Me and Burt is likely the only true free-climbers left in Kent since Wogs pitched off and broke his spine. You notice we always mark the fallen by their chief injury, not the fact they was killed, which Wogs most certainly was, as any sod would be who fell three hundred feet? Soft sand and water, you say?
Bollocks. Iron hard from a height like that.
Why do we keep on? We’re Scots is why. Famous cragsmen. Climbing crags is in our blood, you might say. The cliffs is why we moved down to bloody Dover in the first place.
A big girl, strong, quick-tempered at the best of times and apt to throw punches if she didn’t like what you said. Before we were married, I used to think this was cute. Now it’s just embarrassing, especially showing up at the office next day with a busted lip or a shiner. It was always worse when she drank.
We were in the car when I must’ve said something, just driving along when pow, the right side of my face exploded. She’d hit me with her shoe. I finally got it away from her and chucked it out the window.
Chuck leaned against the blade of the backhoe, clearly nervous. “They didn’t say nothing about it being no graveyard, Donnie.”
“Oh, the tough guy is afraid of ghosts now? Gimme a fucking break.”
“It’s bad luck is all.”
Donnie lit a Kool. “The man paid you to do a job, not for your opinion about what’s lucky. Get into your goddamn machine and get started. The dump trucks are on the way. Slab’s being poured tomorrow.”
“But what about the bodies? Under the slab?”
Donnie laughed. “They ain’t going nowhere. It’ll be nice and dark and peaceful. Get to work.”
October 17th, 1975-
It’s happening again, stronger this time since I stopped taking the lithium. I know the doctor says I need it, but I just can’t stand the foggy feeling. Besides, this time the voice has been more pleasant. You remember when I told you about the one I kept hearing so bad right before I went to the hospital? The deep man’s voice I called Screamer? Yeah, well, he’s gone. Now it’s a woman’s voice, calm and sweet. And amazing– she knows thing about people. I mean, she really does.
I really like what she tells me.