So there I was, sitting on the floor, leaning toward
the television, trying to keep track of what was going
on. Morse was in his office, sitting at his desk,
pondering, frowning, trying to work out whodunit.
Dreamy music was playing in the background.
Suddenly, he sat up straight and blinked. Something
had occurred to him. Something crucial. He got up
and opened his door and called down the corridor for
And then Dad started. Lew-is! Lew-is! Lew-is!
Lew-is!îHe wouldnÍt stop. Lew-is! Lew-is!
Lew-is! Lew-is!îAnd all the time he was snorting
with laughter as if it was the funniest thing in the
world. On the television Morse was talking to Lewis,
explaining his crucial idea, but I couldn't hear a
thing. All I could hear was Dad's crazy braying in
my ear: Lew-is! Lew-is! Lew-is! Lew-is! Lew-is!
I'd got to my feet and was facing him across the
room. For God's sake, Dad, just shut up! It's not
funny, it's pathetic. You're pathetic. Why can't you
just shut your mouth and let me watch the television
He stared at me, stunned. I stared back at him. He
put his beer can down on the table. What did
Nothing. It doesn't matter.
My anger had gone. I turned away.
I sensed, rather than heard, the movement behind
me, and I turned just in time to see him bearing down
on me with his fist raised above his head and drunken
madness burning in his eyes.
My reaction was automatic. As I jumped to one side
the downward surge of his fist missed my head by a
whisker. Then, as his momentum carried him past me,
I shoved him in the back. That's all it was, a shove.
Just a shove. An instinctive defensive gesture. No
more. I didnÍt hit him or anything. All I did was
push him away. I barely touched him. He must
have been off balance, I suppose. Too drunk to stay
on his feet. Legless. I don't know....All I know for
sure is that he flew across the room and smacked his
head into the fireplace wall then fell to the hearth
and was still. I can still hear the sound of it now.
That sickening crack of bone on stone.
I knew he was dead. Instantly. I knew.