Grace froze. She was standing with a t-shirt on the Hills Hoist, one peg holding it up and was rustling through the wire basket for another peg when she heard the back gate squeak open.
Someone was coming onto their property. For an instant, she's glad Peter never got round to fixing the back gate, cause the murderer/raper could sneak up on her. She spies her garden sheers a few metres away.
In one quick movement, she has them ready to strike at anyone.
She can feel the fear coarse up her spine, fortifying her for what may come.
Tiggy comes bungling through the dog door and, as useless as Tiggy is, she'll sense if anyone is in the yard.
Tiggy bounds, tail wagging, towards the back gate. Fuck, Grace thinks. If it's open, then she'll be spending the rest of the day chasing her down alleys, hoping to not have to scrape her squashed corpse off Smith St.
Grace tip toes down the path that leads to the neglected garden shed and the broken back gate. Ever since the banksia grew as tall and as wide, she's forgotten about the unsightly hovel.
She follows the path behind the red flowers and stops, uncertain she's still on her property.
The shed door is ajar, and Tiggy is lying on a bed, with the sheets and doona crumpled, as if someone slept there recently. Some of Peter's clothes were folded neatly on the small table with his favourite coffee mug.
In the corner, beside the mower, was a small gas burner with a coffee maker on it.
Questions crashed into each other. Peter still lived in the house, she was sure of it, but now, can't quite recall the last time she saw him. In her anger and confusion, the memory of him faded into a ghostly vapour.