The police lights twirled, casting brightly coloured fireflies against the mansion walls. Police wandered back and forth from the house. Everywhere you looked was yellow crime scene tape, cordoning off the building and grounds into their own little worlds where masked crime scene investigators in loose overalls prodded, bagged and played. The rain had stopped and the moon gaped full and garish from behind indifferent clouds.
The main police interviews were yet to come, but there was enough initial discussion when they arrived to realise this was a major case. The media hadn’t taken long to show up, and the street was full of television crews and reporters conversing with tripoded cameras.
Aisha sat beside my gurney after I was loaded into an ambulance. The EMS had triaged me and now joined the driver in the cab.
As the doors closed Aisha smiled and gripped my grimy hand. She’d managed to wash, although her hair was still stringy and matted with dried blood. A large bruise swelled on her left temple. A hefty woollen blanket enclosed her like a shawl.
“Hey,” I said. “You clean up pretty good.”
“As do you. If you like that beaten and bloody, ‘just stitched by the Doctor’ look,” she said, a tear forming at the edge of her eye. We both sniggered, but the act stimulated every cut, bruise and wound on our bodies, forcing us to stop. The suspended IV bag rocked gently back and forth as the ambulance picked up speed on its way to the hospital.
“We made it,” I said.
Aisha sighed. “But what now?”
“Lots of police interviews and stuff, I guess. I’m willing to bet money that Silas had more salespeople buried in his backyard. Could be the story of the year.”
“I meant about us. I don’t know about you, but my head’s screwed up pretty bad.”
I grimaced with the pain of my shoulder and jaw. “I guess we’ll just have to work through it.”
Aisha glanced away, wiping the tears from her eyes. She stared back at me. “Thank you.”
“Helping me get out of there, stupid.” She chuckled. Her tears recommenced their race down her cheeks.
“You saved me more times than I did. I’m just glad it’s over.”
Aisha leaned over and hugged me. I yelped from the pain, and she righted herself. “Oops. Sorry.”
“That’s okay,” I said, grinning through the pain. “No sale for either of us, tonight.”
Aisha smiled and held my hand tighter.
* * *
The ambulance driver was a young woman, no older than late teens. Her shoulder-length red hair bobbed as she threw the vehicle into another bend. The blood-stained body of the EMS next to her shifted lazily on the seat, head lolling back and forth with each turn.
“My mother was killed by a vacuum cleaner salesman,” said the driver, emphasising every word through clenched teeth.
The ambulance forged onward. The rain started again, the swollen drops a volley fired at the dark and sullen road ahead.
Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.
What is The Sale?
The Sale was an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention was to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.
Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoyed my little experiment.