The lid of the jar refused to budge!
No matter what she did, it refused to unscrew!
In desperation, she went to the knife draw, and like some screaming banshee, possessed by Candy, channeling her dead lover Jack, she stabbed and stabbed and stabbed that lid shouting the name of her enemies, until with a pop, it yielded….
She took out one, two, three and more, little green baby pickled cucumbers, and with the zeal, calm and focused now, she slowly sliced away… gherkins, she realised as she laid them out before her, look very much like fingers before they’re sliced.
She then sat down, with much relish, to feed her hunger… the day, had begun well, she mused, as she watched the ravens, crows and magpies from her window, as they feasted upon the hearts of her enemies laid out on the green for all to see…


It seemed like only yesterday, that day in the school hall, when the Sisters had presented her with that little silver and gold badge with her name and the year carved into. Just like the pain engraved on her heart She had looked at it then, as a girl, as she looked at the murder before her now, as a grown woman, with calm disassociation.

The Sisters had bought her silence with that gift. But the Father hadn’t.


The Sisters had allowed him to do it. To her. To the other girls. Time and time again.

They had deserved a decent burial. So she had wrapped their limbs in brown paper, jointed expertly and tied up with string, tied in butchers knots.

She knew the Father, was fond, very fond of good roast pork.

He would never know who sent him such wonderful hampers at Christmas, full of the most wonderful joints.

She thanked God, she had a big freezer in the Vicarage.


The knock came as she finished her meal. She knew it would. But the timing was, she had to admit. Perfect.

The officer standing there was so young. You know what they say about policemen and teachers getting younger… he was about the age when she had come to work for the Father here. About the same time as the first Sister went missing.

He would not have been born then.


Had she seen Father McNamara? He’d been reported missing. He was such a nice young man for a Copper . She already felt sorry for him.

In he came. She offered tea. She was famous for her tea. Loose tea leaves. None of this tea bag nonsense, she told him with a knowing look. Would he like a sandwich? Fresh brawn, sliced thinly on home made brown bread, with mustard and thinly sliced gherkins?

Wisely, she said no… but thank you.

When had she last seen the missing man. How long had she been his housekeeper? Was it usual for him to go off alone, without telling anyone?


He didn’t know what to do when it started; her convulsions… by then, she was out of her body, looking down on herself in her death throes – viewing the chaotic scene as calm and as detached as she had always view life it’s self.

He ran to the hall, to the Vicarage phone, to dial 999, in a panic. But her emotions had evaporated with her body, as she watched.

She was dying, choking horribly. He didn’t know what to do. They’d not trained him in death.

By the time the ambulance’s loud bell came ringing down the drive. That lovely young policeman had been marred for life. Witnessing a sudden death would dramatise anyone. But from aconite poisoning… The Sisters and Father McNamara had always admired the beauty of those blue flowers.

They’d find the freezer later.


©Cymraes January 7th 2017


First published on my Facebook profile here


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