Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Sins of Abigail Flesh: Prologue on Sander's Street

The Sins of Abigail Flesh

Prologue on Sander's Road


It took place on the 12th of November. Two cars were strewn across the street, their crumpled bodies silent. I guess everyone else had been asleep. Part of me wishes I hadn’t been there to see it. I’d lived on that street for 47 years, my husband alongside me. We’d raised our kids there. They’d played in the park on the corner of Bolan Crescent; no doubt falling in love with someone at the high school before learning about life’s little cruelties. Sander’s Road was a special place; anywhere is when you make it your home.

I hadn’t slept for days, not well at least. Geoff and I had loved each other, he was my world and I was his. But that was all gone now, taken away by that torturous disease. On the 10th I patted what was left of his white hair resting on the hospital pillow, and kissed him on the head before he breathed his last. Our kids were there, grown now. My boy Sam even has a slight wisp of grey coming in at the sides. I guess life takes its toll on everyone, even the young.

There I was sitting in the front room of our empty house, trawling through old letters and photos at 2 in the morning. I’d cried every night since Geoff had been taken into hospital, by the time he actually up and left I couldn’t cry anymore. I was numb. I wanted to feel something: anything. The photos were reminders of times past, good and bad, and I was hoping they’d bring my grief back to me; not feeling anything seemed a betrayal. The only emotion that came was one I was ashamed of — relief is a terrible feeling when it’s for the passing of someone you love. But I got so tired, so weary. Not just for me, but for him.


“Don’t fight,” I had said. "Let it wash over you." But my husband was a fighter, had been all his life. When he was diagnosed he kept quoting something from a poem: “Do not go gentle into that good night”. I was never one for poems, but Geoff loved them. I didn’t truly understand what he had meant until I saw that look on his face just before he went. What’s the point in being here if you aren’t prepared to fight for it?

The first car must have swerved to avoid something, or the driver had lost control, either way, I just caught the collision as I looked up from an old photo album to the street-lights outside. The cars had been travelling much faster than they should have. The impact was so severe that it threw someone out of the passenger window of the second car. I heard a helpless cry coming from one of the drivers. She was screaming at something in the back as the wheels and smoke came to rest.

That shook me from the numbness, and so I ran outside onto the porch, but as I did I saw a man pull himself from the first car. It was on its side, the red paint scratched and crumpled across dented metal, and so the man had to drag himself up and out of the driver’s window before falling to the ground. He coughed up some blood as he staggered to his feet, his breathing coarse and obstructed perhaps by bone or haemorrhage. His long black hair was matted with blood from a wound in his head, and the only real feature I could make out was a short haggard beard, the rest obscured by viscous red.

I don’t know why, but something stopped me in my tracks. A bad feeling I guess. The poor woman’s screams kept gnawing at me, but I felt like I couldn’t move; like I was watching a film, detached from what took place.

The man hobbled over to the other car, dragging his left foot behind him in pain. He was carrying something, but I couldn’t see what it was. By that time some of my neighbours from across the street had come to their windows. One of them, a nice young guy by the name of Adler, shouted something, but I didn’t quite make it out. The injured driver then thrust a knife into the woman’s throat. I’ve never known a silence like it.

There's nothing like the pleading for life being quickly extinguished.

The silence was then pierced by a garbled sound from the back of the woman’s car. It was a baby, no doubt crying for its mother. We all watched, the neighbours on my side, the neighbours across the way, as the man climbed into the car and stabbed the infant repeatedly. No one did a thing to stop him.

He then nonchalantly waited on the road as the police sirens came, distant at first then louder, yet not loud enough to drown out what we had just witnessed. Car doors slammed shut. Commanding voices emanated into the night, telling the man to drop his knife. Someone shouted that he’d killed a child. I’m not sure who. I suppose it could have been me, but I was just watching everything from a distance. As the police slowly approached, the man placed the knife, blade up, on the boot of the car, and then thrust his eye down onto it.

Silence again.

The neighbours watched, as did I. We watched and did nothing as the police called for an ambulance, but there was no doubt all three were dead; baby, mother, and killer. Yes, we just watched, and Sander’s Road was never the same again.


Read Chapter One: Miss Freud - October 22nd

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