UNPREMEDITATED (A Black Comedy) Essay, Research Paper
The shadowy figure cautiously crept from crevice to crevice of the large, silent garden, scanning the vast old-fashioned house for an easy entrance. A thick, black pipe climbed the moonlit, magnolia wall. Light escaped into the garden through the first floor windows and was transformed into a scattering of pale patches on the lawn by a tall mass of winter-attacked shrubbery. Next to the pipe was a window, left co-incidentally open.
The figure darted towards the pipe, trying to keep as low as possible, and stood straight back against the wall. The silence was intimidating. His second ever job; well his first proper job.
‘No muff-ups this time!´ he repeated over and over in his head. He began to climb the vertical obstacle. Hesitating, he checked his belt for the weighty gun.
‘No muff-ups this time!´
He slowly hauled his tall, heavy, body up the side of the ever-continuing wall. On reaching the window, he stretched out. Then, his heart leapt into his mouth as he plummeted about four feet down the chunky metal pipe. The rainwater on the pipe had caused him to slip. He climbed the pipe and reached for the window again. Sliding himself across he looked down at the ground about twenty-five feet below. He drew in a breath and quickly threw himself through the open window.
On dismounting from the windowsill the man realised that his trouser leg had somehow become attached to the shiny metal handle. He needed great force to pull himself away. Taking hold of the curtain rail he pulled his leg away from the window. In the same action he tore a large strip out of his trouser leg and pulled the curtain rail, which had been supporting his weight, off the wall. He fell to the floor with his finger jammed tight between the curtain rail and one of the curtain rings. He screwed up his face in agony and drew in a long breath.
Pacing across the bedroom floor he pressed his hand against the gun-handle. His heart accelerated to a record breaking pace. He briefly removed the itchy, black balaclava and replaced, with one swipe of his hand, the tiny beads of perspiration, which had accumulated on his forehead, with the moisture of the rainwater on his gloves, which he had acquired when climbing the pipe. He replaced the balaclava and stood straight back against the wall, practising his stance. It was the stance that a poor amateur dramatics society member might use when impersonating ‘James Bond´.
Trailing down two flights of stairs, he came to a halt in the large hallway on hearing the monotonous, single-toned ‘mm hmm´ of a woman on the receiving end of a one-sided telephone conversation. He saw some photographs on the wall. How could he destroy such a happy family?
Unconscious of the man standing behind her with outstretched, trembling hands, tightly gripping a gun, Maria Deaton placed the phone down gently, retaining the thought of the amusing conversation with her hairdresser-come-best friend, with a smile. She turned the volume back up on the television.
“ Awright, listen up you. Keep still and this´ll be quick and simple.” He wasn´t supposed to talk to her but had to see her face before he pulled the trigger.
The voice had boomed from behind. Confused that the words, which she at first thought had come from the surround sound speaker behind her, did not match those mouthed by the Arch Bishop on ‘Songs of Praise´, Maria spun around. Her jaw dropped and her throat dried. Now, facing the tall man with the gun tightly gripped in his hands and pointed at her, her body tensed. Her head full of questions, she looked at the gun in his quivering hands.
“No! Please!” she cried. The pleading didn´t help her. He came closer and held the gun to her head. Closing his eyes he pulled the trigger tightly.
“I, uh, think you´ve gotta load it first.” Maria was shocked at the unexpected words, which had just escaped her lips, “not very experienced are you?”
Well he wasn´t. His gun wasn´t even fitted with a silencer
The hit man´s arm fell to his side. Collapsing in a chair destroyed, he broke out into a fountain of tears, blubbering and murmuring things like ‘I´m so ridiculous!´ and ‘I´m just a bloody failure´.
“There, there,” Maria found herself saying. “Maybe you just weren´t meant to be a murderer.”
She stopped suddenly. Why? Why was he here? Her eyes darted from the unstable, blubbering wreck to the picture of her ex-husband.
“He, he sent you didn´t he? Well he´s not getting the money or the children. I didn´t think he´d stoop low enough to try to pull this off!”
“Where are the little ones now? I saw the photos in the hall.”
“They´re at my mum´s.”
She glanced back at the broken man who by this time had stopped crying and sat quivering, shaking his head and glaring at the gun, which lay upon the table.
“Excuse me,” she said. “I´m sorry.”
“Would you like a cup of tea? Coffee?”
“Uh I could do with a cold drink.”
Maria searched in the cupboards.
“There´s some old fashioned lemonade, I don´t know how long it´s been here.”
She poured the textured liquid into a glass, not noticing the label, which had been taped onto the side of the bottle by the absent-minded cleaner. The label said: Lemon Scented Bleach Cleaner.
At the first gulp he cried out.
“Aagh, wah tha…!”
