Grandpa's Murder

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

My account of my Grandfathers murder,
And my painting excerpt from "Nevermore"

I will never forget that day, and the night that followed, and the Horror it instilled in me at a young impressionable age.

I had returned from school, being that it was the weekend, my father would be away working, leaving me alone with my grandfather.  He was a jovial sort of bloke, with a laugh that everyone remembered.  He would sing along with his old 78's, mostly Opera records, the ones that you rarely see now, that came in actual albums. He made his own gin, and occasionally smoked what he referred to as Rabbit Tobacco. He had a large sticky plant that grew in the crooked end of the back of our barn. He would save long green seeded buds off of it, and tack them up inside an empty horse stall. Occasionally he'd direct me to get the ladder in the barn, and retrieve one, which he would gently place it in a glass jar, and then smoke some in his pipe on the porch. Sometimes his mates would drop by, and he'd give them a pinch, or just offer his pipe for them to smoke on a few times. I would knock out his pipe for him, when it held tobacco, but never when it held his precious mull.

On this particularly blustery day, an obvious storm was coming. It was the start of the rainy season, and it was a welcome sight. Our old house had louvered windows that were propped up and pinned, but in bad weather were let down to keep debris from breaking windows in bad storms. My "pappy" I called him, instructed me to help him put the louvers down the previous afternoon,  so I returned in the greying arvo to a dark and spooky house. The smell of the mull was strong inside, and I could hear laughter coming from the kitchen in the rear of the two story house. I slowly walked back to see my grandfather sitting drinking shandys with an elderly woman from the parrish, Mrs. Nelson. Her husband had run off with another woman a few years before, and although  she was younger than my grandfather, she obviously enjoyed his company.

A cloud of smoke swirled under the lamp which hung over the table. Mrs. Nelson welcomed me, and hugged me like I was a long lost friend,  which puzzled me, as the most recognition I'd ever received from her before was in church, and only then it was a nod, maybe a smile. I exchanged pleasantries and asked what my pap needed, he told me no worries, everything was squared away, and there would be a storm later that night.

He informed me to change clothes, as my uncle would soon be there to take me to the fish fry, the Catholic Church held on some fridays. I liked going, because you got fried fish and chips wrapped in a newspaper,  with salt and vinegar.  It was a treat for me, and I was excited to go. My cousin and I would run around and play outside till they called us in to eat. They had a large kitchen and a dining hall for the borders to use, but we day schoolers and regular parishioners got the chance to queue and collect our newsprint din-din, on these special fridays.

After playing and eating, it began to storm. The rain came down in buckets. My unc piled us in in his wagon and drove me home, dropping me off, I ran to the top of the porch, as the lightning struck overhead. I went inside to total darkness, usually my grandfather had the light on by his chair, where he would read before retiring to bed. It was late and he normally would still be up at this time. I thought it was odd, but assumed he'd gone out with his lady friend, and thought nothing of it, as I had been left alone before, and didn't really worry. I took my leftover fish and chips to the kitchen,  and switched on the light. I took the fish out of the paper which I always saved to read, sometimes it was the "Sydney Morning Herald", with footy stats, or cartoon pages, other times it was just an uninteresting church bulletin, published around Easter. This time it was the "Sunday Herald" the headline on the page was called "The Wanda Beach Murders" I tucked it under my arm to read later, then I put the fish in some Tupperware,  and was startled by a banging sound, the wind howled, and as a young kid of six years, I got scared and ran upstairs. 

 There were two bedrooms upstairs, mine and my grandfathers, between was a dunny, or lavatory. My pappys bedroom door was closed which was strange, because he always kept it slightly ajar. I  went to my room and sat on my bed, as the storm raged outside, and the banging continued. I had a shortwave radio, and turned it on for a bit, as I switched around the dial, it was mostly music, and the occasional chatter of radio operators, so I turned it off. Then my attention turned to the fishy newspaper, the Sunday Herald, and the grisly story of two murdered women discovered in shallow graves at Wanda Beach. The story was accentuated with rumbles of thunder, and strikes of lightning. I felt scared after reading it, but had to go foo, so I went to the dunny, and got a drink of water before bed, and felt vulnerable alone in the old station house.

