“I see it.” nodded Janet.
“She always made me walk along it. Never on the grass. Never take a shortcut. What idiot laid out a path like that for walking along anyway?”
Just then Banjo started barking again.
“He’s probably hungry poor thing.” said Janet “I’m going to fetch him and take him home. The police will just send him to kennels poor thing.”
She clambered down from the float before Keith could get round to help her down and disappeared round the side of the house.
At the rear Banjo greeted her with a flurry of barks.
“shush shush” she said as he bounced up at the gate. She fumbled the catch but eventually it clicked and the gate was unlocked. She looked at Banjo sternly.
Banjo tapped his rear on the floor then bounced up again in excitement. Janet repeated the order with a bit of an extra edge to her voice.
Banjo sat, then whined. Janet opened the gate slightly and edged round. Banjo kept looking like he wanted to bounce up again but a look from Janet and he sat again. She reached the lead down from its hook and clipped it onto his collar.
“Come on, you’re with me now”
She led Banjo to the corner of the house. Mrs Munroe was lying under a window near a tree in a white dress or nightie. Janet knew there wasn’t much time to study the area but then she remembered her phone. She dug it out of her bag and started taking photos.
Keith drank. The tea was hot, strong and sweet. Usually he hated sweet tea but this time it was comforting.
By the time he had finished Janet had got her coat and boots on and was adjusting a hat on her head.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“Along the road with you.” she replied, spearing the hat with a long hat pin.
“I can’t ask you to do that!” Keith cried “It’s cold and windy and …”
“And I won’t blow away. You’re a good man Keith but some times you need a good friend. You look out for me and now it’s my turn to look out for you.”
She turned round. “Now. Ready?”
“Uh yes. Ready.” he answered. Together they left the house and walked down to number 24. The police hadn’t yet arrived so Keith helped Janet climb into the front of his float then got in himself.
“Where is she? What happened?” asked Janet.
“In the garden at the side. Looks like someone bashed her over the head. She hadn’t left the empties out you see. She never liked to do things the wrong way. See that bloody stupid path?
Face facts I am extremely unlikely to finish. Since this was true on 1st November it’s not news. I don’t want the story to die on the 30th so I need a new goal and that goal is to finish before 1st May 2013.
That’s finish as in complete the story. I’m no longer going to worry about word count. That can wait until NaNo 2013!
“No, nothing like that. Mrs Munroe’s had an accident. She’s…” he faltered “…she’s she seems to be … ah…dead. I need to call the police.”
“Dead?” echoed Janet as she showed Keith when the phone was. “How? When?”
“Last night I’d say.” said Keith, dialling. He paused “Ah police please” He stood waiting to be connected and Janet just wanted to give him a big hug. “ah yesyes hello I’d like to report a death” he looked down to see Janet’s hand on his arm and she mimed drinking a drink. He nodded gratefully and she went off to make him some tea.
When she returned he was just finishing. “ok so I wait. Right. Bye.”
“They’re going to send someone over.” he announced.
“Well they would wouldn’t they? Don’t worry they’ll sort it all out.”
“I should get back to the float.”
“Not until you’ve drunk this” she said offering a mug of hot tea.
“Thanks.” he said gratefully. “but they said to wait outside the house.
“Drink.” said Janet firmly. “Tea first. Then you’ll be ready to meet the policemen.”
Finally, she thought, finally I can have my tea. She sat down and was just about to turn she television on when there was a knock at the door.
Janet paused. Not many people knocked on her door. But on the other hand she wasn’t expecting anyone in which case it probably wasn’t important. Usually it was Mormons and if she was in the mood she would argue with them but her tea was getting cold so instead she turned the Tele on.
The knocker knocked again more urgently. Then a shadow peered through the window. It was tricky to tell through the nets but he looked awfully like Keith. The figure went back to the door and shouted through the letter box.
“Janet! Can you hear me? It’s Keith! Can I use your phone?”
“Coming!” she shouted back. Then sighing she levered herself out of the chair and went to see what all the fuss was about.
“Keith!” she cried as she answered the door. “Whatever is wrong? Has the float broken down? Does your phone not work?”
Janet put her plate and mug on her special tray. She’d christened it the basket tray as it had a handle like a basket to allow one handed carrying as she needed the other for her stick. Then she took them through to the front room. She sat down in her chair near the window so she could see the street and anyone coming to call. Not that anyone did. The village was small and while not remote it wasn’t really on the way anywhere so strangers were quite a rarity. She reached for the television remote and fumbled it off the side table onto the floor. Her grabber was nowhere to be seen so she stood up to look for it.
After several minutes of turning round scrutinizing the room and likely hiding places she spotted it poking out from under the chair. She had another grabber in the kitchen so she went back through to collect it. Then she was able to pick up both the remote and the first grabber. She took the other one back to the kitchen as she knew it would annoy her if she didn’t put it away properly.
She went back to the milk, wiped it and put it in the fridge. There was a little left in yesterday’s bottle so she took that over to the kettle. She fetched a mug and went back to the sink to fill the kettle. The dog was barking again now. She fancied he sounded like he wanted to be let out. Probably needs a walk now he’s had his breakfast she thought.
She turned the kettle on and went into the pantry to fetch the biscuits. Elevensies was the second best time of day. A hot cup – or, as she now preferred for speed and convenience, mug – and a couple of biscuits.
The kettle was boiling so she poured the hot water into the mug then added a tea bag. She wasn’t one of those fussy tea drinkers. As long as tea, milk and boiling water got together tea would ensue. She chose a couple of biscuits to put on her plate and stuffed another in her mouth. Just before she finished replacing the lid on the tin she slipped another biscuit out. Crunching it she took the tin back to the pantry then fished the bag out of the mug