Elementary Novels

Hush Money by John Escott

The pub was called ‘Green Bird’. It had always been quite a popular place. When it was getting dark, a lot of people came there to have a rest. Especially on Fridays. Behind the pub there was a large parking, which was rarely empty. That day there were also many cars. And there was a woman at the parking standing in the darkness and waiting for something. The woman’s name was Rosa. She was hiding behind a big tree so that it was harder to notice her. She usually worked at a hotel six days a week, and took a day off on Monday. It was Monday evening. It was rather cold and Rosa felt discomfort. She was wearing a short and not too warm skirt. But the waiting was not too long and soon a middle-aged woman came out of the pub. She went to her car.

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Hush Money by John Escott

Behind The Green Bird pub there was a big car park.

It was a busy pub, and every night there were lots of cars there. Tonight, there was a woman in the car park too. She stood in the dark behind a tree, watching and waiting.

Her name was Rosa, and she was twenty years old. She worked in a hotel six days a week but not on Mondays. On Mondays, Rosa did something different.

And today was Monday.

Hush Money by John Escott

It was cold. Rosa pushed her hands into the pockets of her coat. It was a night for trousers, but Rosa wore a short skirt and nothing on her legs. That was important.

After a time a woman came out of the pub and walked across the car park to a blue Ford car. The woman was about fifty years old and she walked slowly. She sang quietly, with a little smile on her face.

‘She’s drunk,’ Rosa thought. ‘But she’s going to drive.’ The woman got to her car and put a hand on it. She wore a long green coat and grey trousers, and she had blonde hair. Very, very blonde hair.

‘Oh dear, my head!’ she said, then laughed.

‘That hair colour came out of a bottle,’ Rosa thought. She took a small bottle from her pocket. There was some red liquid in it and she put some of the liquid on her leg. Then she ran quickly round the car park to the blue Ford.

The woman opened the car door and half-fell into the driving seat. She laughed. ‘Oh, Dorothy Burns,’ she sang. ‘You’re drunk again!’

Rosa was now behind her car, crouching on the ground. When the car began to move back, she jumped to her feet and hit the car with her hand – bang!

The car stopped suddenly and Rosa fell down on the ground behind the car. She put her hand on the red liquid on her leg, and quickly put some of it on the back of the car.

Dorothy Burns got out of her car, and walked round to the back. When she saw Rosa on the ground, her face went white.

‘Oh!’ she cried. ‘What – what happened?’

‘My leg!’ Rosa said. ‘Oh, my leg!’ She began to cry…

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