Behind every street lies mystery, untold stories that never ever see the light of day. Until that day that is, that murderous intent sees it's way to reach a sort of conclusion .When that day
arrives , as it usually does , eventually, a big can of worms is opened . Once that can of worms is opened , life will never be the same again , on the very street where once lay
Sunnyside Road Tooting, it sounds like an idyllic location , somewhere nice to retire perhaps . Somewhere quite and leafy , somewhere maybe, you could just blend in with , stay hidden , in a city that never seemed to sleep. It had been a couple of months. A couple of months since I moved from the north of the city , the busy buzzing heart of creativity , to a place ironically , I now referred to in my head as Dullsville . I missed the lights , constantly keeping me company long into the night , fueled by a constant flow of the finest irish whiskey and cigarettes that now seemed out of date with this very modern and healthy way of thinking . It was different.
Yet, there were characters here on this street with 48 houses, I had already christened these people, in a place I did not know , and too be fair , had no real desire now to know , with names that somehow seemed to fit their personas. I guess people do that when they are bored, and I was very bored . My desk , my workstation , now sat right by the window , in a room I had now consigned to my mind as my cell. Not a word was written, half cups of coffee , some staining the desk, just lay there looking all sad and demented , a constant reminder that I really had done nothing since the move . Done nothing except gawk out the window at these ordinary people, with their ordinary and boring lives . Questioning my sanity , wondering quitely , just who was now the most ordinary , the most boring of all. I lit another cigarette , drew deeply , smiled only to myself, and realized rather sadly, that it was most probably me!
Apart from the odd little "good morning" or "hello" , I had, as yet , not had a single conversation beyond those small words. In a way, I kind of liked that . Keeping to oneself , was never a major problem for me , but, I was a watcher , I liked to watch people, study people, imagine a parallel universe, a parallel Sunnyside Road , where somehow these creatures had a life.
The backdrop. Well, I won't say that it wasn't nice, it was. 2 up 2 down houses all joined together as one, in a street that encouraged trees, in gardens and on the street. I guess in the old days, when these houses were built, in probably not such a busy area as it now was, people in those times might well have called it "quaint". I didn't. To me, it seemed to be a starter home for singletons within easy access of a very busy and bustling city centre , or retirement homes for those who had given up the chase of living . Hey, there was one or two, I have no doubt, who could well possibly have been born into these houses, spent their childhoods here, and never sought the need to move out, or move on. I was at Number 23 , bang in the middle of all of it now, a spectator to the boredom of it all. Inventing back stories to people , up until a few months ago, I had never set eyes upon. It had all seemed a good idea at the time . It wasn't. Now I felt trapped, like a caged animal , in a non moving circus . Watching and waiting for something to happen, anything, in a place where it felt like , it never would , or could. I was wrong.
As you turned the corner of the road , there sat "The Superstore" , a convenience shop, probably slightly bigger than a shoebox. It was run by an asian man , I called him The Chief . Only because he called me "boss" anytime we spoke, which wasn't very often. He was mainly there early mornings , when I would go there to fetch a pack of ciggies and a morning newspaper, which by the way, I never seemed to actually get around to reading. His son, I did not know his name , usually worked the rest of the day until maybe 10 pm ish , selling cheap wine and beers . He wasn't a very pleasant young man , and in my head I always referred to him as "Floy Joy" , it being ironic and all, plus I had popped down there late one evening and on the radio, via my headphones came on that tune, I think it was by The Supreme's , or it could well have been Diana Ross and The Supreme's. Not sure , probably need to google it , when life becomes less interesting. Anyway, I digress, "Floy Joy" looked liked he really wished he could have been anywhere else, and by anywhere, I truly mean anywhere. Although , too be fair his devotion to his phone , even in the process and procedure of serving , was commendable. That screen was now in his DNA , part of him . Probably one of the main reasons , behind his aversion to water. That boy , no more than maybe 21 , was not only balding at such a young age , but, he was ripe, ripe as a bunch of rotting pears , apples, grapes, or banana's . Still he had his phone. Whatever makes you happy .
So, we head back around from the superstore , and I guess it was a superstore, because , I have no idea where they had everything , but, they did have everything , mainly made in China, but we won't go there at this time. Baring in mind all the streets in London had odd and uneven numbers on both sides , so it would be 2.4 .6 etc....1. 3. 5 etc etc . At number 2 Sunnyside Road lived, and please bare in mind, these were not their real names, they are names that just came to me , inspired by the characters that resided there, boredom, and fueled by cigarettes and the finest irish whiskey, Captain Birdseye and his wife Mrs Birdseye.
Now, those familiar with the old fish finger ads of years since passed , will remember this old grandfather type , with his big massive white bushy beard ,surrounded by smiling and laughing children , all about to tuck into a big big plate of massive cod filleted fish fingers . Well Captain Birdseye was now sprung to life, before my very eyes. As a long term vegan, not a preacher, it seemed to sit very well to him, even though he had no idea whatsoever , that was what I had christened him. He was a smiley chap, bent slightly , sometimes he walked with a cane, sometimes he didn't . Always friendly , we would exchange the odd "good morning" , the odd "hello" . He spoke in a measured "sarf" London accent. He looked like his life had been tough, but content. You could time your clock every evening , because at precisely 7 pm he would go to the local pub "The Rose and Crown" for a few shandies , and be back home with Mrs Birdseye for supper by no later than 8.30 pm , with paper folded beneath his arm, betraying his love of a good crossword. Most people go to the pub to sink as many sherbert's as they can. Captain Birdseye went to do the crossword puzzles. I saw him once without his fisherman's hat , and he was as bald as a coot! Must be all that head scratching!
Now, it would be far too easy to say several things at this moment in time , like, "Why are you not getting on with your work?" , to which in answer I would reply , having been commissioned to write a glowing testimony to pension savings by a very large and powerful London pension company , thus far , despite a very healthy advance, the best I have come up with in my head is , "save all your pennies with this lot, you may well get to spend a bit of it , then you die!" I'm guessing here , that's not really going to work for them, so I really do need to put my thinking cap on. Some day soon. Real soon. Just not today soon.
Secondly , people may well ask "Why are you giving these people made up names , making them all out to be characters when you know nothing about them?". Again, to which I would reply , dear reader, that factual is not my strongest forte, I seem to stray towards surrealism rather than realism, don't you think life looks far more interesting that way? I do! Plus, it's also nice , in a very polite way to "pigeon hole" people by names etc , more so than to ever engage in a long tedious conversation about the weather , the green of the grass, the hole in the ozone layer. Life is only ever interesting , if you are interested in it. The mundane and the trivial belong in another place to me. The lack of excitement here in my new neighborhood has only fueled the mad boy in me . I may well have grown up, but, I've never grown up. That's never going to change.
At number 4 lives "Billy Da Booze" & "The Flooze" . Now, again, I know nothing really in truth about this couple, only what I see, only what I hear, only what I invent. I would hazard a guess Billy is about 50 odd years old . He wears the skin of a man so much older, I guess it could well be all the drinking . His face is always ruddy and red , sleeked back mane of grey locks , and I'm guessing a man who likes to wear a t-shirt all year round, no matter the weather. He seems to sweat all the time , maybe profusely , and it's just a guess here, he may well have a can of beer or two for breakfast. I have in truth, only seen The Flooze at night. Perma tanned with a big blonde curly afro (may well be a wig!) , she wears her despair all across her heavily lined features , resplendent in cheap gold jewellery and panda eyed mascara. Each night, at varying times, and I'm guessing how far gone he is to Boozy Town , Billy will come out to his tiny front garden , t-shirt now thrown to the wind, all his tattoo's on show , and mime along to the blaring sound on the stereo of Frank Sinatra singing the song he detested more than any other "My Way" . Billy Da Booze will perform to an audience of none this epic ballad, as if on the last night of his sell out Las Vegas residency , before crushing his can and hurling it to the road, all the time milking the applause of his imaginary crowd . As my elderly neighbour at 21 Mrs Goggins shouted out the window to him one night "Hey you Lardarse......Turn that fucking shite off!" Hey, your only as good as your last show, Billy has no doubt , not done his last show just yet .
Of course, people may go, hey, you dear reader may well go, "that's all rather mean". No. No, it's not. I do not have a TV , I gave up on all that nonsense a long long time ago. Control. I do not watch youtube sad and all as I am. I entertain myself , by imagining situations and people, they (people) offer us always entertainment , if we truly look hard enough. I do.
At number 6 lives "The Corpse" . Now, I am pretty sure she is no doubt a very very nice lady , but, she does indeed look very miserable . The front gardens here are truly tiny , about 12 foot by 4 , but, there she will sit by her front door , when it's not raining , smoking away constantly on her little white plastic chair . Her hair is long and lank, draped around her weather beaten face like a pair of dark unwashed greasy curtains. She looks sad. Maybe she is sad. Maybe she lost a love back in the day , when she wore mini skirts and lipstick that was any other colour than pale drained of life pink. Since I moved in , her wardrobe has varied from one grey three quarter length cardigan to an even darker three quarter length cardigan . Maybe she feels the cold. Maybe she is trying to hide herself away from the world. Or maybe , she is just lost in thought , maybe she is just thinking of what might have been . Today, as always she will take herself down to Floy Joy's superstore , she will buy a tin of cat food for her little black cat , a bar of fruit and nut chocolate , and at least 100 cigarettes to see her through another long miserable day. I toyed with the idea of calling her "The Chimney" for awhile , on account of her cigarette consumption, but, I have to say, I settled on "The Corpse" pretty quick , as she does indeed , especially with all those deep lines and creases on her face , resemble something you would probably , most likely dig up in a cemetery . Not that I have any intention of doing so. Just an observation . A close one.
So......why all the characters? Are they important ? Yes. Yes they are. More later . As you shall soon find out . However, my side of the road, I know little about . Oh, there's Mrs Goggin's at number 21 , a stooped little old white haired lady, with an almost psychedelic range of shawls and a tonque on her that would shame a sailor! Also, not forgetting the other side of me , the charming Colonel Mustard , a retired soldier who I believe served time , a long time ago in the Falklands war. I often see him in the back garden , shouting instructions at his pot plants , resplendent in black beret and always with a blazer and tie . The blazer betrays proudly his medals of courage in a war situation. Not a fan of war, I have always preferred peace myself , but, he is ok in a slightly bonkers way. He always wears his little John Lennon style glasses on the very bridge of his nose , which is rather on the large and bulbous side. Think he's rather partial to a tipple or two , as there is the odd little hill and bump extending outwards. Framing said big nostril region is two big bushy white sideboards , and underneath there lays a rather well groomed white and red handlebar moustache . Leading me to believe always through a haze of pipe smoke that Colonel Mustard was a fire riddled red headed temper monkey. They leave me alone, as I do them . I never get involved when both Mrs Goggin's usually minus hearing aid and Colonel Mustard decide to have a rather loud and profanity fueled chat across my back garden . Usually about the state of the world today , and how better things were "back in our day" . You learn all this , despite the fact on The Colonel's side the fence is 6 foot tall , and on Mrs Goggin's side at least 4 foot high. Once I see those white flocks of hair appearing over the 4 foot side, I know we are indeed in for a long morning or afternoon. As usual , I slouch way down in my plastic poolside chair and try and pretend that I'm not there. It often fails , and I am drawn into conversations I not only don't want to be involved in , but, have no desire to belong in . Those can be long hours . Very.
Anyways, I got slightly distracted there, I digress. As I say, on my side of the street is of no importance whatsoever to our impending tale of bewilderment. Nothing much happened on the odd numbered side of the street. Nothing much at all. That wasn't about to change. Except of course for my neighbourhood watching. That was going to continue. I was there for a reason, I was pretty sure about that . Sad to say, as this story unfolds , I will almost appear clairvoyant in my assumptions.
Opposite at number 8 lived "The Mod" . No idea what his name really is , but I would hazard a guess that he was indeed one of the original mods from the 60's. Probably into his early 70's he still had a big full head of blacky grey hair , shaped into a mod feather cut , Paul Weller style (The Modfather). He usually wore a long green parka , far to big for him , with the mod symbolic badge of 1960's beat combo The Who embossed on his back. Daily , he took his little terrier for a walk down the nearby park , usually with his mod issue British Airways hold all on his shoulder. He appeared to be single , as no lady lived there, well as far as I knew. Oh ladies visited , many did, but, they never seemed to stay overnight . It's strange what you can gather and garner spending your days in the window . If there are gaps, you quickly learn to fill in the blanks with made up stuff. Flesh out the bones of the character , real or imagined , not a jot of it really made an ounce of sense at the close of the day. Not an ounce.
At number 10 , lived a middle aged spinster by the name of Winniefred . No idea of her last name , just knew her as Winniefred , only down to The Chief from the superstore around the corner , and only because he asked me to pop in a jar of coffee he had ordered for her from The Dominican Republic . He goes "Can you drop that round to Winnie's at number 10 , when you is passing?" . Well, that's what good neighbours do right? So I did. Now, upon our brief meeting, our brief encounter , I grasped the fact that Winnie , although maybe only about 45 , had probably never dressed her age . Ever. You know that saying some people are just born old?. Well, I do believe Winnie was indeed born old . Probably lived with a very domineering and demanding mother , she had probably never enjoyed being a little girl, probably never felt the sun or rain on her face , probably never ever been pretty or beautiful ,probably never kissed a boy . Her hair was long and brown and greying around the temples . Her face was pale and uninteresting , all except for the giant black and hairy wart upon the the tip of her nose . I guess in the glory days of Hollywood , she could well have been a shoo in for the witch in the Wizard of Oz. Yet, that wart was something else , and she knew it, made no effort to disguise it , at all. Before our brief encounter ended , she knew only too well , that I was indeed staring at it . You know that feeling you get , that someone knows , that you know, that they know, that you are looking at it . She knew. Without either of us saying a word. She frowned a frown, a big frown, so I left with a cheery "See ya" , and walked back to mine . Befuddled by my very brief encounter with the lady I was now captioning as "Winnie The Wart" in my noggin. It refused to leave.
Almost directly across the road from me , at number 12 lives Cheerful and her husband Chirpy. I do not really know them, but I see them often , in their tiny little front garden tending to the roses and marigolds. He wears the hangdog expression of man worn out on life, their fellowship of miserable contentment complete. She wears the cheerful expression , always, of someone whose sole purpose in life was to sour milk. May I humbly say , she would make a fine job of it. Without even trying. At all.
Directly opposite at 14 are a family of 4 , in my head I refer to as "The Waltons" . They to all intent and purposes seem like the perfect family , all smiles , matching tracksuits , tiny bicycles and plastic toy cars. They go to church at 8 am every sunday , carrying their red polished bibles in their hands , their probably not so keen children (One of each!) tag along behind them , hair combed neatly, teeth pearly white , all off to pray for the souls of the damned and hell bound. The ones who never saw the light , the heathens , the sinners , the ones who would much rather lay in bed of a morning, than go listen to another human being shout on and on about what his or her God wants from you , needs you to be . All the time charging you a small fortune for a piece of bread and a rather measly drop of wine . Telling you without a hint of irony , just how lucky you are to be living here in paradise (Tooting?). All of this without dropping a heartbeat whilst checking out the blonde haired women in the front pew with the heaving bosoms. As a failed christian , I can say all this, and refer to the "God" I have known in my life . Despite the fact at the last count there was something like 800 various different faiths with a clear definition of 800 different "God's"" . Now, I'm no Einstein here, no clever clogs, no clever chops, but , 800 different Gods?. Surely if there is a God? There is only one?
Traveling further along the street we reach number 16 , where "Bunsheen" lives . I call her Bunsheen , because basically she wears her grey hair in a massive bun on the top of her head . I added the "sheen" because. it's twofold, I can , and that's what us irish do. It's meant as a term of affection , and it is. She is a pleasant woman , I have often met her down at the superstore , where she can , it's fair to say be found in the cake section. She likes her cake does Bunsheen . She is quite a tall woman, but sadly, as tall as she is , she is almost as wide. Rumour around these parts is that she buried her husband in the back garden , many years back, but , I refuse to believe that . Telly is on every morning for those with nothing else to do or think about , and I am pretty sure I have seen a flat capped fella sipping tea and taking out his teeth to try and chew a bun. She may well indeed murder cake, but, I don't believe she was ever capable of murder. Although you never know. You never know. Next door to Bunsheen lives "The Dunner" , whose real name is David. I refuse to think of him as a "David" , as he looks a lot like a guy I knew from way back in the old Cricklewood days , whose name was something Dunne , but, everyone called him "The Dunner". Not being nasty here, not at all, but The Dunner looks a lot like "The Village Idiot" of olden days, days of myth, days of yore, days before the internet. Originally from Yorkshire , he still speaks in that accent , but, when he talks to you his false teeth slide from the left side to the right side of his mouth , before he sucks them back towards where they were, pretending big time that you never saw that! He gets excited easily , and seems to have a tendency to wear his big thick head of black hair in an unruly fashion . On tipsy sunday's , his tiny little front garden , will find him, sandal wearing , cider drinking, and waving around a flymo lawnmower with gay abandon. When it comes to life, The Dunner likes to play russian roulette with his toes!
On one of my midnight rambles, I made it my business to go around the back of number 20 , just to see had they some big massive extension to the property. They didn't . Yet 6 people live there? In a two up two down property? Where do they sleep?I have no idea , but, they are all related, so, heaven knows in truth. Mum and dad (The Greaser and The Grease Monkey) live there with their daughter (Poncho) and her 3 children, two boys and a girl. Harpo , Chico and Gummo. The kids daddy Nutjob used to live there also, but now he lives at a prison on the Isle Of White , on account of his pushing drugs on kids. The Greaser is a small woman, with a brow beaten face , her hair looks as if it could do with a good wash. Everytime I am down at the superstore I wonder if I should maybe buy her a bottle of shampoo , maybe a bottle of conditioner? Then I think not. She may well be offended, she may well get upset, I may well end up with a kitchen knife between my shoulder blades. Even the mere thought of it , seems to bring that nightmare to life. She is it appears married to "The Grease Monkey" which is slang for a mechanic. I'm not sure if he is , but, he drives around in a motor factor van, like he's some piece of cool dude. He's not. Sleeked back hair, with a dangling gold earring in his right ear, a silvery grey goatee and a red waistcoat. He walks like the big bear of a man , that he is . There is not a night that he doesn't park the van on the road, and without heading to the front door , The Greaser links him and they head towards the Rose and Crown public house for a night of frivolity and mirth. Early in the morning The Greaser will walk timidly down to the Chief's superstore to buy hubby an "All Day Breakfast" can. I'm guessing shortly after, the "ping ping" sound of the microwave can be heard. Chefing in the morning , it's not for everyone !
Their beautiful daughter Poncho (Sarcasm) is a very obese lady , no more than probably 35 , who seems to wear the one item of clothing everyday , a large fat concealing Poncho , usually over a vibrant pink or orange blouse . A constant gawker , she is always on her phone, casually looking all around her, up and down the street to see if anyone is looking at her . Their not! Except for me of course, but, not in that way thankfully. I have seen african elephants with more grace and poise , and beauty. Her dyed blonde hair is scraped off her face and ends in a multi coloured ponytail at the back. To be kind, I guess that scraped off the face look is referred to around these parts as a "Croydon Facelift!" and is a very popular hair style , when you really can't be arsed. Popular also is that new trend , the go to the shop in your nightdress and dressing gown and slippers, or pyjama's dressing gown and slippers. Must have missed the memo on that one. Thankfully. The children to be fair , seem well mannered and polite , unlike the grandparents or parent . Although, I'm not so sure I would recommend chocolate bars and coca cola as breakfast. However, it's not my place to judge the parenting skills of others . The proof though, is always in the pudding. Still it is one of life's mysteries just where they all sleep at night . However, it fails to keep me awake at night , those days were yet to come , but, they were on the way, little as I knew , little as I knew.
Now, not much is known about number 22 , only that it is vacant or so I am told. Rumoured to be haunted by many on the road , by the ghost of an elderly lady that lived there a long time ago. Why?. I have no idea. Could be the garish stone cladding on the front of the house , or the fact the weeds front and back are going on for at least 20 foot high on a dry day. Apparently the lady in question had no known living relatives. Now, in my experience of life , there is a problem with that. When it comes to property and money , there is always a living relative to be found . Usually a far out relation who had never ever met "Auntie Doris" , but always spoke very well of her at the will reading. Greed is a light that never ever goes out. Been around since we all laced daisies into each others hair back in the dim and dismal days of the cave. Somethings never ever change. Ghost or no ghost. It wouldn't be left like that for long, as lawyers always need paying. Always have the paw out! So , as soon as long long long lost great nephew twice removed Henry or Henrietta get hold of the keys , the first thing they need to do is find a very non work shy gardener , and then a quick sale estate agents . Low commission obviously. If they believed in all the mumbo jumbo nonsense surrounding the house, they could always get Father O' Reilly up the road on the Broadway to do a full blown exorcism on his rounds. The catholic church have always liked money , do anything for it also , apart from turning water into wine. Not really sure that is scientifically possible , despite what the bible tells you. The bible after all was written by a man, or men, and what a fine job they did on it. Stories that have outlived them all, poisoned the minds of many , and totally ignored the slight fact that dinosaurs roamed the earth long before mankind ever did. Where are the dinosaurs now? Exactly!
The very last house on our street is Number 24 , well, the opposite side of the street . There lives "The Riddler" and his blonde maned beauty of a wife Lady Snooty . So called , because one day she would say hello to you, the next she wouldn't. I call him The Riddler because he is so obviously riddled with diabetes, although he probably doesn't know it , or maybe he does and just chooses to ignore the fact. Either way, the bottom of his legs are red raw with sores , not sure how they carry that massive bulk of at least 30 stone. Every night he will waddle up from The Rose and Crown , staggering up the road with his dessert, a large bag of french extra strong lager . He has creases on the back of his neck that reveal folds of sweaty alcohol fueled fat , that in all honesty , none of us ever need to see, plus, he has a chin for every day of the week. It is obvious that due to the irritation on his lower body he cannot wear long trousers , so , whatever the weather he wears the same old faded cream knee length shorts . I doubt he even notices her. I would. I do. I notice her a lot, vision of beauty that she is. How did such a profile of ugliness ever catch a beauty like her? . Small and slim , with a cute little button nose, waltzing around in figure hugging dresses that leave nothing, absolutely nothing to the imagination. I am truly in lust with her . Lust before love . How could he ever take his eyes off her? I wouldn't . I don't. She was a real beauty, a true work of art , crafted by the most beautiful of eyes. Yet, how could she ever be mine? When she had settled for that fat ugly slob in life, what chance would a simple man who would give her only the finest roses have? None!
Ok, it appears long winded, to finally get to this point. However, all the afore mentioned is very important as the story unfolds, and it will , yes it will. Hang on in there. Hey, you've got this far , keep on keeping on. Here comes the drama .
It was a tuesday, about 5.30 in the am , early morning , on a dark & rainy London morning. The front doorbell went off like an alarm. I shot bolt upright in the bed. Checked the bedside locker for the clock, which was all blurry and out of focus. I turned the bedside lamp on and reached for my glasses. "Jesus wept" I thought as I focused on the now bright and white alarm clock.
I put my dressing gown on and weakly tied it around my waist . Fumbled under the bed for my slippers . Found them and sheepishly put them on . Glancing out the window , the street below was awash with bright flashing lights, police cars and an ambulance . I made my way downstairs , switching on the landing light and the hall light along the way. Heart racing a little now. I opened the front door. There stood a young fresh faced man flanked by two police officers , one male, one female, looking like they were fresh out of school. His face was stern , his words direct and to the point.
"Sir, I am Detective Neil Spanner of the murder squad"
"Oh Jesus, has there been a murder on the street?"
"Yes sir, this is now a major incident, and we will need to question you in time"
"Of course , Jesus, I mean , I can't believe this , I mean......"
"I know sir, now if you would kindly go back indoors......"
"In time sir.......It was though, or so it appears... murder by chocolate......."
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So, I had wanted excitement, wanted adventure , wanted anything but mundane and boring , and here it was writ large , all over the shop , all happening in the early morning , a dank grey ,
heavens pouring open morning , all before my very eyes , my tired sleep deprived eyes , and it all felt a little surreal. Through the sitting room window (posh folk call it the lounge), but it's
where you sit right?, the street outside was awash with lights , confused looking residents , some still no doubt half pissed from the very night just passed. All excluded from the light show
that was taking place at number 10 Sunnyside Road. All the lights were on, but, I was guessing no one "alive" was at home anymore . Blue police tape excluded all the nosy parker's on the street
from having a good gawk in . Shameful. At least I do my gawking from the window, hidden away in the darkness, so I fail to be seen , gawking away , with a mouth wide open . Billy Da Booze seemed
very irate , very loud, very non fashion. String vest and y-fronts (blue and white!) are not a good look at the best of times, never mind the early morning rainy season in Tooting. Not a good
look either when you are loud and aggressive towards a woman police officer , probably young enough to be your grandaughter . His hair was wet , disheveled ,dripping , probably was before he came
outside too be fair , The Flooze was trying desperately to calm him down, confirmation without checking , her wig, for it was a wig , was not sitting on the top of her head the way the
manufactures of said piece had intended it to be . Not the way it was meant to be worn . All worn in. All worn out , with no places to go. From my window it appeared to be quite , yet loud,
nonsensical I know , but it felt like that . I needed coffee. I put the kettle on. This morning it seemed to sing a different song . It sounded different. The mug felt different to the touch .
The spoon was clanking in the mug , now complete with instant coffee granules , that betrayed my working class roots.
Rain. It loves itself. It is a nuisance. A damn nuisance . For when it really comes down heavy like that, it's impossible to hear what's going on outside the fortress that is my window. I persevere.There among the chaos , stood God, well I say God, his agent here on earth , Tooting area, Father O' Reilly . Looking all serious , in his long black dress, wearing what seemed like the vestments for the Last Rites. The last rites , it appeared strange to me, but, I had seen those vestments before , worn the day my auld fella passed away from a big feed of pints in The Crown in Cricklewood . He never should of had that "one for the road". For it was that "one for the road" bugger that made sure he never strode the long old boggy road down Longford way again. Still, it is no doubt what he wanted . That's what I told myself anyways, even though I still wished he was here , the mad bastard! Big auld Longford head on him.
With the spoon still in the mug I took a sip of coffee, nursing it carefully past the dryness in my mouth. I lit my first cigarette of the morning as I felt the trickle of a tear run down my unshaven face. "Jesus , Paddy ....Ya mad bastard , look at what your making me do now ...." I thought , as the man with big shovels for hands entered my head. Sadness, it can hit you square between the eyes, literally at any given time, often without a moments notice. Now he was in my head for the day , peaked cap, and a lop sided grin. The big mad bastard!
So, there was O'Reilly now, big bald head on it , beetroot red of face , thundering in to give the last rites to poor little Winnie The Wart , and she long gone , or so it seemed. Still, follow the gravy train Father , follow the gravy train. Maybe The Wart , was a catholic, maybe her family was, maybe she had left the house to the poor catholic church up on the Broadway. No matter , O' Reilly was going to make sure no doubt that Winnie The Wart was indeed "In heaven a half an hour before the divil knew she was dead". God loves a trier!
Amongst the chaos, the lights , the noise, the stillness, the almost suspended animation of the early morning , I found myself in the totally ridiculous situation of wearing a net curtain for a beard . Thankfully nobody could see me in this awful state , but, the shame of constantly pressing both nose and ear to the window will do that to ya, you lose your train of thought, all sense of logic goes out the window!(no pun intended!) I lit another cigarette , and rubbed my now red nose , a bit like Rudolph's at Christmas , just to reassure myself it was still there. I had through all the activity noticed that Spanner and The Chuckles were busy making door to door inquiries across the street. The Corpse sat motionless in her white plastic chair , drawing on a superking cigarette that never left her pursed lips . When that one flickered out, no doubt she would light another, and maybe then another. Misery will do that do a soul who never feels anything but miserable.This sideshow it seemed was going to go on for a little while , best always, to try and keep your sustenance levels high. The Corpse had covered all angles in spades. Although , looking at her now , those deep lines and creases seemed to have burrowed even deeper into her face , which was a little more prominent now , she having pinned up her lank greasy curtain type hair with some sort of contraption that young girls used when their mother's didn't want them to catch a load of nits in the playground. Now, not being bitchy here, as if, but you wanted to be some kind of non too fussy head louse (nit!) to want to move to the head of The Corpse . Hey, if that greasy head didn't put you off , that nicotine habit soon would! Swimming in the tide of grease in a nicotine flavoured sea. Lovely. It's what nits dream of. I guess.
