The Strange Disappearance of Norman Findlay

Pretty Sleepy – Pixabay

************

Norman Findlay woke up that morning with his wife’s face bearing down on him. He opened one eye and then the other hoping against hope that he was not going to get the inevitable. Norman groaned.

‘Norman,’ Tallulah Findlay bellowed, ‘and I want you to cut the grass and put the rubbish out while I pop to the shops.’

‘Yes love,’ Norman replied more calmly that he felt.

‘Don’t forget, Brian and Molly are coming around later on this afternoon.’

‘Yes,’ Norman said, wondering why he needed reminding, they were his kids as well. Norman groaned inwardly for the second time and fell back on his pillow. He had two measly days off from his government job and he wasn’t allowed to do as he pleased for once.

‘And once you have done that, could you get the potatoes ready, you know Brian likes his roast potatoes,’ Tallulah went on oblivious to the look on her husband’s face.

‘Are the grandkids coming?’ Norman said, brightly.

‘Of course they’re coming!’

‘Yes of course, silly me,’ Norman replied getting up from bed sluggishly, seeing Frankie and Jack, would be a treat. They were growing up fast and before long they wouldn’t want to bother with old grandad.

Later that evening as the sun set and Norman had done the washing up and clearing away he pondered for a brief moment.

‘A penny for your thoughts dad,’ he son Brian said settling down on the sofa with Norman.

‘It’s nothing!’ Norman, lied.

‘I’ve just heard mum tell Molly she wants get a new kitchen.’ Brian said changing the subject.

‘What!’ Norman choked on his beer. He slammed it down on the side table. ‘We’ll see about that!’

‘Yes, that’s right dad,’ said his daughter Molly joining them on the other end of the sofa. That should keep you busy,’ she continued to Norman’s annoyance.

‘Oh hold on,’ she said getting up again, ‘I’ll just go and check on Frankie and Jack.’

‘They’ll be all right,’ Norman said reflectively, they love it here, he continued thinking of the small flat his daughter lived in with no garden.

Later that evening after everyone had gone home, Tallulah said, ‘so what do you think of pale green?’

‘What for?’ Norman replied puzzled.

‘Our new kitchen.’

‘So you’re serious about that then?’

‘Yes I am.’

‘But Tallulah, we haven’t a great deal saved up, and what we do is for the kids,’ Norman went on miserably.

‘So what are we working for then?’

‘Have you stopped to think about what I might want Tallulah?’ Norman snapped. There’s nothing wrong with the old kitchen, it’s practically new! Besides, he went on, I thought I would book a golfing holiday in Scotland, me and a couple of the lads from work.’

‘No, you’re not wasting money on that Tallulah,’ went on. ‘It may as well be on something we can both enjoy like a trip to the Mediterranean or a cruise.’

Norman’s mouth was set in a grim line. The prospect of being stuck on a beach or a large boat with his wife horrified Norman beyond words. So this was his life he thought bitterly. He could have wept.

She certainly wasn’t the woman he had married all those years ago. It was as if she had been cloned and turned into someone he didn’t recognise. Still, it could always be worse, he mused. He knew many of the lads at work were going through divorces after years of marriage and losing everything. Even their own kids gave them a wide berth.

Exactly one week later, Tallulah was sitting on that exact sofa she had sat on with her husband so many times weeping. Both her children were sitting at either side of her, trying to console their mother.

‘So how long do you think he has been missing?’ WPC Donna Thomas was saying sympathetically to Tallulah.

‘He didn’t come home last night, which is so unlike him, so one night.’

‘One night is not a long time, he could have stayed at a friend’s place and gone back to work from there,’ the other police officer was saying now.’ Have you phoned work?’

‘Yes, we have,’ Brian Findlay said clearly shaken, ‘they told us he has not been into work for a fews days, that he called in sick.’

PC Terry Dobson shook his head, also in sympathy. If he got a pound for every case like this he could retire early.

‘So did you have an argument or anything, tell us exactly what happened the last time you saw him. Did you notice anything unusual at all?’ the WPC was asking now.

‘No, that’s the thing we hardly ever fought, he always came home and if he was staying out late he would phone to say what time he would be home,’ Tallulah explained. ‘Something has happened to him I can feel it here,’ she sobbed some more touching her tummy with shaky hands. ‘Someone has killed him and buried his body. This sort of thing happens, it’s always on the news.’ Tallulah was sobbing more loudly now.

‘I wouldn’t go jumping to conclusions like that Mrs Findlay,’ he will probably turn up and explain what has happened. ‘Now, do you have any recent photographs of him?’ the male police officer was saying, ‘we’ll do everything in our power to find your husband and bring him home safely.’

Tallulah nodded and rose unsteadily to her feet. She left the living room and came back a few moments later. She handed a photograph to the police officer. WPC Donna Thomas looked at the photograph and nodded. Regular looking guy, brown hair, brown eyes, quite handsome really.

‘Does, he have any distinguishing features?’ she continued.

‘Yes, he has got a slight limp,’ Brian Findlay said, ‘his left leg is shorter than his right, he was born that way.’

*

Somewhere on the other side of the world, a man answering to the name of David Bennett, exited his sunlit apartment whistling. He had blond hair and brown eyes. His skin was lightly tanned. He was accompanied by an unknown younger woman, they looked to be in love. He walked with a slight limp.

************

Thanks for stopping by

Until next time, Sharon

4 min read!

Published by Sharon's Writers Tidbits

Sharon is a writer who lives in north London and has a long-held passion for the art and craft of creative writing. Sharon's main interests are novels, short stories and poetry. She also enjoys writing non-fiction. She is an avid reader and has a threatening TBR pile of books!

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