Bad DreambyThe Wanderer©
This is an original work of fiction, written by the Wanderer. It is posted on this site with his permission.
I thank my LadyCibelle and Techsan for their patience, proof reading, editing skills and of course encouragement. I'd also like to add that we don't always see eye to eye, they tell me off sometimes - well quite often really. Anyway I take full responsibility for the content and any cock-ups in this story.
"Are you ready, babe?" Sheila asked as she, without waiting for me to reply, carefully lowered herself on my erect phallus. At first she moved herself up and down slowly. "God, I've missed this," she smiled down at me. But then just as she began to pick the pace up a little, in the back of my mind somewhere, I could hear a strange banging noise. Sheila's smile turned into a mocking laugh as the vision of her began to fade from my mind.
I was almost fully awake now; the dream or nightmare as it always turned into was gone. I realised the noise was someone banging on my front door. Struggling out of bed I grabbed my robe and made my way towards the door of my flat.
"Mr Sleeman, open up! It's the police!" I heard a voice demanding as I got closer to the door.
On opening the door I was confronted by four men, one of whom I recognised and two in police uniforms.
"Martin Sleeman, I'm Detective Sergeant Moon," The one in plain clothes that I didn't recognise said as he flashed his warrant card at me, "Can we come in? I'd like a word with you if I may."
I'd seen enough warrant cards in my life to know it was genuine at first glance, But having grown up on what some folks would consider the wrong side of town, I asked for a better look at his card just to piss him off a little. Look, I didn't know what the wankers wanted but I hadn't done anything that I needed to worry about.
"Okay, what is this all about?" I asked as I switched the kettle on after I had led them into the kitchen.
"If' you don't mind, I'll ask the questions," DS Moon replied.
"In that case, I won't answer any questions until my solicitor is present."
"Have you got something to hide, Mr Sleeman?" he demanded.
Alarm bells started really going off in my head. To be honest I'd known DC Douglas Collins, the other arsehole, for years; he knew my name was Marty to everyone. The Mr Sleeman bit spelt trouble, big time.
"No, but I feel slightly out-numbered here. If you want to ask me questions, I want to know in what context you're asking them. It's not often that I get woken up at..." I looked at the clock. "Shit, it's five o'clock. What the hell's so fucking important that you've got to wake me at this time of the bloody morning?"
"I'm making enquiries concerning your wife's accident."
"What fucking accident?"
"Your wife was involved in an accident last night and I would like to know where you were around eleven PM."
"I was here alone, as I am most evenings nowadays. Is my ex-wife badly hurt?"
"She's in intensive care, but the doctors tell me that the prognosis is reasonable. Now would you be so kind as to tell me where we can find your Range Rover."
"Do you suspect I had something to do with my ex-wife's accident?"
"Mrs Sleeman and a Mr Anthony Pride where walking down the Finchley road at approximately eleven o'clock last evening. A Range Rover travelling quite fast mounted the pavement and drove straight at them. The car hit your ex-wife but missed Mr Pride. He claims that it was a deliberate attempt to kill both of them. The Range Rover drove off without stopping. Now I would like to take a close look at your Range Rover please."
"You'll have to wait a couple of hours yet. Bessy's in Rowland's garage having the gearbox replaced, again. She's been in there all bloody week!"
DS Moon looked at the two uniformed officers and they left, I assume to go and visit Rowland.
"Is there anyway you can prove that you were here last night, Mr Sleeman?"
"That's a good one. How the hell am I expected to prove that I was alone in my flat? The definition of being alone means that I had no one here to vouch for me, doesn't it?"
"Well, in that case I'm going to ask you to come down to the station and help me with my enquiries."
"Sure, but you won't mind if I call my brief first and then get dressed will you?"
I called my solicitor, who wasn't best pleased to be called at that time in the morning and then I got dressed. As we left the flat, I just happened to notice Mrs Cummings, our local Nosy Parker, watching as we passed her kitchen window. Since her husband passed away some years ago, Mrs Cummings had little else to do but watch the comings (pun intended) and goings of her neighbours.
