Murder in Mind

A 1500 word short story

Patsy Collins
Published in
7 min readNov 10, 2021


Photo by Just Jack on Unsplash

Becky was glad to see Annette on the bus that rainy morning. She wanted to moan about her husband — better that than brood until she got annoyed out of all proportion.

“Remember Dale bought whole tinned tomatoes, as they were a penny cheaper than chopped?” Becky said, trying not to drip on her friend.

“Didn’t you convince him it wasn’t worth the hassle?”

“Yeah. After I made him do the chopping.”

“So, what’s the problem?” Annette asked.

“He wants lasagna again, but won’t pay for fresh basil. Admittedly that does cost a bit, but it’s not the same without.”

“Pick yew leaves from the churchyard for his portion!”

“I thought they were poisonous?” Becky asked.

“Exactly. They’ll halve your food bills!”

Becky grinned. Annette always cheered her up by letting her moan about Dale’s annoying little traits and thinking up creative ways to get revenge. She’d suggested blocking out the sound of snoring with a thick pillow held over Dale’s nose until he was quiet. The over the top solutions made Becky giggle and helped her get things into perspective.

Becky tried to do the same for Annette. Her Ross seemed a pain.

“He cancelled a golf match because I said I didn’t want to go,” Annette said once. “I’d just fancied reading my book in peace, but couldn’t tell him without hurting his feelings.”

“Say you’ve taken up gardening, then read in the shed.”

“He’d just come out every five minutes to check I was OK, ask if I wanted a cup of tea, or if he should start making dinner.”

Annette often said he was kind and thoughtful, but Becky worried what those thoughts were. Once Annette mentioned a new coffee shop she’d heard served wonderful cakes and that she hoped to visit as soon as Ross could take her.

“How about we go together on Saturday?” Becky said.

“Sorry, but we’re out for the day.”

Becky had made several similar suggestions since the two woman had met on the bus journey to work. Annette always replied Ross had made plans, or she’d have to check with…



Patsy Collins

Author, gardener, photographer, cake eater and campervanner from the south coast of England.