Monday, November 29, 2010

The Man Next Door. Chapter 19.

Noises can be heard on the stairs, and voices, including an unknown woman's voice.

Mother looks down over the bannisters and sees a young woman, grasping a long dagger shaped knife.

Quickly Mother pulls her head back, so she is out of sight.

Then a man's voice is heard, and, relieved, Mother recognises the voice of Pierre, the new German university student housemate.


Mother: Did you see what was going on upstairs a while ago?

Daughter: No. I've been busy here in the kitchen.

Mother: I discovered that Pierre and another student were working on a university assignment, photographing key scenes in a little drama.

The first thing I saw was a jealous femme fatale, poised on the stairs, holding a long dagger shaped knife in her hand.

Pierre was there photographing her.

Next thing the girl was leaning over the balcony, supposedly watching Pierre sneak out of the house to go and meet another woman.

Later the girl watched, and photographed, as Pierre met up with the other woman in a pub.

Finally photographs were taken of Pierre lying dying in the street after the jealous femme fatale stabbed him in the chest.

(After Pierre returned to the house, with his bike.)

Daughter: Did you have a good day?

Pierre: Yes, ....that was until I saw the zombie-like woman you told me about, who lives up the street.

I got such a fright at the sight of her, so skinny in her summer dress, and looking so weird, with her very long curled fingernails and neglected hair, that I nearly fell off my bike.


Daughter: Pierre is so pleasant and intelligent, and he fits in so well here, it will be a pity if he has to leave eventually.

If that happens I think we should try to get another international student to take his place.


Daughter: You know, it's very strange the way there are sometimes vans or cars parked out the front of our house for hours on end, with people sitting inside.

When Alpha or I look out the window at them, or when we go out the front door, they drive off.

Mother: That's strange. Maybe they're spying on you.

I sometimes saw a strange van with tinted windows parked for odd periods of time out the front of the flats where I used to live.

There was something sinister about the look of it, and it was so tall that I imagined people standing up inside at the back, maybe using listening devices.

I wondered who they could've been listening to. Maybe someone in the flats.

Alpha: I found out that someone died at those flats recently.

Mother: Maybe it was someone I knew.

Do you know which flat they died in?

Alpha: Maybe the one that's now advertised for rent. 

Daughter: Oh that reminds me. A few weeks ago I saw a lady get out of a car and walk past our house carrying a forensic kit and wearing a navy blue jumpsuit with "Police Forensic" written on the back.

I wondered if someone around here had been murdered.

Then today, as I walked up Cleveland Street I saw a trail of blood on the footpath, beside the long stretch of marble and glass wall near the Seymour Centre. The trail ended in a big pool of blood.

Forensic powder had been dusted along the wall, and police tape stopped people going up a flight of steps into the building.

Mother: Have you ever seen the man next door?

Pierre: Yes, I've met him.

He came over to talk to me when I was out the front one day. He seemed very friendly.

I forget what he said his name is.

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