I turned to Doug Collins. "If you have a word with the old witch in there, she will probably give you a detailed list of my movements all week. Nothing gets past her no matter what time of night."
DC Collins and DS Moon exchanged glances. Then Collins walked back and knocked on the old girl's door. DS Moon and I continued down to their car. After sitting there for some time, DC Collins appeared out of the block of flats and Moony went over to meet him. They had an animated conversation for a few moments then DC Collins came over to me.
To be fair Doug Collins wasn't really a bad bloke; at school we'd got on quite well together. But I'm afraid we'd had a couple of run-ins with each other since he'd taken up his chosen profession.
"The old girl says there is no way you left your flat between eight o'clock when you got home and two in the morning when she went to bed. Does the old girl stay up until all the neighbours are in bed?"
"Fucked if I know, but she likes her bit of gossip. I suppose you got the story of her in number 22. The old witch reckons she's on the game whilst her old man is at sea."
"Yeah, I got chapter and verse on that one. Anyway the Sarge reckons that what the old girl says puts you right out of the frame. Mind he's still going to take a bloody good look at your car."
"That's his prerogative but he'll find fuck all. Anyway what hospital is Sheila in? I'd like to check up on her."
"The Royal; I'm afraid she's in a bad way, Marty. She's in the ICU. They are not sure if she will pull through or not. You realise we have to treat it as murder until we know for sure which way the cookie crumbles, and what with that last little debacle between you and Sheila, we had little option but to investigate your whereabouts."
"Don't worry; I understand you've got a job to do. Right now I'm going back up to have a shave then I'm going down there."
"Marty, you're still hung up on that woman, aren't you?"
"What do you think, Doug? You've known us long enough."
"But she dumped you for that slimy prick Tony Pride, didn't she?"
"To be honest with you, Doug, I'm not sure what happened to start with. But you know me; once I got out of my pram, I wouldn't listen to any explanations and blew my top.
"I thought she divorced you."
"She did but she never had much choice, I was climbing the wall and threatening to kill her and Pridey. I suppose that's what sent your DS chasing around here so quickly."
"Not really. It was Pridey who pointed the finger at you. Look, I think we need to have a word off the books about all this later on, if you don't mind."
"I'll be in the Plough about six-ish, I tend to eat there as soon as the kitchen opens."
"I'll try and make it there tonight. I'd better go now. The Sarge is getting impatient. He hasn't had his breakfast yet."
"Oh, what was his plan? Let me sweat it out in a cell while he had his breakfast?"
"Not far off, but as you hadn't been charged he'd probably left you waiting in an interview room for an hour or so."
I watched the officers drive away and then went back up to my flat to call my brief and let him know he wouldn't be required at the nick and then prepare myself for my visit to the hospital.
Sheila and I had met in a bar about twelve years ago. The guy she'd been with was apparently one of those guys who, when they get a few pints down them, thought he was the king of the world and looked for a scrap. But he picked a fight with the wrong guy, someone quite small who, I suppose he thought, he could handle easily. He might have been half cut, but he wasn't that stupid. His trouble was, he picked on a guy whose brothers were in the other bar. It might have been very messy if the governor hadn't been quick off the mark in getting the police to turn up.
Anyway, after her date was hauled off to the nick by the local constabulary, I, being the gentleman that I am, and with an eye for the off chance, offered Sheila the benefit of my protection and a lift home. Well, we never actually went straight home. We stopped in another pub for a quiet drink, to calm Sheila's nerves down a bit. From there we dated steadily for several months until she went off to University.
It was four years later, and I was playing best man at a friend's wedding. Who should turn up as a bridesmaid but Sheila? Now everyone knows that the best man is supposed to look after the bridesmaid. So, the next thing you know Sheila and I wake up in the morning in the same bed. Damn that, I had been too pissed to remember our first night together.
Although I do remember rogering one of the other bridesmaids earlier in the evening, Sheila must have played hard to get to start with. I think she had expected me to wait for her whilst she had been in UNI. But as I'd heard she was playing the field up there, I had no intention of being played for a fool.
