The Witch And The Watcher
Vicky lay on the kitchen floor, her makeup streaked with tears. Her reddened eyes, tightly closed. She lay in a ball, a silent scream escaping her ragged mouth. She was dressed in black. Her once immaculate hair was as unruly as her attire. A loud sob echoed around the kitchen as the crying intensified. “Why? Why us? Why, God why?” She flipped onto her back, her stockinged feet banging the quarry-tiled floor. The woman's hands were pressed to her face, trying to block out the cruel world around her.
“Mummy,” a voice said. The boy ran over, his socks skidding on the smooth floor. He sat next to his mother, lifting her head into his lap. Dark brown eyes, framed by wavy dark hair looked down at his beloved mother. A mother that he'd watched fall apart over the last few weeks. “Don't cry Mummy. Please,” he said as his voice cracked with emotion.
Vicky looked up, seeing the angelic face of her youngest child, contorted in grief and pain. “Oh Jasper. I'm sorry. Don't cry baby bear.” She got up, pulling her son into her embrace. “Mummy's just upset. But I will be okay. I have to be. I have to take care of my boy.” She kissed the top of his head, drinking in his smell. She closed her eyes, blocking out the pain for a brief moment.
“I need to look after you too Mummy. It's just the two of us now. I'll help you as much as I can. I will even tidy my room before bedtime. Well, most nights anyway.”
Vicky laughed, squeezing her only remaining child to her chest. “I love you baby bear. More than you'll ever know.”
“I love you too Mummy.” Tears fell freely from her eyes. “I'm so sad that Daddy, Lucy, and Brett are up in the stars. I really miss them. I miss Daddy's beard, tickling my face. I miss Lucy's lame music and Brett's bad guitar playing. I wish they were still here.” Jasper's emotions boiled over as he wept in his mother's arms.
“It's going to be alright Son. Really, it will be.” Her empty promise died away, leaving them sitting on the kitchen floor, holding onto each other. Clinging to hope, when hope had deserted them.
* * *
“No, I'm not the account holder. My husband, Steve Evans was the account holder. He recently passed away. I want to become the account holder. Can you help me?” Vicky sat on the settee, her feet propped on the coffee table as she looked out of her bay window. Spring was starting to show in her garden. The first shoots of green could be seen appearing, alongside the already green holly bushes and conifers that surrounded the cottage. “Death certificate? Do you really need me to send you that?” she said, her emotions starting to rise. The voice on the other end of the line paused as Vicky began to cry. The person, who was sitting four thousand miles away on another continent, decided to wave the rules. The change in tack calmed Vicky somewhat, her tears wiped away with the back of her hand. She thanked the person on the other end of the line, telling them quickly that she didn't require any more help. Vicky ended the call, dropping the phone on the settee next to her. She laid her head back on the cushion and closed her eyes. She breathed deeply, trying to remember what her old yoga teacher had told her. The window was open a few inches, allowing the sounds of her front garden to filter inside. Birds could be heard in the trees, the sounds of bushes rustling in the gentle breeze. For a brief moment, all the pain of the last few weeks ebbed away. She stretched her feet, pointing her toes to the ceiling. The phone's ring tone shattered the silence. Vicky's eyes fluttered open as her hand reached for the offending object. She pressed the green button.
“Victoria. Are you okay?” a female voice asked.
“Hi Mum. I'm fine. Just having five minutes.”
“Oh. Sorry love. Shall I call back later?”
“It's fine. Are you and Dad okay?”
“We're alright,” the voice lied smoothly. “Your Father is out in the garden, attempting to cut wet grass. I was wondering if you and Jasper would like to pop over for a bit of supper this evening?”
“He's got football after school. That should finish by five. What time do you want us?”
“After that is fine. I'm cooking your favourite.”
“Chorizo and butterbean stew. Sounds just what I need.”
“That's why I'm cooking it. We'll see you later then. I'll let you get back to your five minutes. Love you.”
“Love you both too,” Vicky said before ending the call. Five minutes later her toes, encased in black socks, were pointing to the ceiling once more. Her chest rose and fell gently as Vicky tried mentally slow her heartbeat. Gradually it started to decrease. The woman was about to fall asleep when the phone rang once more. Shit! She snatched the ever offending object off the sofa and pressed the green button again. “Hello?”
“Mrs Evans?” a male voice said.
“Sorry to bother you. It's Mr Wellings, from Jasper's school. There has been a bit of an incident here. Would you be able to pop down and pick him up?” Vicky's lessening heartbeat was now hammering in her chest. The solitude shattered.