(Late Mail is a 300 word murder mystery)
My phone pinged with a message. I expected it to be a friend, checking in after David’s funeral.
‘Hello Lauren. You think you’ve got away with it, don’t you?’
It was David, but it couldn’t be, we’d just cremated him. Someone had hacked his account.
‘Who is this?’
‘Did you really think you could murder me and not be caught?’
Nobody knew what had really happened other than me and David, and he was dead.
‘David’s death was an accident. Stop this cruel joke now or I’ll report you to the police.’
They police had questioned me, maybe suspected me, but I claimed never to have taken the tiller before, that I was confused, that I was trying to stop the boat. Putting it into reverse was judged by the coroner as an accident.
‘I saw you looking at me, you knew what you were doing.’
‘You’re not David. Please stop this.’
‘Would the police have believed you if they knew you spent every childhood holiday on a canal boat?’
My stomach lurched. My childhood and my father’s abuse was a closed book. I spoke to nobody about it, other than David, I had trusted him, until he made a joke of it that day, one he paid for with his life.
‘Whoever you are you’re crazy.’
‘Not crazy, but I am angry. And you’ve made one mistake.’
‘You can’t be David, you’re dead.’
‘You still have those photographs.’
I should have burned them. Photographs of me as a teenager, at the tiller, threading my father’s narrow boat into a lock.
I’ve emailed Detective Connery. He knows where the photographs are.
There was a knock on the front door. I looked through the window and Detective Connery was outside, with three other officers.
“Open the door please, Mrs Baker.”