EVERY 31 MINUTES – Part 8


This is no longer my NaNoWriMo entry Part 8.  lol

Every 31 minutes someone is murdered . . .

THE TANGLED WEB  – RADIO DRAMA (Format modified due to Blog constraints)

CHARACTERS:-

GLORIA COGLYN – 32, emotionally and mentally strong, decision-maker, married to Jim, and neighbour of victim.

JIM COGLYN – 35, Gloria’s husband, apparently tough and aggressive, wanted for armed  robbery.

TESSA JOHNSON – 29, neighbour of Coglyns, selfish, petty, panics easily and has quick temper and sharp tongue.

DAVE JOHNSON – 31, Tessa’s husband and victim.  He is demonstrative in love and in anger when provoked.

DETECTIVE SERGEANT SMITH – 42, hard voiced, clipped speech, but with sense of humour/irony.

Scene: INT. Gloria and Jim’s living room.

FX            TEEMING RAIN PLUS VOICES RAISED IN ANGER FROM HOUSE NEXT DOOR

GLORIA   They’re at it again!

FX            THUNDER FOLLOWED BY GUNSHOT

FX            DOG BARKS FOLLOWED BY THUNDER

FX            DOOR SLAMS NEXT DOOR

GLORIA   What’s that?

JIM           Sounded like a car.

GLORIA   No, I think it’s a gun!  Didn’t you hear them fighting?  They’ve been at it for days.

JIM            I’m sure it was a car.

GLORIA   But you didn’t see them outside earlier.  I did.

JIM           What were they doing?

GLORIA    Well, she threw all his clothes in the garden, and he chased her swearing he’d kill her.

JIM            I still think it was a car.

FX             THUNDER, DOG BARKS

GLORIA    We’d better call the police.

FX             PHONE PICKED UP, THEN SLAMMED DOWN

JIM            You can’t do that!  If it was a car we’ll look like idiots.

GLORIA    But what if he’s killed her?

JIM            That’s right, blame it on him!  She might’ve shot him.  Anyway, it was a car!!

GLORIA    Well if you won’t call the police, then go and have a look.

JIM            I’m not going over there.  It’s none of our business.  Besides it’s pouring.

GLORIA    What if someone’s hurt and we do nothing?

JIM            It’s none of our business!

GLORIA    Well, I’m going over there to have a look, if you won’t.

FX              DOOR OPENS THEN CLOSES, RAIN STILL TEEMING

FX              FOOTSTEPS IN PUDDLES, DOG BARKS CONTINUALLY

FX              WOMAN’S SCREAM – FADE OUT

FX              FADE IN – EXT. SIRENS, THEN SIRENS HEARD FROM INT.

GLORIA    You were right.  She shot him.  I called the police and the ambulance.

JIM            Is he dead?

GLORIA    No, but he’s real bad.  They’ve taken him to intensive care.  She’s gone.  The place is in a real mess!

FX             KNOCK ON THE DOOR

GLORIA    That’ll be Detective Sergeant Smith.  He’ll want a statement.

JIM            (PANICKING)  I told you to keep out of it!

GLORIA    We’re neighbours.  They’d have questioned us anyway.

FX             DOOR OPENS, FEET STAMP, THEN DOOR CLOSES

SMITH      (OFF)  Mrs Coglyn, just a few questions.  (PAUSE THEN ON)  Jim Coglyn!  What a surprise.  We’ve been looking for you.

GLORIA    Jim!  What’s he talking about?  How does he know you?

JIM            You stupid bitch!  Now look what you’ve done.  Dropped me right in it.

SMITH       He’s wanted for armed robbery at a couple of TAB offices.  You might as well come quietly, Coglyn.  Now about this incident next door (FADE).

FX              MUSIC ON RADIO IN BACKGROUND.  PHONE RINGS.

GLORIA    Hello?

TESSA      Hi, Gloria.  It’s Tessa.  I need your help.

GLORIA    You’ve got a nerve, calling after what you did to Dave.

TESSA      I didn’t mean to.  I didn’t know the gun was loaded.  I’d had enough of his yelling and lost my temper.  How is he?  Is he dead?

