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by Graham Wynd

“So what really happened?”

“Oh, don’t ask me that. It was a complete shambles.”

“I heard that. But how did it begin?”

“Oh, it all started with the leafleting—”

“Leafleting for what?”

“Numpty. D’ya not ken what a mess we’re all in?”

“Aye, no need for that. But what leaflets?”

“For the party, ken?”

“I didn’t think you were all that keen on the party.”

“It was a day’s work after all.”

“I suppose, but not easy work that. Up and down stairs?”

“It was mostly along Hilltown which apart from the slope is mostly semis, so just knocking at the door.”

“But how did that lead to—”

“I’ll get to it, pal. Just give us a mo. Up around the crossing by the library, you ken? Where Jimmy used to live?”

“Which Jimmy?”

“Big Jimmy.”

“Ah, him.”

“See, there was a door open. I knocked anyway, as you do.”

“Following rules before you go whip the silver away.”

“Is that fair?”

“Is it true?”

“Will you let me tell my tale?”

“Go on then. I’m getting thirsty.”

“Give a shout. She’ll be right down. So the door was open. I knocked, as you do.”

“As you do. You’re paying, right pal?”

“Go on then. Here’s a tenner. I gave a hullo too. Someone ought to be home, right?”

“Or else you can go in and whip away all the silver.”

“Now who has silver these days, ken? You know anyone hereabouts with Wimbledon trophies? Or what — Derby plates?”

“Do they give plates at Derby?”

“How should I know? Listen, so I shout through the door a hullo.”

“It’s me your friendly neighborhood leafletter!”

“Right? And I thought I heard something but I wasn’t sure. So I slipped inside, just to see, ken?”

“See if there was anything valuable you could pocket.”

“Wisht. I go a few steps in and see this woman with her head in the oven.”

“Go on! She snuffed it?”

“No, just starting I guess. And I couldn’t help it. Instinct took over.”

“Instinct?”

“Or some such. Ken what I shouted at her?”

“What?”

“You have so much to live for! Don’t do it!”

“And you saved her life?”

“Well, no actually. Ken what she was doing? Cleaning it.”

“A simple misunderstanding.”

“But she hopped up and screamed at me. ‘What you doing in my kitchen! I’m phoning the police!’ Literally hopping mad, like a chicken.”

“Chickens hop?”

“City boy. Of course they do. So she gives me a shove and I give her a shove and ken what? She slipped in the oven cleaner, that foamy stuff. Conked her head on the oven and knocked herself out. I used her phone and called an ambulance. Good Samaritan, me.”

“And didn’t take any silver?”

“There was twenty pound on a dish next to the sink. For my troubles, like.”

“Well, you might have saved her life. If she had been going to off herself, she’d have been glad.”

“Yeah, I suppose, pal. Though it was an electric cooker, so maybe not.”

“You’re a numpty.”

“Who’s buying you a pint?”

“Oh, right then.”


A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub, including Satan’s Sorority from Number Thirteen Press and Extricate from Fox Spirit Books. See more stories (including free reads!) here.

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