Monday 8 August 2011
Everyone has a past that inevitably catches up with them.
By the time Terri Lawson arrived at Fallon Point to meet her fiancé, Alan had buried the electrician, disposed of the man’s car, returned home, showered, and prepared dinner. She was expecting the usual TV dinner, but was surprised by a proper, homemade meal.
‘Alan, this is nice. So, what’s going on that you’re sucking up to me with this dinner?’ she asked as Alan ushered her to her seat at the kitchen table. He laughed at comment.
‘Nothing. Nothing at all,’ he responded.
They ate in silence, a few smiles and stolen glances littered throughout mealtime. When they had finished, Alan collected the plates and cutlery, loaded up his ancient, barely working dishwasher, and set it to work whilst he and Terri settled on the sofa in the lounge room.
‘Alan, really, this seventies brown and orange look has to go. It’s atrocious,’ she’d disliked the lounge décor from the moment she first stepped foot into his home. Again, he responded to her comment with a light-hearted laugh, this time putting his arm her shoulders and pulling her closer. He couldn’t ever bring himself to be angry or irritated by her. Alan had often suspected that he was in love with her.
‘Ooooh, I know what I wanted to tell you, honey,’ she started. ‘Have you sent he news today?’
He shook his head, ‘No, haven’t seen a thing.’
She continued, ‘Some death row prisoner escaped from that women’s correctional facility.’
Alan shifted, his attention completely focussed on Terri’s words.
‘Really? Who?’ he asked.
‘You remember that woman who killed her husband? She denied it all the way through the trial, but the jury found her guilty. Ah, Hannah Thomas.’
The coloured rapidly drained from Alan’s face.
‘Babe, you okay?’ Terri asked.
He tried to speak, to reply to Terri, but no words would form. He tried again, managing only a quiet yes. She turned around fully to face Alan, concerned at his inability to produce anything more than a monosyllabic word.
‘Alan?’ she said clutching his arm.
In the seconds between Terri’s question and his previous muttered response, Alan’s mind had wandered. He was lost in thought. Terri squeezed his arm.
‘Alan?’ she asked again, ‘Are you okay?’
‘Yeah, yeah, okay,’ he replied feebly, mind still in the past. ‘Hannah Thomas, you say? Has she been recaptured, do you know?’
Alan began fidgeting, uncontrollably scratching his head as if he was desperately searching for the answer to a difficult question. He felt the familiar rage building up inside of him, and there was only one outcome when he felt this way.
‘You should go home now, Terri.’
She was clearly confused by his sudden mood change; his agitation scared her.
‘But Alan I –’
Before Terri could continue her plea, Alan had struck the side of her head with his fist. Connecting perfectly with her temple, he had disabled her with the first blow. Somewhere between the second through to fifth blows, Terri Lawson had expired. Alan Fallon had killed for the second time that day. Staring at the scene before him, Alan wiped a bloodied hand across his brow.
‘God damn, I hate digging holes,’ he chastised himself for his lack of self-control. ‘Okay, Hannah, I’m going to take care of you once and for all.’
He picked up his beloved’s body from the sofa, looked around the lounge room at the blood spattered over the closest wall, and walked through the house to the back yard. Terri didn’t deserve to be tossed out with the trash like he had done with the electrician earlier in the day. She deserved to be buried somewhere special. Alan had just the place – under Terri’s favourite Oak tree, about half a mile into the woods behind Alan’s house.
‘Here we go again.’
. . . To be continued . . .