But We Forgot About The Ropes by Steve Goodlad

“She saw you leave.” 

“How? I wasn’t even here. I was in Blackpool with my mates.” 

“I know, you said. Your “alibi’s”. You told the police that. But Ali saw you that night.” “She’s only a kid, she’s never liked me.” 

Just then, Ali stepped out of the shadows and stood next to me. We’d got our Uncle just where we wanted him. He’d been hanging around Mum way too much lately since Dad died. But he’d seen a chance to break the ice with her kids whilst she was at work. He said he’d take us out in the car. 

Dad used to tinker with that car in the garage and I loved the smell of oil and exhaust. Traces of carbon monoxide mingled with the must of old leather, until the coroner told us that in an enclosed space, a mix of booze and sleeping pills was the suicide of choice for those hell-bent on finding an easy way out. 

Later, the smell I came to hate the most was the fake tan that Uncle Tony wore; a more frequent presence; “providing comfort for your Mum.” 

We never believed the coroner, because Ali had said she had seen Uncle Tony closing the garage door. The engine must still have been running then. She was not a credible witness apparently. 

At McDonalds it had been easy to put sleeping tablets and whisky in his coke whilst he went to the toilet. He was yawning on the way home and the car wandered, but we made it home. I opened the garage door and he drove in. 

We tied him to the driver’s seat. We left what remained of the whisky and tablets on the passenger seat. Ali turned on the engine. We left and I closed the garage door.

Published in Issue #15

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