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E-Books (english-e-reader), Delivery (2)

Delivery (2)

April 28

I feel so heavy. As the world outside grows lighter and fills with hope, I become heavier. My paintings are still in winter, almost colourless. I paint from one window now, from Bobby's room, which gives the best view of the gate.

My handsome stranger is making good progress. He began by laying out the stones in rows and writing numbers on them. Sometimes he stood up and looked back up at me, serious as always, his blond hair not quite visible from where I sit. The wall is finished. All that remains are the pillar and the gate.

Charlie smoked a cigarette, then knocked on the door for the first time since he began deliveries to Mrs Kennedy nearly a year before. Just leave the box by the door and she'll bring the groceries in herself, Horan had said. But Charlie couldn't just drop the new box down beside the old one and let the ants run all over it. When he knocked, the door opened. It hadn't been properly shut.

'Mrs Kennedy?' he called into the shadowy hall.

May 21

Charlie still leaves his small offerings. Yesterday it was a packet of sweets. I cannot eat them but I feel grateful and that feeds me.

I heard the owl call again last night. Closer this time. In my head I could see his long brown body diving from the sky, the terrified movements of the small animal he caught, the slow beat of his wings as he rose into the nighttime trees.

The pillar is almost finished. The gate lies on its side on the grass, ready to be put back in place.

Charlie felt cold. These thick-walled country houses were impossible to heat, from a single wood fire, anyway. His eyes got used to the darkness.

'Mrs Kennedy?' he called again. He went into the front room. There was a painting she had been working on, and others standing against a wall, which was papered in a flower pattern. An untidy pile of silver knives and forks on the carpet. He closed the door and moved towards the back of the house, where the kitchen was, he supposed. This door was open. He switched on the light. There was a fridge in the corner, still working. Three bananas blackened in a glass bowl. He could see that rats had been here; they had eaten into the bread and the butter and there were even tooth marks in a piece of pink soap in a dish. Charlie went back out into the hall and stood at the bottom of the stairs. He felt colder than ever.

'Mrs Kennedy?' he called and started up the stairs.

June 20

The days are like children, unwilling to come in from their play, and tonight the sky is a gentle purple, as smooth and as tight as the skin of an aubergine.

I have washed all my brushes for the last time. Each one left its own history of colour on my hands. I emptied the wooden knife-and-fork box and put them into it, along with all my paints. My present to you, Charlie Blue.

Tomorrow I will walk through the gate.

The smell of paint-cleaner hangs in the air.

While Charlie waited for O'Reilly the policeman and Dr Murphy to finish inside, he smoked his last cigarette, leaning against the side of the van, looking out over the trees to the distant, darkening hills. A yellow light came from the open doorway and upstairs window of the house. He had just finished his cigarette when O'Reilly came out and handed him a small wooden box, told him to go on home, that the ambulance could take over an hour to get there from Ballinasloe and that there was no point in waiting. O'Reilly would see him tomorrow. Ambulances never hurry for the already dead.

Charlie drove back into town and parked outside Horan's Hotel. The bollocks could keep his van. Through the hotel window, he could see his mother at her card game, the dog at her feet. She must have asked a neighbour to bring her into town. The dog sensed his presence, looked out but did not move.

He reached into the van and took out Mrs Kennedy's box of brushes and paints from the passenger seat. Shutting the door with his shoulder, he put her present under his arm and walked on, out past the last lights of the town and into the blue shadows of the moonlit countryside, feeling nervous but welcomed, like a stranger at home in what was once a foreign land.

- THE END -


Delivery (2)

April 28

I feel so heavy. As the world outside grows lighter and fills with hope, I become heavier. My paintings are still in winter, almost colourless. I paint from one window now, from Bobby's room, which gives the best view of the gate.

My handsome stranger is making good progress. He began by laying out the stones in rows and writing numbers on them. Sometimes he stood up and looked back up at me, serious as always, his blond hair not quite visible from where I sit. The wall is finished. All that remains are the pillar and the gate.

Charlie smoked a cigarette, then knocked on the door for the first time since he began deliveries to Mrs Kennedy nearly a year before. Just leave the box by the door and she'll bring the groceries in herself, Horan had said. But Charlie couldn't just drop the new box down beside the old one and let the ants run all over it. When he knocked, the door opened. It hadn't been properly shut.

'Mrs Kennedy?' he called into the shadowy hall.

May 21

Charlie still leaves his small offerings. Yesterday it was a packet of sweets. I cannot eat them but I feel grateful and that feeds me.

I heard the owl call again last night. Closer this time. In my head I could see his long brown body diving from the sky, the terrified movements of the small animal he caught, the slow beat of his wings as he rose into the nighttime trees.

The pillar is almost finished. The gate lies on its side on the grass, ready to be put back in place.

Charlie felt cold. These thick-walled country houses were impossible to heat, from a single wood fire, anyway. His eyes got used to the darkness.

'Mrs Kennedy?' he called again. He went into the front room. There was a painting she had been working on, and others standing against a wall, which was papered in a flower pattern. An untidy pile of silver knives and forks on the carpet. He closed the door and moved towards the back of the house, where the kitchen was, he supposed. This door was open. He switched on the light. There was a fridge in the corner, still working. Three bananas blackened in a glass bowl. He could see that rats had been here; they had eaten into the bread and the butter and there were even tooth marks in a piece of pink soap in a dish. Charlie went back out into the hall and stood at the bottom of the stairs. He felt colder than ever.

'Mrs Kennedy?' he called and started up the stairs.

June 20

The days are like children, unwilling to come in from their play, and tonight the sky is a gentle purple, as smooth and as tight as the skin of an aubergine.

I have washed all my brushes for the last time. Each one left its own history of colour on my hands. I emptied the wooden knife-and-fork box and put them into it, along with all my paints. My present to you, Charlie Blue.

Tomorrow I will walk through the gate.

The smell of paint-cleaner hangs in the air.

While Charlie waited for O'Reilly the policeman and Dr Murphy to finish inside, he smoked his last cigarette, leaning against the side of the van, looking out over the trees to the distant, darkening hills. A yellow light came from the open doorway and upstairs window of the house. He had just finished his cigarette when O'Reilly came out and handed him a small wooden box, told him to go on home, that the ambulance could take over an hour to get there from Ballinasloe and that there was no point in waiting. O'Reilly would see him tomorrow. Ambulances never hurry for the already dead.

Charlie drove back into town and parked outside Horan's Hotel. The bollocks could keep his van. Through the hotel window, he could see his mother at her card game, the dog at her feet. She must have asked a neighbour to bring her into town. The dog sensed his presence, looked out but did not move.

He reached into the van and took out Mrs Kennedy's box of brushes and paints from the passenger seat. Shutting the door with his shoulder, he put her present under his arm and walked on, out past the last lights of the town and into the blue shadows of the moonlit countryside, feeling nervous but welcomed, like a stranger at home in what was once a foreign land.

- THE END -