#194

Did you think it wasn't a clue? That picture that you see when you think of Tristram Spencer? Every thing's a clue. In retrospect. History is our biggest pointer to tomorrow.

I took out my summer shades, poked the left lens through and on the right one I daubed a big white cross. I smoothed my hair across to mask the bald patch I had cut out the fringe and opened the door.

Verity stood there looking at me agasp. My face was swollen and there were blood drips all over the front of my wife-beater vest. My pants were so mucked up that you could see their shadow through my pyjama bottoms. I pushed my back against the front door, opening it wide for Verity to enter. In the hallway she stood amongst brick and plaster. It was so cold that her breath fogged up. I gave an underarm salute to the world and closed the door.

“So you're alive,” spoke Verity, on the verge of tears.
“Yeah, for the moment,” I said “not that anyone would care.”

Verity did not respond. She was not getting into that. Neither was she going to explain the almost certainly genuine reason why she never caught my message. And even if she had, genuine sentiments were way to positive for me to buy into. I no longer cared. The world wants me ruined. I want to believe that and do.

When Verity saw the full extent of the damage in the place she let herself go and started bawling properly. Real intense tears that dripped in the hall, hit the dust, and rolled back into themselves as if she was crying mercury.

“Trist, Darl... what the hell has gone on here? Have you lost your mind? And you look awful, really fucking ill. Is this where you're at? Fuck. I don't believe it. You've descended into some other nightmare. Oh Tristy, this has gone too far.... it was always too far. And this time not even I can help you... worse, I'm gonna add to your woes. But it's only because I care and because I love you and because I want you to get out of here... just get away. Little Dick Tracy is going to arrest you! ”

When Verity had finished she broke down again. Her tears came faster than she could wipe them away and so she gave up trying and let her face become a big watery blob. Her revelation didn't even affect me. I just shrugged and led her into the kitchen.

Even though my back was to her I knew she was staring shell shocked at the demolished room: the table which had collapsed into a ramp; the kitchen units all ripped off and smashed down on the floor; the sink prised away from the wall; the hot water heater with a huge hole smashed through the metal; the walls half put through; and four chairs jumped and hammered to smithereens and piled up on top of everything else. I turned the tap. Surprisingly it still worked and so I filled the kettle and plugged it in down on the floor. Out from the mess I found half a broken cup. It would do. It was all there was.

“Tristram, the police know it was YOU who drove the wheelchair out of town and not John. They have CCTV footage of you returning home that night ... the night you have claimed you spent 'at home, crying and wanking.' Little Dick was at mine this morning. I promise I didn't tell him anything but I listened, and I heard enough to know that you've only a few days left... at most.”

I heard the words and for a moment I almost panicked, knew I should, but nothing came... just a kinda calm blank of don't-give-a-fuckness.

“And so what!” I spat flicking the kettle on.

“Well it's evidence! Evidence that you have given false testimony... that John didn't leave that night... that John must have been here as you was in his chair! How does that look? Go through it: there was an almighty argument... a huge, physical fight, and twenty minutes later you was riding John's wheelchair out and away to dump it. It looks pretty bad, Darl. It looks VERY bad.”

“Well it's still wrong,” I said, “because John was dead days before that. I invented the fight. John was already in the window boxes trying to sprout root even then!”

“I know that,” replied Verity “but you cannot tell Inspector Tracy that, and if you did it'd be the same result. But the wheelchair evidence isn't all. The ankle chain... traces of blood have been discovered on it... blood which Tracy says matches the type from the severed genitals. It prooves it was John's cock. It's as good as them having discovered the body.”

“No. That can't all be true. If it was there is no way Little Dick would have told you. He would have been round here and arrested me without delay. Anyway, a severed cock doesn't mean the person's dead... look at Brian, he's still alive.”

I poured Verity a cup of boiling water and handed it to her. “There's no milk... or teabags,” I said. She looked in the cup, pulled a disgusting expression, and then looked at me. Again, I wanted to punch myself in the face, but didn't. Instead I gave a bitter look out the window at the window box.

“I'm trapped in,” I said. “I'm surrounded. D'you know there's a shadow out front watching me? All the time. Taking notes. There's probably also one out the back too. A pair of eyes in the tree. Imagine that! That the tree's been planted there by the cops and inside it is a dwarf. I wouldn't put it past them. The Met have done far worse things than exploit midgets! I'm also being evicted. There'll be a repossession order passed for the property on the 3rd of january.... it seems that the entire street has put in complaints agAinst me. I've nowhere after that and I can hardly carry the window boxes around the streets with me. My life's over...”

Verity never answered to that. Instead she tried to convince me that being caught may be a good thing and that with the right lawyer and a good judge I may not even go to prison but to hospital. Friends are great at filling you with unrealistic hopes. I suppose if they did anything else they wouldn't be friends.

It was well into the evening when Verity finally decided to leave. The cold had gotten so bad inside the apartment that she had turned completely pale and even with the light gone I could still make out the white of her face. Outside, contrasting against the deep dark sky, she looked tragic. Like the grainy, blurred photos of those missing or dead. There was something about that moment which I knew was final. “Verity,” I said as she stood there looking at me with a millennium of sadness in her eyes “when they take me away will you post the news of it on my blog? I'll give you the password and code and you can kinda leave a few words like an epilogue?” Verity agreed, and so I gave her the password and then watched her go. Twelve years of friendship and not one look back, just a freezing trail of tears on her long walk home.

7 comments:

  1. If the post's a bit scrappy, excuse me, it was getting late and I thought it best to post and clear up the loose ends after. X

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  2. Final meetings between friends can be like that: lacking in outward emotion, practical, cold.

    If I haven't said it already, this is some of the most 'visual' writing I have come across in years. If it weren't for the fact that it is hanging off the wall, I would describe this as 'kitchen-sink drama'!

    I have *really* enjoyed this story =]

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  3. Gurney, you're right as usual... what you say about about last meetings. For the rest I won't comment on and will just quietly store it in my ego! But Thank you so much.X

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  4. Simon: XXXX

    Abigail & Co: There will be a post today but not before midnight. Thats 3 and a half hours.... don't wait up for it though! X

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  5. I fear that Verity is as miserable and cynical as you are and has only the power to accept the inevitable.

    Oh how things would have been different if we'd met before now!

    You could have had a haven in Abigail Island, which I can now reveal is based on

    Tracy Island -

    Ironic that 'Tracy', non?

    In YOUR world Tracy Island = prison.

    My island is full of hopelessly joyous, deluded
    Angels.

    Here's an exclusive picture of my most trusted lieutenant (after his latest cosmetic surgery):

    Thick Blue Glasses

    You will note that he doesn't actually wear glasses.

    Well: he was so jealous of my nephew's state of the art wheelchair that he jumped out of his bedroom window and broke both his legs.

    Not only does he get his own supersonic wheelchair - he woke up in hospital with perfect vision!

    Our Lord works in mysterious ways...

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