That was the beginning of a horrifying night. while I sat there, doing my business, just then, a moan came from my pappy's bedroom,  followed by a long heavy series of ahhh ahhh ahhhs, and the repetitive banging. I then looked at the sink. A glass, which my grandfather always had by his bed, was now sitting there with Teeth in it.

The terror overtook me. I was in shock. Someone,or something, had murdered my grandfather, and cut his teeth out, and left them in a glass for me to drink, some sick and twisted joke from the killer, who was surely going to kill me next. I ran to my bedroom, and first hid in the closet, then, after a few minutes realised, that would be the first place the murderer would look, so I grabbed a swag from the corner, and hid under the bed. I shook uncontrollably. Perhaps it was the Wanda Beach killer. At least thirty minutes had passed, but it seemed longer. In my young life, this was the most frightened I had ever been. 

Lying on the floor, from under my locked door, I  saw a light come from my pappy's bedroom,  I was sure the killer was finished torturing him, and would soon be moving on to me. I imagined the terror of having my teeth cut out. Then I heard the soft lilting voice of a woman, and realised that the murderer was Mrs. Nelson. She giggled and for the first time I heard the unmistakable laugh of my grandfather. Miraculously he was alive. I remember peeking out my door to see him in his robe, kissing Mrs. Nelson on the lips. She smiled and turned to walk down the stairs. Pappy followed and I could hear their banter at the front door. I heard a car start, and pull away, I rushed to my window to see two round red tail lights,  that then turned down the street in the rainy darkness.

I ran out of the room and down to my grandfather who grinned from ear to ear, I remember hugging him and saying "I'm glad you're not dead"! He laughed that unmistakable laugh, and said "Well I'm glad you're not dead too"!

 I asked my grandfather about the teeth, it was the first time I had ever seen or heard about a thing called dentures. He didn't explain much else, but years later in life, I discerned the reason for all the noises coming from my pappy's bedroom.

At that moment I recognized just how virile the old Cobber was at that age, and I was proud.


Submitted: October 26, 2021

© Copyright 2021 dewey green. All rights reserved.

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Comments

moa rider

Very good Dewey! Still smiling. Enjoyed to the references to things we don't hear about these days. Usianguke

Tue, October 26th, 2021 8:57pm

Author
Reply

Ta moa rider! It is all struth mate, as it happened. I had zack of an understanding of bedroom olympics, but in my defense, I was only 6 at the time. Lol...

Tue, October 26th, 2021 7:17pm

moa rider

Yeah, kids come up with strange ideas. Somewhere on Booksie I wrote a poem, Rattle Rattle. When I was maybe five or six, I used to hear someone mowing the lawn with one of those old fashioned push lawnmowers, so would craw into Mum's bed. Where I got the idea that bad people must mow lawns a night, I don't know. Anyway as I became older, I came to realise the noise was actually my mother snoring! Usianguke

Wed, October 27th, 2021 7:46pm

Author
Reply

That's funny mate.
Silly lot of ankle biters we were 'eh?
Like my Pappy used to say, "You don't know, until you know..."
He was full of useful quips, among those were also,
"I was born at night, but not Last night." and my fave,
"Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see."

Wed, October 27th, 2021 7:28pm

olive tree

"Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see."

Hence Dewey was created.

Your account of your gdad sounds like Gandhi's account of his own father - I envy your experience, fathered by a respectable man.

My dad got my into smoking tobacco and mull too.

ahahahaha your grand dad was a player - he don't give no fuck - respect! RIP




Fri, October 29th, 2021 8:00am

Author
Reply

He was the glue that held my family together, when he was gone, it all went to shit.
Yep, Rest in Peace you magnificent bastard.

Fri, October 29th, 2021 4:29am

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