Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Chapter 16

A man in a brown car-coat and grey vinyl shoes rang the doorbell of Christy’s house and waited. He was cradling a turkey in his arms like it was a dead baby.
Christy opened the door. ‘Alright?’
‘Hello Christy. How are you?’
‘I’ll call Mum.’
Christy went to the kitchen, opened the back door and shouted, ‘Mum! Door!’
From the back-yard she called, ‘Who is it?’
Walking away Christy muttered, ‘It’s that twat with the turkey again.’
His mother showed Mr Bromley into the front room. Christy shut his bedroom door behind him. Just got down from tea. Door goes. Can you be a big boy and get the door please? Big blue door. Can reach now. A man. Know we know him a bit. Hello and is your mum around? She says hello and he says helloChristinehowareyoubearingup? A turkey. Gives it Mum. From everyone. Been meaning to pop round sooner but it’s difficult with being short-staffed. Stops. Goes red. Goes. Doesn’t say happy christmas. Play in your room for a bit.
He resumed his position on the bed. He lay curled like a question mark, drowning in instalments, watching bits of his life flash before his eyes. Big enough to get the door. Mrs Lynch. It’s Mrs Lynch. Mum wiping her hands, pushing her glasses up. Saying something quiet. Big white envelope. Big robin. Closes the door. Drops the card. Goes in her room. Writing on it. Curly. Scratchy. Big. Small. Names. Lots.
Christy could hear his mother talking on the doorstep, then closing the door. Front room. Hot. Reading. Clair banging the hoover into things. Mum out scraping fridges. Door goes. Door. Flicks her head. Another man in a hat. Hello son. Is your mum in? No. Is your dad in? No. Will he be back later? No. No? He’s dead. Says sorry. Walks away. Said it now.
Sometimes it was just one thing after another for Christy. And not even in that order. He picked up the Agatha Christie novel he’d been reading and tried to find his place. His eyes ached. He couldn’t concentrate. In the front room waiting. She gets up. Looks out the window. Clair biting her nails. The bits of skin round the sides. Blood coming out. Don’t eat bits off yourself. Gate clicks. Look out the window. Two police. Bell goes. You’d better come in. Can smell them a bit. Wet wool. Kitchen then, you two. Shuts the kitchen door. Christy closed the novel and rubbed his eyes. Some things no book can cure.

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