Coughing and spluttering, he lurched forward and chased her through the kitchen and into the out-house. Maria fumbled for the door handle and threw herself out into the garden. Spotting a weed among her nasturtiums she quickly bent down to pluck it before resuming her fearful run. They zigzagged down the long garden in short bursts, each second the man´s swollen throat became thinner and thinner. Maria hurdled the box hedge, the low shrubs and the man staggered along, continuing to pursue her. But he was dumbstruck when he saw her manage to leap the tall cast iron garden bench. He tried to copy her action but wasn´t successful. Over the panting of her breath and the pounding of her heart she could just hear the crack as the man´s head smacked against the rockery. She spun around. He continued to cough, choke and splutter for five long seconds and then became still.
“Oh my god, I think I´ve killed him!” She murmured to herself.
What could she do now? If she didn´t act fast she would go to prison for manslaughter if not murder. There were no witnesses. ‘How did he die? Suicide? Yes suicide!´ She ran to the garage to retrieve her gloves from the glove compartment in her car. She returned to the body with gloved hands and a wheelbarrow. She heaved his long body onto the wheelbarrow and wheeled him to the garage. She tried to haul the body into the garage. It was not an easy job because the body was very solid, but she persevered. She wanted to dispose of the body before rigour mortis kicked in. She had to get to the canal fast. Her boy friend, Fernando, was coming that night. ‘Oh well.´ She thought ‘he has his own key.´
She walked quickly back down the garden to the house, this time walking around the obstacles. She ran into the kitchen and grabbed the bleach-filled lemonade bottle and rinsed it under the tap to eradicate any fingerprints. Maria then dashed back to the car, with the lemonade bottle, and tried to haul the cumbersome, flaccid body into the boot of her mini. It was only then that she realised how tall a man he was, well how long a man he was. She put his head in one side first but she found she couldn´t get his feet in. She tried him the other way round. No she´d have to prop him up in the front passenger seat. The first time she propped him up his body flopped forward onto the windscreen She had to put the seatbelt around him. He was much too tall to fit in such a diminutive car. One would have been in tears of laughter having seen the comical way his head doubled forward against his chest. Maria then placed the lemonade bottle in his hand.
The car rolled along the large, but quiet A-road at a moderate speed. The hit man´s arm had been getting in the way of the gear-stick so she´d rested it over the back of her chair. She flicked on the radio.
“That was the news and weather. Now; remember this…?” It was ‘Them There Eyes.´
Slowly losing her sanity, Maria began to chat a one sided conversation with, or at the dumb passenger. With her eyes still on the road, she did not notice the top-heavy body slowly sliding over towards her with its eyes wide open. His breath if he´d had any would have been warm and damp on the side of her neck – he was that close.
“Wadda you wanna make them eye´s at me for?” Singing along to the radio she jumped with a start as the, supposedly dead, man´s hand hit the back of her shoulders. In a split second a hundred thoughts crossed her mind. Was he really dead? She hadn´t checked his pulse. He would kill her if he were alive. She quickly spun round to face the lifeless giant who was leaning so far over that his chin was nearly resting on her shoulder. Coming face to face with the beaming wide-eyed face of the deceased fellow she leapt up and hit her head on the ceiling. It took a moment for her to realise that he was, in fact, really dead. She checked his pulse. Phew. Although ‘phew´ is not what she said or thought, it was how she felt. She waited until she reached a red light, and then, keeping his arm around her, she stretched over and adjusted his seatbelt.
Turning out of Primrose Avenue and onto the familiar A-road Fernando glanced at the photograph of Maria, his girlfriend, which he kept on his dashboard. That car looked like her mini. He thought about how he had to bend his knees up to sit in the front seat. Wait a minute; that was her mini. He pulled up to the traffic lights alongside the tiny vehicle and looked through the window to see her and nearly exploded with anger as he saw Maria and a tall man with their arms around each other. He felt sick.
Before he could think about what he´d just seen he was being violently ushered on by the hooting of road rage ridden motorists behind. He drove rapidly into a side road, spun the car round in an instantaneous three-point-turn, using someone´s driveway. He hit the parked car with a crunch but quickly reversed away and headed towards Maria´s house, where he would wait for her to return with or without her new ‘friend´. In a fit of rage he gathered his strength and kicked the door open. It was only when the dented door lay open and partly off it´s hinges, that he remembered that he could have used his own key. He paced back and forth, the anger pumping through his veins. He started breathing heavily. He needed a drink. Fernando reached for the glass of yellowy juice that lay upon the table and took one worry-ending gulp.
Maria, full of guilt, arrived home after disposing of the body in the local canal. Nobody could have seen her apart from that group of stoned teenagers, but they were more interested in the piece of tinfoil that one of them had salvaged from a litterbin. They probably didn´t notice her at all. She didn´t recognise Fernando´s car parked further down the road. She walked up to her door. ‘Oh my god, not another one,´ she thought to herself. She stepped in slowly, thinking that there would be another, more experienced, hit man waiting for her. Instead, when she peered round into the dining room, she found the heaped body of Fernando. Once again she dragged the body to the car, oblivious to the motley gang of burglars who were walking up the path to the house as she went. In tears of madness she put the seatbelt around Fernando and headed off to the canal again. It had all become routine to her now, ad infinitum.