GLORIA    No, he’s not!  He’s in intensive care, thanks to you.  If you didn’t mean to do it, why did you run?  Why didn’t you call an ambulance?

TESSA      I panicked.  You’ve got to help me.  I need money and somewhere to hide.  I thought maybe your beach-house?

GLORIA    I don’t know that I should help you.  Things are bad enough for me as they are.

TESSA      Please, Gloria.  I’ve got no-one else to turn to.

GLORIA     It’s against my better judgement, but all right then.  I’ll meet you at Karen’s Koffee Shoppe, in an hour?

TESSA      Thanks Gloria.  You’re a real friend.

FX             PHONE HANGS UP

GLORIA    Oh, no I’m not!

FX             PHONE PICKED UP AND DIALLED

GLORIA    Detective Sergeant Smith?  It’s Gloria Coglyn.  I’ve just been contacted by Tessa Johnson.  She wants me to meet her in an hour at Karen’s Koffee Shoppe.  I thought you’d like to know.

FX             CROWDED COFFEE SHOP NOISES.  BELL TINKLES AS DOOR OPENS.  THEN CLOSES.

GLORIA    Hi, Tessa.  You look terrible.

TESSA      I feel like death.

SMITH       That’s nothing to how your husband feels, Mrs Johnson.  You are under arrest for attempted murder.  You have the right to remain silent, but anything you do say can be given in evidence. . .

TESSA      (OVER SMITH’S SECOND SENTENCE)  You bitch!  you bloody cow!  You betrayed me!  I’ll get you for this!

FX              TESSA IS LED SCREAMING ABUSE FROM THE STUNNED SILENT COFFEE SHOP.  FADE.

FX              HOSPITAL NOISES.

GLORIA     Dave?  It’s me, darling.  It’s Gloria.  They wouldn’t let me in to see you before.  Are you okay?

DAVE         What?  Oh.  She shot me, Gloria.  Tessa shot me.

GLORIA     I know dear.  I found you and called the ambulance.  You’re okay now darling.  You lost a lot of blood.

DAVE        Where’s Tessa?  Did they get her?

GLORIA     Yes dear.  I took care of that.

DAVE         And Jim?  Where’s Jim?

GLORIA     He’d been keeping secrets from me, Dave.  He’s been arrested for armed robbery.

DAVE        What?!  Oww.  I can’t believe what’s been happening.

GLORIA    No.  It’s hard to take in.  (PAUSE)  I guess it’s just you and me now, darling.

(C) Copyright  Jud House  7/02/2012

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EVERY 31 MINUTES – Part 7


This is my NaNoWriMo entry Part 7.

Every 31 minutes someone is murdered . . .

Well that worked okay.  A bit fiddly to do, but speeds up the action while providing the essentials.  So now you know that your murders won’t go uninvestigated.  Now we can settle down to several Parts of this unfolding investigation, or I can slot in some more murders, complete in themselves, to divert and confuse you.  Of course it would be nice to be able to just get on with what you’ve got and find out how they are caught, if they are caught – plus a little more of why the hell they did it in the first place.  But I don’t want to bore you.

But then there is the problem of using up all my good plots in one novel – if you could call this a novel.  It certainly is beginning to look like no novel I have seen before.  I mean, I know all about Metafiction, where the fact that it is a piece of creative writing is subtly indicated to the reader, so they are caught between the suspension of disbelief and reality.  But I am being right in your face with this work – there is no subtlety about it.  And if I change it now, pull back to hints and nuances, I might lose the spark of the story, the narratorial interest – unless that’s already gone out the window.

As I was saying – I might use up all my good plots, of which I have many.  But then they wouldn’t be available to use in their own individual novels.  But then I could die before I get to write them all.  Time marches on, and unfortunately in my case it seems to have its foot firmly on the accelerator.  A dilemma.

I don’t want you to go off and chat amongst yourselves while I sort this out.  You might give up on me altogether and I’d be writing this to the cyberspace where it could drift around eternally annoying people who find the fragments and think “What the . . .?”

Focussing back to the title of this work though, indicates that I should carry on with my intermittent intrusions of other murders.  Perhaps their locations on this Earth won’t be too important, so that you can imagine them to be in any city or town you like.  That way you can take ownership of them a little.  And they don’t have to all be textual – well of course they will be, but they could be of an audio experience.  That being said I will now add the next one as a diversion.

