When Joe and Sonya had bought the house, it was pretty much ready to move in to. Everything had been decorated in a plain manner, in order for whoever moved in to make their own mark on the place. The carpets were a hardwearing light browny beige and the walls were painted in that ubiquitous colour, magnolia. They were happy with it and did not feel the need to change much, just add a brighter coloured rug, some curtains and cushions, then it would be fine. There was one room that they did not particularly like. The Bathroom was an assault on the eyes, a monstrous concoction of pink. The bath, sink and toilet were all bright pink. The tiles were a checkered pattern of dark and pale pink. On the floor was a musty smelling carpet in a shade of ……you’ve guessed it, pink. It all looked rather grubby.
Unfortunately, buying the house had eaten into their savings and they had no money left with which to rid themselves of this ugly bathroom. Apart from its aesthetically unpleasing nature, everything worked and so they could not justify the expense of a new bathroom at that time. They did, however, spend a whole weekend washing the carpets and scrubbing the tiles and generally making the bathroom hygienic. It still looked grubby, but it was actually scrupulously clean.
After a couple of years, they had managed to put a little bit by and the time arrived when they felt they could finally say goodbye to all that pinkness.
The final straw had been when the toilet cistern had cracked and spewed water all over the bathroom floor. That had been the signal for change.
They decided what they wanted was a plain white bathroom. Something that looked clinically clean. With large white tiles, a white bathroom suite and a hygienic linoleum floor.
After a search of tradesmen, they found a man who came highly recommended by their friends, Paul and Simon. Well they were Gay and everyone knew how incredibly tidy and fastidious gay people were and how difficult they could be to please, so they took their recommendation very seriously.
When the builder arrived he rather took them by surprise. He was an eccentric chap, with purple overalls and orange boots. He came in carrying his tools and a large radio.
“I hope you don’t mind if I sing while I work, it helps me to concentrate,” He said.
Joe and Sonya didn’t have any objections, at least not at that time.
After a couple of days of hearing the builder screaming and moaning and generally making the most inhumane noises that could only have been described as singing by the kindest-hearted of critics, Joe and Sonya were getting rather annoyed.
“Maybe Paul and Simon only recommended this guy for a joke. It would be like them to tease us!” Said Sonya.
“They like a joke, that’s true but surely not this much?” replied Joe, loyally.
Both of them had arranged to work at home while the building work, which was scheduled to take seven days, was going on. Joe had sequestered himself in the downstairs study and while he typed on his laptop, he played soothing Mozart through his headphones to drown out the din from upstairs.
Sonya sat in the conservatory and wore earplugs while she tried to concentrate on writing the next chapter of her book. The first draft was due at the publishes at the end of the month.
A particularly dramatic scream came from upstairs but they ignored it. The sooner the builder was finished and gone, the better.
It was only after the silence had descended that Sonya started to suspect something was not quite right.
She opened the door of the study and Joe smiled at her from his desk.
“Is it time for a cuppa? I could murder a cup of tea” Joe said amicably.
“No love, I’m worried. The builder has stopped singing. Didn’t you notice how quiet it has been?”
“Yes, I was enjoying it. I suppose he had to run out of steam eventually”
“But he’s been singing constantly from start to finish all the time he’s been here over the past three days. No something is wrong. Go up and see if he’s OK.”
After some cajoling and friendly wifely persuasion, Joe agreed to go up and check.
Oh dear, what a mess. The man appeared to have accidentally electrocuted himself!
“Oh, Joe, how awful. He must have cried out to us, but we couldn’t hear him because of his singing.”
“I think we heard him alright but we thought he was singing” Joe replied.
At least that was the story they told the police.
Of course, Sonya being an author of murder mysteries may have been able to come up with an alternative version.
Anyone who read her next thriller “The Singing Builder” may have suspected the truth.
There is only so much singing a person can take, you know.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 14/September/2018