Story a Day Twenty Nine – Jeremy

The last thing Jeremy saw was the bus disappearing down the blacktop and finally, he was able to rest.

But the story did not end there, it seemed that it was only the beginning, for the stakes were that high. No, the story was only just beginning, despite what Jeremy might think and believe.

But it was not his story.

Only a few days ago, he was getting prepared to go on the vacation of a lifetime, with Josie, the love of his life. The 20th wedding anniversary had crept up on them, almost without notice, as they scooted through family life. Their kids were now virtually grown and they realised that they could take off to wherever they wanted, appreciating the generosity of two sets of grandparents who would be able to step in should the kids need any assistance.

The 3-week vacation was one they had planned for years and although they were the sort of comfortable adventurers who enjoy a decent bed and bath, their planned trip was not for the fainthearted. They were going to drive up to the Pacific North-West, only using local hotels and B&Bs, so they got the full flavour of the ‘real’ America.

To start with, everything went well and they made their way up the coast, enjoying great hospitality and friendly welcomes everywhere they stayed and stopped.

They were beginning to settle into the vacation life when as unexpected as a hole in the weather might be in that damp and rainy part of the world, storms blew in for days, one after the other.

They decided to get a break from it, some 150 miles north of San Fransisco, in a small, sleepy town with just one street. Set back off this was a realtor a friend had recommended for a cottage rental on a small lake. Even in this weather the standard of the accommodation and its location meant the small detour off the beaten track was worth it.

Soon after they arrived, things took a bit of a turn for the worse, when as night settled in and they were snug in their cabin with a log fire roaring and a decent red wine breathing, there was a knock at the door.

Jeremy answered, carefully, for he had seen too many movies where chainsaws were involved in out of the way spots to take a late night caller lightly.

At the door was a drenched young woman, looking for all the world like she needed a room and bed for the night.

“I’m hiking and I’ve gotten lost,’ was the plaintive cry from the woman as she stood at the door.

“Come in, come in,” said Jeremy, even in that moment sensing deep in his gut somewhere, that this might lead to trouble.

“Who is it, sweetie?” said Josie and immediately Jeremy felt a guilt come on, even though he had only opened the door and let in a stranger in need.

“It’s a young woman,” he replied, “She’s lost and needs a bit of a warm up.”

He immediately regretted the turn of phrase he had used, as he ushered the young woman into the warm room.

As soon as Josie saw her, she went into ‘mother’ mode, taking charge and getting the girl upstairs to a bathroom, a hot shower and some warm clothes.

Once refreshed, the girl came downstairs and introduced herself properly.

“I’m Angie,” she said, “And I’m so grateful that you took pity on me like this.”

Jeremy, the kind, warm and generous-hearted chap that he is, responded genuinely to her, “It’s nothing. On a night like this, it’s all we could do.”

Just then, there was another knock on the door and when he went to the door this time, Jeremy noticed in Angie a look of fear on her face. It was only slight and, unfortunately, Jeremy did not quite take it in as he might have done until it was too late.

“Where the fuck is she, you bastard?” Was the immediate response to his opening the door. A very wet, bedraggled and unsavoury looking young man pushed his way in through the door. He was not asked in.

“There you are, you bitch,” he screamed further and as he did, both Angie and Josie screamed too, so that the whole place was full of noise.

Jeremy shot in the room to keep the pace and protect the women from what he saw as a serious threat.

“Keep him away from me,” screamed Angie, as she grabbed a poker from the fireside and prepared to protect herself.

As she did, Josie grabbed a large vase that was standing on the floor and hit the interloper on the head. That was not a big issue in itself, but when he fell hard and caught his temple on the side of the fireplace., blood began to pour from the wound immediately and they all knew they had a problem.

He was as dead as you could get. On their floor. In their cottage.

Angie screamed. Josie screamed. Jeremy screamed.

It was a screaming moment that none of them could have foreseen even minutes ago.