Anyway let's cut to the chase, Sheila and I were married six months later when she was four months pregnant. I think we were very happy together. I'll say "I" because you can never really tell what other folks are thinking, can you? All you can ever be certain of are the feelings in your own heart.
Unfortunately we lost our little Kathy at three months. Cot death syndrome they said. That's just a way of them saying we don't know why your baby died. The trouble with that one is, there are always folks who will make their own mind up about what happened and gossip behind your back.
Sheila's cycle went to pot after little Kathy went. We tried really hard for the next few years, but Sheila just didn't fall pregnant again. The doctor put her on the pill to regulate her cycle but that of course didn't do much for the baby making plans. She could however hold down a job after she was on the pill, something she'd had a lot of trouble with over the years. PMT is only supposed to last for a couple of days; when Sheila's cycle was up the creek, hers could last for a couple of weeks at a time.
Things were happier at home as well; with her cycle going haywire home life hadn't been too pleasant on occasions.
Well things settled down for about three years. Then the subject of children came up again. We figured that the pill could have sorted out Sheila's cycle problem and if she came off them, with luck things should return to what they should be.
Best plans of mice and men. Yeah, Sheila's periods now came at regular intervals. But we still didn't get lucky in the child stakes. Still these things can take time. Then one afternoon I came home from work and Sheila wasn't home yet. She was always home before me. I started getting dinner ready - well, I tried - but I'm not much cop at the old cooking lark. After wandering around the kitchen like a lost sheep for half an hour or so, I resorted to the old stand by and called the local Chinese to have a take away delivered.
By seven o'clock the Chinese had arrived but there was still no sign of Sheila. I've got to say by now I was getting very worried. After all you read some strange stories in the newspapers nowadays. I called her office but the security guard said they had all left hours ago.
I started calling her friends from work. Luckily we had one of those personal phone books by the phone and Sheila had written everybody's number in it. I couldn't get an answer from any of her work mates. So from that I assumed she must have stopped for a drink with them after work. But by now it was gone nine o'clock.
Well, it was half eleven when the taxi pulled up outside and a very noisy Sheila staggered out shouting good night to her friends. I took up a superior stance sitting in the kitchen awaiting her arrival.
I think I should point out here that we tended to use the kitchen door as the main entrance. It's just the way that house was laid out when they converted it from a barn. That is nearest door to the road.
Maybe I overdid the look of disdain I had on my face, I'm not sure. But when Sheila walked in the door she took one look at me and then before I could really get into playing the annoyed husband bit, she just said "Fuck you, I've got a right to go out for a drink with my friends now and again!"
And then she turned, I assume with the intention of going through the door that led to the hall and the stairs to the bedroom. Unfortunately Sheila opened the door to the basement instead and then promptly went arse over tip down the stairs. As quick as I tried to be, I wasn't able to get there in time when I saw Sheila turning the wrong way. Did I shout a warning to her? I really couldn't remember; I just saw her disappearing through the cellar door.
The ambulance arrived surprisingly quickly and Sheila was hauled off to casualty. Luckily Sheila hadn't broken any bones; the Docs said that was most likely because she was drunk. Something to do with the body being relaxed. But she had taken a nasty bump on the head and she was suffering from concussion, so they kept her in for observation.
What I couldn't understand was her attitude to me that night. But then I didn't like what one of the Docs said to me. He asked if Sheila and I were in the habit of taking recreational drugs. I told that there was no way either of us took any drugs. He just raised his eyebrows and went to turn away. Look, I've never been to hold my tongue, I asked him to elaborate on why he'd asked the question, but he wouldn't.
The following day when I went to visit Sheila in the hospital quite late as I had been up most of the night, Detective Constable Douglas Collins was coming out of her room as I arrived. He just said hi to me and kept on walking passed.
When I asked Sheila what he was doing there she said he was investigating her accident. But Sheila apparently had no recollection of the previous day at all.
That evening after I arrived home DC Collins came to call. I had to give him chapter and verse of the previous day's events. He took a good look around the kitchen and at the basement stairs; I had to show him where I had been sitting. I pointed out the security monitor that I had watched Sheila arrive home on. Then I found and played him the part of the video that showed Sheila arriving home so he could see and hear her, getting out of the taxi and staggering towards the house.
