Fill by Mouth

Today a man spent ages poking in my mouth, giving it a really thorough seeing to while telling me how good I was being. He gave me two big fillings one after the other and afterwards I couldn't talk properly for hours.

Yes alright, but "Kapitano Goes to the Dentist" doesn't sound as interesting.

But I did get a bit of writing done. Here's a section:

Alex rounded a corner into a quiet side street contrasting with the traffic and pedestrians. Slowing to a rapid walk but still glancing about, he turned another corner, counting the house numbers till he found number 34. Hesitating and out of breath, he pressed the buzzer.

He waited, fingers twitching, nervously shifting from one foot to the other for half a minute. His finger was almost on the buzzer again when the door was opened by an Indian man two years older, who looked surprised to see Alex standing there.

"Rob!", blurted Alex, "Rob, I..."

"What is it man? What's wrong?"

"Sorry Rob, I couldn't think of anyone else. It's...I've..."

"Come in man. Tell us about it."

Alex followed Rob inside, carefully shutting the door behind him. In the sitting room, Rob flicked off the TV with a remote and sat on the leather sofa, gesturing Alex to sit on the chair. Looking straight down, the younger man sat perched on the edge, one hand over his forehead, covering his eyes.

There was a long silence.

"What's up Al?", said Rob, "What's got you freaked?"

Alex drew a breath. "Rob I...I think I've killed someone."

Another silence, broken again by Rob, speaking gently.

"What you mean man? You think...?"

"I killed someone. Some bloke. He was in my room, going through my things. He...he had this knife and I hit him with one of my weights. He's dead in my flat Rob. What am I gonna do?"

"Okay Al. Does anyone else know? Was anyone else there?"

"No. No one else. Never seem him before. I got in and he was going through my stuff!"

"Okay, so no one'll be back till tomorrow morning. Now listen Al. I'm going to make us some coffee, and you're going to tell me everything, then we're going in my car to your place to see what we can sort out..."

"Oh thanks man. I knew if I asked you..."

"But first you've got to tell me, are you absolutely sure he was dead?"

"Dead? Oh yeah, totally. I checked his pulse. In his neck. Nothing."

"Okay. Now you sit and get your head together, and I'll be in the kitchen. After I get back we'll go in ten minutes. Understand?"

Alex nodded, still looking down. "Yeah sure thing Rob, thanks."

In the kitchen, Rob mechanically took out two coffee mugs and a jar of instant. His face showed a kind of determined blankness, going through the routine of spoons, sugar, filling the kettle and swatting it on.

He was dressed in the same basic uniform as his friend, but cleaner, more expensive, less abused. His hair was more neatly clipped, the cutlery draw organised, and above the steaming kettle spout, a framed certificate in management.

Returning with two mugs of coffee, he set them down carefully and waiting for Alex to take a sip before speaking.

"Alex. Why did you come over instead of phoning?"

"Phone's out of charge."

"I see. And did anyone see you leave your place?"

"No. I checked to see if the coast was clear and there wasn't anybody."

"Right, good. Now when did you get back and find this bloke?"

"It was...It would've been four thirty - or a bit after. I unlocked the front door, went right upstairs to log on the net, and there he was, going through the stuff on my bed."

"What was on your bed?"

"Just clothes - and the duvet."

"Jackets? Coats?"

"Um. Yeah, my leather jacket. You think he was looking in the pockets?"

"Maybe. Were there any drawers open? Did it look like he'd been looking anywhere else?"

"Uh, no. I don't think so."

"And what did he do when you saw him?"

"He didn't see me at first. I said something like..."What the fuck you doing?"...and he turned round real quick. There was this pause, then he got this knife out of his coat and went for me. I wasn't thinking. There were my weights and the bench press between him and me, and he kind of tripped up on the dumb-bell. And I grabbed one of the weights and...kind of...threw it down on him. On his head. He didn't make a sound."

"Okay. What did he look like?"

"Sort of older. Maybe forty? Stubble, long hair, it needed a wash. In fact, I think he looked like a homeless guy."

"Did he smell of anything? Cider? Sweat? Cigarettes?"

" No he didn't. Mind you I wasn't paying attention."

"And it was a white guy, yes?"

"What? Oh yeah, white."

"Was there blood?"

"Couldn't see any. But I didn't look real close."

"But you checked his pulse."

"Well yeah, I didn't know what else to do."

"Did he say anything? Before coming at you?"

"No, nothing. But he did look..."


"Scared. In fact the bloke looked terrified."

"And when he tripped and you got the weight, was there much noise?"


"Do you think anyone could've heard him or you?"

"Um. Not really."

"So there was just you saying 'What the fuck are you doing?', and the sound of him cracking his shin on the bench press and falling over."

"Yeah. And the sort of thud when I dropped..."

"Yes okay. Right, drink up. We're going over to have a look. We'll see if he's really dead or if he needs hospital treatment. If he does, we'll say he broke in to your place and you found him like that when you got home - he obviously tripped up and a weight fell on him. I've got some vodka - if we have to take him we'll get him completely drunk first so no one'll believe him. If he is dead we might have to go to the police."

"Rob, no! You can't grass me up!"

"No one's going to grass anyone up. If we can get away with saying you just found him like that, that's what we'll do. If we can't, we'll make it look like he broke in and attacked you."

"But that is what happened."

"We'll make it look more like that. And if we can't do that...well, lets just say you're going to owe me for a long time, mate."

"What do you mean? What'll we have to do?"

"Dispose of it. Now come on."

In the car the two said almost nothing, and after parking they didn't speak until they were in Alex's room, looking down on the lifeless body of a strange man, lying face down amid the clothes and biscuit wrappers. Rob sighed and was the first to break the calm.

"I don't think we'll be taking him to the hospital. Help me turn him over.


"What is it?"

"I don't want to...touch it."

"Neither do I, but you got me into this, you asked for my help, now let me give it."

Alex hesitated, then helped turn the body over, wincing more with squeamishness than effort.

The man was probably in his late forties, with lank greying dark hair around a pasty, moist face that was somehow both puffy and undernourished. There was a stud in the left ear and a hole in the nose for another - it looked like it had been infected at one point.

He was wearing baggy clothes, two or three sizes too large for him. A green pullover seemingly with nothing underneath, a dark beige overcoat and trousers patterned with a faint tartan - a kind that might have been worn by Alex's grandfather. The shoes were brown leather in good condition, but too small over the argyle socks.

There was no visible blood on the carpet, and only a little crusted around an inch-long gash in the man's temple. With his eyes closed, he could have been just another homeless man, passed out in a shop front.

"We've got a choice.", Rob's voice interrupted both their staring. "We can either trust the coppers and the courts to do a good job and find the truth, where you're innocent kid who defended himself against a mad homeless burglar...

"Or we can trust them to pin the blame on the obvious suspect whose already got two drugs convictions, so was probably selling crack to the man or something. In which case we've got a body to hide."

Alex was silent, staring at the dead man's face.

"You've got to decide this one Alex, and you've got to decide it right now, and stick to it no matter what. If you want to cover up, I'll help you - but you've got to do exactly what I say, and you're going to owe me big time. Forever. Understand?"

Alex said nothing.

"Al? You've got to tell me, now."

"It's not him."


"It's not the man who was here. It's a different man."


  1. You call that a "bit" of writing?

    Lots of folk would be happy to punch out half that much in the same time frame.

    You're on a roll.

  2. Most excellent, Mon Kapitano.

    Now, more. Lots more ... please.

    captcha: hallbo - close to halberd which you could use for the next murder. ;)