When I got in, Steph was waiting for me. The kids were in bed, of course, and I was glad about that. I wasn’t yet ready to look them in the eye after I’d murdered their dad.
‘Well?’ she said, as I kicked my muddy boots off at the back door.
‘It’s done,’ I said. I walked through the kitchen.
Steph tried to catch my arm, but I kept on walking, down the hall and up the stairs.
‘How did you …?’ Steph was on my heels.
I stopped at the bathroom door, turned and looked at her. ‘I really don’t want to talk about it, pet. It’s done and now I want a shower.’ I shut the door on her and sat down on the edge of the bath. I felt sick to my stomach, even though he deserved it, even though I hated the cunt. I was weary, too, and not just because of the physical effort needed to do what we’d done. I stood up and stripped my clothes off, folded them and put them in a pile, then I had a shower and tried to wash away the dirt, and the night, and the memory of the spade in his neck, the soil in his eyes, and that bloody awful growling noise he’d made as he died.
I pissed myself while Max was wrapping me in the razor wire. He didn’t say anything, but I saw his face and I knew I disgusted him.
I could hear a voice chanting quietly, over and over again: ‘Please don’t do this, please don’t do this, please don’t …’ I knew the voice was mine. I knew he wasn’t listening. I just couldn’t stop.
My face was covered in tears and I could taste snot. I couldn’t wipe it away; he was up to my shoulders now, having started at my ankles, and my hands were cocooned in the evil wire. I could feel the blades, hundreds of them, cutting through my clothes and into my skin. The slightest movement was agony. He was wearing big, thick gloves, gauntlets that went almost to his elbows, and still he was careful.
‘You done yet?’ Jacko shouted from the van. He was parked up on the bridge, looking down on us. So close to a main road and yet it could have been another planet. Where he was, in another hour, traffic would be streaming past taking people to offices, shops and factories. Where I was, I’d be lucky if anyone fought their way through the undergrowth in a month. I would be able to hear the traffic: no one would be able to hear me, no matter how loud I might shout. As for the dog walkers, the path they followed was far enough away. I’d probably be discovered by one of them long after I was dead, when some hound or other got its nostrils full of the sickly-sweet scent of decay.
Wired will be available on 7th September.