Edge

I shall call them Simon and Chris for ease in this story

I was sat watching tv. I had fallen asleep a couple of times. Maybe I should have taken myself to bed, but I hadn’t got the energy. I was comfortable. I’d had a glass of wine. They were out, again. It was just gone past eleven o’clock. I really should have just gone to bed. That would mean moving.

Outside, I heard their voices. Shouting. Angry. The security light snapped on outside. A beam of light shot through a crack in the curtains. Someone slammed against the front door, it opened, Simon came straight into the lounge. Shouting. As soon as he clapped eyes on me, he started shouting at me. His brother this, his brother that. He was furious. Chris came in straight after him. Shouting at him to shut up. It wasn’t his fault. They went after each other in to the kitchen. There was a commotion, the back-door keys rattled. The back door slammed against the washing machine, then slammed shut. They were both outside arguing.

I got up. I opened the lounge curtains. I unlocked the window so I could get out if needed. I checked my phone. It had enough charge. I put it to vibrate mode – the sound of a phone ringing makes things worse. I made my way to the kitchen. I could see and hear them outside. As I opened the door Chris came in. He was shouting if his brother called the police, he would kill him. Simon followed in, his phone flashing “Emergency”. The call had been answered. There was a faint voice coming from the phone. Simon was goading his brother. He had said he would. He waved his phone at Chris. He would go to prison. Chris was walking backwards, away from his brother, he nearly slipped, grabbing a drawer handle to steady himself, pulling the drawer right out, scattering the contents on the floor. In the drawer was a large carving knife, it had been hidden at the back of the drawer out of sight. It crashed to the floor. In a second Chris saw it, grabbed it and went after his brother. They ran out of the back door again, Chris chasing his brother with a carving knife. They ducked around each other, Simon managed to gain some space and made for the back door. He came though and slammed it shut. He was still connected to the police. Simon was telling the police his brother now had a carving knife and was trying to kill us. He flashed his phone at the window, to show Chris he was still on the phone to the police. He was goading him. Chris lost it. He flung himself against the door. His face pressed against the frosted glass. The knife glistened above his head, his arm banging the window. Chris stopped. He took a step back and started to plunge the knife in to the door. Metal plunging in to the plastic on the door.

I told Simon to go so that Chris couldn’t see him. I told him to lock the door and go. I would then try to calm Chris down. Simon wasn’t having it. Chris would go to prison. He waved his phone at the window. I told Simon clearly that I needed to speak to the police. Simon reluctantly passed me the phone. I told the police that Simon was goading his brother. He had to go out of the kitchen. I passed the phone back. The police spoke to Simon, he huffed and walked out of the kitchen.

I turned to the outside door. Chris was still plunging the knife into the door. Occasionally the knife would get stuck. I knocked on the window. I told Chris his brother had gone. It was just me. I told him to stop. He did. I told him to take a step back. I told him to put the knife down. He turned and put it on the outside table. I opened the door. Chris looked exhausted. He looked like he wanted to cry.  He came in. I was about to give him a hug, when Simon burst in to the kitchen, waving his phone. He was still connected to the police. He went straight up to Chris and putting phone towards his face. Chris bolted for the backdoor and went for the knife. As I went to close the door he was in, after Simon.

They ran upstairs. Simon charged upstairs and barricaded himself into his bedroom, shouting at Chris. Chris followed him upstairs, he was screaming at Simon.

I stood at the bottom of the stairs. I told Chris he had to calm down. Chris turned, looked at me and came down the stairs in a rage. I got back into the lounge, slamming the door shut. He was screaming everything. He was now stabbing the door. I pushed the settee in front of the door to stop him getting in. I was talking to him. He was still shouting. Stabbing the door. I carried on talking. I told him I needed him to put the knife down. I told him he needed to go and have a rest. The stabbing against the door got less. Then it stopped. I told him to put the knife down. I heard the knife drop to the floor. I told him he needed to go to his room and have a lie down. I heard footsteps slowly going upstairs. His door opened, then closed. The house was quiet. I could hear Chris’ muffled crying. I moved the settee back, gently opening the door. On the floor was the knife. I moved it and put it in a cupboard out of sight.

Down the road I saw the faint blue lights of the police car, then it swung around the corner and stopped outside. Two police officers jumped out of the car. I opened the front door and went out to talk to them. They already knew us. They knew our history. They asked if I was OK. I was. They went to see Chris. He was still sobbing in bed.

I looked at the clock. It was eleven fifteen. Only fifteen minutes since they had got home.

The police stayed for a long time. They were very compassionate and understanding. They asked if I felt unsafe, I said I thought it was finished for the night. I thought things were now calm. They talked to Simon. He had calmed.

The police left. Both were upstairs. I locked the lounge windows. I was about to draw the curtains when the security light went on outside. Walking past our house was a fox. It paused. Looked directly at me for a few seconds, then carried on walking.  I closed the curtains.

Matthew Blythe (1)

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