She deserved this. Work could be put on the back burner for a couple of weeks. The children were with her parents.

The tail end of summer was just warm enough to wear a sleeveless top and a short skirt, while around her the countryside was turning from lush green to golden yellow and orange.

She leaned back in the small boat. George was standing at the back, punting them along the river. He insisted on wearing the daft straw hat as part of his uniform. She laughed at him, he smiled back.

They had left early that morning and had stopped for a picnic lunch, then set off again.

‘Hadn’t we better turn back before it gets too late?’ she called over her shoulder.

‘Just a little further.’

She started to drift off lying in the afternoon sun. A sense of calm descended and she felt her body relax for the first time in months.

A shadow crossed her closed eyes. She flicked them open, sensing a different movement of the boat. It rocked gently. She looked up in time to see the wooden pole rushing towards her head.

She ducked out the way, the pole smashed into the seat her head had been resting on.

‘George!’ she cried. ‘What are you doing?’

George didn’t answer, he swung the pole again. She caught the end of it and yanked it hard. George was caught off balance as the boat rocked. She fell over one side of the boat, George fell over the other.

She swam for the shore and pulled herself out, gasping for breath, shocked by the cold water.

George was splattering and coughing in the water. He was not a strong swimmer.

‘Help me!’ he cried.

After a minute the water was calm again. She lay in the sun, her clothes damp but drying. Why had he done it? Life insurance money? A young student in his class?

It didn’t matter now, although she would have to call her solicitor and tell him she no longer needed advice on divorce.

Some time later she stood and began walking back along the river bank. She had the rest of the weekend to herself and the hotel did a wonderful full body spa treatment.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt –  Calm curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

TAGLINEMy new novel, ‘A Justified State,’ is now available on Amazon in Paperback and on Amazon Kindle. Follow one of the links below to find out more and pick up a copy!

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44 responses to “A SENSE OF CALM”

  1. If she doesn’t want suspicion to fall on her, she better pretend to be upset and call the cops.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She has it all figured out 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good one. He deserved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He certainly did! Thanks Janet

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That was a swift justice…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes it’s the best way 😉


      1. I can quite understand that 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. … but she’ll never know why, or will she?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sense she had a good idea that George was up to something, but what exactly?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The description of the countryside (colors) and the boat ride relaxed me during the read. A perfect calm before the betrayal storm. well done…again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice, Iain! Smart cookie, she!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, she is indeed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. this time I was prepared… I ws not calm… I’m learning

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I shall have to find a new way to lull you into a false state of relaxation 🙂


  8. To borrow from and misrepresent the Bard:
    The course of true love never did run smooth…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not when there’s money invovled and other temptations!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Whatever it takes for a bit of peace 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. And here I thought it was just going to be a nice calm boat ride in the sun! Should have known! LOL! Hope she enjoys that spa treatment! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The perfect way to relax after surviving attempted murder 🙂


      1. Definitely! 🙂 Not that I speak from experience thankfully but yes I say that it sounds perfect! I could really go for a professional massage right now. Hopefully that is in her spa package. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hélène Vaillant Avatar
    Hélène Vaillant

    Oh my gosh, I hope she can relax during her spa weekend, after such an ordeal…hehehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might be just what she needs 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent, as always.
    Congratulations on your new release!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you CV, do check it out if you have the time 🙂


  12. He had it coming. But I wonder what she’ll do about him. Looks like she’s got it all figured out though. A contrasting take on the prompt. Well done, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This was excellent, Iain. I never saw the ending coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jennie, always good to still be able to cause a surprise 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, Iain. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Excellent twist. He should of laid his plans better💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he underestimated her 😉


  15. I agree she really did! But boy he deserved that swift justice and as she pointed out ( in her thoughts) cheaper and quicker than a divorce? 😱

    Liked by 1 person

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