Saturday 4 March 2017

It’s Never the Same

Paula R. C. Readman

 farmhouse Scrumpy

It’s amazing just how much mess a shotgun makes. It’s not as though I wasn’t aware of how dangerous they can be in the wrong hands. Growing up on a farm as I did, my father made sure I was more than capable of handling one. 

‘Don’t ever leave a loaded gun just lying around, Gwen,’ he said as Mum nervously watched on. His big, strong, gentle hands took the gun from mine, and replaced it, where it always hung on the wall in the kitchen.

I was 14 years old, when Mum passed away. There had only ever been the three of us, though I never felt my father regretted not having a son.  I guess he saw me as being just as capable of doing the same work as a boy could, especially with his guidance.  

Dad used to take me shooting with him, so I’ve seen the damage a gun can do to an animal or a bird, but somehow it isn’t the same as shooting a man close up, I can assure you. Though having said that, it isn’t the same as it is portrayed on the telly either.

 As I stand here, looking down at this poor excuse of a man, I wish it were just a fictional crime programme, where everything is rather sterile. I could do with a flashback, or even better still, a flash forward. It would be handy knowing how it’s all going to end for me. Maybe, if I’d held my temper, seen a little less red, things might’ve turned out different for me, and especially for him. I wish my dear old dad had seen fit to warn me about lying, cheating bastards.

The shotgun was the first thing that came to hand when that old red mist descended. When you’re on your own in an old farmhouse on the moors, you need to be careful, especially at night. There’s been too many thefts of expensive farm equipment in the area. Well, that’s the story I’ll be sticking to when the police arrive.  

If only he’d listened to me. None of this would’ve happened. I didn’t see why I should have listen to anymore of his lies. I couldn’t stand seeing what was happening to all my father’s hard work as he drunk our livelihood away.  It’s amazing how resourceful a desperate woman can be when she wants to be.  With a little spring cleaning everything will be as good as new. 

Aha, that sounds like them now.   Breathe easy. Remember look distraught. Bearing in mind how easy it was the last time. 

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