“How could he do it? Put a pillow over Tony’s face and”. Jean shuddered unable to finish her sentence.

“There was always something not right about that lad. Didn’t I tell you he wasn’t right in the head?” Tina said addressing the small group who sat at a corner table in the Grapes, a bottle of white wine between them.

“Yeah Tina, you always said that” Martha said as she poured herself another glass of wine.

“But why? A kid just doesn’t up and suffocate his dad like that. There must be a reason. Kids aint born evil” Jean said.

“Bloody do gooder, why are you always looking for reasons. Boy is evil, that’s all there is to it” Tina responded banging her fist on the table as she spoke. “I’m sick of people making excuses. No wonder the country’s in the state it is, because people like you say “oh poor lad, we must understand him”. Understand him, the boys a monster. They should throw away the key. They won’t though. A good lawyer, paid for out of my bloody taxes and he’ll be out in 5 (7) years maximum”.

“They never should have got rid of the rope. You remember me saying that don’t you Tina?” Martha said appealing to her friend.

“I do Martha and I always agreed with you on that, as god is my witness I’ve always believed the biggest mistake this country ever made, apart from joining the Common Market, was to get rid of hanging. That little bugger will be living the life of riley while the poor bloody tax payer foots the bill”.

“But the kid’s only 13” Jean said.

“13, that’s old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. Society is going to the dogs. Have you seen Wendy’s Lucy? 14-years-old and pushing a pram and it’s the fucking tax payer who picks up the bill again!” Tina said banging her glass on the table.

“He was such a lovely man was Tony. Always laughing and joking and now that little sod has murdered him. Christ I don’t know what the worlds coming to. I’m glad that I haven’t got much longer on this earth” Martha said.

“Come off it Martha you will outlast us all” Tina said. “Hows little Ronnie” (referring to Martha’s grandson).

“Oh he’s great. Do you know what the little rascal did the other day?” The conversation moved on the subject of Tony forgotten.



He felt the pillow pressed against his little face. He gasped for air. Just as he thought “I’m going to die” the weight was removed. It was always the same. For no reason the pillow or a cushion would be pressed against his face and at the moment when the boy felt he couldn’t take any more the torment ceased, until the next time.

He was a patient child. He waited the hate like a fire kindling within him. An afternoon of drinking in the pub. A man taking his last snooze on the sofa. You, dear reader know the rest.

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