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Home Sweet Home

by Cholero 

Posted: 13 November 2010
Word Count: 498
Summary: Jonathan's challenge. Not sure if I met every criterion, and v much a first draft.

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

Horace dropped the receiver but the voice kept coming out, insinuating, threatening,

‘I’ll get you, you cunt. I’ll fucking pull out your tongue and tie it round your fucked-up neck, see if you can chat up my old lady then. Eh? See if you can ponce around my fucking house in your garters and socks when I’m out earning a fucking crust. I’ll fucking…’

And so on. Horace decided to disconnect the phone. He was not going to call the police. He was not going to run away. He was simply going to wait for the man to come round. He had a key, after all. It was his house, not Horace’s.

‘Was that him again, Horry?’ called a woman from the kitchen. She sounded distant and busy. The house was arranged with the kitchen at the back. Horace stood in the front room with one hand on the mantelpiece and the other hooked into the watch-pocket of his waistcoat. It was a stance he enjoyed because it carried a proprietorial air.

‘Yes, darling,’ he shouted back. ‘He insists on killing me, though he seems not yet to have settled on a method.’

‘Method?’ came back the busy voice. ‘I’ll tell you what his method’s going to be. He’s going to cut your head off with an old knife.’ She laughed. ‘That’s what he told me.’

At that moment there came a sharp rapping at the front door.

‘Alright, alright,’ said the woman, ‘keep it down.’ She moved along the narrow hallway. Horace heard her skirt slide against her nylons. She passed the door to the front room.

‘You better duck down Horace, or go upstairs and sit in the bathroom.’ Horace chose the latter course and hurried away, collecting his suit jacket as he went. The rapping started up. ‘Alright!’ the woman said.

Horace settled onto the toilet next to the bath and picked up a copy of the Standard. He could just make out the proceedings below.

‘No he’s at work,’ said the woman. ‘No, he doesn’t, he hates your lot. Pinkoes, he calls you. No thanks. None of your business, is it?’ Horace heard the front gate open and then a shout and the sound of somebody falling and then the woman screaming. He moved to the top of the stairs. A big man stood in the front doorway with his arms around the woman.

‘I done it Bella,’ said the big man. ‘For you. I done him, that’s all that fucking matters. He was tearing us apart. He ain’t got no right.’

Stepping into the house the big man manoeuvred the woman into the front room and put her on the settee. ‘Right then,’ he said. He went back to the front door and pulled inside the body of a youngish man wearing a tweed jacket and flannels. ‘We’ll have to get you fixed up, won’t we mate?’

At the top of the stairs Horace pondered what the best thing might be to do.

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Comments by other Members

crowspark at 06:21 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
Another cracker! Straight in with the threat of violence with a wonderful contrast between Horace, with his proprietorial air, and "the big man."
Wonderful image of Horace hiding on the toilet whilst an innocent is slaughtered in his stead.
Loved the understatement, particularly at the end,
At the top of the stairs Horace pondered what the best thing might be to do.

Great stuff!


tusker at 07:14 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
A good read, Pete.

What a pain in the butt Horace is. Such a wimp. Pity he didn't get bashed in.

I guess this is around the fifties or sixties due to his name, Horace, and the young victim's mode of dress.

Loved the violent threats, then at the end, the Big Man drags the battered young man inside to fix him up.

But I did wonder, considering those threats, why she answered the door?


Desormais at 07:46 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
Straight for the jugular from the word go! Was the innocent victim an election canvasser? So many words in this that set the time - garters and socks, nylons, front room, mantlepiece. Very good Pete, an enjoyable read.

I'd like to know how Horace managed to extricate himself from this one.

dharker at 09:19 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
Excellent work Pete!

Great pacing and descriptive scene setting. Like Sandra I too wonder how Horace is going to get away. He doesn't sound the sort who'd climb out of an upstairs window!LOL!

Elbowsnitch at 09:34 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
This is very dramatic, Pete, and comedic! I like the character of Horace - cautious, peace-loving, strategically minded and not inclined to return aggro with aggro:

He had a key, after all. It was his house, not Horace’s.

A tweed jacket and flannels - I'm not quite sure what 'flannels' actually are, but this and other details seem to set the piece at least a few decades ago? Around the 50s or 60s, as Jennifer suggests?


Bunbry at 10:33 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
This is great Pete, very exciting and expertly written - I was racing to the end to find out what happened.

But I have got a bit muddled - I thought the two men knew each other (eg he rented a house to Horace, knew about his garters)so I am not sure how the young man got mistaken for Horace.


Cholero at 10:43 on 14 November 2010  Report this post

Thanks, very kind.

Cholero at 10:45 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
Thanks Jennifer,

I see what you mean - I meant them not to take his threats too seriously, so I should point that up more.

Thanks for your kind words.


Cholero at 10:45 on 14 November 2010  Report this post


Cholero at 10:47 on 14 November 2010  Report this post

I see what you mean. They haven't met, hubby makes assumptions about lover-boy from his voice and manner, but I completely see what you mean and it needs sorting.

Glad it held you and thanks for the kind words.

Cholero at 10:47 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
Thanks Dave!

Cholero at 10:48 on 14 November 2010  Report this post
Thanks Frances - as ever, you get the comedy. Yes, late fifties maybe. Thanks for reading.

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