Raising Dave Chapter 13


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“It was a heart attack,” said the Doctor. “Just like Dorothy. It often happens that way. When you get two people like that who love each other, and one of them goes, the other seldom lasts more than a few days. It’s as if they’ve given up the will to live, because they’ve lost the person who was most dear to them. As far as I know, they only had each other.”



“Do you really think they loved each other, Doctor?” I asked. “Victor was only a neighbour, after all.”



“Yes, I do think they loved each other. I knew them both for a long time. I saw what they were like together before Dorothy’s illness, and I saw the way Victor cared for her.”



I knew that he must be wrong. He had to be.



“Thank you Doctor,” I said. “I’ll make sure I give him a good send-off.”



After he left my hands began to tremble. My nerves were shot, so I sat on the edge of the bed and lit up a cigarette to calm them.



Victor was lying next to me with his face was twisted into a silent scream, like Dorothy’s had been. I used his open mouth as an ashtray.



When I’d smoked my cigarette down nearly to the filter, I stubbed it out on his eyeball. There was a  sibilant hiss as it made contact with his dead flesh and acrid-smelling smoke rose up from his iris.



Serves you right, I thought’ tossing the extinguished cigarette into his gaping mouth..



Then I looked in the chest of drawers he kept in his room, to see what secrets he might have been keeping.



The top one was crammed with personal papers and bank statements, including his and Dorothy’s credit cards and a sheet of paper with their passwords and pin numbers on it.



There was also a letter which said: 



‘Dear Victor,



I’m writing this while I’m still able to set down my thoughts on paper.



I’m planning to commit suicide when I decide my life is no longer worth living. The trouble is, when I come to that point, it may be too late for me to kill myself. I might need help, maybe even need someone to do it for me.



That person will have to be you.



Please be strong for me.



Please put me down when my life is no longer worth living. I’ll find a way to let you know when that time comes.



Remember, be strong for me.



All my love, forever,



Dorothy.”



Victor hadn’t been lying to me when he’d said that Dorothy had wanted to die. In his own way, he’d behaved honourably, even though he’d lied to me about the state of her mind.



And I’d murdered him.



I felt a knot in my guts. My head spun. What had I done?



It was an accident of sorts, I told myself. I’d misunderstood the situation. Victor had to take some of the blame for that. He’d brought about his own death, in a way. Even if Dorothy had wanted to die, Victor hadn’t let on to me what the true situation was.



Anyway, I now had to kill again, otherwise everything I’d done, the horrific crimes I’d committed, would all have been for nothing.



I got into Victor’s car and put the Harvesting Stone into the foot-well on the passenger side. I took the car out of the garage, drove it to the end of the street, and made a right turn onto the road that Olly’s dad, Adam, would be walking down in less than five minutes.



He was going to die in a hit-and-run accident.



Soon I saw him in the rear view mirror coming round the corner with Olly, who was carrying his yellow football.



.I’d been meaning to run Adam down, but I couldn’t do that now. Not with Olly there. I didn’t want Olly to watch as I killed his Dad.



I ducked as they approached. When I raised my head they’d got about fifty yards beyond me.



Olly succumbed to the temptation to kick his ball. It went down somebody’s drive into their garden. Adam remonstrated with Olly, and Olly disappeared up the drive.



I decided that while Olly was going after the ball, I had to take my chance. I stepped on the gas and fired the car forward. At the last second, I steered onto the pavement towards Adam.



The car went for him like an Exocet missile.



It would be a quick and painless death; I owed him that much at least.



What happened next seemed to take place in slow motion.



Adam had his back towards me. He must have heard the car, because he turned and looked at me, and I saw fear in his eyes. His long coat swirled around him in the wind.



As I neared him a second figure appeared, a small boy. It was Olly, running as fast as he could towards his dad. Swear to God I heard him shout:



“Look out Daddy!”



Then he pushed Adam out of the way of the car. Adam fell sprawling on the road, where he was safe from the path the car was taking.



But Olly wasn’t.



He was directly in front of me. I’m sure there was recognition in his eyes when he saw me through the windscreen. He tried to dive out of the way. I hit the footbrake. The car slowed, but not enough. Olly moved, but not enough. There was a sickening thud as vehicle car hit him and he sailed over the bonnet.



Olly’s Dad was lying in the road semi-conscious. Olly himself was a tangle of limbs and blood on the pavement. He couldn’t possibly have survived.



I felt something happening deep in my guts. It was a sort of an animal wail. It rose up through me and shook me, as I gave voice to it. I was as bereft as the boy’s own mother would be when she saw him.



I climbed back into the car and drove off as quickly as I could, struggling to control my feelings of guilt.



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