Here (at last) is the promised continuation of chapter one . . .

Lynch by Inch

Claudia Stone looked down at the ten metre length of rope dangling from her hand and realised she had no idea how make a noose. Standing at the foot of the basement stairs, her flimsy peach-coloured peignoir plunged daringly at the neckline and swung about her ankles like water. This was the day, she’d decided earlier, her teeth clamped in determination. And this was the place. As far as the knot was concerned, she’d just have to ad-lib.

No one passing the Stone residence at 8 Wellington Drive in York Mills, Ontario that promising sun-bright day would ever have guessed what forty-six year old Mrs. Stone was up to. If the high wrought iron gates happened to be open, passers-by would likely notice the manicured lawn and the circular drive dressed in potted plants and skirts of blossoming flowers. They’d catch sight of the impressive old house almost hidden by towering spruce and weeping willow. A watchful eye would certainly blink into the brilliance of the original stained glass window adorning the main entrance, but might fail to detect that the pillars supporting the veranda’s ornate crown were forgeries. How fortunate were the people living there they would muse. How comfortable and happy they must be. 

Houses often give false impressions. 

Deep inside, Claudia Stone wasn’t considering other people’s assumptions. She wasn’t giving a damn about what anybody thought about anything. For once in her life she couldn’t have cared less. Her mind barely registered the icy chill emanating into her bare soles from the newly laid terracotta tiles. It was occupied instead with the sturdy oak beams overhead. Six of them. Claudia took a hesitant step forward, eyeing each beam like a hungry bird a worm. The rope she found in the garage was pure untreated hemp. Her husband had picked it up dirt cheap at Maynard’s Hardware a month earlier. He intended to keep it in the trunk of his car to use as a tow rope once winter rolled around again. Claudia spotted it the other day, hanging from a hook next to the rake. She figured it would do the trick. 


to be continued . . .



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