I’m toying with the idea of writing crime fiction or a thriller next year, and this is my first attempt at a prologue. See what you think…
They have pushed past the broken-down door into the living room—very solemn policeman one, very earnest policewoman two.
“Are ye on your own, missus?” says copper one and she bats back the obvious, “What dae ye think, Sherlock?”
He’s got that wee look to him. She’s seen it too often before. A guy who’s been telt he’s got to say this stuff and has no idea what to do.
She sits, her feet out on the coffee table, drink in hand. Am ah meant to be apologetic here big guy? She supposes she is.
Female copper sits down. Ah, this is supposed to be the one who works out your feelings for ye, apologises and says shite anyway.
And no’ be the one who feels the shite tickety tac its way up to your very lungs.
No one liked her, Ailsa, she knew. It is a rare moment of prescience. But now, aye? She has all the power in the world. They shift around in front of her, waiting for her to say something.
“What d’ye want?” she asks. They take that as permission to sit down.
“It’s Ailsa, isn’t it,” the woman says. A statement, not a question. “We need to tell you something.”
She knows what is coming. It was never going to be good news, was it—two cops, acting all serious and sad.
It’s about Ross.
Two weeks ago, she’d turned up at his door. “I’m pregnant. I don’t want it.”
The good thing about Ross was that he didn’t bother with the whole feelings crap. When she said she didn’t want it, he nodded slowly and asked her if she’d been to the doctor to ask for an abortion.
“Aye. It’s all sorted, one o’ thae medical abortions,” she said. “I take a pill. It comes out. Can you take me to the hospital?”
“Aye, fine,” he said. “When?”
And that was that. Her ex-boyfriend picked her up on the Thursday, drove her to the Vale, came in with her and waited while they gave her the pill.
All the staff thought he was the father. They were kind to him. He was, well he was like Ross was. Maybe the nurses thought to themselves, “No wonder she doesnae want his wean!”
They were wrong about a lot of things.
Trisha had never liked her. It wasn’t one of those ‘no-one’s ever gonnae be good enough for my son’ things. Trisha just sided with everyone else. Ailsa could count her friends and allies on the one hand; a hand that had lost fingers to frostbite, mebbe.
Ailsa picks up her phone. The whisky is doing funny things to her. Trisha, she decides, shouldn’t have tae deal with eejit copper one and two turning up at her house, so solemn, so can we come in, missus?
She dials the number, waits a beat, two, three until the phone is answered. Trisha’s an oldie. She doesn’t have a mobile phone, so she’s no idea who is calling her on the landline.
“Trisha,” Ailsa says, smiling to herself as she watches copper one and two cotton on to what she’s doing and move towards her, clearly intending to snatch the phone from her. She rushes her words from now on. “Ah’ve got the police here. Ross’s dead. Your son’s no more.”
©Emma Baird 2017
Pic thanks to George Hodon.