“You remember that summer when we’d got the keys
to the house on the housing estate
and the electrics seemed funny?”
“I mean the coffee percolator they’d left behind,
surely for you, after all they knew how very much
you loved coffee and stuff, and everything connected,
exploded almost immediately
in sparks of malfunction. You could’ve got
killed by the shock if it’d had got you:
especially since it leaked like only God knew how.
And did you ever wonder if it was just an accident?”
“Not really. My mind doesn’t work like that.”
“Yeah, but the same summer, you remember we noticed
the lights, whenever they went on, they flickered – but
always! Did you really never wonder if that was just a
coincidence? Did you really never think there could be more?”
“Well. As I said. I don’t think like that. I don’t think that
people can be quite that bad.”
“And then there was the rewiring which we got done downstairs:
in the room we had given to our daughter, you know.
And it gave her electric shocks, and then we noticed the earth wire
wasn’t where the earth wire should actually have been placed.
And the shocks didn’t stop, as she turned on and off
the DVD player to watch her favourite films. And we went and called
them back, and the shocks still didn’t stop – but by then it was too late to do
“Yeah. Right. Crime. Attempted murder. Electricity. That what you’re saying?”
“I mean – summer was over. Not that anything did happen. But it could quite easily
have happened, given time.
One or other of us could quite easily have died.
One or other of us now could easily be dead.”