6.25 in the am. O' Reilly had been in talking to The Wart now for over 40 minutes!. What was he talking to her about? I have no idea, but, I'm just guessing here, she wasn't chatting back, nor, was she listening, to a one way conversation. She had, sadly, been gone long before he swished in , in his long flowing black dress and vibrant vestments . Here to raise the dead Father? No! Here to keep a check on who gains entry into heaven? Yes!
The white boiler suits were busy , running around like blue arse flies , with their bright white masks, and blue plastic covered feet. Whilst in the middle of it all , with his magic rosary beads , sat O' Reilly , talking away like billyo to a woman who wasn't listening . You know, hand on heart, yes you guessed it, I am really not a great one for all that organized religion sham & scam. Man made religions are the cause of pain and suffering throughout the world, not that they would ever admit it , they haven't got the time , far too busy counting out the money , the thieving whores. No. I believe in love . Love and only love. That's my religion . Of sorts. I do believe there is something after all of this , I do. Well, I think I do. Like most adult people , my beliefs tend to vary in degree depending on how much alcohol I have consumed of an evening . Yet, I hope so. We must always hope. I would dearly love to see my auld fella Paddy one last time , look into those big black eyes , sunk into the face of a big auld Longford spud! A big harmless, hard working spud, who would not hurt a fly . A big spud with massive shovels for hands, a big spud whose hands never felt of anything else but leather, and never smelt of anything else but woodbine's! He had big leathery shovel hands ,stinking of untipped and unfiltered white woodbines , the big mad bastard , and I really really miss him. I really do. I never thought I would ever say that. I do.
Guessing it was ok to go outside the front door , I took a fresh coffee out , and placed it on the edge of the window sill , lit a fresh ciggie and slyly glanced to the left of me. To where, the ghost like crouched figure of the white flocked headed Mrs Goggin's was , leaning upon her cane, her hair still coiled in the blue tinged rollers , she had no doubt installed before her late night cocoa. Just after she let the cat back in.
" What's all this racket about?" she shouted more than asked. "Think it's number 10 Mrs Goggin's , I think the woman there has been murdered". She scrunched up her face , as if searching for something nice to say. Suffice to say , she failed to find it!
"Winniefred, the young one, who'd want to murder her?.....She knew no one!" . Now puzzled as I was to her reply , mainly about The Wart being referred to as "The young one" , it was the end bit "she knew no one!" that made me think. She certainly must have , well, in the end anyways , known someone. Someone after all , ended her sad days on this planet . In Tooting!
I guess, curiosity dragged me out here, outside into the grey , outside into the pitter patter of the rain. The heavens crying like it was about to go out of fashion, out of style , but never out of Tooting. It fitted the bright lights so well.
O' Reilly was now outside, big fat bald head taking a battering, oh, to have been a fly on the wall in there, inside number 10 when he was dishing out the last rites . Dishing out the mumbo jumbo , without any real need for jungle drums. Wiping the rain off his head with a freshly pressed linen handkerchief , he glanced left and right up the street, as if trying to figure out where he had parked the BMW . Jesus may well have walked around preaching in robes and bear footed sandals , back in the day, when there was nothing going on, but O' Reilly didn't, O' Reilly looked like a walk would do him no harm at all , in fact might be good for him , alas, probably had a big fry up waiting for him back at HQ , be a shame to waste that ! Death walks around us every day, but life,life goes on , bacon eggs, sausages and beans , big slice of fried crispy bread , and thick cuts of black pudding and tomato's. O' Reilly would slop that into him rapid. Wallop! All for the love of Jesus!
For Jesus did indeed, love a good fry up!
Slop it inta ya for Jesus!
Now his big fat bald headed scaldy face was on the way over . Aw no. Aw yes. He lifted the blue police tape and was on his way over . Why? Did I look like I needed divine intervention, was I beginning to resemble a desperate crying out son of Jesus. I may well have. Was I a blasphemous heathen hoor who was crying out for saving? No. However in reality , I probably resembled that missing cast member from "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" , roughly dressed in blue and white striped pyjamas and a lilac dressing gown , tied far too high , but still struggling to remain cool, unshaven , coffee dribbling down one side of my mouth , hair that needed the urgent hope a big comb or hairbrush can only bring, salvation, I needed salvation, and a fag on, a big just lit fag, fresh on the lip , and glowing like a beacon in the doorway! The state of me. A right mess.
Then, in a manoeuvre I did not see coming , and from underneath the distraction of a giant red golf umbrella , I caught sight of a large bun , a large grey bun , a rather hurried early morning bun, but nonetheless a bun. Bunsheen. Sliding in sideways like a mafia hitman carrying a now slightly wet £50 note , with the Queens smiling head on it , and someone else I had no doubt I had never heard of , on the other side! Probably a long since passed tory donor His soft irish accent sounded Corkish , or maybe Kerry , no matter , he was a son of Munster that was truly evident. "Aw Margaret ....Shur isn't it terrible altogether "........Jesus, the Bunsheen had a real name , and it was Margaret ! Although in her younger days , make no mistake , I pictured her as a Maggie . Wild Maggie. Maggie with the big wild bun! Maggie Sheen .
"Don't know what to say Father ,she was very quite , kept herself to herself"
" Aw shur Margaret 'tis a terrible auld world that were living in these days , is it not!" She slipped the 50 into his paw.
"Will you light some candles for me Father?.....Put the rest in the poor box ......I better get in , they don't want us on the street "
"I will Margaret .....God bless ya .....I'll say a prayer for ya"
Before the last word had left his lying lips , O' Reilly had slipped the 50 into the front right hand side pocket . You knew by the big fat bald scaldy face of it , that 50 was already after buying a decent bottle of Paddy Power's finest irish whiskey , and a good few bets on some bandy legged nags at the races in Doncaster later in the afternoon. Now, each to their own , believe what you wish, I'm not really that bothered to be honest , but , if I had a direct line to the Big Guy , or Big Gal upstairs , I would indeed be asking him who was going to win the 3.30 at Leopardstown in the morrow. If God really wanted to help ya ? What was going to stop him or her? Nothing ! After all he/she/it/what? cures cancer in innocent children ? Or maybe not. Indeed!
Within a few bounds he was in front of me, a few swishes of his big black dress, and we were almost nose to nose , standing under the canopy of my front door , like two old buddies meeting and sparring up after a big old session down the local. His breathe stank of whiskey , stank of it , fumes coming down out of his large " I pick me nose" nostrils , a thousand christian brother beatings writ large over his big fat scaldy red jowly face . "Howya ......Jaysus have ya a spare wan of thim lads?" He nodded to the cigarette in my hand. "Aw shur...I forgot mine , what with all this lark like .....bad business" I handed him a cigarette , he placed it in his big old gob, and without saying a word, beckoned me to light it up for him. I did. He sucked deeply on it , like he was drawing his very last breathe , drew deep, very deep, like he was sending that smoke down to his toes. Exhaled loudly , wiped his mouth and stared at me.
"What happened over there Father" I asked him quitely, totally lacking my usual irreverence to those who worked for any church. I think I may well have had my Columbo head on !
"Aw shur , da poor auld divil .....someone gave her an awful bate'in all together .....An awful bate'in!" He said it again as if to magnify the awfulness of it all, yet, too be fair I got it, all these preachers priests clerics charlatans , they must see awful things.
"Howya Mrs ....." He said glancing sideways to a bemused Mrs Goggin's who promptly turned on her bedroom slippers , swiveled her cane and proceeded to go inside her dwelling without reply. He got off lightly . Profanity free. I had heard her & Colonel Mustard discuss religion , it's merits , and it's meaningless existence many times in fence to fence combat over my garden. He sucked the last of my cigarette in a big greedy gulp and said "Jaysus that was some auld wart she had on the nozzle like .......a whopper!" Have to say I just nodded my head to this man of the cloth , as if to say , "I agree".
Now, in all honesty, I did know of O' Reilly , I had seen him sniffing about the market down the high street at the weekends, pawing all the auld one's , like a faith healer , laying his big sweaty grubby hands all over his "flock" . I imagined that he playing rugby when he was younger , probably in the scrum, he had the build for it .Big fat well fed neck. Although, I would have thought , rugby had long since been past tense, given the width of his girth , and been replaced by big fry ups, big lunches, big dinners , and no doubt suppers. He fed his face well.That red scalded face betrayed the fact that he dabbled in more than that cheap communion wine the catholic church forced upon the "flock" , Although £1.99 at Lidl is not splashing the cash , too be fair. Then , I was in conversation with him. "Do you know how it happened Father?". He drew deeper again, another that went to his toes. "Aw shur I do.....Wan of thim young rozzers told me .......Shocking altogether" I didn't reply, I felt he wasn't quite finished , and was somehow composing himself for the rest. I wasn't wrong. "Shur' she bought a big auld chocolate bar down at da superstore ..the young fella was selling thim chape like I tink they was outta date soon like ....big as a brick it was, big as a brick , big massive lump of a yoke!" Silence , then he drew again, not as deep this time, his face went into one big massive frown , think he only drew to his kneecaps this time. "Shur she was saving it .....has the yoke add din' in the freezer , shur it would be liking being hit by a concrete block on da head like!" Now, in all honesty , when he said that , I really wanted to laugh, not at the gruesomeness of it all , no, at the way he said it , his munster lilt almost dancing the words out in an old time waltz. I didn't . That would be just plain rude and very disrespectful. Yet , in my head ,I was away with the fairies, roaring with laughter. Roaring into the face of an angel of God , fueled by the madness of demons. You know, life is a cruel motherfucker most of the time , and i guess , there are also numerous horrible ways to leave it . I have to say, in total honesty , murder by chocolate is not the way to go. Ever.
O'Reilly seemed a decent man. I'm sure he was. There wasn't a hint of pedo about him, and that's always a good sign. He'd been in the parish over 30 years , there wasn't anyone , it seems, had a bad word to say about him.Oh, he was an auld groper , an auld letch , no mistake , but, the auld wan's loved it , they loved the auld feel up, it made them feel all young again. The Daniel O' Donnell concert effect , pis and shit all ya want, no one will ever notice, when yis are all doing it. Not a fan. Never ever will be ! As he swished off back out into the rain, in search of his BMW , keys jangling from his long black dress, I did , indeed, hope that it stayed that way. Always.Touch the auld ones up, leave the babbies alone. Young lads & lassies can't say no.
He was a man's man, you could tell, oh how I wished that all my experiences of frocked priests had been as brief and informative. Sad to say they were not. Growing up in north London , I was perceived by the priests and teachers there as a "pis poor plastic paddy" . Mammy and daddy far too poor to live off the land in Ireland , because they obviously had no land , and far too poor to stay and work there , because there was no work. So you tied up your britches with twine , or the odd bit of rope, and made your way to the "smoke" , where the people there couldn't understand a word you were saying , nor wanted to. Perceived by accent , as too dumb , thick , and stupid to ever do a "real" job, just like the auld fella, although he was far from thick , dumb or stupid, the cute hoor! , you took your soft white irish hands to a building site , where pretty soon , they would be nail black all year round and had the softness of the very roughest and coarsest of leather. You learned to drink your porter until it was coming out of your ears, yet never ever failed to turn up for work in the morning. Rain hail sleet or snow. Real lads,real men. The finest! The finest of real men.
The priest , I am sure, back in Munster , was a"blessing" way back when it was considered such to have a priest a nun, or if you were desperate a christian brother in the family . Ireland used to export all the afor mentioned in droves to Africa back in the days where we were always told to eat the crusts of your bread because "Their starvin' out in Africa!" Not sure how me eating a crust of bread was going to help that sad situation, but, you did what you were told always by a very angry looking irish mammy , with a far too big apron, wielding a large wooden spoon. Oh, you ate your crusts alright, in fact, you looked for more crusts , just so maybe, just maybe ,you helped them even more out in Africa , or in the least , you got some extra points . Hey,there was always going to come a time , there was, when you really were not going to fancy a crust . Can't be good for you when it's speckled with blue right? For let's be perfectly honest here , in evolution we are taught and also programmed not to eat anything with blue on it or in it! Well Einstein wasn't always right , I've eaten loads of blue crusted bread , and I looked as if I was enjoying it. I wasn't. However, it did me no harm. As far as I know.As far as I know. As yet.
Now Mother Ireland imports priests from Africa , full of hell fire and brimstone , full of rage , you just can't see the rage, but, mark my words it is there. They were all taught by pale white pasty faced irish "chosen" , who probably had no real wish or desire to be where they were. Yet, that's a "blessing" for ya, a proud little irish mammy , who had her say, got her way, no matter what poor Kathleen or Seamus wanted . Mammy had provided an agent for the Lord. Sod all else. Sod for God!
I was back inside again now, fresh cup of coffee on the table , cigarette burning in the ashtray, contemplating. Reflecting . Thinking back now to happy but tough childhood days , in a noisy vibrant irish family . Days I missed. Days in truth, I would never ever see again. Shame. The mammy Maureen Flaherty was from the midland market town of Mullingar in Ireland. She met the auld fella back in the days where if you stood on a ladies toes in the Galtymore ballroom dancing to some big "showband" over for the weekend , it was perceived as an invitation to dance. He did. It was. She the mammy, was a small little woman , with a big auld temper. You didn't cross her, if you did, your fat little arse would be hot for a week! I did my best not too. Didn't always work out that way. She's back in Mullingar now, beneath the clay , a beautiful forest of evergreens facing her. She would have liked that. I miss her. I really do. The auld fella always came in on a friday night, full to the gills with black porter , with a big bunch of flowers for her . She would smile that beautiful smile , a twinkle would appear in her eye, a twinkle in his. No wonder I was one of 10 . Could have been a lot more , I guess, but some friday nights he would be that flutered he would forget the flowers . They laughed a lot, they joked a lot , it was always good humoured though, never nasty , never bitter . Here was this little dark haired woman who he used to joke was "beef to the heels like a Mullingar Heifer!" . She wasn't. She was beautiful.Very. My heart cries whenever I picture her face.
I smiled. That smile you do when you know no one can see, that smile. A silent smile . A certain smile. Back in the days when I refused to go to school , without telling the mammy or the auld fella , I used go on the "mitch" as us irish kids called it, the english kids would call it truant , but, they weren't cool like we were, down to "Genos" off the broadway in Cricklewood. "Genos" was notable for it's colony of mitcher's , all biding their time often on a long long sunny day , until it was time to go home. Geno was I think an italian spiv type . His shop was if I can remember basically a fish and chip shop , with pool tables, a jukebox and loads of slot machines . A true den of for us heathens. We loved it. All of us. Until the day Father Delaney snook in , overcoat buttoned right up, to hide the dog collar , clutching his bag of church offerings , hoping no doubt to double his money , so when he put the offerings back , no one ever knew they had been taken in the first place . I was only to find out later , that he had been barred from all the bookies and gambling operations within a 10 mile radius , because it was rumoured , well in Cricklewood anyways , that he was indeed something of a very sore loser. He was it could be said an unhappy chappy. An unhappy priest. Imagine that!
Anyways , all was good , a few of the lads had clapped eyes on him and left . Not me. I was brazen. I regret that now.
For as soon as this big thick lump of Belfast shite lost his last ill gotten penny , he blew a gasket . Big Time.
"Come 'er yuuu......what are yuuu looking at byyyyy?" He snorted in my direction. In truth he terrified me , but the lads were looking on , and I was not only trying to be the big I am, I was acting the maggot , acting the goat in a big style.
"Who are you talking to ya sad loser" I said in a squeaky voiced 15 year old fashion.
"Yuuuuu ya little wee bollix , don't I know yuuuu ya little fecker?"
"No" (voice less confident now , fearing the worst!)
"Your Paddy Murphy's ... Shovels son aren't ya .....ya wee little bollix.....Ya wee bag a shite!"
Banged to rights, reported to school, never missed a day again , until the day I left, which was pretty soon after. I lost all interest in school from a very young age, I used to steer out the big glass window , and wished that I was outside looking in , at all the sad saps , being taught shit that they were never ever going to use , ever again in their sad pathetic lives. I had decided , it wasn't for me, I loved reading, and I figured the best way to learn about anything was to read up on it, read all about it that way. Gain the knowledge that you needed and wanted . Not the rubbish that some vexed teacher continued to shout at you , in the hope that if he shouted even louder his vexed words would enter your brain and settle down , bed in, and stay there. They did not!
I must have nodded off , dreaming of happier days, sadder days, strange days, days far away from here. Days. I was awoken by loud thuds and loud thumps on the door. I glanced at my computer . It was now 11 in the am. I yawned that big yawn of composure , of reassurance that you are still in the land of the living. A big old tired, not enough shut eye yawn. That yawn.
Again, I went to the window ,daylight sat loud and proud, outside was Spanner , now with badge in hand, accompanied by the Chuckles, flanked by The Riddler , his far too tight t-shirt rising constantly up and over his massive fat beer gut,he looked like he'd had a leak in his tartan boxers , the cheap ones you buy down the markets , the ones you wear when you haven't an once of class, them ones, he wore them well. His seven deadly chins wobbling beneath his scowling and wicked looking face. His tight almost skinhead hair awash with new rain. He did not look like a happy bunny!
I opened the door . Detective Spanner seemed to have only one look . Let's just call it stern. For now.
"Peter Patrick Murphy?"
He turned to The Riddler , now almost shaking with temper , "Is this him sir?"
The Riddler , who I had never heard speak before , made no attempt to hide his contempt , or his "sarf" London accent.
"That's the facking cant officer no mistake!"
"May we come in please sir?"
"It's about the murder and your whereabouts at the time of Miss Whittle's demise "
"Winnie The Wart?"
It was out now, loud and proud, my nickname for a woman I did not know , yet judging by the looks on all their faces ,I was now the chief suspect in her murder ....Very much so ....A murder .....By chocolate ....A big frozen block of feckin' chocolate !
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
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Spanner and the Chuckles made their way into the through lounge , and the dining room table. I'm not being all posh here, it was a "through"
lounge when I got it, I make no apologies for that. It was and is a pis poor small little house!
He went through all the old palaver, as I put the kettle on full whack and readied tea coffee , almond milk , and spoons. Tough shit if none of these children didn't like the old almond milk. Not my problem. Spanner waffled on and on and on, the Chuckles sat with the very faces of stone. Oh, he introduced them all right , but sadly , all I heard was "Blah blah blah blah blah". Not remotely interested , my face not lying, said the very same without saying a single word. "Sterny" as I would from now onwards in my head always refer to Detective Neil Spanner as , sat all stern faced, serious, like a gobshite stifling a massive fart , in company he would be far too embarrassed to ever reveal to . Hey, I bet he double checks he has tied his shoes every morning , and one last time before he leaves the house. That sort. A cunt!. I offered them a beverage , and once I mentioned the old almond milk thing, they all declined , stone faced, bemused . I went to take a cigarette from the packet , and then he intervened "Sir, I would prefer it if you didn't smoke !".........I looked at this fresh out of school pretend policeman and lit my smoke , much to his disgust , before quitely adding "Oh would you now, well it's my house sir, and if I choose to smoke in it, I will, I don't need your permission!"
He coughed, that old pretend cough, that non smokers do, when they are trying to tell you without speaking, that you really really really are irritating them . Good. I'm all for it.
"Mr Murphy...." Oh, must be serious, I am being addressed as "Mr" ........I drew a drag ......."Mr Spanner "........"We have reason to believe that you knew quite well the late Miss Whittle ?" . Knew quite well?, I delivered a jar of some shitty coffee from some place I have no wish ever to go, and never spoke with the woman in question , once. Once was enough. I had nightmares about that big old whopper of a wart on the end of her nose for nights . Yeah, we were close. Very. "Didn't know the lady at all Mr Spanner"
"Well , how would you explain your fingerprints at the scene of the crime sir?(Jesus , a parking fine in Neasden, really?????)....."They are your fingerprints are they not?"........He coughed and repeated "Are they not yours sir?"
"Are they on a coffee jar , from the Dominican Republic Mr Spanner?" I was always polite , especially to those I took a detest to!
He smiled a wry smile, that little knowing smile , that indicates to him, that he does indeed know more than you did. He didn't!
"Well sir, I am not at liberty to say at this moment in time......" The Chuckles sat dryly by. Unable to express any emotion. Trained to obey the head dog, suppressed to within an inch of their sad pathetic promotion chasing lives. Sad fools. Sad empty fools.
Somewhere , just somewhere , there truly had to be a conveyor belt in Scotland Yard , where they put a load of public school boys on, nonce's , and those truly desperate to please their law abiding , church going parents , two meat , two veg halfwits , and went "Oh your a total wanker!" ......"You'll be a great copper!".......Sterny Spanner was most certainly found on that conveyor belt. Clueless wanker. Columbo he wasn't. He knew it, and so did I. He coughed again, totally annoying me now . I smiled , waved my hand towards the front door and sarcastically said "You can always go outside you know........"
All death is sad, sad and tragic, tragically sad. All life is precious, all life, of all living creatures,that is very much a given in my head.
Yet, here was this little turned up nosed public schoolboy, with his gelled hair , asking me questions about a murder I knew nothing about. In south London. A major hot spot for crime?.......What gets my goat is this, every day, every single day, black kids knife or shoot each other , over the ridiculous notion that, postcode permitting "Your in the wrong area bruv!" . Total bollix!
The old bill(Police) do not a jot, not a thing about it, couldn't give a continental fuck! The reason is quite simple , it's black kids killing black kids! If it were Eton lads killing Eton Lads, be a very different story, mark my words. All the stops be well pulled out!
He sat back now, in my chair, ready for phase 2. "Now , Mr Murphy , a serious allegation was made about you this evening (Checks notes) ......A Mr Eustace Savage , he says you were always sniffin' around Miss Whittle ....Like a little lost puppy......."
"Who?" ........"Mr Eustace Savage, I believe he is a neighbour of yours sir?"........Now , in truth , I did not know whether to laugh or cry , but , I was guessing he was indeed referring to The Riddler.....That fat plank of driftwood , who more than likely struggled on a daily basis , not only to wipe his big fat arse , but, to actually find it! Tub of lard. With added legs. He was called Savage , well that meant perfect sense. Savage by name and no doubt savage by nature . I bet the big fat slob ran around flicking a flick knife at lads who weren't skinheads , in the 70's when he was able to run. He wasn't now, but , he hadn't lost the ability to point the finger . The big thick , creased of neck, sweaty no mark! All because I fancied the pretty pants off his missus! The cheek of it!
The oil slicked skinned tosser with the gelled hair , had the floor. He liked the floor. I could tell . "Are you aware Sir, of the disappearance of a one Sally Anne Keegan from your shared dwelling in Camden sir?".........."Yes, but it wasn't a disappearance"
"She didn't just disappear then sir?......Never to be seen again?" ........"No, she did not Mr Spanner....." He laughed , that little public schoolboy laugh , that little laugh , you would dearly love to kick the living day lights out of. If you had the time.
Back in the day, us Murphy's always made the time. The auld fella liked a good scrap, and put many a big beast to the floor. Yet, when it came to all of his children, my brothers and sisters , we got that fight and bite from the mammy . We took no shit from no one, as many the bruised faces and ego's could testify!
Sally was a sweet girl, originally from Wexford, but, Sally despite her big blue eyes , pouting lips , curves in all the right places, polished cheekbones , was a fucking thief. The day she disappeared she cleared our "joint" bank account out of 20K .......Did not leave a penny in it, even though she had never put as much as a single penny in there. Ever. I loved her, of course I did, she was an absolutely beautiful creation, a vision of beauty , back in the old country they would call her a "stunner!", and she was, she really was, and I loved her with every beat of my heart . It never ever was returned, and now that makes me sad. However , the most happy I ever felt in my adult life was the days that I got to spend with her . Beautiful her, warm her , sexy her. I guess deep down within my fragile heart , I do indeed miss her, I miss her beautiful smile, delicate her, delicious her . However , she was a thief , a good thief , a very good thief, didn't really give a shit about me. Ever. Yet , I still carry a torch, for a woman who robbed me blind! What a stupid gobshite! I am.
It had entered my head, mainly thanks again to Brucie on the old "Generation Game" , back in the day , like all bad things do. That maybe just maybe,as previously mentioned, there was a conveyor belt of would be police people everywhere , every land. Every state. That these people were somehow placed on, probably late at night, swirling around and around, like on a carousel , until such time as the head cop goes (Adopts cockney accent)......"You'll do , tossa, you'll do wanka!.......You'll make a fine copper and no mistake my luvverly........" I truly wished that I was wrong. However, I doubt it. I really do! Every police force in the world, employs only the thickest of cuts. Fact! I did say cuts?
"She didn't vanish Mr Spanner....She's doing just fine , I am guessing.....Just fine..Not short of money, that's for sure!"
"Ok, sir, we will return to that later" He was grasping now for a big straw, he wasn't getting it from me. Anytime soon.
"So, your whereabouts last night......Say about 12.30pm ......I o'clock sir?"
"I was on the phone to my brother Jimmy Barry at that time.......Yeah , until about 1.30 ish"
"Jimmy Barry?" I could see by the thick head on him, on it, he was bemused by these wild paddy names. I was offended.
"Yes Jimmy Barry .....Like in the hurler!".......Now, fair enough , I did not expect a pure english oil slick to have a clue what I was talking about, I really didn't , but, hurling, one of the major sports in all of the island of Ireland , everyone had heard of that? Hadn't they? By the time my little brother Jimmy Barry was born, my mammy and the auld fella , were rapidly running out of saint's names to call us all , so he decided (as a big hurling fan) to call the little brother , and the youngest Jimmy Barry , after the famous Cork hurler Jimmy Barry Murphy. It made sense to us all at the time, even though, just a guess here, that the auld lad fell on that name after more than a few scoops of the black stuff. Porter will do that to the brain. Make a mad idea at the time , seem like a pure stroke of genius. It wasn't always......It wasn't always so.........
" Can he verify that sir?....This Jimbo......."......."Jimmy Barry ....Mr Spanner " ......He looked bemused, half in hope, half in expectation , sniggering at all these rather stupid Paddy names , he had , I have no doubt expected to wrap "The Case" up by late afternoon. Never expect. It will always ruin your day!He grinned now, the little sad sap, with his oily skin, and his gelled back hair, Trying desperately to hide the kink. And failing! He reached for coffee that was never there.
"So Mr Murphy , you held no aggressive sexual feeling toward's Miss Whittle?"........"No, never... didn't know the woman"
"She didn't turn you on?.......Reject any sexual advances , you may well have had......Maybe harbored toward her?"
"No......As I said, I did not know the woman.......Really didn't want to either....." He pounced, like a serengeti lioness.
"So you didn't fancy her at all ......Strange.......Why was that?" He smirked as he said it . Do I play ball? No. I don't play ball.
Despite the fact, and lets be totally honest here. I'm no sexual predator. Yet, if I was, the last person I would be on the prowl for was the now sadly deceased Winnie The Wart , killed in tragic circumstances by a big frozen bar of cheap "superstore " chocolate . I could just imagine in the throes of sexual passion , glancing at the big old nozzle, spying the wart that would scare the life out of the dead, never mind the living , and going ........No!........"She didn't to it for me" I smiled as I reached for another stick of nicotine......"She just didn't do it for me Mr Spanner........" He threw me a few eye daggers , as I lit the smoke.......Smiled that dumb smile that clueless coppers do , and rather meekly said rising from my chairs, my table , with the Chuckles in tow......"Ok .....Mr Murphy , thank you ......We will be in touch !"
It must have been about 1.30 pm , I'd just had a shower and a shave , trying to wash the stench of Spanner and The Chuckles off my skin, cooking a big pan of vegan sausages, you know the sort , irish farmyard picture, made somewhere like Grimsby !......That sort! Yet tasty. Healthy!
When , a big big knock came upon the door. From the beveled glass , I quickly realized that it was a big person. A big very self important person.A gawky, mouth wide open person. A glued to their phone person.Poncho!
She walked in, without introduction, her multi colored pony tail flapping madly, her face a glowing red. Here for the info, the update , for the parents , the probably now sleeping Greaser and The Grease Monkey . The accent was thick, uneducated , common, that tattoo on her right hand side, just before the bingo wing , displayed her class. It said , with the face of a union jacked bulldog "100% English" . That was a lie. No such thing. All mongrels , each and everyone of them, especially the bulldog lot. Idiots the lot of them to idea's of empire , that everyone with a brain , had long forgot. Except for the morons who walked down every market in the land , and who refused to see there was indeed no "English Fayre" on sale . There wasn't, because there was none. None at all. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.All made in China, or some poor unfortunate peasant filled hovel in India. Yet she breezed in, all red of cheek and nosy. Looking for info, she was never going to get! Ever! Not on my watch.
"Awight hun, everyfink awight?" .......South London. You just have to love it. The pure thickness of it all.
