flung open the door and swerved to avoid Sylvester's
someone under my floorboards!' she screamed.
bizarre,' said Sylvester, studying his new neighbour's
pale blue eyes. 'How did they get there?'
I don't know, do I?'
noticed Jock McConnell bounding up the stairs with
one bare foot and a boot on the other.
me through, I'm a boxer,' he cried. He pushed past
the bewildered pair at the door and ran into the flat.
'Where is it?'
pointed to the bedroom. Jock threw himself to the
floor and peered through. 'It's me!' he cried.
caught Seraphema's eye and drew a circle on his right
temple with his forefinger. 'OK, Jock. Come away now.'
really,' said Jock. 'Look, if you don't believe me.'
was a little trepidacious, the several superstitious
bones in his body now alerted and quivering with anticipation.
But to back down in front of this obviously distressed
maiden would severely sully his reputation as fearless
rugged poet. He inched over to gaze through the floorboard
and sure enough, there was a face staring back. His.
I see. It appears there is a piece of a broken mirror
down there,' he explained.
sighed. 'Oh, thank heavens,' she said. 'But, that's
seven years bad luck isn't it?'
to the instigator of the breakage, which I presume
would be either Philip or Quentin, previously of this
parish. Bloody noisy buggers they were. I imagine
a mirror smashing would have gone by largely unnoticed
amidst the cacophony regularly broadcast from their
theatre of screams.'
offered his hand to Seraphema. 'Sylvester Rambling's
the name. I live next door.'
quickly checking that his right trouser leg was rolled
down, Jock also introduced himself, adding, 'I'm 24.
D'ye fancy a drink? I'm heading off to Wilkies in
politely declined and turned to the slightly stooped
figure that was Scotland's modern successor to William
McGonagall. 'I thought you'd be a lot bigger, somehow.
Why does it say Mind Your Head above your door?'
well,' began Sylvester, stroking the air beneath his
chin as if fondling an imaginary beard. 'It's basically
a reminder to any potential visitor that upon entering
my humble abode, they must endeavour to engage in
stimulating conversation in order to offset any further
deterioration in my cerebellum. I am fearful of my
mental capacities becoming sluggish and constantly
remind myself to let my lazy brain run riot at every
I see,' said Seraphema tactfully.
I'm off,' said Jock.
for your help,' said Seraphema as Jock hobbled away
when is your furniture arriving?' asked Sylvester.
'I don't have any,' said Seraphema.
even a kettle?'
that case, I insist you make full use of my facilities.
I have Jammie Dodgers and some Talisker.'
be delighted,' said Seraphema. 'But I really must
get this place tidied up and go and buy things.'
time for that,' said Sylvester. 'Come, let us imbibe.'
very well,' said Seraphema. 'Thank you.'
week: Aye Noon