A short monolgue from an old lady's point of view.
|“It was a terrible thing that happened, I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.
So sad, and Katherine being a vicars wife too, who could do such a thing? Did she have any enemies do you know?
You know, thinking about it there could be quite a few people capable of committing murder in this parish. You don’t know half of the things that have gone on around here. But in all of my 82 years I don’t think anyone has been killed in cold blood before.”
“Take Pauline Pearson for example. The way she rules over that Ladies Fellowship is the same way that Himmler controlled the Gestapo.
What she says goes. She chooses what charities any money raised goes to, and I’m sure not all of the money gets there, but that’s another story. And she doesn’t even attend St Luke’s, she goes to the catholic church down the street. Someone should sort her out. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was some sort of power struggle between her and Katherine. I remember Katherine talking to me about setting up a different women’s group, I bet that got up Pauline’s nose.”
“Sorry, it must be difficult for you to listen to me babbling on about this. More tea? Another piece of cake?”
“Just thought, how about Anne Collinge? She’s a right flighty piece that one. There was a rumour that she was having an affair with our last vicar. Maybe she wanted any competition out of the way. If she wants someone she’ll get him, no question about it.
I’ve not told anyone else this, and I think I can trust you, but she had an affair with Bert, my late husband. I never forgave her, or him, for that. Bert died not so long after. I blame her for that too. He had a weak heart, she must have got him over-excited.
And now I’ve heard that she’s having an affair with her daughters husband. She should know better at her age. A woman of 75 throwing herself at a man 30 years her junior. It’s not right.
It’s her daughter I feel sorry for. Someone should say something for her sake.”
“Sorry, there I go again.
How about another slice of cake? It’s still fresh from the Fayre at weekend, only a couple of slices have gone.”
“Ooh, what about Janet Cox? I think she had a thing for Katherine. Maybe it was a spurned love affair?
I mean, I’ve got no problem with her way of life, one of my friends is Lebanese, but still, it’s not right is it?
The way she flaunts herself with her ‘girlfriend’ around the church as if she owns it. And she even goes up to the Altar and serves people the bread and wine. It’s wrong!”
“I once overheard her and that woman discussing Katherine. I know she liked her. I bet she approached Katherine in the Sacristy after the service and told her how she felt. Good on Katherine for turning her down. But it could have cost her her life.”
“Eee, some of the things that go on around here are enough to make your hair curl. But, of course, I’m not one for gossip.”
“Yes, yes, it’s my famouse coffee and walnut cake that I baked especially for the Summer Fayre. Glad you’re enjoying it.”
“What do you think about Mrs. Peters? Whenever you and Katherine were away she lords it about as if she owns the place, just because she’s married to the stand-in vicar. I bet the power went to her head. I bet she wanted to run the place permanently.
Personally I don’t like it when they’re there. All the music changes from our usual hymns to happy-clappy rubbish. They even bring the tambourines out as if we’re in the Salvation Army Citadel.
I’m not one to moan though. I always turn up. But I refuse to clap and dance about. It’s a church service not a pop concert! And that time they did the Animal service. What a palaver! James Grigson’s budgie escaped and fouled all over the place while it was being chased by Janet Cox’s cat! Bet you’re glad you missed that one.”
“Mint imperial? Help yourself.”
“Thinking about it all, the Churchwardens could have had something to do with it. I’ve been coming to this church since I was a little girl and I’ve seen Churchwardens, and clergy, come and go.
The current Churchwardens are always bickering. You speak to one and get one point of view, then speak to the other and hear something completely different. It’s like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.”
“Of course, I don’t think Malcolm could do anything like that, he’s a good lad. He used to play with my children when they were small and I knew his parents. Lovely people.
But Sherry? She’s a totally different kettle of fish. She looks at you with an evil glint in her eye and walks around with her nose in the air as if she has a bad smell under it. I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her.”
“What is it that Katherine died of? Internal bleeding? Hmmm.”
“You know, a few days before Katherine died we had a disagreement. She told me that my cakes weren’t good enough to go on the cake stall. Nobody has ever said that before. I was so offended. I have run that cake stall for the last 50 years, nobody was going to tell me that I wasn’t welcome. What would people think when they saw me on the White Elephant stall or the Tombola instead of selling my cakes? It wasn’t going to happen.”
“I had some warfarin left from when I had that deep-vein thrombosis episode a few years ago, do you remember that?
I decided to teach Katherine a lesson. I baked my coffee and walnut cake as usual, but added some of the warfarin, it would just make her a bit sick, nothing too extreme.
But maybe I used too much, or she had too much of the cake?
It’s like something out of Cluedo, Maud Johnson in the Parish Hall with her coffee and walnut cake.”
“I didn’t mean to kill her, it was just an unfortunate series of events. But if she hadn’t criticised my baking in the first place it would never have happened.”
“Anyway, would you like another slice of cake to see you on your way, Vicar?”