and other stories
R. Frederick Hamilton
* * * * *
Copyright © 2008 by R. Frederick Hamilton
Cover Photograph © 2008 by Jennifer Wilson
Design © 2008 by The Spatchcock
Thanks go out to the Brothers Gunther for all their hard work. To Kat and Jen for their proofreading chops. And to the Minx for everything.
THE BRUNSWICK BULLETIN
Monday, 17 May 1982
Quick Action Saves Elderly Neighbour's Life
A local lady is today being hailed as a hero by the close-knit community of flats at 578 Albion St for her swift actions that saved the life of her elderly neighbour, Thea Toso, 76.
Nurse Jennifer Morton was returning from a late shift at work when she heard a commotion from the flat next door. What she heard was a shattering lamp as Ms Toso, who is unmarried and lives alone, suffered a major coronary at approximately 1:30 am.
After unsuccessfully trying to rouse Ms Toso, and finding the door to the premises locked, Miss Morton raced next door to her flat to retrieve the spare key Thea had entrusted to her care.
Miss Morton performed CPR on the scene and managed to revive the unconscious pensioner.
Although the paramedics who attended stated 'without a doubt she (Miss Morton) saved this woman's life,' Miss Morton is playing down the situation saying much of the credit must go to her elderly neighbour for her forward planning. 'She knew something like this might happen and was prepared for the eventuality. There wouldn't have been much I could do if we hadn't swapped spare keys.'
Despite her modesty, other residents of the flats are already pushing for her nomination in the next Community Service Awards to be held in September.
THE BRUNSWICK BULLETIN
Sunday, 21 August, 2005
Brutal Murder Rocks Community
The local community is today reeling at the news of a brutal murder that has occurred in its midst.
Police responding to a call to a block of flats in Brunswick West, at approximately 5:30 pm last night, discovered the grisly remains of Jennifer Morton, 56, in the lounge room of the two bedroom flat she owned and lived in for nearly thirty years.
Maria Horne, a concerned workmate and close friend of the decease, began to worry when Miss Morton, a nurse at the West Brunswick Aged Care Clinic, failed to show up for work. Unable to contact her by phone, Mrs Horne visited her flat at approximately 4:45 pm.
When she received no answer to her repeated knocking, she contacted Police who entered the premises with the landlord to find what has been dubbed 'a slaughterhouse'.
Although Police are not yet releasing details, in a statement, Detective Inspector Douglas Green, the lead investigator on the case, has described the crime as 'horrendous in its brutality'.
Described by her neighbours as an 'all around good person', who would, 'go out of her way to do you a favour', the stunned residents are unable to comprehend who would do this to 'such a sweet lady'.
Her next door neighbour of ten years, Kosta Tsiakis, described her as a 'gentle soul who kept to herself a lot. Loved her cats. Neve hurt no one'. He couldn't think of anyone who would hold a grudge against her. 'I don't think I've ever heard a bad word said about her'.
Police have no leads as yet while stunned neighbours struggle to cope with the tragedy that has unfurled in their midst.
The estate agent was beginning to look a little flustered as he struggled with the lock but Ben’s eyes weren’t on him. As the fat, balding man cursed under his breath, Ben Fowler’s attention was all focused on the shapely woman attempting to unlock the door of the next flat while juggling four overloaded bags of shopping.
He could feel his penis stirring to life at the jiggle of her buttocks as she shifted her weight and managed to lodge her key in the lock. His gaze stripped away her black skirt revealing the flesh underneath and a shortness of breath hit him as he scanned upwards, peeling the black T-shirt away to reveal the slope of her breast with just a hint of nipple visible beneath the cascade of red hair that hung over her face like a curtain.
‘You, my friend, are a godsend.’
Ben started. The image of her flesh banished in an instant as he shot a glance back at the estate agent. The man smiled toothily at him, obviously unaware of how his flop sweat glinted beneath the fluorescents that lined the stretch of brown-brick flats. He was still jiggling the key in the lock and seemed to be trying to cover his difficulty with what he no doubt thought was slick and charming small talk. Ben wasn’t impressed but kept silent. It wouldn’t do to get off on the wrong foot. Not when he was trying to start over again; start over and leave the past behind.
‘The last tenants left us in a pretty big lurch,’ the agent continued, ‘gambling debts apparently. Legged it pretty damn sprightly.’ Ben snorted before he could stop himself but the agent seemed to take it as agreement. ‘That’s what I thought. Left owing about four months…’
The agent’s voice drained away as Ben turned his gaze back to the lady. She’d managed to open her door but had paused on the threshold. Ben gaped when he saw her smiling at him and the air seemed to press in too close, thickening until it felt like he was gulping mouthfuls of sticky soup. The angular features were there. Just like what he used to look for. The hair colour was right. The eye colour too. And the figure…The figure was perfect.
As he watched he could see those luscious lips ripping open in a rictus-scream, the eyes widening with realisation and his mind jumped to the jar of pills that Slavia had given him.
Where were they? In the car still? Stuffed in the duffel bag with the other things? The other things that he still wasn’t certain why he’d retrieved from their hidey-hole. It was stupid of him to leave them there. Even if he was currently having doubts about their effectiveness. Who cared what his brother’s girlfriend had said, surely they wouldn’t have released him without proper medication. Surely not...
…Maybe he should have brought the whole bag with him… Shit, no, that wasn’t right. He was starting over. He couldn’t afford to get caught again. He’d been lucky last time. If the boyfriend had been ten minutes later…
Ben was uncomfortably aware of the full-blown erection that was tenting the front of his trousers. The smile had dropped from the lady’s face and she was now peering oddly at him. He attempted to mould his features into a smile but had no idea whether he succeeded or not; whether his muscles were obeying him. Maybe he should go and say hello? No that would just make it worse… He should really stop staring. Ben tried but he couldn’t take his eyes away. Thankfully, before even the faintest glimmer of red walls could appear in the background, the lady disappeared behind her slamming door and the air thinned again. Ben gulped it down as he peered across the weed-choked gardens that pathetically bordered the front car-parks.