All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Ben by Hugh Cron – Warning – Adult Content.

Before Ben knew it he was sixty.

He wasn’t sure if that bothered him but it was now forty one years.

He stayed in what he called his ‘But and Ben’. He loved the old bed that pulled down from the wall. Ben reckoned that there was a cure for cancer within it’s mattress but he didn’t care that there might have also been a hundred different types of lurgey living within the confines of decades of dead skin and bodily fluids. It was quite comfortable.

Ben got up at around three each morning and sat at his window. He watched for foxes or deer but only ever saw the odd Rabbit and a Thrush with an attitude. Ben wanted to kill the Thrush but there was no-way that he could kill a wee bird.

A human, well he’d done that and still felt a bit shit about it. He could still feel the punch he threw. It was a peach.

Ben had retired after his wife had left him. She actually paid a few quid to get rid of him with no fuss. Linda wanted another guy and that was that.

He still loved her.

She wasn’t there anymore but he had the cottage.

He’d rather have had company or preferably both but the house became the second prize that he didn’t resent.

He wished that it was that Alan prick that he’d punched all those years back as he would then have never came into their lives.

Cunt.

But no. It was a wee insignificant fuckwit called James Smith that he killed.

‘James fucking Smith’, now there was a name. He knew it not because the Police asked him about it, but because he read it in the paper.

‘Man Found At The Bottom Of Steps To The Station Underpass’

That was the headline. There were no cameras in those days. Well there were but not there.

He poured himself a vodka and looked out for foxes. There were none. He settled down in his chair, put on some ‘Yes’ and watched the sky lighten.

Why did that guy stop him? Why did he ask for the time when Ben knew what was about to happen? Why did Ben swing first and hit him with the best punch he’d ever thrown?

…Why did James Smith have to die?

Ben took a swallow of his vodka. He shut his eyes and could see the twisted body at the bottom of those concrete stairs.

He had never told Linda.

The best way to keep a secret was to tell no-one.

He saw James Smith’s parents faces. They had appealed in the local news for information on their son’s killer. They had done this every year. But not this year. They had both passed away. The mother first, then the father four months later.

Only Ben could give that information but he never did.

He poured out another drink and saw that there was a rabbit running about on his lawn. He smiled.

He toasted himself as he did after his first drink every morning.

He toasted to ‘Silence’.

He toasted to ‘James Smith’s parents’.

He toasted to ‘Any foxes that were hiding’.

…And he toasted ‘Linda’.

Hugh Cron

12 thoughts on “Ben by Hugh Cron – Warning – Adult Content.”

  1. Hugh–
    This is brilliant. I wonder just how many unsolved crimes were really just accidents. Would Smith’s poor parents be happier to know that their son died a meaningless death that he partially brought upon himself. And Ben’s personality is probably more accurate than having a hand wringing person warped by guilt. Yes, the killing is a big thing in his mind, but his domestic situation is what really grieves him. Excellent as always.
    Leila

    Like

    1. Hi Leila,
      Thanks as always.
      It was fun for me trying to work out who I had sympathy for???
      All the very best, give the fiends a pat for me…Maybe not Mr Hisster though!
      Hugh

      Like

  2. Pretty intense story, says a lot in a short time. Smith just happened to be on the stairs and ask the wrong guy a question. Kind of reminds me of the way “road rage” incidents happen. You never know who’s in that other car. I like the way Ben’s character comes forth in the story, e. g. “he wanted to kill the thrush,” and we can imagine why his wife left him for the Alan character. Ben likes his silence and his current routine; this he can cope with…nothing too noisy! Pretty horrible person, I would say, the intriguing way that the story is constructed here is that people reading it might also feel sorry for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Harrison,
      Road rage is a snap when you need more control, so is the odd punch but they both happen. The old count to ten idea is one that we should all try to adhere to.
      Thanks so much my fine friend.
      Hugh

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  3. There’s something about the never-seen foxes that I don’t think Ben fully understands and is left to the reader to contemplate. Excellent descriptions and a quiet poignancy. One of my favorites of yours, Hugh. (And it reminds me I haven’t listened to Roundabout for too long!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dave,
      I may need to study myself as I also look out for urban foxes early in the morning!
      I can’t thank you enough for the kind words, they are much appreciated.
      All the very best my fine friend.
      Hugh

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    1. Hi Doug,
      You are spot on, those ‘Why the hell did I do that’ moments are always too late for us to wonder ‘Why the hell did I do that?’ – But those mistakes are what makes life ‘interesting’.
      Thanks for the comments and all my very best to you my fine friend.
      Hugh

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      1. Hugh –
        I connected to the story strongly. It’s a cliche of which I am guilty in “Rescued From Aliens”. The narrator started with the equivalent of “If only…”.. One of my personal if onlys ended up in permanent injuries.

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  4. Feelings are hard things to write about, and feelings of regret are maybe the hardest. So hats off to Hugh. And my thanks for: ‘The best way to keep a secret was to tell no-one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mick,
      Me and feelings don’t do too well!
      I really do appreciate your kind words!
      Thanks again my fine friend.
      Hugh

      Like

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