Our second runner up was Debra Ramsdale for The Laburnum Tree, with its nicely deliberate deployment of words as clues.
THE LABURNUM TREE
by Debra Ramsdale
The trial was finally over and Gillian returned home, acquitted of murder. Her family never doubted her innocence. The death of her partner Vanessa would remain unexplained. But nothing else was unknown anymore. Their civil partnership had been disclosed to all present at the trial. Ace card. Gasps from some in the public gallery. Next of kin. Legal. Vanessa’s mother was powerless now.
Vanessa and her mother were peas from the same pod. Controlling. Obsessive. Suspicious. Interfering. Spiteful. Last word on everything. Sharp tongued. Always right. Sweetness and light to everyone else. Happy. Content. Warm. Generous.
Gillian sat in their garden, tended by a contract gardener now. Everything was finally being given a chance to thrive and grow. She particularly admired the trees. She only knew the name of one. The laburnum looked splendid but needed attention. Beautiful but undoubtedly poisonous.
Just like Vanessa.