2nd place The Commuters by Cheryl Kelly

The Commuters – 

Oh God!….Here she comes – Mary-bloody-Poppins!  Fran watched as Lisa glided down the stairs and onto the station platform

“Morning Fran – isn’t it just the most glorious day!”

“Hi Lisa.  Yeah…I guess.  Nice shoes”

“Thanks.   They’re new”

But of course they are … Fran was used to these daily exchanges.   Lisa’s family was wealthy. Really, really, REALLY wealthy.  She knew this because Lisa was always telling her! Her father was a Macquarie Street specialist and her mother ran a highly successful IT company – nothing was EVER a question of money.

They’d first met standing in the same spot, on the same platform, at the same time every day waiting for the same train to take them into the city to work.   The usual platitudes – “Morning”. “Nice day”. “Where do you work” and so on, which slowly developed into longer casual conversations.

At first Fran had been in awe of Lisa and her privileged lifestyle.  Her private school education, beautiful clothes, parties, and flash cars. The past few months however, had seen this veneration change to resentment and finally to a deep-seated envy.  By contrast, Fran’s life was positively impoverished! She couldn’t remember the last time she had new shoes. Both parents were dead and Op shops and creativity were her best friends!

Stations whizzed by as the train snaked its way through the outskirts towards the city

“How’s the planning going with Benny?”

“Oh Fran!  I’m soooo excited…and scared all at the same time.   Just think….if he hadn’t missed his train that day I may never have met your brother…and now look – two lovebirds planning our escape!   I must admit when he suggested we elope I was pretty taken aback, but it’s the only way – my parents would NEVER agree to your brother and I living together let alone getting married….no offence!”

“None taken”….Toffee nosed little bitch that you are

“I just wish I could have met your parents – do you think they would have liked me?”

They’d have hated your guts and everything you stand for.  Fran smiled – “Yes, I’m sure they would have loved you.” 

 “I’m very happy for you both Lisa, but Benny’s not the richest bloke around you know”

Lisa giggled.  “Oh…money won’t be a problem.   Benny and I have discussed it. I’ve got just on $25,000 which my parents gave me for my 21st as a deposit on a house, so I’m going to withdraw that tomorrow, and my Grandmother left me some quite valuable jewellery.  I’ll be able to sell that once we’re on the road and away from everyone. That’ll give us some breathing space while we get settled in Queensland.   See – all sorted.”

The train shuddered to a halt and Lisa stepped onto the platform calling over her shoulder

“I’ll drive over to your place 7.00 o’clock tomorrow night, pick up Benny and then we’re off!”

Right on cue – 7.00 pm – Fran watched through the grimy tenement window as Lisa pulled up.  Bloody Porsche!  Could she be any more conspicuous!

Lisa stepped out of her car and waved.

“Where’s Benny?  I thought he was going to meet me here”

“Yeah – bit of a change in plans.   He had to work a bit late so suggested you drive out to meet him when he finishes around 9.00 o’clock?   We could go down to the pub for a couple of drinks to fill in the time if you like”

“Hmmm – OK, but I don’t want to hang around here too long.   Don’t want to be found out before we even leave town”

A couple of hours later and Fran was peering through the misted-up window of the Porsche.  Lisa’s head was slumped to one side, a typed, carefully scripted suicide note clutched in her lifeless hand.  Job done! She was doing a final wipe down of the steering wheel, doors and seats, being careful not to disturb the hose that was attached to the exhaust pipe when she was caught in the headlights of a car slowly lumbering down the bush track.   She froze. The car stopped and a familiar male voice called out

“All done then?”

Yep.   Piece of piss really – slipped her a Mickey Finn at the pub – she thought she was drunk so I drove.  She’d passed out before we even got off the main highway. Hardest part was getting her back into the driver’s seat!”

“OK – turn the ignition back on and shut the door.   Have you got the money….and the jewellery?”

“Of course.   Trusting little thing she is….was.    It’ll be a few days before anyone discovers she’s missing, and we’ll be miles away by then – on our own honeymoon I’m thinkin’.  Stupid little spoilt brat! She actually believed you were my brother!”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *