The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann
A White Dwarf – A Dying Star
“Let me fix the drinks,” I say, “you just sit down and relax.”
My gloves are on the table and I put them on.
Then I walk to the front door and flip the Open sign to Closed. Locking the door I tell Eva, “No point being disturbed.”
Erik’s picture is glued to her chest.
I go into the small kitchen. She has a collection of different liquor bottles on the counter.
After mixing each of us my easy-on-the-Coke Bacardi specials, I go back to her.
Handing her the drink, with my glove on, I say, “I can’t believe my fingers are still cold.”
She grabs the glass and gulps half of it down. I do the same thing with mine. “No mother should have to bury her child,” Eva says, monotonously.
It seems her mind is somewhere else. Maybe far, far out in the Cosmos.
Eva looks at me with tears in her eyes. “We had been married for seven years and then, last year, on the 17th of May, he disappeared.
“We didn’t know what happened. He was such a loving husband and we were trying to have children.”
If you had only known how your loving husband was screwing around.
“One month after he disappeared, I find out I’m pregnant. After two months, I had a miscarriage, probably from all the stress.
“Well, four months pass and then they find him dead, at the bottom of the Pulpit Rock.”
Now her drink is empty and I go and get her another, even stronger. Her eyes are getting heavy and her speech is slurred.
“The police are not sure what happened, there are too many questions. They think it might be suicide, which is ridiculous. He was very happy when I saw him the last time.
“May 17 is a big day here and we had lunch with our family. He told me he had to go meet some people from the Viking soccer team. He was being considered as their next coach.
“When he was not back the next day and I had called all the people I could think of and none of them knew where he was, I called the police. The police have ended the investigation now, it was just put down as a suicide.”
Eva stands up and throws her arms up in the air.
“I just feel something is wrong. I don’t believe it was suicide. He didn’t drive his car and no cab drove him to the Pulpit.
“I’m going to my cabin in the mountain for a week.
“When I get back, I will use the extra cash I get from selling you the painting to hire a private investigator.
“There must be somebody who has seen something.”
This is no good! I have to put a stop to this! She is going to use my money to find me and get me convicted for murder? I don’t think so!
She gets up and stumbles towards the stairs. “I have to go to the bathroom.”
I jump up. “I’ll help you up the stairs.”
After some commotion we reach the bathroom and she falls down, and crawls the rest of the way to the toilet.
This girl is going to pass out any minute now.
I walk over to the bathtub and start running the water. I pour in a good amount of her bubble bath bottle.
“Look,” I tell Eva, “why don’t you get into the tub? It will do you good.”
She is still sitting on the toilet half asleep.
I unbutton her blouse and her bra; her slacks and panties are still around her ankles.
When I have undressed her I put my arms around her and help her into the tub.
She slides down into the water. I clap her on the head.
“I’ll go down and get you a drink.”
“Thank you,” she sighs deeply and closes her eyes.
I mix her a drink in a new glass and bring it upstairs. When I get back she is nearly gone, literally and visually. All I can see is her long blond hair, floating on top of the suds.
I put my hands on her head and push it under the water. No resistance. I go down on my knees, glance at my watch and hold her head under the water for five minutes. All I see is the foam covering the whole bathtub.
You are like a white dwarf, which is a dying star. You are at peace now. I’m doing you a favor. Another tragic suicide in the family.
I close my eyes and enjoy the electric jolts that run through my body.
I put my dripping wet gloves into a plastic bag. At the sink I take one glove out and use it when I open the faucet, being careful not to leave any fingerprints. Then I wash both of the gloves under the running water, getting rid of the suds. I wring the water out of them and put them back on.
Now I have to rewind and try to remember everything I touched when I wasn’t wearing gloves. I did have them on until I sat down at the table. I’d better go downstairs and start wiping off prints.
Our Irish coffee mugs are still on the table, together with the Cuba Libre glasses and Erik’s picture. In the kitchen I open the dishwasher. It’s full, I start counting glasses and mugs. There are four glasses and three mugs, matching the one we have used.
Opening the cabinets I see three more glasses and two more mugs.
So, she has a total of nine glasses and seven mugs. That includes the ones we have been drinking from. Odd numbers, so nobody is going to notice that one glass and one mug are missing, I will take mine with me and throw them away later.
I grab Erik’s picture and go upstairs to the bathroom. Standing in the doorway, I try to visualize what it would look like if she had committed suicide.
The toilet has not been flushed, so I leave it like that. Her clothes are on the floor. I take Erik’s picture and drop it into the bathtub, face down.
I hope this is the last time I will see your ugly brown eyes.
Putting her glass on the bathtub shelf, I give it a push, so it hits the floor. It doesn’t shatter, only gets a few cracks. I stand there and watch as her Bacardi Coke runs down the drain.
I go back to the doorway for another look.
Hope I have remembered everything. Would she have left the door open? No, I think she would have closed it.
Closing the door, on my way down, I pass a door with STUDIO painted on it. I can’t resist, I go inside. The room is filled from top to bottom with paintings.
It really would be nice to have a souvenir. I think I deserve one. I can’t take the Stonehenge painting in the window. That’s too risky.
Finally I find a small painting of Stonehenge. Not more than 30 by 30 centimeters. It has no frame or signature.
Perfect! If anybody asks, I’ll just say I bought it from somebody on the street.
I wipe it down with a cloth I find on the table.
In the kitchen I put the painting in a plastic bag and put my glass and mug in another. The chair I’ve been sitting on I push back under the table. That way only one chair is pulled out.
Eva’s Irish coffee mug and her other glass is still on the table.
In the hallway my socks meet the glass and mug. I will throw them away on my way back.
I peek out the door. All quiet on the Western Front, except for the rain drumming down. I hurry back to the hotel, getting rid of the evidence along the way.
We are flying out this evening.
So much for my relaxing time in Stavanger!