Monday, 30 November 2009
AHEAD OF THE GAME by Colin Graham
TKnC welcomes Colin with this macabre tale...
Ahead of the Game
Timothy Skiller gave out the merest of tuts when the head rolled out of the fridge into his palm as he was reaching for a beer. It was always doing that, no matter how steadfastly he thought he had wedged it into the corner on his previous visit. He’d removed the eyes some time ago, so using two fingers to push back the head via the sockets into its designated home had become an intuitive act for Timothy, who kept swearing to himself that he would dispose of the thing properly any day soon.
He’d kick himself for holding onto things – invariably body parts – for too long. He just grew attached to them, somehow, and liked having them around the flat, which was why the air in his home wasn’t the most fragrant. Not that that mattered too much. Hardly anyone every came to visit, not of their own volition anyway, and those that did cross Timothy’s threshold went back the other way in bloodied installments.
Such had been the case with the person who belonged to the head, or vice-versa, depending on how you prefer to look at it. For a day or two Timothy had had the corpse sitting beside him on the settee watching TV with him, as he ate his favourite snacks and supped his beer. But then even he, Timothy, realized that things couldn’t continue that way, so he hacked the body up in the bath with a saw, diligently placed the various parts in several black plastic bags along with the requisite number of bricks and had hurled the cargo into the river at around 3am after a 10 minute drive to the embankment.
He had his routine down to a tee. There was a building site on the way from the river and he would stop by there to stock up on bricks so he would be ready for next time.
Because there would always be a next time and another one after that. That’s just the way things had to be for Timothy. He often pondered with a chuckle to himself that if that new office building not far from the river ever got built, it would be a minor miracle.
Back home he reached into the fridge again and the same thing happened with the despairing skull, looking like a decapitated version of Munch’s ‘The Scream’, just worse. It once more fell into his hand as if Timothy was auditioning for a part in Hamlet.
He again swore to himself that it would be his next gift to the river, tomorrow perhaps. Other craniums he’d had sundered from shoulders had known their place rammed into the top right hand corner of his fridge and hadn’t budged when he opened the door.
It would have to go, but there would be a replacement. Timothy had to keep a head. You always had to keep ahead in his game.
Colin Graham is a Birmingham-born freelance journalist currently based in Belgrade, Serbia. Struggling along with hack work (in the main) he invariably finds himself uplifted by an unforeseen boost when all seems lost. He has previously lived in Russia and Poland, meaning he has been in Eastern Europe for over a decade, a fact that always amazes even himself.