Yep, she waltzed in , like she owned the place , the big tubby lump of fat . Her fat chubby hand outstretched with , what looked like plum colored nails. On a hand , that had never ever done a days work in it's life .Ever. She answered her phone "Call you back huns....luvyaa!"
I doubt she truly meant a word of it. In fact I was sure . Nonetheless, my mammy brought me up always to be polite. Difficult and all as that was, thanks mammy. "Gemmma........." she said whilst fluttering eyelashes that she had bought somewhere. Probably the poundshop........No , deffo the poundshop!......."And yo name is hun?" ........I causally replied "Peter" before noticing that she had totally ignored my reply and was focusing on not only the contents of my "through lounge" but, my kitchen also......."Awwight Peethaw..........Saws you had the filth round recentleeeeeeeee.......Everyfink awwight?" ........In my head , I'm swimming, like a little lost shark with no fin......Like a baby goldfish trying frantically to swim up the Nile!...."Peethaw??????" Ok, it's "sarf" London I get it .......But, "Peethaw" .......Makes no sense, none at all........As for the "Filth" , what are we back now in the days of the Kray Twins , when it was always ok to leave your back door , and your front door open , because these "Wasn't Me Guv Honest!" fellas looked after their own. No they didn't . They did not!. Fact! They looked after anyone who would rob for them , take an eye out of someone's head , come back to check the socket , and tell them they were better looking without it!.......Sad to say, that was very often true. Wasn't to many good looking villains in the east end of London. Nor the south. Ugly bastards the lot of them .The lot! The whole shebang!
I really didn't want this woman in my house. Thunder thighs and a big black poncho hiding a circus of fat . She checked her phone. Again. " You got anyfink to drink Peethaww?" She asked without losing the focus of whatever or whomever she was texting to . They were very lucky.
Now, I couldn't really lie. She was standing , well hovering by, the old drinks cabinet , I had taken from the parents house in the "wood" . It was full. I think she had copped that from out of the corner of one of her deep sunken eyes . Dilemma time. Do I offer her a drink , when I really don't want her here? Or do I just basically lie, tell her I have to be somewhere soon. Anywhere.
She didn't need me to choose. "I'll have a JD and a diet coke Peethaww......" Well, it would of course be a diet coke , she was after all looking after her slender figure . "Ice ....would you like , ice?......em...."........"Gemmmma!" she replied , in a manky attempt to make her name sound both sexy and australian , it didn't , she wasn't , either. "Nah.....no ice hun ....got bactereeeeea innit innit". Ok, we'll scrape back the fact that made not an ounce of sense in any chosen lingo. Go with no ice. No ice because it's not good for you. Yet deep fried chicken is? Lots of it apparently. I sensed she wasn't very happy in her life , and the hours seem to drag by .In one ear and out the other waffle . Soon we we were three quarters down the bottle of Jack Daniels, and the limited stock of diet coke had run dry. I watched as she drained the remainder into the last mash she'd be having here . Forever. God, I hoped she wasn't thinking , under JD , that maybe I wanted to jump her bones! Even if in some throw caution to the wind fit of reason, I wanted to, I'd be very lucky , to even find her bones! They were as they say "well padded" .She was a very well padded young woman. Well padded and very well fed. She'd be real snug in winter , sweat like a fat little baby piglet in the summer . One with many chins, and a multi coloured ponytail. Queen of the Tooting chavs.
Her eyes, sunk and all as they were, swirled around the room . She clocked the framed irish tricolor from Ireland's "put em under pressure" peak in the World Cup in 1990. The auld fella says the blessed Jackie Charlton signed it , when he stopped for a quick pint at The Crown in Cricklewood late one night . He didn't. Well, I doubt it. However , I always liked the story . Always. The auld fella was well locked when he came home with it , the summer after, that glorious summer for irish sport. Well locked. Out on his ear locked. Out of his feckin' big mad Longford bastard head. "Cacky.....Cackee .... Sharrlton.....he signed it for me Peather........" You have to love the way various parts of Ireland pronounce , what to all intents and purposes is a very simple name. In Longford , well the bog area that the auld fella hailed from Peter was somehow lengthened to include rather bizarrely an "H" ???? Charmed. I'm sure.
If memory serves me right , he sat nursing a big old mug of builders tea (2 teabags ) and then somehow lifted his head upwards from the kitchen table landing. "De'ya know what Peather......he's a dacant poor auld divil ....bought me a pint , he did, and de'ya know wat?" ......."What Dad?" ......." He's not even from Oldcastle .........he's a feckin' cockaknee "
"Newcastle Dad, he's from Newcastle .....Oldcastle is in County Meath" He was asleep now, away with the fairies , snoring like a wild well fed warthog ,living in a universe , where some cockney chancer with a peaked hat was passing himself off as the great Mr Charlton. The auld fella, amongst the dark stout dribble , slept with his head and arms on the kitchen table that night , and still went off to work in the morning . No doubt he told the same tale to all the lads on site, and no doubt they all believed him. Still no harm was done. Ever! A story is always a story!
"You , Ooooirish Peethaww?" she asked , even though it was obvious she knew. I didn't get the chance to reply "Me nannie Bridget was from LOUD!" ........"LouTH" I replied , putting added oomph to the TH . "Yeah LOUD innit!" she replied, sipping the last of the mash , with the drops of diet coke. She rose slowly from the armchair she had been filling. You could almost hear the chair sigh. The relief of it all.
"Anyway Peethaww......I gotta go mate .....gotta drop Kanye to the scouts innit" . Oh sweet baby Jesus, I knew it . A chav, a manky trampy chav, who idolised the fools who seemed to rule us all now. Kanye????? A talentless fool, with his hands in many pies, funded as always by even bigger fools beneath them . Kanye, the man who can't sing, and yet declared himself "The last great living rock star" before murdering Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" without a hint of irony. That fool. That poor deluded fool. Elvis he was not. Elvis he could never be. As the auld fella used to say "Aw shur he was easily led the Presley, easy led....shur he wasn't a drug addict ...shur they were putting that stuff in his food .....he loved his food did the Presley....." He did indeed. The Presley.
Her face now wearing a big old redder rosy glow , Poncho swashed out into the still raining afternoon. No doubt she would drop Kanye to the scouts . Probably do "Kimmy's " hair later . Tell the parents that I no doubt fancied her . Plied her full of drink . Told her I was in love with her . Liked a lady with a big massive booty. I didn't . I don't. Still it had been informative , slightly interesting , in a Jeremy Kyle way. Been a long day though , and it wasn't even 4 in the afternoon yet. Not yet. Although it felt like a whole lot later.Murder on any street can do that.
Washing the chavvy red lipstick from the glass, I noticed the rain , for now, had ceased. I made a brew, grabbed my ciggies , my lighter, and what remained of my sanity, and walked out into the back garden. Wasn't life strange I thought, wasn't life strange.
I caught a glimpse of a black beret in the distance next door, in the garden,coming closer, moving quicker until it and the head it was covering were peering over the 6 foot fence . He stroked his big handlebar mustache. Then again. It was still there."Afternoon Mr Peter......." "Afternoon Colonel....." Now, apart from the rumours of deadly combat in places like the Falkland Islands (Thatcher's Warmongering!) it was rumoured also that the Colonel had actually been a trained deadly assassin . I paid no heed to any of that . 'Til now. Up to this, especially the last few months , he'd just been my doddery old eccentric neighbour . His name wasn't even Mustard. I called him that . In my head. Only ever in my head. Not ever in public, never out in the open, never ever to his face. No. Never. Hey, you could only be a phone call away from a snipers bullet. That never. "So Mr Peter .....I gather the plod have been to see you as well?" As well? Ok. So maybe it was just all part of the routine. Cool. I felt calmer ."Yep......and you Colonel?" He smiled, that big smile, that mouth full of rotting teeth, gnawing on a pipe constantly smile " They got nothing on me Mr Peter .....cast iron alibi son......" He touched the side of his nose in that irritating "nudge nudge wink wink " way. He laughed. Big booming I'm in the clear laugh.
"Was tucked up in the bed with the widow Jones......Fullerton Road Mr Peter.......Her bed.......big brass one.....noisy bugger!"
It felt like I'd been sat for days , listening to the local talk station, the reporter at the scene, my road, speculating on how it had been a robbery that had "gone wrong". An understatement , if ever there was one. Very wrong. Dead wrong. The body of Winnie The Wart wasn't even cold on the slab, before they were speculating on the reason for her sad demise. Miss Whittle. The late Miss Whittle , with the massive whopper of a wart on the end of her nose, death by chocolate , on Sunnyside Road, Tooting. Not a good look.
6 ish .......maybe 10 past, the doorbell went again, not in a startling fashion, that had come and gone. For now. I ambled towards it , couldn't quite make out who it was. Should have gone to the window and checked. Like mammy used to do. Always. I didn't lick it off the ground!
I opened it, and there she stood , my dreams writ large, a goddess. Shivering in a skimpy light cotton dress. Damn fine.
"I just popped round to apologize for Sav" she almost whispered. Took a minute for the words to register in my tired brain. So lost was I in that beautiful face and those pale blue eyes, framed by a small head of blonde , drag me to the cave quick hair , a neat lip sticked ruby red mouth , and a cute button nose. God, oh how I wanted her , not just in my head, in the flesh. The sweat on the bed flesh. The glow of body heat flesh. The nothing else matters right now but you flesh. That flesh. Sweaty evening flesh.
She knew that I knew we had looked at each other. Many times.
"Please come in......em?".........She spoke softly , beautifully, not sarf London, nicer, educated , from somewhere else, somewhere posh maybe......"Davina......."......We shook hands , in a formal way, but her hand was small, nice, sexy, she had very sexy hands. There wasn't a part of her that wasn't. To me.
They well matched the rest of her . Her yellow cotton dress betrayed the fact that there was indeed more than an natural tan about her . "What a beautiful name .......Mine's Peter by the way.....But you can call me Pete......Everyone does"
"Pete.....I like that......I like that a lot " she whispered. I guess this is what love feels like. True love. true lust. Lusty love.
A lust filled love.
Darkness was falling outside. Slowly. The lights had toned down a lot . Oh, there was still a few police cars there. No ambulance . The white suited forensics still milling about , counting the overtime , adding up the cost of death. For their pockets.
Yet, all that had seemed to fade, so lost was I in this beautiful radiant creature. Jesus I was making love to her , as I stirred her peppermint tea. She smoked also, and took the cigarette in her beautiful soft hands , put it to those beautiful soft lips . My hand shook a little as I tried to light it for her. Damn it , she was far to beautiful. I wasn't a small man, at least 6 foot tall, she however was petite, probably no more than 5 foot , maybe 5 and a half in heels , I would like to see her in heels. Just heels. Nothing else.
"Sav.....he gets jealous love .....he's seen you look at me......Pete" Look at you. I wouldn't take my eyes off you ever. I'd lock you indoors , make sure you never left the house, fetch you all you would ever need . Forever. You thing of absolute beauty. You drop dead gorgeous creature of my dreams.
"Yes.....guilty as charged Davina.......totally" I replied with a very nervous chuckle added for effect. "He's not malicious , you know, he just gets jealous ......even though......." Her softly spoken voice tailed off. Spill the beans . Come on, spill the beans. Spill the beans on The Riddler!
"Even though we haven't made love in a long long time........." In like Flynn. "Really?......." "Yes really Pete........" Now, I'm no casanova (although I do believe he was gay!)......Yet, I had been around the block a few times. This was looking good . Very good! Tell me when my light turns green!
I gently took the cup from her soft delicate hand, she rose from the chair. We both shivered. I grasped her beautiful soft , sweet smelling hair in my hands, and place my lips on hers. She didn't pull back. We kissed ever so softly. It felt so beautiful . Like cracking open a big bottle of freedom. There was no hiding my excitement. I wasn't trying to. I wanted her, I wanted her now, here on the chair, on the carpet , in the garden , I just wanted her . I could tell by her small but firm breasts she wanted me also. Pretty soon both our champagne styled lusty bodies were going to pop. Maybe this is why she said hello one day, and maybe not the next . Now, all my fantasies, all my dreams, all my dirty dirty minded thoughts were going to come true. Writ large all over my big old lonely double bed. I had taken no one to my bed here. This would be a first. Hopefully not a last. With her. Only with her. My beautiful Davina. I wondered , only for a minute , if there was clean sheets on the bed? Less than a minute. As our tongues played mouth tennis, that wonder was replaced by lust. Good old fashioned unbridled lust . It was sexy time. Oh, Winnie The Wart was dead, deceased , gone forever, but, hey, life goes on. Real life. We shall celebrate her life, the late Miss Whittle by doing what comes naturally to a woman and a man. I clasped her soft delicate nervous hand in mine , and before we both knew it we were kissing on the stairs , always moving , deeply aware , both of us, that my bed wasn't too far away.
Cue the orchestra........
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
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The contentment of the afterglow. We stood at the bedroom window, nuzzling together in my shamrock covered duvet (thanks mammy!)I kissed her on the forehead. Softly. With love . She was so close
to my chest , I could hear that beautiful heart beating.
"Won't he be thinking where you are sweetheart?" I whispered. She looked up at me with those beautiful pale blue eyes, deep pools of loveliness. I wanted to swim in her soul. "No , he won't Pete , he'll be far too busy with all his mates & cronies, down the public house" she replied softly. She chose her words carefully did my Davina, and the fact that she said "Pete" in such a sexy way , endured me even more to her , if that was even possible. The mere fact that she also used "public house" confirmed to me that she was indeed from a very well to do family , or posh, or both. Most folks south of the river referred to the "public house" in any area, as the "booza" , or slightly less working class the "boozer". She did not. That was cool. Very. "Was this duvet a present ?" she inquired, although not in a nosy way, more in a kind of, "you didn't seriously buy this Pete ?"way. No I did not buy it . It was bought for me by the mammy , the Christmas before she passed . It was the last present she ever gave me. The last. So, I could not get rid of it, even if I wanted to . I didn't .I could not, would not, ever! "Shur ya'll sleep with a bit of Ireland over ya every night Peather!" , I can still here her words, still fresh in my head , that last Christmas, the last one ever for her . Within a few months , unawares as we were at the time ,that it really was, a little piece of my heart died forever. "It was sweetheart , it was".
The alarm clock indicated 9.45 in the pm. Down the street The Mod was it appeared in loud animated chat on his phone with some one who obviously did not mind being shouted at .His little arms gesturing alarm at whatever was been said at the time. I thought I cared. I didn't. I had heard recently , down the "superstore" , from a very reliable source (The Chief) that he had been a drummer in the 1960's in a Tooting mod beat combo called The Parka Monkey's. Made a single, "Don't Let Love Bind You". It didn't. They split before it's release , after a massive punch up at the old Tooting Town Hall , when it seems, they had to be separated by the Reverend Lockett. The Mod never hit the skins again. Even long after his battered and bruised face and fists healed. Still , he carried the torch of that long passed era with him now wherever he went to. Mainly to the post office to pick up his pension and the local "superstore" to pick up his supplies . It was all a long way from Carnaby Street, Top Of The Pops, and the swinging 60's. A long way. A long boring way. The street was pretty quite now. Opposite , I could see that "The Walton's " had retired to bed early. Not sure if they had a television , I had never ever seen one flickering there. Maybe they were not allowed a TV in their faith , maybe their God didn't allow it , even though most churches believe in the internet . "Imaginary Guy In The Sky" .com ?????They believed in bibles though, big red polished bibles , for all, young and old .The gullible. The blue tape still cordoned off Winnie The Wart's house at number 10. Only one police car sat on the road now, parked neatly outside number 12. I could just make out the shapes of Cheerful and Chirpy in the window. Bet that kettle had not stopped boiling since early morning. In the distance , through the haze of a very badly lit street I could make out the fast approach of a tall willowy figure .
This was so so nice, this was beautiful. We shared a cigarette. I put on a Frank Sinatra LP .Beautiful mood music . What a voice, what phrasing , what pure class. Pure cool. Even though when I was growing up in an irish house that only ever allowed irish music , with the exception of Elvis , we were fed a diet of all them gobshite irish country lot, Jesus, some of them were awful, tuneless feckers, probably not even the best singers in their families. Elvis however was different , the auld fella loved him, the mammy was in love with him. Dead and all as he was. Yet , to the auld fella , and I quote "Ya'll never beat the Presley!". The Presley. The big mad Longford bastard head on it. The spud. The big headed spud, with 2 big shovels for hands. Yet when it came to Mr Sinatra , the auld fella couldn't stand him, used to turn the "wireless" off when Frank came on the airwaves "Shur dat fecker shoots people!" or his other one " Feckin' hit man for da mafia's". The mafia's ?.The mafia's. I smiled now at the very thought of him listening in now to the sounds coming from my bedroom . Cool sounds. Cool times. Lovely times. 2 lovers wrapped in a duvet emblazoned with big irish shamrocks . I kissed her beautiful soft red lips. They were moist and so tasty. Jesus, I could eat her right now ,I could well devour her , again, I am so happy. It would be a long and beautiful eat I can tell you. Her eyes darted across the road, out the window , through the net curtain, and I could see she was now looking towards the tall willowy figure stood outside Winnie The Wart's talking to an overtime counting copper. It seemed serious. It was.
"I don't believe it......" she whispered . No idea why, I guess that's what people do when they are in love , falling in love, head over heels in love . Blissful quite contented love. That love. Now what did the beautiful Davina not believe? Looking across I could make out a very strange looking fellow, seemingly now involved in an argument with the solitary copper guarding entry to Winnie The Wart's , long peroxide blonde hair, trying desperately to cover up an ever growing bald patch at the back. He wore what seemed like a long dark blue pvc mac and what seemed like knee high leather black boots, topped off by two large dangling hooped earrings, and what seemed like the neck of big frilly blouse peeping through from underneath the mac. "What in the name of God is that?" I asked my love , now stifling a chuckle, her hand over her mouth . "That's Billy Whittle .......Miss Whittle's cousin ...... Miss Lilly Billy" and then she laughed. Oh, and what a beautiful laugh it was. A laugh you could bottle . A laugh you could dance with and around all night .... " Miss Lilly Billy.......Lilly Billy?" I asked and laughed.
It transpires , that Miss Lilly Billy , born Billy Whittle (Clapham Common) was a very disturbed young man , with a rather large coke habit, loved a good snort did Billy. Well that big roman nose had it's uses. Snorting coke being the main one. In and out of various prisons , none of which he liked, nor them him. Lilly Billy had decided at the age of 40 , that not only was cross dressing not doing it for him anymore , he felt that following a very deep conversation with his last prison chaplain , that he did indeed want to change sex. That's fair enough, do what you want, bother's me none . It seems , shortly after his release he asked, or told, or begged , everyone he ever knew to address him solely as " Miss Lilly" . Unaware that people from that day forth referred to him as "Lilly Billy" . Lilly Billy with the mad peroxide hair , and dark blue fingernails. Miss Lilly Billy .
She had her soft cotton yellow dress back on now, scooped up her underwear and pressed them tightly into her handbag. No doubt , she was away back home soon. For now. To shower the Murphy scent off her , before The Riddler staggered home from "the public house". Hey, no one wants to smell like a dog.
She plucked a small hair brush from her bag , and softly caressed the bed head look away from her hair. God she was gorgeous. Truly stunning. She made my knees weak .
"I know him.....know him well ......he's very effeminate .....wears make up ...eye shadow ....all of it" she casually enlightened me.
"Really ?......Is he gay?"......"He had a boyfriend ....older guy .....maybe late fifties Sidney , I believe his name was......I met Lilly down the high street , oh ages ago .....told me they had split up , because Sidney didn't want to get married........" I couldn't help but think , that maybe, just maybe , Sidney had a lucky escape there. All I saw before me was a shambles of a human being. A sad pathetic creature , a creature in need of pity.
"Lilly used to live there......" ......"Where?"......" At The Whittle's......." she said whilst pointing across the road......."What happened?" I asked , almost Spanner like. " Old Mrs Whittle and Winnifred came home from the bingo in Balham one night to find Lilly dressed in the old lady's clothes , bra , bloomers , her shoes and a 1940's pink laced frock......." and she giggled.A little girly giggle. Jesus , I wanted to throw her back on the bed and ravish her. Again. "She's very bitter about it......."......."She?"......"Lilly" and she giggled even louder now . It had been an interesting day. Very. I didn't want it to end now. I wanted her to stay, but, deep down I knew that couldn't or wouldn't happen . Yet. Meanwhile in the real world, the one outside my window, the love nest , a clearly upset Lilly Billy was still been refused entry to his former home. Why did he (she) so desperately want to gain entry for, surely his late cousin could be visited at the local mortuary ? Maybe , just a thought here, he (she) needed to flutter his lashes a little more . Fluttering can gain you entry anywhere , at anytime, as most of the big fat bald headed "security " doormen will verify , in all the finest London nightclub establishments. Especially round the back of the bins. Especially. Lot of action at the back of the bins. Apparently.
I watched as she walked slowly up the road. The look back and small wave, made me gulp, made my heart cry out in overwhelming loss and missing . I felt many things. I was in love. I had been before, now more so. No going back . Once you take a bite from such a delicious apple , you always need to visit the orchard a whole lot more. Daily. If possible. However, deep down inside , there was also a true sense of not only contentment , revenge even, righting a wrong . That big lump of thick lard had spent the whole night long draining glasses of froth and chemically induced lager beer in a pub full of total wasters and oinks , while I was introducing a little Murphy love to his beautiful neglected wife. I would go outside in a bit , put my smug self satisfied face on , and smile that knowing smile . He more than likely would be far too locked to even notice me, but, one thing was for sure , he would never have thought it at the time, would not even have crossed that big fat pea brained head , but the best thing he had ever ever done , probably in his whole sad life , in jealousy and spite, was to point the finger at me , to Sterny and the Chuckles. The best thing ever. For me.
My fingers had been all over that beautiful neglected wife of his . All over her , all over her beautiful perfectly formed body. Everywhere. Time and time again. I pulled on a pair of levi's and an old maroon sweater , I hadn't worn in years. It still fitted me like always. It was a pleasant surprise. One of many , on a day full of surprises . Good and bad, calm and weird. A day is a long time, and it wasn't even over yet. Not yet.Not just yet.
I made my way downstairs , the scent of the beautiful Davina , still on my lips. Pulled a couple of extra cold Guinness from the fridge , grabbed a pint glass from the "press". Poured out the black white haired nectar , and took a large gulp. I deserved it, I'd been working pretty hard this evening, and I truly deserved it! Truly. I poured another until it resembled the finest pint of stout you'd find in any irish watering hole. I raised the glass heaven side. "Here's to you Paddy Murphy.......Wherever you are right now" I said to no one else , but, obviously myself . I smiled as I randomly recalled the auld fella's antics back in the good old days in Cricklewood. Three doors down there lived a scots lad , well I say lad, he was the same age as the auld fella. Jocky MacDonald was his name I believe, lived alone, no wife , no kids, no dogs, a wild one eyed cat called Lumbo , shortened from the great TV cop detective Columbo......but, in honor of, hence "Lumbo". Now we never referred to Mr MacDonald as Mr MacDonald or even Jocky. No , because the auld fella (as I am) , as all irish are was Celtic, and MacDonald being a die hard Glaswegian protestant was a huge Rangers fan. Arch sectarian and football rivals. Major. Pure hatred. Now, they actually got on very well , and were always friendly towards each other , except when the "old firm" games were on . Then the gloves were off. The auld fella referring to MacDonald as "Sulky McSulky" when the hoops beat the "gers" ,whilst parading up and down the road with Jackie Charlton's irish flag , waved in the air , truly memorable . Funny . MacDonald shaking his fist at the auld fella and calling him a "mad fenian bastard!" He wasn't too far off the mark to be fair. Another one that went sudden. Sulky McSulky , passed away from "a bad pint". Real bad! Deadly bad.
I lit a candle for the mammy. I did it every night. For her soul. Her beautiful soul. Her soul that would live within my heart forever. Forever. She made me promise on her last bed. "Always light an auld candle for me son"......."I will Mam......I promise"........I hoped that she could see it, I really did......As a tear trickled down the side of my face. I moved on. Emotions left by the kitchen door , her words still ringing in my ears "The didd love an auld candle Peather!". Well, as of yet , I had no real reason to either disbelieve that , or indeed to believe it. I'll be ok up here. On the fence! I may well , be some time, carry on!
The street was quite now, very quite . The forensics had packed up. Racked up enough "dead biz" money for the day. A lonesome copper stood now at the closed front door of number 10 Sunnyside Road . Winnie The Wart had left the building . For the last time . I went outside the front door again. Blew smoke to the sky with a pint of plain in my hand .Now approaching midnight . The rain was softly falling . Gently on the parked cars, the tiny front gardens , the roof tops and the pot plants . The Corpse sheltered from the rain. It had been quite an exciting sort of day for her. Well compared to most, I was guessing . Although it's fair to say , you'd never guess it from the drained of blood expression on her "fag ash Lil" face. Then. Something strange . Very. I was sure I caught a glimpse of a shadowy figure moving in number 22. How? It was empty wasn't it? Surely it wasn't the ghost of the old lady that lived there in a past life . Well, if it was a ghost , and that's a big big if, it was certainly one who knew how to use a torch.
At first I thought it was Laurel & Hardy , maybe Abbot & Costello at a massive push, a large overweight hippo & a gazelle perhaps?, staggering , stopping, staggering , chatting , ambling up the street.Two sad auld manky drunks, pissing their sad pathetic lifes away? Nope, it was just The Dunner linking The Riddler. This was about as close to a cuddle Lard Bucket was going to get tonight, I thought silently. My eyes now strayed from my recent ghostly sighting at 22 . He'll be fine . I did all his cuddling for him earlier . Fondling and loving. He just needed to make it to the front door with his diseased riddled legs , carrying all that bulk and blubber . That massive creased neck, that head without a brain, that dickless dick! Find a couch, and fall down there. Sleep. Of course the ultimate revenge, should you ever think that way ,and I'm ashamed to say I did, and do, would be to creep into his house some night , after he'd had a big feed of drink , slopped a load of cheap shit down his gullet , and sneak up to the beautiful Davina's boudoir, smother her in kisses , and make love to her all night long. Before quitely walking out the front door , before "the beast" awoke from his drunken slumbers. That would be some reality.My dream reality. I could indeed live with that to happen. Easily. It would. I told myself so. Promised .The dream was on. Especially when I looked at these two rancid drunks , struggling for keys , struggling to walk, struggling to breathe , struggling to exist in a world that seemed to no longer want or need them .Nor, would ever ever miss them. That world. The Dunner was ok, he had done me no harm. He was harmless. The Riddler ? He was a different"kettle of fish "altogether , as they say. If you ever point the finger at me, make sure of one thing and one thing only . That I am indeed guilty! When I am not, I will not let it go, ever, until such time as you will deeply regret ever pointing that digit my way , or you truly wished it had been chopped off! Fact!
Deep within the confusion of watching those clowns struggle , that slight distraction at the "haunted house" at 22? My spidey senses had somehow failed me to catch the sight of "Sore Feet" hammering the road out of it,my side . No doubt on his way towards Mrs Goggins. It was late . Yet not late for her. I used to hear her shuffling about into the wee small hours. Feeding the cat, letting out the cat, letting in the cat , feeding the cat again. This could by the sound of it , go on, for literally hours , and very often did. Not sure if she was suffering from what in the old days was called "forgetfullness" or the cat was! The cat , a big black lad , with a white right paw, was called Major for some bizarre reason. Either, I guessed in tribute to her sparring partner across the fences, and my garden , Colonel Mustard , or as a sweet but not necessary , in any shape or form to that weak one time PM of the UK, the grey man, the man who liked peas. John Major. Anyway it had a tendency to irritate and even grate on days I spent in the garden , when I would hear the shouts of "Colonel.......Colonel........Major ......Major........"He was as usual laden with bags from that supermarket who support the ad slogan "every little helps". How? How did it help? This big corporate beast. Helping ? Helping in what way?You paid them your hard earned cash, for stuff, no help was given or even taken. They got cash, you got shit. No difference really than a toothless halfwit selling heroin or crack cocaine on the street corner , wearing a t- shirt with the slogan on it "every little helps". Exactly. It doesn't . Ever.
