Great, pig, trouble.

Fingers stands in a clearing, looking down, as the howling wind rips at his hair and rain smashes into the right side of his face. His trousers are around his ankles, his buttocks are clenched, his knees caked with mud and twigs. At his feet is Ruby, the large saddle back pig, last seen at the quay when Goliath first arrived. She has keeled over, onto her side, panting and snorting breathlessly – then suddenly, she spasms and squeals out in pain.

The last born of a large litter, Ruby was plucked from certain death by Georgie Delaware’s daughter Matty (Matilda); raised by her loving hand from runt to great hulking house pig – albeit with a slight heart defect. Four years ago Matty left the Scottish island on a gap year trip, to pursue adventures in Australia; after sand boarding, diving with sharks and spending time at a Dingo sanctuary, she fell in with a fanatical group of white, middle class Australians, committed to living the ways of the ancient indigenous people; Matty had gone fucking walk about. Ruby is Georgie’s last contact with his only daughter; when he sees Ruby he sees Matty – sad but true.

Georgie hears Ruby cry. He races through the woods battered by the elements and hollers desperately into the storm, “RUBY? RUBY? RUBY?” His voice flies ahead of him reaching Fingers and rousing him from his horrified stupor. He grabs the waistband of his trousers to pull them up but too late – Georgie stumbles into the clearing. RUBY! He wails, rushing forward, pushing Fingers out of the way and sending him flying backwards, hard, onto his arse, legs in the air. Ruby grunts almost imperceptibly, little piggy eyes blink sadly up at Georgie as if she says:

“Goodbye dear friend, goodbye.”

Georgie hears Fingers scrabble to his feet, hoick up his jeans, and stutter that it doesn’t look like what it looks like, which is precisely when Georgie reflects on what the scene, actually, does look like: A rock star + muddy knees + a visible penis + female pig with a ravaged pudenda. Ruby, as if sensing the truth is out, sure now her honour will be avenged, shudders, squeals (like a pig) and abruptly dies.

Georgie roars in anguish. Fingers takes a few tentative steps backwards but George is on his feet and moving towards Fingers who suffers a nauseating feeling of impending doom and tries to lighten the situation.

“Oh no, c’mon love, she came on ter me, honest…’ but clearly humour is not going to work. So he bargains; “look mate, Ah’ll buy yer a new one, Ah’ll buy yer a whole friggin’ flock…Pigs up t’yer nipples.” Georgie launches himself at Fingers, who runs; skidding on mud, stung by nettles, face clawed by angry branches. His lungs threaten to burst and his legs have all but given way but he can hear Georgie crashing after him. Finally, whimpering, he pushes through the door of the old house only to be confronted by the powdery white, red eyed, ghost of Clive Brendon wielding an axe; it is too much for his frayed nerves – Fingers screams shrilly and faints before he can say ‘lock the door’.

There is a reason why guests are corralled into a specific area of the house; the reason is dilapidation. The empty room above the one where Clive slept, clutching the axe, has a large hole in the ceiling with direct views to the sky beyond. Through this hole, for many years, wind whipped, snow drifted and rain poured, soaking the floor below, rotting the rafters to the texture of liver pate. Twenty minutes ago the rafters gave up; the ceiling dropped onto Clive covering him in soft rotted wood, plaster pieces and icing him with a layer of grey-white dust. He woke spluttering and gasping as if risen from the dead. He stumbled out, clutching the axe, half blinded, wishing he’d removed his contact lenses last night. He lurched along the corridor and struggled stiffly down the stairs. He heard the front door fly open and saw someone stagger in and the person screamed, like a girl.

At least that’s what Betty said, after they’d dragged Fingers to the sofa in the drawing room. Will pointed out that using that phrase was demeaning to girls and Betty giggles; he says:

‘Did yer sister tell yer she gave me a gifted tit wank after Blackpool?”

Will sighs, she didn’t just tell him, she posted pictures on Fuckbook and tried to sell the story to the sun, thinking it would help her get on Big Brother. It didn’t. He frowns, searches around the room for a caustic yet poignant response when he notices Cyclon; skin quivering as if an alien fights its way out, sweat cascading off him as he crawls until he makes contact with a wall, where, oblivious to all but his own pain, he bangs his head repeatedly against the faded, ‘Strawberry Thief’, William Morris wallpaper. Will dashes off to scrape cocaine dregs from the kitchen table in a futile attempt to relieve Cyclon of what could be a fatal period of withdrawal from years of drug abuse.

Fingers shows signs of life, muttering as if in a nightmare, calling out for ‘Mindy? Mindy?!’ (This is the name of Clive’s wife). Clive grabs a vase, full of half dead flowers in fetid water and chucks the lot on him – an act that he enjoys immensely until, out of the corner of his eye Clive becomes aware of a figure, looming at the drawing room door. It’s Georgie, tears streaked down his ruddy cheeks; shot gun raised and primed.

He suddenly shouts, “Move ah’way from tha’ murdering rapist bastard!”

Everyone jumps, looks at each other and then at Fingers who has returned to consciousness and the sight of a shotgun – aimed at him. Betty backs away hands stuck vertically in the air, H Butt drops to the floor, behind the sofa – he’s had a gun pointed at him before, during the robbery of his Suffolk mansion, now sold at auction to a pair of Euro lottery winners. Clive thinks very quickly: he considers the band minus their famously vile, but fan-base heavy bassist and concludes that Will could provide both a keyboard bass line and with a bit of work become the fan focus. i.e Fingers is dispensable. This thought makes Clive smile, momentarily, however he is moved by the look of pure terror on Fingers’ face, to consider the option of disarming Georgie, using charm (unlikely to work), or heroics (would look good in the papers) but Will beats him to it. Moments ago he crept silently, from the kitchen, slid soundlessly up the corridor and right now, whacks Georgie Delaware on the side of his head with a medium sized copper bottomed pan. Georgie drops the gun; it hits the floor; it fires – KABOOM – and – in horrible slow motion a splurge of bone, blood and grey matter splatter Clive – a portion of which enters his open mouth and is, in the ensuing panic, swallowed.

To be continued…

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