by GJ Hart

The truck turned and rounded down into the valley. It drove on a mile or so more then indicated, drawing up in front of two huge, wrought iron gates. Almost at once the gates began to open.

The truck continued along a driveway cut through woodland. Past derelict coach houses; a vast, smouldering bonfire; the rusting hulk of a Land Rover, its doorway jammed with the body of a decaying horse. Slowly on until it reached a fountained oval, the mark upon the exclamation that was Parsimillion house.

Tight, leaded windows peered down as the truck came to a stop. They sounded the horn and waited.

From high on the third floor Ben heard them and began to hurry, jabbing quickly into the centre of his wife’s tooth. As the tooth splintered beneath the knife’s tip, he became melancholy: How long, he thought, how long since he’d eaten dessert and how he hoped and prayed they would bring something sweet this time. Even a fucking cheese cake! But he knew, he knew they wouldn’t.

Finally the tooth split and Ben plucked up its gold filling. He scooped six more from a kidney dish on the floor and ran with them from the room, leaving his wife weeping and bleeding behind. Down the stairways, along the hallway and into the gabled reception where he stopped, staring up, breathing hard. A few moments later he was ready. He grabbed his shotgun, and unlocked the doors. Pushing them open with the barrel, he walked out.

Devlin stepped down from the truck, followed by his son. As he walked he began tucking in his shirt then yanked it straight back out, spitting the compulsion away. His son walked to the back of the truck and began unbolting the tailgate.

“Good morning, Ben,” said Devlin, smiling. “No need for that though is there?”

Ben tightened his grip on the handle of the gun.

“Boy,” shouted Devlin, half turning, “bring me some boxes.”

Ben looked up, distracted by the sound of wind gusting through the distant trees that marked the ends and beginnings of his land. When he looked back, Devlin was studying the boxes handed to him by his son.

“Fish fingers!” he announced, holding up a box. “Five percent fucking fish, and that’s just for starters. We also got oven chips! Sausages! Aaaaaand …” continued Devlin, inexplicably adopting a French accent, “Chicken Kiev!”

Devlin stepped closer, ignoring the gun. “You got mine then?”

Ben didn’t answer. Once he would have torn a man like this down in seconds, but no words came. He dug into his pocket and handed over the gold fillings.

“My dear Ben, you have been busy!” said Devlin, studying them. “And I’m guessing from that smile, these ain’t yours!”

Devlin leant in closer.

“But we both know, don’t we, we both know there’s no need for all this nastiness,” he whispered, forcing his knee into the nozzle of the gun. “We both know what’s buried out in those fields.”

Ben’s lip stretched and rose.

Devlin stepped back, peering down, waiting.

Ben did not speak.

“Fucking unbelievable!” said Devlin, shaking his head and laying the boxes on the ground. He turned and began walking back to the truck, his son following behind. “Your loss, Ben, your loss. I’ve got steaks in the cab,” he shouted over his shoulder.

Ben watched the truck disappear into the trees, picked up the boxes and began walking back to the house. High on the third floor he could see his wife leaning through an open window, her lips stark and clown like.

“Right again,” he thought, “no fucking dessert.”

GJ Hart is a lyricist who is now trying it without the soundtrack. He lives in Brixton in London.

Twitter: @go_hart