Missing


Chapter 2

After two cups of coffee, drunk while gazing out at the storm-ruined garden Suzanne decided eight o clock was probably late enough to ring Lucy. They agreed they felt awful, part hangover and part neglect of their friend.

“We’ll go today before heading into town,” Lucy said. “I’ve tried ringing again this morning but still no answer. I know she’s like this when she’s feeling poorly but it’s been a long time, three days now and not a word. I left her a message anyway and told her we’d pop in later on.”

With tree-lined roads and rows of semi-detached houses, Garston had always been one of the better parts of Liverpool. Not the best, it wasn’t Crosby though they were near the river, and it wasn’t Aigburth, but that wasn’t so far away with the lovely park and the promenade at Otterspool. Anyway, here in the quiet streets most gardens were well kept, most houses were neat and clean and apart from anything else it was where they had all grown up. It hadn’t occurred to them to move very far away. It was handy for the City, and convenient when ageing parents needed regular visits. Now Suzanne still had her mum, but the old woman was in a care home on the Wirral. Lucy’s dad lived with her brother in Cornwall. A long way to be sure but at least he was happy.

Ginny, had been alone for a long time. She’d never married. Her parents were killed in a car accident when she was a teen. She’d stayed in the same house and thrown herself into work. When she retired as a senior sister in the NHS her health began to fail. Arthritis made getting around difficult a lot of the time. Plans for a cruise and a trip to the far east had been shelved and her life had turned in on itself. Suzanne and Lucy made it their business to keep her as well as possible. They tried to ease her out of her depressive moods.

Today, the curtains on the front bay window were only partly open late into the morning. “Tell you what, you stay here while I see what’s what and then we’ll decide on our next move. She might just need a bit of a jolly in town or maybe she’s proper poorly and we’ll take that as it comes.” Lucy said.

The bell sounded deep inside the house. Lucy bent and pulled open the letter box flap. She called through the little gap. There was no response. She rattled the metal cover and knocked on the glass window beside the front door. There was nothing.

Suzanne left the car and walked down the path. “We’ll have to use her spare,” she said. “I’ll go and get it. It’s in the shed., under a bucket.”

The side gate was hard to open. Leaves and twigs in heaps had gathered behind it. The storm had broken a few small branches from the one cherry tree and there was a crack in the plastic window where something had smashed against it.

“Bit of a mess back there. She’ll need gardener Keith to come and sort it for her. I’ll give him a ring later,” Suzanne said. She held up the key. “Just give another knock, you know, in case she’s having trouble getting down the stairs.”

There was still no response. They opened the door pushing aside a small pile of junk mail and a couple of letters. They called out and Suzanne pointed up the stairs. As Lucy placed her foot on the first step she stopped. “Bit scared. Come on up with us. This isn’t right.” They had both dealt with death and the deceased during their careers, but it was different when it was a friend, in her own home, unexpectedly.

They tapped lightly on the bedroom door and pushed it open, Suzanne behind Lucy, her hand gripping onto her friend’s forearm.

It was dim in the room. The curtains were heavy and pulled tightly across the windows. Lucy reached out and switched on the light. The bed was neatly made. The room was tidy and clean.

“Shit. That’s odd. Oh is she downstairs?”

“I’ll try the bathroom,” Suzanne said.

There was nothing. The electric toothbrush charger was on the shelf, but the brush had gone. No one was in the living room, and the kitchen was neat with a solitary mug on the draining board. The kettle and toaster were unplugged. The house plants in the lean-to conservatory had self-watering devices stuck into the soil.

“Well, that’s bloody great. She’s gone off and not told us. I thought we were mates. She knows how we worry. The least she could have done was told us.” Suzanne said.


3 Comments

Filed under Serials, Shorts and Stuff

3 responses to “Missing

  1. Intrigued by this yesterday. Guess I will have to keep coming back👍

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  2. I like listening to these conversations, and learning about Liverpool! :-)) Thank you.

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    • I rediscovered Liverpool a couple of years ago. I grew up there and moved on and then had to go back and it is such an interesting place and has a vibe all of its own and I am really enjoying writing about it. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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