Bytown e1c12: Did You Kill Your Husband?
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No one stopped him from dragging her down the street. No one came close as the mountain of a man pulled the poor little outsider through the snow and ice, into the darkest ends of Lowertown. People turned away, pretending not to see, even as she struggled to get free, to somehow loosen his stubborn grip.
Up ahead, she spotted their destination: the frozen cesspit of the Bywash. Come spring, it would be a lively little man-made stream carrying barges and silt to the river from the canal. A place where the poor children played, hoping to catch a glimpse of something fun or fantastical. But in the winter, filled with trash and vomit and all manner of other ruin, and with an unpredictable layer of ice atop frigid waters, it was a deadly spot to visit. Or the perfect spot to make something--or someone--disappear.
A woman ahead was dumping a bucket of waste into the muck when she saw Joe Montferrand and his captive approach. She scurried away, head bowing as she passed, muttering a quiet prayer while she stared at Maggie. Pity and fear, and a little bit of disgust. She dashed back into her home, door slamming shut behind her.
"Let go of me!" Maggie yelled, trying to get free, which only tightened Montferrand's grip even more. He pulled her harder, off to the left, right toward the bend in the Bywash that would take her body straight out to the river, to be lost until the thaw--and probably beyond.
She could smell it coming, see the lip of the precipice, thick with snow, in the moonlight. She tried to thrash, to make noise, to make people care. But his men had been right with their verdict, earlier: no one cared. Not here.
And then, just as they got to the Bywash, Montferrand turned hard to the left and across the street. Maggie couldn't see where they were going, but saw torchlight casting their shadows along the ground, and heard the sound of wood beneath Joe’s heavy boots, and then--