Chapter 8

Written by: Griffin

“She gave me a lovely pot of jam. Do you want to see it?”

The door opened straight onto a cream-walled living room, similar to Lucy’s, although neater, lit by the gentle glow of the setting sun.

“Which friend — was it Allie, do you know?  By the way, my name’s Robert Wilson.”

“Just a moment, I’ll get it. I had some for my lunch. On my toast. I don’t eat much, Mister, we old women don’t eat much. Here it is.”

“Could I have the photo back, please?”

The cupboards above the sink were a bright green. On the dining table was a white porcelain horse lying on its side, on an old sheet of newsprint, with a tube of glue next to it.

Robert retrieved the battered photo from the table.

“Can you read the label?” the old woman continued.

Robert squinted. “Quilter’s raspberry. Yes. Very good.”

“Do you want a cup of tea? I was just about to put the kettle on when you started to make that racket out there.”

“Look, not at the moment, thanks, I really have to …”  he replied anxiously. He then realised that he was actually very tired.  “Well, thanks, that’s nice of you, maybe I will.”

He pulled off the baseball cap and sat down.

“Lucy came in last week and helped me change a light globe. She’s a good girl. We old women don’t leap around on ladders any more, Mister Robert. Those days are gone.”

Robert suddenly realised that he had not spoken to his daughter in the past three months.

“So, her friend, the one she went to visit. Did she tell you which one? Was it Allie? You see, I need to get in touch with her right away.”

“Do you take milk?”

“Yes please, that’s fine.”

At every noise in the building he gave a start.

“Did Lucy by any chance talk to you about who she was visiting?  Maybe Fiona?”

He got his tea, and they were together at the little table.  A large clock on the wall ticked loudly.

“Excuse me for saying, but you look the worse for wear, Mister Robert.”

He smiled. “That’s right. Had a long day.”

He continued, “It’s just that, I think Lucy may be in trouble, I have to talk to her.”

“In trouble?”  The woman’s face darkened.  “She on drugs?”

“No, nothing like that.”

“Let me see. Well now, she was in a great hurry, she just popped in to say she would be away for she didn’t know how long and if I would keep the mail. She left an address.”

“Ah, would you mind showing it to me?”

“It’s in here somewhere.” She went to the kitchen drawer.

“Here you are. Now you take care of that girl. She’s a good girl.”

There was an address in Newark, care of Jess Heathcote. “Oh no,” he grunted. That cretin she gave the flick to after he beat her up two years ago.

 

Greg Rochlin (AUS)

 

Comments

I was right in that kitchen, tasting the jam and listening to the old lady talk. I wonder what his body language was like as he denied his daughter was on drugs. I'd have liked to see that.
But lovely flow. Very enjoyable indeed.
The tension is increasing, now that it's almost over. Engaging read, Greg.
As always, Greg has put us right on the spot. Not always a fan of non stop dialogue, I did like this because we can see what's going on through the dialogue. The description of the surroundings is all there. My only irk is that whilst we know what he thinks we do not know how Robert feels inside. Non-the-less, a nice piece of well oiled work that keeps the story alive. Well done Greg.
Well written. Very descriptive through the dialog and a good interlude of comparative quiet, brought to an abrupt halt in the last sentence.