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A Useful Trick of the Trade
A Useful Trick of the Trade
Published by Nemonymous
A Useful Trick of the Trade

I must tell someone. There were telltale signs on her body – the handprint-shaped bruises around the rib cage, the mouth, at that time still full of two tongues. Hers and someone else’s. She had evidently died during the act of lovemaking.
In all, the body showed evidence of a mutually violent passion, rather than an act of rape by either party. It was difficult to be absolutely certain because I was merely looking at one side of the story, as it were. If there was another body, there was no sign of it, neither its presence nor any mode of its exit from the flat.
Needless to say, being a churchgoer, stumbling upon this sight in my own flat, I was more than a little shocked out of my mind. But, of course, there was some need to say it....
Without further thought, however, I knelt beside the bed, palms pressed together, like fleshy moth wings, and have called upon you God, rather than the police. I suppose I was administering last rites, in the desperate hope that it was not too late. Trying to neaten and clean her body, too, ready for your attention.

The following Sunday, I could not find my usual church. This was most disconcerting because I had been attending it since I was a small child. Where it should have been was a block of flats.
Somewhat in despair, I gave myself the benefit of the doubt, becoming convinced that it had always been in the next street. The first street, however, turned out to be longer than I remembered, with rank upon rank of unbroken terraced housing eventually arriving at the park gates. I knew all along that the church was nowhere near because I could not see its spire, which would have poked up higher than the TV aerials.
As a child, I had dreamed that the church was really a rocket ship. After all, it looked like one, despite being old-fashioned and bedecked with stone gargoyles. I’d heard of sending monkeys into outer space … but statues and icons? If Mrs. Smith had been cleaning out the pews when it happened, she must have gotten an almighty shock.
I shook my head in disbelief. Was I really thinking these things? Perhaps that incident during the week was taking its toll on my mind. Which was not surprising. I could hardly credit that the police, when they eventually arrived on the scene, were almost giving the impression that I was the chief suspect in a case of murder. After all, they said. Who else was there? It was my flat, wasn’t it? What was the dead woman doing there? Not surprisingly, I was dumbfounded at their damned nerve. They put my behaviour down to shock. Grunts and wild gesticulations.

I found the church at last, tucked away in a nondescript cul-de-sac – quite close to where I lived, as it happened.
Yes, it did look a bit like a rocket ship – but a lot of churches do, don’t they? Except those with square towers, of course. And, oh, yes. Those newfangled Catholic ones with bits of sculpture outside in the guise of oblique builders’ scaffolding.
Today I was so much in awe of you, my God and Saviour, that I literally knelt down in the grounds of the church and made the rest of the way by crawling, in the process scraping off bits of my stockings, and then skin, and then splinters of my kneecaps. My high heels fell off first.
Once inside, it was certainly a useful trick of the trade to know how to pray in silence – unlike those tub-thumping hot gospellers who seem to do everything with their goddamn tongues.
Rest assured, dear God, I am not praying to you only on my own behalf, for that would be more than a little selfish. I am also pleading your gracious mercy and forgiveness for that poor deaf and dumb man whom the police ended up arresting from next door to my flat. He had lived there quietly for years. His loft connected with mine, it turned out. He was viewing ‘Crimewatch’ on TV at the time, I believe. From what I found they should be looking for a man who is made of plastic. So, even though I know the police are not easily fooled, I am still unconvinced of that man’s guilt. Or am I getting confused, Lord? Only you can tell, I’m sure. Hear my words, dear Lord. As you ready yourself for my arrival in your Heavenly church up so very high.
4 Thanks From:
miguel1984 (11-24-2017), Mr. Veech (11-16-2017), yellowish haze (11-17-2017), Zaharoff (11-16-2017)
By Nemonymous on 11-16-2017
Re: A Useful Trick of the Trade

Above was previously published in the early 1990s, but significantly rewritten today.
Last edited by Nemonymous; 11-16-2017 at 02:52 PM..
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By Nemonymous on 11-16-2017
Re: A Useful Trick of the Trade

A Useful Trick of the Trade (2)

First written and published today.


(Jeremy wiped his forehead as he stood up.)

Hot in here (he said) too hot to think of much other than this single thought. Most times I mix all my thoughts up and free wheel with fears, hopes, desires, even, and oh yes, call them what they are, worries, grievances, dreads, nightmares of hate, yes, a whole mess of of aberrations and confusions. I suggest it is impossible to have a single thought, as I claimed at the beginning. Just to think of the heat, and nothing else, as I wished to do BECAUSE of that heat. However, there are various tricks of the trade to help one shrink all our thoughts to one thought, to produce calmness in a wild human mind, as all human minds by their nature usually want to be. But it is too hot even to think at all. So for the moment I give way to the honourable lady.

(He sat down sweating profusely. Even the green leather seats seemed to be sweating And up stood Susan to reply. Her security badge hung round her neck. Dressed formally despite the heat.)

Thank you, my honourable friend has raised a very important point. We need to explore every avenue of the mind. Why it is so crammed, so utterly befuddled at all times of the day and night, yes, I use the word ‘night’ advisedly. Even if one is not tossing and turning with worries just before darkness turns into dawn, the consciousness embedded in the mind is still full of thoughts some of which think thoughts for themselves. Thoughts thinking thoughts.

(She sits down and Jeremy returns to his feet.)

I thank my honourable friend for her valuable thoughts. She has the wisdom of the ages. Although I am not impugning her own age! (He laughs, and wipes his forehead again.) What I shall say is that we need to implement a sieve. Not. a physical one, necessarily, although a wartime helmet with holes drilled in it like the one I am wearing would be ideal, as so many people who are emptying their thoughts so efficiently are those who might actually remember the war. ....... No I will not make way. I want to make progress. Oh, OK. I give way to the honourable gentleman.

(He sat down, glistening and glowing in the chamber’s lights. Joseph stood up and started speaking.)

Is that sieve one of the honourable gentleman’s tricks of the trade? It seems a ludicrous suggestion, even for this chamber. (Laughter.)

(Jeremy stands up again, with a new helmet on his head, one with a central spike pointing upwards.)

Point of order (shouted a voice now upright having been sedentary for centuries.) Dear Mr Speaker, is it possible for this House to regard a trade deal as a trick? I think it impossible for Hansard to know that the honourable gentleman is wearing such a helmet without him saying so. I request that you instruct him to remove it or actually make it known verbally for the sake of Hansard that he is wearing one. Brexit be praised.

(The whole chamber intoned a repetition of Brexit be praised. Like a response in a church. They forthwith trooped into the hot lobby to be counted. One in one out. The trick of the trade upon which democracy is based. But there were now not enough thoughts to go round for any clear thinking at all. The Speaker remained on his rostrum shivering. Shivering sometimes comes with a fever. Trick of the trade, but no treat.)
Last edited by Nemonymous; 11-16-2017 at 05:37 PM..
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