Writer, history researcher, biographer

Short fiction #4

Posted by Suze Appleton on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 Under: Short fiction
April 1st - Who's a fool?

Liz turned over in bed and groaned. Dangling in front of her face was a severed head that looked like her boyfriend Damien. She turned back and buried her face in the pillow, determined to stay there until one o'clock at least. Every April first had been the same since she had moved in with him. Three years on and he still didn't get that she didn't find his jokes funny. Of course, it wasn't the only thing he didn't get about Liz.
She sighed as her thoughts returned to Jack. He had been perfect and they had been perfect together. Why had it all been taken away from her? Who had decreed that Liz Jolly was not to have a good relationship? At what point in her life had she offended some god who determined that she was not good enough for true love? Jack had been everything she had ever dreamed of, charming, clever, witty and her soulmate in every way.  
Damien had been so kind to her after the crash that she had begun to rely on him more and more, until it had just seemed the natural progression to move with him. Strange how they had met several times before the crash but she had never noticed him. Still, next to Jack she wouldn't have noticed Prince William either, she was sure. But considering Damien had tried so hard to please her initially, it crossed her mind that lately he seemed less and less interested in what she wanted and more determined that she should like what he liked.
Liz thought back to the latest shopping trip when she had come home with a nineteen fifties style dress, something she had never bought before but which Damien had persuaded her all the girls in his office were wearing. To work? She doubted that, but she had taken a chance. Deep down she knew she would never be comfortable wearing it, or the twinset that he had bought her to go with it. A tear escaped onto the pillow as she realised how lost she felt, a ship adrift without her anchor.  
Why had kind, brave Jack thrown himself across her at that last moment? Those final seconds as she realised he was dying, blood leaking from the gash in his neck, would forever replay in her mind.  Why hadn't she been killed in the accident? It would have been kinder, she felt. It was impossible to go on. One more day without Jack was one too many. She slid out of the covers and moved, zombie-like, into the adjoining bathroom. Reaching into the bathroom cabinet she took out the small tub and turned on the cold tap. She ran the now cold water into her beaker and wandered back to sit on her side of the bed, facing the stupid severed head looking glassily back at her.
She popped the top off the beaker and tipped its contents out over the covers. Damn! There weren't many in there, not enough to have the right result  Not enough to be sure. She frowned at the head as her brain ticked over. Following the line of the rope up to the ceiling she came up with another idea. She threw off the covers, making the pills scatter all over the floor.
Opening the wardrobe door she pulled out the new dress and the twinset and laid them on the bed. April Fool eh, she thought as she savagely stuffed the pillow inside the dress and hung the twinset over it before attaching it to the severed head. I'll give you a fool you'll remember, she thought. She pulled the moustache off the face and put her old blonde wig over the top. It wasn't quite her colour but never mind, it was the one Damien had kept urging her to change to so it may just fool him. Adding a few touches with the help of her make up bag she quickly had enough to suggest a female to someone who wasn't expecting it. As she hitched the rope up higher so that the full effect could be seen from the bedroom door she realised she was grinning happily. Maybe there was something to this April Fooling, she conceded. Moving round the bedroom as quietly as she could she put on her jeans and tee shirt and threw a few essentials into a bag. From the hallway rose the smell of burning bacon, Damien's hallmark of the weekend.
Laughing as she threw open the bedroom window, she thought of how much she hated burnt bacon and how he had never mastered the fine line between crispy and burnt. That was typical of Damien she thought as she shimmied down the drainpipe, no finesse in anything, always transparent in his heavy handedness. As she walked, no ran, up the street she heard Damien's strangled scream echo behind her. Thank goodness that she had not renewed her prescription that week, she thought smiling, or she may never have realised that it wasn't going on without Jack that was so hard, it was going on with Damien that had been the main problem.

In : Short fiction 

Tags: "april fool" joke accident 

Welcome to my page of stories. It will be a mix of short stories and serial chapters of a novel that I am currently editing, a process that isn't going as fast as I want. My intention is to post at least one piece of work per week and your feedback is more than welcome, either here, on Twitter or on facebook. In the case of the serial it may even change the course of the story...

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