© Leanne Johnston 2013
These Walls are Murder
The girl in the west-side wall of Pam’s house screams incessantly at night.
She keeps Pam awake.
“Why don’t you shut up already?” yells Pam at the wall.
Pam yearns for bad weather because when the weather is bad the screams are drowned out by thunder and her dog barks, whimpers and begs to come inside. He runs to the end of his tie-line leaps up howling and crying. Pam finds this strangely comforting like back rubs with warm oil in front of a fireplace.
Storms are Pam’s only peace.
When the storms come she knows she can sleep because the dog’s pleading is a noise she understands and the thunder is somehow soothing, comforting. But when the night is still which it has been over the past few nights the hurt and guilt overwhelms her and she wants to escape and run.
Tonight Pam gathers up all her husband’s clothes and her best friend’s knickers and bras. She assembles them in a huge pile on the lounge room floor near the west side wall. She douses the clothes in Metho, a massive stalagmite rising from the floor and the deposition of her husband and her best friend’s filthy lust and infidelity. She fumbles for a match, thinks about striking it.
Rumbling in the distance takes Pam's attention and yet she still hears that damned woman’s screams.
For a moment she considers calling the Police and turning herself in... I’m not the one who’s fucking crazy.
“Stop it. Stop. You’re dead already, just stop that infernal noise”.
But the woman in the wall doesn’t stop. The high pitched screams only get louder.
Tonight the storm moves quickly. The wind picks up and thunder roars. She knows it’s a big one. The dog howls and this strange feeling caresses Pam. Yet the peace of the storm is not as comforting anymore. It’s not doing its trick. Tonight somehow that woman’s voice pitches through the walls intolerable, and breaks the comfort Pam finds from the thunder and the cries of her dog pleading to be let off the chain are no longer tolerable.
“Shut up! Sit down you mongrel. You too, Bitch!”
She throws a stiletto at the wall. It makes a dent and falls helplessly.
Wasn’t it enough you stole my husband? Wasn’t it enough you destroyed years of marriage? And what about friendship? You were my best friend. We knew each other a lot longer than, Bill.
And, for what Beth?
For a man I told you, was no good. And you knew he was no good. You saw the things he did to me. Rotten to the core, rotten on the inside and yet you still went there. You destroyed our friendship and turned him further against me. You destroyed everything Beth and now you’ll both suffer together forever.
Pam lit the stalagmite.