Feel free to let me know what you think.  I’d be interested to know if anyone out there thinks this is diverting or just a waste of typing!

(C) Copyright Jud House 7/02/2012

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EVERY 31 MINUTES – Part 6


This is my NaNoWriMo entry Part 6.

Every 31 minutes someone is murdered . . .

Mid-Morning – New Years Day

1.              INT             BARKELEY’S LIVING AREA          DAY 

The DSS enters the  kitchen-diner, which is open-plan with the living room and joins STEVEN BARKELEY and his wife JANE.  The DSS sits at the kitchen table where indicated.  STEVEN joins him.  Their daughter quietly watches the television in the living room.

JANE
Coffee?  Or cold drink?  It must be hot and muggy out there

by now.

DSS
That’d be nice, ta.  White, two sugars.  It’s cooler in here.  (pauses)  I’d like to hear what happened here last night.  All of it.  Don’t leave anything out no matter how small.

 JANE begins to make coffee.

STEVE
Well, to start with, we had this New Year’s Eve party here.

JANE

And house-warming party as well.

STEVE

(nods) We’ve only been here three months.  There were my work-mates, their wives, and a coupla single blokes.  We had a barbeque from about seven-thirty till nine-ish.  Then we went back inside till midnight, when we all came back out, making a racket, and fired up the barbie again.

JANE puts the coffees on the table, then sits down.  She nods agreement.

STEVE  (cont.)

Joe called out that there was a gatecrasher conked out on the lawn.  We figured he’d come from another party up the street.  Decided to ignore him and let him sleep it off.  He wasn’t hurting anyone.

DSS

Did anyone go near him, touch him, at all?

STEVE

Not that I know of.  Er . . (looks embarrassed)  Except when we were chasing our wives around the back yard.  One of them nearly fell over him.

DSS

Which one would that be? (looks at guest list paper)

JANE

Marion.  She’s done athletics so she was last caught.

DSS

When was this?

STEVE

After the midnight barbie.  Then we all went inside again for coffee.

JANE

Not all of us.  Bob and his rude friend Phil didn’t come inside for coffee.  They didn’t say goodbye either.  Must’ve gone while we were packing up the food to take back inside. 

DSS

This Bob would be Bob Coxe on this list? (waves paper)  I take it he’s one of the single men.

STEVE

Yep  So’s Phil.  They live at the Singles Quarters in the LIA.  (pulls a face)  Actually, Phil wasn’t invited to the party.  Bob was.  He asked if he could bring someone and we thought he meant a chick.  But he turned up with Phil.

DSS

You don’t sound too happy about that.

STEVE

No.  We weren’t.  Phil’s a surly sod.  He argued with most of us last night.

JANE

(indignant)  He was drunk and obnoxious.  No manners at all.  Ate more than his share – even ate Marion’s steak before she could grab it.  I thought Tony was going to hit him for a minute.  A real trouble-maker.  We were glad when we found he’d gone.

DSS

(passive)  When do you think they left, approximately?  When did you last see them?

STEVE

Well they were on the patio when we were chasing the wives. (grins)  I reckon we went in about twenty to two.  But they didn’t.  They were certainly gone when we came out to say goodbye to everyone. 

DSS

I’ll be talking to them all shortly.

The DSS made some notes in the margin by the list of names.  There is silence for a moment.  He looks intently at STEVE.

DSS  (cont.)

Any idea who the deceased was? 

STEVE

I don’t know his name, but I reckon I’ve seen him around.  He might work where I do – at NorWest Engineering.  there’s lots of blokes working for them, not all of them at the workshops, and I haven’t been here very long.

DSS

Does the name David Hill ring a bell?

STEVE

David Hill.  Yeah I reckon Tony mentioned that name.  To do with an argument.  You’d better ask him.  He’s been here for ages and usually knows what’s going on.

DSS

(consults list)  Tony Merridan?

STEVE nods.  Silence.  The DSS makes some more notes.  STEVE and JANE exchange glances.

DSS  (cont.) 

What order did your friends leave in?  And when?

