The car continued to sink into the black water. Joanne felt helpless as she thought of Thomas trapped inside the car. It was dark and she was wet and cold. She didn’t know what to do.
“Tom!” Joanne screamed out to her lover. As the car began to sink further under the water a wave of fear grasped Joanne. She didn’t want to be dragged under with the car herself. Grabbing onto the muddy bank, Joanne tried to pull herself out of the water. She struggled to pull herself up and fell back into the unforgiving water.
Joanne Evans looks up into the night sky. From her hospital bed she can see the glittering stars through the open window. Only a few hours ago the clouds had parted and the rain had stopped. It is hard for Joanne to comprehend that less than 24 hours ago she was watching television on the lounge with her husband, Richard. She feels like she has been asleep for years and it is difficult for her to remember clearly the events that unfolded the night before.
The only thing that is clear to her now is that she has lost the use of her legs. Her attacker left Joanne unable to move her legs. The hospital staff had devastatingly informed Joanne that she would have a long recovery ahead of her.
Joanne stares out of the open window at the twinkling stars. She feels overwhelmed and doesn’t feel a tear when it rolls down her cheek. A shooting star suddenly catches her attention.
“Dad,” she whispers to herself. “I miss you so much. I wish you were here with me. I need you right now.”
Suddenly, another star shoots across the sky. “Mum, I know you’re up there somewhere looking out for me. I never knew you, but I know you’ve always been with me. Please keep Richard safe.”
From the open window in the house high up on the hill, Richard Evans had seen the afternoon showers roll in and out of the small town and the darkness of the night sky take hold. He too saw the two shooting stars dart across the sky and instantly thought of Joanne. He hadn’t seen her since the night before when he was taken from his house by Thomas, leaving an injured Joanne laying on the lounge room floor with the house beginning to fall down around her. He made two wishes for her safety.
“What are you thinking, Rich?” Thomas leans in close to Richard, who can see the devil dancing in his captors’ eyes.
“I hope Joanne’s still alive, otherwise there will be hell to pay!” Richard replies as he spits in Thomas’s face.
Thomas head butts Richard which sends Richard, along with the chair that he is tied to, flying to the floor. Thomas wipes Richard’s saliva from his face and kicks Richard in the side of his ribs.
“You’re the one that’s going to pay, Rich!” Thomas screams hysterically at Richard. “You’re the evil one!”
It was when she was trying to climb out of the water for the second time that Joanne saw the angel in the distance. She could make out the angel’s outline from the glowing white light behind it. She momentarily forgot where she was as she was drawn to the mystical being moving closer towards her.
“Help!” Joanne suddenly realised the danger she and Thomas were still in and called out to the angel. “Help!”
In front of her, the angel seemed to morph itself into more than one being, and Joanne realised that there were now four angels approaching her. They now seemed to be running at her. The angels started becoming blurry as Joanne felt herself disappear underneath the water.
There is a knock on the door and into Joanne’s hospital room walks the night nurse carrying a bouquet of flowers.
“Joanne, honey,” the nurse says to Joanne, “these arrived for you.”
“They’re beautiful,” Joanne can see her favourite flowers, white tulips.
The nurse fills up a vase with water and places it on the side table. “Looks like they’ve travelled some way to be here,” the nurse jokes as she places the flowers into the vase and leaves the room.
Joanne looks at the flowers and realises what the nurse has meant. The tulips are starting to wilt and are covered with a thin layer of brown dirt. She pictures herself kneeling beside her father’s grave only the day before and placing white tulips at the site.
Joanne can see that the nurse has also left an envelope on the table. Her name is handwritten on the front. She quickly tears the envelope open and reads the short letter that has been written for her. Without hesitating, Joanne picks up her mobile phone and dials the police sergeant’s number.
“Sergeant,” Joanne says to Sergeant Anders when he answers his phone, “I’ve just received a delivery from Thomas. He knows where I am.”
She reads the poem out loud to the police officer:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the best surgeons and all the best men,
Couldn’t put Joanne back together again.
Four angels came to Joanne and Thomas’ rescue on that fateful night when the car they were travelling in disappeared into the river. Richard Evans and three of his friends had been camping alongside the river when they heard a car screeching and then careening into the dark water. By the time they grabbed their flashlights and headed for the sound of the accident, the car had been completely swallowed by the water. They could see Joanne struggling to free herself from the river. It wasn’t until they pulled Joanne to safety that they realised that another soul needed their help.
“Thomas!” Joanne screamed at the angels. “He’s still in the car!”
Richard Evans and his three friends worked together quickly to free the trapped man from the car. When they eventually brought him to the riverbank he was not breathing.
“Hold on, mate,” Richard pleaded with Thomas as the four men worked at reviving him.
“I saved your life, Thomas!” Richard cries. “You wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t have rescued you.”
Thomas stands over Richard who is still lying on the floor tied to a chair. Thomas twirls a sharp scalpel between his fingers.
“You rescued me, Rich, only to then ruin my life!” retorts Thomas. “You took everything I loved away from me!” Thomas leans down over Richard and presses the sharp blade next to Richard’s face. A line of blood starts to run from his cheek.
“Joanne and I fell in love, Tom. We didn’t mean for it to happen. It just did,” Richard says, trying to stay brave. “Joanne looked after you for months when you were in a coma, and we didn’t know if you’d make it or not.”
“You both wanted me dead!” Thomas screeches into the night air.
“That’s not true. Joanne loved you.”
“I’ll tell you who did care for me, Rich.” Thomas beams a wide smile at Richard. “My angel.”
Richard looks up at Thomas. He heard the man speak of the angel the night before but doesn’t know what he is talking about.
“My angel helped me to recover when I woke from my coma,” Thomas continues, “and told me about you and Joanne. My angel told me the only way to get Joanne back was to get you out of the way. And the best way to do that was to kill you!”
Thomas raises the scalpel to his own throat and makes a threatening gesture to Richard as he pretends to cut his own throat. All Richard can do is stare at the mad man above him in disbelief. There is nothing he can do to save his own life.
Suddenly, both men can hear a door opening from the next room and then a voice. “Is anyone in here?”
“Don’t say a word!” Thomas points his scalpel again at Richard.
Thomas moves quietly over to the door leading to the room next door. He hadn’t been expecting any visitors.
“Help me!” Richard suddenly screams out. “I’m in here!”
“You stupid bastard!” Thomas screams out in rage, as Constable Kyle Cook bursts into the room. Thomas goes to lunge at the police officer with his scalpel, but Kyle Cook’s drawn hand gun fires a shot towards Thomas and he drops to the floor.
Kyle can see Thomas Helling lying motionless on the floor. He grabs the scalpel from Thomas’ grasp and rushes over to assist Richard.
“Aren’t I glad to see you!” Richard starts to cry as Kyle lifts him and the chair he is still attached to from the floor. “I didn’t think I was going to make it out of here alive.”
“Are you alright?” Kyle can see the blood dripping from Richard’s face.
“I am now that you’re here,” Richard can’t help but laugh and cry at the same time. “Is Joanne okay?”
“She’s in hospital, but she’ll be fine.”
“Thank God!” Richard says quietly to himself.
“But I’m not so sure about you,” Kyle says to Richard.
“What do you mean?” Richard asks the police officer.
Without saying another word, Constable Kyle Cook takes the scalpel he is holding and its sharp blade slashes open Richard Evans’ throat sending a river of blood gushing to the floor.
Next Episode – Monday 30th March
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