Murder, moonfaced murder

A shoulder of mutton arrived, a gift from a local murderer. He stood on the front step, his ruby face split by a monstrous grimacing parody of charm. I could picture all too vividly the shredded flesh of lambs between his teeth.

“Mutton,” he beams.

I can barely speak. “Why are you doing this to me?” I finally manage, after an interval of deep breathing which makes me think absurdly of Sting, the only way to think of him. Still he proffers the corpse. “Better you had presented my with the severed heads of my daughters,” I croak.

“Oh, you’re a family man,” he says, a disgusting designation with which I am too weak just now to quarrel. I feel my point has gone astray somehow. I retreat to monosyllables, an instinctive reading of my audience in which I later take some quiet pride.

“These!” I cry. I jab at, but do not prod, the cadaver. “Why?”

His puzzlement recedes, slowly, like treacle. It is replaced with an oafish self-delight. “Oh, there’s no charge,” he says. “We’re a village ’ere in ’Olloway.”

I remind him that Dachau was a village, and attempt to slam the door in his hideous moon face. Alas, the draught-flap catches on the rucked lino, and I am left pushing ineffectually for a small eternity. A whine arises, whether from me or the flooring I am too far gone to care. The murderer looks at me with concern. “Shall I leave this here for Lulu?” he says, and deposits his grievous burden on the step.

So Lulu has been making friends. I retreat to the music room, but even Expresso Bongo (Danish printing, with picture sleeve) cannot lift my mood.

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