Behind Closed Doors – Story Three, Curtain Twitcher

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CURTAIN TWITCHER

Verbal narrative between Police Officer Jonathon Swift and Mrs Margaret Fischer of 42 Grantham Avenue. Mrs Fischer was the person who reported the incident to the police. The statement was taken at Mrs Fischer’s property on the 29th July 2018 at 18:30hrs.

P.C Swift: Mrs Fischer, can you describe the circumstances leading you to call the police today?

Margaret: Yes, well, it was coming to the end of my favourite gameshow and I heard shouting again. From next-door, the walls are pretty thin, I hear lots more than I care too if catch my meaning. Anyway, she always drunk that one, and I just thought ‘here we go again, Margie’ so I went off and made myself a cup of tea.

P.C Swift: What time was this? When did the argument start?

Margaret: Oh, I dare say it was about five to five, that lovely blonde fella on the telly was just wrapping up the show. Anyway, that’s about the time it started so I thought I’d get myself a cuppa and get ready for my next program.

P.C Swift: Ok, and then what happened?

Margaret: Well, the kiddie was all upset and cryin’ like, that Melissa was screaming her head off and banging stuff around so I couldn’t hear exactly what was going on. I mean there was so much banging I’m surprised there’s anything left standing in that house.

P.C Swift: So they argued regularly then?

Margaret: Oh yeah, all the time, I’d say at least three big arguments a week and lots of little ones in between. She is always drunk. I don’t know how he puts up with her, I really don’t.

P.C Swift: So if it happens regularly what made you call the police on this occasion?

Margaret: Well, I was  just coming back from the kitchen with me cup of tea, our houses are a mirror image, so my stairs are next to theirs, and as I was passin’ I heard an almighty tumble see. Like someone falling down the stairs right from top to bottom. Well, it wasn’t my stairs was it. And I was worried about the kiddie, what with all the arguing and that and it suddenly all went quiet. By the time I got to the phone, my legs aren’t that good you understand, I can’t get anywhere fast these days, well by that time I heard some more banging then all of a sudden she appears on the front lawn all hysterical and bloodied up like. I can see their garden from my front window see.

P.C Swift: And she was still out there when my colleagues and I arrived. She didn’t go back in the house?

Margaret: That’s about the size of it. I watched her from my window. You boys must have only been around the corner?

P.C Swift: We were patrolling the area.

Margaret: Are they alright like? Alex and the kiddie I mean?

P.C Swift: I’m sorry, no. Alex was pronounced dead at the scene. The child is undergoing medical assessment.

Margaret: Oh gosh. Oh the poor laddie. I always had time for him. He’s helped me no end, he’s mowed me lawn and got me shopping when the weather’s bad. He always gave us a wave when he was taking Sophie to park. They’d be out for hours, he was probably keeping her safe from her mother. Always drunk she is, never goes further that the front gate though.

P.C Swift: Where was she getting the alcohol from if she never went out?

Margaret: Well, he must have been buying it but I used to tell him to stop and he’f just shrug and say she was easier to live with if she had a bit of booze inside her. Truth be told I think he was a bit scared of her, he’s had no end of black eyes and fat lips. God only knows what that poor child has witnessed.

P.C Swift: Right well…

Margaret: And I’ll tell you another thing, there’s no shortage of visitors. Always male visitors to boot. As soon as Alex is out the way with the kid there’s a fella walking up the path, letting themselves in too. Ooh, she’s a right whore that one, I’ll tell and no mistake. Mind you, she must be pretty good at it cause they keep coming back and she never looks better than a weather old yard brush.

P.C Swift: Did you see anyone visiting today?

Margaret: Yeah, seen him regular like, most Sundays he comes. And I know him and all. It’s Bernice Torrence’s son, Soloman. He don’t think I know but I’ve seen him coming and going. Always when Alex is out with the little one.

P.C Swift: I don’t supposed you have an address for him?

Margaret: I sure do, still lives with his mam see. They’re round the corner. 11 Cartwright Close.

P.C Swift: Well, thanks you very much for your help Mrs Fischer. We’ll be in touch if we have anymore questions.

Margaret: Right you are laddie, you just come back anytime. Young fella like you could do a few jobs for me round and about. I don’t get many visitors see.

***

I hope you enjoyed this episode, let me know what you think. Stick around to meet a shady character in story four, Soloman Says, this time next week! Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Behind Closed Doors – Story Three, Curtain Twitcher

  1. Angie, I will try to be gentle and you surely realize I do not know your specific intentions with this story. Anyway, here’s my thoughts on “act 3”.

    The first segment was terse and very much exactly as an officer of 5h3 law would write of the encounter. Well done. Act 2: Much more emotion. The text was quite clear inferring the trauma Melissa experienced and thee associated emotions she so clearly demonstrated. It was certainly not a “police report”. Bravo!

    Now we come to a “reporting” episode, not a report per se. unfortunately, I had to imagine the character of Mrs Fischer. Her words certainly helped me with that, however I’d suggest you could have used commas to insert descriptive adverbs / adjectives of her attitude, voice inflections, facial expressions, etc. Don’t be mislead by what I say. I think Margaret is a delightful character. Your words really did help demonstrate that. I just wanted assurance that I got it right.

    Now that I’ve said all that, I will keep still UNLESS you ask me for some specific examples.

    I mean my suggestions to be kind and helpful, not ripping apart a good story.

    Ed How much smut does it take to make a mountain out of a molehill?

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ed, I always really appreciate your feedback, it’s constructive and helps me learn. That’s why I started my blog in the first place, as a way to learn ‘the craft’.

      This particular endeavour, Behind Closed Doors, is my attempt to look at the three main aspects of story; Narrative, dialogue, and description.

      As in this instance (and a few more to follow) I have purposely tried to focus on dialogue, practicing characterisation through dialogue alone by stripping away dialogue tags and the little extra snippets of information gained through facial expressions etc.

      I used the format of a transcribed interview for this one, as opposed to transcribed CCTV footage in the second episode (Custody). I think that in the latter the use of parentheses to include body language has helped conjure the sensed emotion. Whereas I didn’t use that method in this episode which perhaps leaves the reader with more work to do on the imagination front.

      I am glad that to some extent you were able to imagine Mrs Fischer. I had hoped to convey a sense of loneliness in her…?

      Angie

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