Here is part eleven of ‘The Pen is Mightier than the Nerd’, my twitter novel starring Mervyn Stone.
Not only was it necessary to put Mervyn out of action to allow the killer to tweet his murder, it was also a bloody useful way to slow down the amount of tweets I had to do per day. If I had better things to do with my time, I could always put Mervyn into a sleep, or contrive it so he was unable to use a phone.
Dominic, Mervyn’s breezy happy-go-lucky son was introduced in book three, ‘Cursed Among Sequels’, and I instantly took a liking to him. I was glad to find an opportunity to use him again so soon.
It helps the drama/comedy enormously to surround Mervyn with completely contrasting personalities to his own, and as I like Mervyn, the other personalities usually lean on the negative side. I’d already done arrogant (Vanity Mycroft), aggressive (Policewoman Mick), complacent (Nicholas Everett) and annoyingly enthusiastic (Stuart Coulson). Dominic was the ‘carefree’ to Mervyn’s worrier, and it was nice to have a contrast, and yet completely sympathise with both points of view for a change.
I’m in an internet cafe. It’s in a real cafe, in a real hospital.
The computer I’m working from has ‘prop: Charles Babbage’ on the side, so you’ll have to forgive me things go wobbly. It’s a bit ancient.
I’m Mervyn Stone. The real Mervyn Stone. I hope I am, anyway.
If I suddenly start mashing my punctuation into a fine paste, you’ll know the murderer is still playing with my twitter feed.
I should change my passwords, but the police don’t want me to. They’re hoping that the murderer is so cocky he/she’ll carry on being me.
This is also the reason why they’re letting me tweet.
It took me half an hour to struggle out of bed and carry myself down here. The ache in my ribs is agony.
Gary’s knife glanced off my ribcage and broke one of my ribs, so I’m finding little things like breathing and moving a bit of a chore.
It was one of those bloody Klingon knife things they sell in ‘Forbidden Planet’. I’m really glad he didn’t kill me with it.
Imagine the shame. A writer murdered with a weapon he couldn’t even spell.
Gary got away, by the way. He struggled out of the police car. He’s very fit and very fast. There are policemen protecting me here.
Or are they just guarding me?
I suppose I’d better tell you what happened.
I wake up in hospital, in agony. D.I Wells is standing over me. He’s not pleased, as usual.
The reason why they were raiding my house was simple. The notes in Alistair’s safe were numbered and marked.
He was worried about burglary, funnily enough…
When I used the twenty pound for the tube it set off all sorts of alarms, and by scouring the CCTV footage at the station they just realised it was me.
D.I Wells had come after me, and it was only when they got there that one of his officers (probably Clive) pointed out I was on twitter…
And I was actually there watching them.
Just in time, as it happens, because Gary was making his move.
So here I am. I’ve been interrogated, and once again D.I.Wells has grudgingly accepted my account of events on twitter, about how I found the money and other things in the bin. He’s itching to lock me away for obstruction and concealing evidence, but now he has bigger fish to fry.
It’s late. I’m back in bed. No more visits to the cafe, thank God.
Not that I’ve got my phone back yet. My son Dominic has popped in to lend me his.
Yes, I have a son. Don’t ask, it’s a long embarrassing story. I believe it was recounted in technicolour by my biographer Nev in his book ‘Cursed Among Sequels’.
Anyway, Dominic is on twitter (in fact, he rarely talks for more than 140 characters himself) and he’s come to my rescue.
He doesn’t need his phone much, on account of him driving a train on the London Underground and never having any signal.
So I’ve got his phone with his blessing, with just two conditions. Don’t go through the photo library, and if ‘Jodi’ rings I’m to tell her he’s left the country to work on an oil rig, and he won’t be back until 2015.
My actual phone is with the police. They got very excited when the murderer started tweeting on my phone.
They can find out a phone’s location very easily, and were eagerly preparing for a mad, race-against-time to stop a murderer….
…only to find the murderer had taken no chances. He/she had committed the murder the previous day and tweeted from London, throwing the phone in a bin when he/she’d finished.
It’s probably now in one of Clive’s little plastic bags, waiting to be examined for fingerprints, bits of skin and the like.
I allow myself to doze, listening to the faint gurgles of the patients and the click of the nurse’s shoes in the corridor outside.
I rest my eyes for a second.
When I open them, forty minutes later, Gus is sitting by my bed, watching me.
I just about manage not to scream. I make noises, but thankfully they’re not that loud.
‘Ah hear you’re helping the polis now,’ he growls in a deep baritone.
It’s the first time I hear him speak, and it’s an odd noise, like the voice is too large for his head.
‘Take mah advice. Don’t.’ He rumbles. ‘Not if you want tae destroy mah Auntie Gertie.’
‘And ah dinnae ken you want tae dae that…’
He throws a package on my bed, making me wince with the pain.
‘Here,’ he says. ‘Ah believe you’re looking for these. Now take them and stay oot o’ things that dinnae concern you.’
And he leaves without another word.
I look in the package. It contains Chelsea boots.
And from a quick examination, they look like the genuine article. They’re mine. The ones that Alistair promised to return to me.
I spend the day in bed. Every time I bring my phone out I get dirty looks from the bag of bones opposite.
So I sleep.