A Gottle of Geer

The man on the other end of the line is beside himself.

“I’ve killed him! Dear God, I killed him!”

“Sir,” I insist, again, “please calm down. I need to understand the situation.”

“I need an ambulance for my partner.”

“Could I have your name please, sir?”

“I need an ambulance.”

“I understand, sir, but I need your name and address.”

“Yes, yes, Voyce, Seven Fulham Road.”

“Thank you, Mister Voyce.” I type the details, automatically informing the Ambulance Service, and the police.

“No, that’s my first name. My surname is Thrower.”

“Sorry, Mister Thrower. You say someone may have been killed?”

“Yes. Yes. I did it. To Bart. Oh, dear God, what have I done? Look at him, his head all smashed in! Maybe he’s not dead. I can’t see any blood. Do you think he might still be alive?”

“I’m sure he is, Mister Thrower.”

“Yes,” he hissed, “he would do that wouldn’t he? He’d do it just to spite me, just to taunt me. I should have shot him.”

“Shot him!”

“Yes.”

“You have a gun?”

“Yes.”

I gesticulate wildly. The supervisor rushes over. I mouth, ‘he has a gun.’

“Oh shit! Keep him on the line!”

I nod. “Mister Thrower, could you …”

“The selfish little bastard. We are … we were a team, you know. Me and Bart, but I started it. It was my idea. I’m the comic, not him, but he just had to take over. He had to be the funny man, take all the credit. He wanted to be the star. Him!! He’s nothing without me. But he was so full of himself. ‘I’m the funny man,’ he’d taunt me. ‘You, you’re nothing, but a washed-out has-been. Only thing that keeps you going is alcohol,’ he would jibe. ‘Go on have another bottle of beer, you alci. Maybe you should try something stronger; whisky, vodka.’ It’s all his fault … that I drink. He drove me to it, the little bastard. He stole my show from me. He drove me to it. It’s his fault I killed him. He deserves everything he got. Yes, I killed him, yes, I did. What …? Who’s that? The police? You called the police? You bastard! I wanted an ambulance, not the police. You’re like the rest. You’re on his side. Everyone is. I’ll not go to prison for him. I will not! I WILL NOT!”

An ear-splitting explosion erupts from the ear piece.

“Mister Thrower!”

Silence, then a distant crash, shouting, yelling.

“Mister Thrower!”

“Hello, who’s this?

“I’m an emergency call operator, who’s that?”

“Constable Evans.”

“Is he … dead?”

“Unfortunately, yes”

“And the other one?”

“There isn’t another one.”

“There isn’t?”

“No, just a doll, what … oh … apparently it’s a ventriloquist’s dummy. It’s head’s pretty bashed in.”

“There a hammer nearby?”

“There is. Do you have any idea what happened?”

“I think so, but I don’t think you’re going to believe me.”

copyright Martin Marais 2019
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