ABEL'S REVENGE by Ross Greenwood

ABEL'S REVENGE by Ross Greenwood

Author:Ross Greenwood [Greenwood, Ross]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2018-03-24T22:00:00+00:00

Chapter 41


The streets are empty as I look for victims. Do mothers now use my name as a threat? The day has been mild but the temperature plummets and every home hides in despair. Yet, there’s a bay window on the corner with open curtains. Yellow light spills onto the street. Do they know no fear? I stand outside and stare in. At the table, bent over a book, is a tired man in a worn, woollen suit. I crack a smile. Sometimes they make it too easy.

I pull over my hood, raise my scarf, and knock. Not too hard, I’d hate to disturb the neighbours. He takes his time coming to the door, but when he arrives he swings it wide, lighting me up like a hero on stage. I must resemble a presence from the pits of his memory.

‘Evening, can I help you?’

He’s looking at me through rheumy eyes with no emotion. His antipathy throws me.

‘I’m lost. Erm, is Turpin Street near here?’

‘Turpin Street? As in Dick Turpin? Yes, it is. Now, it might be two roads along, on the left. Or is that right? You forget everything important at my age. Come in. I have an A-Z street map. Don’t mind the mess, I get few visitors nowadays.’

He lets me enter as easily and enthusiastically as welcoming in the new year. Even up close his tired face shows no recognition. The house smells old. Dust frosts the surfaces. He shuffles along, and I imagine it collecting at his feet like a sorry snowplough. I place my hand on the cosh in my pocket. It feels heavy and warm.

He edges past a large table covered in books in the centre of the room. There’s a war theme to them and the television has a loud black and white film playing. He opens a sideboard and roots among the drawers.

‘Forgive me, I’ll try to be quick. My eyesight is terrible these days, but I’m sure it was here.’

I loom behind him and notice the movie blaring out is recent, it’s just the set that is ancient. My own functioning vision picks up photos of sailors and ships on the walls, many with a proud young man forefront. I spot a medal inside a small display case on a stand.

‘Here you are. This is it. I recognise it from the binder around the edge. You’ll have to read it. My magnifying glass helps but I’ve used it too much today and I’ve a splitting headache.’

‘Thank you.’ I flick through the pages, pausing to turn the television off before I get a migraine. ‘Were you in the Second World War?’

His laugh is a wheeze. ‘How old do you think I am? I served all over. The Middle East mostly. I loved the Navy.’

‘You live here alone?’

There’s a small pause and a shrug. ‘Yes, I was too busy for a family. Too much fun to be had, and I wanted to see the sights. My memories are my comfort. I do have a daughter from a brief liaison many decades ago.


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