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Reflections of a working writer and reader



A Writer’s Notebook IX

Studs was seventeen. He wore a checked jacket and designer blue-jeans and a black silk shirt with a button-down-collar. He was skinny with a mop of blond hair and full lips. He wore a little mascara and a single ring in his right ear.

His brother, Shelly, a year older, was taller by several inches. Shelly wore an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt. He had gel in his hair, trying to bring some order to it, but the hair did as it would anyway, parting down the middle and flopping over to each side.

They stood side by side in the portacabin at the bottom of the garden. Their father lounged in the window-frame. He had not bothered to shave and was chewing something. ‘I don’t believe this,’ he said. He stepped to the other side of the portacabin and Studs and Shelly swivelled round to keep him in view. ‘It’s like I didn’t teach you anything at all. Or you didn’t learn it. Weren’t listening to me. Was I just wasting my breath?’

‘We was listening,’ Studs said. ‘We should’ve looked inside, checked it out. But it was a rush job, Aussie needed it today. And it was sitting there on the prom, like a gift.’

‘Some gift,’ the old man said. ‘Fucking body inside. Guy with a nail in his head.’

‘We didn’t know that,’ Shelly said. ‘Didn’t expect it, I mean.’

‘Thing is,’ Studs said. ‘What do we do now?’

The old man shook his head. ‘Where is it?’

‘Near the castle. I left it in a side street. Should be OK for a while.’

‘I can’t believe you left it here, outside the house. We never do that.’

‘It was there five minutes,’ Shelly said. ‘We moved it soon as we realised.’

The two boys swivelled back to their original positions as their father relocated to the window-frame.

‘Way I see it,’ Studs said. ‘Aussie wants a van exactly like that. He’ll give us a grand in used notes, over the counter. We drive it to the cliff top and tip the body out, wipe everything down and we’re home free.’

‘I know all that,’ their father said. ‘What worries me is who seen you take it, who saw it outside our front door and who seen you parking it up at the castle. Plus, on top of that, inside there’s bits of cops uniforms, their bags, even one of their mobiles. We’re not dealing with an everyday schmuck here, somebody who just lost his van; what we’ve got on our back is a whole department.’

‘Yeah, and who’s the guy?’ Shelly added. ‘The guy in the bag. The body?’

3 Responses to “A Writer’s Notebook IX”

  1. sandra says:

    I don’t know if you intended this to be a flash piece or a part of something longer, but it’s the most perfect flash story I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for sharing

    jb says: Hi Sandra, thanks for your comment. I don’t know what my intentions are at the moment.

  2. Mark says:

    It’s looking like a serial. Be careful, John, you don’t know what you’ve started . . . I mean, if Little Nel dies halfway through, they’ll be queueing at the docs in tears.

    jb says: Don’t know what the dickens you’re talking about. On the other hand, that’s neat, queueing at the docs; that’s so good.

  3. DGW says:

    I really enjoy this story even if sometimes freaks me out, but the good parts is that shares