He swallows another beer as he wallows in loss of a broken doll that he never wished to repair; to mend it would be to lose it forever, and to forego his fun.
He opens another can as he drunkenly hunts for a plan to win her back.
A hundred pounds should seal the deal. The doll will feel a dash of guilt or greed. He’ll sow the seed in her account and it is bound to yield. She’ll buy a bag and run to heel. It cannot fail. By next weekend he’ll possess her again.
But what is this? It’s all going wrong. She told her she’s happy where she is. She doesn’t want the hundred quid and doesn’t want to hear from him.
He drinks another beer and has another think. Another hundred quid should do it. He knows her sort, they’re no better than they aught to be, and that’s why they keep him warm in bed. They’ll do anything for some squid to buy a day’s escape from pain.
She reminds him it’s over, that he doesn’t know her, he only remembers an addict he thought he could buy, and though she can’t recall the sordid details, and can’t recognise the person she was now she’s found a different life, he should know she was only for hire, and the lease has expired. Her body is her own private property, as are her mind and her soul. None of her form, functions or faculties have any connection with him.
He feels frustrated so he takes a break, and has another drink.
Now he is angry, and soon, so is she. Another hundred unsolicited smackers in her bank account, yet still she won’t listen. She should have crumbled and spent it on gear. He’ll speak to her mother; he’s convinced he has tricked her, she thinks he’s a charmer, with his grammar school twang and his good education. She will believe him when he spins his tale.
So he’s texting her mother to say that if she doesn’t help him, she’s not the mother that she should be. He writes that he is in love with her daughter, and adds “You should send her to me.”
His mother succinctly explains (most politely) that he is a git and a pervert also, and that she’s always known it, but had to go slowly and retain his trust, ’til she got her daughter out of his clutches. She’s pleased she’s succeeded, and says that she hopes he will leave well alone. She mentions his age and compares it to daughter’s, she points out the difference of thirty three years, says she’s aware of his filthy intentions, wishes him well and she puts down the phone.
So he necks another beer.
His left arm possessively clutches a bucket of fine filmy dust while his right hand hurls mouldering tatters of insults and sick psycho tricks which harmlessly sink through the rug at their feet. He shouts and he swears and spits evil invective. He threatens to stab them and shoot them and send out police to arrest them…
Pardon me, could you repeat that last piece?
Stab them and shoot them and send out police?
What, all three?
And how will he find them? He has no address.
They were very upset, but now they are laughing. Three months of plotting and drunken scheming and now he is screaming arid threats. Can he do no better than that?
Somewhere in a lonely town, he chokes on his beer…
and the brave phoenix extracts a heap of cash from the bank, slaps it into the hand of a representative of a cherished charity. She modestly waves away the receipt, and whispers “A stranger gave it to me. He thought I looked a bit like someone he knew. He refused to take it back. There was nothing I could do.”
She turns to leave, but briefly turns back. Smiling, she says “Free.”
At last she is free.
Quid:- one pound sterling.
Squid:- same as quid.
©Jane Paterson Basil