Another short crime story...
Like the 07:25 West Line train I went off the rails.
I didn’t realise but my life was on a steep slope onto jagged rocks and I wasn’t even trying to climb back up.
Now everything was a mangled wreck, and like the shattered train and the bodies inside, there was no way of putting it back together again.
Roxy and I had been married for almost seven years and I thought that things were great between us. She sure put on a good face whenever I was around her. She said that she loved me more than ever and I believed her. The first I knew of her infidelity was when I came home early from a business trip. I was going to surprise her, but instead it was me that got the surprise. It was only afternoon but the bedroom curtains were closed and my business partner, Robert Armstrong’s car was parked outside.
A brave man would have gone right inside and confronted the two of them. But I didn’t. I hid myself in the lonning across from the house and waited for two hours until Robert came out of the front door. He looked flushed and freshly showered, his ginger hair darker than usual. Roxy stood in the doorway and waved and she looked flushed and freshly showered too. She was wearing the silk negligee I bought her for our sixth wedding anniversary.
I gave it two more hours then went inside. Roxy kissed me and asked how the trip had gone. I told her I was tired and just wanted to go to bed. She came with me and we lay side by side. She tried to tuck in beside me but I moved away: I could smell his stink on her.
I didn’t sleep. I suspect that Roxy didn’t either but we didn’t speak about it.
Next day at work I saw Robert. I wanted to smash him in the face with something heavy. But I didn’t. Robert was a big guy and he’d have eaten me alive. Instead, I told him all about the business trip and how I’d won the contract we’d been after. He congratulated me. I asked him what he’d been busy with while I was away. Just a little project I’ve been looking at for a while, he said. You know me: I like my fingers in a few different pies.
Yeah, well that was my pie he was dipping into.
As the weeks passed, it seemed like Robert was wangling it so I made more and more trips into the capital. He had other things he wanted to get on with. And he trusted me to do the right thing. The bastard.
Each time I came home, I could smell him on the sheets and on my wife. I even checked the plughole in the shower and I know as sure as hell that I’m not red down there. The curly hair wasn’t Roxy’s either, for some reason she’d taken to shaving herself bare. It wasn’t a preference of mine. Robert was a fan, though.
On the eve of my seventh wedding anniversary I hit bottom. I came home and found Robert’s car in my drive this time. He was moving in, trying to take everything that belonged to me – even my frigging parking space.
Again I waited in the lonning across the way. Waited until he’d gone. He didn’t stay late because he had an early start the next morning. I knew because I’d made his travel arrangements. I booked him on the train because he liked a drink after business was concluded and couldn’t drive back.
I didn’t sleep again that night. Roxy slept like a baby, though. We got up early because we were going out to celebrate seven glorious years together. We took Roxy’s car but I drove. Roxy wasn’t capable, considering I’d crushed her face with an iron bar.
We arrived at the crossing at 07.25. The West Line train would be pulling out of the station a few miles away and picking up speed as it hurtled toward its final destination. It gave me just long enough to park Roxy’s car astride the line, and then manoeuvre her across into the driving position. I knocked the car out of gear, then revved the throttle so that the engine became flooded with fuel. I was clever, I made sure that the seat was far enough forward and that the mirror was tilted for Roxy, and that I cleaned my fingerprints from the steering wheel. I made sure that her prints were the last ones on the electric window button and on the door handles. Then I smacked her face hard against the steering wheel to make a good blood spatter on the windscreen.
I stood and watched until the 07.25 rocketed into view. The barriers dropped, but they were useless being either side of Roxy’s car. When the train hit, her car went to pieces and so did Roxy. All my precautions were probably for nothing, but I wasn’t about to take the chance some sharp-eyed CSI investigator would see through the tragedy. The train didn’t fare much better. It caromed off the rails, rolling against an embankment and splitting apart. The carriages concertinaed and some went airborne. The wreckage and the dead were strewn across the fields. No one was moving.
I was just about to turn away when my phone bleeped.
It was a voice mail message from Robert.
Meeting’s cancelled, he said, something more important has come up and I’ve had to stay home. Sorry about the inconvenience. I guess it’s too late to get a refund on the train tickets, huh? You know me: I’ve got my fingers in too many pies at once.