Chapter 7

Written by: Donna McTavish

They were Simon’s shoes. A sob died in my throat as I remembered my husband lying on the floor of the apartment. How had my life spun out of control so quickly? I allowed myself a moment of self pity but I knew what came next. The voice in my head was as hard as steel. How dare he put his life - our life - at risk. Simon, my forever man, now my dead man.

The shoes shifted and the door closed sharply. Viola tugged at my sleeve, we moved forward slowly until we were pressed against the cold metal. I could feel her shaking. From inside we heard a crash and a groan as something fell to the floor heavily.

“Get up you f*****. GET UP!”

Scraping of wood, muttered pleas and another drawn-out groan of pure pain. From a place beyond my fear, I recognised something familiar in the voice.

What was happening? There wasn’t time to think.

“We’d better get out of here,” Viola whispered and we scrambled out of the way.

Two men emerged from the box in a patch of yellow light. They were both wearing chequered shirts. One was wearing Simon’s shoes. “The Masons,” Viola hissed in my ear. They were dragging something between them, a fully clothed body with vomit down the front. With no shoes.

One of them swore loudly as the body slipped awkwardly and fell.

“This b******’s caused way too much trouble. We’ll deal with him properly at the bar. “I need a drink.” They were both breathing heavily.

Then there was an engine and headlamps and finally silence. “What the hell just happened?” I stammered but the words died as Viola shoved me towards the open door of the box.

A chair was on its side in a pool of blood spreading in thick dark streaks across the grey floor.  A knotted pile of ropes, a stained towel beside cigarette butts and burger wrappers and crushed beer cans. The contents of Simon’s pockets had been thrown about randomly, violently. In the corner, a man, his head tipped forward on his chest, a chequered shirt stained with gore. It was Viola’s Davey.

I could smell fear in that box, but not death, but Viola didn’t know that. She didn’t share my sense of smell or my febrile imagination and she’d never seen the iron ruthlessness that took me over when I was frightened. Viola was the risk taker but when she was frightened she was weak.

She staggered as she moved towards Davey. Maybe she really liked him, I thought, charitably, or maybe she’s just scared out of her stupid lying skin, less charitably. Whatever. I loved her but I’d run out of patience. She’d dragged me into this mess and now it was up to me to get out.

All I could think of was the groaning behind the metal door and Simon’s limp body being dragged away in the dark to the White Creek Motor Camp.