Mrs Fletcher did not know what to do with herself. She could not believe what had just happened… Fletcher was gone, forever! Good riddance, she thought. She closed her eyes as cruel, burning thoughts washed over her. Fletch. His fancy woman. Those ruddy rabbits. Mrs Fletcher let out a guttural moan, her whole body convulsing uncontrollably. She was like a wild animal, wide-eyed, crazy and unpredictable. Mrs Fletcher seethed with rage as she thought again of her husband’s betrayal. She had been so good to him for so long, how could he repay her in such a way?
“Fancy woman!” She spat. “He can have all the fancy women he wants now!” her blood boiled as a new wave of fury washed over Mrs Fletcher – she had never been so angry. She decided to busy herself, to cast her mind off her husband. Hands shaking, she started to pick up the pieces of broken vase which were scattered all over the floor.
“Ouch!” Screamed Mrs Fletcher, as she cradled her bleeding hand, “Just what I need.”
She dropped the pieces she had gathered and rushed to the kitchen in search of something to bandage her hands in. When she found no bandages, she remembered how Fletch had used them on his rabbits whenever one of them was injured.
“What kind of husband cares more about his rabbits than his wife? Lousy, good for nothing Fletcher,” she raged. “He never loved me as much as he did those blasted rabbits.” She searched frantically for something to wrap her hand in, but the best she could find was an old tea towel. Mrs Fletcher reluctantly bandaged her hand with the old rag and slumped onto the worktop.
“If only Fletch had loved me as much as those rabbits, things might’ve been different between us. But he preferred those vermin. He always chose them over me!” Mrs Fletcher could never forgive herself for allowing Fletch to keep those rabbits. To him, they had been a getaway, a way of escaping from his wife. He spent more time tending to the rabbits than he did with her, and it drove her insane with jealousy. Mrs Fletcher was bitter; she was always second best to him. Something always stood in her way of being the main recipient of his affections, the rabbits, the other woman. She gazed out into the garden, the sun was fading fast and night was falling. She stared out at the shed. For her, Fletcher’s rabbits symbolised his infidelity, his unfaithfulness. They were a constant reminder that she could never be good enough for him, that she was always second best. She couldn’t stand it; she hated those Angoras with every fibre of her being. Out of the corner of her eye, Mrs Fletcher noticed a knife glistening in the lazy sunlight. She reached for it, and ran her hands over the cold, shiny surface of the blade and stood, her eyes fixed on the shed outside.
A spontaneous urge to seek revenge for her husband’s unfaithfulness came over her and before she knew it, Mrs Fletcher found herself standing in the bitter cold of her back garden. It was messy and unkempt; Fletcher never cared for much but his rabbits so the garden looked like a jungle. The afternoon sun was sinking in the sky and day was slowly beginning to fade away. Mrs Fletcher stood transfixed in the garden, her eyes wild – she looked like a predator that had just spotted its prey. The wind howled around her but everything in the garden remained still, silent. It was as if it was somehow aware of what was about to happen and dared not make a sound.
Mrs Fletcher made for the shed, her movements silent and deadly. She reached the door and pulled on the rusty brass handle. The door creaked grudgingly open, and Mrs Fletcher crept in. Mrs Fletcher found herself inside, facing the rabbit hutches. She grinned menacingly; nothing was going to stop her! She was a woman on a mission, a mission to kill, to exterminate the evil vermin that had ruined her marriage and her life. Mrs Fletcher tightened her grip on the wooden handle of the knife as she opened the first hutch.
“You will be first, my pretty!” She exclaimed as she captured the small, white Angora, her first victim…
…Mrs Fletcher scurried back into her house, clutching the blood-covered knife to her bosom. She had done it! Those rabbits were gone, forever. She rushed into the kitchen and ran the tap. She washed the kitchen knife with extreme care, until she was satisfied that every single drop of blood was gone. She looked at the knife in her hands and the reality of what she had done finally hit her. What if Fletcher found out? She had murdered his beloved rabbits! What had she been thinking? Fletcher would hate her; he’d never forgive her for her hideous act of jealous rage.
