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Joanna's Tragedy

By Jean Valli All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Mystery


Thoughts on murder

There’s something you should know.

The day you commit a murder, surprisingly enough, starts like any other day. You might or might not have juice with your breakfast, you might pop out for a coffee and scone instead of having eggs and toast at the kitchen table while reading the ‘Irish Times’. You shower, you dress, you comb your hair and regard yourself in the mirror – possibly looking for clues, evidence that you have it in you. Is this the day? Have you finally had enough, reached that pivotal moment? That moment you can not step back from once it has shown its face, once it has taken root in your heart, grabbed hold of your mind, given your entire being a good sound shaking, before trickling right down to that most basic part of yourself. Would that be your soul? Need I ask if my ‘soul’ is going to be all right with this?

With this?

Damn right it will be. There’s a lot to be said for being an atheist. I don’t feel the eyes of any god upon me. I’m alone, and I’m good with that. Besides, I could do worse; I could kill a young, healthy person, with a whole life ahead of them. But they’re not what’s giving me problems, not what’s messing up my life.

I have become impatient, I confess. Caring for a dead woman is pointless at best. Exhausting for the most part. Of course she isn’t really dead, but that’s how I’ve come to think of her, and I’m sure it’s how she thinks of herself. Well, as good as; once you’ve lost all quality of life, are you really still alive? Gasping for each breath. Unable to keep food down. What’s poured in slowly dribbles back out. How much worse can it get before one simply has to give up?

That first sight of her – God help me - each new day, as I throw back the curtains, turn towards that monstrous four-poster bed, with such inflated expectations and an almost giddy sense of long-awaited relief, aching for the realization of my deep-seated desire, so I can, at last, mark the day on my calendar with a gold star. Then all hopes dashed as my eyes seek out the drained motionless body of the sad Joanna, a body that I’d hoped would prove to be stone cold to the touch, only to be confronted by choking coughs and watery gasps as she tries to speak. (Always hardest in the mornings before her medication). Reeking of malady. A tragic wraith - bloodless, waxy-skin, frail body trembling, full of need for every spare minute I have in the day to come.

All right. Maybe I’ve exaggerated, but only the tiniest bit. She has a scrap more life in her than I’ve let on. But still, her vile sickness, her carnivorous disease is consuming her bite by bite, day by day. And the whole drawn out process disgusts me. What more need I say? I’m suffering too. This is not easy for any of us - the still living. And yet, despite how I feel, how we all feel, it’s important to show support and belief in this new drug treatment, imperative to appear 100% behind it to all those concerned. To champion it with feigned gusto that would fool Sherlock himself!

But, hey, I’m up to all that. I fool people all the time. Drama had always been my best subject. Some things you never lose.

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