Friday, 4 November 2011

Off the Rails - Day four

Day four 730 words. Yeah I'm now about 2,000 behind. After the weekend I'll be about 4,000 behind. I'll keep plodding on though. It's weird the way this is working, the plot's building in my head all the time. I now know roughly what's going to happen and what the subplots are. Again, no apologies made for typos, bad grammar, or for run on sentences. The whole idea of NaNoWriMo is to write as much as possible. Editing comes later.

Day Four

The clock read two am as Rich pulled into the driveway. Bill had been quiet on the drive back. Not that he was ever that talkative, but Rich thought he was definitely quieter than normal. Rich wondered if the usual nature of Jimmy’s near death was to blame. Mouth open, Bill had no doubt been pondering just what it meant. Whether it was a one off, or a new phase to the world of beatings.

Locking the Range Rover, he unlocked the front door. Of course the house wasn’t his. It went came with the job. Three bedroomed houses on the outskirts of Canterbury aren’t cheap. Rich knew a chauffeur could only dream of such a place. Inherited money, that was the story. That’s what Wendy and his neighbours had been told.

Wendy was asleep on the sofa. Legs curled under herself with her head lying on her right shoulder. Freshly showered, blown dried hair and he imagined, some flimsy nightie underneath her thick dressing gown. He stood still, listening to the soft sound of her breathing.

She deserved better than him. He knew it. He thought she knew it too. His mum, and Huey Lewis, would have said love’s a strange thing. Now stuck with that annoying song in his head, Rich turned off the TV – some nighttime quiz program, and put his hand on Wendy’s shoulder.

“Come on, you’ll get a stiff back sleeping down here.”

Her eyes opened. Dewy, pale and confused. She moved her neck at winced at the pain.

“Whassa time.” Her mouth seemed half a minute slower than her brain.

“Two. Come on, up to bed.”

Placing one arm under her legs, he lifted her, supporting her back with his other hand. The first time he’d carried her she’d protested. “You’ll break your back. Or my neck,” she’d said. Now, she just let him. By the time he reached the top of the stairs she was asleep again.

Tucking her under the duvet, he made for the en-suite and brushed his teeth. The boss was still bugging him. What did he want tomorrow? Why didn’t he want Bill there. Of all the options spinning round his head, the obvious, Bill’s done something that needs punishing was right at the top.

He shook his head while looking in the mirror. What could Bill have done wrong? He did have the brains to be on the make. No, it wasn’t Bill.

He spat out toothpaste and rinsed his mouth. Rich knew if it wasn’t Bill, the next obvious candidate was himself. The boss had always treated him right and he’d never let him down in return. Rumours could kill a man in this game, but everyone knew he was loyal.
Returning to the bedroom, he turned off the light and got in bed. With Wendy breathing gently beside him, he stared at the ceiling. This was going to be a long night. The longest for years.

Muesli for breakfast was Wendy’s doing. He wondered if that was what the Boss wanted to see him about. If word got out he was eating rabbit food he’d be a laughing stock. Worse thing of all was, he actually liked it.

“Sorry I was so late.”

She stopped wiping the draining board down and turned around. Hair immaculate and her lips just forming a smile. “It’s okay.” Her lips completed the journey into a smile. “It goes with your job, doesn’t it.”

He nodded and shovelled another spoonful of raisiny bits into his mouth. “Maybe I’ll get a few days off soon. Perhaps we could go away somewhere?”

She nodded and wiped a coffee drip off the sideboard. “Yeah. That’d be good. Anywhere in mind?”

“Weekend in the country somewhere. Hotel or cottage. Just a few days.”

“Long weekend?” she suggested.

“Yeah. I’ll ask the boss today.” He stirred the muesli round the bowl. He’d suddenly gone off breakfast. If things went badly they could go on a very long break, not just a weekend. Either that, or his break would be spent in hospital.

“You okay?”

“Yeah.” Rich nodded. “Bit tired, didn’t sleep well.”

Wendy put down her cloth, walked over and bent down towards his face. Kissing him, she said, “I hope he appreciates all these hours you do.”

Rich just nodded as he put his hands round her shoulders. He too really hoped he was appreciated.

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