Mrs Fletcher began to scrub her hands in the freezing cold water – she had to get rid of all the evidence! Her hands were red and raw before she was satisfied. She looked down at her clothes and noticed they were covered in rabbits’ blood. She had to dispose of them, fast. Mrs Fletcher tore the blood stained garments off and quickly put on some clothes that had been lying on the ironing board. She took her old dress into the front room and threw it into the fireplace. The hot, harsh fire swallowed the dress up in an instant, and Mrs Fletcher stood, staring at the flames until it had been burnt to ash.
However hard she tried, Mrs Fletcher could not get the image of the rabbits out of her mind. She thought of Fletcher and how he had adored them. Fletcher. He would never be hers again. The rabbits… If only she could turn back the time! She quivered as a wave of disgust and self-loathing washed over her. Mrs Fletcher couldn’t stand the thought of what she had done; she was repulsed by her actions. What if one of her neighbours had seen her? What if someone knew that she, Mrs Fletcher, had murdered the rabbits? Her heart almost stopped as the doorbell echoed loudly, disturbing the eerie silence of her home. Who could it be? She held her breath and prepared herself for the worst. Someone knew.
“‘Ello Mrs Fletcher, love! You ready for t’bingo? C’mon love, its starting soon!” Mrs Fletcher breathed a sigh of relief. She had forgotten that she’d arranged to go to the bingo with Mrs Smith from number 46, with all that had happened.
“Yes, I’m ready. I’ll just grab my coat,” Mrs Fletcher replied to the old woman, trying to make her voice sound as normal as possible. With that, the two women made their way out of the front garden and into the town centre.
Mrs Smith rubbed her hands together excitedly, “I’m tellin’ you, I’m right excited! Today’s me lucky day, I can just feel it in my bones!” She exclaimed as the two women took their seats. Mrs Fletcher mustered a weak smile in response. They say, waiting for the game to start. Mrs Fletcher felt terribly uncomfortable among all the people, she felt that all eyes were on her, that everyone present was watching her. She was convinced that everybody knew her sordid little secret, that they all knew what she had done. She felt terribly claustrophobic, and was finding it hard to breathe. She slumped into her chair, trying to avoid being noticed. She wanted to keep as low a profile as possible. Mrs Fletcher’s hands were shaky and sweaty as she reached for her dauber. She looked at the cards laid down in front of her, but she was unable to fully concentrate on anything but the rabbits. All she saw in her mind was the gory mess she had left behind in the shed.
“Ooh, we’re about to begin!” Screeched Mrs Smiths excitedly, as the caller began the game. A hushed silence came over the room as everybody got their daubers ready, eager to begin.
“Legs eleven, its number 11!” Announced the attractive, young caller as everyone else started marking the numbers on their cards. She was new; Mrs Fletcher hadn’t seen her before. She was the pretty type. The type of woman Fletch would go for.
“Seven and six – was she worth it? It’s 76!” She called the next number.
Tears stung Mrs Fletcher’s eyes as she watched the caller announcing the numbers. She felt dizzy and disorientated. The room was closing in on her and she thought she was going to go insane. Mrs Fletcher saw rabbits everywhere she looked, even Mrs Smith had turned into a fluffy white angora. Mrs Fletcher looked down at her hands… A spot, a single red spot. Blood? No, it couldn’t be. She had washed her hands, hadn’t she? Then, more of them appeared. Her hands were soon covered in blood, bright red and warm. Mrs Fletcher let out a yelp of horror. She couldn’t let anyone see her like this, what was she to do?
“Two fat ladies, its 88!” The woman announced.
Mrs Fletcher grabbed her bag and started edging out of the bingo hall, hoping nobody would notice her hands.
“Mrs Fletcher! Where’re you goin’? We’ve only just begun, love!” Cried Mrs Smith, who was sitting at her table, watching Mrs Fletcher with puzzled and disbelieving expression across her face. It was too late, Mrs Fletcher was gone.
Mrs Fletcher slammed her front door and collapsed in a heap in the hallways. She sobbed loudly, she hated herself for what she’d done. The rabbits, they were still there in her mind, haunting her. At least she was safe at home, away from prying eyes. No one would bother her here, not even Fletcher. He’d never come back to her.