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Three Mile Drove (standard:mystery, 348 words)
Author: Brian CrossAdded: May 30 2002Views/Reads: 2761/2Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Prologue to a completed novel featuring kidnap and murder.

The washing machine was grinding through its task with a tumult more
akin to a pneumatic drill, driving mental rivets into Myra Bentley's 
besieged head as she struggled with the assortment of pots and pans 
cluttering the sink. Somewhere outside, on a cool October day her 
daughter Emma was playing. Myra had wrapped her up well and warned her 
not to stray, because when she'd finally finished her never-ending 
chores she would make Sunday lunch. She turned in annoyance to the 
washing machine. The bloody noise seemed to be getting even louder. 
There was no doubt in her mind that the age old machine was going to 
blow soon and where would she find the money to replace it? A surge of 
anger took her back in time, cursing the day she'd met Bob Freeman, her 
common law husband. It was ironic now that she couldn't understand what 
she'd first seen in him. He had been an overweight, work-shy slob, had 
been and always would be. It was a year to this very day that he'd 
walked out and she'd discovered he'd left her with a mountain of bills 
that resembled a scale model of Snowdon, with no prospect of getting 
back on her feet. Oh the bloody machine was so noisy she felt she could 
physically demolish it! She should have been able to see her daughter 
playing on the flat area of dark soil that seemed to unfold like a 
drab, black carpet from the kitchen window, she might perhaps have 
heard her footsteps on the makeshift gravel path that bordered it. She 
might even have heard the brief, pathetic scream that broke the air for 
a second before dying wretchedly away, and if she had been outside she 
would certainly have smelled the nauseating, acrid stench that swept 
across the isolated yard in permeating waves. That she experienced none 
of these things was due to the gathering variety of problems which 
enclosed her like a mental strait-jacket. Only later, when she wearily 
called Emma for lunch, did Myra Bentley realise that something was very 


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