Episode Forty-Three

Avoid Spoilers! Read from Episode One

[adjective. unfriendly; hostile.]

The day of the wedding

“Joanne!” Cathy Gilmore screams at her best friend. “Stay with me!”

The guests of Cathy and Mark Gilmore’s wedding look on as Cathy Gilmore, dressed in her white wedding gown, kneels over her friend. The white wedding gown is no longer white.

“Is she going to be okay?” Father Bolton asks, holding a bloodied newborn baby in his arms. Its cries echo through the town hall.

“Joanne!” Cathy screams again, watching on as blood continues to flow. “Where is that bloody ambulance?”

“It’s too late,” Cathy can hear a voice behind her say. She looks up to see Constance Helling. “Cathy, you know as well as I do it’s too late to save her.”

Three Months Later – Present Day

Leading Senior Constable Kyle Cook pushes the baby stroller down the main street of Peppercorn Patch. He stops now and then to take in the admiration of the common town folk that want to stop him to tell him what a good father he is and how brave he is.

Kyle doesn’t need strangers to tell him how brave he is. He already knows he is brave. He is a police officer. A senior officer in Peppercorn Patch. He saved Thomas Helling from drowning. He saved Joanne Evans from her burning house. He saved Joanne from Richard Evans. He saved Joanne from Thomas. He saved Joanne…

He saved Joanne…

Kyle Cook suddenly realises he didn’t save Joanne. He couldn’t. He wasn’t to know she would be attacked by the deranged doctor. He wasn’t to know she was going to have complications during child birth.

He couldn’t save Joanne…

But her legacy would live on. He would make sure of it.

Through their baby, Joanne’s legacy would live on.

June, 1983

At a few minutes past midnight, Kelly Driver quietly exits her parents’ caravan and makes her way over to the large peppercorn tree. She sees her friend, Henrietta Smart, standing next to the tree, lit only by the moonlight.

“You came,” Henry says, smiling. She points to the metal box on the back of the bicycle, ushering Kelly to put the clothes she is holding into it. Kelly notices that it has been marked with the initials KD 4 HS. “We’ll be good for a few days.”

“Where are we going?” Kelly asks.

“Ssssh!” Henry hushes. “Change of plans.”

Kelly looks to her friend. Henrietta looks nervous. More nervous than she was looking earlier in the day. “Change of plans?”

“We can’t go tonight,” Henry explains. “Long story. I’ll explain later, I promise.”

“You promised you would explain everything tonight, Henry!” Kelly is growing impatient.

“I know, I know. I’m sorry.” Henry pulls Kelly towards her and the two girls embrace. “You’re a good friend, Driver.”

“What aren’t you telling me, Henry?”

“Take this box,” Henry says, pulling the metal box off the back of the bicycle and handing it Kelly. “Take it and keep it safe. We’ll need it when we leave, so keep it safe until then.”

“You’re scaring me,” Kelly whispers.

“Driver, listen!” Henry is now the impatient one. “Take the box and hide it. I’ll let you know when we can leave and I’ll tell you everything then!”

The two girls say their goodbyes and Kelly instantly charges herself with finding a good hiding spot for the metal box containing their runaway clothing.

Kelly reaches her parents’ caravan and looks around. It’s dark and she doesn’t have very much time before someone might see her. There would be no good excuse as to why she was out so late. She grabs a shovel lying next to the van and starts digging under one of the bushes. Minutes pass. Ten minutes, twenty minutes, Kelly is not sure. She feels as if she has been digging forever. She stops, motionless, anytime she hears a noise from the caravans surrounding her. Carefully she places the box inside the hole and quickly covers it, pushing a few branches of the bush on top to conceal her treasure.

Silently, and as if nothing had ever happened, she opens the door to her caravan and puts herself to bed.

Present Day

Doctor Peter Smith lays in the darkness of the hospital room.

In his hands he holds the pair of pliers that Constance Helling had given him. He keeps them hidden from the hospital staff by concealing them under his mattress.

“Just wait until I get out of here,” he whispers into the darkness, prying the pliers open and shut. “You won’t know what’s hit you when I’m through with you.”

As if on cue, Doctor Smith can hear the latch of his cell door open. He looks on as a dark figure walks slowly towards him, closing the door behind them.

“Nurse, I don’t think it’s my med time yet!” Doctor Smith says, gripping the pliers in his hand tighter. His mind begins to race. Is this my opportunity? he thinks to himself. Should I kill this nurse and make a run for it?

“Nurse?” he says again as the figure moves closer towards him, silently.

“You’ve hurt too many people!” the figure suddenly shouts. Doctor Smith squints into the darkness but still can’t make out who it is.

“Nurse!” Doctor Smith decides to scream for help.

As he lifts himself from the bed, his legs are suddenly in pain. The figure strikes his legs with something heavy and he feels the impact instantly.

“You killed Benjamin Pickering!” the figure screams.

Doctor Smith winces in pain.

“You killed Sylvia Jessop!”

The pliers that Doctor Smith is holding fall to the ground as the doctor is attacked again, this time to his upper body.

“You killed Thomas Helling!”

“Please, stop!” Doctor Smith pleads with his attacker, pulling himself into a ball to shield his body.

“But worst of all,” his attacker says, “you made Cathy Gilmore suffer.”

“I’m sorry,” Doctor Smith cries, as he is hit again across his body.

“You will never hurt anyone again!”

“No, no,” Doctor Smith cries. “I won’t, I promise.”

“The biggest pain you will ever feel is the loss of your biological daughter,” his attacker says, cruelly. “The one thing you wanted more than anything you have now lost forever!”

Without warning, Doctor Peter Smith reaches across to his bedside table and switches on the desk lamp. The room illuminates in a wash of yellow light. Before him, Doctor Smith’s attacker stands.

Joanne Evans drops the cricket bat she is holding and it crashes to the floor.

Next Episode – Monday April 11

Happy Easter! Obnoxious Weeds will return in two weeks!

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