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Thursday, 31 December 2015


He got back into bed.  But he couldn’t sleep.  He kept on imagining noises from the walkway—and the front door.  Then he realised that there were noises. Somebody was tinkering with the lock.  What the fuck!

He leaned over to Cody and whispered in his ear, “Wake up, love!”

Cody turned over and grumbled sleepily. 

Luigi shook him.  “Wake up!” he hissed.

“What?” said Cody, sudden alarm in his face.

“There’s someone trying to break in.  At the front door.”

“It’s him!” Cody became instantly awake. 

“Maybe,” said Luigi noncommittally. 

“What shall we do?” asked Cody, his face white.

“Call the police.”  Suiting action to words, Cody grabbed his mobile, and dialed triple-zero.

“Which service please? Police, Fire or Ambulance?”  The very unruffled matter-of-fact voice answering his panicked dialing calmed him.

He was put through to the police and told the dispatcher what was happening.

“We’ll be there as soon as we can,” the dispatcher promised.

As he disconnected, he heard the front door open. 

Tuesday, 29 December 2015


Photo by Dan Skinner [link]

Luigi looked at the clock-radio next to the bed.  It was 4.55.  Still dark outside, as dark as it ever got in this part of the city, with its street lights and the lights on every house porch, every block of flats’ walkway.  He needed to wee, but it was warm in bed, snugged up against Cody’s body.  He yawned sleepily.  If he got up now he might get back to sleep again afterwards.  He might even get another couple of hours’ sleep before the day began.  But if he didn’t, he would drift in and out of a restless sleep.  Might as well get it over with.  Carefully, he slipped out from under the bedclothes and lumbered clumsily, still drugged with sleep, through to the loo.  He was just turning round to go back to bed when he heard stealthy footsteps on the walkway.  Some instinct warned him that something was amiss. Later he couldn’t have said what it was.  Some primitive part of his brain, the part which in an animal warns that a predator was watching, the part, perhaps, which makes you look up from your book when you feel someone’s eyes on you.  

The kitchen windows faced onto the walkway.  They were frosted, but the walkway was well lit.  Against the windows a shadow moved, shifty, subtly feral.  For a moment he paused, thinking.  Should he wake Cody or not?  Cody was so tired.  He needed his sleep.  Let him sleep.  Maybe this was nothing.  Most probably it was nothing.  People came and went from the flats along his level, at all hours of the night.  He must not let himself get paranoid.

Monday, 28 December 2015


Four quick steps under the trellis across the back garden and then he was inside the garage. He locked the door. Like the secret door out of the kitchen it wasn’t made of particle board with a skinny fascia, but of solid oak.  It would hold.

The garage faced onto the laneway.  The Kombi was there, facing outwards.  He always reversed it into the garage to make sure he was ready to go whenever he needed to.  He paused to think for a minute.  There was no point taking the Kombi.  First, it was so slow, especially up hills.  And second, it had St Joseph’s name painted on its side.  If the police knew about him, they’d surely know about the van too.  He had to assume they’d know everything.  The Toyota was much more anonymous.  They might have the number, but they wouldn’t get the roadblocks up in time.  He’d be at Mt Macedon before them.

He shifted some planks and boxes off a locked box, unlocked it with a key from his ring, and took out a pistol.  He slid the pistol into a green shopping bag, and went out to the Toyota parked in the street.

Driving cautiously, just below the speed limit, he made his way through the empty streets to the twink’s flat.

Sunday, 27 December 2015


He was asleep when he heard the pounding at the front door.  Instantly awake, he switched on the video camera trained on the door.  He was proud of the security system he’d installed.  He’d had to learn how to do most of it himself.  Just as he’d learnt to do plumbing and electrical work and carpentry.  He couldn’t allow tradesmen into his house. 

There were armed police, and two paddy wagons blocking the street.   He pulled on trackpants and top and running shoes, grabbed his wallet and mobile and car keys and ran to the hidden door at the back of the kitchen cupboard.  He opened the door, which looked exactly like a plastered wall, visible only if you knew it was there.  He’d been proud of that too.  He’d learnt so much at St Joseph’s.  He reached past the hidden door and pulled the cupboard door closed.  Just as he was closing the hidden door, he heard the front door burst open and the sound of booted feet thumping up the stairs.

Saturday, 26 December 2015


The Killer watched the two old ladies through the kitchen window as they prepared and drank their tea.   It felt very odd to watch this homely ritual performed by two grey-haired old ladies, knowing in his heart that they countenanced the evils performed by the young men who stayed there.  But they would pay, in time.  In his head he heard Father McAlister’s burr “Well done lad.  You’ll be a true Christian yet.”  Or perhaps it was God.  He couldn’t tell the difference any more. There were so many voices now. And anyway, Father McAlister had always been a God.  Even as Father fucked him or beat him, the Killer had known that it was really God who was doing it, and that he deserved it, because he was a sinner.  Because he enjoyed it, despite the pain, despite the humiliation.  Because what they did was against God’s laws, and Father McAlister had told him again and again that it was his own fault: that he tempted the older man; that he wasn’t manly enough; that God despised him for his evil, but that Father McAlister would rid him of it.

Friday, 25 December 2015


“But this plan of Jason’s!  Such a good idea.  I can try to make amends.  To do something for youngsters like Bart.  To make the world a slightly less unhappy place.”  Eleanor was upbeat, feeling once again purpose and meaning in her life.

“One can’t do more my dear for one fights against human nature and it’s so hard to be sensible and kind and not feel hurt and worry and do GOOD THINGS.”  She paused for a little.  “He did love Brent so much you know and I was so glad for him for true love is hard to find the kind that lasts forever and gives you a partner in life and it makes the difference between a hard life and a full one.”

“Yes, my husband died at 30.  He got cancer and there wasn’t much they could do, though they tried everything.  I wish they hadn’t, in a way.  He suffered so much.  And then I was a single mother.  Maybe that was part of why I failed Bart.”

“My dear, so hard all these things and life and all you can do is try because we only get one chance at it unless you believe the Hindus with their reincarnation though I don’t remember any of my previous lives if I had them so one can only do one’s best.  Now I think we both need cheering up and the best thing for that is a nice cup of tea makes one feel so much better.”

“Quite.  I agree, completely.  A nice cuppa does make one feel better, doesn’t it?”

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