Vacant Possession
Author:Saul Moon

    Chapter 1

    Three water colours 8” x 6”. Pretty countryside in gilt frames.Bang Bang Bang. Out they go to the swinging head of my golf club. Mywife Sara is tugging frantically at my elbow as she tries to restrainme, while the cries of our young children in the next bedroom donothing to curb my rage. I push Sara onto the bed and race to the ensuite bathroom. My trusty No.3 iron makes short work of the toilet,pedestal basin and bidet, smashing the lot to pieces in a orgy offlying peach-coloured ceramic.

    But then I hear sirens and the screech of brakes and the slamming ofcar doors outside. I race back into the bedroom but Sara has gone.She’s at the door talking with men over the crackle of radio sets.I am giddy with drink, but steady myself and ready my club. All goesquiet. But through a chink in the curtain I note the steady blueflashing light of authority out on my drive. Suddenly, the stairscreek under a heavy foot. Then in he comes - a bloody big sergeantwith cropped red hair and a pasty face full of freckles.

    ‘Get off my property,’ I shout.

    ‘Calm down Mr Boyce,’ says the policeman.

    ‘I suppose you think you are hard? Coming in here like you own theplace. I’ll show you who is boss - you devil,’ I say, brandishingthe club.

    ‘Be reasonable, sir,’ says the redheaded officer, as he is joinedby a tall wiry young constable.

    The younger man regards me with startled brown eyes and takes acouple of steps forward.

    ‘Come on then,’ I cry, swinging the club wildly. But the youngman is quick and catches the shaft in his big hand. The sergeantneeds no further encouragement and drives at my midriff like a rugbyforward into the tackle. I am floored with the wind knocked out ofme.

    In vain I struggle under the weight of the big man, but my anger isnot enough and I am easy meat. The sergeant rolls me onto my stomachand the young constable cuffs my hands behind my back.

    ‘Let’s go quietly Steve, and then you’ll be in no more troublethan you are at present,’ says the sergeant as he helps me to myfeet.

    I look at him with contempt. But his use of my first name causes myeyes to linger on his freckled face. He is about my age and vaguelyfamiliar. Yet, he certainly did not attend my school. Maybe he wasone of the many boys in the town I fought with throughout myadolescence? One of those who looked at me the wrong way, as he wasdoing now, and got the arrogance punched from their face.

    But here I am helpless, guided by these intruders down the stairs ofmy own five bedroom executive class property. My distraught wifewatches from the living room door with our little ones clinging toher skirts. I reckon it is the end for us.

    I am frogmarched past my Seven Series BMW to the waiting police caron the bottom of my drive. A young policewoman holds open the door ofthe patrol car. She is pretty and I can imagine the arrestingsergeant’s smugness as he leads his catch past her. Such a prize asSteven E Boyce, Estate Agent (successful one at that) off for hisnight in the cells with the other raging Saturday night drunks.Blokes like the big freckled lump at my back were easy prey for me inmy vigorous youth. My anger reaches screaming pitch.

    As the sergeant pushes me down towards the rear seat, he knows notwhat he does. The poor fool is compressing a coiled spring. In aninstant I jump up, and the back of my head smashes into his face. Itis painless for me, but I rejoice in his agonised cry as his nosesquelches against my skull.

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