Thursday, January 19, 2012
Reluctantly Paige snapped on her Marigolds, and set to work.
Dead as he may be, Henry is still as stubornly difficult to manipulate, and it takes several struggling attempts to secure his arms tightly to his torso. At least the task of tethering his legs together spares her the odious ordeal of further gazing down upon the rim of his broken head.
Holding the sack-cloth up, she spreads and drapes it over his body. Wriggling around, she heaves and tugs at him 'til he finally flops, face down on the sacking. Breathless and sweating, she pulls the material together, securing it neatly with twine.
Standing up, she surveys her handiwork.
Never a very neat man in life, he sure makes an untidy bundle now. His fingers stick out on the left, and to her dismay, Paige sees that over the course of their wrestling, both the tips of his head and feet are now peeking out.
Making a double-bag of bin liners, she encases the head and shoulders, sealing it round and round with gaffer-tape. She then repeats the process at the other end, and steps back.
Unhappily, Henry still leaves no doubt to the casual observer that he certainly is indeed a corpse, but as she has neither the time nor the stomach for dismemberment, she decides he'll have to do.
Dragging a muscular, six foot four cadaver over to, and through an adjoining garage/kitchen door isn't a particularly easy task, especially when the person dragging it is a slightly built, five foot two, knackered female. She's so glad she resisted buying "non-slip", when they tiled the floor. Paige has to pause several times before she is able to slither and bump him down the two steps leading to the garage.
Too late, she freezes, realising she's neglected to first swing the overhead outer door closed.
Oh My God. What if the postie or a delivery guy had been coming down the drive? She scuttles over, clanging it shut.
Stepping over Henry, she re-enters the house, and exits out through to the back-yard. A warm breeze tickles her cheek, as she cuts through the camomile lawn down to the bottom shed, where the garden trolley lies. Wheeling it back indoors, she re-enters the garage.
Fixing the old dog-ramp to the edge of the boot, she lays the seats flat inside the estate car, estimating there to be ample room enough to store him, plus whatever other sorry debris she might need to include, in there.
Just one gruesome trip, and hopefully he'd be gone.
Turning, she hit the brakes on the cart, and begun the nigh impossible chore of loading Henry up. Whilst thrusting and straining to raise his torso, his head flops backwards to bump up against her fanny.
Quit it Henry, let's go.
She thrusts her hips forward and grunting, continues pulling, feeling the wetness seep through the sacking and ooze down and over her inner-thigh. Staggering, she pulls to lift him with every sinew she owns, heaving for all she's worth. With a low, heartfelt groan, Paige watches helplessly, as a section of bin liner catches and snags on the corner at the edge of the cart. She continues, unable to stop, watching as it slides open, exposing more and more of Henry's mottled face.
Oh for the love of God, Henry, she prays, will you just bloody-well stay put?
One more last heroic thrust, and to Paige's eternal gratitude to every God in the Universe, he finally half loads. Wiping the sweat from her eyes, she scuttles round to swing his legs up over the side and in.
Once back in the kitchen she grabs more liners and tape, returning again to resume the gruesome process of patching him up.
Inside the hatchback, she leans down to carefully guide and tug the laden trolley slowly up the ramp.
Almost half-way there, with a sickening thump, Henry's body tips off the trolley and falls back out.
Maybe she should just give herself up?
How long before rigor mortis? A thorny question, didn't she read somewhere it occurs about three hours after death? What if when she finally does get him in there, she finds him wedged stuck, stiff as a board, at the other end?
She doesn't want to do this, she really doesn't.
She's not a bad person.
It's all proving a bit too much.
The thought of yanking your dead husband out of the boot to dump him on the tip behind B&Q, in broad daylight no less, is surely enough to cause anyone palpitation, but the very real and possible prospect of actually arriving there only to find he's turned too rigid to actually decant, is far too scary to contemplate.
How long does she have? It's hardly like she can ring anyone up to check, is it?
She should leave.
No, bugger it, after all, she's come this far, hasn't she?
A new sense of urgency lends her the second wind to re-stuff Henry back in to the trolley, and in almost double-time, she has at last managed to negotiate him fully up the ramp and in to the boot.
Flooded with relief, she searches about by the corner wall, finding what she seeks beneath a twisted pile of old cane chairs. Sliding it out, the tarpaulin smells of mould and has sure seen better days, but at least it's still intact. Lugging it to the car, she spreads it over the lump that once was Henry, pinning it down with remnants of brick and aluminium left over from when the patio was built.
Sadly, the lump still resembles a body, just one covered over with tarpaulin, but she's not quite done yet. Running back to the house, she plucks a couple of blankets out of the spare room. They've seen frequent use over the past few months, and, rather fittingly, Paige decides she may as well gift them back to him.
Bundling them loosely over his frame, with a sigh of relief, she observes the cargo to be now well and truly camouflaged. At last.
Time to scoot.
FuckFuckFuckStupidIdiotMoronFuuuuuuuuuk! She's drenched in blood and probably looks worse than even Henry. Okay. Strip.
She peels her soggy clothing off, undies n'all, sliding them into a black bin-liner. With a pang of regret, she slides her favourite comfy sandals in with them, too. Remembering the mallet, she pads back to the kitchen, returning to gingerly place it in with the rest of the evidence.
Wearing nothing save Henry's blood, she double, then triple bags the entire bundle, and carries the sack back over to join her lately departed husband, slamming the boot behind it.
Minutes later, under a near scalding hot shower, breathing deeply of the steam, Paige soaps, the jets blasting her tingling flesh from red to pink, cleansing her body, if not her soul.