Tag Archives: chopper

1767. Chopper tragedy

Hailey had always known that when (not if) her husband fulfilled his lifetime dream of going for a ride in a helicopter it would end in disaster. Maybe the helicopter would hit a tree or power wires. Maybe it would cease suddenly to function and plummet to the ground. Maybe the pilot was on a suicide mission. Whatever the cause, Hailey knew it would end in tragedy.

And, of course, her husband’s lifetime dream was about to come to fruition. He was going for his helicopter ride next Thursday. His grown-up kids had given him a helicopter ride as a 50th birthday present. Poor Hailey. Not only would it end in tragedy, but such a tragedy would ultimately be caused by the children. How could they live with it? How could they forgive themselves for having killed their father?

Thursday came. Hailey refused to drive him to the airport. He could drive himself to his own demise. She had warned him enough. He left home about 9 in the morning. The ride was scheduled for 11. “Dear God,” prayed Hailey, “dear God, made the end quick. Do not let him suffer unnecessarily.” She could not bear the thought of him bleeding slowly to death in an isolated field somewhere between the airport and where ever it was they were going. “Oh God, make it quick”.

Hailey turned the radio on to catch any snippet of tragic news. Each time the radio approached the top of the hour when the news was broadcast, Hailey would turn the radio off. She could not bear to listen.

It was now four hours since the helicopter flight. The excursion was scheduled only for an hour. Hailey was in turmoil. He’s late. He’s late. She would have to face the whole business of the funeral and sorting out the finances. Would she stay in the same house? How would she get to the airport to pick up the car? Where was she meant to go from here?

The doorbell rang. This was it. Hailey did not want to answer. She plucked up courage. She opened the door.

It was her husband. He’d forgotten to take the house keys when he left.

1527: A visit to the butcher

And it had been only three weeks since Amelia had buried her husband, George. Admittedly, the marriage had long shrivelled up, but Amelia had never had a fling. She hadn’t as much as glanced at a passing man. But now, now (and it had been only three weeks, as I said, since Amelia had buried her husband, George) Amelia had become infatuated with her local butcher, Erwin.

She was forever popping into the butcher’s shop to get meat – a leg of lamb, a porterhouse steak, a few chicken drumsticks, even the occasional pork rib. And, of course, Erwin always gave it to her for nix. Getting her meat for nothing was a sign, surely, that he liked her. One day she went into the butcher’s shop and only the apprentice was there. Nigel looked after the sales counter on Wednesdays and Fridays. Amelia learnt not to go shopping for meat on those days. The first time Amelia encountered Nigel he asked what she wanted, and she said “tripe” because that was the first thing that came into her head. She hated tripe and when she got home she discovered that not even the cat would eat it.

Anyway, it was now winter and things had progressed rather quickly. Twice Amelia had gone out the back to watch Erwin chop up a carcass so dexterously. Amelia was in awe – it showed strength, precision, skill and (dare I say it?) masculinity. Even with his blood-drenched apron still on, Amelia couldn’t refrain from giving Erwin a casual cuddle. He flung his chopper around with such legerdemain.

And then the worst happened. Erwin, unbeknown to Amelia, got the flu. When Amelia went in to get a beef brisket for Sunday a strange woman was behind the counter.

“Who are you?” asked Amelia.

“I’m Erwin’s wife,” she said. “How may I help?”