My name is Jaye Marie, the ‘oily rag’ of the partnership jenanita01.com and usually, I prefer to stay in the background.
Since we decided to publish our books ourselves, most of my other interests have had to take a back seat, and as I am not half as clever as I want to be, they may well have to leave the country for a while. Well, some of them can but not all. I am an avid Bonsai fan and have a collection that demands my attention in the growing season, or they will die. (It is a bit like having children)
I love books and have read my way through stacks of them, so when my sister needed someone to edit and type up her manuscripts, I was happy to help. Somewhere along the way, I discovered my vocation and my love-hate relationship with the world of computers. But I did learn how to edit and proofread, taking over the job of getting Anita’s books ready for publication. I even had some wonderful compliments from one of the best literary agents in London for my editing of Anita’s first book, Bad Moon, and for the last twenty years since my retirement, that‘s what my life has been like.
Then everyone started talking about ‘Indie’ or self-publishing. I already knew how hard it was to be published in the traditional way, so became very excited at the prospect of being able to do it ourselves. I started our own website and found that I enjoyed talking to people from all over the world and posting our thoughts online. Then I concentrated on publishing Anita’s books. It wasn’t quite as easy as they made it sound, but with my usual stubbornness, I kept at it, learning more and more as I went along.
Somewhere along the way, I started thinking about a story that had been nibbling away in the corner of my mind for months, and before too long, it demanded to be written and then there were two writers in the family!
The Broken Life
DI David Snow has a serial killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.
Snow is due to retire, but not before he discovers why someone killed his sergeant and is now coming after him.
The killer seems to have a personal vendetta against Snow, but he is determined that no one else should die because of him. His efforts are hampered by the arrival of a new sergeant, ‘ruthless’ Ruth Winton, for she is not what she seems. Alarm bells start to ring when Snow realises she is after more than just his job.
Ruth had a plan. She knew that once the drip was removed from her arm, she would be taken back to prison and the chances of escaping from there would be impossible. The pain was gradually subsiding so there would be no good reason to keep her in the hospital. The frosty attitude of the only nurse she ever saw, left her in no doubt she would be glad to see the back of her.
She looked up at the suspended bag of blood above her head. It was almost empty. Would it be the last one?
The nurse turned up after lunch and proceeded to change the dressing on her stomach in her usual rough manner. She seemed to delight in ripping the tape from her skin in quick, painful movements. Ruth tried to concentrate on the collection of pens in the nurse’s breast pocket, then gave up and looked down at the wound and the vicious metal clips that kept it closed. She would have to find a way to remove them herself if they were going to ship her out with them in place. When the nurse waved a pair of something that looked like pliers at her, she knew that problem was about to be solved.
‘This is going to hurt…’ the nurse said, smiling.
She wasn’t wrong. It hurt like hell, but Ruth didn’t give her the satisfaction of showing just how much. All through the pain, she kept wondering if the drip would be removed too. The pain had triggered another of her headaches, making concentration difficult. It was also interfering with her ability to act like a poor waif who couldn’t wait to use the bathroom. This was an important part of her plan, and she would need to have her wits about her to pull it off. After the wound had been cleaned and redressed, the nurse walked out of the room, leaving Ruth so frustrated she could have screamed. Minutes later, she was back. The handcuffs were removed to allow access to the catheter in her wrist and then she was free.
Ruth saw her chance and grabbed it with both hands. ‘I don’t suppose I could use the toilet before you put those back on? ‘She spoke softly, as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, and watched as the nurse thought about it. Just as Ruth thought she would refuse, she nodded and stepped back from the bed.
We are going to play that game, are we? Ruth thought. She won’t help me, she will wait and see if I can do it by myself. Ruth prayed that she was strong enough, that her legs would carry her to the bathroom. The first few steps were terrible, but she bit her lip and carried on, determination taking her the rest of the way. She left the door open, knowing that if she tried to close it, the nurse would stop her. She didn’t want to give her any reason to suspect that she was up to something.
Someone had left a can of air freshener by the sink, giving Ruth an idea. ‘Can you help me please, I think I am going to faint…’
The nurse walked into the bathroom, not to help, that much was obvious, so Ruth acted as though she were dying. Eventually, the nurse walked toward her, and in that second, Ruth grabbed the can and sprayed it into the woman’s eyes, helping herself to one of her pens at the same time. Using every ounce of her simmering temper, she stabbed at the woman’s face, aiming for her eyes.
When the woman’s frantic flailing stopped, and in the seconds before she fell to the floor, Ruth saw where the pen had ended up. The end of it was sticking out of the woman’s eye, a single drop of blood like a teardrop on her face.
The rest was easy. No one looked at Ruth in the nurse’s uniform as she left the hospital, and as she walked out into the world again, Ruth couldn’t help smiling.