Chapter 3


Mid October and one of the first major storms of autumn is making its presence felt. Challaborough Bay on the South Devon coast is taking the brunt of Nature’s fury, an exceptionally deep depression over the Atlantic has thrown up an unusually high tide. In alliance with gale force winds, waves of immense height and depth are being hurled at the shoreline. The caravan park, set in a deep narrow valley leading down to the beach, is in serious danger of flooding.
The site store and bar, which is situated just above the beach, is awash and the first two rows of caravans are sitting in two to three feet of water. The once gentle stream that runs down the centre of the park and exits in the bay is now a raging torrent. Serviced by run-off from the valley walls and swelled by the in-rushing tide it has burst its banks and is expanding the lake in which the first two rows now sit.
I am sheltering from the wind and horizontal rain in a phone box which sits on the cliff top between Challaborough and the village of Bigbury-on-Sea. I have acquired a neatly trimmed beard and I am dressed in the uniform of a police constable. Below, in a caravan on the park, is Mrs Melissa Strange nee Tollman, wife of Mike Strange and one of my teenage antagonists. Tiers have been cut into the valley walls and her caravan is situated on the third tier, which means it is at least thirty feet above the valley floor. I know this because six hours previously I had chloroformed and taken her two children from their comfortable warm beds whilst Melissa was sleeping off the six bottles of wine she and her friend had recently drunk.
It is eight a.m. and she will be frantically worrying about her two missing children.
How do I know? Easy, the Park staff have been going from caravan to caravan, waking people up since six a.m. They concentrated on those on the valley floor and those on the first tier.
People are still being ferried from their caravans in trailers towed by tractors, and taken to higher ground. At around seven thirty, those occupying caravans on the third tier were being woken by park staff, who, I guess, were asking if people from the lower tiers could take refuge in their caravans.
Eight o five a.m. I see Melissa run from her caravan, the rain blurs my vision but I can see enough through my binoculars to see she is running around like a headless chicken, frantically waving her arms in the air before sinking to her knees onto the wet muddy ground.
People are running up to her, someone puts their coat around her rain soaked shoulders. Some of them start to run after the Park staff, whilst others walk around adjacent caravans, obviously looking for Melissa’s brats.
The storm is a worry; I just hope it will calm down enough for me to carry out the next stage of my plan. High tide was an hour ago but I can see no sign of the water retreating, the wind and the waves are relentless.
The Buzz, which I experienced earlier this morning, has all but subsided and I am now feeling totally exhausted. Not a lot will happen whilst the tide is so high and this storm keeps raging. I’ve got a VW Camper Van parked in a sheltered spot in Bigbury-on-Sea, on Marine Drive; I think now is the time to get some sleep before the next stage of my plan. Before doing so, I need to make a ‘phone call and send a couple of text messages.
It’s eleven thirty and, although my sleep has been fitful, I need to get up and about. However, it’s noon before I venture back out, the rain is still horizontal and cruelly seeks out my unprotected flesh. I have to pull the hood of my sou’wester tightly around my face so only my eyes and nose are exposed before walking towards the coastal path that will take me down to Challaborough Bay.
The gradient is steep and treacherous under foot, nonetheless, I am standing outside of the Park shop within twenty minutes. The whole area is deserted; the only signs of the frantic activity of five hours ago are neatly stacked sandbags ringing the valley floor caravans and the churned mud and grass tracks caused by the wheels of the tractor and trailer. Thankfully, the tide has receded and the lake that had covered the valley floor earlier this morning has run off into the sea. The stream is still a raging torrent and the valley floor is a quagmire. As I need to get to the third tier, to carry out the next stage of my plan, I will have to go the long way around. This means I will have to get onto the road that winds down into the Bay and walk back, along it, to the top of the valley. From there I can go through the top gate to the caravan park and make my way down to the third tier. To get onto the road I need to walk along the beach to the far end of the Bay, walk up the boat ramp and access the road.
In front of me, as I turn to step onto the beach, is a solitary figure walking along the surf edge, oblivious to the cold water which is churning around feet and legs. Squinting through the gloom of Nature’s contempt I can see a woman, head bowed against the wind and rain who I think I recognise. I can’t believe my eyes, can it be? Yes, it is, Melissa Tollman. Why is she on the beach, why isn’t she back in her caravan awaiting news of her children? Why do I care, this makes things so much simpler?
The wet sand clings to my boots as I struggle along the beach, following my quarry. As I get closer I see that under an inadequate coat for these conditions, she is still dressed in her night clothes.
Her shoulder is cold and wet to my touch as I reach out and pull her away from the pounding surf. She turns around to face me and I see her eyes are red and swollen and the hand she puts up to her mouth is blue with cold. How was I ever intimidated by this pathetic bitch?
‘Miss Strange?’ I shout, trying to make myself heard above the noise of the wind and surf.
‘Have you found my kids?’ She screams back at me. She is on the verge of hysteria and obviously in shock but, as I said earlier, what do I care
‘Yes,’ I say. ‘If you would like to follow me, I will take you to them.’
‘Are they safe?’
‘Yes, Madam,’ I reply. ‘Your children were found sheltering in a small cave beneath the cliffs.’
‘Thank you, thank you.’ She throws her arms around my neck and sobs into my already wet collar and then, once I have eased her arms down, she gladly follows me as I lead her to a small cave beneath the cliffs which carry the path to Bigbury-on-Sea.
