FICTION: The Wrong Impression – Part Two

By Drum Digital
14 February 2017

“You’re looking lovely as always,” Nelson said a few minutes later, as if he’d hadn’t seen her in weeks

By Agnes Kimberley 

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“Thanks,” Gladys smiled at him.

“You sound nervous, darling. There’s nothing to be alarmed about. You told me you haven’t been on a date since your husband passed away five years ago.”

“I know I’m being silly,” Gladys said.

He grinned. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to bite you – or perhaps you’d like it if I did! But we’ll eat first.”

Gladys looked terrified.

“I’m only joking, love,” Nelson took her arm in his and they began walking down the street.

“I’m just a bit flustered that’s all,” Gladys murmured. “This is all very new to me.”

“Have you got anybody at home waiting for you?” Nelson asked as they sat down in the fried chicken outlet.

“No. There’s nobody waiting for me. I could drop off the face of the earth and the only person who’d miss me would be Mpho. She’s great, isn’t she?”

He pulled a face. “She’s not my type. Besides, I detest women in positions of power. They think they know it all. It should be me who owns the shop.”

“Have you owned a business before then?”

“No. How could I when there are women like Mpho around? Everything is about women’s liberation today. What about the poor underdogs out there?”

“You mean somebody like you, Nelson? Yes, I can see it must be very hard on you.”

“I knew you would understand, Gladys. You’re not like the other women at the shop. You know your place in the world. And you know women should be beneath a man.”

“Oh yes, I’d only be too happy to stay at home and be a slave to my man. His word would be law in my home.”

Nelson grinned at her, and then chewed his mouthful of chicken.

Two weeks later, Gladys was sorting some boxes of bananas, and knew without turning round that Nelson was looking at her. She was becoming more and more nervous of his look.

She’d been out with him a few times now. He’d asked her to go away with him the coming weekend but she’d been too scared to say no.

She turned slowly around and looked at him. He winked at her. The next moment three strange men appeared in the back room of the shop.

“I’m sorry, but customers aren’t allowed back here,” Nelson said.

They ignored him. The three men walked directly up to him and before Nelson could say another word, one of the men took out a pair of handcuffs and said, “We’re arresting you for the murder of Angie Dube on the night of the 16 October.”

Then he was read his rights.

“This must be some kind of a joke. I was with my girlfriend that night. Wasn’t I, Gladys?”

Slowly she shook her head.

“No, Nelson. I never saw you that night.”

He glared at her.

“B***h, you’re just like all the rest!”

One of the cops said, “Don’t you call anyone names around here. We’ve been watching you for a while now, Nelson. We’ll get you for those other murders as well.”

“Thanks, Mom,” the tallest of the three detectives said. “We’d never have caught him without your help. But now we have a dozen officers digging up the various sites where he buried the women he murdered.”

Gladys shivered. Her son put his arms around her, saying, “You were never in any danger, Captain.”

Captain Gladys Sithole had volunteered to go undercover for this particular job. She didn’t want any other woman to risk her life.

“Thanks, Gladys,” Mpho said, coming up to hug her sister. “You were great. Now we know at last what happened to Dorcas.”

Dorcas was their cousin and one of Nelson’s first victims.

He was going to jail for a long time. If Captain Sithole got her wish, he’d never be let out again. And she'd go on doing whatever it took to make life safer for women.

The End

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