I couldn't make up my difference as to how Sore Feet was related to Mrs Goggin's . Was he her son? Was he her grandson? I didn't know, probably in all truth , didn't care . Still , be nice to solve that little riddle . Just for peace of a troubled mind. I called him Sore Feet because he always walked like he had them ,always looked that way to me, little pain filled jutting strides, like he had sores there. Short and squat , his pain filled feet were covered always in leopard skin slippers , no doubt bought down the Broadway , at one of the little cheapy shops, where "they see you coming". His pain filled chubby featured face , was surrounded by what looked like a cross between a GI crop and a buzz cut. I used to see him on a saturday's down the High Street , either jutting in, in agony to the local Witherspoons, or jutting out in less, not pain free, but medicated now , no doubt by cheap cheap pis. Cheap British pis. That pis! Waving his little imaginary Union Jack , with each jutting stride. He was a jutter. A little jut filled , sore of foot jutter. Always with an angry look on his face , just like this night. "Watcha......." he grunted , as he pressed my elderly neighbour's doorbell. He'd have to wait at least a few minutes. This could head down Awkward Street. "How you doing .....em..." .......Sore Feet looked puzzled , like I'd asked him something weird. "Francis.......Dolly's grandson......." he replied , as if I'd been pulling out his teeth with a rusty pliers. Cool. Mystery solved . Ask one get one free, with extra thrown in for good measure. He was a Francis, not a Frank , like in the still playing upstairs Sinatra . He was more than just related , he was her grandson. The cute lovable one no doubt. Plus Mrs Goggin's was a Dolly . I sipped my pint , as we both pondered and wondered what to say next . There was no need , Dolly Goggin's made the door in good time . He chirped "See ya" and made his way inside. Now , I'm sure , game old girl that she was, lovable at times as she was , at times. I'm pretty sure , back in her golden days , dear old white haired Mrs Goggins , had never ever been thought of as a Dolly Bird! Unlikely. Very.
The relative calmness of the street was shattered by the same old routine , with a slight variation added, to a theme, as Billy Da Booze's windows flew open , and the least favorite Sinatra song (of his!) , began to fill the light rainy night. The copper holding the hordes at bay at number 10 looked startled , briefly, before returning to the relative security of looking gormless. Billy strode out into the street , tinnie in hand , stark bollock naked except for a pair of soiled looking creamy moccasin's . Playing to a non existent crowd as usual , yet troubled it seems by the long drawn out events of the day . Now, he , in all his tiny glory was adding to the drama, adding another spin off to the very sad demise of the poor lady with the mammoth wart on her troubled nose. Trying to calm the twisted Billy down was "The Flooze" now totally minus the big blonde , bought in China wig. Her hair was sparse. It looked wispy , like it had stopped growing . Maybe she was ill, or maybe, just maybe, living with that Loony Tunes had caused her so much stress it had just simply fallen out . The Flooze tried in vein , using the medium of a small saucepan , to keep his family jewels hidden from his admiring fans on the street .The chipolata . He wouldn't have many by the morning , judging by the tiny ant roadshow he was now revealing to the unprepared residents of Sunnyside Road, Tooting. Captain Birdseye strode out in white vest and yellow boxer shorts , amongst all of the commotion , and I could hear him shout at his next door neighbour "Put some clothes on man , Christ......Have you no dignity , you fool?" ........To which Billy Da Booze , brain on auto pilot , went into some old spiel about death and his philosophy on being neighbourly......."Oh FACK OFF .....you old CANT.......I didn't facking kill her ......I couldn't kill a facking fly ......MATE!" .Charming. That clears that up then! Couldn't . Not wouldn't? He never said "wouldn't"...the man with the tiny sausage! I place my nose at rest.
The rain began to cease briefly , as The Flooze managed to drag her wretched excuse for a husband inside at last . Leaving Mrs Birdseye crying at the doorstep in her pink nightie, Captain Birdseye consoling her in that "now now dear" way. I went back inside, just for the moment , and brought a few more cans and a fresh nicotine stick back out into the night. What to make of it all? What to make of it all?
Well, surreal, strange , horrible, and very beautiful sprung to mind. Just a few doors down on the other side , I caught a glimpse of the beautiful Davina ,standing by her bedroom window , in a skimpy little lacy negligee number , that I got to tell you left nothing to the imagination, absolutely nothing . She waved , softly, carefully, I blew a kiss into the night , towards here. She closed the curtains and turned out the lights. I was slightly tempted now, under the very slight influence , to sneak in , and colour all my fantasies, this night of all nights, unaware that I was indeed being watched, and watched far too close for my liking . Far too close. It was the pipe smoke. A give away.
"Evening Mr Peter.......taking in the night air ?"......."Evening Colonel ......yeah, yeah......something like that Colonel" ........."You poking her old boy, giving her one ......Mrs Savage?"........I was taken back , ever so slightly , by both the bluntness and the rudeness. Maybe even the trueness. "No!.....No!........(gasp) .......What made you think that Colonel?"......He puffed away on his pipe , before countering with "See how you look at her old boy.......heard the commotion earlier ......Made me wish I was twenty years younger .....Cos I would son......I would.......Delightful little filly what......"
My intended lies, his questions would alas have to wait for another time, as a fresh police car raced up the road, before coming to a screeching halt in the middle of the road at number 22. The Ghost House. The Haunted House. The house where nobody living lived. That house. The one where the perceived ghost needed to use a torch to find it's way around. The other "dead" house on the road. Not the newest , that honor went to Winnie The Wart's humble little abode. 4 big and burly police people (that what you call them now?) bundled out of the car , and rushed to the front door. Some looked like they had been pulled off a pizza, some looked like they hadn't touched pizza in at least an hour . It was hard though to tell the women from the men. They all looked the same from the thick shoulders down . All wearing stab vests , all carrying truncheons , and all , lets be honest here, about as useful as a hole in a bucket ! That useless. Miami Vice this was not! Still it was a light show, lit up the night again, took me away now from my impending excuses and woes with Colonel Mustard. "Just in to fetch a nightcap old boy ......You want one ?" ......."No I'm grand thanks Colonel .......Grand" ......."Ah yes , of course , I see your on the black stuff old boy ......You paddies like that stout stuff.....Keep the old lead in the pencil .....what what" ........I didn't take offence , he didn't mean any. He was old school. Full of shrapnel, it would be a waste of time , even beginning to explain the rights or wrongs of all that crap to him. By the time I'd be finished getting through to him, it would be far too late. I'd be finished and he'd be dead! Brown bread , as they say round these parts! Brown fucking bread! No return. Ever.
Most of the lights were on now on the street, but, I could see clearly , that all of the curtains were twitching . Within minutes , the rozzers were dragging out a clearly handcuffed Lilly Billy from number 22. So no ghost then? There's a surprise. We watched (Me & The Colonel) as they bundled "her" into the back of the car . One plump officer, not sure of the sex, calling in a hurry for back up , as they hadn't clearly thought out the number of available seats in the rozzer car! Miss Lilly Billy was now wearing , what it transpires was the late Mrs Ramsbottom's wedding dress , from 1953. The full shebang. White floaty dress, white silk stockings , and "her" big size 10 feet crammed into the dainty size 5 white bridal shoes of the late Mrs Ramsbottom. No need to ask about underwear, I'm just guessing here , that, that is a given! Lilly Billy it seems didn't do half measures , didn't believe in not going the "whole hog".I guess, I get that. Although rooting around in a long dead lady's wardrobe , no! I don't get that at all. Cobwebs? Dust? Mites? Fleas? A big no no, despite what gets you through the night. A massive no no.
Seemingly , they found Miss Lilly , out of "her" head on crack , sitting at Mrs Ramsbottom's dining room table, tablecloth covered in years gone by dust , eating a ten years out of date bowl of opened boxed cornflakes , with an hastily opened can of mushroom soup (circa best before 1985) poured all over them . A big spoon feeding "her" high as a kite face! When the rozzers entered , she simply replied when asked what "she" was doing there ......." I live here sweetie , this is my home........I just got married ......It's my wedding night hunny bunny ......you wanna come upstairs ....we can break in my new bed ......before Hercules gets home........"
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
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I slept like a baby. A big drooling baby. Pillow soaked in drool. My dreams a constant passionate romp with the far too cool for school Davina. We were all over the shop. The dining room table ,
the bath, the shower, the sitting room carpet , the tiled floor of the kitchen (Which appeared far too cold , and made me awake suddenly!). I lay in bed then , for at least a half an hour, maybe
, just maybe, expecting the door bell to sing like it did the previous morning. It didn't . It wouldn't. It couldn't. Only when the thoughts of Miss Lilly Billy being carted off by the rozzer's ,
entered my head , did I arise. Had to change the head set.
Morning routine as usual , hot shower and shave etc etc. I went over again, just to sniff her scent from her pillow. Beautiful. Moments of pleasure writ large. Hopefully , I would see her later , hopefully we would do more of the very same. I would like that! A lot! I made the shamrock covered bed . I didn't always. There never seemed to be much point . Now there was. There really was. New just washed jeans and a fresh black t-shirt. Jesus, I looked pretty cool. By 9 in the am, I was up and organized. Fresh coffee and a smoke out in the garden. The sun came to smile at me, and on me real early . Inspiration was racing. My pension commission was writ large at the front of my lobes. I turned the lap top on, on the garden table. Time to make some more money . For now. "Your pension .....it's not about your past , it's about your future!" I needed to get that down, copyright it , and run it by "the suits" in power. Hopefully , it wasn't too early for bullshit! Is it ever? No.
The auld fella was a grafter. A real hard grafter. None of his offspring were. None of them. Including me. Especially me. My soft pale white hands and non chipped nails betrayed a lifetime of work avoidance , real work, real graft, toil. A lazy bastard.
The auld lad had started out as a chippy back in the arsehole of nowhere in Longford as a fifteen year old boy , working in his words "for a big cunt , with a big house!" When he moved to London, he did everything, what ever put food on the table everything. That man , the clever fecker, could turn his hand to almost anything, and he did. Even at weekends, when he would do a few "nixers" , private work , usually for auld wans , with more money than sense. We were always fed and watered well, he had a few quid for his pints down The Crown, and the mammy always had a full to bursting purse. Always. No one went without!
Yet, there were times that I used to feel sorry for him. Covered most evening in sand and cement , plaster dust , paint, chippings , I always knew when he got in , when I would hear the mammy shout "Git up dem stairs Paddy Murphy and scrub that shite off ya!"
Try as he might though , and he did too be fair, he never ever managed to scrub the black dirt from under his fingernails out, that was an all year round thing. No doubt those big shovel hands had moved many big mountains on that day , and you just knew by the big spud head on him , that he'd worked up a big thirst , for a big feed of porter. A big feed.
I made some toast. Well the toaster did. I just watched it until it was about to turn to the darker side. Coffee and another smoke , as I turned the local radio station on. At the end of the news , further down now, was mention once more of Winny The Wart's demise. Followed by a swift follow up on recent events on Sunnyside Road. My road. Apparently "a transvestite was arrested last night following a breaking and entering in an empty house in the Sunnyside Road area?????" Not a transvestite , a mighty confused individual , the high as a fucking kite Miss Lilly Billy .In Sunnyside Road, number 22, not around? Lazy lazy reporting!
Took me back to my younger days , working at an office on the Holloway Road, with a big bearded butch sweaty guy by the name of Barney Wood . The office pest. The office letch. My boss. The resident import from Bristol . He stank of stale sweat , and used to wash his sweaty armpits in the toilets , when he thought everyone had gone home. They weren't. Anyways, Barney took leave for about three months , and almost to the day after those three months were up, we were all called into the head honcho's office and told that Barney would not be coming back , and that we were to call the head of our section, our boss , Jenny. Fair enough.we nodded , so we have a new boss to try and pull the wool over her eyes. Wrong. Never assume. Ever. The following monday , in walked "Jenny" built like the "old" boss Barney Wood, six o' clock stubble shadow , caked in eye shadow , make up , lipstick , dangly earring's a go go. Wearing what to all intents and purposes was a long flowing dress , that appeared to have been rather hastily sewn together from a garish pair of 1970's curtains. Brave . Totally. Too be taken serious in anyway? No.
Now, being totally totally serious for a minute , I don't do all this "they" shite of modern days, nor this one hundred different sexes , nope . Not at all. There are two sexes. Male and female . No argument. Full stop. How come it is always big burly builders or long distance lorry drivers , built like brick out houses, usually with big massive beer guts, who sometime, usually in their fifties , decide that they want to become women? Like that's an easy choice to make. It's not. Leave well enough alone.
What about too late, do you not get?. Dress how you want , all you want , all you wish, it bothers me none , just how ridiculous you look, and you will look ridiculous, like a big butch , badly made up drag act. It takes skill to be a woman . You've left it far to late in the season to be all feminine now. Just like a big dungaree clad biker lesbian , deciding to wear something floaty. It won't work!
The sun was kissing the street, I turned the wireless off , just after the DJ played a track from Perry Como , Jesus I must be getting old, they are pitching that at me now, music by Perry Como , or "Perry Comb Over" as the auld fella used to call him . Among one of his many name changes on recording artists down through the years . The rock outfit Queen were always referred to as "Qwane" ???? The very same way he'd say "The Qwane Of England" Freddie Mercury the great lead singer of "Qwane" was always called "Froggy Mercury" for some unknown reason , usually added to with "That fella would be well able to chew raw turnips" ! I don't really do politics. Liars cheats , serial shaggers. Making promises , that they will never ever keep, but , come re-election will never see the light of day, will never ever be mentioned in anyone's company again. Ever. It was the Political Hour. Not for me!
10 in the am. Precisely. The doorbell sang. I made my way towards the window. There outside stood O'Reilly , the big mad scalded red face on it, trying to find a pocket in his long black dress , to hide his keys in. What the fuck did that God bothering feckwit want?. I answered the door. "Howya by .......can I come in?" he said, before swishing past me , before I'd even had the chance to decide that outcome. Now, as a side salad, I must add , that people from Cork and Kerry, in fact a lot of the Munster province of Ireland say "by" always , and it usually in their heads is meant as "boy" , with the accent it usually , in the majority of case's comes out as "by". Regardless of who you are talking to , young or old . You could be talking to someone , if they were lucky , or unlucky enough , to live to one hundred years of age. In conversation you'd still call him "by" even if he couldn't hear you . Hearing aid or not. Ears full of wax or not. He caught the drinks cabinet, who didn't? ......"Have ya air an auld drop of da hard stuff by?" He asked , knowing full well that I did. Jameson's Power's , Tullamore Dew , all there , sparking in the sunlit sitting room. I took out a bottle of Paddy Powers' and cracked the top open, pouring him a large beaker glass . He gulped it down that big scaldy neck in one. Holding the glass out for a refill. Far too early for me, but, not for this so called man of Jesus. "Slainte ......." Down again, quickly, smoothly , neat , no water asked for , no water offered . No need . This man . This man of the cloth appeared troubled. A troubled soul was he. Very.
"Are yuuuuu irish Murphy by ?...." he asked a very bemused looking me. Hey, the name was Murphy , what was there to ask. "Yes....I am"
"Awful few days here by.......Just came back from the nick down Tooting by" ......He sank another refill, slower this time, I looked on , at this forsaken hour , and gathered that,well enough indeed, that one, may well indeed have touched the sides. "What's up .....em....." The big bloodshot eyes looked at me like I should have called him Father or Papa, or some shit. "Dinny.........Dinny ......" He retorted twice , just in case I missed the first whispering . It was obvious , he hadn't been called Dinny for some time. I thought it best to confirm my reasons for the irreverence. " Dinny .....I'm not a religious guy, sorry ......" ......"Ah shur that's alright by......" He replied , now with the remains of the bottle of Paddy Power in his fat fingers . Helping himself. Work away Dinny. Work away. He settled in the armchair , letting out a large sigh as he did, adjusting his long black dress with the left hand. The right hand was busy. As was his gob. "Now .....I have a major problem by......A major major problem......" He sighed again. Must be my turn. The silence told me that indeed it was. "What sort of problem Dinny?" ........Silence. "I thought you guys were used to dealing with problems ?" His hands were shaking now. Badly."Ah shur we are by......" He filled the glass now to the brim. I made a coffee , lit up a smoke. He helped himself from the pack. Drew long, drew hard, all the way to his big fat toe wearing sandals. Bad feet by the way. Neglected . Ugly. Fat.
"Diss.....diss is a major major problem by......Shur I promised the lads down the cop shop like.....by" Promised them what you scaldy headed get? He gulped a big gulp, and then dropped the bombshell. I should have seen it coming. I did not. More fool me.
"Dat the mad yoke ......could come stay here for a few days......keep outta trouble like ....by" He rattled it off rapidly , as if I would fail to notice that not only was he taking the piss out of me, but, just in general , taking advantage of a non religious nut. "NO!"........No fucking way!"
"A few days by.....shur ya won't even know the mad yoke was here like......." I most certainly would. Yes I would. A given.
"Why don't you let Lilly Billy stay up at your big big house , by the side of the church.....?" He gulped down again, a big gulp. A gulp loaded with nervousness . "Ah shur Mrs Hanratty wud go mintal by.....mintal.....dat mad yoke running around .....trying on her skirts ....and the udders like by.....da frillies ......." Now,Mrs Hanratty as far as I knew was in her mid to late seventies , I think it's only fair to say , "Da Frillies" days were over. For good. Deep down, I have a soft heart, and I care about others, sometimes more than myself . My brother Michael had been in and out of prison since he was , oh, maybe seventeen , eighteen . "Mikey" Murphy was a good man, with a good soul, but, he liked banks, he liked banks a lot.He made his living outta banks. Only gave it up the day the Special Branch blew his head off , making a withdrawal in Watford! I'm doing this for you Mikey. I'm doing this just for you. As the dear departed mammy used to say to me "Jaysus , Peather will ya look out for Michael, the poor gosson is not right in the head!" True. Very true now.
For poor little Mikey Murphy went to heaven with no fucking head! Who says no one loses the head over wonga?
O'Reilly's sunken eyes lit up , he took another smoke , and drew deep, deeper, caressing the toes. He'd got me, and he knew it. He smiled that big "Shur I'm only a gobshite" smile on the outside, but, inside I could just tell he was laughing his substantial belly off! Belly laughing like a drain inside.
"A few days?"........."Ah shur yeah.....A few days like by......Be no drugs now, shur the mad yoke has no money like" He tried to rise from the chair , but , couldn't manage it , this beast of a man from Munster. He drained what was left of the bottle into the glass and sipping now , began the auld spiel. " Ah shur yer a good man Murphy ......thanks a million.......Tell me dis.....you being irish an all, why deya not believe like by.......were ya not brought up a catholic like?" Far too early in the day for being serious. Lets just go with "fluffy", light and fluffy! "I was brought up yeah.......Gave up on religion , the same day one of the lads in school told me there was no Santa" ......He laughed , a big old drunken stupor laugh , and tried to rise again , from the chair. With my help. Yep, he was a big fat bastard. Wasn't easy, I can thee.He staggered now, unsteady on his feet, the empty bottle sat on the coffee table , drained to the last drop. "Shur its all a load of auld fecking bollix" Off again and moving, slowly, I would indeed watch soon as he staggered off down the street , probably stopping off at the bookies on the way , with a load of "offerings" envelope's stuffed into his dress. He would, I'm just guessing here , lose it all. Losers never ever win. "I'll send da mad yoke round about midday Murph ......See ya by"
The one thing the auld fella and the mammy passed down to me, via my genes, and the way they rolled , was kindness. I was always taught to be kind. Even the Spud , only ever taught kindness. Rambling away after his nightly visits to The Crown , up on Cricklewood Broadway, he would open up, often with tears in his eyes. He barely remembered his own dad, barely remembered . I could see , that it always made him sad, very sad, so I never went there, ever, but, he did, and often. Very often. With sadness.
His father, my grandfather, John, that I had never met, would ever meet , could ever meet , passed away when my auld fella was only eleven years old. Eleven.A fucking babby. Shortly afterwards my Longford granny Nell married "Bill" , not sure of the surname, I never asked too be honest, nor was I ever told. Ever. Anyways, she married this Bill within twelve month's of the auld lad's real life father passing ......."How did ya get on with him Dad?" I would always ask , to which he would always reply "That auld fucker would put on a big pan of onions in the morning for himself , and he'd never ask ya if ya had a bit ta ate!" So.....Clarification. Not well then pops?. The auld fella would sit up all night , rambling on and on about this "Bill" , who he so obviously didn't have a lot of time for , nor his own mother after that . I think he despised her from that moment onward's. I did not really know my Longford granny very much, I met her once , at the homestead , down in Longford. I remember there was a "well" in her big garden where they got their water from . I remember looking deep down into it , that one time as a child , I saw it. I remember also the auld fella grabbing me and my sister Maria back from the edges of it , laughing and joking "Come outta der or yis will end up in da fires of hill!"........Unlikely. Very. However, we believed it back then. Not now. Now, I believed in nothing more than love. Sweet love.
On the stroke of midday, Miss Lilly Billy turned up in a mini cab paid for by the church, not O'Reilly, he'd spent all that ill gotten money down the bookies , on some three legged nag still coming in! I was watching, waiting, stuck to the curtains. Window watching , not shopping, watching. This tall willowy figure , blew a kiss at the bemused indian driver , and pulled a "Hannah Montana " pink suitcase towards the front door. "The Mad Yoke!" as Father Dinny had said was here. For a few days. When the doorbell rang, I went to answer it. Miss Lilly Billy's face was very heavily weighed down by make up, some would say "caked in it" , not me, I got it. "Hiyaaaa........Lilly ........you are Mr Murphy.......handsome" Ok, we'll park that there, yes it was very nice, polite even, but, that handsome bit, now you have completely thrown me, I really didn't see that coming. I was unprepared. Yet, it was a sweet thing to say.
Thankfully , in preparation, I had changed the sheets in my spare room, and placed a washed "Thomas The Tank Engine" duvet on top (Thanks again Mammy......Liked it a long long long time ago!) ......."Shur de batele's fella does de voice ......Ringo's" ........He did, a long long long time ago, when no doubt he was in desperate need of a few quid. Desperate times, desperate measure's. Always. Think "Ringo's" liked a bevvy then!
"Let me show you to your room Lilly.......Follow me......" ......"She" fluttered her eyelashes and replied , voice soft and effeminate , slight hint of psycho about it , which was more than a tad worrying "Oh I am Butch........I am ......Lead on hun....Lead on!"
It was 1o'clock in the afternoon. I made banana sandwiches. For us both. I called Miss Lilly Billy. She sashayed down the stairs in a pretty floral dress, with padded bra. "Em.....Lilly .....sorry not sure ......." ....."Oh I love a big banana me" "she" said as if smelling the rather odd fruit and bread combo. "Not sure if Father O'Reilly told you......long term vegan see......I don't eat any meat......." ....."she" pursed "her" red cherry coloured lips, and licked them a few times, in quite a disturbing fashion, before adding "Oh but I do sugar.....I do!"
I made "her" tea, coffee for me , and went out into the still sunny garden to smoke a long one. Gonna be a long day now.
I caught the top of the black beret , barking out orders to pot plants , which, I'm just guessing here, were ignoring his army commands . Colonel Mustard . Large as life and completely bonkers with it. As always. Tactful as always also. Always tactful.
"Good afternoon Mr Peter.......See you have some new totty to play with this afternoon old boy........need a hand ?"
"No Colonel.......Not totty sir........Just helping out ........Just doing a good deed .......that's all......."
"Well let me know Mr Peter........If she needs a good seeing to.........I'll help you out ........what what........" He tapped the side of nose whilst winking in that nudge nudge , wink wink way, old lads always did . Proper stallions no doubt.
I laughed , out loud. A snort. "Thanks Colonel.......I'll .....em ......let you know sir........I will do"
"Plenty of old lead in the pencil yet Mr Peter......Plenty of lead........" He laughed as he said it, but, to dismiss it as fantasy would be cruel. The Colonel had a severe reputation for bedding every widow with a pulse in Tooting. Might open his eyes would Miss Lilly Billy ......But, as all old sailors say, maybe old soldiers too, I don't know , they might ......."Any Old Port In A Storm" ......Good luck with that one Colonel, good luck with that.
You may well need a blindfold.
I needed supplies, now that I had a guess staying . Mentioned this to Miss Lilly Billy who decided that , it being a sunny day , "she" would accompany me to the superstore around the corner. She swept back upstairs to fetch some shoes from her Hannah Montana pink suitcase, curling her peroxide hair in that girly fashion, like Boy George used to do , back in the day , when no one was really sure what he was. I remember the auld fella spitting out a big mouthful of liver and onions one night , when we were all watching Top Of The Pops in the sitting room in Cricklewood. "What in da name of da blue jaysus is that!" The Blue Jaysus! Blue?
Miss Lilly tottered down the stairs again, in a sparkly pair of at least size 10 heels. Looked like the bald patch had been covered over ever so slightly , rouge on "her" cheeks , lipstick refreshed. Outside the front door, on the street, a new bored looking copper was now guarding Winnie The Wart's door. I wondered for a moment if he maybe fancied a doughnut ? A creamy one from The Chief's . Big heart attack inducing mouthful of fat soaked pleasure. I guessed not. He was bursting out of his outfit as it was. Maybe those buttons around his ever expanding waistline would finally ping under the strain. He'd thank me later . In silence. Never knowing. Sterny and the Chuckles were back. Conducting door to door inquiries. Again. The Corpse , somewhere underneath that huge cloud seemed disinterested in his questions , his wild arms , trying frantically to wave away the clouds drifting into his face , told me, he had merely regretted every stopping at her door. Long before he started coughing . Agressively . Great!
I liked Miss Lilly Billy. Very likable. Friendly. Always smiling . Like all the very best psychopath's are! Very charming. However, just to be on the safest of sides, I would still sleep with a bread knife under the pillow tonight.Just in case. Just in case.Lilly Billy went to the dark side. Again. Not a soul batted an eyelid , as we made our short way down the road to The Chief's emporium. "Hi Lil's " greeted my companion all along the road , from people I had never taken any real notice of before . Ever. Hot footing it towards us strode Poncho. Big pink blouse , surrounded by her constant clothing , a big black , fat concealing poncho. Carrying a big blue bag of cheap maize twirls and puffed wheat . The cheap treats fat people eat so as not to "spoil their appetites" when watching whatever shite was on daytime TV! The Gullible's. The gullible's watching the gullibull shitters!
She was sweating like a wild eyed obese boar , being chasing by a truly starving predator, on this warmest of days. She widened her large bingo wings to hug Miss Lilly. "Awwwwwight Lileeeeeeeee's " They rocked the pavement . Well , she did. Lilly had no say in the matter. Poncho swished away, rockin' the multi colored ponytail . " Come wooooownd later's ......yeah hun.......I got posssecaaaaa!!!!" I guessed that meant wine in sarf London.
Ok. I wasn't invited. That was clear. Deep in my head I did not really know whether to feel sad or relieved. I went with relieved.Very. Still Miss Lilly Billy was going to be out visiting later , I could listen to a listen mood music , have a beer or two, maybe invite the very very beautiful Davina round for a game or two. Fun and games. I smiled . Only in my head. That smile.
I just hit the jackpot smile!
I bought some coffee and some chamomile tea for the "lady". The Chief's wasn't very busy , which is just as well, as it was tiny. Bordering on the minuscule. As it was such a warm day , Bunsheen was stuck down the cake aisle. As usual. She didn't even notice that we were even there. Perhaps , she was picking out some fondant fancies for the hubby that she was supposed to have murdered , and buried in the back garden. Not quite sure how she managed to do all this on such a nosy street. I thought I was a bit on the curious side , as regards nosing about , I could probably take lessons from The Sunnyside Road lot!
We retired to my garden upon our return from the "small shop" . Never try and do a "big shop" in a "small shop". Take you ages. Trust me I know. Only too well. Once bitten , twice shy, as cleverer folk than I say. I made a coffee with almond milk , and a freshly prepared chamomile tea for Miss Lilly Billy. Spoon and bag still in there. Not a drop of cow in there. Which was just as well, because I didn't do cow's milk. Not meant for us. Meant for little cows. Lilly spliffed up. Did one for me also. Why not. We then laughed and joked, for what seemed like hours. It was. It was 4.30 in the afternoon. Lilly spliffed on and on . I smoked my cigarettes, made fresh tea for Miss Lilly and a big steaming mug of coffee for me. Now, it's surprising what people say when they are on the "high" side, relaxed, in the moment. All casual. Truthful. Hurt. Honest.Sad.
According to Lilly Billy, the very late Mrs Whittle across the road had never been a missus , she'd always been a Miss. Miss Emily Whittle . Mother of Winny The Wart. Sister of Lilly Billy's mother Marie-Ann Whittle . Never a missus, always a Miss. They both were .Secrets. There's always a secret , a big mad secret, on every road, in every parish, in every town,in every land. I felt as if a big one was just about to pop out. I wasn't wrong!
