Edward Grace walks through his front door to an horrific smell that burns the back of his throat, immediately rushing around the house leaving his suitcases at the door he stumbles upon Toni, lying face down on the floor in a pool of blood in the kitchen. Ed, taking deep breaths, rushes over to her and turns her naked body. Trying to hold back the vomit reflex and the emotional stress that rapidly fills his soul, Ed struggles at the sight, forcing him to scream out loud. He turns to rush out of the kitchen causing him to slip on the pool of blood, cracking his forehead on the cold hard tiled kitchen floor.
Ed awakes to the alarm bells from his mobile phone ring tone. He lies there gathering his thoughts with no attempt to take the call. Slowing turning with blood dripping from his head and sitting up, Ed stares at his dead girlfriend; Toni was the type of girl who would do anything for anyone and would never hurt a fly. She was a passionate devoted girlfriend who planned to spend the rest of her life with him. She was a beautiful 25-year-old woman, long blonde hair, nice slim physique and a smile that could stop traffic. Ed’s mind is baffled as to why someone would not only murder her but also mutilate her face beyond recognition.
Finding this obscene sight too much, he covers her body with a blanket and pulls out his mobile phone. Just as he is about to call the police his phone rings again, causing him to jump with fear. After about three rings Ed answers the call, slowly moving it towards his ear.
‘Edward Grace, by my estimations you would have discovered the body in your kitchen.’ The voice is firm, dry and monotone.
‘Who are you?’ trying to disguise his fear.
‘There’s a phone box on the corner of Stacey Road, Newport Road end. Be there in exactly one hour.’
‘Ed if you’re not there, or phone the police, your mother will be next, understand?’ Before Ed has a chance to respond the caller cuts off. Dramatically falling to the floor in a heap Ed feels completely helpless, scared, with no idea as to why he, or his family, is caught up in this catastrophe.
Checking his watch the time is 09.20, meaning he needs to make it to the other end of Cardiff on foot within an hour, which may prove difficult. He runs up to the bathroom and stares at himself in the mirror. His beige suit is covered in blood, a mixture of his own and Toni’s. Also, his face has dark flakes of blood from the gash on his forehead and needs to clean himself up quickly, not wanting to bring too much attention to himself. Stripping off and washing his face, in his mind Ed can only see the sight of Toni, mutilated, lying on the floor in a pool of blood. He tries hard to block the images and focuses on what he needs to do, but this proves somewhat difficult.
Once again standing in front of the mirror he looks himself up and down, brushes back his slick black hair and washes the blood from his toned olive skin. He brushes his pearl whites, dashes into the bedroom and pulls on a pair of blue jeans and dark t-shirt. Checking his watch again, he realises he only now has 45 minutes.
Slamming the front door and double locking it behind him, Ed charges to the fateful phone box. En route, his phone rings, he answers whilst briskly walking.
‘Hello?’ trying to catch his breath.
‘Hi Edward, it’s me.’
‘Hi mum,’ enjoying the soft comforting tone of her voice.
‘Are you ok, sound out of breath?’
‘Just in a hurry mum, that’s all.’
‘Ok I’ll take the hint, call me later, tell me about your trip away ok?’
‘Ok mum, love you.’
‘Love you too.’
Ed places the phone back in his pocket and ups his pace.
About a mile and a half to go in only 15 minutes, Ed breaks into a brisk jog, not the fittest bloke in the world, he runs out of breath pretty quickly but pushes through, fighting to get to the phone box. Many things fly through his mind whilst en route, the biggest question is why? Why would someone do this? There’s no explanation or any reason that he can think of. He also wonders how his life will be now Toni is dead. Sudden horror strikes him like a blow to the back of the head; the worrying thought that he might be framed for Toni’s murder.
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