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Dear Relative

Remember Old Aunt Rose? You know, the one you never visited in that Home by the sea? What was it called? The place you couldn't be arsed to visit that gobbled up all the money? I remember Rose. And Frank. And... but for now I'll tell you about Patricia. She's sitting in her usual chair, slow-cooking in the conservatory, the ubiquitous addition to any Nursing home. Keep those windows firmly shut and with the afternoon sun beating in, the old dears'll nod off in a merry line on worn-out chairs, wedged in by pillows and zimmers, heads lolling and drooling until afternoon tea.

I'm Pauline, the Carer. I can be Susan (I like being Susan) or Grace... Anyway, I'm very careful. I check all records and visitors' books and when I know no one will visit poor Patricia, I work wonderful magic. I weave a world that makes Patricia safe and loved again, like a drowsy summer afternoon. Days flow with pleasurable ease, Patricia sweetly soft and special. One day, when the legal stuff is sorted and the local GP has done his perfunctory check, I'll take dear Patricia by the hand up the stairs to Bedfordshire. I'll close the Draylon curtains tight against the sun and wait in the corner of her double aspect room. When she's fast asleep, I'll lightly apply chloroform to her waiting nose and mouth, count to a hundred and step away. She'll be discovered in the morning. They'll tell me in the afternoon. And months later? I'll inherit Pauline's house. Just so you know it's gone to a good home,

with love, P

Story by:

Alex Fender

4 November 2013