The Night In QuestionBy James Wadey December 2009
It wasn’t unlike any other day for Bill Jones, He awoke as normal at the sound of his alarm at 6:15am the radio began to play ‘What a wonderful life’ it all seemed pretty routine, He entered his shower and steamed up the bathroom as per usual, sat down at the breakfast table and his loving wife of fifteen years placed a plate with two pieces of toast neatly spread with margarine and blackcurrant jam, He was never one for those red berried types, he found them too sweet for his ageing molars. Bill never had any kids, some people would call him lucky others would do those weird moon eyes and curl up there bottom lip saying ‘Oh I feel so sad for you’, Bill never really felt he had the time or patience for kids anyway, His wife never mentioned it and he never inquired. Both had good jobs a nice four bedroom house that his wife picked out, he never did ask why they needed four bedrooms but to some that may have been obvious, she was living an empty life unbeknown to him, she was desperate for a family but he made his views clear and she never had the heart to tell him otherwise, she was hoping the house would be a subtle hint.
But unbeknown to Bill Jones of 127 Abbey Lane his whole life was going to change very rapidly and for the rest of his earthly days, His very normal start to the day would end a very unusual night.
The Red house was an impressive building, it stood an amazing thirty floors, not including the three basement levels below, the entire buildings brickwork was a blood red and could be seen a mile away situated between large buildings that appeared to be dwarfed by this colossal monument to modern architecture, Hillary Ramone was a new employee here the work consisted mainly of menial tasks for the office manager she wasn’t fully aware of what the staff did there buzzing around like wasps in a hive, there tempers similarly likened to the prior regimental insect, As she was new here and in great need of a job she didn’t like to ask and they always seemed so busy she didn’t want to disturb there line of concentration. Hillary was in the process of making coffee for Richard Miller the office manager when she suddenly felt a tap on her shoulder, She jumped at the sudden touch and spun around with the coffee in hand, A young man in his early to mid twenties jumped back just in time to avoid the sudden oncoming of red hot liquid, “bloody hell luv” the young man said as he took a deep sigh at the thought of his luck, “You nearly had me chest hairs off”, he smirked, “Well you shouldn’t sneak up on people” Hillary replied “now I’ve got to make Mr Millers coffee again, I cant be messing up I’ve not been here long enough” Hillary said in a concerned voice, “Don’t worry bout old Miller” said the young man “He’s not so bad once you get to know him, I’m Simon, by the way, what did you say your name was?” Simon said, “I didn’t” responded Hillary, “and I’m not going to tell you that easily, you could be an axe murderer” Hillary laughed as she walked out of the staff room with the newly made coffee for Mr Miller.
Bill was about to climb in to his Mercedes when his wife can running out of the house calling after him, Caroline was an attractive lady in her time posing for magazines and book covers, but the years are not kind to many, as she was well aware, she had been under the knife on more then one occasion to try to slow down the ageing process. She’d had every kind of lift, tuck, suction and injection, even with Bills disapproval she never really cared, she would say it was her body and she hated her appearance, Bill would reply by saying he had to look at her not herself. He would refer to her as an alien, which he would mean physically and mentally, she was not the woman he had married, He did love her and she loved him, but he was afraid it was more platonic then actual love which they once had, he deeply cared for her and didn’t want anything to happen to her with all these changes she kept making to herself, he was worried she was addicted to the surgeries and latest poisons to be consumed by the body seemingly warping her mind. He would often wonder if all this vanity was due to something other then just her self confidence, he even contemplated hiring a private detective, but he knew she would probably find out, she was ever the scrutiniser when it came to bank statements and bills, making sure every penny added up to what it should be, this proved a head ache for poor Bill when he wanted to buy her a gift without her knowledge.
Caroline knelt down buy the Mercedes door as Bill sat down and reached for his seal belt, “nothing really darling”, Caroline said, “I just wanted to tell you how much I love you”, and she lent forward and kissed Bill upon his temple and paused there for a few seconds before rubbing her right eye and dashing across the gravel driveway back in to the house through the front door which was dark varnished oak with four large glass panes in an arched pattern, She slammed it hard as though she was in a hurry to get somewhere. Bill was a little puzzled, but he wasn’t surprised by anything Caroline did any more, He decided to put that to the back of his mind as he started his engine and pulled out of the driveway at a steady pace.
Hillary gave a light tap on the door of Mr Millers office, a gruff voice responded, “Yes” that was all that was needed, Hillary slowly opened the door and almost tip-toed in trying to avoid the eyes of Mr Miller as she was almost sure of the response to come. Mr Miller may have been in his mid fifties but he was an impressive sight, he was six foot four and looked as though he was no stranger to the gym, his eyes where such a blue they where almost white with tiny pupils he could send shivers down the spine of a tiger, “It’s about time you brought my coffee, I was about to send a search party” he snapped, “sorry Mr Miller, I accidentally dropped it the first time” Hillary tried to explain, “Well that’s not my problem, and if your gonna waste my coffee on the floor it can come out of your wages” he fumed, “should have hired a monkey” he said as he waved her out “go see Barry on the third floor, he’s got work I need doing, maybe you can do that properly” Hillary was close to tears as she quietly closed the door behind her, she quickly wiped her eyes and forced a smile as colleagues strolled passed her, she had to tell herself she needed this job.
Bill was on the duel carriageway he was cruising at a steady pace of around fifty miles per hour, he was well aware that his Mercedes was capable of a far greater speed but he was never one to show boat, especially after the last time he was in a speeding car. He was around thirteen at the time and his father was the complete opposite of him, he would do anything to try and impress his timid son whom he believed needed to get more of a backbone, as it turned out his father didn’t have much of a backbone after he was travelling at around seventy on a thirty speed limit, approaching a blind bend which was usually a quiet patch of road, an enormous eighteen-wheeler came round the corner, the car went head on with the truck, somehow Bill survived with one broken leg, his father on the other hand took the full brunt of the collision and was barely recognisable afterwards, Bill took many years before he would even mention his father, even now sometimes he wakes up in a cold sweat gasping for air, his never ending nightmare. Bill turned in to the slip lane and turned left in to a large car park with rows of hedges around the outside from the dual carriageway it was though nothing was there. He pulled in to his private spot which had a sign post with his name printed upon in stylish gold writing, stepping out he slid his tie under his shirt collar, even though he had worn ties his entire adult life he never felt comfortable in them so he would put it on at the last minute before entering the building, he had a casual walk but a walk that had confidence and an air of importance about it, he was here, the boss of starlight electronics, the founder and head chairman William Jones.