The doorbell sang again, we both ignored it. More than likely Sterny and The Chuckles , hovering around, wasting my time and theirs. We took a nodding raincheck. Together. Now, it transpires that both sisters had somewhat of an aversion to men. All men. Except one . Fresh over in south London from the arsehole of nowhere in County Cork.A tiny wee village I couldn't even begin to pronounce Sent over by the powers that be, in that wild eyed church of God religion , with it's cowboy shenanigans, the catholic faith , after being found with his trousers around his ankles "hearing confession" from the Widow Darcy on a secluded part of the beach in Cobh. It wasn't. He ended up, down the road in Streaham Vale, where he met the rather stuck up Miss Emily Whittle , maid to the Bishop of Southwark. 45 years ago. 45 long years ago! Passionate and raw , it fizzled out , and soon after a baby girl was born. The parish council moved him around a bit , as they do, after that, but his randiness never truly left him. Unbeknowst to Miss Emily and her now 5 year old daughter , her little sister Marie-Ann Whittle , took more than a shine to the ex rugby playing "oirish" priest with the funny accent, and soon they were hitting it off under the sheets in Crystal Palace. He grew less interested in her , as her belly grew . Soon after a baby boy was born . Again the parish moved the bedhopper around until he grew into his role in the parish , grew into his fat scalded head, landed the plum job in the big house on Tooting Broadway, and carried on as a beacon of light in a community of by now , many different shades. Miss Lilly Billy giggled again, and then started sobbing.
"Jesus H Christ are you telling me that........"
"Father O' Reilly is my daddy?........Yes, yes I am!"
"Yep, seriously .....until he stopped seeing me at 5 years old he always told me mum ......that I had to always call him Father Papa.........." I handed Lilly a tissue , the tears were flowing big time now.
" Yes......(sniffles) ......Or Father Pappy............."
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
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Miss Lilly Billy was emotional. I got that. Somewhere beneath this at times , cold exterior of mine, indeed lay a heart. I gave "her" a big hug. Handed over a fresh box of tissues. Moist of eyes
"she" composed herself. I made a fresh tea. Coffee for me. Lilly did a little shake type movement on the chair , before adding ......"Is it ok , if I freshen up Pete?" ......."Of course , work
away, there's lot's of fresh towels in the bathroom.......but......" ....."No girly scents?......."......"Sorry......."......"That's ok hun.....us girlies are always prepared.....got some
smellies in my bag......" I went outside to try and clear my head. Jesus, Miss Lilly Billy , when the time was right, like real soon, needed to inform the plod that the scaldy faced love machine
from the arsehole of Cork was "her" daddy. That the child he had seemed to abandon at quite a young age , the one he referred to as "dat mad yoke by!" was deeply upset. That the late departed
Winny The Wart was also his child, and that for some bizarre reason, probably only known to him, the big fatpuss lip on it, he had spent almost three quarters of an hour talking , mumbo jumbo ,
or not, to his dead daughter . That Miss Lilly Billy and Winny the Wart were not cousins, as the non truth had been told, but, actually sister and brother, no, sisters! I was about halfway
through a smoke , still in the garden , sun struggling now to hold back the clouds . All was calm. The the doorbell sang again, broke the silence, broke the vibe, broke my train of thought .
Somewhere out there , there was a murderer, somehow, I doubted that, the murderer wasn't very very far away!
He was well on it, slurring his words. Clearly upset about something. Billy Da Booze , dressed in his sunday best , string vest and a gaudy pair of multi coloured pastel shorts, a big pair of almost knee length purple socks, hair sleeked bag off his craggy features, the gold glint of a cheap earring in his left ear , a can of "special brew" in his right hand.A man about town. That guy. That special guy.
"Awwight mate ......it's Morphy innit?" ......."Murphy!"........"Yeh wight .....Morphy........Listen mate ......We are havin' a party innit .....number 4 mate , end of the road innit......." "Ok.......when and why?"........"Tonight mate ......tonight ......bout 8 mate ......fur Winniefred mate ........we be neighbours , all this time innit......"......"Right.......".......He took a big swig, shook the can as if to magically fill it up again by doing so, before realizing that didn't quite work, lopping the drained and empty can into Dolly Goggin's front garden. "Very quite giiiiirl, kept herselves to herselves mate innit.......knew her since a baby mate ......her old man died in the war innit......." No!, trust me no. "What war?"........"I don't know mate .....some Korean shit mate ......innit....." Now, to you know that feeling you get sometimes, most days, where a little button inside your head labelled "Don't even go there" suddenly springs to life with a huge neon sign ? Just me? No! Well, safe to say , I did not , indeed go there. "Ok .....may pop down later " ......He went to take a swig again, but, alas, there was no longer any mad juice there.......It wouldn't be long though, it wouldn't be long......."Awwight mate ......see you then me old mucka ......Oh, and bring a bottle mate ......Missus likes a drop a vino......Any facking flavour will do mate ....long as it's not vinegar !"
It must have been about 5.45 in the pm, as the Grease Monkey drove up the road , glancing at the new lone copper outside number 10 on the way. Guarding the doorway , to secrets , although he no doubt wasn't even mildly aware of it. The Grease Monkey locked his van , and started to walk back down the street, now with The Greaser in tow, just a few short panting steps behind. It looked like Poncho was going to have the house , that massive big house, with imaginary rooms, all to herself tonight , for when Miss Lilly Billy called around for "Poooosssssecccca!" It certainly looked as if The Rose and Crown , would be busy yet again tonight, as with every night , as the same sad saps made their way down the road, to spend money they didn't have , or could ill afford , on cheap swill from said tavern. Moving sideways in a painful manor, yet somehow, still moving forward, slowly, ambled The Riddler, making his way to knock for his drinking buddy , sparring partner in chief, and total nutjob gobshite The Dunner. He caught me looking over . Mopped the sweat from his big fat creased forehead , checked his ever growing family of chins , and shouted over , in that old common as muck way "What the fack are you looking at you facking irish cant!" Charming. Racist and very charming. As the auld fella always used to say "Der's no bigger gobshite , than the gobshite who doesn't know he's a gobshite!" The auld fella met many of them. I can tell ya. I chose to ignore the big slob of beached whale blubber , but in my head , in my head , I was thinking. "Wouldn't you like to know fatcheeks , wouldn't you like to know".
She texted me. "He's gone, come round ". Not yet , not just yet. Something , I really needed to do first . Fun time could wait just a little bit longer . By the sound of Diana Ross playing on Miss Lilly Billy's phone in the bathroom, that and the splashing indicated that "she" was doing the girly thing alright. Having a big old soak . Soaking the blues away. There was no need to yell,especially to such a song as "I'm Coming Out!". I wouldn't be long after all. Not long at all. You wouldn't even know I was gone.
The priest's house , The Broadway, a few minutes walk away from my road. I knocked on the big brown door. I waited. I waited.
Knocked again, and then a small little woman , with a kindly face , blue rinse, answered. Struggling to open the big door. Needed oil on the hinges . It creaked. "Good evening sir......"She had a soft flat midlands accent , probably Meath area. Beautiful lilt.
"Hi ......em" ......"Mrs Hanratty ......how can I help you young man?" ......Nice. I'll take it! ......"Em......Is Father O'Reilly in ?"
"Ah he is now, but he's a bit busy at the minute .....who shall...." ......"I need to speak with him now Mrs Hanratty ....It is very important" ......"Well, ya better come in so......Shur ya can wait for him in that waiting room......" ......Fair enough. ......"He shouldn't be too long now, he's seeing a Jamaican lady at the minute .......Mrs Marley ......helping her out with her marital problems....I tink she's related to the pasta fella......."......."Rasta.......reggae guy......."........"Aye, the reggie guy ......" Now, I'm sure the late great Bob Marley will be remembered for a lot of things. Pasta won't be one of them.
The waiting room , was situated in this massive big house , right next to O' Reilly's study . I could hear heavy breathing coming from it . I had taken up Mrs Hanratty's kind offer of coffee, and she had scarpered off to the kitchen to make it. Slowly. Very. Now, Curiosity got the better of me , comes from being a nosy bastard. Naturally. I peeped in through the keyhole. There was the heavily bosomed Mrs Marley , a young lady, probably in her mid twenties , I'd guess, sprawled on her belly on O' Reilly's big brown , "look at me I'm important desk", O' Reilly , sweating like a pig about to explode, big scalded head volcanic in colour , working away frantically from behind, helping Mrs Marley out with her "marital problems". It looked like they were both going to find a solution, pretty soon. I decided not to spoil the party . It wasn't my style. Plus it really really was none of my concern . Then I could hear shouting , loud, clear, O' Reilly nearly there. "Say it again.......Say it again.......".......He was roaring now, big frantic bellows......She joined in quickly , there was no time to waste....."I'm a dirty bitch.......a dirty bitch ......A DIRTY FUCKING BITCH!!!!!!!!" The end. Moaning now . Wet wipes all round. I guess.
A few minutes later , she came out of his study , adjusting her bright red mini skirt . No doubt these important "marital" consultations were due to continue now. This one being a huge success and all. She smiled. Big white toothed smile. She was a fine looking woman. Nice figure. Tight firm ass. Spoiled now forever , by that dirty auld hoor. Shame.
Mrs Hanratty brought the coffee , black, I don't do cow's pis. Only for baby cow's. Plus very kindly a slice of her "special" sponge cake. I politely declined . I didn't do cake. Not just because of the animal products involved, no, even if it had been a vegan cake , I would still have declined. I don't do home made cake. That's down to the auld fella, and his auntie Kathleen , down an auld bog road in the arsehole of nowhere in beautiful Longford. His auntie, my grand aunt. Plus, she was grand, very much so, big lively homestead honest as the day is long woman.Just very very shortsighted. Refused to wear the glasses did Kathleen. Said it would "Take away da beauty of me face!" . Now, just being honest here, if it wasn't for the matching navy blue pleated skirt and cardigan , the ill fitting dark tanned stockings, the twin set of pearls and earrings, I would never have guessed that she was of the female persuasion . She wore, and I'm being polite here, a whiskered goatee. Looking for all intent and purpose like some auld lad they had plucked in from a hard day working with the hay out in the fields. The bright green apron, never taken off , night or day, betrayed sadly, her non fashion sense , and her love of baking. Even at a young age , it confused me, and was indeed true. Blue and green should never be seen . Especially to a load of mouth open London Irish kids . Sadly, we never noticed the auld fella , waving his big shovel hands about , when the currant bread was brought to the table. Butter and a big pot of Kathleen's home made jam was brought soon after . We kids were all starving. Weren't we always. The currant bread was still hot, not long taken from the stove. She cut big thick slices for us all, spreading melting butter onto the bread, in huge big caring dollops.
All for the hungry childereens!
Jesus H Christ! Why didn't he tell us beforehand? As we all walked back up the road to the granny's , he decided to share, my wonder, why he ate nothing there. We stopped off at O' Malley's pub, post office, shop, filling station, turf supplier. He brought down 10 big glasses in two trips to bar, following by three big bottles of red lemonade , and a final trip for a big headed pint of porter , he took a bit gulp , wiped his big spud headed mouth , shouted out to the barman for "tayto" ......"ten bags Jody!". Now , I''ll cut a long story short. It transpires that , haven't I mentioned that Auntie Kathleen was on the shortsighted side. Well, in truth , by shortsighted , what I really mean is this. She was blind as a bat. A bat , cave dwelling for all eternity bat! A bat, basically that had never seen the light of day, never left the cave ever bat. That bat! The real reason the auld fella never touched the currant bread at all , had a very simple explanation, very simple. Come to think of it, he never had any "tay" either . Don't blame him there, at all, I was pulling tea leaves out of my teeth for weeks after in Cricklewood. No, the real reason why he didn't eat the beautiful warm currant bread was simple, as were his words in O' Malley's . Twenty little eyes watching his big spud head. Hanging on every word. "Yis might have noticed the amount a flies in Auntie Kathleen's .....Flying round and round that big auld bulb in the kitchen.....Well the thing is childer ......When she's making the currant bread ....the flies light on the dough .....become part of the cake......They weren't all currants yis were ateing ........" Gulp. Hold the crisps! Red lemonade traveling north. Jet like!
I was always polite. Even in anger. I knocked on his door , after coffee."Come in!" he just managed . O' Reilly was more than flustered, doing up the last few buttons of his dress. He looked like he was on the verve of a heart attack. Scalded of face as he was always, now he appeared a darker shade of beetroot red! Helping out a damsel in distress can do that to a man. Any man. Especially a very overweight scaldy headed fucker, like the big beast from Cork. He did his best to compose himself , as a dribble of saliva appeared to trickle down his stubbly chin. Well, I say saliva, hey, nobody knows . I had no way of knowing . Didn't want to even go there in thought . I pretended to know , whom had just been to "see" the priest , before been made sure , she had , had , a good thorough seeing to! " Ah Murph.......Howya......" ......"Wasn't that ........"......."Yeh, yeh, Mrs Marley .......Bob's sister ......Husband works nights......she's not happy about it a t'all ......just seeing what I can do to help......like!" .......Yep, that seemed to be working out well , for all concerned , apart that is, from the obviously unawares Mr Marley. Plus, just an out loud thought here , how could Mrs Marley be the late great Bob's sister???? Surely she'd have to be called something else before she married the unawares Mr Marley ? Maybe not, maybe everyone from that beautiful , but, rather dangerous island , was called Marley? Unlikely . Not everyone from "Oirland" was called McGinty after all, despite Val Doonican rockin' out in his big sweater from the "wist" in a feckin' armchair back in the sixties. I remember the auld fella telling me about some auld ganger on a site in Whitechapel calling him "McGinty " all day long , in very long day. "Hey you......McGinty" .......McGinty this , McGinty that , until the auld fella hit him such a slap in the puss , that he ended up face down in a freshly poured concrete footing. McGinty was never ever mentioned again. That was usually where the auld fella ended the story . Failed to ever mention his instant dismissal! Ever!
I'm guessing all that sorting young sexy ladies "marital problems" out, especially Bob Marley's sister, can make one work up a thirst. O' Reilly poured a mid glass full whiskey. I could see he was a Tullamore Dew fan. "Would ya like one by?"......I was ok, needed to keep my bearings. "Nah, you work away .....Listen, I'm gonna be blunt here" He gestured to the big chair in front of his big desk , his sorting out problems desk, his work up a big fat sweaty face desk, that desk. He stood. I sat. "What's up Murph......Is da mad yoke behaving itself like?" The mad yoke . The mad yoke , that you had sired, you honest man of the people priest, you fucking mess of simple contradiction. You big fat mess. "The mad yoke as you call Miss Lilly Billy ......is your child"......."Ah shur Murph .....I know dat like.....Shur it doesn't know what it wants to be like......a heshe ......changes daily......." Not bothered. Not flustered. Not a jot of caring. A notion of emotion . Writ large across that big lump of fat and grizzle head . Was nothing. You simply couldn't possibly have sweet coked out of "her" face Lilly Billy here , cramping your style. Your lifestyle. Your hypocritical life!
"And......Miss Whittle?".......Now, the expression changed. From a frown , to an even bigger one. He downed the glass and filled the next to the top. Neat. He lit a smoke , offered me one. I lit. He drew deep, down to his rancid lying soul. That deep. The "give me time , I'm trying to think here" deep. The Big Deep.
"Ah shur.......t'was all a long time ago by.....like....." It wasn't really an answer. Not even a cover note . I remained motionless. Clueless even. I'd seen Columbo do that so so many times. Luring the villain in , slowly , surely , like landing a huge fish on the end of a tiny bamboo rod. Today , I was the irish Columbo, sat large in the villain's chair, minus the mac, a cigarette for a cigar. Wearing a gormless expression on my "fed up with this shit!" face. "Da auld wan wouldn't let me see da child like by........We lost touch .....long times ago like by ......shur I only got ta know poor auld Winny , by herself coming ta da mass here on da sunday like by.......fierce religious she was by........a proper saint like ......." A saint and no mistake , one with a massive big wart on the tip of her hooter . "So.....You didn't know she was your daughter until........"......."Dudder night by.......When I was giving da poor auld divil da last rites.....I caught da picture of da mudder on the sideboard........took me back by.......took me back like......" Was he telling the truth, I wasn't sure, but, we'd have to park it there for now , as I had myself, a hot date back on Sunnyside Rd. O' Reilly fixed another big dollop of the Dew and swallowed it down in a big savage gulp. The big gluttonous pig head on it. Proper savage. Something inside, deep within my gut, told me, that this stinking lying cheating poor excuse for a priest wasn't telling me the whole truth . Still Saint Winny of the Wart , did have a lovely holy ring to it!
By the time I got back down to Sunnyside Road, the Chief's big old rusty nissan van was parked outside Billy Da Booze's mansion. Sweat dripping off his chin , dribbling down on to his cheap market stall purple t-shirt , he carried cheap flagon's of nasty cider inside, bags of cans, cheap plonk that decent wine drinkers would merely label vinegar. Still The Flooze had something to drink later. Preparations were in full swing for The Party. The Party for Winny. Saint Winny of the Wart! The blaquard's daughter. The Cork one. The one with the massive big scaldy head on it! His words swirled around my head now as I passed. Did she even ever know that she was the product of that vile creature's encounter with her sainted mother? Probably not . Maybe that was just as well , maybe that was just how it was meant to be. Sometimes, life works out for the better , if you don't know. Whatever it is, you were never meant to know. I turned the key in my door . Just as Miss Lilly Billy was on the way down the stairs in a far too skimpy white skater skirt , and a violent red boob tube, and red six inch heels . I felt for a moment like a far too fussed father. The violent red boob tube was filled out fillets of padding , I'm guessing . Miss Lilly Billy felt like a girl, tried to look like a girl. I got that. That was fine . No problem at all with any of that . Live and let live after all. Hair back combed . Not an inch left untouched by peroxide. Apart from the bald patch. Although a lot of effort had gone in to trying to cover that up. A lot. There had been a great deal gone into the skin tone cover up also. With the amount of fake tan used, I was just guessing that tonight , the washing machine was going to be very very busy. Very.
"Off out Pete.......Just gunna pop over to see Gems........" By Gems, I knew she meant "Geeeemma" , or Poncho, as I had labelled her , probably fairly. The white powder resting around Lilly Billy's right nostril , told me, that Miss Lilly Billy was already having a good night . 7 in the pm and already the room was spinning . For some. "Have a great night Lilly , I'll see you later....." Don't slam the door! "She slammed the door. Almost off it's hinges . The soon to be creaking ones. Garden and a smoke. Text Davina. Tell her I was on the way round. Soon. I cracked a Guinness extra cold into a tulip glass , the proper pint glass. Not a poncy one! A real one! The one only real men use.
The night began to darken, quickly now, like it was in a hurry to reach the morning. Morning could wait awhile . The night was young. I intended to keep it that way. I cracked a match , and watched as the glow almost lit up the patio. He was out . Peering over the fence like an auld peeping Colonel. "Evening Mr Peter......." I sighed inside......."Evening Colonel , how's tricks?" .......He puffed his pipe, squinted his eyes , before he replied ......"Just seen that fine new filly of yours leaving the house Mr Peter......Phwoar......cracking little tight ass on it old boy ......cracking little pair a jugs .......Your a damn lucky sod you are .....I'd give her one!"
"Work away Colonel......"Shes " just staying for a few days ......We are not an item ....." His eyes lit up. If he'd been wearing his sometimes monocole , it would have popped ! "Mind if I give it a go old boy?" he asked almost in pure desperation.
"No.......be my guest sir, I'm sure Miss Lilly would like it " ......"Miss Lilly eh .......fine name old boy , what what......Miss Lilly the Filly......A filly called Lilly .......I'd ram my old pecker up......" ......."Goodnight Colonel........."
There was rumour's. There is always rumour's. Everywhere. That in this particular case , Miss Lilly Billy had a constantly growing drug habit , serviced many a desperate bloke , down by the canal , via that large mouth. Or , in many instances, it was quite literally "cash in the hand!" only. Depending if "she" had mouth ulcers or sores. Then again , knowing a few of the many sleazebags I have not had the total pleasure of knowing in my life , it wouldn't have mattered to many of them. Until the missus found out. As happens.
A tenner is still a tenner . All for less than two minutes work. The Colonel may well have a swift dram beforehand. He may indeed need more than that after . He may well indeed find, a little more than he was bargaining for down south. A little more!
I looked across at the doorway to number 10. It looked sad. The lone policeman there now, was a very young policeman, fresh off the production line of thick headed fuzz. He wore that blank expression, that they all , male and female , must practice hard to perfect at cop school. He had. He lifted his police hat to scratch his noggin. Probably not even in his early twenties, yet his ginger nut was receding at an alarming rate . He'd be bald as a coot by the time he was twenty five years old. Even more bored than he looked right now. He glanced at his phone again. Mummy was probably texting to see what her little angel wanted for his tea. Tonight , I guessed she was doing his favorite Spag Bol . Mummy's special recipe, for Mummy's special boy!
I glimpsed Sterny and the Chuckles on the way down. Leaving Captain Birdseye's house. It was a quite house, I guessed his wife Mrs Birdseye could be easily upset . Tonight wasn't her lucky night . Not with the party for Winny The Wart about to kick off soon at chez Billy Da Booze and The Flooze. I guessed following recent events they weren't even invited . He wasn't even there . The Captain. He was probably nursing a pale ale all night , scratching his bald as a coot head, his big white bushy beard, all the time pushing his big old brain for the results of the crossword. I figured , probably rightly , that there would indeed be cross words later, especially after Billy Da Booze put his favorite Sinatra song on, and waltzed with himself around the street. Nothing was ever more certain.
The Corpse sat on the same old white plastic chair , puffing away, puffing away her life , to reach a very early death. Content in her ignorance. Yet, then again, ignorance is bliss. I smoked. Sometimes also far far too much. I knew it. Stared me in the face. However recent events on the street , had made me in a way, throw caution to the wind, but, fucking shoot me , please do, if I ever get to that very sad stage in my life , where I have literally nothing else to do all day but smoke. Shoot me!!!! The Corpse sat there every night, no matter the weather , trying to smoke away her misery, her sufferings, her miserable one hundred cigarettes a day habit. Keeping The Chief's kids in school.In a home above a shop, blowing smoke towards the moon. Failing almost certainly.
I saved him the true bother of troubling my doorbell. Again. There he stood "The Oil Slick" , now newly revitalised by two new "Chuckles" . A truly gormless looking one , face covered in pimples , and the "token" asian one. All because the London Police force was "all about the people" . No it wasn't. Biggest load of modern bullshit bollix some fucking cunt of a money grabbing spin doctor coined for the Yard! Parachute the "darkie" in, and lets all look cool and rad shite! It didn't wash with me . In the now, in the ever. The Met was full of fucking racists!
"Mr Murphy ......." ......."Mr Spanner......" ......"Is William in?" ......I knew, but I was playing games, I liked to play games , especially with people I had no time for whatsoever , or didn't really like . I didn't like Mr Neil Spanner . 100%. The Oil Slick's mistake here was, put simply, he thought that he was playing a game with me. He was wrong. Very. "William????.....No William here sir!"
Face grew cross. His. "Billy ......Is Billy here Mr Murphy.....I am led to believe he is staying here with you since his release?"
"Oh.......you mean (laughs)......Miss Lilly Billy..........Yes.......Miss Lilly Billy is staying here.........Not here right now though!"
"Where is he?......Now?" ......."No idea sir.......and by the way he's a she!" He looked pissed off. He was. Very. Great!
"Any idea when "she" will be back Mr Murphy".......Doing the old hand gestures also. Touch. ."No idea Mr Spanner .......Now if there's anything else sir ......I need to be somewhere else ......."
"I'm not so sure you are taking this all as seriously as I would like you to sir!" He grimaced as he said it . The fucking tool. I guessed by the new Chuckles flanking , especially by their silly blank faces , that they had seen and heard all of this before.
"Not taking what seriously Mr Spanner?" ........"Miss Whittle's murder sir ....." He replied with accusing eyes. Oh I was taking it all very seriously , no bother at all with that, a lady had been brutally murdered across the street from me , by a frozen bar of cheap chocolate from The Chief's . Of course I was taking it all seriously. Truly. I laughed before breaking into repetitive ditty......."Winny The Wart......Winny The Wart.......Winny Winny Winny .....Winny the Wart!" I could tell he wasn't amused by that , so it was all good. Although the lad with the face full of pimples smiled.A stifled smile . I still caught it though. "I didn't kill her .....Why would I?.....Didn't even know the woman!"
Sterny tried to look hard , now even more so, all growed up like, in his ill fitting suit. He was trying to be fair. I was not. Bad bad me. "I know that sir.....It's just we need to speak to ....em......Miss Lilly ......as soon as possible ......It appears she was "playing" with an old geezer down by the canal last night .......she says for money for drugs.....Her alibi doesn't check out ........We cannot locate this guy ......to confirm the story ......the alibi......."
"Why not?........I mean what was the guy's name .......?" He checked the scribble on his note pad , as all oil slicks do.
"A Mr Valentine Donegan ......No , Valentine Doonican sir.........Yes Mr Valentine Doonican...........He , sorry she ,said he liked to be called Val"
Of course he did. Of course he did!
Val Doonican. Imagine that!!!
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
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Darkness fell over itself. 9 in the pm. Perfect. I grabbed a truly special bottle of wine I had been saving for a very special occasion.Threw into my holdall . This was such. Yes it was. £35 a
bottle from the posh off licence on the high street , the one run by "The Frog". He wasn't offended in any way by that . He had some french name Pascal something or other , but, the folk around
these parts just called him "The Frog" . If he was happy enough with that, so was I "Whaddya recommend herr Frog?" I would always ask him , using my very limited command of french and german to
combined tremendous effect. He would um and haw in that bizarre french way, mutter words I more than likely heard in school, but, in reality had no time for . When was I ever going to need to use
it? Probably never! Fact!
I made my way down the street. I could hear that the party was in full swing down the end of the street at number 4 . Where already , early as it was ,into the swing of things Sinatra was already bellowing out "New York , New York" . He seemed to have a loud and very boisterous backing in the vocal department from Billy Da Booze , The Flooze, and invited company . Dolly Goggin's was going to love this I thought , as I glanced into The Walton's dining room. Their they all sat , hands together, giving thanks to the Lord , for what he had provided. "Give us this day our daily bread " etc etc. One day those kids were indeed going to rebel against such restrictive thought. That would be a great day. A great day. Freedom. As the auld fella always used to say when the mammy would set that big auld table , and we'd all sit down , sometimes on double beanbags , as we'd very often run out of chairs, couldn't find chairs , or just didn't have chairs. Family of twelve and all. You'd count yourself lucky if you found your fat little arse on a chair. Chairs were gold! "Now listen Mary Murphy no one here going to give thanks to da Lord for providing food on the table dis evening .......Jaysus didn't help me pin up the plasterboards on dat feckin' ceiling today!"
As I passed by Poncho's , I caught the glitterball spinning. The lights cascading all around the room , filled with cheap imitation leather , and cheap tat . Oh that family loved cheap tat. That's all they wore. No class , no style.Stupids on legs. Miss Lilly Billy and Poncho , glasses in hand, where having a right old boogie. Kanye dancing on top of the coffee table, probably filled with all kinds of cheap sweets and chocolates from The Chief's superstore. All the good stuff. A natural high for kids. He may as well enjoy it , the little pup. Something told me , that life as a Kanye , wasn't going to be easy round these parts , in a year or two, especially him being Omo white! However, I could be wrong, hopefully it will be so. Just for his sake. Just for his. I walked the pavement towards love. Love was waiting. Lust would not. I went down the alley at the side of The Riddler's house, so as to avoid suspicion. You never knew who'd be looking out a bedroom window, gawking away, putting two and two together , some nosy cunt. Someone just like me!
I walked down the alley , by the cheap cheap side fence , and turned left . There was Chirpy hand down the old trakkee bottoms , he appeared to be playing with himself while peeping through a big hole in the back gate to The Riddler's . His little dog , a terrier , a yorkie , with a tail, was far to busy to notice what his master was up to, pissing away on every blade of grass , every other dog and fox in the neighbourhood had pissed on. I took a few steps back , made sure he didn't see or hear me and then coughed .
