Oh, thought Greg, what a splendidly loyal little woman I married. Pity I’ve got to murder her.

“And if death did you part?”

“What do you mean, Dan?”

“If Greg died, would you marry me?”

There was a long silence, then Shelley’s voice said quietly, “Yes, Dan. I can give you that satisfaction at least. If Greg were to die, I would marry you.”

Oh well, there’s a nice warm thought for them to end their lives with, thought Greg.

“Thank you for saying that,” murmured Dan, his voice thick with emotion. Then Greg heard him approaching the shed, even putting his hand on the open door. “So I can’t tempt you in?” asked the gardener. “Just for a quick cuddle?”

“No,” said Shelley firmly. “It wouldn’t be fair to Greg.”

Her husband was divided between respect for his wife’s loyalty and annoyance at the realization that, if she wouldn’t go into the shed, he was going to have to find another way of murdering her.

“All right. If that’s what you feel...” And, as a petulant punctuation to his words, Dan slammed the shed door shut.

Things happened very quickly then. Just at the moment Greg heard the clunk of the wooden door latch finding its slot and locking him in, he was aware of a sudden roar of combustion behind him. He turned back to the inferno that had once been a sofa-bed, and saw flames licking along the floor towards him from every direction.

Greg Lincoln had been a very good planner, after all. His twenty-minute twine fuse hadn’t really gone out. Burning more slowly because of the damp, its spark had still crept inexorably towards the knothole and the pool of petrol inside the shed.

Realising that that’s what must have happened was the last thought of Greg Lincoln’s unlamented life.

And his last sight, through the flames and the cracking windows of the garden shed, was his wife Shelley, held in the protective arms of the gardener Dan. Which was where she would stay for the remainder of her very happy life.

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