• PJ Sherman

The End of the Road (Part 2)

Dear Readers,


Thank you for coming back! I've enjoyed the feedback you've given and will certainly use it to write even stronger short stories. Here is the final part of my short story titled, The End of the Road.


If you missed Part 1, you can find it here --> PART I READ IT BEFORE YOU GO ON!!


THE END OF THE ROAD (PART TWO):


My phone buzzes again. It’s Dad. I stop.

“Mum’s been rushed to hospital. I’ll call if it’s something serious.”


“Everything okay?” The old man stares at me, whilst looking at the Officer every now and then. He seems in a rush.


“My Mum has cancer...” There’s an awkward silence as the Old Man rubs his hands together. I shake my head, “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I told you that. It’s none of your concern.” He nods, deep in thought.


“You should go to her. My wife had cancer. She’s gone now.” His face is emotionless as he stares blankly into space. I reach out and grab his hand and hold it tightly, smiling at him warmly, “I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll go and see Mum after.” We share a moment, blissfully staring into space, lost in our thoughts.


“Anyway!” I exclaim, snapping us both out of our day dreams, “Let’s get this interview done. Actually, you didn’t tell me your name?”


“No, I didn’t.” He casually ignores the question and continues walking towards the allotment. I crinkle my nose in amusement and continue following him. I appreciate the man’s candour.


“Excuse me?” I hear a stern voice and look back. It’s the Officer. He waves at me to come over. I mirror his rude waving with my own gesture, dismissing his beckoning. “Miss, you shouldn’t...” His voice fades away as I increase my pace to catch up with the Old Man, who steams ahead of me, defying his advancing years.


As we approach the allotment, I feel the faintest of rain drops hit my face. “Oh bugger!” I exclaim. The Old Man looks up, nonchalantly and shrugs. “It’s only light.” I nod, forcing a smile. I remove my notepad and unscrew my pen. I always carry the black, fountain. Anything else just screams amateur. As we’re about to start, I almost forget the tape recorder. “Can I record this?” He nods his approval.


“So let’s start with the basics, what’s your name?”


“We’ll get to that. Next question.” I get the sense he’s telling me off. I pull my coat tighter. The wind is picking up.


“Okay, so how do you know the deceased? What’s your relationship?”


“We live on the same street. Mrs Williams was an absolute busy body - nobody liked her.” I look at him. The kind features look a little harsher now and his eyes, they don’t twinkle so much. I push that to the back of my mind, I need to remain professional. This could be my big scoop. The rain starts to come down more heavily. I notice the Police Officer from earlier walking up towards us. The Old Man taps my arm and points to a shed, “Come on, let’s get out of the rain.”


The Old Man slams the shed door behind me and walks over to a table in the corner. There’s an old gas lamp and camp stove, which he turns on. “Tea?” I nod. He gestures to an old chair in the corner, “Please sit.” I brush off the cobwebs and take a seat, adjusting myself a few times to make the hard wood a little more bearable. I place the recorder on the window sill that overlooks the allotment. The rain trickles down the glass. There’s this musty smell I can’t quite make out. I look at the Old Man as he busies himself with the stove.


“Does that Police Officer know you?” The Old Man shakes his head, “No. Must want a statement.” His attention is divided between rifling through a drawer and staring out of the window.


“Are you looking for something or expecting someone?” He ignores me and continues the strange behaviour. He pulls something out of the drawer, but I can’t see what it is. He walks over to the door and bolts it. I jump out of my seat.


“What are you doing!? Open the door now!” He turns around to face me. He’s holding an old hand gun, the barrel staring me down. He cocks it and gestures to the seat. “Sit down please. I have to confess. Tell the truth. You can help me with that.” I sit and reach for the recorder.


“Leave it on,” he commands.


“I didn’t mean to kill her. It just happened. She wouldn’t stop nagging. Thirty years of nagging...” The Old Man stands deathly still, staring through me as if talking to someone else. “You understand right? You know who I am now?”


I hadn’t the foggiest, so return his stare blankly. He looks really angry now. “You kids with your degrees. Still dumb. My name is Geraint...Geraint Williams.” My mouth drops in amazement. This cannot be happening and I’ve got myself locked in a room with him.


“She was my wife, but she was also a right bitch. No one liked her. I was forced to marry her. I got her pregnant at fifteen and that was it in those days. My life was over. I’ve had to live with her and her constant moaning ever since. Then I find out she’s been seeing the gardener. Forty two years of age. How could I compete!? I just snapped.” He rambles on, but that last sentence really annoys me.


“So she didn’t have cancer?” It was more of a rhetorical question as I stare at him, not believing the lies this man is capable of. “Why would you lie about that, you sick...” He points the gun at me, “Shut your mouth. I am sick, you're right. I don’t know what’s going on up here anymore,” he signals to his head, “They’re running around up there, eating away...”

I hold out my hands, nodding my head. I have to try and make him believe I understand how he’s feeling. All I want to do is get away from this psycho. I slowly get out of my seat and walk towards him.


“It’s going to be okay. I can help you.”


“Sit down!” He screams at me, taking a step forward. I shield my face and obey his command. If I’m to get out of this alive, I need to stay calm. There’s a bang at the door and a familiar voice bellows,


“Open up Mr Williams. Leave the lady alone.” Relief fills my every pore. After meeting the Officer, I never thought I’d end up glad to see him again. His voice causes the Old Man to start trembling. He turns to face me, takes three steps forward and reaches out to grab my hand. I scream, causing the Officer to continue hammering on the door.


The Old Man looks me in the eye and lifts the gun to his temple, “I’m sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen.”


I try to stop him, but he curls his finger and it’s all over.


A bang and his body slumps to the ground. I sit there for what feels like eternity as the hammering is drowned out by the overbearing sound of silence and my own thoughts.

I stir slightly as the door crashes open and the Officer rushes in. He checks I’m okay before inspecting the Old Man’s body. My phone buzzes. It’s a call. I take it out of my pocket and stare at the screen blankly.


It’s Dad.


My day is about to get even worse.

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©2020 by PJ Sherman