THE MURDER

29 Sep

penknife photo: penknife (in ketchup) IMG_0052.jpg

When Thomas took a penknife and buried it in the chest of Deirdre, his sleeping wife so hard and so deep that it just had to kill her he knew he’d go to jail for life for it. Of course he would, he thought with a self-destructive extra push and twist of his little blade, and he wouldn’t mind one bit.

A lifetime of incarceration would be better than one more day with this harridan, this judgemental, thoughtless, mindless harridan.

He’d loved her once, of course. He strained his muscles as he leaned on the handle of the knife and pushed with all his weight as he remembered.

They’d been young once. She with her mini skirts and that addictive giggle, he with his boyish humour and little practical jokes. She with her long and fragrant hair, he with his experimental aftershave that choked the living daylights out of him, but he wanted to smell nice.

And they’d played young games together, she pretending she didn’t want what he wanted and he pretending he didn’t know what she wanted until he delivered it – and then she gasped and begged for more, much, much more – a great deal more than he could possibly give once he’d exploded in a huge outpouring of uncontrollable passion in a gigantic teenage orgasm.

They’d wed too soon, of course. She was in the family way, announced it to him so casually that she might have been talking about the eggs she’d had at breakfast.

“I wonder if it’ll be a girl,” she had said with an impish grin.

“You what?” he asked, “you wonder if what will be a girl?”

“The baby in my tummy!” she had replied, mentioning it for the very first time and smiling as if she was commenting on the weather. And then: “We’ll have to get married soon,” she had declared in much the same tone of voice as she might have used when deciding on the hemline of a new skirt. She’d made a lot of her own clothing back then and deciding on hemlines was important to her, almost as important as pondering on the gender of an unborn child.

“You’re pregnant?” he had burst out, and she had giggled and rubbed her tummy in a way that could only possible be provocative and mummed and repeated the question “I wonder if it’ll be a girl?”

“But how?” he had stammered.

“If you don’t know now you should never have done it to me?” she had laughed, “and it was fun, you know it was fun and having a daughter will be fun too!”

Then she’d dragged him up to her room (her parents being out) and said she’d show him how they’d done it, and this time it would be safe, you can’t get pregnant twice at the same time.

His heart had sunk. He hadn’t been ready for this. But facts had to be faced and they wed in a shotgun sort of way, the lump that was her stomach showing so that everyone knew why they’d rushed, and at the party afterwards (you couldn’t call it a reception, not really, not with only half a dozen guests and no music) she prattled on about the dresses she would make for the child when she was born and the styles she would weave into her hair and all the lovely girly things they’d do together.

“She’ll take after me,” she had said, “lovely long tresses and curls and legs the lads’ll die for!”

And the baby had been born. A boy. A son. A particularly ugly son. With one too many fingers on his left hand and a predisposition for howling.

It had been then that her mouth had started to turn down. Changing nappies. Breast feeding – the little tyke make her nipples bleed. All the chores that come as a shock to a first time mum whose only experience was with a Barbie when she’d been ten and in charge of everything.

And the harridan had been born.

Slowly at first, true enough, but nothing returned to the heady days of love and lust that had been the birth of the relationship, and as the years slipped away and she had gained experience and confidence and a grasp of hurtful language and the tyke had grown from a howler to a mindless criminal by the time he was ten, Thomas’s life had assumed the worst qualities of a living, waking nightmare.

And the daughter never did come along.

You had to make love to have children, and he lost the appetite for that kind of thing. It was better to vanish into the bathroom once a week or so and relieve his physical tension on his own without risk of criticism or sarcastic references to what she had once thought marvellous and now thought small. Much better, and with no consequences.

“You used to be keen on it,” she had grated on one occasion as he was drying his hands and humming to himself. “You used to have me two, three time a day! What’s gone wrong?”

“You have,” he had replied, and gone to the pub for a drink with the lads. Lads? They were all heading to middle-age and all escaping from vitriolic wives, or so they said in confidence when said wives were out of earshot.

And it had come, finally, to this.

He gave the knife one last twist, one final thrust, and stood up.

There ought to be blood everywhere, and that’s what he saw. Lovely red blood, the signature of death, the very inscription of murder on a lovely sun-kissed day.

“I’ll hand myself in,” he mused. “that way there’s be less fuss.”

“You never do anything properly!” snapped Deirdre, standing in the doorway. “The least you could have done is wait for me to get into bed before you wrecked that expensive pillow with your penknife!”

He looked down at the bloody mess and sighed.

“I’m no killer,” he mumbled, “just a shit of a man who can’t stand any more.”
And he buried the blade of that knife of his, that penknife with it’s silly three-inch blade, as deep into his own flesh as he could, aiming for the heart but missing, feeling the steel bend to one side as it slid off a rib and ended nowhere.

“You’re cracked!” she said, and stood over him as he sunk to the floor, weeping.

“This is going to hurt you more than you hurt me,” she said, oozing spite and vitriol before battering him over his aching head with an iron saucepan until she knew full well that he was as extinct as any dodo anywhere and would never take his little knife to her best memory-foam pillow again.

© Peter Rogerson 29.09.15

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2 Responses to “THE MURDER”

  1. squidmcfinnigan September 29, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    Nice twist, I love the memory foam pillow at the end. It shows how what should be valued is often over looked for modern day tat.

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