Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Wednesday Briefs. Loneliness at Number Eighty-Three.

The prompt I took this week was 'perish the thought'.

For those who are following 'Demon' don't despair. I haven't abandoned it. Tian and Castien will be back next week, but I wanted to try something different.

We've been studying monologues at our writing group and we have a writing task this week to write something with the title Loneliness at 83. I thought I'd share with you what I came up with. This is a flavour of the valleys.

Have you heard what happened at number eighty–three? Terrible thing. Who would have thought? He was such a nice old man, always so polite. That’s important, that is, manners. Not that the young thugs these days known anything about that. Those hoodlums who stand on the corner, smoking and drinking. Terrible. Do you know that boy from number fifty–two? He was one of them, until I told his mother. Nice girl. She does her best, but with five children and no man what can you expect really? At least they’re clean.

Anyway. Him at number eighty–three. He’s been there as long as I can remember. He was here when my mother moved in, in nineteen sixty–three. He was quite a looker back then, by all accounts. Never married. He was lucky to have that lovely friend. Oh, he was a looker too. Still was at the end. He used to walk down to the shops every morning. Always had a word. It was so sad when he died last year. Pour old soul. Cancer, I think. They never said.

Loneliness, they said. That’s what did it. Turned his mind, you know? He’d never been on his own, that I can remember. He had such nice friends. Strange thing, though, they seemed to come and go then we never saw them again. Her at number fifty–two is the same. Different men coming and going. But it’s different there. She’s a bit, loose. No wonder her boys are out of control. The latest one is in prison. Man that is, not her boys, although it’s only a matter of time.

But it wasn’t like that at number eighty–three. They were all gentle, his friends. Always had time for a chat. Most of them were English. One came from France. Oh La La. What am I like? Our Dai always had it that they were…you know…together. As in…together. Boyfriends. It’s nothing today, is it? They’re everywhere. Open about it now they are. But it was different in nineteen sixty–three. Especially here, in the valleys.

Marge in the corner shop has one. Her nephew. Gay as anything he is. Lovely boy though. He still has it hard. His mother’s not very nice to him, so he spends a lot of time with Marge. Works hard, love him. I like his hair. Always a different colour. Always smiling, he is, despite everything. Those thugs give him a hard time. Names and such. They spit on the floor. Not that they’re only ones, mind. My Dai says he deserves it. Flaunting himself like that. He wears nail varnish. And make up. Does a better job than the girls. I thought he was…one of those. Boys who wear dresses. But he doesn’t. Dai’s got no time for them, though. Gay boys. There’s a lot of them like that around here. Not that Dai would hurt him. Dai wouldn’t hurt anyone. That boy in fifty–two now, different story. I wouldn’t put anything past him.

I don’t think him at number eighty–three was one of them, though. He was such a gentleman. The Lord knows I never saw him wearing nail varnish. Always neat, he was. He wore a cravat. You don’t see much of that these days. No, the young folk don’t give much for dressing smart. Have you seen those trousers they wear? Showing their pants all over the place.

Listen to me, getting right off the subject. Yes, we were all shocked. You don’t think, do you? That something like that could happen practically next door. No one knew. We should have, I suppose. When he stopped passing, I should have knocked. There’s always so much to do, what with our Bron having the baby now, and my Dai with his legs. I feel bad now, though. That I didn’t pop round to say hello. I might have seen.

He’d been there for days, they said. Weeks maybe. Dead. It was the smell that gave it away, in the end. Owen, who lives in number eighty–five – that’s next door. They go odds and evens in this street. Well Owen said it was really bad. His wife couldn’t hang washing out. She’s gutted, she is. Inconsolable. To think they lived next door and never knew. It was Owen who found him. Well kind of. He looked through the window – and there he was. Sitting in a chair. He didn’t know at first. He knocked but there was no answer, and then there was smell. Through the letter–box. He called the police, of course, and they found him.

Nancy said it was a prostitute, but you can’t trust her. Terrible gossip she is, and I can’t see how she would know. Besides, you don’t have boy prostitutes around here, do you. Not down the docks. Gigolos they call them. They’re usually rich, aren’t they. Well go with rich women anyway. So what was one of them doing in number eighty–three?

It was bad, though, by all accounts. He had his throat cut. Who would have thought that nice old man would be capable of it? But they say it was the loneliness. He wanted someone to talk to, that’s all. There were two cups of tea. And a plate of biscuits and he was acting like it was a friend. Like he wasn’t dead at all. Funny thing, the human mind.

They’ve taken him away now, of course. Had whole teams of police and the such in there. Had to fumigate the whole place. Owen’s not best pleased. Got residue on the washing. 

And now go check out the rest of the flashers and see what they've done with the prompts this week

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed this, such a different style. I liked the monologue and the narrator's voice. Despite the seriousness of the subject and the horror of what happened at No 83, the last line made me chuckle.