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He arrives with his usual lies, says he heard some crying but it was only dramatic sighing on the motion box. Presenting as her saviour she is perplexed, is this her errant knight or a malevolence cracked free by the violence of the storm. {If it be known who I am she might better be rid of me now. so I’ll use some subterfuge, oh devious most wicked.}
‘Who the sugaring shit are you, piss off, I’ve got a dog, big dog, bigger dog.’
‘My lady did I startle you? Please forgive me but I heard a cry.’ {And my cunning self said, ‘Well hello Jack my lad that’s as good an entrance as any you could make’}
‘You scared the crap out of me, had a jump inside.’ She pulls back hugging herself, assessing the danger. {Well if he is to be my killer at least he’s couth but alas lacking all veracity and truth.}
‘So my lady I came forthwith to ascertain the crying here but you seem fine.’ He bows.
‘That was just some thing on the TV, a play, or something, a little hysteria any way.’ {Gosh he looks weird, stay calm don’t alarm.} ‘But thank you for your trouble, I might have been mangled dead.’ {And still could be.} May I offer you some tea?’
{Works every time I’m such a smart ass. I hate myself but I adore me too. A state of contradiction and I love it. Get the best of both its perfect for my game.} ‘Not if its any trouble, although I grant that now I am feeling a collapse of fear. If you permit me to be seated for a moment that will suffice as a reward.’
‘I prefer it dead. What am I saying you must think me mad. I’ll make it anyway. Yes sit.’ {I have no fear of my saviour now why should I? Because his smile makes my skin creep and I can see right through him. Get a grip Lilly, get a grip.}
{As easy as picking grapes, she’s in my palm, I can feel a little squeezing. Don’t get me wrong I’m not here to do her any harm, quite the contrary I have a present but she might not thank me for it yet.}
The actress of the piece returns with the tea. ‘When I was alone in there I thought I heard some talking?’
He laughs. ‘Ah yes that was me I was just saying hello to the nebulousness I have about me - these are fine walls.’
She lays down the tray, shifts the weight she has acquired. ‘Yes as walls go they do their job very well. Do you take sugar?’
‘Keeping people out, keeping people in, holding the roof from the floor, very fine. Two please.’ He drags his case over to sit in front of him. She pours, hands him a cup. ‘That’s very interesting Mr…?’
{Can I confine, can I believe. My pleasure is hers for the asking. I amuse if she’s willing, I maybe confuse if she’s not. Introductions handy kind enough now, mine is short, Jadfo: there it is said. Purveyor of old jokes and bad delights, I can give her a spell, I can read the mind she’s having. She’s thinking of me as a pest, go away, oh no, please let me do my rest here.} ‘Jadfo, and may I in turn inquire of your nomenclature?’
‘I am not a bug Mr Jadfo, my name is Lilly, Lilly Moon.’
‘Lilly? Is that for the flower or the first wife? I must say Lilly Moon you seem remarkably confident for a young woman who sits alone with a stranger in the deadly night.’ Jadfo moves a little towards her.
‘Yes I am, my confidence rests upon my lap its called a loaded pistol and it is pointing straight at you.’ She reaches under her shirt to reveal the gun. ‘ You should also be aware I have called the Police and they will be arriving with guns cocked ready to send you back to hell.’ {It was bright at first but now there’s a threat, a thrill}
‘Oh Lilly Moon you wound me with your suspicion and to think I have braved the danger streets to provide you with a gift.’ The maybe villain of the piece places his open palms alongside his open mouth to pantomime distress.
‘Lies, you’re just a pervert or a killer, there is no present.’ {And if there is a present I dread to think what it might be.}
‘You are correct it is no present but still it is a gift, or should I say a treat?’ He leans forward fiddles with the locks upon the case.’
A siren sounds in the distance, they sit silent sipping tea as it draws near then slowly fades away.
‘So what treat is this, are you planning a party, or is it chocolates wrapped in gold, maybe you’re a Magician pulling bunnies from your hat?' {I feel a strong desire to throw my tea into his grinning face. But its my place and I do prefer a little neatness.} ‘Would you take the cups and place them on the tray please?’
{Well there’s more to this than just the tears, I can bring them forward, I can bring them back.} ‘My treat is called surprise its a gift I have for you. In the case upon the floor I have the cure for your loneliness. But as you rightly surmise I am not relishing a hole in my being and a gaol would so curtail my fun and games. So I must say adieu dear Lilly Moon.’
Lilly waves the gun. ‘Oh no Mr Jadfo you’re staying, you can’t leave until I find what this parlour game you are so enjoying is really all about.’ She kicks the case. ‘You’re lying, there’s nothing in this case but dirty washing.’
‘Are you so sure of that?’ A cigarette appears. ‘Is it possible I might smoke?’ She points to an ashtray. ‘My lady fair so I wheedle with the wishes as a jest. I can show you cards that I’ve tampered like the best. I can show you promises that are unworthy. I’ve done my share of lying. I’m good at counting figures but I am just a wayfarer, someone from the storm its not my behest to be growing the throwing of untruths to surround the way I am. I am a cheat and I’m awful but a cheat you know is better than a liar that you don’t.’
‘You’re feeling me playing me for a mark. I’ve seen those games before now. Well its no good but there is an answer to our quandary, here is the pistol open the case please.’ Lilly’s skin is damp, her heart is racing; a promise is a promise but she really craves a smoke.
His smile is threatening to crack his face in two. {Oh this is fun, I do like a mark who gets into the spirit of the thing.}
From Jadfo’s mouth perfect smoke rings rise. Lilly watches with silent admiration, a skill she never did acquire. ‘The case Mr. Jadfo.’
‘Am I making you nervous Lilly Moon?’ Jadfo opens the case positioning the lid to mask its contents. ‘So what do we have in here? A blow up doll, or maybe a cute kitty cat, could it be your demise, that cures most things I believe. A mirror would make a lousy joke, a self-help book, a bottle full of empathy, a billion dollars - that would make you popular.’
‘May I suggest that there is nothing in the case except for the empty soul of a mountebank some kind of charlatan.’ She squints at the case and then at Jadfo. {I think this is how he really is, the pretence of being human is just a lousy mask.}
‘Oh Lilly Moon have a little faith. So what do we see – a mist, come closer, do not pull away this show is for you. Now the mist is clearing and we can see the play: In the woods lies a woman and she’s drowning, hasn’t seen that the woods are so green. Her face is down in the dirt of a puddle. That’s the gift can you pay me please.’
‘Shall I pay you in spit or will you take a fart on demand?’ {If your so smart can you read my heart and know it for a wayward bitch left alone too long.}
‘I prefer the payment to be made in kind. A kinder gift would be rewarding’ {I come in double dares, I can swing around for your amusement. I can do your pleasure showing you the way that no one knows. I can be mean, obscene. Hold my hand its quivering. I’m putting up a front for you, deep down I’m shaking plenty.}
‘There are reasons but the cops aren’t coming so you can spend the night. I’ll hold you but you never can touch me.’