JANE

Well, Marion, Tony, Paul and Janet all left together.  At about two a.m.  The rest of us had more coffee, and talked for a while.  then Sue, Joe, Garry, and Tricia left.  that’s all.  then we went to bed.

DSS

When did you cover the deceased with the rug?

STEVE

After the others left.  jane was worried he’d get cold, so I went and grabbed an old car rug.  I just kinda threw it over him.  Then we locked up and went to bed.

DSS

Did you try to wake him at all?

STEVE

Nope.  He seemed out for the count.

JANE gasps in shock.

STEVE  (cont.)

Sorry.  Poor choice of words.I didn’t bother to try.  He’d slept through all our racket during the chasey.  I figured he’d wake up during the night and go home.

The DSS stands, pockets his papers, shakes hands with STEVE and JANE.

DSS

I’ll get this typed up for you to sign.  I’ll be speaking to you again.  Ta for the cuppa.

The DSS exits.  JANE makes more coffee, while STEVE looks out the kitchen window at the police activities beyond.

(C) Copyright Jud House  28/11/2011

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EVERY 31 MINUTES – Part 5


This is my NaNoWriMo entry Part 5.

Every 31 minutes someone is murdered . . .

Okay.  So now I have got on with the investigations, there is another bridge to cross. That of dialogue.  I love dialogue.  You can run the whole story via dialogue.  I’ve used it more or less conventionally so far.  But I need to speed things up.  I’ve been sparing with the description thus far so as not to impede on the impact of the murders.  But I want to be even more succinct.  Especially if I still intend to move on to other murders.

There is a sense that you might become impatient waiting for the next murder, for the chance to experience murder vicariously.  I can hear you psychopaths grinding your teeth and snarling ‘Get on with it!’  Panic not.  Don’t fret your duds.  I have reams of murders, victims, methods, waiting to be used – well 19 possibilties to hand, and others occurring all the time, if not yet written down.  Time is my enemy – I can’t keep up.  And incessant interruptions . . . oooooh there’s another motive for another crime.

Anyway, I need to follow the existing crimes through their investigations to their conclusions.. I can’t leave you all hanging.  I can’t not give you the conclusion.  Or can I?  An open-ended novel.  I have known copies of these to be hurled across the room upon completion by angry, frustrated, disgruntled, incandescent, really ticked off readers.  It is somewhat of a fad to write open-ended, aka unfinished, unresolved, narratives – that leave the readers to complete the tale in their own way from their own imaginations.  But while I can appreciate them, I do not wholly approve.

It is your story.  You know where it is going, and how it ends.  And if it is still going you should say so.  You need to ‘Play Fair’ with your audience.  Unless you intend it to have sequels, there should be nothing left unresolved.  All the ends should be neatly tied up.  And even episodal works need to stand alone within their series.

And I know where this gruesome carnage is heading.  It’s a matter of how I will get it there.  It deserves ‘a jump to the left!’  So I will take the dialogue there – into left field – for the investigations.  Then I might intrude a few more murders, and have their investigations carry on intertwined with the first murders’ investigations.  How many can I do before it becomes thoroughly confusing?  There’s a challenge.  I’m smiling now.

(C) Copyright Jud House 28/11/2011

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EVERY 31 MINUTES – Part 4


This is my NaNoWriMo entry Part 4.

Every 31 minutes someone is murdered . . .

Morning – New Years Day

As dawn dissipated the dark, over at the High Rise, police began taking photos, looking for and collecting evidence, and systematically working their way up the staircases to each level to find where the victim had fallen from.  By the position of the body it was obvious that he hadn’t just leaned over and fallen by himself.  He had landed too far out for that.  He had to have been thrown.

A pallid young Constable stood by the sheet-draped body beside an ornamental garden bed.  The ambulance drivers were impatiently waiting to take it away to the hospital morgue, before the heat of the day really set in.  The Pathologist and photographer arrived and began their work, so he edged away.

The Detective Senior Sergeant and Senior Constable were talking to the tall bearded Bikie who’d approached them on their arrival.  ‘I was working on me bike in me carpark over there, when I heard this horrible scream like someone’s mad about somethin’.  So I looked out n saw him fall the last coupla floors n hit the deck!  I couldn’t’ve reached him if I tried.  It was so quick, mate.’

