“We’ve done it!” There was exultation in the words, and not a skerrick of guilt. She put down the axe, which would have to be cleaned, of course, and looked at the blood on her hands. How had she managed that? It had seemed such a clean kill.
Oh well, put it down to inexperience. After all, it wasn’t as if she’d ever done it before, and it wasn’t exactly something you went round practising, was it? But, before they did anything else, she would have to wash her hands. She spared a passing thought for Lady Macbeth, who had been so upset she couldn’t get her hands clean. All that emoting over bloodstains on her hands! She had found Shakespeare ridiculously over-the-top at the best of times, (such a waste when she could have been learning something more practical at school!), but Lady Macbeth was the limit. Didn’t they have any soap in ancient Scotland?
Ah, that was better! At least she had soap and running water. Now the next job was to hide the evidence and dispose of the body. Geoff was already straightening up the yard, just as they had planned, and she knew he had been working on the wire for the last couple of days. It had to look like it had been worn and pushed aside, it mustn’t look like they had cut it. People had sharp eyes; it was really important to get the details right. That was how you got away with things without anyone suspecting.
She glanced at the sky. Not long now till daylight – time to keep moving along. Yes, even if it had made more mess, she was glad she had used the axe. Strangulation, she believed, was the more usual method, but that would have involved touching it, and she wasn’t sure she had the strength to carry it through. Imagine the noise, the outcry, if something had gone wrong! And the possibility of escape! No, there was far too much risk of discovery that way. It was much better the way they had gone about it, even if Geoff, always squeamish, had insisted on leaving the actual killing to her. And MacGregor, infuriating, prying, lecturing neighbour that he was, wouldn’t be back till Monday to make the discovery. And by then the evidence would be disposed of and the trail gone cold.
Relief washed over her again. No more screaming in the middle of the night, no more arguments with neighbours. And nobody would be able to prove a thing. There would be gossip and speculation of course, but they could easily add a few speculations of their own. Hadn’t they thought they’d seen a tall man skulking around the laneways in the dusk? And couldn’t MacGregor use the insurance money?
Now she just had to dispose of the body. It looked pathetic lying there, as if it had been deflated. Was this sad, skinny specimen the one who had been wrecking their night’s sleep for weeks and driven them to the point of madness? Well, the feathers could be burnt, and as for the rest … She picked up MacGregor’s rooster with one hand and eyed the sorry carcase. “I think I’ll make chicken noodle soup,” she said.