A harsh mister

I was sauntering through Holloway’s throbbing hive, ignoring the regular pip of protest that Lulu sometimes makes when I have forced her into shoes, when I saw a familiar face. Rather, I saw a portion of a familiar face. Our butcher’s enormous mug, you will remember, looks underdressed when it is not garnished by an Apollo Lander. The human eye is not adequate to take it all in at once.

He was standing outside his carnal emporium, piercing said face with a Benson, which he no doubt intended to stub out on a kitten shortly after. He proffered a wide hand.

“Borset,” he announced. “I’m afraid we got off on the wrong foot.”

“There is no right foot for murder,” I replied. Then, because I am English and craven, I shook his hand. “I believe you know Lulu.”

Lulu simpered, a ghastly sound. Think of a tubercular buffalo hacking in a clogged toilet. But this was not the worst of the event. Worse was the cerise light which crept across Borset’s homicidal orb. Aha, I thought. Confused by his lunar appearance, some errant astronomer has caught the Borset face in his night beams. But the truth was bleaker. Lulu sighed, indescribably, and Borset’s colour deepened. This was no LED. The light was coming from inside the butcher.

The air between them, some of which I was in, crackled. I felt myself fade into a sickening insubstantiality, a raging irrelevance I had not experienced since every moment of my last American tour. Lulu loved the butcher. The butcher loved Lulu. Holloway was not paradise after all.


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