‘Mad about something.  Angry?  He sounded angry?’

‘Yeah.  Sounded like it.  But it coulda been terror.  I ran over, took a look, tried not to chuck up me guts … sorry, tried not to vomit, then yelled out for someone to call an ambulance, and you blokes.’

‘What about that sheet ?  Was that you?  Or someone else?’

‘Nah.  Yeah.  That was me.  Thought I’d better chuck me ground-sheet over him, coz it wasn’t a pretty sight.  Anyone coulda seen him.  There’s kids live here you know.’

They took his contact details and headed for the stairs.  ‘Only other witness was a woman who was waiting for her husband to come home from night-shift.  She heard the scream, then saw him fall past her kitchen window.’

Looking up they caught the sudden movement of a head drawing back from the top floor railing.  Important?  Or just a nosey parker.

* * *

Mid morning, steamy and bright, the daughter was on the swings, with Dad pushing, while Mum stayed inside sleeping off the party, and the gatecrasher lay still on the front lawn by the gate.  ‘Who’s that man,Daddy?’

‘What?!  Geez.  Go see if Mum’s awake honey.’  Daughter packed off inside, he walked slowly over to investigate the sleeper.  ‘Wake up mate!’

So still.  So pale.  Bloody Hell.  He’s not asleep.  He’s dead!  Lifting the tatty old car rug he saw blood, under the body, around him, and on his back.  Cops.  Gotta call the cops.  He rushed inside to do so.  ‘Don’t panic honey.  Just keep the kids inside.  Put on the TV for them or something.’

Sirens in the street.  The first to arrive was a well-built, tawny-haired Detective Senior Constable, who having checked the body for signs of life, called in the Detectives from CIB in town.  He returned to the body, which he couldn’t search till it had been photographed, and seen to by SOCO.  ‘Have you moved him at all?’  Due to his extremely light, nearly invisible eyebrows and lashes, his gaze seemed unblinking which was disconcerting.

‘Nah I just pulled the rug down and saw the blood.  See there.  Then I ran inside to call you.’  The body looked familiar, but he couldn’t work out why.  He couldn’t see much of him.  His face was in the damp grass.

‘He’s been here since last night, you said.  When last night?  Early?  Late?  When?  And who put the rug on him?’

‘I did, in case he caught his death . . . . We all came out at midnight’ – the weird eyebrows raised – ‘my friends, my wife and I.  We were having a New Year’s Eve party.  We came out for another barbeque, and he was here then.  We all thought he was a gatecrasher from another party.  Too drunk to go home.’

‘I’ll need all your names.’  He supplied them, and their addresses as well.

‘I think I know this man.  I’ve only been here for 3 months, but he might work where I work.  It’s a big company – lotsa blokes go to lotsa different areas.  The others might know.’

‘Do you.  We might get some ID from him when we can search him.  I’ll check with you once we’ve done that.  Go on inside.  I’ll be with you after the DSS and the SOCO team have finished.’  More sirens.  Vans and cars filled the parking bays on the street, except in front of the house.

* * *

No-one went near the third victim.  No-one knew there was a third victim.  Only the neighbour worried, and fretted, afraid to go and knock on the door.  Afraid of her friend’s husband.

(C) Copyright Jud House  21/11/2011

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EVERY 31 MINUTES – Part 3


This is my NaNoWriMo entry Part 3.

Every 31 minutes someone is murdered . . .

Well I tried to set off a chain of murders in the same town.  While they were feasable, though rather graphic coz of the need to commit the murder and move to the next by the given time, there is a feeling of dissatisfaction.  It was all a bit too much violence.  It gave the impression that this is all about gratuitous violence.  I hate gratuitous violence!

A book of murders, one after the other, with no investigations, just murder, murder, murder, would be horrendous!  It would be tantamount to voyeurism!  Not to mention a hand-book on murder methods!  Yujjo!!  Sorry, for the unenlightened, that means yukko!  Now where was I? . . .  I’m also inclined to think that it would pall for the readers very quickly, it would become tedious, and ho-hum, and nothing kills off a story faster than tedium.  Except for you psychopaths out there on the look-out for new victim possibilities and new ways to dispose of them, to get your kicks.

