I am a Horrible Man
By Doubleback McGillicuddy
I am a horrible man. And I’m far worse when I’m in the cups. After a few pints I’m despicable, and oh, if me tongue has the saint’s good fortune to taste a dram of good rye, me murderous heart is as dark and cold as a pan of black pudding in the icy ashes of yesterday’s hearth. Though I trace me proud lineage from the unfettered highlands where the tall grass grows wild and free, I’ve made me living for years now here in London. I do unsavory things, you see, on demand.
Now, me horrible nature bothers me goodly heart to no small degree, so every great once in a while I try to bestow me favor upon someone at the train station. Take this evening on the platform. I had a lovely chat with a kindhearted grandmother headed to holiday at her daughter and grand’s estate. She was headed straightaway to Kingston-Upon-Hull, a journey nor’east of some two hours duration. Her train would not stop until it reached the proper station. I made sure of it, and told her so. I thought proudly, I do have a redeeming quality, and I felt the kindly warming gaze on me shoulders from the patron saint of train travelers, whoever that is.
She was frail and seemed a bit confused at times, so I carried her bags into a lovely private compartment, three doors from the loo. I stowed them in the bin above, took out her knitting, issued orders with the porter that she be served a steaming cup of tea, then wished her pleasant journey and holiday. She called me ‘little Charlie’ and tried to hand me fifty pence from her handbag, for sweets. I closed her hand around her coin, gentle like, held her face with both hands and kissed her square on the forehead as tenderly as I would a wee babe. I said I could never accept anything but her kindness and love. The look in her eyes made me own tear up a bit, and we parted like dear family. Like sayin farewell to me own beloved ma.
Now, it was from the goodness of me heart I did this, and it had nothing to do with me having lifted her fat leather coin purse and her ruby encrusted diamond ring and matching earrings she was given by the Duke of Angora…or that I made certain she headed to Chippenham, in the lovely sou’western part of our land. Some kindhearted soul there will take her in and eventually she’ll holiday with her family. Or not. Can’t have her approaching Scotland Yard with little Charlie’s description, now, can we?
I had a spring in me step and new weight in me pocket as I left the station for the Dog and Thistle Pub and the Guinness I could already taste. I had unsavory work to do later this evening and I needed to be at me worst.
Like I said, I am a horrible man.