ELTHAM HIGH SCHOOL ANTHOLOGY
Bronte Harrison 2019
Creative Carver Piece
Kevin worked at the local pub for night shifts. Sally worked at the laundromat down the street. Every morning she would get up and go to the kitchen to clean away the numerous empty beer bottles and cigarette butts from the previous night to make bacon and eggs for herself and to read the newspaper. Young girl lost: Missing since Saturday. It was Monday now.
After breakfast Sally would shower and change and clean up the house. She would fold the clothes and wash the dishes, keeping Kevin’s door closed. Kevin always slept till late.. The previous night he had come home late per usual and kept her awake through the night.
She left a note: There is pie in the fridge. See you tonight. Lots of Love. Then left the house and walked to work.
The front door opened with a bang as Kevin stormed inside that night. He had a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He took a long drag from the cigarette and a swig from the beer then sat down, not looking at Sally.
“What happened?” Sally said. She placed the dinner on the table, he just pushed it away, “Was work alright?”
“Was fine.” Kevin said. He looked rough, his hair messy and his clothes uneven. “Leave me alone.”
He drank his beer then grabbed the paper from that morning off the table and began to read. Sally continued to wash the dishes.
“There’s a girl missing, you know.” Sally said, “She’s been missing since Saturday. Young? Red hair? Brown eyes?”
“Shut up.” Kevin said. “I obviously don’t know anything. You know it. So just shut up. I told you to leave me alone.” He finished his beer then walked to his room and slammed the door, leaving the empty bottle on the counter. Later that night when Sally came into bed, he was quiet, dismissive. He ignored her. Sally turned on her side and traced the creases in the covers. She noticed a rip in the mattress then went to sleep, sighing.
The next day Sally got up and had a shower. She folded the clothes and cleaned the mantle, then washed the leftover dishes and made eggs. She noticed that Kevin’s door was open and went to close it, but Kevin grabbed the door and walked out.
“You’re up early,” She said. He just pushed past her and picked up her breakfast. “Don’t talk to me.” he said. He then sat down at the counter and ate slowly, staring. Always staring. His jaw tense as he chewed.
“What’s wrong?” She said, coming over to start cleaning the dishes. Kevin grunted and continued to eat. “Get me a beer,” he said. Sally placed the cold bottle on the table, staring at the droplets fall down its side as Kevin grabbed it with a dirty hand and took a swig.
“What’s wrong? You’ve been quiet since Saturday. Please tell me Kevin.. Kevin? Kevin are you listening?”
“I’m off to work then.” He said. He ignored her and left the house. Sally watched him leave, knowing that he did not have work until that night, and despite knowing all that may be in store, she raked her arm across the drain board and sent the dishes and bottles smashing and scattering across the floor.
With a cloth, she wiped away the blood from her cuts and bandaged them before she left, wanting to get out of the house for a while. Would it ever get better? She didn’t know. She just wanted to get to work.
That night Kevin tried to kill Sally.
He stormed into the house after his late shift at work. He had another beer bottle hanging loosely in his fingers as he walked through the home.
“Sally? Sally come out. Sally? Where are you?”
Sally was in the bedroom when he entered. He saw her sleeping and came over. Sally shifted in bed and woke up to look at him.
“Kevin?” She said and yawned. Her eyes were hazy and she lay back down. “Can you get me some water?”
Kevin sat down on the bed and stared. Sally didn’t notice till she asked again. “Kevin? Kevin what are you doing?”
The bottle came down quicker than Sally could think. It missed her head and smashed into the bedhead to her right. Kevin collapsed onto the bed and didn’t rise again. Sally felt a stab of fear and anger inside her all at once.
“Kevin? Kevin what’s...”
“Her name was Matilda.” Kevin said as Sally read over the newspaper. Young girl found dead: Missing since Saturday. Found today dead in a back ally in town.
“And this is the same person?” Sally said.
“Yes,” he said.
Sally had bags under her eyes. She did not sleep the previous night. Once Kevin had woken he had sobered up and did not speak of his previous attack. She had put him into bed and then walked out of the door, making sure it was closed. Sally then walked to the lounge and slept on the couch. Although she didn’t really sleep.
“I’ve been seeing her for a while, Sally. Don’t tell anyone. Don’t tell anyone it was me Sally. You know I’ll do something.” he said.
“I won’t tell anyone it was you Kevin.” She said as she pushed the newspaper away and stood up. “I’m going to work.”
Kevin stood up with her and before Sally could leave she felt a firm hand grip her arm.
“I mean it,” he said. “Don’t tell anyone it was me.” His eyes were silver, cold. Sally watched him for a moment, and then smiled.
“I won’t tell anyone it was you.” She then gave him a peck on the cheek and grabbed her bag, walking out of the house and towards the laundromat.
The day was long and dry when Sally reached the Laundrette, yet she shivered as she walked. She walked into the building and towards the washing-machine, reaching into her bag to take her purse. There were two other people in the room. A man in a coat and hat leaning up against a wall, and a slim, slender woman sitting in a chair and reading the newspaper, the same topic in the front page.
As Sally reached the machines she reached into her purse with her shaking hands to look for some coins.
Her hands couldn’t stop shaking.
Around 7:00pm Sally wanted to see where Kevin worked. She had never been to the bar before and she always wondered if Kevin was different, more talkative, when working. She made eye contact with him as she entered the Pub. He was pouring drinks and serving other customers. She looked at him a moment longer but did not walk up to him and instead walked to another counter for a drink.
Another bartender looked to her and gave her a smile. “What would you like?”
She sat down and waved her hand, “The cheapest,” she said. The bartender nodded and poured her a drink, placing it on the table before leaving to tend to other customers. Sally twirled a finger in her drink and wondered why she wasn’t home. The house needed cleaning, there was washing to do, and she was pretty sure that she might have left something running in the kitchen when she left that morning. But she didn’t care. Would it ever get better?
“You new here?”
Sally looked up from her drink to see a brightly faced man in his 20’s. He had a head of short brown hair and wore a simple jacket, shirt and jeans. He smiled at her, “Well?” he said. Sally looked away then back at him, then looked away again, she shook her head, taking a sip from her drink.
“Live just down the road actually. First time here though.” She gave Kevin a look from across the room, he was staring right at her. She shrugged and kept sipping her drink, wiping her mouth, drinking again, then ordering another. The man took a seat next to her, trying again at conversation as Sally watched Kevin approach them.
“Well what brings you here then?” He said. Sally just sighed as Kevin reached them at the counter. Would it ever get better? Probably not. But despite the consequences Sally downed the rest of her drink and placed it on the counter in front of Kevin. She gave him a look and then turned to the man.
“I’m here to forget.”