This story springs from another sentence from the same source - this is my second go at it, I hated my first try. So today I remembered to give myself permission to abandon a story that really isn't working for me. I like this effort better than yesterday's, but the similarity of the set up created quite a strong resistance for me. All this week, I will just pick up the Excercise and write, without knowing where it will end up.
If you like, you can leave an excercise for me in the comments - or tweet me if you prefer. I will keep a running list as they are gifted to me, and do them in chronological order.
My partner suggested I do this for a whole year. On day two that feels daunting... But to be honest the project is an attempt to discipline myself to write, not just talk about it - so maybe I should commit to a whole year of a story every day, but not yet.
Next week I plan to spend 10 minutes before starting - plotting in some way. Nothing too fancy the aim is to write and write everyday. It might be some weeks before any of this gets any good. For now I am happy with a few moments of sparkle. Oh! and I am not hampering myself with worry about punctuation too much either. All in good time.
Damn! He hadn't thought about the creaking step on the staircase...
He had planned everything down to the last little detail, had three practice runs right up to the last bit down the back stairs. He'd even strangled a couple of live gerbils to get the feel of what it's like to actually take a life.
He'd done all this preparation and yet completely failed to notice the creaking steps. Of course he'd been up and down those stairs a million times to get another bottle of whatever sluice was 'on spesh' at Tesco's online. Jees the fat old bitch didn't even bother to leave the house to go shopping anymore. He didn't get 10 single minutes to himself with her 'make us a cup of tea love'thises and her 'Alfie can you hand me the remote please' thats.
So last week he had decided to kill her. How hard could it be? Well apart from the fact that she never got out of that rancid old Ercol chair. Which would make it difficult to look like any kind plausible kind of domestic accident. Actually killing her, doing the dirty deed so to speak - that wouldn't be hard at all.
Alfie bloody hated the face off his mother. Imprisoned though he was by her disabilities, Alfie felt sure he would have bourne her care with heroic acceptance except for the awful fact that she is the most terminally dull individual in the entire known universe - including his old maths teacher and that old DJ Tony Blackburn who everyone suddenly thinks is ironically funny but really he's just not and he should be dead too.
Alfie with a bit of persuasion could be recruited to a number of high profile contract killings.
Tony Blackburn, it turns out is only one of a long list of enemies that over time and inadvertently have found themselves on Alfie's "People I would like to be paid to kill" list.
There is also a "People I'd fuck up for free" list which includes all girls he has ever fancied as well as school mates who annoyed him and celebs who he feels would be rude to him given half the chance, despite never having met anyone even vaguely starry. Alfie keeps his kill lists up-to-date and the fires of his justified hatred stoked with a diet of gossip mags and endless drivel filled exchanges with his arthritic, old mother who went completely Lady Ga-ga a few years ago and now believes Alfie to be just 13 and still at school.
In fact, half the time, Alfie is happy to play along, retreating to his school days proves less painful than facing the dreary reality of his middle aged spreadingness and his meal for one existence.
Alfie's mother only eats soft slop since her last set of dentures packed in and she refuses to leave the house to visit the dentist for a new pair. Nevertheless she insists on getting everything she is entitled to from the council including a daily delivery of nasty smelling, mainly brown food.
His mother has been at the top of Alfies "realtives who really would be better off dead" list for months now. It was time to put her out of his misery. Time to kill the old trout once and for all.
Alfie went out of the house as usual at 11.30am. He goes out at this time every day to buy his newspaper. He then walks all the way to the dogs' home and arrives home at around 1.30pm for lunch. He likes to visit the dogs, he likes to hear their hopeful barking and he enjoys the pathos too - he always feels a mixture of sadness and triumph when a dog he's got used to seeing everyday for a few weeks, has gone, and he knows after a quick calculation whether the hound has been found or put down.
Alfie is happy to know there are creatures in the world worse off than him...
He usually gets back at 1.30pm after the bloke from Meals on Wheels comes by for his mother. Barry is a nice enough chap, but he's never given direct eye contact to Alfie and so reluctantly he's been added to the 'People I'll kill when I have a spare moment' list. (Reluctantly because he likes Barry's hair and he is kind to his old people even Alfie's hideous mother - mind you after today... Barry's toast.
Yes he usually gets back at 1.30pm except for today, because today is "Kill my mother day".
The plan has already rolled into action with this morning's alarm clock. In fact it is a really simple plan.
8.00am Get up, act normal
After 8.30am Kill mum @first opportunity. n.b. use pillow from her bed
12.15pm Hide on back stairs until Barry finds mum
12.30pm Barry arrives - hide some more
12.32pm Barry finds mum - still stay hiding
14.30pm Call police (after everyone has gone) claim someone has kidnapped mum*
*Alfie has practiced his most distraught voice at the dogs' home every day for a week 'oh no! She's gone'
14.35pm (roughly) act suprised when policeman tells you she is dead
Next week file insurance claim
Next month Kill Brad Pitt, number one on his "People who I will kill for the greater good" List
Next month plus one day marry Angelina Jolie (very definitely on his 'People not to kill even if they do annoy me or wear yellow' list.)
So far the plan was executing pretty well. Alfie has cut it a bit fine with the actual killing part. There was back to back Come Dine With Me episodes on the telly and it seemed an unnecessary cruelty to kill the old dear before it finished. Alfie is not completely heartless.
So it was just after 12.15pm when Alfie stepped behind his mother's chair clutching her pillow, intent on matricide. (A strange word he had always liked although he felt it should only really apply if you forced someone's face into their bedding while they were actually in bed).
He dispatched his mother quickly, she gave in without a fight, almost as if she wanted him to do her in really. Then he trotted upstairs to replace the pillow and on the way back down, remembered just in time to unlock the front door for Barry before pulling the door to the back stairs almost shut at 12.25pm. Leaving a little crack to listen for the front door.
Barry arrives a touch after 12.30pm and shortly after bang on schedule Alfie hears the clatter of metal tray and containers as Barry makes his grim discovery. He implements the 'Dead Client Protocol' and dials 999, gives quick details and answers a series of questions, all overheard by an exhilerated and excited Alfie - who is beyond pleased that his plan is working.
His mother is dead, Barry has raised an alarm and all he has to do is stay put for a couple of hours. Alfie despite himself, shifts from one agitated foot to the other and the empty silence that has fallen over the house since Barry's efficient emergency call is filled with the deafening creak of the dodgy back stairs.
"Hellohhh?" Barry's call is both tentative and a bit scared.
Alfie sighs as he mentally ticks off Barry's name from his "People I may be forced to kill sooner rather than later if they discover I've done a murder" list ...