Sweeping Up

“another bloody pervert” Sergeant Ben Marshal said as he looked down contemptuously at the man lying on the living room floor.

“How can you be so callous?” constable Haley Dixon asked.

“Look Haley when you have seen so many weirdos as I have kill themselves while getting their kinks you will feel just as pissed off as I do. We should be out there catching criminals not investigating the deaths of pervs who get their kicks out of tying vacuum cleaner chords around their necks to obtain sexual gratification. Its an obvious case of accidental death while he (pointing to the corpse) was getting his jollies.  I bet you £20 that the coroner finds that this is accidental death”.

“I don’t gamble”.

“Pitty as it’s a dead cert that £20 would be coming my way if you did”.

 

 

The elderly man leaned heavily on his walking stick as he approached the front door. These days it took him several minutes to get from the arm chair to the door by which time many callers had given up waiting and left leaving only an empty space when he finally opened the door.

“I’m coming” he called in a quavering voice.

Finally he reached the front door. He fumbled with the latch. His arthritic fingers could barely manage to cope with the simple mechanism. Eventually the latch clicked and he opened the door.

A gloved handwas pressed over his mouth.

“Get inside. If you make a sound I’ll use this” the caller said the flick knife glinting in his gloved left hand.

The man shrank back into the hallway.

“I’m going to remove my hand but if you try to summon help I’ll use this” the visitor said holding the knife so that it’s blade was a mere millimetre away from the elderly man’s neck.

“The money is in my bedroom under the matress. Just take it and go” the old man pleaded.

“Oh Bert don’t you remember your own step son? I’m truly hurt. Don’t you recall the times we spent alone in this very house?”

The elderly man squinted short sightedly at his unwelcome guest. Slowly recognition dawned.

“You always liked a joke didn’t you Johny. Always larking around you where but the jokes over now. Put that away (pointing to the knife) and lets have a cup of tea”.

“No lets play a game. You always liked to play games when I was a child”.

“I’m to old for games Johny. My old body is falling to bits”.

“Oh you are never to old for games. Do you remember the hoover game?”

“The what?”

“The hoover game” Johny said patiently as though he was addressing a particularly stupid child.

“No I don’t remember that son”.

“Really you do surprise me. If you can’t remember then I certainly can. Where do you keep the vacuum cleaner?”

“The vacuum cleaner?”

“Oh dear I can’t be making myself clear today. Yes where do you keep the vacuum cleaner, the hoover, the thing which is designed for removing dirt like you”.

“What do you want the vacuum cleaner for” the elderly man asked in a quavering voice.

“Don’t you like surprises? I do. If I tell you then it won’t be a surprise will it and that will take all the fun out of the game” Johny said with a smile.

“I can’t remember”.

“That’s OK. I’ll help you. I remember that it used to be kept in the cupboard under the stairs. Is it still there I wonder? Well there is only one way to find out Johny, to go and look. Walk in front of me so that I can keep an eye on you. That’s right, stay to the left of the cupboard where I can keep an eye on you. Ah it’s the same vacuum cleaner. Who would have believed that it’s the self same hoover after all these years. Take it out and we can play a game”.

“I can’t manage it Johny. The lady from social services vacuums when she comes round on a Thursday afternoon”.

“Really! As a child of 10 I could barely manage to hold that machine above my head but I had to play the game. Do you remember making me hold the hoover above my head? God my shoulders ached but I knew that if I dropped it then I’d suffer even more. Christ holding that thing at the top of the stairs was scary. I felt as though I was going to topple down and be crushed by it”.

“I don’t know what you are talking about Johny” whimpered the old man.

“Yes you fucking do now get that out of the cupboard or I’ll cut you” Johny said advancing on the shaking man with the knife.

Slowly Bert reached into the cupboard and with great effort pulled out the vacuum cleaner.

“There now I told you that you could do it didn’t I? You aren’t quite so weak and feeble as you like to pretend are you?”

“You where always a naughty boy Johny. You deserved to be punished. It was for your own good”.

Johny rraised his right arm as though to stab Bert with the knife full in the neck. With an effort he contained himself.

“A little boy that is what I was. A terrified little child holding a fucking vacuum cleaner above his head. Do you remember the cushion game? Perhaps we can play that after we’ve finished with the hoover. Would you like that?”

“No please”.

“Why not cushions are nice and comfortable. Don’t you like a nice soft cushion? I remember the feeling of the fabric as you pressed it down on my little face. Why didn’t you kill me? I’ve often asked myself that. Perhaps you gained more satisfaction out of having me alive and watching me suffer than you gained from the prospect of killing me. Anyway lovely as it is to chat with my step dad I don’t have all day. Unwind that cable”.

 

The end

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