In the placid, peaceful surroundings of Assbury Hole Golf and Country Club, among those fine upstanding men and women who are happily enjoying a gentle round of golf Henry Higgins is planning a dastardly deed: the murder of Mrs Higgins. Will his foul plot succeed? A spine-chilling tale of foul play on the fairways.
Henry Higgins has spent several frustrating weeks trying to murder his wife by hitting her on the head with a golf ball. However all his dastardly plans have failed. Now he has an even better idea.
For his birthday Mrs. Higgins handed her husband a long thin object wrapped in festive paper. It was a new driver.
Henry Higgins unwrapped it. It was a Killer Whale.
“Thank you, dear, how very thoughtful,” he said. How very appropriate, he thought.
Three rounds followed during which Henry Higgins hit his new driver murderously off the tee, hit vicious long irons, hit the fairways, hit trees, hit placid stretches of sleeping water, occasionally hit par, twice hit birdies, and once hit another person’s golf trolley.
Just about the only thing he didn’t hit was Mrs Higgins.
We may wonder why it should be that Alice Higgins was oblivious to her husband’s manic attempts to brain her from behind with a two-piece Pinnacle. Three possible explanations suggest themselves. The first is that she simply did not notice. The second is that Alice Higgins was, in fact, exceptionally stupid. However, we prefer to believe that Mrs Higgins’ subliminal survival instincts told her that if her husband was attempting to rearrange her hairstyle with a tour balata, the safest place to be was in the middle of the fairway directly in front of him.
By the end of spring Henry’s handicap was down to 19. He did not care. All that he knew was that his wife was still alive, still ridiculously cheerful, still cracking rotten jokes, and hadn’t lost a ball in two months (plus, she held a handicap of 14). He lay awake at night with clenched fists trying to imagine the one perfect shot which would end his misery.
One evening as he sat in front of the TV staring at an old episode of Baywatch, moodily watching Barbie dolls in bikinis hurling themselves into the sea to save idiot schoolgirls from being pounded to death by 60-foot waves, the solution hit him like a Greg Norman two iron. He would drown her in the water hazard!
He sat in a fever of expectation and planned the foul deed. A nice slice off the tenth towards the lake; she would come back and search for his ball with him; a quick shove in the back, a splash and it was all over! She couldn’t swim anyway but just to make sure he would hold her under with his three wood. It was brilliant!
The fateful day dawned.
The Higginses arrived at the tenth. Henry weakened his grip, put all his weight on his left foot, swung like a demon, and reverse-pivoted into a horrible, copybook slice. He was ecstatic.
“Come on, come on,” he screamed, at his dear wife. “Let’s go and look for it.”
“But I haven’t teed off yet dear.”
Alice Higgins duly hit the fairway and together they approached the water, Henry Higgins pausing only to seize his three wood. They were still 10 yards from the water when his wife said, “Oh Henry, what luck, here you are in the rough.”
“It can’t be,” he screamed in anguish, “It’s not my ball.”
“Yes it is dear, it’s one of those personalised ones I bought you for Christmas. If you hadn’t sliced it so badly it would probably have gone straight into the water. What a slice of luck.” She giggled. “Get it, Henry? Slice of luck?”
Higgins gazed at her and his thoughts were not pretty.
“Henry, that’s very brave of you,” she said, noticing his three wood. “Normally you take an iron out of the rough.”
Henry Higgins thought of his wife’s head as his club descended. His ball sailed through the trees. Two hundred and twenty yards later it came to rest on the green. He could have wept. He strode angrily to his golf bag and tramped across the dog-leg toward the green, through the trees.
“Ooh Henry, you look like a tiger prowling through those woods.” She started to laugh. “Get it Henry, tiger in the woods, you know, Tiger Woods.”
He stared at her neck and his hands twisted into a grip which had she noticed would have very much reminded Alice Higgins of a tiger’s claw. Get a grip, Henry, he said to himself. The water came into play again on the right of the fourteenth. This time he would make no mistake.
On the fourteenth, he scorned any attempt at subterfuge. He simply aimed right and put his drive straight into the water.
“Right, I’ll drop one,” he said and raced off towards the lake. His wife could not see the maniacal grin which contorted his features. This time he had the perfect plan.
He stood by the water’s edge and carefully placed his feet on the sloping bank.
“Do you think you could help me darling?” he called. “I think I’m going to fall into the water.”
Alice Higgins came rushing to her husband’s rescue.
“Give me your hand dear,” he said.
Mrs Higgins held out her left hand. Henry Higgins grasped it in his right fist and pulled with all his might. There was a loud splash, a scream and Alice Higgins looked in amazement at her husband as he stared at her with a lunatic grin on his face. He was neck-deep in the muddy water.
His violent jerk had pulled his wife’s golf glove from her hand and he had lost his balance and fallen in, bouncing off a large, jagged rock in the process.
“Well at least you saved my glove,” giggled his wife. “Thank goodness it’s an all-weather one.”
Slowly and miserably Higgins made his way back to the clubhouse to change his clothes. His appearance caused a near riot as the members fell over each other to get a better look.
Afterwards, he made his way morosely into the Club bar for a whisky – God knows he needed one.
“Large Scotch please,” he muttered.
“Would that be with water, or do you prefer it on the rocks?” asked the bartender, innocently.
The club members fell about in hysterics.
Henry Higgins went home.
One of Happy Ali’s most prolific writers, Trevor Hughes is an award-winning author of six novels and a book of short stories: Tales from Far Places.
He has lived and worked in Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Singapore, and now Hong Kong. He has travelled extensively but, in his more settled moments can often be found enjoying a round or two of golf: nowhere more so than at the 19th hole.
Murder on the Golf Course is written and serialized exclusively for Happy Ali.
For more information see: www.trevorhughes-writer.com