Achieving Fame. by PhilipCatshill
Short story on the word Fame writing prompt entry
"He always said he'd be famous one day. One day I'll be famous, mother. Will you put your teeth in then? Oh, how we laughed." The grotesque, toothless figure of Jessie Roberts, the victim's ruddy faced mother, wrenched her lard-ridden body from the comfort of its worn out armchair. She took the framed photograph from the mantel and pushed it into Susan's hand. "I told him, don't you go chasing the floozies. Colin always laughed, 'cause, you know, he wasn't keen on the floozies. No, my Colin liked the big boys. Then in comes that detective. Jessie, he said it slowly like the butter 'ad turned rancid in his mouth."
Susan cringed at the smell of Jessie's sour breath, and looked down at the silver frame and the picture it contained. "But..." she began but caught Dave's sudden shake of his head.
Jessie seemed oblivious to the reaction and continued, "Mrs Roberts to you, I told him. I was thinking he was going to tell me Colin was in the nick again." She took the photo back and sank heavily into the chair. For a moment, Susan couldn't decide whether the noise had emanated from a crease in the worn out leather. It didn't take long for the nauseating stench to persuade her that it had come from another source. It seemed Jessie was unaware of the odour of her achievement as she continued, "Then he smirked and told me, laughing all over his face, he was. Your boy's found his fame, Jessie. Get your coat on an' I'll take you to the morgue. He didn't even tell me Colin was dead." Reaching her stubby fingers into a brown paper bag of Cadbury's miss-shapes, she squeezed a handful one by one. If it proved the centre was soft by giving way to her pinch, she placed it on the arm of the chair. "Here," she said, "Will you be havin' a chocolate, Mr Coleman?"
"No thank you, Mrs Turner. I have to watch my figure."
"Oh 'ark at him!" Jessie laughed and farted again. "Hardly a scrap of meat on him is there? You were never his type, were you, Mr Coleman? Oh, my Colin liked the big boys. Then they killed him, that's what the big boys did to him. The big boys beat half his pretty face to pulp. Have a chocolate dear."
She thrust the bag towards Susan, who without thinking, popped her fingers into the bag and took out the hard core of a miss-shape. It was devoid of chocolate and had almost reached her mouth before she noticed the cringing look of horror on Dave's face. "Perhaps I shouldn't," she stammered, and moved to return it to the bag.
"Here no," Jessie said, as she snatched the bag away. "I can't bite the buggers with the hard bits in the middle. Take it with you love. Here, I'll find you some more." Susan watched in revulsion as stubby fingers rustled through the bag. The chocolates emerged one at a time. Each received a determined squeeze. If it squelched into submission, it joined a rapidly growing line on the arm of the chair. Any that resisted the challenge found their way into the toothless woman's mouth. A few determined sucks rendered them devoid of chocolate. Then the stubby fingers retrieved the mangled mess. "Here," Jessie said, thrusting it towards Susan. "You can have this one. Hang on, I'll find you another."
It continued until the bag was empty, and Susan had sticky palms bearing eight or nine of the revolting remains. Jessie settled back into the armchair. This time there was no mistaking the sound, or its origin. Lifting her stick, she pressed it onto the knob of the TV. As the sound blasted into the room, Dave suggested with a nod to Susan that it was time to leave.
"I tried to warn you," Dave laughed. Susan heaved, apologised and heaved again as she rinsed her hands in the freezing water from the drinking fountain on The Square.
"Dave, that was awful. I almost ate one of those things."
"You wouldn't have been the first. Colin warned me when I had less police service than you have. Thank your stars she didn't insist on making you drink her tea!"
"You knew Colin Turner? That photo, surely that wasn't him, was it?"
"Okay, so who do you think it was?"
"Was it Elvis Presley?"
"That would be my guess. Colin was a longhaired, five-foot-six homosexual who craved fame. Now he's famous because someone killed him ten years ago today. Jessie's got the son who craved fame mixed up with the most famous man in the world. That's all. It happens."
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