The sharp buzz of the vibrator on her cell phone woke her up. She sat up groggily, rubbing the sleep from her eyes as she groped around for the phone. A thunderstorm raged outside the house, the torrential rain lashing out at her windows and making the trees sway alarmingly. She opened her eyes fully and squinted at the light from her bed stand, where the phone lay, buzzing resolutely. Then, it fell silent.
She took it in her hand and checked the time – it was 3 am. Curious as to who was calling her at this unholy time, she unlocked it and checked the call list. She blinked. It was Dr. Chaser from the asylum. If he was calling without regard for the time, it meant only one thing – her husband was dead.
Elation filled her heart as she threw the bedcovers back. She ran her hands through her flyaway hair, a grin slowly forming on her face as she checked the call log again. There was no mistake. It was the same man who had helped her put her husband into the asylum two months ago. She put the phone back on the bed and stood up immediately – she needed a drink to celebrate.
As she prepared to go into the kitchen, the phone vibrated again. She picked up and saw that it was the good doctor again, obviously wanting to give her the good news. But she didn’t have time for the silly man’s flirting. She put the phone on silent and slipped it into her nightgown. She walked out her bedroom and made her way to the kitchen.
She chose the unopened champagne bottle on the highest shelf, purely because her husband – her late husband – always wanted it for a special occasion. Well, this was special enough. As the golden liquid swirled in the champagne flute, she felt a grin forming on her face again. She felt the wings of freedom sprout on her back as an old burden crashed down on to the floor. After months of scheming, planning and careful acting, she had won!
She raised her glass in a silent toast – to herself and her lover Michael, who had painstakingly helped her discredit her husband in every single way possible. Oh, Michael would be over the moon when he heard of this! She sipped the champagne slowly, thinking of what he must be doing right now. He was probably asleep at home. Well, the good news could wait.
She finished her glass and filled up a second one, as her mind teetered between memories of the past and the present. She thought back to her husband, his tall frame and kind eyes which had charmed her during the early days. But he was quick to anger too, his thick, strong arms capable of shattering bones, as a man who had groped her in the bus had found out a year ago. He was a nice guy – too nice for her tastes – helping out by donating generous amounts to charities and non-profit organisations.
But she soon grew bored of him. She especially hated the stupid tune he always kept humming – The old Beatles song, Let It Be.
She’d found a new lover in Michael, who was everything her husband wasn’t. She was ready to leave him – but she needed his money first. With the help of Michael, she began his master plan. With the help of Dr. Chaser, whom Michael had bribed, she procured several drugs and hallucinogens which would be difficult to trace in the medical tests. Over a month, she’d mixed it into his food, watching as the calm and composed man turned moody and depressive, often going into murderous rages during conferences.
One day, during a party at their home, she’d given him a double helping of the drug, and addled by the effects of the powerful narcotic, he hit her in full view of about 50 people. A quick divorce followed, and with the help of Dr. Chaser’s testimony, her husband had been sent to the asylum in a life sentence. She would never hear that ridiculous song again.
She smiled again as she went through her sixth glass, and decided she would wake Michael up anyway.
As she unlocked the phone, she saw no less than sixteen missed calls from the doctor’s phone. There was also a text message. It was from Michael. She clicked it open and read through it, grinning broadly as she did.
Hey babe. (It said) I’m aching to see you. I’ll arrive in fifteen minutes.
The night was getting better and better. Outside, the thunderstorm raged relentlessly as the wind howled, making the windows rattle. She sighed contently and lay back in the couch, putting the phone on the table nearby. Outside – even over the din of the storm – she clearly heard the front gates being opened. Michael had arrived.
She practically bounded up to the door and unlocked it, waiting to open it and surprise him. She began to turn the latch when the phone buzzed behind her, making her jump. She swore softly. She’d accidentally set it back to vibrate earlier. She shook her head and walked up to it, wanting to turn it off for the night.
It was Dr. Chaser again. God, the man was annoying. She moved her thumb up to the power button, and then hesitated. What if he called her landline next? She didn’t want the damn thing to ring all night. She sighed and pressed the answer button, putting the phone up to her ear.
“Hello? Hello?” came an agitated voice at the other end. She frowned – that didn’t sound like Dr. Chaser.
“Hello? Who is this? Why are you calling from Dr. Chaser’s phone?”
“Madam, oh madam! I’m glad I reached you. I’m Dr. Chaser’s assistant, madam. Oh, I have terrible news!”
She smiled again, tapping her fingers on the phone, waiting to hear the official confirmation that her husband was dead. Dr. Chaser was probably preparing for the autopsy.
“Oh madam, it’s you husband. Oh, it’s terrible!” said the assistant, his voice plainly shaking with fear.
“Yes, yes, spit it out. I daresay I expected it.” She said.
“Oh no, madam! Your husband… he’s escaped!”
She went stock still. Her heart started to beat very fast, getting louder and louder in her ears. Her palms became slick with sweat. She tried to speak, but nothing came out. On the other end, the assistant was still talking.
“… horrible! Oh, he’s killed Dr. Chaser, madam! Stabbed him through the eye with his own pen! That’s not all, madam. He’s also killed Michael Wilson! The police found him with his skull bashed in!”
Her eyes went wide. The sound of her heart was now unbearably loud. She began to tremble, her legs shaking like jelly. She grabbed the table beside her for support.
“He’s on the loose, madam! The police will take some time to reach your house! You are in danger, madam! You must get out of the house!”
It was at that moment the lights went out. The phone dropped from her hand and fell to the floor with a crash. Behind her, the front door opened with a long, drawn out creak.
She didn’t move. There was the soft sound of footsteps behind her, but she didn’t turn to look at the person behind her. The footsteps stopped suddenly, and she could feel the warm breath on her neck.
The last thing she ever heard was a low hum in her ears. It was the old Beatles song – Let It Be…