Hello, love. Sorry I took so long to answer. The train’s absolutely packed solid and I had trouble getting my mobile out of my pocket. ..…. Hello? That is you, Merissa? Your voice sounds peculiar .. What?
Merissa,? Charlie what? Merissa I can’t hear you . AARGH. You don’t have to shout. Yes, I did hear it that time. You’ve killed Charlie. O.K. Right. Merissa, would you mind saying that again? .
This is some kind of joke, isn’t it? If so I haven’t got much of a sense of humour this morning. It’s raining, the train was late … Okay! Okay! I get it. You’ve killed Charlie. You‘ve hit him over the head and he’s lying dead in the middle of the kitchen floor. Right.
Sweetheart, have you just finished off that half bottle of wine we left from last night?
Marissa, please don’t shout like that. Yes, yes I am taking you seriously. Yes. Yes. My god, you are serious aren’t you? You’ve killed Charlie. Oh my god. I’m not panicking… I tell you I’m NOT panicking … I’m just talking my way through it .. Trying to come to terms … Look, Merissa, are you sure?
Of course I’m not contradicting you. I just want to be SURE.
Merissa, of course I believe you. I believed you when you said you he made you uneasy the way he keeps watching you when you’re in the garden. Yes, and I have not forgotten the time when Mrs. Lewis was sunbathing and woke up to find him standing beside her on the lawn. And I know he cornered Suzannah by the gazebo … I was the one who found her, remember? but that was back in the summer. I thought since the police had a word the whole thing had died a natural death .. . No, of course I’m not making a joke of it. You said he’s dead, and that you killed him and I believe you … But sweetheart, how did he get into the house? We always keep the doors locked.
Which window? But that’s nearly six feet off the ground … What do you mean it’s all my fault?Oh, thank you very much. Ladder? What ladder? THAT ladder! It was that old wooden one we’d used to prop up the fence, most of the rungs were broken .. I was going to chop it up and throw it out …. Well, how was I to know he’s risk climbing up that. He was lucky he didn’t break his neck ….Oh, god, sorry, Merissa. Perhaps it would’ve been better if he DID break his neck.
Marissa, please don’t cry. I don’t mean to upset you even more. You must’ve been terrified my dear, seeing him come in you like that. Of course you had to defend yourself. Yes, dear. Tooth and nail. Yes dear, with all the resources at your command … Of course you didn’t intend to kill him, I do understand, Merissa .. But dear .. What did you actually hit him with?
Could you say that again, dear.
Did you say … a feather duster?
Merissa, I am very far from laughing at you. What do you mean a feather duster? Of course I know what a feather duster is. Yes, I know it’s your bridge morning and you were having a clean up before the ladies arrive …. … I still don’t see how you managed to fend him off with a feather duster…oh, the other end.
You shoved it where? Well, I’m sure he did catch his breath – and that was when you hit him over the head . What with, dear? Oh, that awful ceramic vase with the purple roses on that your mother gave us? Good move that.
Merissa, I am NOT glad you have smashed the vase on Charlie’s head in your defense of your person. I have never made any pretense about not liking that vase. But as far as I am concerned the main thing is you managed to fight him off .
My dear, I do understand the urgency of the situation. It would be terribly embarrassing having him lying in the kitchen when your bridge ladies arrive …not to mention the police on the premises. Melissa, please don’t wail like that. Of course the police have got to be involved. But first thing you’ve got to check he really is dead. Be brave my dear, and just go a bit closer and look at him. Is he breathing? .
Merissa! Merissa! Oh my god, why are you screaming? Merissa? Answer me. What’s happened? Merissa … what happened, why did you scream like that?
What you mean, he winked at you?
Marissa, the signals very faint, where are you?
Which cupboard? I didn’t think there was enough room to get into the broom cupboard. Merissa, of course I’m not referring to that extra weight you put on over Christmas. Yes I do know you were Slimmer of the Week at your club last week .. It’s just that there wasn’t a lot of space in there when I put my golf clubs in yesterday … Well I suppose you would know, if you’re sitting on them …I’m sure it’s painful, dear. Try and lean to one side. Listen, Merissa, you’ve got to open the door and see what he’s doing.
Merissa, you’ve got to be brave .Take one of my golf clubs – No dear, it doesn’t matter what number iron .. Just take one out … That’s it, love, now open the door a crack .. Can you see him ? I He’s on his feet! Right .. Dazed, yes. I expect he is after being hit on the head your mother’s vase. …
He’s what? Limping? I’m not going to worry about that. I’d break both his legs if I could get my hands on him. Where is he now? Heading for the door? Be ready my love, as soon as he steps outside you whiz into the kitchen and lock the door behind him. He’s out .. Go my love! GO”
Merissa? Merissa? Are you there? Merissa? Are you all right?
Now, do calm down dear. I’m going to make sure this NEVER happens again. We’ll have to make another complaint to the police, no shirking that – next time it may be someone who’s not to quick to defend themselves as you were. But first I’m going to have a word with next door. ‘They know what the problem is, and I’ve had enough. I’m going to give them a piece of my mind. I’m not having that homicidal maniac wandering around loose ever again – even if he is the champion bantam cock of all England.
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