Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Writers Block - Challenge #83 - The Knife

It was a big knife. No not just big, it was enormous. When Mortimer took it out of the crate he was astonished, wondering what Uncle Jasper needed such a knife for, but it was known in the family that Uncle Jasper was a sort of black sheep. Mortimer’s father Cedric was entirely a different person to his brother Jasper, “but being a man of the church he would be, I suppose”, thought Mortimer. Yes, Mortimer was the son of the village priest, a vocation respected by all in the village. Cedric never really mentioned Jasper and Mortimer just knew him from various old photos of the two brothers from the earlier days. It seemed to Mortimer that if there was a personification of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it would be his father and uncle. As fair and as innocent father Cedric seemed, Jasper was the opposite with his thick bushy eyebrows and black greasy hair. Sometimes Mortimer wondered if they were really brothers, but his grandparents were good people, upright and honest and he was sure that Jasper was probably one of those exceptions that occurred in life.

Mortimer glanced once more at the knife; a large sharp pointed blade and heavy handle. He was sure it would be handy in the kitchen, although he was certain that his late uncle probably used it for something else. Now that Jasper had passed on, his belongings were divided amongst the family members. Mortimer’s father had died some time ago and Jasper never married. This did not seem strange to Mortimer. After looking at the photos of Jasper he could just not imagine how he would have found a wife.

“What on earth is that Mortimer” asked Priscilla his wife. “I have never seen such a lethal looking knife in all my life. Is that one of the pieces of inheritance from your uncle Jasper.?”

“It is” answered Mortimer “but I am sure it will be handy in the kitchen.”

“I am not so sure” answered Priscilla  Perhaps for cutting some meat, but the butcher does that for us.”

“Let’s see; what are we having for lunch Priscilla, we could try it out.”

“Sorry Mortimer, but I am not taking that weapon in my hand for cooking. We are having Peppers today and I don’t think that would be suitable.”

“Well, let’s try” said Mortimer and put the onions and peppers on the wooden board for chopping. He found the knife on the heavy side, but it sliced through the vegetables easily, precise and clean.

“You see Priscilla, it is ideal.”

“It might be Mortimer, but I am sure that Uncle Jasper did not use it for slicing vegetables.”

I suppose Priscilla was right, but Mortimer was happy with the knife and decided it was ideal for slicing.

Actually uncle Jasper was also glad to have the knife for slicing. Uncle Jasper bought the knife exactly that purpose. As a boy he would use it for cutting the legs of spiders off their bodies. It was then that his brother, Cedric, realised that what made pleasure for Jasper, was not his sort of thing. When Cedric found field mice with their tails missing, he decided that things were going to far and after an argument with Jasper the two brothers never met or spoke together again.

Now Jasper had died and all he left was a few belongs and a large old house at the side of the local River. The house was deteriorating and was no longer inhabitable. Jasper’s last years were spent in a psychiatric hospital. He was a victim of dementia and no longer able to look after himself. He had even been locked away in his room as he was found to be quite dangerous, attacking the nursing staff with the cutlery he received with his meals. Eventually he was only given knives and forks in plastic.

The house had been forgotten. Eventually the authorities decided that it should be demolished. The land was to be used for industrial purposes: factories, offices and everything that modern development needed. Luckily Mortimer and Priscilla did not realise the connection between the newspaper article that appeared during the demolition work.

Daily News
Human Remains found on building site

The police are investigating various bones found after the demolition of a house. After first examinations it seems that the bones showed signs of being separated from each other by a sharp object.

Uncle Jasper just could not let it alone. He was always ready to offer a homeless tramp a night’s rest at his house, an eternal rest it seems, just people that were never missed.

As Mortimer cut an orange in half, he thought what a useful knife he had inherited from Uncle Jasper, the uncle he never knew.

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