What I really want to do is show the full picture surrounding your murders.  The lead up.  The investigations.  The false leads and the final solutions.  The solving of your crime is the real point – not the crime itself.  For it to work there needs to be a separation between your crime and us, the onlookers, the voyeuristic solvers of the all-important mystery.  To work out the solution before the detective or the cops get there, is a bonus.

Then I thought that perhaps I need to jump the next group of murders to a different city on a different time line that would match up with my 31 minutes gap.  That could be the way to go.  This way you serial killers could stand down, and they could become isolated domestic murders, or sexual murders, or murders done for the most popular reason – money!  Lucre!  Greed.

That would allow me to have you (plural) commit your murders in daylight and not all at night.  I mean would you murder at 3am?  Well I s’pose some would.  This would take the focus off you individually, singular, and spread it out over the crimes, which would diffuse the intensity of it all in one way, but make it really awful in another.  To think that around our world there is so much hate and greed and insensitivity to good and evil, right and wrong.

‘Course that leads into another whole topic altogether – the rightness of some people’s right compared with that of another people’s right; and the fact that each thinks the others is wrong.  So it’s more a matter of good and evil.  There are some things that, no matter what culture you are from, are considered evil.  But then you psychopaths of this world seem to have sidestepped the gene governing this issue, this human factor.

I just had another thought that could mess this all up.  Bugga.

What if this ‘every 31 minutes’ isn’t actually every 31 minutes?!  What if it has been averaged out.

I mean that would make more sense wouldn’t it.  There are places in this world where people are killed, slain, thus murdered en masse.  Like the High School massacres.  Like the Twin Towers on 9/11.  And car bombs.  And trains and buses and their stations, bombed above and below ground.  ‘Course these latter horrific crimes are committed by you murdering bastards who use doctrine as a shield to satisfy your need for violence.  They are ‘you plural’ murders!

And do we include war casualties or not?  They are a kind of murder – well they are murder, just sanctioned murder.  But I doubt if they were included in the statistics.  This throws my whole plan into disarray.  Not that I think it was working very well in the first place.  S i g h . . .

Okay so I take another tack then.  If I can’t use the 31 minutes as the guide then I need to bunch them up, spread them across the World.  A mass killing here.  A single secret murder there.  An accidental then covered up death elsewhere.  Hmmmm  . . . .  If I do that then it’s back to the appearance of gratuitous violence.  Bugga!

Nah.  I can feel myself going off this idea rapidly.

Maybe a combination of them all.

(C)  Copyright  Jud House  7/11/2011

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EVERY 31 MINUTES – Part 2


This is my NaNoWriMo entry Part 2.

Every 31 minutes someone is murdered . . .

Midnight – New Years Eve.

 The attack was swift and sudden.  The blade sliced into his left side and up towards his heart.  His chest ripped, ribs broke, as he stumbled forward onto the knife, pulled out with violence.  He gasped, his eyes bulging in disbelief.  From his open mouth came gurgling, sputtering sounds.  He wanted to cry out for help, to scream his agony and fear to the party-lit street, but he could get no volume.

Without a word his attacker turned and left, purposefully, with no appearance of panic.  Alone, and to the sounds of revelry from every house, he clutched at the nearest fence, staggered along it to the gate, then clung to the gate-post to gain the strength to open it and proceed unaided.  He didn’t get far.  Dropping to his knees, then down onto his hands, he dragged himself about a body-length across the grass beside the path.  With a spluttering gasp he collapsed face down and lay still, as his life ebbed from him, and his senses faded.

Suddenly there was a great shout into the humid NorthWest night.  Cheers.  Auld lang Syne!  People spilled out of the houses and called to their neighbours.  Barbeques were re-ignited and meat was soon sizzling.  Music blared from various sound systems – Michael Jackson competing with Pink Floyd, Meatloaf, ACDC down along the street.

People danced on the grass, and wondered about the gate-crasher who seemed to have had a skin-full.  ‘Should we wake him?’  ‘Nah.’  ‘Leave the poor bugga to sleep it off.’  ‘Fair go – it’s New Years after all.’  Banter.  Laughter.  Arguments as a couple get too drunk and nasty.  The parties break up and people drift off home.  ‘Cover the gate-crasher with an old car rug or he’ll catch his death.’  ‘Night.’  ‘Seeya.’

