Short Story – Murky Waters
The pelting rain beat upon the corrugated metal of the garage roof like a percussion orchestra of cymbals and drums without the guidance of a conductor, as the four-by-four chugged to a halt on the gravel driveway. Brain killed the lights and ran briskly for the door and sanctuary, shirking off his waxen Mac in the hallway and kicking off his mud logged boots.
It was one of the disadvantages of living so close to the open seas that storm squalls and charged winds, tormentors of brittle boats and seafaring souls, would break and batter upon the sudden land mass in their path.
The house was cold and empty, a forgotten open window admitting entry to the howling winds, shrieking like banshees through the halls and darkened rooms. A small, incongruous sound, barely heard, averts his gaze to a pale, slight figure shivering and crumpled on the bottom stair.
He flicks the light switch but only receives a crackling buzz of protest without illumination.
“Don’t!” The huddled apparition barks in anger.
Brain stops abruptly like a wildlife photographer afraid to spook a wild animal from its rest. He takes in the weak form, rocking in spasms, naked arms hugging her knees and wet, bedraggled, dark hair hiding her features and dripping cool droplets onto a thin vest top and shorts.
“Is it done?” The wretched apparition doesn’t raise her head.
“Yes. He belongs to Davey Jones now.”
He fumbles in the dark for a coat hanging by the door, “You’re freezing, Carol! Here put this on.”
Carol shrinks away from his touch and runs up the staircase disappearing into night.
It had been a miserable morning when he had left for work, the kind where all sane souls, were huddled around a roaring fire with loved ones. The electrics finally failed just after lunch although they had been threatening and flickering all day.
He was in a dark mood when he fought with the wind to open his front door but was looking forward to being trapped for the night and wadded upstairs to change his sodden clothes.
The sight that greeted him sucked the air from his lungs and boiled the blood in his veins. Flashes of hot, flushed flesh and disembodied limbs, writhing beneath a crumpled duvet and the unmistakable sounds only ever heard when two lovers caress, assailed his senses and sense and feeling ceased for his own survival.
In a haze of adrenalin and instinct, he lunged at a distinctly male foot and dragged it and it’s attachments off the end of the bed. A woman’s voice screamed in shock or guilt as the naked of the two men struggled to his feet. They say that in moments of extreme emotion the body can possess almost supernatural awareness and strength. Blow after blow was exchanged amidst garbled pleas of, “let me explain” and “you should never have found out this way” and “I’m sorrys” which invoked any number of profanities and shouts of, “she’s my wife…under my own roof, in my bed”.
The smack of skin against skin, primeval and almost sexual in its echoes ceased with the litany of abuse as a head crashed against a solid oak dresser.
Hours later as Brain sat with a bottle of Irish Whiskey in a shadowy, black corner of the living room he prayed a silent apology and hope that her husband would now find peace in his watery tomb.