I was more than content to know that he had heard me. The dry timber dead branches cracked around the corner . Still slightly startled he began fussing around the dog. "Come on Bob.......Leave that Bob......" He said to his bemused little dog, who didn't appear to be doing anything untoward. Sniffin' pis and shit , and other dogs butts, isn't that what dogs do? "Evening ......." ......"Hi taking the little fella for a walk?" .......He spun around now , the binoculars also........His face rather on the flush side to be doing nothing . Which he so obviously wasn't. His dark grey peaked hat , probably inherited from his auld lad. "Yeah......take him every night , old Bob.......nature always calls ......at about this time........" Now, I'd never paid much attention to Chirpy . Yes he wore a hangdog expression constantly all over his face, but, I always put that down to the fact he was married to Cheerful , who despite her nickname , was far from that . She was no doubt at home , this very minute , staring at the milk, turning it sour. He'd get a pass. There was no need to shame him. His life seemed far too miserable as it was. No point in adding to it. Although, I was slightly concerned as to why he might be peeping in a very large hole in The Riddler's back gate . My gateway to love. My entry to a night of lust. Playing away in his trackee bottoms , with a rather expensive set of binoculars around his neck. If I was a cop, which thankfully I was not , I would indeed be looking into his whereabouts on the night Saint Winny The Wart was murdered.......By chocolate!
We'd never been this close before. Maybe because we'd never been close. At all. As he passed by dragging the poor little mutt , I noticed that his blotchy face was very pock marked. Deep craters like on the moon surface. Deep craters of being picked on in school , by the lads with great skin. I was reminded of the auld fella everytime someone , anyone, brought up the moon landings. "Shur dat shower a feckin' gobshites never landed up there .......they was out driving dim auld buggies round in the desert ......out in the wild wist!". The wild wist? Chirpy bore the hardship of many a poor family's way of dealing with any teenage problems , back in the days, when you really didn't talk about them. Nothing was ever done. You kept your trap shut, and just got on with it . Grin and bare it writ large all across Chirpy's face . It was that simple. There was nothing else you could do. We had as yet , not been unlucky enough to live ,as now in the days of "Entitlement!" . Aren't we the fucking lucky ones? I pretended I was just going for a stroll down the back lane . I think he bought it. I was glad. The fact he thought I had failed to notice all the very recent scratch marks on his face was a little bonus. I hadn't. They were the recent scratches of a woman, no doubt whatsoever about it. Seen them before on my brother Mark's face . Just before he and the lovely Liza (With a Z!) parted company by means of divorce. Maybe Cheerful and The Chirpster had a little game fetish. I wasn't really sure. I truly wished that I cared. I didn't . It was fun time!
Backtracking in haste , wine rolling around in the holdall on my back. I opened the gate via the latch. She had kindly left it open for me. Just for me. She was standing in the kitchen . Stunning. Dressed in a baby blue baby doll, that showed all of her womanhood, her fineness, her fitness , her ability to stretch and move. Nothing else.Smiling as she turned to see me walking up , the very badly laid footpath of flagstones , stolen no doubt from the council depot where The Fat Slug passed his days.The tossing dosser! I wanted to, I really did. I wanted to lick my lips . I really did. I was totally turned on that tonight , in a bed he had bought , I was going to not only make love to that beautiful creature , he called his wife , I was going to totally devour her . Every tiniest morsel of her. Over and over and over again. The big eat! All in his bed, in his house, all whilst he was necking piss down The Rose and Crown around the corner , with The Dunner , The Greasers and numerous non entities who harked on his every word. The big fat sarf London plank. Ok, I had fancied her from the very moment I first met her , that blonde hair , those pale blue secretive eyes, that tight firm ass, those pert "come on fondle me breasts". What was there not to like, to love, to lust after? The cake of life is such. You get a nice slice . You always, always go back for more. Here I was. Where's my slice? Where's the whole sodding cake? Tonight I'm a very very hungry man. Starving. Need a good feed! A great big feed of love. Now, Fat Boy Fat , you go and point your finger at an innocent man , and face the consequences! It wasn't looking too clever for you ya big heap of riddled with disease "cant!" However, things were certainly looking good for me. Things were indeed looking up! Hopefully it stayed that way. Be grand!
Opening the back door slowly , in very high baby blue heels, we slowly kissed. Lingering, longing , touching, petting, tonguing. Not a word was spoken. I scooped her up in my arms , out through the hall, up the stairs , right into the bedroom where I had noticed her wave. I gently placed her on the bed, ripping my clothes off in haste , until I was naked as the day I was born! All growed up naked. Ready for action naked, standing to attention Major naked. That naked. Buck naked. When love and lust collide. It's lethal! Let the games begin!!
It had been an hour. Her clock the one time I "clocked" it said 10.05 in the pm. Drenched in sweat , we explored everything there was too explore , on a night of losing lots of calories, a night of true stamina , huge endurance, extasy. We were at this precise moment in time, carrying out a manoeuvre the karma sutra referres to as a 69 when the front door slammed. There was silence in the bedroom, as both our mouths were truly full. The Slob was back. I started eyeing for a wardrobe. "Ssssssh!.........quite ......he can't climb the stairs " she whispered softly. I could hear him jangle his many unnecessary keys back into his big shorts. "Davvy babes.....you up there babes?" ........I spun her around . Doggy style time. She moaned . " I am Eustace .......just had a shower ....be down in a minute....."......."No worries babes........Cyril is havin' a party babes ......I'm going back down there ......you wanna come down laters babes........" She moaned again, softer now, but a moan is a moan. In that moment , when we reached heaven together , only then did I know the true meaning of revenge over thine enemy. "Ok ......maybe later........." she whispered softly, still shaking slightly from our completion of pleasure moments. "Awight Davvy ......See ya laters babes......" Door slammed. Again. He was gone. So was I. We shared a cigarette , our faces glowing . Warm , sweaty , and well and truly spent . Done for. Goners. This was what they meant by heaven on earth. I could well grow to like such. Every day .
"Jesus Davina , that was a close one......." ......."Pete, it wasn't he can't come upstairs ....He's to fat too fit .....anyway ..can't climb them " ......"But, how does he use the bathroom ......I mean......"......."Not sure about number 2's.......but, I do know he pisses in all his empty beer bottles......"
We decided to be a little sensible, just in case the Blubber Mountain managed to make the long walk from the party again. Liked cheap piss too much I reckoned in my head, but, you must always respect a ladies wishes. I did. We would do this again. Right now it was indeed best to err on the side of caution. Be sensible. We kissed long and hard, she almost sucked me into her body . Again. I liked it. A lot!
Her naked body glowed, via the scented candlelight of the room. "I wish you didn't have to go Pete......." ......."Me too....Me too...."
Sneaking down the stairs , left eye forever on the front door. Put my shoes on in the kitchen , and out the back door. Down the pathway , out the back gate . Quick look out for pock marked dog walkers, and I was gone. Back down the alley , out on to the street again. Back to being just another resident of the street . I looked back up at her window. She had wrapped a fluffy pink towel around her , the way only beautiful women do, and waved. I waved back discreetly. The way guys do.
Dean Martin was blaring out on the speakers now, no doubt , if you weren't at the Billy Da Booze party , you really had no chance of getting an early night tonight. It seemed fitting though "That's Amore" . I smiled . Inside. Searching for my keys in my holdall , just as I was passing the Colonel's house, I noticed his old cast iron coated windows , which he was forever painting , looked a little steamed up. I wondered if he was ok. Went a little closer to have a look. I really shouldn't. I really should not have done so!
Just like the charge of the light brigade. Only if the charge involved glasses steamed up on the end of your nose! He was giving it all he had . Going hell for leather . Fueled no doubt by the magic of the little blue bills . Pipe still jammed in his mouth . Beret still on his head . Blazer displaying all his victorious exploits in war, many wars, any wars. Trousers lay down and around his ankles , the old pecker in and out of Miss Lilly Billy like a drill. He'd obviously partook of quite a few swift ones beforehand . Felt a little randy soon after. Probably puffed away outside the front door , spotting that "tight bit of ass" in a slight haze. He must have invited Miss Lilly in for a "nightcap" on the way back from Poncho's . It was working out well.
Now, in all honesty, I didn't really know the Colonel all that well. However, I knew this much, he was a true ladies man. Not a gay man, in any shape or form, as many of his widow conquests around the borough could testify. Yet, he was a randy auld goat. Very. A little bit of a letch , if I'm being truthful . Not a woman could walk by him on that doorstep, young or old, with a stick , or even on a scooter , a wheelchair , a walking frame. He would always go, whilst twiddling with his big old handlebar moustache "I'd give her one.......what what" I wanted to tap the window, and tell him, but, I truly believe he wouldn't have thanked me for it. Especially now he was reaching the end of his "nightcap". Jutting away like billyo, with the "tight ass" of Miss Lilly Billy . Complete of all that any true woman I had ever encountered did not ever have . A little pecker and big bag of balls. Meat and 2 veg Colonel! What what!!!
Dolly Goggin's door was ajar. I thought to just check if she was ok. For that was unusual for her . She always let Major out the back to do his business. Always. Down the street , the party for the dear departed "Saint Winny of the Wart" was in full drunken flow. I wondered if she would have liked it. Probably not . Too rigid. Too staid. Too straight laced. Too early too bed! Too sensible! Didn't matter now, she was as they say "brown bread!"
The fat diseased riddled lump of lard had somehow been given a mic. Oh sweet Nelson Mandela's arse! "Ladies and gentlemen .....Direct from the casino town of LAAAAAASSS VEEEEEGASSSSS!!!!!!........It's ELLLLLVVISSSS!!!!!!" Out in to the street , leaping around like a drunk out of his fucking skull sprang Cyril .....aka Billy Da Booze .....In a cheap ill fitting, far too big for the gobshite Elvis party outfit ......Cheap cheap shit , that the King , if he was still alive , would no doubt cringe at. Completed by a massive over the top quiff , that Elvis never had. Teamed off by a pair of stick on jet black sideburns , that failed to ever match the ludicrous bluey tinge of his nylon wig. Jesus, I thought , The Presley would be spinning . All night. Someone gave the dick a microphone. The Riddler. Fat lump of redundant sausage meat. Fat lump of blubber. Then the singing to such an obvious Karaoke track. My fucking ears were burning!
"Bright lights gonna set me on fire ........" I went to turn the key . I saw Mrs Goggin's door begin to open. Slightly. Ever so.
She was quicker than I thought, much quicker . She was outside the door before I blinked. Deceiving . She was cross. Slightly.
"Mr Murphy can you go and have a word please ........Francis can't sleep with all this fucking racket!"
Ok, I will, I would, but the mere fact "Sore Feet " couldn't sleep because of the noise , made me question why?.......Once you closed the door , it was just distant noise , that's all. Maybe , just maybe "Sore Feet" had a little more on his mind than his toe's?
I was about to make my way over , when during the last frantic out of tune howls, of "Viva!!! Viva .....LAS VEGAS!!!!" Billy Da Booze collapsed and flatlined out on the road. Can of stella in his right hand , mic in the left , still wearing a suit Mr Presley would never have been seen dead in . "Sore Feet" could sleep now. The party was over. For now. Cyril Stevens went out like a light. Maybe the way he wanted to? Out of his sarf London skull on the cheapest of sarf London piss. The Flooze , now , very sadly a very merry widow, would no doubt receive all of the attention she desired over the coming days . Billy Da Booze went out the way he wanted . Sadly. He was a "geeza" as they called people who showed no apparent means of income , yet still managed to live a life , a fancy fondant life, many not only couldn't understand , but, could never ever get. Hey, that's what "Geeza's"do , they play with your head. Not mine. Seen it all before. As the auld fella use to say, back in the day, back in the auld Cricklewood days......."Never trust a leppy cunt.......They usually are riddled with worms!" Not sure if Billy Da Booze was riddled with anything , no matter worms. However I knew this much , and this much only, Billy would not be "Leppin" around again anytime soon. In truth Billy Da Booze would never ever "Lepp" again. Despite the wonderful efforts of the south London ambulance service. Billy Da Booze was declared dead at the scene . Sunnyside Road , Tooting, 11 in the pm.........Death by misadventure.........Half a can of Stella untouched!
It's what he would have wanted. The Geeza!
On his back. Zipped up. Ready to be disposed of. As he most certainly would be. The party was over . Who was watching over me that decreed I'd be out of The Riddler's house before this happened.? I did not know. I failed always to believe in the mere existence of a "heaven" . Yet here was heaven ,talking to me, and with me, for me, in a strange , deathly way, smiling down on me. I wasn't there. Not anymore .In my love nest. Fat boy's house. Yet, the party was over. Over certainly for Billy Da Booze. His work here on earth was now done. Leaving the planet in an ill gotten Elvis party style Las Vegas outfit wasn't truly fitting. Poundshop Elvis. Yet in a strange way it was. Maybe that's what death does to ya? Makes you go all philosophical ? I wasn't sure. It was sad. Of course it was. A gobshite in the prime of his life. What was there not to be truly sad about? They had zipped him up, in a regulation body bag , and took him somewhere they would no doubt struggle to examine and find the cause of death. Don't bother. He died of alcohol consumption, large amounts, as he guzzled most nights. He didn't give a shit about no one but himself. Not even the Flooze. Eyes running now with tears she thought she'd long forgotten. . Heartbroken at the loss of her "Geeza". The man who never ever failed to bring her a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers. That cemetery, down on old Garret Lane was really going to miss his visits . Now, that Billy Da Booze was gone. The headstones could indeed rest easy. The flowers of all the loved one's for the faithfully departed, would indeed remain untouched and safe. We will not ever see his like again. Ever. Thankfully! , gone and soon forgotten!
Poundshop Elvis has left the building!
" Dirty bastards the lot of 'em" The final words , at least for the night of Mrs Dolly Goggin's , as Billy Da Booze was brought off in a non sirened ambulance , in the days before he reverted to mere dust. The Bill were now at the bottom of the road, blue lights flashing , all for apparently no reason. Party Elvis had left the building, for the very last time, and he wasn't ever coming back! Thank you and good night!
To the very right of me , a besotted Colonel Mustard, spent now, happy, was kissing Miss Lilly Billy full on her freshened red lips , and gazing whiskey driven into her eyes. "I wuv wuv wuv you Miss Lilly .......My Filly.......what what......."......Miss Lilly Billy glanced over at me , as if to say "He doesn't know does he?"......No, no he did not , Nor was he to. The poor lovestruck fool. I nodded as if to say "play along". Lilly didn't need me too, I guessed "she" had somehow been down this road before. Or in the very least passed it. "I'll see you tomorrow Tigerkins.........." Oh, for the love of the blue Jaysus???????The Blue Jaysus?????Tell him what just happened. He'll be ok in the morning. Upset , but ok. Don't be telling the old codger he's a fucking "Tigerkins" you'll only go break his heart when you tell him the truth! He's just spent , how ever long it was , rogering the arse off another man! For now! No. "I wuv wuv wuv you Colonel Tigerkins.........Wuv you!" She whispered in that soft effeminate way. Trying desperately to hide the fact that "her" stubble was now so evidently showing. Love it is truly blind. As a bat blind. That bat! A love struck steamed glasses bat!
Doom. It doesn't always bring gloom. It should , but, it doesn't. There amongst the death of the night was a large sea of fatted blubber , hugging his late and very much deceased mate's wife The Flooze. Mascara running now, like a startled panda. There he was. Squeezing the breasts out of her , like he was about to pounce on her, love her, do anything to her. He wasn't . He couldn't. Ever. Mrs Birdseye came out and gave her a hug. That was sweet. Heartfelt. Meant. Captain Birdseye was out also. Beneath the white frosted beard, I sensed relief, the end of a certain battle. The end of an era. Life would go on,as it always does. Just in a very different way. A quite way.
The Corpse sat motionless , lost in a train of thought and nicotine. Death comes to every street ,often , not as often as this. That's very much a given. On the face of one who doesn't care , at all, it's very hard to find emotion. You'd be truly wasting your time studying the face of the Corpse. No emotion was ever betrayed , ever given, ever lied. Life was what it was. A cold uncaring bastard . A cold uncaring bastard who allowed you to wallow in your misery , your miserable existence , for as long as it took. Forever. Forever and a day. Was she sad to see Da Booze leave the street for the very last time? It was very very hard to tell. It wasn't always so, no it was not. Truly. Back in the day , when they were young and carefree, when they threw caution to the wind, when they broke the headboards of many a bed. just not any of their own. In the days when passion , and not cardigans ruled the world. Them days! The days of love.
At this sad moment in time , and it was sad, people may well ask, as they do, that's what nosy cunts always do. Do I know who the killer is? Yes, yes I do! I know exactly who took the life of the very blessed Saint Winny The Wart! Well I thought I do. Of course it wasn't Billy Da Booze (Now deceased) Like any good private eye,(even though I wasn't) Let the fucking Met led by a true incompetent in Detective Mr Neil Spanner and his Chuckle's solve it , that's what they were paid to do, after all. Good luck with that! Ya oil slick slimy bastard! No, I knew , I'd thought I had known now for some time who did the dastardly deed. I wasn't going to share it. Not just yet. The lights were on in The Walton's. Mammy and daddy were no doubt praying to their non listening fictional God. Bunsheen was devouring cake, multi layered levels of fatness , never intended for the bodies of mere human being's .Miss Lilly Billy burst in through the door. "Oh Pete , I love your neighbour Admiral......." ......."Colonel......" ......"Colonel yeh.......he's so cute .......asked me in for a nightcap earlier ........"
"Did you have one?" ........"Oh, I did, I did........Left Gem's ......and it was like he was there waiting.......Waiting for me"
"Is he ok.......was he ok with that?" "She " smiled, that knowing smile, that smile, that big gotcha fucking smile! That steamed glasses on the bridge of a nose smile.
"Oh yeh , he would have done it in his pants , saved him really......"
"Great, that's great ........Goodnight Lilly"
"Goodnight hun !"
"Love ya Pete"
"You too Lilly"
I could hear Miss Lilly Billy snoring like a big auld sow above in the room. "She" may well need to work on that . Especially now the Colonel was doing a little more than sniffing about. Quite a bit more. Still , who said the course of true love ran smooth. Not me! The course of true love never ever did that shit!
I had waited months for anything to happen , down this street. Now the drama was moving at such a fast pace , I barely noticed the ambulance screech to a halt outside Cheerful's pristine little front garden. I poured my guinness out , and lit a smoke. I opened the window slightly, just enough to hear what all the commotion was about. Too listen. Cheerful met them at the front door, alarm and panic must have been written all across her dull as ditch water face. I just couldn't see it. I did try. Blew a little smoke out the window and managed to pick up her monotone voice "Its my Harold .......I fink he's broken his ankles........" The medics rushed inside to work on Harold aka The Chirp aka Chirpy . A few cans later , Chirpy was carried out on a stretcher. His almost certainly broken ankles supported now by large foamed plastic boots. They'd obviously given him something strong for the pain, as he was rambling like a loony toon on the way into the back of the ambulance. "I didn't do it .......I didn't do it.......loved her ........" Who the hell? What the hell? Cheerful checked that he was safely in the back , as the lady medic with the ponytail, unflattering uniform, closed the back door tightly. "Now Mrs Hobbs .......how did he do this again please.......?" Cheerful checked her brain, as if trying to find the words that would fit the moment. " Facking useless he is .....tried to kill himself .....by hanging .....jumping off the top of the stairs....left a note for me .......but.......(Laughs ) ......the rope was far too long ......His feet went straight through the bottom step of the stairs........Facking useless.....the cunt couldn't even do that right!"
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
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Dawn's early light. 6 in the am. Not quite up yet, but, it was on the way. Difficult night too be fair. Lots on the noggin. Wished I was still in the beautiful Davina's bed with the cool satin
sheets. Truly. Also, even if I was lucky enough to fall asleep to dream those beautiful hot as fuck dreams. I couldn't . Not with a Miss Lilly Billy snoring like a constipated warthog in the next
Air was needed. Well air and nicotine. I went out the front door. Caught the sad sight of poor little Bob the dog pining away in the window at number 12. The police officer lady ,next door at 10, in the not very flattering uniform , bore the look of someone who could certainly use a coffee and a sausage roll. Poor little Bob. He looked so crestfallen and sad. I had no doubt he was. Chirpy was gone for now. Who would take him around the back alley's now for a piddle , a shit, or even a sniff ?. Not Cheerful. That's for sure.
Maybe , I would, when all this crap died down , go over and offer to take him out . Maybe. Not now. Things it seemed were far too raw. Poor little sad faced Bob had a back garden to do his business in . For now. He would cope. He'd be grand.
"Oi mush........" The blotched face of the Bunsheen was on the way over . Hair down now . Not very flattering . Drew attention even more so to the fact that her skin was truly blotched and patchy . The floral yellow dressing gown spoke. " What was all that big old facking commotion last night?.......Was it Hobbsy?........" ........" Mr Hobbs yes ........Harold?" She had to think.
"We call's him Hobbsy see........He's a peeping Tom ain't he......always pinching me knickers off the facking line". Ok , didn't really need to hear that Bunsheen. "They took him away in an ambulance ........poor little dog looks sad" I nodded towards number 12 , as she ignored it........"That poor facking woman......Greta ........Facking dirty pervy cant .......he's always wearing them filthy old tracksuit bottoms ......Easy to have a facking rummage in ain't it ......." Sunnyside Road sympathy. You had to smile . You had to.
"Facking missed it all .......was cleaning out my Bert's bedpan at the facking time........."
Coffee is always beautiful of a morning . It truly is.The news on the radio not so. Propaganda writ large in speech. Tell the dummies what you want them to hear. Frame their mindsets for the day with doom and gloom. Make the plebs feel just how lucky they are to have that regular job that they hate . That boss that they can't stand to breathe the same air as. That lucky , damn lucky existence! Nirvana!
The snoring had settled down a little now . 7.30 in the am , and Miss Lilly Billy must have rolled over onto "her " belly. The doorbell sang again. I was up. It didn't really matter. Not anymore . The Colonel was at the door , a huge bouquet of flowers , some lillie's in there, in his hand. Those steamed up glasses from last night had , had a decent polish and shine , sitting deep down on his nose.
" Morning Mr Peter.........(peering left and right) ......Is Miss Lilly in?"........Oh, she was in alright , up until recently snoring like a wild boar in! "Em.......She is Colonel ......but, she's sleeping sir........Might be a late riser........." He chuckled. Mainly to himself. Could have been the "late riser" bit. It was. " She wasn't late in rising last night old boy ........My old pecker......."
"Ok Colonel .......Would you like to leave the flowers for her sir.......I'll put them in some water "
"That would be tremendous old boy.........Oh .......and there's a card in there as well old chap" There was . There certainly was.
A brief "Toodledoo's " later , and I was on the way to place these expensive flowers in a vase. The card slipped out. Unlike the Colonel during his randy old goat antics the night before this morning. His hand writing appeared shaky. Scribbled on a cheap biro. It read "To my beautiful sex kitten blondie Lillykins.....love and lots of kisses on the bottom Tigerkins xxxxxxx"
Kisses on the bottom. Apt. Now. I retired to the garden. I heard shuffles. I wasn't disappointed nor alarmed. "Sore Feet " was out in Dolly's garden , taking Major for a walk. On a fucking lead! A lead? A cat on a fucking lead!!! I peered over her four foot fence , well I say peered, I just looked, plus it was my fence,I was of course two foot taller , why would I be peering, that made no sense. I truly hoped he wouldn't see me , before I scampered back inside . He did. Too late. Now, I had to make conversation. I really wasn't in the mood. Polite as always. I went along with the charade. "Watcha!.......Awight ......." Was he really bothered? I doubted it. Humour him. I did.
"Morning .....erm ....Francis......" ......Clad out foot wise in Mrs Goggin's pink bedroom slippers he replied......."Mornin'......Good one innit......Taking the Major for a walk......Dolly reckons someone else on the road is feeding the fat facka........" Really?..... Now, I have a major (no pun intended problem with that!) ......Mrs Goggin's fed Major 24/7. There was dry cat food on the go all day, and all night long. The Chief down the road thought she had about, ten cats, until I put him straight. Given the amount of food she laid out for him everyday , there was no doubt, no small wonder why he was indeed a "fat cat!" . No doubt , there was going to come a morning , when Dolly , Mrs Goggins , or maybe even Sore Feet was going to come down them stairs and find Major dead on the kitchen lino. I wasn't wishing it, not at all, just stating what was more than likely to happen. Greedy cats , get greedy, fat cats , get even more fatter than they were ever meant to be. It's not kindness. Its animal cruelty . That's all. Simple as.
"Shame about Cyril mate innit........." Billy Da Booze , tippling over on the road , the night before? Whilst having his last tipple? Yes. All passing of life is always sad. Sadness is always a part of life. "Dolly didn't like 'im thought he was a wanka........" Jutting around the garden now , with a big fat cat on a lead, urm?........I wondered. Especially the pink fluffy slippers. "Norman ......spoke to him earlier .....very upset innit......devastated......Vi's dad and all .......Cyril was his son in law........devastated the poor cunt!" Did he mean The Mod?......"The mod guy?" ......He laughed......"Yeh ......yeh......the mod guy......Weller!" .......So, Billy Da Booze was related to The Mod......"Used to be in some mod group in the 60's innit.......drummer I fink......." Ok. Rest. Let that sink in. During our conversation, which, I have to add was mainly one way. His way. The cat leader. It transpires , that Violet was indeed The Mod's daughter . Although his real name was Norman Daley. Married to Norma Daley , he had endured a relatively good marriage and union , with his childhood Tooting sweetheart . Having met at The Greyhound Public House , down Croydon way, back in the swinging 60's , when some unknown beat combo called The Rolling Stones was trying to play, A brassy blonde, bottled, he and she , had many ups and downs in their marriage , a major plus being Violet . Dear sweet Violet (The Flooze) was the true apple in both their eyes , the only thing they ever got right! Although it wasn't for the want of trying.
The day she first started talking to white toothed Baku in the outer regions of Nigeria on the net, was the end . He promised her unconditional love , the sun moon and the stars . She got him a passport and the right to live in this country . That's what love can do, can promise you when you are 22 years old and desperate , huddled around a wifi signal in the arsehole of nowhere! He got his passport , his right to stay, cleaned out her saving of 30K . All that hard graft as a cleaner in a hospital that it seems, did not deserve her, ever! Never ever truly paid off. In any shape or form. Poor Norma Daley. Now she lives in a council flat in deepest Mitcham, poor and groundless. Love. True love. It will truly bite you on the bum, if you are thick and stupid. No wonder The Mod walked around looking all bitter and twisted. He was. Who could blame him?
He was thick. Sore Feet. Very very thick. Thick in his ignorance. Not a bad way to be.Too be fair. Not at all. I wished I never had to think. She called. "Sorry pal.......I gotta take this........" I moved inside. Safety. My space. My place. Her voice sounded beautiful, thanking me for "How wonderful you were last night" Yes, yes , I was , like a rampant bull nice. That nice. It was no trouble at all. Played all my fantasies out , writ large . I truly enjoyed myself. Promised to meet up later that night. I smiled just to think about it. Sadly, it wouldn't happen in that way, I never wanted it to happen that way , but, yes it would happen, only in that way.. Love.....It always plays games with your head. Always. So, was Norma due back on the street now, today, tonight? Here to console her daughter ? Here to moan the loss of Billy Da Booze? Or here just to provoke The Mod? The bitter and twisted mod? The failed drummer, the quitter, Who knew? Maybe she did? The Walton's were busy having some sort of "prayer" day. All kneeling down around the dining room table , praying to their "God". Do what you want, I don't really care. If you want to go and worship a goat, or a piece of charcoaled timber in the name of "faith" work again. Just don't preach to me all about it. The very biggest hypocrites in life, the very biggest , always, are the ones as the auld fella always used to say "Der da first one's up bating it to da alter every sunday .......Tongues out for da wafer .......Talking shite about all and sundry as soon as dey leave!" He wasn't a philosopher , the auld fella , but, he was never ever really wrong! I miss him, the big mad spud faced fucker!
It was probably about 12.30 in the pm, after midday anyways, when Miss Lilly Billy surfaced. Panda eyed from mascara running, wearing a very skimpy lilac dressing gown, that left very little to the imagination. Especially the big hairy bollix! Oh Colonel, wait until you see this. Your eyes will water! Your blue fueled pecker will never ever rise again. Ever! "There's tea in the pot .....Lilly" .......She poured a mug , and ventured back upstairs , bollix hanging out of her skimpy frilly pink undies........"See ya in a bit hun......bit of a head on me!".......I drank another coffee, nodded, and returned to the boring task of trying to make pensions sound exciting. In any way! They didn't.
The doorbell did not ring, not this time, those were desperate big thumps on the glass of the door. I tried to ignore it, but, it grew louder and louder and louder. Those thumps were not going to go away. Anytime soon. Never! I went to the window, it was now a very increasing habit. Down as always to the Mammy. I have to blame her. She was no longer here. It wasn't in any way , shape or form difficult. Easy. Outside the front door fidgeting away , rattling keys, and sweating like the big scaldy faced pig of a philanderer that he was , was O' Reilly , big black dress , buttoned up to the dog collar tight! What the fuck did that cunt want? He was mopping his big scaldy brow now, pacing without walking , with a handkerchief Mrs Hanratty had obviously just took from the washing line, at the back of the big house , on the Broadway. That big house where he administered "advice" to his flock! "Marital Advice!"
