The Nine Greatest Deaths in the History of Marsden Creek: 5 | By Nick Lachmund

The Marsden Creek City Council had some well-respected and much loved leaders over the years. But few have ever demanded the respect of the people as Mayor Bruce Kingsley. He represented his people enthusiastically and they loved him for it.

The Nine Greatest Deaths in the History of Marsden Creek: 5

By Nick Lachmund

For the ‘To the Nines’ Award Part 5


Number Five

It was 1989 and Bruce was in his fifth year as Mayor. Nearly every day he would leave his office in Main Street and walk to a bakery to get lunch. Along the way he would stop to shake hands with people and smile and make jokes and do whatever else he needed to keep them all happy. He sure knew how to keep them happy. The bakery was called Stella’s and Stella would personally make the Mayor his lunch, which he ate sitting in the shop window. Bruce would thank Stella, order a takeaway coffee and then visit Stella’s daughter Ruth, who lived in a flat at the back of the shop.

Bruce met Stella and Ruth when he was 45 and Ruth was 15. She had just dropped out of school, much to the chagrin of Stella. Bruce could tell that Ruth was intimidated by him. He really liked watching the skinny, pale girl stutter on her words when they spoke. Bruce told them that he would be happy to look over Ruth’s resume and give her some career advice. That’s when the visits started. And soon, for the first time in nearly twenty years, Bruce found himself inside a teenage girl. He felt alive for the first time in a long time. Even going home to his wife and kids at night didn’t kill the high she gave him.

Eventually Stella began to suspect what was going on. After her denial wore off, she asked Bruce what he and Ruth did in her flat. He looked at her nervously until the bell above the door rang, capturing their attentions. Bruce said he had to go and fled the scene. The next few days Bruce went to a café at the other end of the main street for lunch. He thought it was over and, although he missed the taste and feel of Ruth, he decided to move on. He felt okay, right up until Ruth turned up at his office a few days later. Then he had a problem.

As Bruce escorted his teenage muse up the road to her flat, she began to cry. He started pulling her arm. But Ruth pulled away, screaming at him to not touch her. She stepped onto the road. Bruce, losing his cool violently shoved Ruth forward. She fell on the other side of the road as a bus collided with Bruce. He landed a few metres away. Someone nearby yelled that Bruce had saved her life. She didn’t correct them. Her silence was going to give Bruce a hero’s death but she didn’t care. It was going to be hard enough to raise the baby in her belly with no dad, let alone having the whole town know that it was the bastard of the old mayor. She kept her mouth shut. And six months later I was born.