Dei Ex Machina?

I was cooking lunch when there was a knock at the door I opened. A burly man, with another burly man and yet another behind, said he was a policeman, showing me a badge, put his foot across the door and barged in, stopping only to ask was there anybody else with me. “Yes,” I said, “Him,” pointing to the room. Three, four or more men proceeded to the room I was barred from but questioned by another man in the kitchen.

I asked how they had known he was here. He didn’t know. He admitted he’d say he didn’t know anyway but actually he didn’t, having just been pulled in from Richmond Station. He suggested John had been staying a month which let me say he had been staying with a friend but that the friend had been arrested. Ah, well – I can’t quite delineate the inhalation by which he indicated ‘par for the course’, going on to ask had I ever been in trouble. “No, but I might now be” He who knew nothing assured me I wouldn’t. “This is upsetting,” I said, near to tears. I’m pretty sure I would’ve cried had I needed to. He didn’t know why the others were doing what they were doing but John, who was on licence, might have done something else. Had he done anything against me? No, he sulked a bit in the bathroom sometimes but “Came out again,” the policeman finished for me. I said he was off drugs and shoplifting, that he was enjoying paying for things. I added I’d encouraged him to see his solicitor and he’d written to his probation officer. The policeman asked had he seen his probation officer. No.

John, being escorted out, paused to declare I knew nothing about it and he’d write to me. “It’s upsetting,” I said, face crumpling a bit.

The policeman ushered me into my room. I reverted to how I’d made suggestions to John but that the decisions had to be by him for himself. The policeman agreed by sonal gesture with my policy. I said I couldn’t understand how he could be so nice yet criminal. The policeman shook his head in an inability himself to explain it. “He was rejected by his mother, sisters and grandmother,” I said, “and accepted by criminals.” The policeman made a sound indicative of ‘that would explain it.’ He said I should continue with John, to leave enquiring about him for a couple of hours and ask about him at the station. The station knew nothing and divulged less about John’s being taken away, hazarding that it was probably for breach of the peace when he was out on licence.

After nine that night there was a buzz. “Police.” “Oh god,” I said, letting them in, standing on the doormat resigned to being arrested by the two policemen, one black, for harbouring a fugitive. “How are you?” the black one asked. They’d come because John was concerned about me. “I was upset at the time!” I said, implying no cause for concern now by somebody who should be more concerned for himself; and why were the police, three now, acting at his bidding, I didn’t ask. The third, a policewoman, said John [I’ve been asked by him to delete his surname, on solicitor’s advice, in case the police read these blogs and can use something against him. They pronounced his father’s surname correctly. It was me, misled by John, who thought they were mispronouncing it] said I’d fallen three or four times. “Once! It was once.” I couldn’t speak to him who was off to prison but she’d convey my regards. Yvann all the while was yapping for attention from below and not getting any.

I’ve cleared his stuff into his holdall and put it in the shed and am putting the rest out for washing.

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About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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