Both our heads swiftly jarred to the left, as a twenty year old car screechy of brakes , came to a sudden halt outside number 8. The Mod stood grim outside on the street . He looked grim. His whole existence was grim. Life can drive you to look that way. A big brassy top heavy blonde, well past her sell by date, jawing away on a smart phone almost glued to her ear, exited the car. The eastern European driver gesticulating wildly , shouting and mouthing in his own lingo. "Well don't just facking stand there like a facking lemon Norman.......Pay the man!" she shouted at The Mod , now flinching in his smallness, reached inside his pockets for his wallet. "And when you've done that ......Put the facking kettle on ......I'm right facking parched here!" Norman paid the cab driver , hung his head to the ground, meekly he followed Norma indoors. In a grim fashion.
"Aw jaysus Murph ......I need your help by .......soon as ya can like.....by...."He dragged his dress up in his hands and swished inside . Long before I could even think of stopping him.
It transpires , over coffee, that the big sloppy scaldy fecker had been informed by Spanner that they were coming round to have a chat about the death of Winny The Wart. Late of this parish. O' Reilly's daughter. What did they mean by a "chat"?
"Jaysus , shur they'll be wanting to look at da auld compuuuters like by..........That's why I'm here like......."
Now O Reilly it seems , had a"thing" for Winny. Unawares that the Wart Monster was his. I was hoping that "thing" didn't include..It did. Indeed it did.
" Once or twice.......three times at most ......Shur' it was there on da table Murph.......like by........"
I lit a cigarette , trying and failing to digest this shit. Ugly shit. Wrong shit. Rats will ride the shite out of each other , male or female. They are cannibals also. One dies, the rest will eat the dead fucker. Yet rats don't walk around preaching to each other , in a huge swishy black dress, with a sad looking Jesus on the cross around their big fat scaldy fucking heads! Fact!
The auld fella imparted many nuggets of wisdom my way, especially on weekend nights after a lock in down The Crown. One was thus " When yer in a corner with some feckin' gobshite son......be blunt.....always be blunt .....confuse the head off the fecking gobshite !" He was right. Always was. The big mad spud. I stared O' Reilly square in the face. That big desperate face. That face. Big scalded red face. That face.
"Listen......If you are intending to wipe messages , of whatever nature to Winny off your computer .......Before the plod call round......You are wasting your time.......They will find them........They always do........." The truth hurts. It always does. Especially so, if your a rat, a big fat scaldy headed incestuous rat. That rat. The fat rat drawing deep on a superking cigarette. Deep. Toes job. The wheels were turning now. Sinking in. "Shur.......I'll throw it in the canal by......." That would work, of course it would. I went on to explain that , there would really be no point at all , in doing such a silly stupid mad thing. Everything is stored. Everything is watched. These sad days. Plus, if they emailed each other , Winny no doubt had a lap top or a "compuuuuter!" Pointless. I'm pretty sure Spanner and the Chuckles were already ripping that mother to shreds down the cop shop. They will know. They always do. Always. "Go and see them ........Tell them the truth ........That's all you can do right now........" It appeared not to be sinking in! At all.
"Ah jaysus Murph.......gunna look bad like by........me a priest an all like .......feckin' Spinner will love that......."
"Spanner.......look , it's not my place......Sure they have heard worse........."
I doubted that was really true. Confusion reigned . Not in my head. I had done nothing wrong. Wasn't sure about the Cork man though! He seemed far from honest. Slippery. As they would say back in the old country......"He'd get up on a sick hen that fella!" They wouldn't have been wrong. Ever!
I must have nodded off in the armchair. Shit to the brain can do that. Drain ya. It was the constant prodding that woke me . The long fingers , the dark black painted nails. "Oh Davina........Davina" I do believe I was dribbling.Dribbling big style. Love style dribbling. Miss Lilly Billy stood before me. Mouth open. Not for the first time, I reckon. "Oh my days.......Oh my days.......you and Davinaaaah!!!!........" No point in denying it. It was happening. It was on. On going. "Are you seeing her Pete?........Sav's wife?" I stared , half asleep, half awake , at this very very confused human being , dressed now in a floaty summer dress, with flowers I had never seen before,hoped to never see again, but, looked very pretty. White stiletto's and big padded out bra. Hair back combed to the last. Roots touched up. "Oh my days......you are...." Too deny , or not deny?
"Yes.......yes I am......." ......."Does he know? .......Oh my days Pete......he's got a bad temper on him......"Having lived here for a long time, here on this street , Miss Lilly Billy , obviously knew more about the locals than I ever would. Seen it all man and girl.
"The Colonel.......He brought you some flowers.......on the table Lilly" ......."She" went to smell them, read the card from Tigerkins.
"Aw how sweet.......I'll text him laters .......Seeing him tonight ........For dinnaaaaaah!!!!!" Winked, checked the false eyelashes were still in fluttering mode, that the bald patch was discreetly hidden. Puffed up her hair in the hall mirror. "Off out hun.........See ya laters......" "Don't slam the door!!" She slammed the door. Again! She always slammed the fucking door!
Checking that the hinges were still on the door . I watched as Miss Lilly Billy tottered off down the street. I failed to notice Papa Walton make his way across, never mind stand right before me , outside the door, on my tiny footpath. Which may well need weeding soon. Just not now. He spoke well, dressed like an estate agent from the 1980's. I doubted he had ever smoked, drank, or even had sex with another human being. Yet , he must have had . They had two small copy cat children after all. Little junior estate agents from the 80's . "So sorry to hear about your friend......We are praying for his eternal soul.......He's in heaven now......"Friend? Eternal soul? Heaven? It was loaded. Oh, then it dawned on me, Party Elvis, Billy Da Booze! "Thanks .....Wasn't my friend pal......Met him once .....twice is all......Cyril I think he was called........" I'm not quite sure how plastic his sincerity was. I'd go high! Very. The guy was made of plastic.
"Yes ....yes ....poor Cyril......may his soul rest in peace" Oh it was at peace , that's a given. So was the street. No more Party Elvis. No more "My Way" sung out of key, out of tune, out of where? I wasn't sure why I said it , maybe it was the fact he was some sort of polished Jehovah's Witness. That fact. In my head anyways fact! "Not been funny here pal.......But, not a believer ......"His mouth opened . Detest writ large.
"In Jesus Christ ......Our Lord and saviour?" ........"He's your saviour pal.....that's ok......don't push that rubbish on me"
He looked heartbroken. Like I had just pissed on his freshly polished shoes and just laundered socks. Not today.
"But why ever not .......he is all powerful .......the reason we are all here......" No. No, that's not true. Not true at all. Fact!
I'm here, for one reason , and because of one reason only, with no added crudeness. Mainly because I didn't want to ever see or paint that picture in my head. My auld fella and The Mammy mated. Got it on, bang a gong. Simple as. No more complicated than that. Done what we have being doing since we left the trees and found the shelter of the caves. Way back when. As the auld fella used to always say, "I'll tell ya dis for knotting........." Make it brief Murphy , make it brief. Get rid of the estate agent from the 80's . Quick! I did. I always do. It's the Murphy way!
"Shall I tell you my take on your God pal.........?" .....A blank stare. Surely he'd heard many such pearls of wisdom on his travels flogging bibles around London, mainly to coffin dodgers , who surely believed , their investment , in a big old book written by men, was going to somehow buy them more time on this mad fucking planet?It wasn't. It never would. How could it. Smoke , drink, fornicate, don't murder anyone, especially with chocolate ! Have a good fecking time . "If there is a God .....big if......How comes there's a devil?".......He was about to tear into his well rehearsed spiel , this was his ground, covered many many times, no doubt in mind, over and over again. Safe ground. He opened his wide mouth to speak......I got in there straight away , struck! With attitude! "Tell ya what pal......There is no hell.....There is no Devil.....No Lucifer .....No red faced horny guy (Although?) .......If I was God......Why would I ever allow any fallen angel to rise up to compete with me for the souls of the living and the dead........I wouldn't allow it pal......If I was all powerful .....all mighty......I would just smite the little shite down......vaporize the little cunt!........Shut his office down pal!" As Al Pacino must have said one time "In a fillum!" ......".Comprendo?"
"Don't think he liked that old chap......." Puffing away on his pipe, stroking his big old bushy sideburns. In love. In lust. I knew.
"Nah.....(laughs) .....I'm sure he didn't .....can't be dealing with all that shite!" He laughed . That big old I've just had a few snifters laugh. "Is the beautiful Miss Lilly up yet Mr Peter?" ......"Yep......Just gone down the shops Colonel......I believe......" He had moved on now to stroking his big old handlebar mustache . "I see.......probably off to buy some skimpie's for later .....what what!" .....I really should tell him. I really should. When he finds out. He's going to know that I knew. Might put those rusty hitman skills back in use real fast. Then the confirmation, that I really did not need too bother. It didn't matter. Obviously as blind as a bat. Another. There was far too many.
Coming down the road , from our side, maybe the end house, our side of the road, came a woman, probably late 60's , deformed left hand, dragging a deformed left leg behind her. The poor woman. As they would have said in the old days , she was handicapped. Not now, they had some no doubt pc crap buzz term for it. In my book, in my head, my none pc brain told me she was handicapped. Severely. Hair unwashed. Uncombed. Pulling one of those old lady shopping trollies behind her , with her good hand. A plain woman. Could never stand out . Never mind in a crowd. She dragged all past us.The withered pitiful frame , the sadness in her sunken eyes, the true desperation of existence. The Colonel winked. She didn't see him. She looked cross eyed. Like the TV lion. Clarence. "Phwoar........old boy........I've had that!!!!........Many times........what what!"
Was it too early for a long cool one? No. Never. 5 pm is kick off time. Especially seeing as I had been working so hard on that pension lark all day. Well dodging calls from those shower of tossers all day is work. Hard bloody work. I would get cracking on it tomorrow. Knock it out of the park in less than an hour . Better. Surprising how quickly a decent pint of porter and a big smoke can get to work on brain cells that you sort of thought were dormant. Nothing is ever dormant. Just sleeping. Having a little kip. A little nap.
I topped the glass up , so it resembled a decent pint of Irish pub porter. To Party Elvis, to Billy Da Booze! Heaven bound. I guess.
I took my bounty and retired to my table in the garden. Dolly must have had her Dolly Radar machine on Murphy alert. The white mass appeared slightly above her 4 foot fence. "Mr Murphy......Mr Murphy ........Are you there Mr Murphy .......I can smell cigarette smoke......Mr Murphy ......"........." Mrs Goggins.......good evening sweetheart .......How are ya?".......I couldn't see her, just wisps of white sheep like hair. "Mr Murphy is Major out there with you?"......."No, didn't I see Sore......Francis walking him in your's .....on a lead earlier (Chuckles)........" "He got off the lead on him.....the silly boy......I think someone is fucking feeding the little rascal on the road......." (Laughs) ......."Well, it's not me Mrs Goggins........" ......The hair grew higher , she was on a flowerbed rock now or something like that, because she had not grown a few inches since I last saw her. Shrinking fast was Dolly. Growing into her toes. Fast.
"What about the queer fella ?" ......."The queer fella ?.......What do ya mean?" ......."The translucent........"
I knew what she meant. Even if she didn't. However Miss Lilly Billy wasn't feeding Major. Don't believe Lilly had even been in the garden , but she was indeed looking for a pussy for herself. I gathered. It took me back to the days my Uncle Seamus, the auld fella's younger brother , came to stay and work in London. He stayed with a load of other lads in digs in Neasden. In the days when you all slept upright on a rope. The lads pissed their wages every night , locked outta their skulls. Slept maybe 30 in a house, usually a 3 bedroom one. The landlord tied ropes in every room, so that when the drunk out of their fucking skull labourer's came back. They'd lean on the rope , and fall asleep. The one most sober would cut the rope in the morning, they'd all arise , after falling down , and trundle off to work , to work off their hangovers, work up a new thirst. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat!
Now, I liked Seamus, but, he was a thick cunt. A big drinker, with a big big mouth. He had been barred from most of the irish boozers in the Wood and Kilburn. All because he'd do his Longford thicko act . That involved ordering a pint of cold porter, necking it down in one mighty big gulp. Wiping his mouth , usually with a dirty work , sand and cement covered sleeve. Making sure that the barman or pub landlord was always watching . He 'd then shout , just so heads would turn around......."Jaysus that's not a daaacaaant pint......I'm not paying for that shite!"
Every time I saw him, usually on a sunday , when the mammy would do him "a bitta dinner". he had always a different black eye, new cuts and bruises , or a broken limb. He was a quite man until he had the drink in him. When he had the drink in him, he was a right mouthy bastard. Which was often. Rumour has it , the last time anyone ever saw him , was down The Emerald Bar & Grill in downtown Kilburn. Now Seamus had a habit as most people do , of calling people "a fucking faggot!" . Not in an insulting slur towards gayness. No. Never. Anyone that grew up in Ireland, or in an irish family anywhere , will know, it doesn't mean any such thing. It's an insult. However , it's an insult , with terms of affection. Non irish people won't get that. I get that. I do. It's a shame the bar full of brummie builders didn't get it the night it all kicked off in The Bar & Grill. Seemingly , Seamus pulled his old Longford thicko "free" pint scam, surrounded by a bar full of big beardy , rough as assholes Birmingham brickie's. So far so Seamus. However, Seamus improvised. "What da fuck are you looking at ya big fat hairy faggot!" he snorted to a brummie builder, who sadly for Seamus, didn't quite take it , maybe in the light hearted way it was intended. He laid him lights out on the floor. "That's what I'm looking at Pat!" Seamus was bundled into the back of a manky once white transit van. He is now sadly resting in peace, or pieces somewhere beneath an "Every Little Helps" large supermarket superstore in Burnt Oak!
That's life. Full of fucking surprises!!!!
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
For book orders & inquiries please contact
Two words. Two tiny little words. On a tiny little phone. Two little words with a huge devastating impact. "He knows". Oh Jesus wept!!!! I thought they would be loving, kind, sweet, later's. Not
"He knows". He wasn't going to be happy now "He knows".
I was trying to digest it, really I was, when the doorbell sang again. It seemed louder now to my head. My still trying to sort this "He knows" shit into my head. I checked via the window, just in case The Riddler was on the prowl early. The fat slug. He wasn't. There was an oil slick though.
"Mr Spanner........" ......"Mr Murphy .......may we come in please sir?" The oil slick and the Chuckle's entered , following by a face with glasses. The Nerd. A product of the doughnut shop and no mistake. A visitor from the Planet Geek. A small black briefcase in his hand. "Mr Murphy you won't mind if Detective Willows here has a look at your computer sir.......We are checking all on the road sir?" ......"No work away .......I got nothing to hide Mr Spanner........." Indicating as to the whereabouts of my lap top......."Oh and your phone sir.......If you wouldn't mind......." I placed the phone on the table. It looked very sad. Sadder now that it ever looked before. "He knows" writ large on the text's. I was kind of hoping The Nerd wouldn't take that shit the wrong way , and sort of imply shit that wasn't happening . I could tell he liked his job did The Nerd. He liked computers. He liked to pry into other peoples lives. Got a kick out of it. Always the dead ones also. Like Winny the Wart. Got off on it . In a geek like fashion. A fucking nerdy perv!
Looking at the Marilyn Monroe picture on the wall, the one where her white dress is swirling upwards, the Oil Slick pounced. "I see Mr Murphy sir that you are a fan of glamorous female form .......Were you a fan of the glamorous Miss Whittle sir?" A fan no! Of the glamorous Miss Whittle ?. Where did she live?. I'd like to meet her. Not the very much deceased Miss Winny the Wart! "Erm......that was a gift from my friend Banjo in New York Mr Spanner.......I am a fan yes.......But, I hasten to add , I was not a fan of the , as you put it , not me.......the glamorous Miss Whittle" .......The Nerd was intensely busy rummaging through my files , emails, pictures , "Dirty Cowgirls In Bikini's " (No, made that bit up!) etc etc, so he hadn't actually noticed the almond milk in his tea, nor the fact that within the space of a few minutes , he had demolished an entire packet of vegan digestives. Greedy fat bastard! The Chuckle's had declined , but, the Oil Slick , had spotted the peppermint tea. "I'll have one of them if it's going Mr Murphy sir! He let it rest in his oily fingers . The ponce. "So ......Miss Whittle ......She didn't turn you on in anyway......lead you on in anyways ......maybe reject your advances......refuse you SEX!" He went up at the end , like an aussie does. Like when you ask them how they are doing on a wet monday morning at Charing Cross and they go "Yeh ......I'm doing ok today MATE!!!!!!!" It appears very charming at first. However after a comparatively short time it will begin to grate , get on your fucking nerves. Like him. The Slick. "Do I need to call a lawyer here Mr Spanner ?" ........."No, just routine Mr Murphy ......just routine sir!"
Time flew by. No it didn't . It dragged on and on and on. The Nerd , I could tell was frustrated. Nothing. Not a fucking sausage! I love the female form , more, much more than I like to look at it on a little screen. I love the touch, the sense, the smell , the feel. I'm not some sit upright , pillar of the community playing with himself in the spare room , as soon as the wifelet has started the hoovering . Or the kids have been packed off to Grandmama's for "brunch". No. I was a real life man. Not me to photoshop biceps where there really wasn't any for my large social media "friends". Just so I could look a bigger dick , than I actually was. Not a fan! I am though of honesty!
I went outside , just to look at the stars. It had grown darker quickly tonight . I lit up a smoke , placed my coffee on the table . Took a seat. The Nerd had by now drawn attention to my text message from the beautiful Davina. "He knows". Oh crap. Now what? Play it cool Murph , play it cool!
"You got a minute Mr Murphy ......" ......"Yes Mr Spanner ......I'm out here ......" The oil slick creeped out into my garden , in that still too big for him suit. He looked like he had auditioned at one time for the great Talking Heads , beat combo, and been turned away for being far too oily. "Would you like to explain this message sir?" Holds up my phone , said message on the screen. As the auld fella always said "When your in a hole.......don't keep diggin' son .....ya'll only make the fecking hole bigger!" ......"Oh that......friend of mine......think it's a joke........Mr Spanner!" ........"Don't look like a joke to me Mr Murphy.......Now who knows? .....Who knows what sir?"
"I am sorry ......Mr Murphy .......I didn't catch your reply.........sir!" Sorry oil slick, was trying to climb out of this hole. "I didn't give one Mr Spanner ......it's a private message is all". He frowned, his oily head appeared to get bigger before my eyes. He crouched down to the table. He looked like a little fucker that had nits when he was a kid. I hope the ate the fucking head of the little cunt! Bit the fucker until he bled!
"Davina ........Now , would that be that foxy little minx ......Davina Savage.......Mrs , by the way ......married to Mr Eustace Savage , number 24 on this road.......of this parish sir.......you dipping your wick in that little minx Mr Murphy?" Crude oily bastard.
"Erm.......Look , it's private Mr Spanner ......I'm going to call my lawyer .....I know my right's" He shook his head. Then again. Tutted. "Mr Murphy ......There's no need to adopt that tone.......I'm just asking you a question that's all.......I can hear panic in your voice.....why is that sir?" I composed myself . "Mr Spanner .........what I do in my personal life ......really, it's got nothing to do with you ......with respect". He didn't like that . Not one little bit. Great! The Nerd came out the back, the Chuckle's followed. "Nafink guv!" The oil slick appeared heartbroken. His face fell. It matched his mood . His ill fitting suit. "Ok folks......we'll continue ...next door at Mrs Google's house ......." "Mrs Goggin's guv" ......"Yeh whatever......." He wasn't finished. He had wisdom to impart. Which he most kindly did.
"Just so you know Mr Murphy.......Just so you know.......Mr Savage has a history of violence sir......wouldn't like to upset him in anyway ......if I was you sir.......he beat some little Brixton wide boy to death with a cricket bat when he was only 19 sir......."
Then he smiled. Big oily oil slick smile..........."Mind how you go sir.........mind how you go!"
Food for thought? .Certainly. Worried now? Certainly. Anything to do? Certainly. 10 in the pm. I watched as Spanner joined the Nerd and the Chuckle's in going next door to check on Dolly Goggin's porn stash! Bunsheen crept across the road . Oh no. Not now. Yes now! "Oi Mush......couldn't give us an 'and could ya.......it's my Bert see.......he's only gone and jammed his arse on the camood....." I guessed that she meant the commode. The shitting chair. Hard to tell south of the river. " Well I......." Was about to say , I have a lot on right now. One being do I nail or screw tight the front door , as I may well have a very fat overweight sloppy cunt , irate as fuck, about to try and kill me. Hey, that shit can wait, lets deal with Shitty Bert. "'E's well facking jammed mate .....tried to wipe a load of butter round the seat and his dirty arse .......ain't working ......I told him to use the bedpan .....selfish little fack wanted to shit in the chair see.........I could murder the little cant!" What again? Bury him in the garden? .Again? Poor Dead Bert. About to be murdered again?
I walked across with her , in through the door , up the stairs , into Bert's room. Bert was large as life alive. Well I say large as life, that wasn't strictly true. Small of life. Drained of life. Wizened of life. Not long left of life. Fucking well and truly right pissed off with life! Dead behind the eyes life. Not long for this world, there he sat. Jammed tight on the shitting chair. Not embarrassed. Why would he be. Probably could only see shadows. He was in pain though. Gently , but, with one swift action, I pulled him from the chair. His tiny little arsecheeks made that noisy little squelch of delayed suction as I lifted him off. "Gawwwd Bless ya ........fank you so much ........." Bunsheen said , cake crumbs still visible around her scabby lips. "Aw bless him ....he had the trots ........look........"
As I came out of Bunsheen and Dead Bert's house, and glancing to my right , I spotted the brassy blonde Norma, giving The Mod, her ex Norman, a terrible pasting with her large gaudy pink handbag. I think drink may well have been taken. Especially by her.He was frantically trying to protect his face and especially his hair from the blows. " You make me facking sick .....you dirty old bastard .....she was younger than your facking dawwwwta!!!!!!" Then she stormed off , the few doors down , to see poor recently widowed Violet , her dawwwwta!!!! I smiled. Thinking . Might be a good idea to hide the gin Vi! Although, to whom was she referring , was it Winny the Wart? Was The Mod messing around with poor misery guts Winny at number 10? Was Winny The Wart a sex kitten ? Was she a true female vixen beneath the sheets? Was I missing something , that maybe, just maybe , had been staring me straight in the face all along?Apart from the big old wart obviously! There were many questions that remained unanswered , and it seems they would remain so. Violet came out and gave her brassy blonde angry mum a big hug , just outside her front door. A black crepe wreath now placed indiscreetly just above the tiny bevelled glass panel. Far too big, but, he was a big hearted guy. Nothing is too much when your a chav. Especially a deceased chav. Still it was what he would have wanted. A large over the top wreath , with a full can of lager stuck on the front. Hey, when you've gone. Make sure that people , especially your loved ones, remember you in style. Touch!
As the say round these parts, south of the mighty river , the Thames, it was "A right touch!!!". The legend lives on. Number 4 Sunnyside Road ,dead real dead Cyril, the home of Party Elvis , the worst Frank Sinatra tribute ever, Billy Da Booze. It's what he would have wanted. He would have loved it. They used to have a terrace chant at the Spurs in the 70's "Nice one Cyril , nice one son......Nice one Cyril......Let's have another one!" Not anymore Cyril. You can't buy a 4 pack can of Stella at the home of Jesus!
I may well be wrong?
The lights were not on at The Corpse's , but, she was there, hidden beneath a massive cloud of smoke. Somewhere. I fumbled around in my pockets for my keys , as I crossed the road. Glancing to my left , at the curtains never drawn over Colonel's , I could see at least someone was getting some action tonight. In and out like a jackhammer , blue pilled up to the eyeballs, glasses all steamed up again. Pumping away on the glad arse of Miss Lilly Billy , their faces bristling with sweat . The Colonel was about to dribble his load. Enough. In time. In time. I checked behind me now, just in case, glancing up at Davina's room. That special room. That room I very much missed. Longed to be in again. In her bed. In heaven. The light there was off. Maybe they were talking . I wanted to ring. I wanted to text. I wanted to know, at least , that she was ok. Still alive . Tomorrow , I would go down the high street , buy as many locks and bolts as I could . "He knows" ........It felt like a warning. It was.
I had barely turned the key , when I heard a mighty crash, followed seconds later by another even bigger CRASH!!!!!! WTF! Rushing to the back door I caught the Chuckle's , the Nerd and the Oil Slick trying to scale Dolly Goggin's 4 foot fence.My fence. They all failed. To my left I noticed someone or something had run clean through the Colonel's fence. May well have put him out of pump action mode! The Oil Slick was almost out of breath. Coughing hard. You want to try smoking pal! "Mr Murphy may we come through your property sir?" .......Did I have a choice? Probably not. "Yes Mr Spanner of course.....I'll get the front door for ya......" .....He coughed again......"Cheers......" Who were they chasing? Someone who obviously didn't want to be there no doubt. Had Dolly Goggin's gone all roadrunner , scarpered through the gardens? A little old gran on the run? I doubted it. Absolutely not! Dolly couldn't run to save her fucking life!
The gang of 4 came in, ran through, all heavy breathing. Hopefully they weren't going to listen next door ? Spanner stopped , ordered the minnows to run on without him, pulling the Nerd back. Who was probably moving about as fast as a very lame slow tortoise! They blew hard. Spanner asked if he could have a drink of water ,the Nerd asked for a coke, normal full of sugar shit! A bottle of water and a diet pepsi later Spanner looked me in the eye. "What do you know about Francis Benn ......Mr Murphy?" I knew nothing. I humoured him.
Did he mean "Sore Feet" , Dolly's grandson, the man jutting around with a cat on a lead? He did!
Cricklewood back in the day. I should have ran. I didn't. Long hot sunny sunday, egged on by my pals, I robbed a few bars of almost melting chocolate bars from the always missed Woolworths. Just not by me. I got caught. Badly. Red handed. Bang to rights. Thought I was facing years in the slammer at 10 years old. I wasn't . I know that now. The police were called. Then the auld fella . I got a right telling off from the plod, and was released into the custody of the auld fella, who made sure that they saw him take off his big leather belt. I looked like I was in for a hell of a "bating!" I wasn't. The smirk of the police officer's face as the auld fella dragged me out of Woolworth's for the very last time ever , wasn't pleasant, and left me with a lifetime of wonder and disgust! Hey, it was bad enough to be banned from every Woolworth's in London, but that fucking smirk , made no fucking sense! Not one bit.
The auld fella got me around the corner , and put his belt back on. Sermon time. I wasn't wrong. "Now Peeethar........listen up here now boy......Ya don't stale stuff dat's not yours to stale boy.......dat's wrong so it 'tis......." ......" I know pops .......I'm sorry" Put innocent boy face on, act like you mean it. Always works. This time also. Even though old Mrs Smith who lives beside us until she popped her clogs used to stare at me with that crooked scary face and say "YOU have the devil in ya Murphy!" . Probably. Looking back you were probably right , ya wizened old contrary bag! "And Peeethar .....if ya are going ta stale ....and ya get caught staling son.......ya fecking run boy......ya run!.....ya run like da hommmers of hill!"
So, Sore feet was on the run, but, on the run from what exactly? What had sweet little Dolly's grandson done to run? He must have done something? "He's gone sir " said the red faced out of breath Chuckle . Overweight and out of shape. He'd given it his best shot in the chase. Which in all honesty was fuck all. Truly pathetic However he blew like fuck, gasping for air. . The Nerd got on his phone, slipping away , to call for back up. No doubt. Or else , he was checking if his "Meat Ball" feast pizza had been delivered to the cop shop. With a large bottle of fizzy coke!
The colonel, glasses still all steamed up, came outside to our now shared garden, still buttoning up his flies. The beast was back in his den. For now! "What's all the commotion Mr Peter?........." ....."Someone done a runner from next door Colonel" ......."Oh, I say.......my fence......." " Yes, appears he ran through it whilst being chased by the fil.....these police people Colonel" Spanner introduced himself again, they had met before, and the new Chuckle's, still gasping for fresh breathe . "Well who was it old boy ......I mean , not good for the old ticker .......when entertaining a young filly.......what what......." Spanner , breath fully back now was doing what he liked to do best, take charge, even though he was fucking useless at it! "Francis Benn sir........" The Colonel looked confused, even more so when I followed up with "Dolly Goggin's grandson.........Colonel" The clearly flustered Colonel laughed, laughed louder......."Aw old boy.......that's Franko Bendy ......he's not Dolly's grandson......he's her lover old boy!"