‘Is my husband with them?’ She asks as we walk along the sand.
The words are whisked away by the wind and drowned in the squally rain but I catch enough of them to understand what she has just said.
‘No, I’m afraid not, last I heard, he is still travelling down here by car.’
Melissa doesn’t argue or question as I guide her over the wet sand and then up and over the wet slippery rocks to the cave. This is possible because it’s low tide, at any other time these wide expanses of rock and sand would be beneath ten to fifteen feet of water. Melissa sees the cave, detaches herself from me and scrambles over the rocks to reach it. Her agility surprises me and I struggle to keep up with her. She reaches the shallow cave which is about ten feet wide by twenty feet high and tapers back, cone like, for some thirty feet. Inside it is suddenly eerily quiet.
‘Where are they?’ She demands; her eyes, still red from crying, frantically searching the cave for a sign of her two children.
‘All in good time, Melissa,’ I reply.
‘What? Who are you and where are my kids?’She screams as she frantically looks around the cavernous empty space.
‘You’re standing on them.’ I tell her, smiling menacingly.
‘Staandi…where are my kids, you bastard?’ pleads an ever more distraught Melissa.
‘Melissa, if that is all you are going to say then this is going to be very boring,’ I reply, mockingly.
She begins to cry, and again pleads. ‘Please, I just want to see my kids. Where are they?’
‘As I said, you are standing on them and, if you hurry, you might be able to save them.’
Melissa looks down at her feet. There is a wisp of golden hair lying next to her right foot; the other end of it disappears beneath the sand. She drops to her knees and begins to dig frantically, losing two finger nails to the sharp rocks I have used to cover the bodies. The little girl, her daughter, is the first to be unearthed.
I must admit, I am fascinated by her industry and the selfless way she scoops out the sand and rock from the shallow graves, giving no thought to her own pain as they take their toll on her hands and fingers; she just keeps on digging until her two offspring are free from the confines of the grave I have dug for them.
Her fear is all too obvious; it is for the safety of her children and not for herself.
I am elated.
She cries and sobs over the small bodies that only a day before had been running around the caravan laughing, arguing, and playing. She cries so hard she makes herself ill with grief and spews foul vomit over the sand and rocks. She is cradling both corpses, rocking back and forth seemingly oblivious to my presence. Repeating, over and over, ‘why, why, why…?’
I can’t take any more of her piteous wallowing so I push her over with the sole of my boot.
‘Do you remember a young boy saying that when your husband-to-be and your brother were kicking shit out of him?’ I ask.
She looks up, seeing me for the first time, looking beyond my beard, through my manic expression and the cruel curl of my lips.
“What are you talking about?” she answers through rib-wrenching sobs.
“Look at me, you useless piece of shit. Is it all coming back to you now?”
‘No, it can’t be?’ she screams, and then adds, ‘what have you done to my babies?’
She tries to rise and physically attack me but she is hampered by the weight of the bodies of her two dead children.
A vicious kick catches her in the chest, followed by another and then another until she stops screaming. I recite each beating and humiliation I have suffered at the hands of her and her circle of friends as I kick her to death. I don’t stop the onslaught until I am exhausted, only then do I check her to make sure she is dead.
Now it is done, I sit on one of the sea ravaged rocks and stare at my handiwork and shake, every fibre of my body tingles with excitement; this is better than an orgasm. I realise I am physically aroused; this makes me laugh, gut-wrenching hysterical laughter that has me on my knees fighting for breath. This feeling, this Buzz, always catches me by surprise, even after all this time. Luckily, the wind and rain deaden the noise echoing around the rock walls and coming forth from the cave entrance.
It has taken a while but now I’ve calmed down and regained a semblance of composure I will arrange the bodies on the sand and take a photograph with one of my purloined cellphones. Later, I will forward the photo to the phone of Mike Strange.
The wind has eased slightly but the rain is still spiteful and sadistically seeks out every piece of skin I have failed to protect. Each stinging droplet makes me feel better; it also washes all trace of the attack from my boots. The low cloud and gloom enable me to come away from the beach unnoticed and I take the steep path back to the village of Bigbury-on-Sea. Making my way over to the car park next to the Burgh Island Ferry I get into my camper van, climb into the back and get out of my wet uniform and change into some dry clothes.
I feel good, The Buzz is still with me, I feel alive; all my worries about not feeling ‘it’ have gone. If anything, I am on a bigger high. Revenge obviously feeds my adrenalin glands and is on a par with the euphoria my ladies give me.
After drinking a warming cup of steaming tea, which makes me feel much calmer, I drive back to my digs in Bigbury. There, I will have a shower and a much needed shave before I check out.
The events of earlier are still sending delicious thrills through my body as I drive my way through unfamiliar country lanes towards the A38 and home. I really enjoyed killing Melissa. She was a bitch and always had been and therefore deserved everything she got; the added bonus was the enormous Buzz, killing her has given me. I am even more surprised at my state of arousal afterwards, more so because I had no desire to have sex with the woman, never have. She revolts me.
I stop off at Michael Wood Services on the M5 and send a text message to Mike Strange. When he opens it he will see his bruised and battered wife cradling the limp bodies of his children; the ones he will not see grow up.
The message read: ‘lonely yet …mike???