NEIGHBOURHOD WATCH

by Tom Kelly

CHARACTERS

M1

Male – 60+

PREVIEW

Bill’s got a thing about people looking at him.

He said, ‘The eyes on that painting are watching.’

I said, ‘They do that with everybody.’

He wouldn’t have it.

Then he says, ‘You have been monitoring my house.’

Monitoring? Where’d he get that from? Although he’s been reading a lot of those sci-fi books; they’re in the back of his dining room cupboard. He talks about the stories as if they’ve really happened.

He said, ‘Do you know when the Martians landed?’

I thought I’ll not give a direct answer because I fancied another cup of tea.

So I say, ‘No. When was that?’

Then he starts telling the story of The War of the Worlds when New York panicked over Orson Welles’ radio broadcast. I couldn’t believe it. I said nowt and had three of his chocolate digestive biscuits.

Bill’s got worse since his wife died, that’ll be two years next month. Nice she was, always got on with her; we never had a wrong word. She was seventy-two, the same age as me. Now, according to Bill, I was trying to have a fling. He said I was always mooning after her. I’ve told him I liked her but that was as far as it went.

Bill’s wife Jean was a lovely woman. When she was dying Bill wouldn’t let anyone in the house. He said he didn’t like people looking at her. Especially me. I used to go to their door two and three times a day but he wouldn’t let me in. He nursed her night and day. I could have helped.

I told his son; he calls every Sunday at half-two,

‘Your dad’s going a bit funny.’

He just said, ‘He always was.’

He doesn’t want to know. I’m sure Bill’s got that dementia; I’ve read about it. I picked up a leaflet at the library from the blonde lass who had a baby but doesn’t wear a wedding ring.

 

TOTAL WORD COUNT 1930

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