It seems wrong to say you enjoyed watching an old lady die of heart failure after finding out that her son was dead and his body buried beneath a knicker factory. Even more shocking for her was learning that the helpful young friend of her son was the man responsible for doing this, now sitting with his hand over her face. But the dénouement of the Colin Fishwick story was so wonderful that all I could do was hold my breath as Joy came slowly to believe this mad story being told her. And, yes, laugh.
You knew it had to happen, but having the whole incredible story come out between only John and Mrs. Fishwick was superb. The look in her eyes as she heard the ringing of the cell phone she was calling – on the coffee table in front of her. Why had John told her that phone number was her son Colin’s? In Canada, no wait, he came back to England, yes, sometime, somewhere.
Asking John for an explanation then listening, incredulous, as his account of what happened grew more and more bizarre. Totally disbelieving at first, then realizing that he, at least, believed what he was saying. “You’re sick in the head, I’m in fantastic nick compared to you,” she opined, as she slowly accepted that maybe this was indeed what happened. No one could make up such a story.
Their Fresco’s Winter Warmer Meal for Two finished and forgotten, bowls and bread still on the table, Joy Fishwick listened to John explain why her son had not returned her phone calls.
Then a knock at the door – her neighbour returning a talking tape of a Joanna Trollope novel. John, fearing she will call out for help, puts his hand over her mouth. Sitting on the arm of the chair beside her, he continues his story of how he then, accidently, killed Charlotte who had assisted him in the disposal of Colin’s body. Mrs. Fishwick’s eyes getting bigger and bigger with horror and perhaps lack of oxygen.
When the neighbour has left and the danger past, John removes his hand but no joy from Joy Fishwick. She’s dead. Again, John almost calls emergency services but doesn’t. He sneaks out, leaving Mrs. Fishwick dead in her chair.
Eventually he remembers the evidence left on the coffee table. Tries to sneak back in, but the neighbour sees him. John thinks pretty well on his feet, but even he has trouble coming up with stories quickly enough. He passes himself off as a delivery man, a “most particular” delivery man it seems. He tidies the room before the police get there – “If she’s anything like my old gran, she’d be very fussy about visitors in an untidy house.” Out of sight of the neighbour, he stuffs the leftover bread and bowl in his pocket. Then leaves – more deliveries to make – accidently pulling a piece of bread out when he’s reaching for his keys. He stuffs it in his mouth saying “they’ve got us eating on the go as well.”
I can’t imagine Mr. Neighbour not telling the police about the very odd delivery man. So we’ll have to wait and see how John manages to talk his way out of this one, if he can. But this week, John and Joy Fishwick and her neighbour were absolute stars.