I guess, somehow, my mouth had flung wide open , as all and sundry where now looking my way. I truly had not lived long enough to see that coming. That sweet little white haired old lady next door, not far off pushing up the daisies , playing the beast with two backs with Sore Feet! The Colonel laughed again, heartily . Content that the joke wasn't on him , just yet! "Ah......Mr Peter ....you haven't lived long enough round these parts old boy......what what......everyone knows about Benny The Bonk.......Bonkers Benny .....Bonkalot Benn!!!!!" Not me, seen him around, always thought he was a bit on the simple side , jutting around , slippers on his feet , taking cats for a walk on a lead! Simpleton! Apparently not , apparently he had a very full and busy life , charming the auld bloomers , big baggy , saggy auld bloomers , caked in piss and shit, off grey haired old biddies. Before he robbed them all blind!
"He's Edward and Doreatha Benn's son old boy......number 2 ......they disowned him years ago mind Mr Peter......when they caught him shagging Ellie .........Eleanor ......number 6.......in the back shed......." Oh sweet Nelson Mandela's big toe, that was a little hard to take in ........Sore Feet and The Corpse at it like fucking rabbits in the shed. Mouth now wide open. Captain Birdseye's long lost son. His choice , I believe, was back on the road he had been brought up , and now had a fecking helicopter overhead looking as to his whereabouts . It had become far from a quite night on the street. The night wasn't over yet.
So, why did Sore Feet run, and how the hell was he able? I only ever saw the jutting little gobshite shuffle. In his slippers. Well, it transpires according to the Oil Slick, that Sir Bonkalot had been asked politely for his phone, to which he had replied politely "Of course Officers ......I'll go get it.......left it in the garden earlier when I was taking the cat for a walk......." Opened the back door and legged it. Over Dolly's fence, well my fence really, and through the Colonel's . That was it. The chase was on. I guess he won. Yet, what was he hiding on his precious phone? A load of old lady pic's porn? A message that shouldn't have been there. Nobody runs if they are innocent . People only run, if they are well and truly guilty of something!!!!! Anything!!
I knew as much.
I needed a drink. A big one! Guinness and lots of it. Slop it in. Digest the night. Be awhile. That was a definite! Nothing more sure. Might ease the fucking mad head on me!
The Colonel was obviously back on the job, plowing away on Miss Lilly Billy. The walls where far too thin in these pokey little houses to listen to pokey moans and groans the other side of. I put some more listenable pleasures on my turntable . Time for a little joy. A little Carpenters . Seemed apt now , given the night just happening, continuing to unfold before me. I thought of my beautiful Davina as "We've only just begun" came on the old record player , that I somehow, had managed to smuggle out of the Wood! They had all wanted it, the brothers and sisters, when the auld fella and The Mammy had gone. However, I had it in the boot of my auld mini , before they even knew it was gone. Still worked after all these years . Still cool. Still an everlasting memory. That would never ever change . Ever! Jesus , I missed them now. Both of them. I could have done with a chat now with the big auld spud. Would have given anything just to hear his advice on this most delicate of situations. What to do? Now? Did I sit and wait until the Blubber Mountain showed up all full of drink and bile and temper at the front door ? Or did I man the fuck up , charge down the street , like an irish Knight without a stitch of armour , and rescue the beautiful damsel in distress? I chewed nervously on another cigarette and necked the black gold. It seemed the decision wasn't mine to make . There was a thump on the front door . It didn't sound like Miss Lilly Billy had forgotten her keys, it was far from effiminate . It was an angry thump. Very. It wasn't Miss Lilly Billy.
In truth, I really didn't need to look. I knew who was there.I could hear the growling. The Riddler. Frothing at the mouth. He stared at me with only anger in his sunken eyes. His far too many chins wobbling with temper . It was showdown time. We both knew it. He stank of cheap foul lager , body odour , and pissing in his manky old shorts piss. He smelled.Big time. Dragging the very beautiful Davina , from behind his blubbery mountain back , he flung her in the door, landing at my feet. "Are you banging that old facking slaaaaaaag......." He hollered. He slurred. I didn't answer , what I could only perceive was at one stage a question. Not going to be rude about or in front of my beautiful tender queen. He appeared to grow even angrier by my refusal. Eyes sinking further into his fatted head. Sweat dripping off his chinese directory chins, he spluttered the same old insulting shite again. He wanted a reaction. It was coming. "Are you facking banging that old facking slaaaaaaaag........Paddy?" Now, us lads, us men, us competitors for the fair heart of any beautiful maiden , anywhere in the world, anywhere, even in far off distant places, no one has ever even heard of , or been. We all know , when another man is aiming to simply punch our lights out. That's a fact. Evolution. The auld fella gave me the best piece of advice of all time when it comes to finding yourself in said predicament......."Always look at da gobshite .....in da eyes Peeethar......and tell da fucking eegit ......look.... if your going to hit me......I am going to hit you back!!!" See that's given a warning to heed and you are also being extremely polite ! Served us fighting Murphy's well back in the Wild Wood. "Then when he plants wan on ya.......Kick the thick fucker in da bollix!!.......He won't be wanting ta hit ya agiiinnnn!"
BANG!!!!!!!! Straight on the old irish hooter. Saw a few stars I didn't recognize, I felt my knees buckle. It was a big punch, no doubt about it, but, he was a big guy, a big mountain of sweat blubber and lard! I felt Davina leave my ankles and scurry away to the lounge. Petrified. Terrified . Scared . Who could blame her? Not me. He was slow though, in lining up the follow up, I managed to block his lardy arm , with mine. Now my nostrils could get a hint of shit! By the blue jaysus, he must have wiped his big auld fat lardy arse with his fucking hands. Dirty bastard. Dirty fat bastard! I feigned a punch to the fat face , his chins wobbled, probably still wobbling, only to draw my right foot back as far as I could , and drive it with all the fighting celtic spirit I had left in me , straight and square into his redundant bollix!!!!! WHAM A LAMMA DING DONG!!!!! He went down like the big fat lump of blubberous crap that he was. Wincing like a fucking babby , clutching his tenderized nuts! Game over ! Don't fucking mess with the Murphy's sunshine over! Ya won't bate the irish fucker! Now, in my experience , usually when I had carried this out on many others, back in the days when you could get away with it. I did. You really can't speak when someone gives you an almighty belt in the balls. He couldn't . He wouldn't . Not for some time. No matter how much ointment he wiped into the old ball sack ! He looked up at me now , as if implying that maybe I should offer him, show him some sympathy . Sad to say he was looking up at the wrong guy. The very much so wrong guy. The back in the Wood guy was now full of shit and bravado! "You come around here again you fucking tosser.......and, I'll finish the fucking job!!....Now do one!"
He did. Gingerly.
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
For book orders & inquiries please contact
It was midnight . Davina was calmer now. She had borrowed some of Miss Lilly Billy's smellie's, and had a long hot soak. She smelled so beautiful now asleep in my arms on the armchair in the
lounge. It had been a heart beating kind of a day. It was now over. The day. All was calm. Well, as calm as it could be. Sure , the police helicopter was still overhead , on the look out for
the granny snatcher Sore Feet. Captain and Mrs Birdeye's estranged son. The serial of old ladies shagger, and thief of staff on Sunnyside Road. I had a mix tape on the player , the old
classic, my favourite song ever "The End Of The World" by the great Skeeter Davis started to play. It wasn't. May well have felt that way at times today, at times tonight, but, it wasn't .
Far from it . My queen nestled into my chest . Asleep . Away with the fairies. Oblivious now, to all that had happened , and gone before. Rest my beautiful angel. Rest. For now.
There would be a solution to all of this . There was always. We would find it. Find one. That's how it rolls , isn't it?
I remember the auld fella telling me about an auld farmer who lived around his old homestead in the arsehole of nowhere in the dark unchartered bowels of Longford. He was called Barney Drew. Well, I say called. He was christened that name by his parents. Now he had one big yellow rotten tooth at the very top of mouth. His tongue always licked it when he was deep in conversation and thought , which wasn't often it seems. Partly because he never ever washed himself . Stank to high heaven. Always. So naturally back in the days when carbolic was cheap, most "dacant" folk avoided him.
Nobody ever called him Barney or Mr Drew , he was always referred to as "The Fella With The Wan Tooth!" Always.
Now, "The Fella With The Wan Tooth!" was as tight as a fishes arse! "Mane" as they called him around the village . "Dat fella is rale mane!" That mane , as they called him , and yes it was pronounced that way. Anyways , he'd venture down on an auld push bike every evening for his few pints . Same auld crusty trousers , tied up with twine , left over from the baling of the hay. Wan Tooth had a very strange habit , when it came to money. He didn't like spending it, that was a certified fact. No, he used to bury the money out in the fields. Especially after he'd sold a big auld baste at the cattle market. Bury it deep. So, when he needed a few bob for his pints down O' Malley's , he'd dig deep , take enough of the dirt caked notes down , purchase a pint , throw the manky auld note on the counter , back in the days when the irish had their own "punt" , and smile , that big wan tooth smile at Christy behind the bar , and go "A pint of yer bist!!!!!!" Now, it didn't take long , a matter of weeks, before the dear departed Christy O Malley got absolutely pissed off with this auld carry on. "Jaysus wud ya not be washing dim notes .......I'm taking no more of dim!"
Wan Tooth took offence , quickly , to this , and went home that night on his bokitty auld bike . Sulking all the way down the boreen. He wasn't seen in the pub again for months and months. Until that Christmas Eve , now riding into town on a spanking brand new Honda 50. No helmet. Living dangerously. A bat out of hell! O' Malley's was rammed. Standing room only. Wan Tooth came in carrying a large plastic bag. He made his way easily to the bar. That happens with ease when your a smelly little unwashed fucker! He placed the bag on the counter and yelled at Christy "A pint of yer bist!!!!"
In a busy bar, at a busy time, you don't want nor need fuss. Yet Christy eyed Wan Tooth with scepticism. "I don't want none of yer auld filthy notes now......." He placed a pint of creamy black gold on the counter. Wan Tooth took a gulp, swirled it around the big yellowed molar , swallowed and replied......."Aw shur now Kit ......I've no notes boy.......I brought you da money for da pint......'tis in the bag boy......." Christy opened the bag to find a bag full of dirty unwashed dug up pennies and half pennies. Dirty coppers. Wan Tooth began to walk away from the bar , O' Malley his mouth open , his eyes filled with astonishment was far too shocked to speak.
"Der might be wan or two extra pennies in der Kit........ya can keep the change boy!"
We slept long into the night . She using my chest as a pillow. My dressing gown , as a blanket. We were warm. Together.
7 am. The door slammed almost off it's hinges. Miss Lilly Billy was "home". The dirty stop out! Reeking of cheap sex. Colonel sex! Cheap sex and herb!
"Hi Pete........shall I make us all a coffee hun?" The voice wasn't so effeminate , first thing in the morning, especially when you awake with a slight pain in the neck. You really don't need another one. In fact , it had begun to sound rather butch . "Nah......I'm ok for the minute Lilly" Davina's beautiful mane , sheltered her beautiful face , you wouldn't know who she really was. Miss Lilly Billy did. Strange. "How's about you Davvy love ?" .......She turned over , on my chest, moans a little, that sleepy little moan, cute moan, that simply betrayed the fact , she was ok right now for coffee!
I placed my beautiful Davina gently back on the chair, as I arose. She quitely continued sleeping. Softly. Like a princess. My princess.My Queen! I opened the back door and sat at the table. It was a little colder this morning . The breeze coming through the man sized hole in the Colonel's fence didn't help. Overhead , maybe's a little away in the distance, the faint sound of the police helicopter could be heard. Wasting time , money , resources , on a fugitive who had long since fled. I lit a smoke. I fancied a coffee now. Miss Lilly Billy must have read my mind. She brought one out , pinching a cigarette on the way. She sat down. Hair was very dishevelled, the bald spot apparent. Eyes like pandas squinting in the haze of a dawning sun. "Sav didn't take it well hun?" A question? An understatement? I wasn't sure . "Lilly how did he find out?" Miss Lilly bit nervously on the end of her smoke......."Gotta be Gems innit hun".......Poncho? The big gob on it ......"I fink she rang him last night......I mighta mentioned it ......hun" By the Blue Jaysus, you may as well have put a front page advertisement in The Scum On Sunday , as tell fucking mouth almighty anything! No point having a go at Miss Lilly Billy. No point. Not going to change a single thing . Not a jot! Miss Lilly took her drink upstairs and as could be heard , very quickly joined the land of nod. I carried the very beautiful Davina upstairs and put her underneath the sheets , very very gently. She did not awake, just emitted a lovely little moan. A moan, I am ashamed to say, made me want to go beneath the sheets with her and cuddle. Maybe more than cuddle. A lot more. I did not. I wanted to. I did! I really did!
Showered and shaved. I kissed my Queen softly on her sleeping forehead , and grabbed a jacket off the peg. Denim. Ok, now it's double denim. How uncool. Well, to some maybe, like snotty nosed little herbert's who had never lived. The Quo rocked it , Shaky rocked it, now, it was the Murph's turn! I pulled the collar down. No point in looking far too cool. Made my way quickly down the street. The fat cop watching the shop, at number 10 , wasn't too far away from sleep. A big jumbo sausage roll. Then sleep. Leaning against Winny The Wart's front door . He yawned that big yawn. That "fuck me!" can I go home now yawn?.
I needed bread. Completely out now. I had guests . They needed to be fed. I decided to get some Sourdough bread fresh from the bakers down near the high street. Quickest way was via the old canal bridge. I liked walking. Just not that much. Not another half a mile extra , out of my way need. That no need. A minute or so later , as I approached "The Kissing Bridge" as they called it around these parts . No idea why. I had other names for it , due to the number of used needles and balloons scattered over and under it. It was very quite. Too quite.
Blue police tape had closed off all sides. So, that was the reason for no traffic. "Do Not Cross" , "Do Not Enter" and the fat bobby standing in front of the line. I went a little closer. There appeared to be a mini crane down there, looked like it was hoisting a large heavy object out of the water. The large heavy object. Lard like. Wasn't moving. Appeared to be dead as a door nail dead.
The flashing blue lights , on the marked cars, unmarked cars on the bridge , led me to believe this was fucking serious shit. It was. Two ambulances sat side by side , on the other side .
The fat bobby on the bridge warned me bluntly "You can't go down there sir!" I had no intention. The screen of the dead was clear as day , from where I was. Water was now gushing out of and off the large mammal carcass being lifted out of the canal. The big shorts down around it's ankles , betrayed "superman" boxers. Those shorts had finally had a good soak. He would not be needing them again. Ever. The pathologists got to work on the bloated corpse of Eustace Savage esquire aka The Riddler aka "late of this parish" . He was going to take some burning! Not sure if they had an oven that big in any south London crematorium ! A big bonfire for the kids maybe?
On the bank below, mingling around among the white suits , was The Oil Slick , The Nerd, and too many Chuckle's to count. However , they were all obviously in peak condition , as their various degrees of fat guts implied. Pure cop athletes! Superfit!
Further down along the bank a woman police officer stood beside two spotty faced teenagers holding fishing gear. Had they seen the sad demise of such a pure specimen of manhood? Had he had enough? Topped himself? These would all I'm sure , have answers to them in time. No doubt. Davina was now a free woman. My woman. My Queen. The Riddler had now , it more than seemed,had, had his chips, brown bread. It was a problem solved , without me doing a single thing . I lit a smoke. I waited. I needed to talk briefly with The Oil Slick.
I'd waited awhile. Then , losing patience , I went the long way around, bought some bread, some ciggies , and a takeaway coffee from Dino's . Beautiful. Almond cappuccino. I was still sipping said beverage as I arrived back at "The Kissing Bridge. Apt. The place now forever where The Riddler , that fat blubber mountain , from sarf London, kissed goodbye to his life. That bridge. The Blubber Bridge!
Spanner was on his way up from the bank, climbing slowly, shielding his eyes now from the morning sun. 10.30 in the am.
"Mr Murphy sir.......You are making a habit of being seen near the scene of a crime sir!" He laughed. "Mr Spanner ......Nice to see you are being kept busy......." He frowned. Not a happy one. "I believe you and the late Mr Savage had .....ahem words last evening sir!" How the F...?
"We did Mr Spanner .......But, I didn't do this shit......Didn't liked the fat slob much but....." He smiled. "I know.......I know that......rest easy ......I gather you were busy about 2 am ?" He laughed. Again. "I was asleep Mr Spanner ........asleep sir"
"I gather Mrs Savage can vouch for your whereabouts ?" ......"Yes, she can.......We spent the night together......." "Good good......." Somewhere inside I believed him. Progress.
He points down to the two lads holding the fishing rods on the bank. "See those two chaps down there Mr Murphy?"....."Yes"
"Well it appears Mr Murphy that those two lads were fishing down here last night near the bridge........Saw it all 'appen like"
" I see......."......"Yes sir....they saw it all .......the big splash.......followed by an even bigger splash......the final one sir!" The final one?
Down it went the big tent to put him in. Fat gut. Although in fairness, best not to speak ill of the dead, it could have been an XXXXXL bodybag. Maybe. Still looked like a massive flat tent. "A final splash Mr Spanner.......What do you mean".....He looked at me sternly. I had seen that look before. He was being serious now, not a good time to laugh into his oily face! "This go's no further Mr Murphy .....but, seeing as you are involved now......with the late Mr Savages wife......who I will need to identify the body sir!"
"Of course Mr Spanner .......of course......but....." "You don't say anything......I'll run you back......let me talk to her first.....Ok?"
"Yes , of course Mr Spanner .......the final splash?" ......"Yes, the two chaps see The late Mr Savage walk down the steps at about 2 am, unsteady on his feet, been drinking heavily, went to take a piss , lost his footing , and fell in the canal......." "Right......."
"Right indeed, he struggled hard to make it back out , but, he did manage to crawl back up onto the bank.......just "
"But, I mean the canal is only about 3 foot deep Mr Spanner .......how did he manage to drown in that low of a level of......"
"He didn't .......that's just it.......he didn't ......he was shaking himself down on the bank , when a dark clothed figure , the lads couldn't see the face .......lopped a great big old computer over the bridge .......it hit Mr Savage on the bonce ......Lights out!"
A frogman now surfaced from the water below , holding aloft a very old computer . A computer I had seen once before.
Not so very long ago.
Midday. I left Spanner to break the news to my sweetheart Davina . Not a nice part of his job to be fair. Not a nice job for her. To have to go and identify the fat bloated carcass of The Riddler. However, it was one little problem less for me to worry about . I lit a smoke , outside my front door. I'd give the Oil Slick a break today . He didn't like the smoke , I get that, he was still a cunt, but, he was an ok cunt! I drew hard. Lot to take in. Thoughts ran back to the Wood. The auld fella always told the story about Jimmy "The Bob" Molloy , who lived over the road from us. The auld buck always said "If yer going ta berry a body in da water , tie it down with weights ......cos if ya don't .....it'll float up aginn.....just to say a last hello!" Now, Jimmy "The Bob" was quite the dapper little fella, about 5 foot 1 , but, he wore big old cuban heels , made him look a good 5 inches taller . Big auld snoz on it , like the Hollywood actor of old, Jimmy Durante, but, more of a ladies man, with it. Always. He was married to Mairead, a big heavily bosomed woman from the wild hills of County Mayo. Her bosoms were nearer to the ground than her knees to be fair. Top heavy . Big bark. Big bite.
Anyways The Bob was called so, because he always wore a bright ginger syrup on the crown of his grey hair . A wig. He thought nobody ever noticed it, but, they did, sniggered at it, mocked him behind his back. Which seemed fair game to me, I mean , it's not like it didn't look like a wig. It did. It really did. Plus, it's fair to say , there wasn't to many lived round the Wood with chestnut mare red hair. With a kiss curl.
Like Bill Haley used to have when he had hair! Alive also!
Well, it seems, The Bob was seeing some "bit of fluff" in the next road. He thought Mairead didn't know. She did. There wasn't an awful lot Mairead didn't know. There wasn't a great deal you could ever keep from Mairead. Or her brothers Ted and Eddy (Bit of inter breeding going on there!) Mairead got on very well with her brothers and they were very fond of her. Do anything for her. Which they did. The night they drove around to Elsie Pinkerton's house , found the brazen hussy entertaining The Bob, the wig side saddle on his head. Pulled the two of them apart , chopped them up at the slaughterhouse they worked in , down Dollis Hill. Bagged the chopped up parts and threw them into an old lake out in the woods in Essex. There was obviously not a sign of The Bob or the rather too friendly Elsie for nigh on 12 months . Anytime , Mairead was asked as to his whereabouts all she's say was "Shur he's over in Ireland nursing da muther so he is........" Now, this for a hugely impatient and small little runt of a man , would have been a huge undertaking , should anyone have actually believed it. The auld fella didn't . "Big woman dat wan......big temper on dat wan.....ya never cross a woman with a big temper on it Peethar.......shur' she'll be bating da shite owwa ya before ya know it!" He was right. He was all the time. The big spud. All he did was shrug his shoulders the day the news broke that the long deceased lovers heads were found bobbing and weaving together in a deserted pond, in deepest darkest Essex woods. Even in death still jutting!
Together forever. Ain't love grand.
Listening intently as the police car sprung into radio coming through life. No Chuckle's present to take it here. Right now. I listened anyway as colleagues talked me through it all. It transpires Sore Feet had been found and caught , by 99 year old Betty Wandle's son Trevor , rifling through her knicker drawer , filling a blue Chief superstore carrier bag with all her gold and silver jewellery .After a night of passion on the almost blind pensioner's big auld brass bed! He was now looking forward to a cooked dinner at Tooting nick! He may need to think about wearing some different footwear when he gets to jail. Or he'll find himself with a very sore and hairless arse! The Colonel walked out bandy legged to his Jag. The one I had never ever see him drive. He placed an army issued suitcase in the trunk. His legs were spread wide. His obviously sore crotch was giving him more than jib! I was right . "Mr Peter........good afternoon old boy........" "Colonel.......off somewhere nice ?" He smiled. That unhappy smile. That smile. " No old boy.........just orf to the clinic old boy......what what......" ......"Everything ok Colonel......You look like your in a bit of pain there sir......." He grimaced; I had obviously stirred the pot. "I am old chap......I am......woke up this morning .....and well......the old todger was very itchy old boy.......scratching away all morning what what........" ......"Sorry to hear that Colonel.......anything I can do?" ......"Nah......old boy ......think there's creepy crawlies down there now old chap......Actually yes ,yes there is old chap........keep that little Lilly bitch away from me ........."
Guess that was the end of the Lillykin's and Tigerskin's romp fest! For, well, maybe ever.
The door swung open behind me, Spanner rushed out, cop phone to his ear. He had panic written all over his mush. Oily mush! He was now shouting loudly down the phone.
I turned around briefly to see Miss Lilly Billy hugging the free now forever beautiful Davina. Everything was going to be alright now. Everything was going to work out just fine! Or maybe not.
"Murphy!!!!!" shouted The Slick........"Yes Mr Spanner........" ....."Come on get in .........We have to go now!!!!!!".....I looked confused , I was confused. Very. "What?.......What ?......Go where ?"......."You know him....You can talk to him...We may need your help"......I got in beside Spanner . He looked worried. "Know who Mr Spanner?......." "The Priest.......the fucking priest Murphy ......we just got access to his deleted files.....fucker has locked every door in the fucking house.......".......He put the pedal to the metal and floored it down to the big mansion , beside the big church , down the Broadway! On the way there he took a call from a Seargeant Mayhew , who went on to explain that Mrs Hanratty had been unable to locate the Scaldy headed mad fecker from Cork, earlier that morning , when she had brought him his boiled eggs and soliders , as she did on a daily basis. His study was locked . His bedroom was locked. The door to the vestry was locked. The door which led into where the flock gathered to worship , mainly on a sunday's now was locked . The church door. There was a couple of police cars there , when we arrived . Spanner keys still in the car still running lept out . Fast . Ran a few paces , before calling back to me still sitting in the car "Come on Murphy ........you may need to talk this fucker down!"
The Chuckle's had already broken the Study door down. The lack of dust upon Father O' Reilly's big old "marital advice" desk space betrayed the fact his old fashioned computer was missing . Spanner knew by the look on my face , that we both knew where that had ended up in the early hours of the morning. Mrs Hanratty stood there , transfixed by all going on around her. Offering tea and coffee and sandwiches and home made sponge cake (with jam!) to nobody listening. This didn't look like it was all going to end well. It wasn't! Armed officers were called for. They were on the way. Spanner passed me a stab vest "Put that fucker on Murphy!!!.....and follow me " Upstairs , the master bedroom. The master's bolt hole. Officers had already broken through the big brown teak door. Inside they had discovered O' Reilly's Thai girls porn stash. Miss Thai April edition was sweetly smiling atop a surgically enhanced body. Waxed. Nice. Wouldn't say no! A chuckle called out to The Slick "Mr Spanner sir........there's a note here on the bed......." Spanner took the note in hand from a shocked looking officer. Probably had a quick look at the thai porn stash. Think his mind was elsewhere. Maybe Thailand . Mine would be also. Spanner read quickly the last bit he read again aloud. For all to hear. We did. "I'm sorry to all. I've let you all down. You've read the mail between myself and the lovely Winniefred. You know by now she was carrying my child. Our child. I was unawares that she was my child herself. My child was carrying my child. It done me head in . I begged her to get rid of it . I went around and pleaded with her that night. The night I killed her. The night I sinned in the most terrible way. I took her life when she pushed me against the fridge freezer . The night the bar of frozen chocolate fell out. She knew she was mine. The moment she saw me look at the picture on top of the television of her mother. She threatened to tell the papers . Call Schofield. I picked up the bar and I bate her to death with it. Now there is only one thing left to do . Now I must take my own. Thank you always Mrs Hanratty . You were great , all except for the stew. Your stew was shite! Goodbye!"
Miss Lilly Billy would be ok now. She would have the money for the operations, the house was hers. Nobody else could ever lay claim to it. She would be across the road now from the Colonel, a constant reminder to him of his itchy old pecker! The street would soon return to normal. Of course it would take time , but, the lives of Captain Birdseye and Mrs Birdseye , The Flooze , The Corpse , The Mod, The Dunner , Chirpy and Cheerful , even the Greaser and The Grease Monkey , would all given precious time , return to what they were before. Dead fucking boring! . Poncho would continue to gawk, and shout , on her phone , and at Kanye , Kimmy and Kylie! Dolly Goggin's would return to her knitting patterns .Give up the raunchy sex! The Bunsheen would no doubt continue to struggle to pull Dead Bert off the commode ! I'd keep a bottle of vegetable cooking oil by Dead Berts door, just in case! Sore Feet would get his head down and dream his granny romps , doing his time , in the Big House! Myself and the beautiful Davina, we were going to work out just fine. We would have a wild time. A great time. I would take her to the emerald isle , show her off to all my stone mad relations. Show my stone mad relations off to her. I'd take her to see the auld fella and The Mammy. Introduce her to all my siblings . All except poor little "Mikey" , who went to heaven, minus his money mad head! Still Mikey loved a good looking woman also. I always carried him within my heart. That would never change. Miss the mad little fecker!
By the time we reached the Vestry , the officers had burst through , the big solid , double locked door. Showtime! They were now waiting patiently by the entrance to the church. The Vegas style gaudy dressing rooms. Another big massive poorly stained door. This was were it all took place. Belief. The Mumbo Jumbo. The Magic! I hadn't been inside a church, any church in years, not since the auld fella and The Mammy died. Spanner could see I wasn't happy. I wasn't. "Are you ok Murphy?.......now listen you may need to talk to this fucking nutter .....you up for that?" I nodded. I needn't have bothered. They rammed the door, took it clean off its hinges! Piles of bodies rushed inside.One or two , with guns. There was no need. At all. Above the main alter , to the left stood a now redundant aluminium grey sad ladder. To it's right firmly to the wall was a very sad looking Jesus nailed forever to a cross of pain. Swinging from a rope around Jesus's neck was a white as a sheet , and very much dead Father O' Reilly . His escape from all justice , for his awful sins here on this fragile earth complete. The murdering incestuous cunt would never ever see a day in court for the vile tempered murder of Saint Winny The Wart. Spanner stared at the lifeless form hanging from another lifeless form and whispered in God's house " We were just too late Murphy........Just a little too late" I lit a smoke . Drew deep , long, hard, blew it away from The Slick, out of politeness.
I smiled, that old lapsed catholic smile and whispered also......... "No......Mr Spanner .......We were just in time......"
Copyright Pete Rivers 2020 @bluemountain publishing 2020
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