‘Rules die young.’ Someone had told Mark that once, or perhaps he was remembering it wrong. For some reason the phrase had surfaced at the back of his brain and now it was bobbing around refusing to go anywhere. ‘Rules die young.’
‘Mr Bennet?’ The female police officer was looking at him from the other side of the table, ignoring the coffee her partner had brought her in favour of tapping the end of her pen against a clipboard. ‘Mr Bennet, can you start from the beginning please?
‘I- well yes, I suppose.’ He paused and stared down at his own cup of watery brown, [according to the other police officer] coffee and tried to remember where the start actually was.
‘You see, it’s like that saying,’ he started. ‘A problem shared comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.’ He licked his lips, wincing at the dried flakes of skin there. He should start using lip balm but he always managed to loose those tiny little sticks within an hour of buying them. ‘You know, it’s one of those sayings like the truth always turns away wrath, or a stitch in time shouldn’t rock the boat.’ He sipped the watery thing that was supposed to be coffee.
‘Actually, it wasn’t anything like that at all,’ he admitted. ‘It was- well I don’t know what it was. One moment I was sitting there, all keeping to myself like and next thing you know there’s a guy with a gun, or a thing that looks a bit like a gun, well nothing like a gun but I don’t know what it was, telling me that I had to run.
I wasn’t even going to go to church that day but things had started heading downhill a while back and seeing if I could get the big guy on my side seemed like a good idea. I don’t believe in him of course but you have to try these things before you shun ’em. You can put a lot of stock in karma according to my cousin Phil. He’s really into all this modern era, fing-fong-shoey stuff.
Anyway, I was running and this guy was waving his not-a-gun around like somethin’ was chasing us but it seemed a lot like we was just runnin’ from nothin’ and then we- well I think we travelled through time because Old Man Mooney’s been dead twenty years gone and he was there walking around alive as day.
Weird as weird I tell you.’
‘Mr Bennet.’ The police woman had stopped tapping her pen now and was assessing him through narrowed eyes. ‘Do you have a clue what you’re saying or are you just sprouting whatever mash up of words pops into your head.’
‘Both I think,’ he shrugged. ‘You have to be careful with memories you know. They like to tangle up inside one another, those randy little bastards, it makes them tricky to prise apart and half the time when you do, you take something with it that you didn’t mean to. But back to this guy and his not-a-gun, well you see, we were being chased but it wasn’t by monsters or the like. It was this rabbit. A big rabbit, but nothin’ to get your knickers in a twist about. But the guy he’s there waving this not-a-gun about, threatenin’ to shoot this fluffy bastard like he done something awful or the likes.
You see he wasn’t a bunny, he was somethin’ else and when the guy with his not-a-gun tried to explain it, it sort of made sense but I’m not so sure anymore.
It had somethin’ to do with planets and galactic weaponry. Laws that weren’t really laws and rules dyin’ young. That was the one who said it, Mr Not-A-Gun, he said rules die young and there’s no point tryin’ to keep to them when the only ones that stick around are the ones that people forget because they do so little that they might as well not exist.’
‘Yes Mr Bennet, but can you tell me about the dead man currently in the morgue with a pickax in his head?
‘Oh him?’ Mark shook his head. ‘No idea about him. Mr Not-A-Gun was quite surprised to stumble across him as well. Sort of thought the worse so-and-so stayed on the other side of town. I mean it takes a certain type to want to put a pickax in a skull, and that’s not mentioning the effort of going and finding one in this sort of place. They ain’t light. You ever tried swingin’ one? Dam near took out my own foot when I tried last. Swore never to trust the things.’
‘Are you telling me that you have no information on this murder case at all Mr Bennet?’
‘No, no, no, no, no… I’m sorry what was the question- oh never-mind I remember. Yes, I know a plenty about a murder case, just not Pickax.’
‘Who else has been murdered Mr Bennet?’
‘Well that’s plain as day ain’t it. You’re lookin’ at me aren’t you.’
‘Mr Bennet, are you suggesting that someone is trying to kill you?’
‘No. I’m suggestin’ that someone did try and kill me and they did a pretty bang up job of it. Look!’ He lifted the top of his skull off and placed it on the table between them. ‘Now you tell me, who does that? I mean it’s handy for when you get those brain itches and you could do with havin’ a good scratch around in the old grey matter but really, I tried joggin’ the other day and everythin’ was threatenin’ to fall right out onto the pavement.’
‘Mr Bennet I-‘
‘Oh don’t you worry love,’ he grinned. ‘It doesn’t hurt at all. That’s the bonus of bein’ dead you see, you’ll understand it after a week or so, takes a while to forget the memory of how things should be hurtin’ but you get there.’
‘The memory of-‘
The policewoman blinked at him.
‘You don’t realise it yet, most don’t, no need to worry. You’re dead love. We all are. This is just the welcome wagon, a way to ease you into things.’ He tipped the top of his skull in her direction.
‘Remember,’ he said. ‘Experience is the soul of wit.’
This is what happens when I spend all day studying and then try to write a piece of fiction, I apparently go insane.
This week’s Friday Free Write comes out of two writing prompts as you know I love to mash writing prompts together. I’ve used Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge ‘Behold The Idiomatic‘ and the Daily Post’s prompt: Witness.
If you’ve got time please check out my flash fiction piece from yesterday: Recycled Headspace, I’d love to get some feedback on it as I’m hoping to work it into a bigger piece of fiction that I’m writing for the site.
Happy Friday everyone.