by David Woods
Back from the road, there was a wall. A wall with two lions sculpted from cement. By an entrance. The entrance led through the wall. Back from the wall, through the entrance, there was a house. Lion House was its name.
The house that Jack built. Builder Jack, good old Jack, one of the lads. They said. They say a lot of things. Jack did good work on the house. Lion House. Built it with his bare hands. The bare hands of Jack.
The house that was built by Jack had three floors. Attic at the top. Bedrooms in the middle. Living space, comfort areas, on the ground. All built by Jack. Good old Jack. There was a front door. To be expected. Hidden by the wall, through the entrance.
The door had a lock. The lock had a key. The key opens the lock to the house that Jack built. This opens the door to Lion House. There is a roar as the door opens. It’s not lions. Sounds like Jack. Maybe watching football. One of the lads.
To the left of the front door is a room. Living room. A room to live in. This is the room. The football’s on. Good old Jack; knew he’d be watching. The final. Jack has a wife. Lovely woman. Doesn’t say much. She has a key. A key to the lock of the house that Jack built. But Kelly built Jack before he built his house.
She’s lying down. Kelly, taking it easy on the floor. She does a lot. Round the house. That Jack built. Builder Jack. Likes his tea nice and strong. Dinner at six every night. The key to lock his house that he built every time Kelly goes out. Or stays in. He’s flexible like that.
Football’s blaring. The final. One-all. Tense. Kelly moves a bit. Jack tells her not to interrupt. He wants to watch the football. It’s his team. His bare hands are tired: they’ve done a lot of work. Round the house.
Would good old Jack like a tea. Nice and strong. Kelly knows. She’s sitting up now; in the house that Jack built. Jack growls a positive at Kelly. She gets to her feet. Enough of lying down, time to make that tea. And dinner for six. Football’s got another blaring half.
To get to the kitchen in the house that Jack built, Kelly needs to pass the front door. The door is locked. Jack has her key. Kelly looks at the lock on her way to the kitchen.
Kettle clicks. Water’s boiled. Jack likes his tea. Nice and strong.
This is the room. The room where the football’s blaring. The room that Kelly often lies down inside. The room that Jack built in his house. His house, don’t you forget it. Builder Jack. That’s what they call him. Kelly called him something different when she came up behind him with the tea. Nice and strong. There was that roar again. Not a lion. Good old Jack. Boiling hot tea running down his face and neck. One of the lads.
Jack stood up in the room. The room he built. In his house. Kelly hit Jack with the vase on the table in the room that he built. With his bare hands. The front door is locked. Jack has the key. But he’s lying down. Football’s blaring. Two-one. His team are down. Tense. He won’t mind Kelly taking the key. His wife.
Married twelve years. With his bare hands. Kelly turns the key in the lock. The lock to the door. The door of the house that Jack built. And Kelly stood back from the wall. From the entrance. The cement lions. The road. But away from the house and all three floors.
David Woods is a writer and filmmaker based in the South East. His debut feature film ‘Till Sunset’ was released on Blu-Ray in 2013 and four of his five short films have played on the international film festival circuit.
#1 by Aubrey Waddy on November 5, 2015 - 11:08 am
what stark, strong words, what a pleasure
#2 by Shirl on November 5, 2015 - 1:32 pm
I love how this story unfolds, and all the things that aren’t said. Brilliant!
#3 by Cath Barton on November 5, 2015 - 5:51 pm
Wonderful build-up of tension.