Tuesday 16 April 2013


I was going back to my parents' cabin that had sat empty since they passed over ten years ago. Amid the trees with a deck overlooking a small lake. At least that is how I remember it as it was many years since I had been up there.

My intention was to do some writing and be on my own for the month of July. I had been going through a traumatic divorce when my lawyer husband had been shot in a mugging. Now after everything was settled I wanted to start over after twenty years of a brutal marriage that had many difficulties. And now no one was going to ruin this holiday.

I set off for the six-hour drive with the sun shining, not a cloud around. Turning on the radio I settling into a rhythm, keeping the car on cruise control. Not wanting any speeding tickets to spoil this gorgeous morning. I felt free and happy for the first time in years. 

The last store came into sight. I stopped for a coffee and a few essentials. The fellow was very friendly and told me his parents had retired and now he ran it. If I needed help with anything, just ask. He packed my things in a bag and stuffed in the local paper.

Turning off at the junction, I watched for the old road leading to the cabin. In ten years not much had changed, just thicker brush and the gravel road narrower and crumbling some, but I was still able to manoeuvre my car with the shrubbery only hitting the sides of the doors.

The first view of the cabin brought so many memories of past years when we would spend our summers here, the deep indigo lake tranquil with not a ripple. Just as my mind had envisioned for the past ten or so years. Not a sound except birds twittering from the trees. It was as if their friendly chatter was welcoming me home. I noticed a bird feeder on a tree. It was full of seed. Very odd. Obviously somebody had been here recently. The woodpile was full and freshly chopped and piled.

Must have been visitors through the spring. We had no other relatives on either side of the family. Maybe one of Dads old friends? I pulled the key from my purse and headed towards the front door in much anticipation. The cabin was clean, almost pristine as I went through to the two bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom.

The place had a lived in look as I opened the kitchen cupboards, seeing canned food stacked neatly. The icebox was cool and this gave me some concern. It must be one of Dad’s friends as a few would come up here hunting when he was alive.

I poured a glass of wine and went onto the porch, taking the paper with me. Sipping the wine, thinking I should have gotten ice at the store. I idly flipped through the paper, watching the serene lake view, so blue just like I remembered. It was uncivilized and time had forgotten this corner of the world, until a picture of a man stood out on a back page, warning people in the area to watch out for him. He was a suspect in the violent murder of his wife and her sister and had been missing for months.

I wanted to sit to enjoy the scenery but needed to organize, so headed for the kitchen to put things away, taking the cupboards that were empty, thinking that my Dad's friends may still show up. In the small bedroom, there was a sleeping bag on the bed so I picked the other one and threw my bedding down. The bathroom was another quandary so I emptied out what was there and found a bag to put it in. Put my own things in the cabinet. Done, I went back to the kitchen to attend to my growling stomach.

The sun was beginning to set over the lake. Yes, I remembered the sunsets and the restless feeling left me. I made myself scrambled eggs over toast.  I would get ice tomorrow. Taking my wine and dinner outside, I sat reminiscing and looking forward to the month ahead. The wine was making me sleepy so I headed inside, locked the door behind me and made up my bed. I fell into a sound sleep quickly from the fresh air and my long day.

I awoke in the darkness with the rattle of something outside my window. Footsteps creeping along with a slight dragging noise. I crept to the window, listened, not making a sound. Was it an animal? Many different wild creatures roamed these parts day and night. Something was definitely out there moving closer. As I was thinking where I had put my gun, I heard a key inserted in the back door. The noise had been human. I looked around for something else to protect me. Nothing.

The person had something wrong with his foot. I could hear it slide across the floor as he came closer to the bedroom. The door squeaked open and there stood the man whose picture I had seen in the paper! With a rifle under his arm. I screamed, knowing nobody would hear me. 

Before I knew it he had dragged me into the kitchen and tied me to a chair. He remained quiet, not answering my frantic questions. Only started opening cans, heating them on the stove. I watched as he stuffed his mouth with food, not saying a thing to me. He moved his plate to the sink and washed his dishes, putting them away neatly. He had to be the one living here, not an old friend. How naive I had been. 
I tried starting a conversation, apologizing for interrupting his stay and said that I was willing to pack my things and leave. 

He picked up the paper, saw his picture at my open page and a menacing look came over his face. He said he could not let me go, as I knew who he was. His piercing eyes darkened as they roamed over my body, I knew then he was forming other deadly ideas.

I knew he would not have had contact with women for months. I asked if I could use the bathroom, he first said no, pleading, he relented saying to leave the door ajar. He untied me, warning me not to try anything and told me to hurry as he had plans for me. I ran into the bathroom, locking the door behind me. My hands shaking. My gun was still in my makeup case. I fumbled with the zipper and heard his footscrape across the wood floor. As the door crashed in I grabbed the gun, letting the safety off, raised it and aimed. With shock on his face, he started to back up. Glancing at his rifle against the wall.

I was going to save the taxpayers a trial. I shot him right between those piercing eyes.

No one was going to ruin my holiday.


  1. Would I almost suspect that widow lady had some previous experience with that gun?

  2. I love how descriptive you are with your writing from beginning to end! Bravo!