THE LONG GOODBYE
Approaching eventide, was lazily nudging the last shadows of twilight, into the soft velvet cloak of night. The gathering gloom was accompanied by an increasing breeze that in the main often heralded the end to a perfect and tranquil summer’s day. This somewhat idyllic setting, aglow with peace and tranquillity; discovers the author of numerous popular fictional mystery novels, Henry Ellingham, in a pensive but in a somewhat unhappy mood. He was at the time ensconced comfortably under the luxuriant canopy of an ancient oak, that dominated a grassy knoll overlooking the valley below; offering an excellent view of the verdant tapestry of the valley itself .
In the fading light this panorama was slowly diminishing as the invasive and probing fingers of dusk heralded the night, while dotted all about were the lights of the colourful rural cottages that were scattered on the opposing slopes slowly came to life, as they became engulfed in the approaching gloom. The air itself was heavy with the aromatic fragrance of cooling earth that had been warmed in the midday sun. The scent of new mown hay that drifted provocatively on the light breeze, teasing and caressing the senses of our Henry helping him to create the personal thoughts and visions of which most writers find useful in the compiling of compositions and complex plots. Why can’t life always remain calm and serene as this? mused Henry enchanted by his pastoral surroundings that seemed to encapsulate Henry's thoughts in that very moment of time itself.
Remaining seated in an almost trance like state, having no conception how long he had been under such an imaginary spell. Quite suddenly his mind cleared allowing black thoughts to begin to invade his thinking. Henry had been considering seriously for some time now, on how he could dispense or dispose of his nagging wife totally, finally, and completely. She, on the other hand would not agree to a divorce, so his dark thoughts gradually gravitated to her eventual final demise, but how? was the question he asked himself. There was the major problem of disposal of the body would prove the most difficult and her sudden death would also arouse immediate suspicion in the village. The obvious answer he mused, was her demise must be achieved in such a way that it could never be suspected or more importantly not detectable in a post mortem. These then were the problems that had to be carefully thought out and faced later after he had formulated the method of disposal.
Of late she had become an even more impossible nag and constrained his freedom of movement so much so he felt like a prisoner, like for instance, going for his evening tipple at the Ring of Bells the local hostelry, his playing golf was her particular pet hate it seemed; the more he reflected and pondered he grew resolute that once and for all he must rid himself permanently of this irksome garrulous burden. He began to consider of the myriad ways it could be accomplished, methods of dispatch passed slowly and carefully through his mind. He began to consider the list of poisons but determined that all the well known poisons all would be detectable in a post mortem. Accidents were risky and had to be carefully planned and set up to appear as accidents.
At last rising from his now darkened retreat he began to make his way down to the rough pathway that led to the village green and the haven of the Ring of Bells. There he would find the warmth of friendship and the opportunity to chat to his neighbours and friends. Standing at the bar lustfully ogling the well endowed barmaid with the low cut blouse thus letting his imagination run riot, he then proceeded to order a pint of his favourite tipple. Standing now with his back to the bar sipping his pint, he was soon joined by his closest friend and golf partner Dr Stewart Alexander the local doctor and a down to earth Scot.
“Why is my favourite author looking so intense and pensive and with a face like a smacked bum?” he asked with a grin. Henry replied that he was mentally piecing together clues and characters for a new murder mystery plot and was trying to engineer a way to kill a person without the modes operandi being evident or reveal able in a post mortem.
Dr. Stewart feeling pleased that his friend was asking him for a professional opinion, ushering Henry towards an unoccupied booth where they could continue their conversation in private, the two men sat sipping their drinks and discarding several ineffectual ideas. Stewart went quiet and pensive for a few moments when suddenly he exclaimed “SEX!!” as if it was his eureka moment. Henry looked at him in amazement and asked him to repeat it “S.E.X.” he spelled out and went on to explain. “”Henry my friend a foolproof plan to kill especially a woman is to give her so much sex that at the end of six weeks all of her hormones will be shrivelled up, she would just collapse and fade and die, and I might add this dear friend that foul play could not be detected in a PM.” “however Henry,” he continued “The killer must be prepared to give the proposed victim sex morning, noon and night some times on numerous occasions and opportunities at weekends, in two weeks she will be walking like John Wayne and by then Henry your murderer is half way home.”
Henry responded “Are you sure it works Stewart?” “Proven fact “stated the doctor.
Henry sat mulling over the discussion he had with the doctor and the sagacious advice it contained. Henry convinced himself and after much thought finally said to himself “I’ll do it and I will be free in six weeks”. So with quickening steps off he went home anxious to commence to slowly and passionately kill the bane of his life.
Eventually the first week passed and there were certain gradual changes in the wife’s usual sour demeanour. It was very soon noted by the ladies of the village , that Madam Ellingham appeared to have a far away look in her eyes and a matching permanent “Mona Lisa” smile as she moved about the village. However, after two weeks of Henry’s ardent attentions, it was noted that his wife was at this stage positively blooming. Alas poor Henry on the other hand was beginning to look quite haggard and drawn. Well now gentles all, he decided that he should commence a high protein diet and after some rare steaks, energy pills and Ginseng by the pitiful he soon recovered his strength and with continued lust and determination carried on his with murderous plan and continued popping the little blue pills. His wife he found could not do enough for him she became his sex slave but he was resolute in causing her future demise.
As he entered his third week of his ingenious plan, Henry began to tremble and uncontrollably shake a lot, and could hardly drink a cup of tea without spilling it, he felt as if he had a hole in his lip. Having read and practiced the Kama Sutra cover to cover during the past three weeks he was now looking for methods to intensify his devilish plan. His wife meanwhile had become accustomed to his regular ardent attentions was beginning to aggressively demand more and more excitement and variety. Henry renewed his resolve to kill the now sex crazed bitch and her now insatiable sexual appetite.
Sometime during the week following Dr Alexander happened to stroll leisurely across the village green, espied Henry sitting on a bench looking very wan with a rug over his knees and was all of a palsy shaking from head to foot. “Your looking a bit under the weather Henry I hope you have not caught this swine flu” exclaimed Stewart. "Why not visit me at my surgery tomorrow morning" he added “By the bye how is your lovely wife how is she these days?” he enquired with a twinkle in his eye. Henry painfully looked up at the good doctor and with a wan sly smile on his now wizened and wrinkled face slowly replied “I’m pleased you ask me that Stewart” he said in a hoarse whisper, “Take a look at my Darling wife over there leaping and cavorting about and kicking her legs and showing her knickers to the world, take a look at her playing tennis over there, little does she know she only has two more weeks to live then I can kiss her goodbye and hello freedom”.