• Khushi Nair

Murder at the Manor

She sat down by the window. The storm outside matched Jane’s feelings perfectly as she desperately tried to get her breath to slow down and her hands to stop shaking. The lady of the house would be home soon and she would know what Jane had done, the empty glass of wine in the study bore testimony to her crime.

That evening by the time Jane had brought home the groceries, her employer was already there. A man of few words, he only seemed to speak when he roared for Jane to bring him a glass of wine, or when he had to remind her that she must be grateful to them for providing her with food, shelter and clothing. Despite saying close to nothing, Jane lived in constant fear of his wondering eyes. As was his habit, he yelled for Jane to clear out his study and bring him his glass of wine.

Jane obediently scurried into the study, her limp making it ever more difficult for her and put the books he had left on the table back into their shelves, trying her best to ignore his constant stare. She made her way back to the table to wipe it down and as she moved her hand across the wooden surface, he pulled the strings that tied her apron to her. She backed away quickly and left the room saying she’d be back with his wine. She trembled as she poured the drink and unable to process the humiliation, she reached for the powder that her employers used for their vermin infestation.

Jane put the glass on the table and hurried back out just as quickly as she had entered and waited for the consequences to her actions. A couple of hours later she went back into the study to see her master laying on the floor, a trail of blood flowing from his mouth onto the floor and that’s when it dawned on her. She had just murdered the man. In a panic she ran around the manor frantically looking for a way to get rid of the body. Her last option was to dispose off the corpse in the woods surrounding the property. She managed to drag the large frame out of the house with her delicate hands. Before she could act she heard the family car in the distance. The sound of the engine revving as it made its final ascend up the hill. Now short of time, Jane rolled the dead man into the garage and ran back inside.

She sat down by the window; the storm matched her feelings perfectly.

Finally, the car came into view and was parked where it usually does. The lady of the house and her two children sprinted towards the house to escape the rain. They rang the doorbell constantly but the hassled Jane could not get herself to open it. She snapped out of her petrified trance when the lady opened the door using her key. Jane took a deep breath and welcomed the family in. The lady asked her if she had gone deaf in her usual sharp tone and asked why she didn’t limp to the door to open it. Jane knew nothing she could say would appease her mistress who was convinced she was trying to seduce her husband and take her place, so she apologised softly and took her bags. She hadn’t even noticed that Jane was soaked and shaking.

Jane panicked once again as she heard her mistress call out to her husband. She saw her go into the study and then asked her oldest son to run to the garage to see if he was there. Her legs glued to the floor; Jane had no idea what she was going to do next. The shriek from the boy echoed through the house. The lady and her daughter ran towards him. Through loud sobs, he shouted to his mother what he had seen. The family rushed to the garage to see their patriarch lying there, stone cold. The lady reached for the phone and dialed the police. Just as the operator answered, Jane swung a hammer she found at her head. Even as she was laying senseless on the ground, Jane struck repeatedly, not paying too much attention to the screaming children. She only stopped when they made a run for it to the car. Jane ran after them. She saw them helplessly trying to get the door to open and as she dragged her leg as quickly as she could, she remembered the time she was bringing a huge pile of clothes down the stairs and how these same children had laughed when they pushed her down knowing they would face no punishment. The scene played in her mind on repeat as she smashed the hammer into their skulls. She didn’t stop till her arms could no longer take it. She wheezed and made her way back into the house, drenched in a mixture of blood and rain water. She lay down in the foyer, exhausted and burst into laughter. She lay there listening to the sound of the sirens approaching.

The court found her guilty for the murder of the whole family and proved her insane. The Judge damned her to a hospital for the criminally insane where she sits in solitary confinement. The cushioned walls around her make sure she doesn’t hurt herself. Her hands are bound in a straitjacket. Jane is finally free.


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