Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
An End to it All ...
Claire stares at her cellphone before placing it on her nightstand. Again she attempts to retrieve the bottle of medication when the doorbell rings. This time it’s Jonathan Anderson. He is being escorted into Claire’s bedroom by his approving spinster aunt Amanda Anderson. Jonathan has come to make a final plea to Claire regarding his fascination with Karen Osbourne.
“Amanda, what is the meaning of this?” Claire glares from her Personal Assistant to the young man standing next to her.
“John—Jonathan just wants a minute with you, Ms. Westbrook.” Amanda replies looking from her employer to her nephew.
“Now?” Claire bellows, frantically searching the top of the night stand for her pills.
“Yes now please—if it would be convenient, madam.” Amanda speaks slowly and deliberately.
“This is not a good time, as you can see.” Claire is frowning at Amanda.
“He assures me that it will only take a few minutes.” Amanda is almost to the point of pleading.
Claire spies Jonathan and then reluctantly decides to allow him a moment of her time, only at the insistence of Amanda.
“Well, what is it Jonathan? I am not in the habit of receiving young gentlemen in my bedroom. I suppose you are here on behalf of my niece Karen.” Claire observes Jonathan sternly, then returns to the night stand.
“Yes, madam I am.” Jonathan replies.
“Well, go on with it.” Claire orders.
“Karen is waiting for me in the car. She asked me not to speak “with you, but I felt that I must.” Jonathan begins his conversation.
“It would have been prudent if you had listened to my niece.” Claire retorts.
“I don’t understand why you dislike me. I only want the best for Karen.” Jonathan explains.
“If you truly want the best for my niece then you should step aside and allow your brother to court her.” Claire is hardly able to contain herself because of the pain she is now experiencing.
“My brother is not interested in Karen. Wyatt and Kate are planning to be married—” Before Jonathan can finish his sentence the vase from the nightstand barely misses his head.
“Get out of my bedroom and my niece’s life! I never want to see you again.” Jonathan completely loses it and suddenly grabs Claire by the throat tightening his grip with every breath. Amanda happens to hear the commotion and quickly comes to the aid of her employer barely managing to pry her nephew away.
“I will have you in jail—I’ll sue you for every penny you possess.” Screams Claire to the top of her lungs, swearing at every turn.
When Amanda is able to somehow calm Claire down, Claire pushes Amanda out of the way and the woman hurries out of the room. Finally able to recover her medication from a bottom draw of her bedside stand, she signs.
As Claire attempts to open the container her hands start to shake uncontrollably. As a result, she spills the contents onto the floor. Since the household staff has earlier been dismissed for the day and there is no one else available, Claire calls for her Assistant Amanda to retrieve the pills.
“Amanda, come here this instance!” Claire bellows.
“Yes, Ms. Westbrook what do you desire?” Amanda reenters the room. She notices that the medication is covering the floor and Claire is looking at it strangely.
“I desire you to clean up this mess, fetch me another pill box and a fresh glass of water, NOW!” Claire shouts sarcastically while rubbing her right temple in response to the excruciating pain she feels.
“Yes, Miss …” Whispers Amanda who nervously approaches the scattered tablets.
“Hurry up girl, I don’t have all day! Why I listened to you and allowed that nephew of yours into my bedroom I will never know.” Claire shrieks.
After clearing the mess that was previously made, Amanda rushes from the room to retrieve a fresh pillbox that has been recently filled with medication. Amanda attempts to take a couple of pills from the contain but Claire snatches the entire lot from Amanda’s hand. She takes several from the pillbox and gulping them down with the lukewarm water from a glass on her nightstand.
“Jonathan is really a very nice young man if only you would give him a chance.” Amanda replies in a subdued voice.
“Never mind … just LEAVE ME ALONE!” Claire lies back on a pillow; makes strange gurgling sounds and then stares blankly at the ceiling.
For moments, Amanda just looks at her silent employer and then look at the fallen pills that have managed to escape the container. As she creeps closer to the bed, she identifies that the woman doesn’t seem to be breathing. For moments Amanda just stares in utter disbelief. Then, as if shaking herself from a self-induced sleep, she moves quickly into the hall to make the telephone call.
However, when the ambulance finally arrives at Claire’s home, it is too late.
Along with the ambulance, the police arrive as well. Amanda lead the paramedics along with Detective Jesse Hodges upstairs to Claire’s room. Amanda speaks first, while the paramedics try to resuscitate Claire.
“Detective Hodges, what are you doing here?” Amanda questions in surprise.
“I just happen to be in the area when I overheard the 911 Alert.” Detective Hodges answers.
Then he looks over toward the bed and says, “How is she boys?” Both men shake their heads as they return to get a gurney.
“She’s really dead then.” It’s more of a statement than a question.
“Yes Ms. Anderson she is. Can you tell me what happened? I understand that she has, or should I say had a history of migraine attacks?” Detective Hodges pulls out his smartphone and begins to take notes.
“That’s correct Detective Hodges.” Amanda replies still staring at the body as it is being loaded on the stretcher.
“It’s going to be Hell trying to navigate those stairs.” One of the paramedics tells the other.
“Why don’t we just toss the crab down the stairs? It’s not like it’s going to hurt her.” The other attendant retorts. It is obvious that he is not an admirer of the late Claire Westbrook.
“None of that boys.” Detective Hodges admonishes the men. With a lot of effort and patience, the men are able to get the body into the ambulance and to the morgue. Then Detective Hodges returns his attention to Amanda.
“Now why don’t you explain to me just what happened here? And why are these pills scattered on the floor like that?”
Amanda begins to explain to Detective Hodges exactly what happened. She is quick to relay that the time her nephew was arguing with Claire she had left the room and only returned when things seemed to get out of hand.
“I wondered why there were bruises around her neck.” Detective Hodges responds.
“At one point, Jonathan was choking her.” Amanda was barely able to get the words out.
“And, you stopped him?” Detective Hodges queries incredulously.
“Yes, sir.” Amanda answers.
“Okay, that’s all for now. If I need you later, you’ll be available?”
“Of course.” As Amanda escorts Detective Hodges to the door, she ponders where else could she go. She’s just lost her job. Then a strange smile overtakes her usually constrained features.
To Be Continued ...
Requiem for Claire 4
- Requiem for Claire 4
While the others hurriedly head toward their waiting cars and deserting the Maple Grove Mausoleum, a solitary gloved individual remains. This lone soul lingers until the workmen have completed their duties. Then the person fingers each letter.
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS