Sharlene’s mother had imbued certain practical skills into her. For example, Sharlene was a wonderful seamstress. (It’s not that Sharlene’s mother hadn’t taught the boys how to sew, it’s just that Sharlene was better at it).
Clyde’s father had imbued certain practical skills into him. For example, Clyde was a wonderful cabinet maker. (It’s not that Clyde’s father hadn’t taught the girls how to do carpentry, it’s just that Clyde was better at it).
Anyway, Sharlene and Clyde met, fell in love, and got married. Together they bought an old house and thought they would “do it up”. Not too much at once – they weren’t exactly made of money – but a bit here and a bit there according to what the pocket could afford. They started with making and installing a large window in the sitting room that overlooked a lake and a spectacular chain of mountains. Such a view!
This was where Clyde’s carpentry skills came in handy. Nothing was to be rushed. Everything was to be perfect. And how perfect it was! The window was exact. The workmanship was meticulous. To be honest, when installed it looked to be flawlessness itself!
Sharlene quickly sewed some drapes to soften and hide the window’s “straight, cold, masculine lines” that Clyde had taken such care to make.
Natalie was a creature of habit. She lived right next to a busy road. Naturally, in the evenings, once she turned the light on, she would drawer the drapes. People could see into the house once the light was on, and although she was never doing anything untoward, she didn’t want the passing world watching her read a book or looking at television.
However, when she was ready for bed she would pull the curtains open to let in the lights of streets and traffic. It was somehow comforting and interesting. Other people might find it annoying, but Natalie rather liked it.
Hers was a small place with just the one bedroom. The “front door” was at the back of the house and led straight into the kitchen. For some strange reason the lock on the door had broken. The locksmith was coming tomorrow. But Natalie, for just the one night, felt quite safe. She had jammed a carving knife between the bottom of the door and the kitchen linoleum. It almost acted like a lock. She prepared for bed. She opened the curtains.
There was a sign on a stake on her small front lawn next to the road. The sign read:
One of the first things Desmond did every morning when he got out of bed was to draw aside the expansive drapes from the window looking out across his lawn to the panoramic view of distant mountains. It was like opening a new chapter to his existence! The drawing aside of theatre curtains to begin a Wagnerian opera! The appearance of royal newlyweds kissing on some grand palace balcony! To pull aside the curtains was a titanic gesture; a declaration that this was the first day of the rest of his life!
This morning, when Desmond drew aside the curtains there was a dead body lying on his lawn.
“Holy hell,” said Desmond getting into the shower, “I’d forgotten about last night.”