A former model contemplates her husband's body while awaiting the police (Fragment, WIP)
The marble fireplace. Too white too perfect to ever be used. Not that a house this size couldn't have done with more warmth. There was heat yes but seldom had there been warmth.
Standing on the mantle she saw that picture of her and Edward, taken at his graduation. Dear Edward. She picked it up and held it, stared at it as if she had never seen him before and in a sense she supposed she hadn't. Everything would be different now. She took in his ridiculously blue eyes, his strong jaw and his nice hair. He used to have such nice hair. Before he turned teenage and began styling it. How long had it been? Five years? Ten?
Of course, he had faded in the meantime. Everyone does. The young especially.
She wondered where Edward was now. If only he would come more often but sons never do, do they? Not like girls. What is it they say? A daughter is her mothers for life, a son until he finds a wife. Something like that? Why didn't he come? Obvious. They had only ever argued. Two alpha males in the same jungle. A recipe for trouble.
She checked her reflection. No-one would know to look. She made a minor adjustment to her shortish blonde bob, dabbed a red speck away from her cheek and straightened her collar. Then into the mirror she did that smile. That famous smile. The one that had sold so much toothpaste. The agency man always called it his Mary Dexter smile when they were shooting. Come on darling give us another Mary Dexter. Never addressed her. Never used her name. Just the smile. Like the Cheshire cat she could just as well have vanished as long as the smile remained.
Without turning she surveyed the room in the mirror. She took in the details that were too hateful to acknowledge directly. Somehow it was easier in reflection. There was the body of the good doctor, the heart specialist with such a fervent interest in anatomy. The red stain continued to spread like a great rose on snow.
Blood is so hard to get out. And it a wool carpet. She remembered the fuss he'd made choosing it, dragging her round shop after shop and then, which was worse, dragging the swatches around in the back of the Bentley, which he never let her drive. Calling for from the terrace of the golf club, the yacht club, the tennis club, and other places where they serve gin at lunchtime without blinking. A game? Not this week old chap. Totally snowed under, you know how it is. Touch base with me next week why don't you?
Never touch anything. Wasn't that what M. Poirot always said? Or was that inspector Morse? Perhaps they all said it.
Well, M. Poirot's word was good enough for her. She tippy-tapped cautiously towards the kitchen, high heels ringing in the empty marble hall. Halfway there she thought, I could break my bloody neck like this. She kicked off the hateful shoes, the ones he'd always insisted on choosing when they went shopping, when he went shopping really, because he had the money and the opinions and what did she have? Merely a body to be furnished, like you furnish a house. She continued barefoot relishing the stone cold stone against her skin.
She came back with tea and biscuits on a silver tray. A whole packet. The luxury. Just think of it. A bit stale after being hidden in the back of a cupboard for months but what did it matter now? The faux Louis the something chair creaked.
She thought of the fat little girl who had always wanted to be a model. She rembered how people had said yes dear and smiled. But she had done it, hadn't she? She had lost the weight. She remembered the painful months of fasting. The saying no to chips. The turning of the head at the sweet counter and the excuse to leave made before the dessert came. And all that bloody lettuce. How she hated lettuce.
The chair was hard and she was about to move to an arm chair when the doorbell rang.