Quite a few of you seemed to like the idea of the 'encase the best friend in bubble wrap and bury her' scene I said I had included in a previous attempt-at-a-comic-novel.
Here it is. And, as they say on the telly, don't try this at home.
It had taken the rest of my energy to get Beatrice down the stairs and out through the kitchen into the garden. I’d put her in a body bag I made for her out of a giant roll of bubble wrap that had been in the loft for years. (If your friend is going to be murdered, and you've got to bury her as quietly as possible, buy a house off a potter who makes large garden pots and leaves all the bubble wrap behind.) Sealing the bag had taken all the staples I had and even then I’d had to bump her down the stairs as carefully as possible so they didn’t undo. As I dragged her down the garden, I could hear the bubbles popping – pop, pop, pop – each one echoing into the silent night air so that I was sure I’d hear sirens any minute.
It was nearly dawn when I finally manoeuvred Beatrice, still dressed in her nightie, into the hole I’d spent three hours digging for her. I’d lined the grave with the blooded duvet. I thought this was a stroke of genius. It had been the only item I couldn’t get into the washing machine and I’d been worrying all day about what I was going to do with it.
I was so knackered by the time I’d dug the grave that the only way I could think of getting Beatrice in was to lie down next to her and nudge her in gradually with the length of my body. It was a near thing as I misjudged the edge and nearly followed her in. ‘Sorry Beatrice,’ I whispered, as she landed in the hole, her grave clothes popping like a frenzied bowl of Rice Krispies. ‘You’ll understand if I don’t sing a hymn. Rest in peace, my friend.’
I stood up and looked down at her where she lay on top of the duvet (I’d left the Moroccan red cover on the duvet: no point wasting Bold 2 in 1 and the earthy colours blended in nicely). She’d landed not on her back but on her side with one leg slightly bent and one arm on top of the other. ‘Only you, Beatrice,’ I said to her supine form, ‘could land in the recovery position at a time like this.’
I shovelled the earth back in over her body, puffing and panting by now, then realised with dismay that the mound looked too obvious. I hadn’t accounted for the fact that where some of the earth had been, there was now a 13.5 tog duvet and a 61 year old woman who’d eaten a respectable amount of apple and blackberry crumble just the night before. The mound yelled ‘Grave’ like inch-thick make-up yells ‘Acne vulgaris’.
I was already muddy from rolling on the ground to get Beatrice into the hole, so I lay down again and just rolled backwards and forwards over her grave to flatten out the earth. ‘Think of it as an ancient Mayan burial ceremony or something,’ I hissed down to Beatrice. ‘And celebrate with me, for the first time, that I’m thirteen stone.’
I then dragged an old bench seat which was just outside the back door to where the grave was and placed it on the lawn in front of the flower bed. It didn’t look too out of place and I couldn’t help thinking I should have done that before; it was a shame it had taken the secret burial of a childhood friend to get me rearranging the garden more pleasingly.
|If only Fran's protagonist had known about this before the night of the murder|