Thursday, 19 November 2009

I was putting this off

Yeah I have been working for some time on a longer piece, 'scalled Hunts. I've been putting off posting any of it for a while but then I decided not to just because I felt like it. This is sort of the introduction.


His mouth hurts.
Call it toothache, for the moment. He presses at a molar with his tongue, gets nowhere. Realises he doesn’t know the date which annoys him for a second but then again they’ll probably mention it at some point. Reassured.
Day’s fairly bright. Hints in the cloud cover that later might be overcast, maybe some rain. He decided a while ago that symbolically speaking this would be perfect.
Cars honk, people shout, he’s exhaling. Smooth lids he blinks and turns roughly ninety degrees, lifts his eyes, face, starts walking. All this concrete. Now he’s halfway up the steps and it’s all pretty quiet but maybe tense. Betting tense. Thick dry shoes gripping flat dry stone it’s all just like it should be he is not slipping. Top of the steps now and is that door – what?
Moving. Steps quick brisk inside just to the side. It’s so full, these people shouting these people practically wrestling these people with problems – hate queues. Lucky though they’re all yelling and being dragged back from the desk, one receptionist free. Looks about ready to break someone’s spine.
He’s inhaling. Still quiet and tenses his leg to step. Not hard. Just a desk.
He steps forward, gives it his best winning smile and says “Hi, my name’s Stephen Jones. I’d like to confess to a murder.”
Receptionist glances up, sighs “Do I look like a priest?” for a second then shakes head, “Wait over there, someone’ll be right with you.”
“Thanks so much,” he says. Takes the space and wow, inside he’s smiling too. Call it a win, then. This time goes for an incisor.

Let me tell you a story-
That little phrase. That fucking- it’s like a code. Not a secret verbal shorthand no it’s like the just-right sequence of zero one zero zero one one that turns people into shadows, splits them at their very core and leaves a smoking radioactive crater. It’s exactly that deadly. It swims and floats through voices and language and sooner or later it gets punched into the right synapse then suddenly someone is dead. Don’t tell tales. Why? Because it is absolutely fucking murderous. (Yeah and nobody believes that.)
Oh, you poor bastard. Look what they do to us all.
I’m sorry sir I’ll try to make it quick.

“The thing is, sir, of all the people who come in here, confess to a murder or an abduction, whatever, maybe five percent of those even know anything about the crime in question. Maybe five.”
Ramon glanced sideways from his slouch. “What month we in?”
Ramon nodded then settled back. His position in the seat was like this kind of perfect physical apathy except there were these sort of overtones to it so it wasn’t just like I truly don’t care it was more along the lines of look there are so many things I’d rather be doing right now and there are so many reasons for me to go and do any of those instead of sitting here listening to you talk so what could possibly keep me sitting here? What, about you, could even in the slightest interest me?
“I understand that, officer but I promise you I’m not wasting your time. I was the one who killed her. Am the one, I mean. It’s me.”
Cormac nodded. “Alright. How?”
“I strangled her. Threw her body in a dumpster. It was all, I was behind a Japanese restaurant, I’m not sure of the name, it was dark but I think there was a picture of a flower on the sign. I might be on the surveillance tapes, I’m not sure.”
“Yeah like only someone who killed her could possibly know these intimate details. This guy’s an asshole,” said Ramon mostly to himself, partly to Cormac.
“There’s probably a wound on her neck, I think her necklace might have stabbed in a little when I was strangling her. It got my hand too, you see? Just here.”
“Oh, you got a cut on your hand? Shit. Guess he must be the guy after all. Knocked that one out the park, huh?” Cormac glanced at Ramon then back away.
“Look, I – I don’t really know what you want to hear. I killed her. Okay? Isn’t that enough? I mean, surely – there’ll be some evidence on the body, right? Something, or at the scene, I don’t know. Shouldn’t it-”
“What, you mean like skin cells? DNA? Microfibres? All that kind of thing, yeah?” Ramon leaned forward but slow, kind of like toppling from one position to the other. Would almost be grudging but there was no energy in it, not enough to feel something like that. No room to care. “Fuck you. Forensics, the fuck you think this is?” Shook his head, sat back, looked at Cormac.
“The thing about that kind of, uh, physical evidence is that it’s a little more complicated than a lot of people think,” said Cormac. “There are a lot more factors involved than – well, essentially what it comes to in the end is that no, even if you did kill that girl there’s no guarantee that any evidence we can find will prove it. It may even disprove it.”
“So I think,” said Cormac, “I think the best thing for everyone right now would be for you to tell us – tell us everything you can and we’ll-”
“Come on, man. He’s got shit,” said Ramon. Quiet but no kind of whisper. Cormac looked over and he shook his head. “Waste my fucking time.” Muttered.
“I’m sorry, sir. I’ll try to make it quick.” Now he blinks. “Okay, so basically – I guess my, uh – I guess for everything you have to start, well, quite a way back. There’s – okay, when I was younger-”

Yeah and they never even had a chance. However masked it was the sequence has locked itself right in, the input has been received and there’s nothing left but the getaway. Honest: anyone not running right now anyone not already out of the room and if at all possible on their way out of the country is well not to put too fine a point on it fucked. If only – they knew.
But he’ll try. With branches, with slips he’ll try. He will do everything he can to keep hidden beneath the waves and beneath his running tongue to keep hidden down there his story. Which, yes, they are letting him tell.

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