Then after that he did what I thought was a strange thing. He asked me to go outside the door and shout. I never could understand the point of that, but it did give him a little time alone in the house. After he asked me to come back inside, he requested that I played the video of Sheila coming home again. Only this time he asked me to let it run on a little longer. I was surprised that you could not only hear me shouting to Sheila that it was the wrong door she was going through, but her scream as she fell as well. He left apparently satisfied that it had been an accident. He steadfastly refused to tell me why he thought it was anything else.
It was the next day, when I visited Sheila in hospital, that I first clapped eyes on Tony Pride. As I walked along the corridor, several of her friends from work were coming away from her room. Later I was to find out that one of them was Tony Pride.
When I entered her room Sheila told me the doctor had told her she could go home, but she was to take things easy for a while. I helped her to dress and then drove her home. Of course I wanted to know why she had not contacted me to let me know she was going out with her friends. But she claimed she Had no recollection of the day of the accident at all, so she couldn't tell me.
The thing I was really upset about had been her attitude when she got home that night. I had never stopped her going out with her friends, the same as she didn't object when I went for a drink with the guys. But we always let each other know what was going on so that we wouldn't worry.
For the next few months, things appeared to go on as normal, but I noticed that there was a greater distance than normal between us. Look, things had never been that normal. Sheila's strange PMT symptoms as I said went on longer than most folks did. Oh yeah and her cycle was slowly getting all screwed up again.
But this time, things where definitely different. Only I couldn't put my finger on what was causing the problem. Yeah, it would have been easy to blame the PMT but I somehow wasn't convinced. Sheila was spending more evenings with her friends and was treating me in a very strange way. Don't ask; I can't explain it really.
But she showed a keen interest in exactly whom I was drinking with when I was out with the boys and where we went. A couple of times she would show up at the pub with one of her mates. With hindsight I should have suspected something but as her friend Amy, whom she normally brought along, was sweet on one of my pals, I took no notice. I just assumed it was the old match maker thing.
Then it must have been eight months after Sheila's accident. I came out of work one evening to be met by DC Collins and a couple of other officers. They asked me to accompany them to the station to help them with their inquiries. They told me that if I refused they would arrest me.
At the nick, a detective inspector who I didn't know, questioned me about Sheila's accident on the basement stairs again. For hours he went over the events that evening again and again. After sixteen hours of questioning they suddenly told me that I could go home.
When I got home I was totally shocked to find that Sheila had moved out of the house. No note of explanation or anything. I tried to call her on her mobile phone. We had joined the yuppie mobile phone set after our last debacle which meant we could get in touch with each other wherever we were. But her phone was switched off.
The following day I was standing up the road from her office when Sheila finished work. She came out with one of her colleagues. I began walking towards her to ask her what the hell was going on. But as I got close Tony Pride appeared and put his arm around her. Now I could see that Pridey had seen me coming, but I'm positive that Sheila and her friend had no idea I was there. Sheila made a move to push his arm away, that I noticed, but it didn't register in my mind at the time; I was angry and not really thinking straight.
"Sheila, I need to talk to you!" I said as I got close enough.
"She has nothing to talk to you about," Pride said, as he stepped between us.
"Get lost, arsehole. I'm talking to my wife."
What happened next was more of a farce than anything else. Pridey took up the classic boxer stance and started skipping about like he was Cassius Clay or something.
"I'm warning you, I'm an amateur boxer!" He announced.
"Fuck me, I'm really scared."
"No, Tony, stay out of this. He'll kill you!" Sheila said, apparently in an attempt to get Pridey to back off.
But Pridey was having none of it and moved in close. I assume he was planning on putting me down. He aimed a left jab at my face, probably planning to follow that with a cross, as I noticed his right arm going back. Unfortunately for him, his left fist found my hand waiting for it. Grabbing his fist I gave it a twist to the left and he was forced to turn with it. We all heard something go as I kicked him in the side of his left leg just bellow the knee and he collapsed in a heap.