The door of the Councillors BMW clumped closed behind him and he screeched away from the house of Sandra Borg. She waved and blew a kiss from the upstairs window, a blanket covering all the good bits.
Ernie had climbed the stairs, stepped through the closed bedroom door and was perched on the end of the unmade bed feeling almost thankful that in death one loses their sense of smell. He looked at his wife as she sat on her side of the bed pulling her pop socks back on and felt a pang of sorrow darting around his chest.
Part of him wanted to smother her with a pillow until her legs stopped kicking, but another part of him also wanted to smother her with a pillow until her legs stopped kicking. Unfortunately, he couldn’t lift a pillow up.
As he was kneeling on the bed frantically pulling his hands through the pillow on his side of the bed over and over the doorbell rang.
“Surely he’s not back for another go?” he thought.
Sandra picked her dressing gown up from the floor and slipped into it, tying it around her waist. She headed through the bedroom door, down the stairs and opened the front door. Ernie followed her, stopping at the top of the stairs.
Two policemen stood at the front door.
“Mrs. Borg?” asked the larger of the two, “PC Jefferson, PC Drake. Would you mind if we came in?”
She leaned away from the door indicating they could settle themselves in the living room. She peaked her head out of the door, checked both ways up the road and, satisfied that nobody had seen, slammed the door and stepped into the living room where the policemen were already seated.
“What’s this about?” she asked, panic filling her body from the tips of her still numb toes to the very edges of her messy slightly damp hair.
As Ernie entered the living room the policeman broke the news to her and immediately she smiled.
Ernie blinked. An odd reaction, he thought, to your husband of twenty years being found dead in Morocco. On top of a pyramid, nonetheless.
The policeman ensured her that it was no joke, and at that point a more satisfying reaction was provided as she burst into tears and buried her head in her hands.
“That’s more like it.” Ernie thought, nodding his head in satisfaction.
He looked down at his translucent body, expecting that seeing his wife did in fact care for him would be enough to take him away from the Limbo he was living in and on to whatever the afterlife held in store, but nothing happened.
He shook his hands in front of him as though he had some fluff stuck to them.
“Oh, come on!” he yelled, looking up at the ceiling, again noting the damp patch for a moment.
Ernie had been stuck this way for almost a fortnight now. His body had been missing for most of those days and the last two days it had spent on its own inside a glorified lunch box in Morocco until the body had been identified. He had stowed away on a plane back to England, took a taxi from the airport to the bus station and a bus from the station to his semi-detached house and when he arrived he found the Councillor drinking the good red wine that was being saved for Christmas. He had actually been back home for several days now and every day except one the Councillor had come over and schtupped his wife.
Oddly, every time he climaxed he shouted out sentences that Ernie could only presume were plucked from White Papers he had recently read. Sentences such as “The pursuit of prohibitionist foreign policies can generate serious consequential harms in the countries where those policies are imposed!” and “A reduction of two point seven percent over one fiscal quarter!”, for example.
The policeman was asking his wife whether Ernie had any enemies that she knew of. She was telling him that she would not expect so, and that Ernie was a “wonderful man, without a bad bone in his body.”
Ernie shook his head. If only she knew he had been trying to smother her with their pillows for the last four afternoons. She might change her tone then and implicate the councillor in his murder.
Despite Ernie being relatively certain that the councillor wasn’t the one that had murdered him he decided it would still offer him some pleasure in seeing him without laces in his shoes and eating cereal in the morning with warm milk on it, all at her majesties pleasure.
The policemen packed up their notepads and left Sandra weeping on her sofa, her left nipple hanging out of her dressing gown.