stupid hours defined by holidays.”
“And you feel good with that? No benign guilt or emotions not quite sitting right?”
“As good as it can be given the circumstances. But life goes on. I don’t really have a choice in that do I?”
“That’s the spirit. Give it a few more weeks and we can start reducing your medication and get you back on an even keel. You’ll be back to yourself before too long. A shade sadder yes, but definitely on the mend. Am I right?”
You always are, you always are. She settled with “Hopefully yes” got up, thanked him and took her leave of the surgery.
Rain skewed sideways driven by a cold easterly wind. To Emmie it rained most days, or seemed to since the accident; murder. She could never call it an accident. A collusion of neglect; a road hole that should have been fixed, a lorry that should have been slower and overtaking much further away and a stupid husband for wanting to be fit. Well, maybe not the last one even if it was a stupid idea. The rest was just down to people. Murder.
She entered the local sorts store. Well, not really a sports store, more an outdoor pursuits one. Angling and shooting replaced fitness equipment and football shirts. As ever Charles Bernard Grainger, president of the Compton Gun Club, stood behind the counter.
“Good morning Ms Monks. The usual or are you back in full training now?”
Emmie smiled through a grimace. “Not quite but a box of sevens should let me get a few rounds in over the next week or so.”
“Good for you. The regionals are coming up soon and you’re probably the best shot amongst the ladies team for certain.”
The smile continued but she let the grimace go. She pulled out her debit card.
“Formalities, we must maintain formalities.”
“Of course” she replied handing over her firearms license. “See you up the club on Saturday.”
Ten minutes later she was sat in her car, still on meds, still wearing the public face but now carrying sufficient shotgun cartridges to do some damage. Not that she would but it did dance at the back of her mind along with a word. Murder.
© G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.