A fine drizzle filled the night air, causing Sarah’s clothes to cling to her as she heaved the body out of the back of the Land Rover. Despite the dampness, the back of her throat was as dry as saw dust and her hands shook.
The man’s body fell, and crashed into the wheelbarrow. Sarah put her hand in the bag that was lying in the back of the 4×4 and waited to see if he regained consciousness. His eyes remained closed, so she zipped up the bag and flung it over her shoulder, then began the trudge through the forest pushing the wheelbarrow in front of her.
The contents of the bag clanked as she walked. At times she had to heave the wheelbarrow through thick mud and the bag would swing around, catch her off balance, and send her sprawling to the ground. After a mile of this battle with the elements, she reached a clearing with a tarpaulin sheet covering the ground, an apple tree at its centre. She checked under the sheet and it was still dry enough to light, so she unzipped the bag and started hanging its contents from every branch she could reach.
When Edward woke, he had a vague memory of seeing Sarah and wondering why she was there. It’d been months since they last spoke, and he’d been surprised that she was waiting for him at the house. She smiled and asked how he was, which caught him off guard, so he let her in, what could be the harm.
Moonlight seeped in through the gaps in the clouds and the haze of unconsciousness still had a grip on his sight. He could make out the silhouette of branches above him and could feel the cold ground beneath him.
His head stung and his legs and arms were tied and staked, he thrashed around trying to break free, then looked around wildly, ‘bitch’ he shouted.
Sarah stepped forward and looked down at him, ‘Hello, father. There’s no point shouting, it’s just you and me, for once’.
Edward tugged at the ropes, as his eyes began to clear he noticed glints of light hanging from the trees. He stopped thrashing and focused, then his eyes opened wide and his mouth gaped – every apple had been picked and replaced with pairs of scissors, hanging knifelike above his head.
‘Don’t be stupid, Sarah’ his voice suddenly calm.
‘I told you, father. You can’t just cut me off like that, just because she doesn’t like me,’ Sarah stepped towards the base of the tree, where the dry leaves had been piled around the trunk.
The scissors swayed in the breeze; with the moonlight playing off their silvery blades, it was almost hypnotic. For a few seconds Edward forgot where he was, as unconsciousness threatened to take him again.
‘You’re not even listening’, Sarah screamed as Edward snapped back.
She held up a lighter, it’s diamond encrusted surface glistening in the moonlight, the flame hovering menacingly above the leaves. ‘Now it’s your turn’, she uttered as she dropped it and walked away.