This morning, a neighbour, Milford Frankfurter (part-time astronomer and searcher for extraterrestrial life in the skin of fish at weekends), emitted a cry from his house resembling a three-spined toadfish suddenly intolerant to salt. I suddenly realised that my house has inadequate sound-proofing, and the upstairs toilet is too well-concealed. The possibility that the toilet might have been stolen crossed my mind, slid down the side of my face, and made for the kitchen to make breakfast.
'My one remaining pleasure! I've killed my darling Nissa!' cried Milford, crossing and uncrossing his hands above his head. 'I've destroyed her! My life is over ...' He began to pace nervously up and down the cedar tree in my front garden. He begged me not to tell the police. 'It was an accident! If the truth comes out I'll be ruined! My wife, Lola, will never forgive me!'
'Where is your wife?'
'Lola's in the car! She was jealous of Nissa, see? And you can't stop people talking ...'
Milford had sent a message by smartphone to preheat the cabin of his car. Due to a typing error he keyed 300°C instead of 20°C. Tragically, he had fallen asleep in his house. What seemed like a few minutes had, in reality, been an hour. I listened in horror.
'My wife must follow ever move I make! Is it any wonder I suffer from iPhone and car tracking angst! I pay a colleague at work to exchange shoes. My wife has chips in the heels of mine! Imagine! And I have to do a little business here, and a little business there, during the day, you understand?!'
Milford sounded like he was giving me advice I didn't want. Suddenly there was an explosion. An object flew through the air and landed on the street lamp opposite my house. It looked wrinkled and shriveled. I rubbed my eyes. 'I can see a woman's face! Dressed for mourning! If I weren't so tired I'd say it's your wife, Lola!'
'Are you waiting for me to die?!' came a deep, harsh voice from the top of a lamp post. 'Thought I was wiped off the face of the earth! I won't forget this in a hurry! Get me down! Hurry up, dammit!'
Lola's words made Milford's lips move, but this time they weren't saying anything. He was arrested by the police and charged with the manslaughter of an all-electric vehicle (EV). The ambulance and fire services arrived, attended to Lola, and Milford's burnt-out pride and joy.
I drank strong coffee to calm down; mindful that Milford had senselessly succumbed to lunacy. Wearing a blue check dress and a turban, I sat on a small camping gas stove in my living room, as the 'debris of the day' lay in wait for darkness and silence.
Reflections: If you stay silent long enough, your lover, spouse, sibling, or friend, will reveal their innermost thoughts and secrets. Their eyes will impart the truth; their words and sighs will unveil the lies. Some people consider themselves to be interminably virtuous. They normally wear a uniform, or behave as if they do.