This is something I’ve submiitted for the TipsyLit Prompted Linkup on Insanity
It started life as an entry for a competition, evolved a bit, de-evolved, and here it is. Three hundred and sixty eight words, not counting this Introduction.
Robert wearily took off his shabby raincoat, hung it on the hook. Breathed in the smell of cabbage and sour milk in the short, narrow, dark hallway. Reluctantly pushed open the kitchen door.
The old woman was there. She fussed around, made him sit at the table, brought him a small glass of lager. He held his head in his hands.
‘Good day, dear?’ Artificially bright and cheerful.
He didn’t respond. He remained silent as she served the dinner. Ate silently, chewing each mouthful ten times as he’d been taught. Classic FM on the radio. It was always Classic FM, with the volume turned too low.
She served the pudding. He pushed it away untouched, stared at the bowl.
‘Robert? Don’t you want the crumble? It’s your favourite. You’ve always liked it, ever since you were a little boy. Especially with custard.’
Robert raised his head and looked at her flushed, eager face, the look of longing in her eyes. He pushed back his chair, leaned his hands on the scarred table with its ancient peeling oilcloth cover, and stood. He walked behind the old woman. She half turned to watch him as he passed by the grimy sink with its dripping tap. Through the dust streaked window, he could see the small backyard in the twilit gloom.
He turned suddenly, and grasped a heavy cast-iron skillet in his right hand. Swung round and hit her as hard as he could on the back of her head. She smashed forward onto the table, her head and shoulders bouncing slightly with the impact. He didn’t stop. He hit her again and again and again. Hot, sticky blood and brain tissue splashed his face, his clothes, splattered the faded wallpaper, but still he went on pounding. The frail body lay against the tabletop. The head was an unrecognisable pulp, with a few straggles of grey hair soaking up the blood and liquids.
The smell of cabbage and stale cooking pots was now overlaid with something much more animal. A metallic reek of fresh blood, a slightly sweet meaty smell of offal – brains, eyes, skin.
‘How many times have a told you I hate lumpy custard, you stupid old cow?’