His name was Edward Morgan. He was forty-four years of age. It was the 17th of November 1993 at 8:17am precisely when he found his mother Doreen dead. Stone cold dead, stiff as a board, expired. He looked at her, a fresh cup of tea in his left hand, her neck in his right hand. No pulse. But, Edward knew she was dead the minute he entered her bedroom. She was practically sat up in bed, her eyes staring through him at the doorway. He had gone to place the tea cup and saucer on her bedside cabinet, then hesitated when he realised there wasn’t a coaster. Instead he left the room, walked in silence down the stairs and emptied the cup of tea into the sink. He would later return to the bedroom and sit on the end of her bed, thinking how she looked dull and empty with glass button eyes. He smiled to himself when he thought how people believed this meant the soul had left the body. There was no such thing as a soul anyway, because like his mother had always told him, to believe in God, was to be a fool, and well his mother was right about everything... surely?
The undertakers had come and taken the seventy three year old Doreen Morgan away. They said the cause of death was most probably a stroke, and then they left and they took Doreen with them. This had been the first time in twenty two years that Doreen had left the house, and unfortunately for her it was in a body bag. Edward had stood still in the middle of the empty house for at least half an hour letting it all sink in. He was Edward Morgan now; he was free to do what ever he wished. He could walk right out that door and could come back what ever time of the day he damn well wanted to. He could even sell the house and leave his home town, forever.
But Edward Morgan didn’t like this. He didn’t like it one bit.
The alarm clock went off at 6:30am but Edward was already awake. It seemed that even though three years had passed he could not get used to the empty house. Even with all the shackles off, the house was still a prison, a canvas painted with memories he would rather just forget. Edward pulled himself out of his bed, and began the same routine he had been replaying for over three quarters of his life. Get out of bed, get in the shower, go down stairs, make the breakfast just how she likes it, scrabbled egg on wholemeal toast, no butter, no seasoning.
'She’s dead, you do realise don’t you?'
All he knew was no matter how hard he tried he could not reprogram himself. So Edward Morgan carried on doting on a mother who was eight foot underground.
“Why don’t you buy one of the bigger loafs and a pint of milk instead of a half pint?” a lady had advised him last week when Edward had made his routine trip to Brett’s Value Supermarket. “You always come here every two days like you’ve run out, but save yourself the trouble and get a bigger loaf, it’s more cost effective.”
Edward had nodded a courteous nod, and smiled a courteous smile, and carried on down the aisle leaving the lady behind him. He knew the reason why, and by all counts she probably knew as well. He came to the Brett’s Value Supermarket every two days because it was something for him to do. It gave him a sense of purpose, because he had suddenly become aware that without his mother to nurse, he didn’t have a place in the world. All the sacrifices he had made, a wife, children, friends, he had all sacrificed because of her, but now, now it was all too late, now he was stuck this way… forever.
Edward had seen Murphy Davis walking out the staff room at the supermarket that day and had quickly changed course down another aisle. Oh how Edward was terrified of Murphy Davis. The boy had made his life a misery when he was younger. He remembered all the times he would humiliate him in front of all the other children about how his clothes were dirty and how he never had any money for food, or how he was barely at school and his grades were plummeting. He had said he was a mummy’s boy, a stinkin’ flit, and everyone had laughed and laughed and Edward had wanted to die there and then. Every kid and every parent in the town knew his mother was a nutcase, had a screw loose, and was one more whisky away from a stomach pump.
Everyone knew that his father had abandoned him when he was two years old. It seemed they took great pleasure in telling Edward they had heard how his father was living rough further up the coast, or that his body had been found in an abandoned salt mine, or he had started a new life and had a new family.
Every one seemed to know a lot more than Edward ever did. Doreen Morgan had no problem with informing Edward about his father, but only ever to tell of her hatred for the man. Edward had remembered her holding his little face in one hand, pinching tightly the skin under her long painted finger nails and telling him, “You’re the only man I need.” And he guessed that was true.
Sarah Goddard was underneath her covers. It was 7:30am and she had to be at school in an hour. She smelt the fresh smell of citrus fabric softener. She loved that smell. It reminded her of her mother. The warmth of her bed enveloped her and she wished she could stay in this position forever. But when she left her bed, when she left her room, everything around her got colder. She could hear him in the other room, his snoring roaring through the house. She screwed up her face as she thought of him; a fat, bulging pig lying of its side, the weight of his grotesque belly heaving down onto his sickly organs, especially his liver. She thought, I wondered what that looks like now. He had to drink didn’t he, had to drink to take the pain away, but what about her pain, what about her loneliness? Anger boiled up inside of her when she thought of him. He was her father, her daddy, the last person left she could cling to; rely on, and now, now he was a selfish fuck. Sarah had come to the heartbreaking realisation three years after her mother had died, she would have no one to call on, no one to rely on, but herself.
Her father had brought her here from Manchester. Taken her from all she knew, taken her away from her mother’s side of the family, made sure that there was nothing of her mother to remind him of the past.
And now Sarah Goddard was here, with barely any friends to speak of, with no one who cared about her, going no where, doing nothing that made her happy. She wondered how long it would be until God gave her a good hand, and she would start living her life the way she wanted to. She didn’t know if she could go one more day with her father controlling every aspect of her life. Every time he was in the room, she felt like someone was sitting on her chest. She’d never known anyone else who could walk into the room and stuck all the oxygen from it. She barely recognised him; it made a lump in her throat and an ache in her heart to think they were now just strangers. It was so very hard to change events when you were just a child, and no one knew this more than Edward Morgan….
Edward saw Sarah Goddard pass his house every day as she went to school. The more he looked at her, the more he thought how she looked like his mother, blond, blue eyed. Edward had only one picture he kept of his mother. It was the one where she is twelve years old, 16th of July 1932 on some beach he didn’t recognise, probably somewhere in Devon. She’s looking up at the camera with her strawberry blond hair in plaits either side, her big wide eyes and her big wide smile. That blissful freedom that came before the Second World War seven years later, where his mother would start working in factories helping to make ammunition. Why had the love and happiness escaped her eyes? Either way, he would never know, all he knew was he’d never seen that look of contentment in his mother’s eyes any other time then in the picture he held dear.
He didn’t see it in Sarah Goddard.
Granted, she was older than his mother in the picture. He guessed she must be about sixteen, but she was a still a child, so why did she have the same sorrow in her eyes? Mrs Gardener had gossiped to him once at the supermarket, how a new family had moved just down the road from her, a man and his daughter. She had leaned in near to Edward and he had remembered feeling uncomfortable with her closeness. She had sneered as she told how the man was a drunk and that she had heard him shouting at Sarah on a regular basis. Edward had said nothing but “Oh” and hurried out the automatic doors with his shopping. But on the way home, he began thinking to himself.
‘Maybe she is sad because nobody loves her? Nobody loves her like my mother didn’t love me? Maybe all she wants in the world is for someone to look after her?” Edward thought.
And little did he know that there and then, a destructive seed would begin to grow and Edward Morgan’s wish would come true.
His life would change, but it wouldn’t be for the better…
Last edited by KatrinaMay
on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.