Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Calling The Tune

“I don’t believe this.” Michael looked as if he was about to stamp his foot. “Are you screwing him?”
Amanda's hand shook for a fraction of a second and she put the mug of tea down.  “I really don’t think that’s any of your business, Michael.” She was clearly several years older than Michael, and Becky wondered what the dynamic was here. She didn’t look his type at all and yet she was nervous and in some way needed his understanding, if not actual approval.
It didn’t look like she was going to get either. “Do you still not understand?” He was practically yelling at her now. “He’s part of the problem.”
Becky stepped between them. “Hey, Michael - calm down.” She wondered where the man had gone. Who is this guy?
But Michael’s attention was focussed entirely on the woman in front of him. “He worked with Mal Pearson. You know – the psycho nut-job who tried to rape you?”
“That’s not fair.” Amanda took a step backwards.
“Well how about the fact that he worked with Eddie? He still works for Carl. Did none of it matter to you? What I did for you, to try to keep you out of this?”
Becky grabbed both his wrists. She didn’t think he was violent but she’d seen this before, this simmering rage. Danny was like this sometimes when the world didn’t live up to his expectations. “Michael. Stop it. Now.” She held his arms tightly, pulling them down to his sides. “Look at me. Focus.”
Amanda had tears in her eyes. “Of course it mattered,” she said softly, “but—”
“No,” Becky interrupted. “I have no idea what you’re both talking about, but you’re not going to get any sense out of him right now. Leave it.” She steered him across to the window. “Focus, Michael. What can you see outside?”
“What?” He shook his head, trying to pull away but she wouldn’t let him.
“What can you see outside? Describe it.”
“Where?”
“Anywhere. Just talk.” Behind her she heard Amanda slip out of the room.
“Garages.”
“What colours are the doors?” Come on, Michael. Work with me here.
“Who cares what—”
Tell me.” She was still holding his wrists tightly.
“Green.”
“And?”
“And what?”
“They’re not all green, are they?”
“Blue, I guess. And a brown one at the end.” His voice lost some of the anger. “OK, I’m good. You can let go of me now.”
“You’re sure?”
“Yes. I promise to behave.” There was a tiny note of humour in there.
Becky let his wrists go and he turned around, sitting down on the window ledge. He pulled the elastic from his hair and combed it with his fingers absently, like it was some kind of security blanket. Way past fucked-up.

1 comment:

Greg Strange said...

Looking forward to the third book.