14 Jul


folk singer drawing photo: shawn colvin like folk singer shawncolvinfolksingerjpg2.jpg

“I can’t believe they let her go,” whispered Paula. “You can’t go around murdering people, and being let go, can you?”
“She’s not exactly been let go,” explained Mr Potts, her father. “It’s just that there are questions that need to be asked, and she’s still a minor. And there will be restrictions on what she can and cannot do until it’s all sorted.”
“But she stabbed the boy!” exclaimed Paula.
“Now, Paula, only the other day you were being all sorry about how you knocked her out on the tennis court, returning a service, as I seem to recall. You said it was a mistake, that you didn’t mean to hurt her…”
“But I’m sure she meant to hurt me!” protested Paula. “The way she served … it was cruel!”
“Quite a few people saw the incident in that dirty night-club, Paula. It was barely half full, so things could be seen, more than would be in a crowded place, I believe, and a group of boys and girls swore that the boy had his hands all over her and she kept trying to push him off.”
“But to stab him!”
“Apparently she scrabbled around in her bag for the first thing she could find to fend him off with, and it happened to be a nail file. Think of it for a moment. A nail file!”
“I suppose it’s not exactly a flick-knife, dad.”
“You try even piercing someone’s flesh with a nail file! He was more dressed than Simone as well, you know, being a boy, and his clothes would stop ninety-nine out of a hundred stabs with a nail file!”
“So how did she manage it, dad?”
“From what I’ve heard there’s hardly any chance of a nail file even hurting a lad let alone killing him. But she managed it. Take that ninety-nine out of a hundred and multiply it by a really big number and you might be lucky. Or unlucky.”
“Were you suggesting that he asked for it?” asked Paula, uncertainly.
“He asked for something. She wasn’t wearing a bra and you know how … generously proportioned … she is, up there. He shouldn’t have gone for it, though. He should have kept his hands to himself once he could see she didn’t want to be mauled by him. That’s what set the ball in motion, so to speak…”
“I don’t always wear a bra myself, dad,” Paula told him, and he knew. He was her dad and of course he knew! Knowing wasn’t approving, though, and he was wise enough to know that times change and he was of a different age.
“Well, apparently the lad in the club was seriously molesting her, and she didn’t like it…” he said, to cover up his own embarrassment.
“She not like it? I don’t believe that one! She’s always on about what she does with boys!”
“I wouldn’t know about that, love. But I did hear that she wasn’t wearing very much at all, besides being bra-less. One of the blokes at work suggested she was asking for it, that’s his words, dressed like she was.”
“So she’s the talk of the coachworks, is she?”
“It’s just one of the lads saw her and said that any bloke might take what she had on show as a clue to what she was thinking, as an invitation…”
“Now, dad … you’ve said times many that provocative dressing is no excuse for rape or anything like that…”
He frowned. “It is not, and we’re not talking about rape…”
“We’re talking about murder, which has got to be worse than rape!”
Mr Potts sighed. “There’s got to be a point at which a lad’s hormones start talking to him. I remember when I was a mere youth…”
“Is this one of your famous made-up stories, dad?” frowned Paula.
“Not made up, love. No indeed! Back then I lived with my folks, your grandparents, and next door was a family that included in its midst two teenage girls, a pair of twins. They were as like as peas in a pod and hard to tell apart when they were younger. As they grew up they both became real beauties…”
“If one was a real beauty they both were, if they were like two peas in a pod,” put in Paula, not without a trace of sarcasm.
“Of course. But hush. One of them was into folk music. She played the guitar and sang like an angel. She had a really beautiful haunting voice and her name was Jessie. Folks said she would go far, though time proved they were wrong. Her sister, Bernice, was totally different in everything except appearance. She was, I suppose, a bit of a rock chick! Anyway, Jessie usually dressed in beautiful long flowing dresses and skirts, the kind of fashion that fitted perfectly with her folksy character, whilst Bernice was a bit like your friend Simone and wore as little as her parents would let her get away with and even less when their backs were turned. She had a really beautiful body, and wanted the world to know! Jessie had an equally beautiful body, of course, but wasn’t fussed by it. She covered it up and if I’d had to choose between them, the folk heroine or the rock chick, I’d have been hard pressed to make a choice.”
“It’s what I’ve always said, dad. Girls dress for themselves and not for anyone pervy enough to glare at them, like you when you were young!”
“In the end, Paula, the rock chick was raped and the folk singer wasn’t. It was one dark winter’s night and she was still out with her friends, half naked! Whether it had anything to do with what the lass wore is a moot point. I don’t know, though the man who raped her, in his defence, said she was up for it, he could tell that from the way she looked…”
“That’s no defence, Dad!”
“It shouldn’t be. It really shouldn’t. But there are some men to whom a girl showing everything is a real turn-on and, very sadly, a very few lasses who mean it to be.”
Paula remained silent.
Maybe she was remembering the reason she wore her tiniest tennis skirt the previous Sunday, because, deep in her heart, she knew it was to open David’s eyes.
“You’re right, dad,” she whispered. “What’s going to happen to Simone, do you think?”
“A good barrister will get her off. Even a poor one might. After all, she was defending herself. She never meant to hurt the lad, let alone kill him!”
“She meant to hurt me that Sunday,” grumbled Paula.
“And look how it rebounded on her! No, whatever she’s guilty of it’s not murder, unless she’s been caught by the fashion police and they’ve found her guilty of poor taste!”
“Ha ha, dad!”
© Peter Rogerson 14.07.14


2 Responses to “TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL”

  1. pambrittain July 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Guilty of poor taste. Laughing.

  2. Peter Rogerson July 15, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    It sort of describes myself, Pam…

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