The Mysterious Disappearance of Marsha Boden
Hello and welcome. Thank you for following the serialisation of my novel, The Mysterious Disappearance of Marsha Boden.
As we dig deeper into the lives of the inhabitants of the sleepy Shropshire village of Little Twichen, there are some interesting goings on that weave in and around the strange disappearance of one of the residents.
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Zelda held her glass mid-sip. “Marry you?” She repeated as if saying the words out loud would make them sound any different.
Kate was smiling nervously. “Yes! Will you marry me? I’ll get down on one knee if you want. I haven’t bought a ring because I wanted you to choose one that you liked. I thought we could go away for the weekend, I’ll book us into a hotel and we can go somewhere, anywhere….”
“Whoa. Kate. Stop.” Zelda said, placing her glass on the island worktop and shaking her head. “I’m sorry, Kate. I can’t be your fall guy anymore,” she said, looking directly at her, her eyes boring into her.
Kate looked at her intently. “What do you mean?” Her voice was thick with concern.
“We had something good going, I mean really good. And then you expected me to just drop everything and fly to Australia with you to start a new life together, but that didn’t happen.” Her face clouded over and she became very serious. “Kate, I can’t live the rest of my life looking over my shoulder.”
“But it won’t be like that, I promise,” Kate cajouled, trying to salvage the situation. “I’ll sort things out, honestly, I will. Leave it to me.”
Zelda looked at the beautiful woman standing before her wearing expensive clothes, her hair immaculately styled and her face perfectly made-up. “It won’t work, Kate. I’m sorry,” she said, getting up to leave.
“Zeld! I’m begging, you! I can’t live without you in my life. Please, think about it?” She reached out and touched her cheek tenderly and their eyes met.
“Don’t make this more difficult than it is already, Kate.” Zelda’s eyes filled with tears, “Give my love to the boys,” she stammered, turning away.
Kate watched helplessly as Zelda grabbed her coat and headed out through the newly replaced heavy front door, closing it quietly behind her. She poured herself another glass of wine and was upset, but was certain that Zeld would come round; she just needed more time.
Guy Boden studied the accounts Ann had put before him, as she did regularly to keep him up to speed with how the business was doing. He noticed there had been a marked downturn in orders after he had been arrested following the disappearance of his wife and the village tittle-tattle had dented his profits substantially, but thankfully, the graph had bottomed out and following his release, the locals took it as a sign that he had nothing to do with Marsha’s disappearance and the orders had started stacking up again.
“That was a close call, wasn’t it?” Ann commented cheerily, seeing the huge upturn in orders, mirrored in the extraordinarily healthy figure on the balance sheet.
“Yes, it was. We were pretty close to the wire. Let’s hope the police find out what happened to Marsha soon so that we can all get on with our lives. I still feel like I’m living in a state of limbo, waiting for her to walk in through the door, or for the police to turn up and tell me something awful has happened to her. I wish I knew, one way or the other.” He ran his hand through his thick, neatly trimmed hair and momentarily closed his eyes as if trying to blot out the inevitable.
Ann nodded and was careful with the wording of her response. Jealousy was not a good trait at the best of times but being jealous of somebody who was no longer around seemed very distasteful and she settled on, “Yes, it would be nice if you had closure of some kind, whatever the outcome.” In other words, if Marsha is dead, best you know so that you can move on. She realised that living life in limbo couldn’t be easy; it certainly wasn’t easy for her either. She would have done anything for the man sitting before her. Anything.
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