Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Interpreter: Pinpoint and Count to Ten

Sheila Mary Belshaw

Here are the extracts, the first from 'Pinpoint':

This is madness, Julia said to herself, her heart almost
beating out of her chest. Not a chance now of trying to get to
Charlie’s girlfriend’s house; the other end of the street would
be blocked off too. Besides, getting nicked carrying an
unlicensed gun was the quickest way of losing her practising
certificate. Her livelihood.
Unlawful possession of a firearm. How would I plead?
Reasonable Excuse? It would depend on whether the court
approved of the motives. What motives? Somebody is
threatening to kill my daughter, Your Honour. Who is
threatening to kill your daughter, Mrs Grant? I’m not at
liberty to say, Your Honour. It is not an answer simply to show
that the weapon was carried for self-defence, Mrs Grant.
There is a reasonable excuse only if the weapon is carried to
meet an immediate and particular threat . . . But, Your
Honour . . .
Well, that’s that then, Julia thought. No ammunition, so get the hell out
of here. Some other weapon will have to do. Scissors, kitchen
knife, razor blade, acid -
She felt a rush of bile to her throat. ‘No!’ she screamed
out loud.


Extract from – ‘Count to Ten’ by Sheila Mary Taylor:

“I just can’t face it, Mum.” He was sobbing, not sounding like
Andrew at all. “I can’t carry on. Please don’t let them do it.”
The room swam around me, walls, pictures and plants colliding in a
Picasso of incongruous surrealism. I sat down, momentarily speechless.
Idiot! I told myself. Why did you leave him alone?
Andrew knew how easy it had become lately to manipulate me to
suit his whims and fancies, but this was one time it would be fatal for
that to happen. Literally fatal. This was only the fifth treatment. Six were necessary to
save his life.
The words drummed in my head: If he does not complete the
treatment he will die.
I had to answer him quickly. My first words would be vital. It would
be so easy to say: Darling, I’ll come right now and take you straight out
of that nasty hospital . . .
Or I could say the right words to trigger his own innate strength to
enable him to muster up enough will-power to carry on.
I panicked. What in hell’s name were the right words?
“You must go through with it, Andrew,” I said as calmly as I could. If
he does not complete the treatment he will die. “I’ll be there just as
soon as I can. Don’t worry, darling. Everything will be all right. You can
do it.”
Pretty pathetic words. Which of course he ignored.
“No! I want to get out. Now! I don’t want any more of this.”
I had failed hopelessly.
“Help me, Mum.”
If he does not complete the treatment he will die . . .


“You’re marvellous,” my friends would say. “You’re taking it so well. I
don’t know how you do it.”
I would smile and tell them modestly that they would be exactly the
same. “You have to be,” I would say. “You have to be strong for the
whole family . . . It’s quite natural, you know.”
Because of course you couldn’t possibly describe to them the inner
turmoil which eats at you incessantly. Nor reveal the homicidal
nightmare which plagues your nights, driving you insane; you dare not
breathe a word lest they think you less than human. Nor could you
bore them with how the whole dreadful thing was wrecking your life,
your marriage – everything. They would have wondered what kind of a
woman you were and whether you were after all really fit to be a

No comments:

Post a Comment