There wasn’t much they could do in the moment except clean up and put the body somewhere. So they wrapped it up in the bloody carpet and took it out to one of the several dilapidated sheds in the yard.

Angie was still so hysterical that they could not make sense of who the man was, so they gave her a large slug of vodka and made her drink it all down. After two more of them she was comatose and fell into a troubled sleep where she moaned and tossed and turned.

Rosie finally turned to Jeremy and asked, “What the fuck are we going to do now?”

Jeremy considered this for a moment – not that he hadn’t been thinking about it quite a bit already. There was a bit of a temptation to joke about it and tell Rosie it was her problem as she’d been the one who hit him, but he realised that joking wasn’t really the way to go in that moment.

“I don’t know,” he said finally, “Let’s sleep on it and see what tomorrow brings.”

“Like it’s going to get better in the morning,” replied Josie, “What makes you think that’s going to happen?”

With that, she flounced off and slammed the bedroom door. Jeremy was not going to be welcome by her side that night.

He made his way to the second bedroom and proceeded, after a largish slug of vodka himself, to take to the bed.


It was very dark now and the only sound was the wind in the trees. Except for the faintest rustle on the floor and then, he definitely heard it now, a squeak of a floorboard.

As he turned over to welcome Josie into his bed, he was struck by something odd. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it initially, then he realised that this did not smell like Josie. And when he touched his new bedmate, he realised from her slim form, that it definitely wasn’t Josie at all.

It might not be good form, but he didn’t care and after realising it might be an opportunity not to be missed, he proceeded to make hay while the sun shone, so to speak. He reckoned that even if he got caught out, he could feign a ‘misunderstanding’ and get away with a very nice opportunity indeed.

As they were in the middle of the new relationship being cemented, he heard another indistinguishable, yet clear squeak on the floor and within a fraction of a second, a light came on and there he saw his wife of 20 years, watching him have his way – his very misunderstood way – with the young woman they knew as Angie.

And a body in the shed.



When he awoke, Jeremy was alone. The night seemed like a dream to him. A strange extreme of pleasure and nightmare, and he reflected upon that for a while.

He could smell the coffee. And bacon. And cinnamon rolls, fresh smells coming up from the kitchen, so he decided to brave the potential upsets to come and go downstairs.

It was a hive of activity, with both Angie and Josie busy running around and , well doing kitchen things.

The table was set and ready to go and Angie was putting the rolls on the table and then fetching the coffee.

Josie came over as he entered and ushered him into a seat and brought eggs and bacon over to him and poured him a cup of coffee.

Everything just how he liked it.

Angie smiled warm smile towards him and it was in that instant that Jeremy started to wonder if he’d been transported into a parallel universe.

“How is everyone this morning?” he asked as brightly as he could.

There was a warm and positive response to this from both as they sat and joined him.

Jeremy was quite unnerved by this and although the eggs were perfect and the bacon as crisp as he liked it, he felt an inkling that worried him. There was something going on that he could not fathom and yet was there, unspoken as he ate.

“Angie wants a lift to the bus station,” said Josie, “Her bus leaves at just before ten.”

“OK,” Jeremy said, “I’m on it. 15 minutes?”

With a smile at both, he ate with enough pace to ensure that he could be ready in time. As soon as he was done eating, he took a fresh cup of coffee with him and got showered.

As the three of them gathered for departure, Josie said an odd thing.

“You have a safe trip now, Angie, and don’t worry yourself about anything. We’ll tidy up here before we go.”

With that, Jeremy and Angie were off down the track, which led to the road, which in turn arrived in the town with the bus station.

On the journey, Angie talked about random things. Her trip. Her life and nothing out of the ordinary at all.

The last thing Jeremy saw was the bus disappearing down the blacktop and finally, he was able to rest.

But the story did not end there, it seemed that it was only the beginning, for the stakes were that high. No, the story was only just beginning, despite what Jeremy might be thinking.