Chapter 9: 1932
The panic started at his toes and quickly filled Edgar like a beer poured too quickly in a glass. It spilled over into jittery terror clouding his vision twice as bad as the booze. “This wasn’t what you thought this night was going to be like,” he heard through the haze.
“What do I do? What do I do?” he whimpered. “Oh God, if she had been dead…” Not sure how that would be better, Edgar felt his train of thought derail.
Then it was there again, that voice softly in his ear: “Come on; she’s not long for this world.”
Edgar nodded in agreement. “That’s true, but what if they find her body? Maybe I should go get help,” Edgar whispered. He moved toward the cab; the bottle in his hand clanked against the fender. He looked at it. He could see the liquid swirling in the almost empty vessel.
“No, they can never find the body,” he heard a voice say. He knew what he had to do now. Quickly finishing the bottle, he tossed the empty into the bed of the truck. Expecting to hear it shatter or clatter, Edgar was confused for a second by the dull thud. His eyes grew accustomed to the dark while a sigh of relief escaped his lips. Looking in the bed of the truck, he could make out the outline of the tarp covering the boxes of dynamite he had picked up. His father wanted him to demolish an old well on the property in preparation for an expansion on the house. “Yeah, just wrap her up in that.”
Chloe’s agonized screams pierced Edgar’s ears as he pulled her broken body to the tailgate. Trying to find a way to lift her without causing more screams, he paused to pull an old rag from his pocket. Wiping his brow, he held onto the filthy cloth for a moment; the next moment he found it stuffed into her mouth. It muffled the cries as he lifted her into the bed and covered her in the tarp. He ignored her muffled whimpering as he turned to search for anything left behind. The drink still clouded his vision; his shaking hands gathered up anything he could find. Her books flew into the bed, causing a cry out through the cloth. He was in the cab wiping the sweat from his brow with the shaking back of his hand. The drive was now a blur. He could hear her crying with every bump. The truck slowed to a crawl. Rolling down the long drive to the estate, he checked his watch. It was only six fifteen. Perfect, their father never left the office before six thirty. His mother would already be several glasses of gin gone. He would not be noticed.
The truck eased around the house to where timbers were already in place for the expansion. The truck backed slowly to the edge; he began to calm down. Edgar found himself next to the old well. It was all going to be over in a few minutes. Dump the body and the explosives, come back tomorrow, and blow the well. It would cave in on itself. The workers would fill it in the rest of the way then build the extension. She’d never be found under the concrete.
His calm was tested when he pulled the tarp off. Chloe’s eyes were wide, her face stained with tears. There was blood on the corners of her mouth. Edgar stumbled back as she tried to pull the gag out. The hand pawed at her face; the arm was too broken or weak to do the job. Terrified, he pulled her by the shattered legs. They felt all wrong in his hands. He reached up to her hips to get a better hold. The feeling reminded him of bags of gravel he used to carry. He knew the bones were destroyed. Tears were rolling down his cheeks. He tried to hum a tune to drown out the muffled cries. Avoiding her pleading eyes, he grabbed her around the chest. It, too, gave under the pressure; he was sure many of the ribs were broken. She wouldn’t last long, especially after the fall. Dragging her off the tailgate, he pushed her battered body into the well. She fell like a sack of potatoes into the darkness. Edgar leaned over the edge breathing heavily, fighting back the urge to be sick. He listened for any sound. All he heard was the usual noise of the night. After several minutes, he was sure she was dead. He found another bottle of whiskey in his shaking hands. It burned his throat as he drank deeply. “It’s all going to be fine.”