Private Lies Part 45 The Trap Springs

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore

—John Donne

“You’re a bug, Cal,” the vicar told him, “a disgusting, little wimp. Play with me and you’ll be crushed like a beetle.”

Cal Ripley had little use for the pompous windbag. Besides, who was Archibald Leech to criticize him? That toadying, fat-jowled sycophant—he should talk—always at Alicia’s beck and call. Still, the insult stung long after that day.


He thought he had earned some measure of respect cooperating with Leech and carrying out his ‘assignments’ as he called them, but apparently not.

No matter—the old fool was deluded. Didn’t he know how easy it was for him to trace everything back to Alicia?

The prospect of jail time no longer frightened him. He knew the vicar had only offered him work as a ruse to blackmail him.


Leech had become his sponsor, assuring his parole officer that his rehabilitation to society was proceeding well—but little did the dense ex-cop suspect that the dignified cleric of Saint Andrews was even more a crook than him.

Admittedly, Leech’s credentials and Oxford accent tended to convey the opposite, but Cal had long learned how to do a quick read of anyone.


His first glimpse of Archie’s dead stare was the tip off—that and his smile. The old guy couldn’t help but smile whenever he’d varnish the truth—and the damnable thing was his congregation mistook that for beatific joy.

He despised him almost as much as the McAdams, although his deepest hate was reserved for them alone.


Leech had been deliberately vague in his instructions. Enroll in Hailey’s class—it was large enough and she’d not notice him or connect him with the disgraced branch of the family.

Cause her enough trouble to distract her—he left the details to him—the telephone stalking and the graffiti scrawled on her door were all his inspiration.


Sure, he backed off a bit when the cop came snooping, but he hadn’t retreated far. Now the time had come to carry out his agenda and right some wrongs that had persisted far too long.

He had been following Hailey the past few days. He saw the meeting with Gunn and watched her roar off leaving him standing in her dust.

He followed her now from a safe distance, but after a few kilometers, he knew exactly where she was headed and sped ahead to position himself well in advance of her arrival.


Ten minutes later, he was sitting, sunning himself, on a park bench opposite Alicia’s huge Tudor home.

He watched the black SUV pull into the circular drive and stop outside the main door. From Hailey’s determined gait as she strode into the house, he deduced that she had finally caught onto Alicia’s game.

It was definitely time for him to make his move.


© 2017, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.

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