“Now, if you’d just like to sign here” he hands the paper over to her with a dark leather gloved finger pointing to the dotted line.

“Oh right, of course, how silly of me I almost completely forgot, ok where are my spectacles?” picking up her worn and shabby glasses case she struggles with her contorted, wrinkled knuckles to open the clasp.
“Now you just sit there, there’s a good lad and I’ll be right with you. Can I get you a nice cup of tea and a biscuit? I’ve got a lovely piece of Battenburg Margaret picked up for me yesterday. I do like it when you manage to visit me. I’ve been telling Margaret all about you”
At the mention of Margaret his face sneers as he breathes in the funk of stale urine transfused with lavender suspended in the air. He follows the instruction and sits slowly neatly facing her. His immaculately pressed black trousers barely crease at the knees as he perches on the edge of the couch. His back is as at a perfect ninety degree angle. Silence sits in the room. His face returns his usual fixed veneer. His ice cold blue and tiny black pupilled eyes are transfixed and unblinking from beneath jet black eye brows,
“That’s ok Mrs Feather” an impatient inflection takes a hold of his usually monotone voice “Now if you’d just like to sign where I showed you”
“If you could just help me get into my specs I’ll be right with you” she offers her old glasses case to him from underneath her disheveled woolen blanket. Holding it as though it were a lead weight, her tiny withered arm shaking and five grubby gold rings sunk into different cobbled fingers. Some of them have precious stones gathering his attention. He moves slowly, purposely extending her wobbling misery and he grasps the case away from her. He feels the cold leather in a knot as his spare hand clenches a fist. Subtle leather bound croaks escape into the room, lost on Mrs Feather’s hearing aid. His fist is a ball of impatience.
“There you are Mrs Feather....”
“Now call me Doris, you are ever such a polite young man Clive but there’s no need for heirs and graces round ere, now, how’s about that cuppa?” She reaches to the side of her high backed chair and wraps her twisted hands around her walking stick. She shuffles ungracefully to the edge of her seat. The blanket drops to the floor along with a TV guide and a muffled thud releasing a fresh pungent urine waft and revealing she is festooned with gold jewellery. She reaches for the chairs electric controls in an attempt to stand. Her dulled eyes squint through her newly acquired spectacles as she fumbles with the controls. Clive’s five foot ten, slender frame rises slowly and silently from its perch. His back remains fixed exactly vertical. His flawless black suit and tie display no crease or imperfection. His black hair is slicked and scraped into position with greasy hair wax. He grinds his teeth and with gritted jaw approaches Mrs Feather. One large stride and he towers over her tiny haggard body.

He languidly stoops, his knees bent and back rigor mortis straight “there, there Ms Feather, no need to worry yourself about a cup of tea on my account” his mask slips slightly, lip snarling. He removes one of his gloves clasping the top of a finger at a time loosening what has become like a second skin to him. He rests his naked hand on top of Mrs Feathers clutching at the controls. He feels the sagging skin between his fingers thinking it surprisingly soft, expecting decaying coarseness. He snaps a long sinister gaze onto her.
Mrs Feather tries to focus on the blurred menace burning through her lenses “it’s no bother” she politely exclaims with her little melodious old voice, trying to wriggle her hand free. Clive tightens his grip, his voice raised slightly.
“Mrs Feather” he reaches into the inside pocket of his suit and produces a black ball point parker pen which glints in the light. “I sincerely think it is about time you sign.....”
He moves his head back and rotates it in a circular motion his mouth wide open and gaping at the ceiling. His face grimaces like a lion confronting a fresh kill. Mrs Feather is blind as black coal at the apparent transformation which is occurring in front of her.
His mind screams “....WHERE I TELL YOU TO FUCKING SIGN” a swell of anger reverberates through him. He swiftly regains composure, his mask dropped back into position. He snatches at the paper Mrs Feather has discarded and points to the dotted line, raising it just underneath Doris’s nose. He brings his volume back under control “just here” he says monotone.
“Oh yes, how stupid of me” she takes the pen and without noticing has to prize it from Clive’s stiff grip.
“Do you mind young man?” She asks.
Without responding Clive turns his back to Mrs Feather so she can rest the paper on his rigid back as though he has been in a similar position before. He can feel the slight pressure of the pen and imagines the signature being etched onto his soul with fire instead of black ink. As she signs the paper, Clive feels the first waves of arousal taking over his body; a sudden rush of throbbing blood flows through his manhood. He takes in a prolonged lung full of flowery urine soaked air and releases it slowly through his nose. His bottom jaw protrudes, nose growling, his face has appointed a gargoyle for itself.
“There you go Clive, just like you wanted, now you must let me get you that tea and a bit of that lovely cake” she tries to shake her feeble skeleton to its feet.

