A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson.
“Yes, but what should I tell her?”
“Right, this won’t fail to get her attention. Tell her I muttered something about ‘the money’. Say ‘you know where it is’. Tell her I said ‘it’s buried in Peter’s grave’”.
“That’s it. That’s enough. If you do this for me, you could just save my life. The way things are going, I think I could be fully awake in a few months and I’ll be out of here.”
If I said my wife was elated when I told her about my dream, I would be slightly understating things. She jumped up and down shouting,“It worked…it worked. I told you it would. The Dream Catcher caught your bad dream and then connected you with a good one. I’m so happy!
We have to follow this through. You know that don’t you?”
“Well yes. I promised, so we’ll have to. We’ll at least have to ring round a few hospitals. But if none of them have a patient named Roger Phillips, then I guess that’s the end of it.”
My wife did the research. I don’t think I could have held her back even if I tried. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in Hammersmith Hospital, next to the bed of Roger Phillips. “It’s him,” I said. “He’s exactly the same person I saw in my dream. We’ve found him! Sorry! You’ve found him!”
“Right, so we’ll hang around her and see if his wife turns up for her usual visit. The nurse told me she comes here every evening so we should be okay.”
Everything seemed set to go according to plan, but things didn’t quite work out the way we hoped. When we met Roger’s wife that evening she became very suspicious of us, almost as if we has some ulterior motive for being there. And when we suggested that Roger had tried to tell us something, things got dramatically worse. The idea of money being buried somewhere caused her to flip her lid and we virtually got thrown out. “What do we do now?” I asked my wife.
“We have to see this through. We can’t leave things as they are. That would be the worst omen.”
“You saw the reaction we got. Roger’s wife isn’t having any of this. What can we do?”
“I’ll tell you what. We can find the grave and find the money. If we can stick that under her nose, she’ll have to take notice.”
“You’re not being serious?”
“I’ve never been more serious in my life. Margravine Cemetery is the local graveyard. We’ll go there and look for Peter’s grave. If we don’t find it, that’ll be the end of the matter.”
I’d made a promise to Roger, so I was happy enough to go along with my wife. But to be honest, I didn’t think it would come to much. There must be lots of Peters buried there, and I couldn’t see us digging them all up.
However, after a thorough search, we did eventually come across a headstone with the simple inscription ‘Peter’s Grave’. We exchanged looks.
“The money must be buried here,” my wife said. How could I argue? The headstone was the perfect fit. “We’ll come back this evening and have a poke around. Don’t worry, we’re not going to dig Peter up. But I won’t be able to rest if we haven’t at least tried to find the money. We’ll both be having nightmares if we don’t do this!”
That evening, under the cover of darkness, we returned to the grave. After a small amount of prodding with a garden trowel, we did find something. “What is it?” My wife asked.
“Money! Wrapped in a plastic bag. Bingo! Here, take a look. Hang on. There’s something else… something hard…metallic…a gun. Christ!”
“Let me think,” my wife said. “I’m not sure about this. Something bad must have happened. I think we should leave this alone.”
“You don’t think we ought to tell the police?”
“Tell them what? That you had a dream and this is how we found out about this? They’re going to swallow that? I don’t think so. No. We put what we’ve found back where it belongs and pretend this never happened. We’ve been suckered into this and we’ve done as much as we can.”
That’s how we left it. That’s more or less how we had to leave it. And we never heard another thing until about three months later. On our way back from Tesco one afternoon, three unmarked police vehicles surrounded our car and we were both arrested. We couldn’t believe how they’d managed to find us.
“Sixteen months ago, a wealthy businessman was murdered in his own home. You first came on the police radar when you were reported as causing a nuisance at Hammersmith Hospital. You may not know this, but patients who are comatose are constantly monitored by video for movement and sound.
We heard the conversation you had with Mrs Phillips so we know exactly what was said. Naturally, we had to follow up on the suggestion of buried money. It wasn’t too hard to find the money and the gun. You gave us all the clues we needed. It wasn’t too hard to find you either. Your car number plate was clocked on the car park surveillance at the hospital.
The gun was the same one that was involved in the murder. We’ve found fingerprints and DNA on the plastic bags, and at this moment in time, we believe they belong to you. We’ll get the results of that very soon. We’re not sure how the Phillips fit into this? But we believe they may be innocent parties.
Have you anything to say?”
“Only that this is the worst nightmare I’ve ever had.”