Monday, 2 November 2015

Oh, brother (part 37) by Grant Harbison

“Speak to me, Brother Blaine,” said Sister Agatha Chrustie. “Unburden that pain.”
“I can’t tell ye what I don’t know, Sister Chrustie. My memory is somewhat rusty.”
“You were heard talking in your sleep. Hardly surprising, as it must be a terrible secret to keep.”
“It’s just a vision of the man who was slain. A nightmare I’ve been havin’ again and again.”
“But surely if you’ve been having this recurring nightmare, it’s absolute proof that you were there.”
“I can’t honestly swear that I wasn’t there, but killin’ a man, I wouldn’t dare. What about the other pair?”
“You know as well as I do that they’re not here, but it is very suspicious that they felt the need to disappear. Or perhaps they are dead too. Did they threaten to expose you?”
“No, that’s not true!”
“Come on, Brother Blaine. Don’t pretend. The guilt is making you go round the bend.”
“It has to be Borium and Truman, don’t ye see? That’s why they decided to flee.”
“Would it be fair to say that you can’t control your aggression?”
“It sometimes happens after a drinkin’ session.”
“Maybe your aggravation was caused by being in a state of intoxication. And where is Ilirium? Is he also dead due to your drunken delirium?”
“No, Ilirium was sold. I think it was because he was gettin’ too cold.”
“You’re not making much sense. Who would commit such an offence?
“It was me. The poor man was tied naked to a tree.”
“And how did that come to be?”
“Borium and Truman involved me in their tomfoolery.”
“Ah, so they had everyone think that he was dead, and when Grover requested the body, they had to use the brother instead. Brother Blaine, I’ll be frank. I don’t think that you are guilty of murder, but you took part in their prank. And for that association, your punishment will be flagellation.”
“To where do I go for the punishment and pain?”
“To Maude the bawd in Brothel Lane. Tell her you would like to see Mistress Paine.”

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