Hanging atop the frigid moorlands even the storm clouds huddle for dear life. Rooted below a tired old toff sits before a blazing log fire within his ramshackle manor house, granite firm within an acreage erstwhile set to lawn, hedgerow and glorious fountains yet these days no more than a frightful brier permeated wasteland.
As the reticent nightfall, its thunder already stolen by lugubrious daytime agony descends the curmudgeonly, infirm codger reaches the end of his deliberations; comes at long last to a conclusion.
“Girl, yes you whatever your name is draw me a hot tub that I may soak away my sorrows; that I may ease the pain in these old joints of mine.”
“Certainly Sir…by the way and for the umpteenth time my name is Megan and I’ve been your house servant these past dozen years…ever since I left school!”
“Oh, sorry I forgot…always forgetting names and faces…curse of time you know. By the way did I ever tell you that – unlike some other lucky blighters – I’ve never had employment that attracted these gal groupies I’ve read about? I’d have liked that I think…extracurricular relations with gals of easy virtue…certainly better than that old harridan who was glued to me for the best years of my life. Still I’ll never know now will I…is my bath ready yet.”
“Very nearly Sir, would you care for assistance undressing and getting in? By the way you made mention of those bad girls who chase men for their money over breakfast and at lunch and yesterday and the day before.”
“Did I? Christ I must be losing my marbles.”
“Anyway it doesn’t matter does it…there that’s you ready…I’ll hold your arm as you step in but be careful you don’t slip when sitting down.”
“Good God woman it’s piping hot are you trying to see me off?”
“Not at all Sir…look I’ll add cold water from the bucket…that’s it, it should be perfect now.”
“That’s better…yes that’s much better.”
“Before I set to preparing your dinner is there anything you want…and I don’t mean, ‘Will you help me find the soap’ like last time when the soap wasn’t even lost!”
“Would I lie to you Megan…of course it was misplaced! Whatever, fetch me a glass of Lillet Rouge and don’t forget my twist of orange…oh and a pen and pad of paper for I am minded to pen a note…and the razor…think I’ll shave while I’m at it.”
“There Sir that’s your aperitif, razor…your pen and paper. Just ring the bell should you need me or want to alight the bath…I’ll make sure I have warmed towels at the ready.”
MY LAST LETTER!
My sons and daughters, friends alive and others of my pedigree understand that the frenzied hounds of time have been let loose and are, even as I write and putting it colloquially ‘on my case’. After much deliberation over many a long winter’s night I have come to the decision that I shall not be prey to a pack of beasts; that they shall never get the satisfaction of even snapping at my ankles. In short I shall not be ‘sticking around’.
That the emergency services ,and I suspect the coroner’s task, be made easy it is in just a moment, suitably naked and ensconced within my bathtub that I shall do the deed the god-fearing amongst you may say is evil, namely commit a hara-kiri of sorts.
That you are, one and all amply provided for in my Last Will and Testament a given, yet exploiting the warmth and relaxation of this my final soak you will understand that the thought of further memory loss eventually rendering me a glorified cabbage and when the times comes that even my walking stick becomes of no use to me when bedridden I have little choice but to do the deed…each to his own I say!
Yet prior to taking the cut throat to my wrist thus allowing my blood to flow fascinatingly unchecked I make one last and very important request of the lot of you. You see just this very day I forgot yet again the name of my lovely young maid Megan – she who attends to my every need (save one!). The very sight of this girl who has cared for me for the duration of my dotage and who makes me wish I could turn back time; be young once more tells me I owe her for the strife this miserable old sod has brought upon her from time to time. Never once has this adorable filly complained or shirked her duties. You will all know that I am a man who pays his debts and as such I instruct each and everyone one of you to deliver up 10% of your respective inheritance to her sweet Megan of the delightful arse – rest assured I shall haunt you to your dying days if you do not!
Farewell, au revoir.
PS: Megan as I slip this mortal coil I picture you the day we picnicked on the beach just last summer, you in your bathing suit, me struggling for comfort within that wretched deck chair. You were a vision then (are a vision still) and I can think of no canvass to take with me upon this, my final journey. I just wanted you to know that my dear!
Concerned that the master of the house might have been marinating too long Megan goes up to the bathroom to check upon him. Plainly taken aback she feels for a pulse…there is none…he is no more. That the constabulary should be telephoned as a matter of urgency she is in no doubt yet stepping away from the tub she spots the note Albert had written. Being a bright girl she leaves it upon the tiles where it is in case it is required as evidence at any inquest but not before reading the same.
It is with chuckles and tears that she checks out her soon to become much fabled posterior in the big bathroom mirror, “Lovely arse indeed.”