A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

They had only been away for a few miserable days, but Simone had suffered...


The week in Skegness passed quietly and uncomfortably. It's what happens when trust evaporates and gets to be replaced by doubt and unanswerable questions. Irritability surfaces and adds a friction between friends, like sandpaper between two infant cheeks.

Therefore it was with a huge mental sigh of relief that the three of them piled into Mr Potts' car at the end of the week, to return home.

What had started as a joyous break had turned into a fragmenting of relationships, and even father-daughter bonding had been strained to the utmost. The only true survivor was Paula and David as a twosome, and that connection had grown stronger.

Not one of them was sorry to leave the caravan and go home. A few moments in a night-time bed had soured the holiday. Yet nothing untoward had happened, not even more than a sentence spoken. The father couldn't adapt to the notion that his glowing daughter would share a bed with a male, any male, even the pleasant and somewhat over-polite and genial David.

When they finally arrived home it was to be greeted by the Simone furore.

She had been charged with manslaughter and was to be tried for it in the Crown Court, and already the corner of the town where they lived had been divided into two camps �" those that believe that Simone had done nothing to be ashamed of and those that thought the law ought to throw the book at her and incarcerate her until she was old and grey.

Suddenly their own differences seemed unimportant, and as Simone was still living at home before the trial Paula decided to let bygones be bygones and visit her, on her own. David offered to accompany her, but she was insistent.

She might be feeling awkward,” she suggested, vaguely.

When she arrived at Simone's home (she lived with her parents) she was shocked

The girl was a depressing sight. Simone had always been perky, full of life and bubbles, but now all the sparkle seemed to have evaporated as though the world was no longer the kind of place for happiness or pleasure.

They went into the front room and sat down. Simone's mother was bustling in the kitchen and her father was at work.

I just want to get it all over with,” she mumbled. “They say I might go to prison, and I don't care. I don't really care about anything any more.”

But it wasn't your fault!” Paula told her, shocked at the negativity in her friend's words.

I killed the lad. Beefy, they called, him, though it wasn't his real name...”

It's a strange nickname...”

They reckon he got it because … you know, his you-know-what, I hate to say it … is … beefy...”


Anyway, any other place, say with nobody looking on, I might have let him ….”

Might have let him what?” asked Paula.

He only wanted to feel me...”

I wouldn't!” declared Paula.

Anyway, I reached in my bag … it was only a little bag, the sort you take to places where you won't need a big awkward bag, really tiny, really, an evening bag...”

I get the idea!”

And I pulled out the first thing my fingers touched, and it was my nail-file. You know, the one with a plastic handle … it's not very big … and I lashed out at him with it...”

I'd have done the same!”

Only once! I only pushed it at him once!”

I heard...”

And somehow ... they said it shouldn't be possible … somehow it went through his shirt and... and … he's dead, Paula, and I did it, and soon I'm going to court to be tried for manslaughter, and if they say I'm guilty I'll go to jail for years and years and years... I want to kill myself!”

It was self-defence!” Paula assured her. “You can't condemn a girl for guarding her virginity!”

That's another thing... I'm ashamed of all the lies I've told about the things I've wanted to do and never have. With boys, you know. And the doctor at the police station had to look inside me, and find out … it's the worst thing that I've ever had to go through... I've never done the things I've boasted about, in the hut on the recreation ground or the back of cars... it's all been make-believe, and now everyone knows what a liar I am...”

That doesn't matter,” soothed Paula.

I feel so miserable, Paula … all the time, day and night, when I'm awake and in my dreams, and all because Beefy tried to touch me up... I didn't know he was called Beefy back then, he was just a stranger who bought me a drink in a bar, and I was greedy and asked for a double... He thought buying that for me had also bought me for him, if you see what I mean...”

Well, he shouldn't have thought anything of the kind!” declared Paula. “I've been out with David loads of times and he's bought me drinks and all sorts of things, and not once has he tried to do anything I don't want him to do...”

Like touch your breasts?”

Paula smiled coyly. “I said anything I don't want him to do,” she purred, “not anything at all!”

That seemed to catch Simone where it hurt, though Paula hadn't intended anything of the sort.

That's it! Rub it in!” she wept.

I'm sorry...” stammered Paula.

Miss perfect! Miss wouldn't-do-anything-wrong! Miss I've got David for my boyfriend, and you know how much I wanted him!”

Simone!” Paula was shocked. She knew that several girls had said they fancied David, that he was a bit of all right, and Simone had even lied that she was pregnant by him before this trouble, but the killer Simone wanted him that badly?

I love him!” almost wailed Simone.

The door opened and her mother came in. She had heard the furore, and it troubled her. Quite a lot was troubling her these days.

You'd better go, Paula,” she urged.

I didn't mean...” stammered Paula.

I know you didn't dear … but please... Simone's not quite herself.”

I am!” shrieked the distraught Simone, and she fumbled down the back of the chair she was sitting on and pulled out a nail file, not the one she had taken to the nightclub on that fatal night with her, but a nail file none-the less. And very slowly, very deliberately, she tried to push it into her own flesh, in her stomach where scars showed that it wasn't the first time.

© 2016 Peter Rogerson

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Added on April 14, 2016
Last Updated on April 14, 2016
Tags: Simone, murder, manslaughter, misery


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 74 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..


A Chapter by Peter Rogerson