She sat back with a sigh. It had been an exhausting day. She stretched her cold, tingling toes closer to the fire for warmth. England’s weather perfectly matched her mood: dismal. But there was joy on the horizon. In a few hours there was going to be an announcement about a mysterious death.
Maddy smiled to herself and silently raised her glass of wine in a toast. “Bye, bye lover.”
“Hon, have you got my passport?”
Jeremy was frantic. He was always doing this, losing things. But his long-suffering wife always found what he was missing. Or so she kept saying.
“Here is your passport and your phone and your headphones. All right where I told you they were: in your carry-on luggage.” As she listed each item Melanie held them up so her absent-minded husband could see them.
“You’ve got a text coming in Jeremy…”
Jeremy didn’t answer. He was busy organizing their luggage. This was going to be a wonderful trip to Belize. It was going to be a chance for them to relax together and get to know one another again. It’d been a rough few months and they both needed a break.
Melanie looked at the text again. She glanced at Jeremy but he was distracted. So she opened the text. He didn’t believe in passwords. It simply read: Soon my love, Soon!
For several seconds Melanie stared at the words. Her mind was churning! It was time. She needed to act, immediately! She slipped the items in her hand back into Jeremy’s carry-on luggage. And then . . .
“Jeremy!” The tone of her voice make him turn around quickly only to see her arms flailing as if in a seizure. He quickly grabbed her arms so she couldn’t hurt herself or anyone else. The seizure didn’t stop.
“Help me! Please, somebody! He’s trying to kill me!”
Jeremy was stunned. For several seconds he didn’t know what to do. His wife was having a seizure but now she seemed to be fighting him. It was so confusing! Just then two burly men grab his arms and pulled him away from his wife. This was not happening!
Everything was pandemonium! People were yelling at him and possibly at each other. The two men who had grabbed him refused to let go. Jeremy looked desperately for his wife, for an explanation. Neither was apparent. Finally two police officers showed up. Things calmed down somewhat.
“Where is my wife?” Jerry’s confusion was starting to sound like fear.
“Mr. Bentley?” The two policemen had escorted Jeremy away from the maddening crowds and things were calmer but still equally confused.
“Your name is Jeremy Bentley?” The office had his passport and ticket in his hand.
“Yes, yes and my wife is Melanie Bentley! What happened? Where is she? She was having a seizure and two men . . .”
“Mr. Bentley your wife was overheard to say that she feared for her life.”
“I don’t understand. She started having mild seizures a few months ago . . . we thought a trip, a vacation in Belize . . . We thought it was stress . . .where’s my wife?”
“Please sit here for a few moments Mr. Bentley.”
With that one of the police officers left the room. Jeremy hoped it was to find his wife. He put his head in his hands, overwhelmed.
It seemed as if hours had passed before anyone spoke to Jeremy again.
“Mr. Bentley your wife has disappeared. But it seems as if it was done of her own volition. I have spoken to witnesses and most concur that you appeared to be restraining your wife not attacking her. One witness is a nurse and explained that some seizures can cause vocal outbursts as well. We have no record of any violence by you against anyone so we are going to allow you to continue on your trip if that is what you wish.”
Jeremy raised his head, “My wife?”
The police officers look at each other, their eyes spoke volumes. Too many times they had witnessed people and they’re strange antics. Reason didn’t always come into it.
“You still have time to catch your plane.” One officer said as he escorted the man back to the waiting area. Jeremy looked at the ticket in his hand and almost without thinking joined the queue to board the plane.
When asked what she believed to be her strongest attribute, Melanie never hesitated: planning she always responded. When she had slipped away from Jeremy she went directly to a washroom a fair distance from the disturbance. Once inside she made sure no one else was in the room and quickly made a few vital changes. A long blonde wig came out of her carry-on bag to cover her short red hair. Next a large pair of dark glasses and a dark brown jacket several sizes too large. It helped hide her clothes and her posture.
Next was a change of lipstick and a little smudging of her eye makeup. She didn’t want to appear too noticeable or too forgettable. The plan was in motion. She had timed everything. It only took a few moments and then part two was put into play.
She delved once more into her carry on bag and produced a plane ticket, one way to London England leaving in 33 minutes. With time to spare she reached the check-in counter and boarded the plane. She was using an assumed name: Maddy Brown.
When the plane was airborne Maddy started to relax. Once upon a time she had loved Jeremy. They had had 10 good years. Well maybe 9 ½. But Maddy had become bored and Jeremy had become absent-minded. Which is funny because she was the scientist. Jeremy was a dusty old English professor who was more at home fondling his dusty books than her. She wanted excitement! She wanted danger! She wanted somebody other than Jeremy.
So with the precision of a scientist she started to make plans. Divorce was out of the question. Her family had money and she was keeping it. Murder was such an ugly word. Maddy was a scientist. She worked as a herpetologist at a research facility. She had access to so many noxious, toxic substances. It wasn’t just snakes that were poisonous. Some frogs secreted poison through their skin. Even touching them could cause your extremities to tingle as the first sign of the poison working through your blood. Slowly the muscles would contract as if in a grand mal seizure and then heart failure, death, freedom.
Maddy allowed a small smile to crease her lips. It had been hard work but definitely worth it. Or rather it would be. She envisioned Jeremy distraught at the airport returning home and fortifying himself with a swig from that horrid whiskey flask. She wasn’t sure how long it would take the poison to actually do it’s job, it was tough to experiment on life-size volunteers. It could be hours. She was pretty sure she had put enough of the poison into the flask to make in a relatively quick death. She didn’t want him to suffer too much.
The gentle rush of the air over the wings of the plane was soothing to Maddy. Soon she slept.
Several hours later she was awoken by a bell that announced their arrival in London. When they came to a full stop Maddy stretched briefly and joined the passengers leaving the plane. Once on the ground she took a moment to refresh herself in a handy washroom and also to shed her wig and dark glasses.
Then she ventured outside the airport to look for a cab and she found the weather to be exactly as advertised. It was cold, it was wet and it was foggy. It fit her mood perfectly. The next step was an out-of-the-way Hotel where she could hide for a couple of weeks. Then she would re-emerge in the world and continue her life, her way. She had tucked several thousand dollars into a belt on her waist so she would live by cash for the next several weeks. Everything was properly planned.
She became sleepy as she was resting in her chair in her out-of-the-way hotel. She hadn’t realized how tense she had become as her muscles started to ache. They really started to hurt. Maddy’s eyes flew open. It wasn’t possible!
“How did you do it?”
Jeremy stretched his long arms around the beautiful blonde beside him and rolled onto his back. Amelia cuddled close into his body, her long nails gliding effortlessly down his chest. She still had her hospital badge hanging down between her breasts.
“I saw what she was doing and turned the table.” Jeremy arched his back like a satisfied cat and smiled.
“I cleaned my flask thoroughly. I’ll never use it again. It really only took a drop of that toxin of hers on my phone to do the job. I got rid of it on the boat ride here. I wonder how long it will take them to find her body.”