“No, Mrs Feather, I insist, you watch the television for a while. I will make you a cup of tea and some of that cake” Clive hoists himself as though in slow motion, his back forever straight. He folds the paper meticulously, strides across the room to his leather brief case and places it in the front pocket. Then he moves to the television across the room passing the photo’s hanging on her wall. The luxurious carpet sponging back into position after the pressure of his foot is removed following each purposeful step.
He turns on the television and turns the volume up severely.
“A bit loud” Doris’s small voice is drowned out by the raucous din of a generic news reader (‘......and in other news today......’) adding a new dimension to the room.

“I’ll be with you in one moment” Clive mouths as he motions toward the doorway.
Doris slides her crooked frame back into her chair, relaxing. “What a genuinely nice, handsome young man” she thinks to herself. Clive stands behind her chair, he slides his wiry hand back into his glove using his other hand as leverage as he wriggles his fingers into it. He extends his fingers and then forms a fist a few times; taking back on board his second skin and the cold leather. He has an intense sensation of pleasure accompanied by another rush of blood. He feels the tip of his excitement against his trouser front as he lowers his head over the back of her chair above her thinning silver crown and takes in a huge sniff. He savors the aroma of hair spray mixed with stale pee mixed with Murray mints. He readies the industrial polythene bag he acquired from his brief case. His face is gnarled and his teeth are showing as he arches a contorted smile. No one can hear the final moments of Doris Feathers last minutes on earth. Her mute cries are drowned out by the explosive commotion from her own television and the thick plastic mummifying her face. His climax comes at the exact same moment Doris’s soul departs her withered being. He grips the plastic with such ferocity as to tear it slightly as his shuddering loins produce a cool liquid running down the inside of his leg.
Clive has trouble removing the solid gold band from one of the swollen fingers, decides to leave it and uses a baby wipe where his naked hand once was. He tips the remaining jewellery into his brief case. After searching the drawers and hand bags and removing the spare cash he walks into the bathroom cleaning then flushing away any evidence of his contentment.
As he walks into the kitchen he looks down at the ‘Northern Finance – Pension Advisor’ name badge he’s wearing with ‘Clive Butcher’ appearing in bold type. Takes it off puts it in his brief case at the same time fumbling inside the case he puts on a new badge.
“Northern Finance – Luke Cork – Pensions Advisor”
He turns the gas cooker on full seeping noxious vapour into the air. He knows he has set a timer for the lights in the living room. Doris looks pathetic and peaceful as her dead eyes stare at the noisy screen, an old worn out woolen blanket on the floor beside her to match the saggy and stretched expression on her face. No evidence of happiness apart from a besmeared gold band sunk into the third finger on her left hand. There is little sign of any struggle as her frailty betrayed any ability to put up a fight. It is only a matter of time before ‘lift off’ He thinks. He looks in the cupboard and takes out the battenburg and places that too in his brief case.

“Now” he thinks to himself “let’s see what Margaret Mahone's got to say for herself, she loves a ’nice’ piece of Battenburg”

Ian Myers

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