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Chez Spivey, just around bedtime

Hyle Troy's picture
Submission type:

Joe closed his book and stubbed out his cigar.

Time to call it a day, Old son.”

He closed his Study door and made his way upstairs quietly as so not to wake Anneka.

In the bedroom, Kirsten was sitting upright in the bed dressed in her cotton PJ’s. The pale blue contrasting sharply with her dark skin and the long black hair which cascaded over her shoulders. Joe smiled at her as he made his way to the bathroom

As he stood peeing, he looked wistfully at the bottle of little blue pills in the medicine cabinet.

Looks like we won’t be needing you tonight.” He muttered to himself. If Kirsten was either naked or clad in lacy splendour then Joe would be in for a pleasurable night. But when she was wearing her non-sexy cotton, Joe knew she had some subject or other to discuss. It was lecture time. He closed the medicine cabinet door.


Kirsten listened to the long splashing sound, it stopped, splashed once twice, thrice more. She listened to the sound of running cold water, the grunting under humming, the hocking, the spitting, as Joe brushed his teeth. Finally Joe appeared resplendent in clean white boxers. She smiled at the craggy old face, the sinewy arms and the stampede of stray dark hairs that crawled over his chest. He was like a faithful old bulldog that the British once used as some sort of mascot, ugly as sin but much loved all the same. Joe was her beloved bulldog and she loved him for all of that. She patted the bed beside her.


Silja’s not back yet, I see.” Kirsten pointed out as a way of broaching the subject on her mind.

Yep, I know.” Joe shook his slippers under the bed.

She is on a date.”

Is she now.” Joe sat on the bed beside Kirsten,

Joe thought for a moment.

Well, Good for her!”

Joe examined his fingernails then in the most casual voice he could muster asked, “Do we know his name?”

Joe glanced sideways, the big brown eyes were focussed on him, summoning his full attention.


Don’t what?” Joe realised his voice had gone up at least half an octave. The big brown eyes he loved so much were looking straight through his and into his mind. He felt like a schoolboy on the carpet. He tried to look as innocent as he could.

Don’t do anything like you are thinking.” Kirsten gave her warning, the crux of what she had stayed awake for.

What?” Joe squirmed.

Don’t take the boy to one side and warn him off. Don’t threaten him. Don’t even get involved.”

As if…” Joe protested.

Joe I know what you are like.” A tiny smirk flitted over Kirsten’s face, enough to diffuse an argument but not enough to deflect how serious she was being. And Joe knew it.

But.. You know what happened with the last one.” Joe managed to voice his concern at least.

Don’t you think she learned her lesson then?”

Joe had no good reply to feminine logic in his mind, Just a masculine reaction, in his mind he was voicing parental concern.’Parental concern, dammit?’ Joe realised what he was thinking and one part of his mind slapped the other for being so soft, but the other shrugged the slap off. Joe had to once again accept Silja was part of the family, like it or not.

Yes but, I mean.. Ermm… Like… just to make sure he does not upset her… or anything… you know?”

Kirsten pressed her case.

So she made a bad choice last time, it wasn’t her fault. Don’t tell me you or I haven’t made bad choices before. That’s life and we learn, right? Silja’s a bonny girl, she deserves to enjoy herself, without you. Us. Looking over her shoulder all the time.”

Joe’s thoughts were still stuck in the tramlines.

Maybe I just have a little chat, quiet like. See what he’s like?”


Kirsten was in full matriarch mode and Joe knew it.

Ok, so you get involved and then Silja finds out you have been meddling. Imagine!” Kirsten turned fully to Joe. “You and her are like two goats headbutting when you clash, and when your heads are done and throbbing the sulks start, then the whole house is like a deaf and dumb breakfast for days. I won’t have it!”


But nothing. Clear?

Joe sighed and leaned back on the pillows. Kirsten’s voice calmed.

If you put your boots into it, I’ll ….” Kirsten paused.

Joe raised an eyebrow, was this a threat? She’ll scream and shout? Not make his dinners? Stop his nookie?.


