Sunday morning, and Mrs. Stevens has her hand up a chicken when she hears a knocking at the front door. She wipes the sage and onion off her fingers, and goes and answers the door. Why wouldn’t she?
It’s Trevor, from next door. Her heart skips, just slightly. She is happily married, to Mr. Stevens, but sometimes Trevor smiles at her and she feels a bit giddy. He has a way of looking at her, like he’s looking past the shop-worn facade of her middle-aged body, to what lies within. She likes Trevor.
“Hello Trevor,” she says.
“Yeah, hi, I was just wondering, could I borrow a drill, if you’ve got one?” says Trevor.
Mr. Stevens joins his wife at the door. He doesn’t like Trevor. Trevor has this way of smiling at his wife.
“Hello Trevor,” he says.
“Hi, yeah, I was just asking if I could borrow a drill. Mine’s broke, drill bit got stuck in his leg.” says Trevor.
“Table leg. I’m making a table,” says Trevor.
“Oh, I’m sure that’d be OK,” says Mrs. Stevens. She turns to her husband. “There’s that Black and Decker you got for Christmas, isn’t there. It’s not out of the box yet,” she says, looking at Trevor again. “Never uses it. Are you very handy?”
“Well he was certainly drilling this morning!” says Mr. Stevens, lightly. “We heard it, didn’t we? The sound of drilling. Not that it’s a problem. It was quite early, though. What with that, and the screaming…”
“Oh, was that you screaming, Trevor? Did you cut yourself?” says Mrs. Stevens, allowing herself a compassionate twinkle.
“What? Oh, yeah. I nicked myself with a… splinter. Paper cut. Whatever. So, the drill…”
“Is that what all the…?” she gestures at the apron Trevor is wearing, the apron glistening with fresh, wet blood.
“The blood, is that where the blood is from?” she asks.
“Is it from the splinter?”
Trevor looks down at his apron. There is a great deal of blood on it. “Yeah, must be,” he says. “So do you have a drill, or what?”
“Go get it then,” Mrs. Stevens chivvies her husband, who disappears into the house.
Trevor and Mrs. Stevens smile at each other for a while.
“You’ve got a bit of…” she says, gesturing vaguely towards Trevor’s face.
Trevor cocks his head, brings his hand to his ear, dislodges something that has been dangling from the lobe. Something pinkish-red and stringy, which lands on the doorstep with a little wet sound.
“That’s got it. I’m glad you popped round, actually,” says Mrs. Stevens. “You haven’t seen Sammy anywhere have you?”
“Our son? He’s just back from Uni for the weekend. Only he went out last night and he hasn’t come back.”
“Yes. I’m sure he’s just at a friend’s house but you know what it’s like, we parents do worry don’t we?”
“I haven’t seen him.”
“Do you remember what he looks like?”
“What does he look like?”
“About 6 feet ta…”
“Haven’t seen him.” interrupts Trevor, as Mr. Stevens re-emerges from the house, bearing a drill, mint in box.
“Here’s the drill,” says Mr. Stevens.
Trevor grabs it off him with both hands. “Great.” says Trevor. “Three speeds. I like the slower ones. Fun. So if you don’t mind I’d better get back to him.”
“Him?” smiles Mrs. Stevens.
“The table. I mean I’ve done one of its legs, but it could still run off, eh? Haha.” Trevor laughs, an odd, hollow sound.
Mrs. Stevens laughs along, even though she doesn’t get the joke. Mr. Stevens smiles politely.
“Will you bring the drill back? When you’re done?” says Mr. Stevens.
Trevor says “Listen, tell you what. I’ll be finished with… the table in a few hours I reckon. How about you…”, he points at Mrs. Stevens, “Come and get it? Just you,” he adds. “By yourself. How would that be?”
There’s that smile again, think both Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, for different reasons.
“Of course,” says Mrs. Stevens, her mind conjuring various scenarios that will absolutely not happen. “I’ll pop round later. In the meantime, you will keep an eye out for Sammy?”
Trevor turns and walks down the path, leaving sticky red footprints as he goes.
“Eye out?” he says, mostly to himself. “There’s an idea… I’ll keep an eye out. Or two. Or more. I could keep a jar full of them out if you wanted. Haha.”
“Haha,” laughs Mrs. Stevens, and she goes back to the chicken.
The Drill by Harris
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