I’m going to post the first draft–bit by bit–of my new novel as I write it. Would be great to get your thoughts…
‘Fuck,’said Kevin down the phone, ‘I need your help. Annabelle’s turned into a monkey.’
‘What? Is this your excuse to get me out of bed on a Saturday morning?’
‘I’m not fucking kidding. Annabelle’s gone, she’s been abducted. I don’t know, but I felt a lump on her head, like fur, and now she’s a monkey.’
‘You prick, Kevin. Phone me later. Me and daisy are lying in.’
‘Get round here now, Mart, or I’ll break your legs.’
‘You’ve lost it.’
‘Yeah, I’ve lost it. I’m cracking up, think I need a doctor.’
‘Alright, jesus, I’m coming round. There better be a monkey there though, or I’ll break your nose.’
Kevin hung up the phone, and circled the bedroom. The en suite bathroom door was tightly closed, because there was a monkey in it, that was his wife. But…
Was he sure it had been a monkey? She always had looked rough in the mornings. What if he’d only dreamt he’d seen a monkey? He shook his fists in the air and then bashed them against his head. Stupid. Bloody. Idiot. Wake up.
His sweaty body tiptoed across the floor, and his hand moved towards the door knob. He opened the door a smidgen and then slammed it shut. He can’t look. It’s only going to be evidence that what he’d seen the first time was actually a monkey, and not a figment of his imagination.
He heard a car pulling in.
He ran down the stairs to the front door and with animated gestures beakoned Mart into the house.
‘What the hell? Calm down, will you? Before you start having a break down I need a coffee. Put the kettle on, will you? I haven’t even had a coffee yet.’
‘Put the kettle on. Good idea.’
Kevin liked the sound of coffee. It would delay things for a bit. Something normal, yes, coffee.
Kevin followed Mart into the kitchen.
Kevin’s trembling hand tried to make the coffee. He concentrated. A spoonful of coffee. He moved from coffee jar to cup with the ease of a nervous mouse scampering from a cat. No, not a cat: bloody great dinosaur. A spoonful of sugar. Nearly there. Shit. He hadn’t even boiled the kettle yet.
‘Jesus, Kevin. Sit down will you, I’ll make it.’
‘Yeah, sit down. Think I will you know.’
‘What the hell have you been taking? You look as white as that wall. Stop shaking, will you? You’re making my nerves bad. Look you just concentrate on calming yourself, and I’ll make the coffee. OK?’
‘Yes. Ok. You’ll help me sort this out?
‘I’ll help you.’
‘It’s alright. You’ve just lost it a bit.’
Kevin looked at the table and tried to focus on his breathing.
Mart sat down, with the coffees, ’Drink this.’
‘You haven’t put anything in it have you?’
‘Yeah, I picked up some acid on the way over here. Don’t be a prick.’
‘I mean, to calm me down?’
‘Good, I need to get a grip, but if you do have anything, just you know, pass it my way.’
‘Right, what’s up.’
‘There’s a monkey in the bathroom. I think it’s Annabelle.’
As Kevin heard the words coming from his mouth, he realised how ridiculous they must have sounded. Annabelle, a monkey, Annabelle, a monkey, Annabelle, a monkey… He looked at Mart. ‘Go on then, Mart, go and look for yourself.’
Mart left the kitchen table. Kevin heard his feet, boom, boom, boom, up the stairs. Then he heard them again, boom, boom… coming back down.
‘The doors locked.’
‘The doors locked.’
‘You, mean, you didn’t see the monkey?’
‘No, I didn’t see a monkey.’
‘Because the monkey’s locked the door.’
‘No, because the doors locked. I heard some noises, though.’
‘I don’t know. Sounded like Annabelle shaving her legs to me.’
‘Look, I don’t know what’s going on, but I need your help, Ok? As ridiculous as it sounds…’
‘Why don’t you call the RSPCA?’
‘Because, it’s not just any monkey, it’s Annabelle.’
‘Well, did it speak?’
‘Did the monkey have Annabelle’s voice? I can’t believe I’m asking this. Look, I’m going to get my diazepam from the car.’
‘I only saw her for a second, but I know it’s Annabelle, OK.’
‘Right, so we’re gonna have to break down the door then.’
‘Yes, but don’t scare her. It’s my wife in there.’
‘Jesus. I’m going to get my diazepam.’
Mart returned with his little bottle of pills. ‘Have a couple of these, sort you out a bit. I don’t know how you must be feeling, but a few minutes of you have sent me spiraling. Look, I don’t know if you’ve lost it or not but I reckon I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and agree that yes, there’s a monkey in the bathroom.’
‘Yes, but what are we going to do about it.’
‘First, we’re gonna knock down the door.’
‘Make sure the bedroom door is shut, she might escape, and then I’ll lose my wife completely. She’ll be put into a zoo.’
‘Then… Look that’s as far as I’m getting at the mo. We’ll knock down the door.’
They ran up the stairs. Kevin behind Mart.
‘Ok, I’m gonna kick down the door. OK with you, Kev?’
‘Fine by me, mate.’
Mart started to kick. It didn’t take much though. He’s a big guy, all muscle, mouth and not much brain power. Oh, why had Kevin called Mart? He’s got other friends. What’s wrong with Phillip? He’s got a philosophy degree. Maybe he would have been more inclined to believe him from the start.
Mart gave the final kick and then the door was down. Bamb. Light filled the bedroom. Empty. The bathroom was empty.
‘Shit…’ said Kevin.
‘I’m sorry, mate, but there’s no bloody monkey.’
‘The window…’Mart ran to it, and peered down on the road.
‘She’s gone, well gone. It’s cause of you saying we needed a fucking coffee.’
‘Annabelle, Annabelle…’ yelled Kevin through the window. ‘Give me your keys Mart, I’m going to look for her.’
‘I think you should…’
‘Are you coming or not?’
‘No. Yes. Let’s go then.’