Quiet descends on the street, on the town.  The humidity mists onto the lawn and the body, glistening in the street lights till they too turn off.

* * *

12.31 am 

The pounding his wife was taking was beyond description.  He’d sorted out the boyfriend, and now it was her turn.  Again.  It had been going on since Xmas.  She’d screamed then, but noone came to help.  Her neighbours, her friends thought they’d make the situation worse if they did, and domestics weren’t considered as priorities at that time.  If they waited till he went to work, they could make sure she was okay then and help her get away.  But he didn’t go out, and she didn’t appear again.

The beatings got a bit worse each time.  Furniture was smashed, he yelled abuse, then forced her to cook his meals without snivelling or she’d cop it again.  The last time had crippled her, broken her legs,and ribs, and she’d lain on the bed, bound hands and feet, in a foetal position, unmoving since then.  Into her mind had crept the incongruous thought of Douglas Adams quote in Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy about ‘bits of her kept passing out’, and had wanted to giggle but couldn’t.  The pain was too great.  Her eyes were all puffy and she couldn’t see, and wouldn’t know if he was standing there watching her.  So she kept still, and when she was conscious pretended she wasn’t.

But it was no protection from the sudden beatings, each more shocking than the last as she had no way of knowing when they would begin.  He pulled her by the hair and flung her, still bound, across the room.  He kicked, and kicked, and kicked, before pounding into her head with his fists.  After flinging her back onto the bed, he quietly picked up his knife.  It had done such a good job on that bloody boyfriend.  Now it was her turn.  Bitch!  He slashed her unprotected body, watching the terror in her eyes.  Then he sorted her face out as well.

Closing the bedroom door for the last time, he went and made himself a cuppa, and a sandwich, and turned on the TV to watch the New Year fireworks replay.

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1.02 am 

In the High Rise apartment complex a drugs deal was underway.  The men entered the dimly-lit central courtyard through the ground-floor car-parks and headed for the lifts.  Pretending to press the button, then retreating to the base of the stairs, the Dealer swore.  ‘The bloody lift’s out of order again.  Have to climb the bloody stairs!’  ‘What floor?’  ‘The bloody top of course.’  ‘Geez!’

Halfway up the mugginess was getting to his Mate, so the Dealer told him to wait while he went to see the kid.  Didn’t wanna spook him anyway.  He might rack off before doing the deal.  He plodded on up.  The Mate leaned on the railing and looked around the compound created by the railed walkways lining the inner walls of the complex.  Geez he’d hate to live here.  Looked like a prison.  He leaned over and glanced down at the courtyard.  At least there were some palms in tubs down there, some greenery.  Mostly paving, but.

On the sixth floor, the drugs had changed hands, the money been counted and the kid had sauntered off.  Descending to join his mate, the Dealer commented on the couple of gay guys in the courtyard below.  ‘They shouldn’t do that in public!  Not even at night.  Kids live here.’  His mate craned his neck to get a look.  ‘What?  Where?’  ‘Down there.’  Pointed to the thickest foliage below.  ‘You’ll have to get on the step and lean out a little.  See?’

He crossed to the lift and pressed the button calling it up.  He returned to his mate, leaning dangerously out trying to see the gay guys in the gloom below.  With one swoop he grabbed his mate’s legs out from under him, tossed him up out over the rail.  In three steps he was in the lift which was ready, barely hearing his mate’s furious frantic scream or the sickening thud as his body hit the concrete paving slabs below.  His head struck the corner of a garden-bed wall, splitting open and spattering its contents onto the cool leaf-strewn surface of the courtyard.

Leaving the ground-level lift he hurried to the courtyard to gaze up as if startled by the scream, as people appeared at the railings and peered down for the same reason.  Several men approached the body.  ‘Call an Ambulance!’  ‘Call the Cops!’  A tall, bearded Bikie grabbed a dropsheet from a nearby carbay to throw over the nauseating sight.  The smug Dealer slipped away to hide in the air-conditioning plant room till it was all over.  Petty blackmail sorted.

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(C) Copyright Jud House 6/11/2011

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