Instead he felt her warm hand on his.

I won’t be happy.”

That was enough. The one thing in their long relationship that Joe couldn’t stand was making Kirsten unhappy.

He put his hand on top of hers.

OK. I promise. I won’t interfere.” Joe looked at Kirsten with his own version of a disarming smirk. “Just so long as you help picking up the pieces when it all goes tits up. Hmm?”

Kirsten smiled and rolled over to Joe, wrapping herself around him. “Thank you Joe.”

She kissed him.

Like you are any good at picking up the pieces anyway?”



Joe reached out and turned the light off.


Joe Spivey's picture

((They really are like an old married couple. Or maybe a well oiled machine where all the different sized cogs mesh perfectly and make the machine hum along happily. Just heaven help anything that get's in the way of it.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Joe Spivey's picture

The following morning, before the alarm, before Anneka, before the new day began, Joe lay with his hands behind his head staring at the ceiling while he listened to Kirsten’s soft, rhythmical breathing beside him.

Of course he would never consciously do anything to make the love of his life unhappy and he would certainly keep his promise to her not to interfere in Silja’s private life.


Yes, after their little talk last night, Joe could see that Silja had her own life to lead, and Kirsten had been right when she pointed out that if he did interfere and Silja found out about it then the faeces would definitely fly fanwards. Then he would have two women mad at him, and Kirsten wouldn’t just be unhappy.

But. Not only did Joe not want to see Silja hurt… again. He knew that if it did happen again then Kirsten would be devastated. So, what to do?

He was still working on the problem while Onetooth murdered the line he was painstakingly following with his finger.

“… It does. Does not. Do. To… It does not do to D…dwell. On .Dr…eams. And for… Forget. Forget to live.”

Fortunately, the battered old oven timer chose that moment to dance noisily across Joe’s desk and four hopeful faces looked up at him from the corner of the office. Joe silenced the timer.

“Ok. Well done son, you’re getting the hang of it. Casper, you can pick it up from there tomorrow.”

But Joe was already talking to their backs as the reading group fought each other to get out of the door. Joe sat back and sighed, the four orphans already forgotten.

He had to do something. What he wanted to do was to take this boy of Silja’s to a certain blood spattered room in a certain derelict house and have him spend an hour or so tied to a certain shotgun peppered chair. Then Joe would have a quiet word with him and that would be that. Eustice, or whatever his name was, would either run a mile or be the best damned boyfriend in the wasteland, both outcomes suited Joe just fine.

Kirsten, however, had convinced him that anything even remotely like that was probably not the best course of action. But he had to do something! Joe reached for the bottom drawer and pulled out the bottle of scotch. Perhaps a liberal application of neck oil would loosen the cogs in his brain.

It took Joe three attempts to lock up when he finally left the factory. Fortunately the drive home was uneventful and, after he fell through the front door, grinned lopsidedly and wagged a finger at an unsmiling Kirsten before disappearing into his study, he actually had a plan.

For the next few days, Uwe Wittmann couldn’t go anywhere without there being at least one ragged urchin or another hanging around, sometimes just a beggar, other times just some kids playing nearby. Not only had he grown a tail but poor Uwe became rather forgetful and things at home often weren’t quite where he remembered putting them. It was two days before his journal turned up and how did his sock drawer get all mussed up like that?

By the end of the week Joe had a nice fat file on the grocer’s son… but bleedin’ ‘ell was it a boring read. New Flagstaff’s slowly up and coming middle class seemed to lead excruciatingly quiet lives. The most exciting thing Joe had discovered was from the boy’s journal. It appeared Uwe currently only had two concerns for his nineteen years. ‘Was it big enough?’ Was one and, ‘how do you kiss without banging your teeth together?’ Was the other.

Oh to be young, Joe thought, as he closed the folder.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Hyle Troy's picture

(Joe coming home oiled..  I loved that, my giggle turned heads in the office...I just imagined the look on Kirsten's face and.....  )

I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers

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