This was far enough. He had reached the limit of his strength. The tide would come in and fill the cave within a few hours and wash away his tracks and any traces of evidence.
He gave the sack one last heave and let it flop to the ground. He looked back and made sure he was hidden from sight. The path that ran along the top of the overlooking cliff curved away beyond his horizon. Unless some inquiring soul took a walk along the beach on this cold, grey day, he was safe.
He slumped down to recover his strength. The nightmare was almost over. He thought of the house he would be returning to – peaceful and quiet, everything in its place, clean and tidy.
He had a threshold, a point beyond which he could no longer tolerate living in this way. The mess on returning from work that afternoon had been the last straw. He had taken action.
Above the sound of the surf rolling into the foot of the cliffs he heard the whimper. The sack lying on the sand moved, ever so slightly at first, then faster as panic set in. He thought he had done enough to kill with the blow. Apparently not. She was a tough bitch.
He picked up a rock from the ground and approached, trying to guess which end of the sack the head was at. He raised the rock above his head.
The stabbing pain in his side made him drop the rock and stumble to his knees. He looked down and saw the knife sticking out from his side, dark blood staining the sand around him. A hand removed the knife and he slumped onto his side. Lying on the ground he watched the knife slit open the sack.
The grateful puppy emerged into her arms, licking her rescuer with gratitude.
She didn’t even look at him as she turned and walked away with the dog in her arms.
Soon the tide would come in and wash away any trace of evidence that he had ever been there.
Copyright Sue Vincent
This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt – Threshold curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.
My first novel, ‘A Justified State,’ is available now
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