• Sreemanti Sengupta

On The Verge

by Mathew Roy Davey

Sam waited until 3 am. That, he thought, was when it would be least busy. He’d already scouted for an appropriate location, somewhere remote and densely wooded.

He pulled onto the hard shoulder and put on his hazards. The only problem with such a godforsaken hour, he reflected, was the likelihood that a traffic enforcement vehicle might stop to see what was wrong. Still, much in life was down to chance. Chance meetings. Wrong place, wrong time.

He heaved two Adidas holdalls from the back seat and lugged them up the slope. The noise diminished almost as soon as he was into the trees. He went a little further, but not too far. It wouldn’t do to be too close to some farmer’s field. He dropped the bags, breathing hard and sweating.

From inside the bags, he pulled plastic-wrapped bundles, pleased to see that neither had leaked, and dumped their contents in the undergrowth. It was spring, the smell would be high but only for a short while. It was unlikely anyone would come close enough to catch a whiff. How many years might the drivers pass, little knowing what was spitting distance from their cosy little metal box? Seeing all, seeing nothing.

He pulled away, keeping to the speed limit, and drove, windows down, feeling free. He passed the first services but pulled into the second. After dropping her engagement ring down a drain he went inside and bought a burger. Sitting at the table in the empty concourse, he was almost alone. He chewed slowly, scrutinising anyone who came and went, thoughtful, almost carefree.

Matthew Roy Davey

Matthew Roy Davey lives in Bristol, England. He has won the Dark Tales and The Observer short story competitions and been long-listed for the Bath Flash Fiction award and the Reflex Flash Fiction competition. He has recently been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry and fiction have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. His short story ‘Waving at Trains’ has been translated into Mandarin and Slovenian. Matthew is also an occasional lyricist for prog-rock weirdos Schnauser. He has no hobbies.

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