The narrator(s) of the story is/are the different CCTV cameras located in the building owned by Mr. Cliff: a solicitor in a home business who is successful, but depressed.
Consider yourself a connoisseur; a pioneer of all things quintessentially British. A true patriot. A gentleman's gent that all other gents respect in a gentleman's manner. A representative of the wealthy, middle-England society that wafts his way through small Cotswold villages dropping notes for the less fortunate beings of the street. The fat controller who shuffles down into his cream leather seat and revs the engine of success. That's Mr. Cliff. A jolly gent who makes a jolly good living in a jolly satisfying job.
A young lady walked into his office - she looked proud and self-confident. The gentleman's face remained dead-pan; he raised one eyebrow slowly. The other lowered simultaneously; like a see-saw harbouring two contrastingly sized beings. His forehead became more wrinkled and protrusive - like a withered cliff face.
The woman sat down in a leather wingback chair: Chesterfield style, with the depressed buttons all over. The leather was olive green and worn; it had a crackled appearance. The chair also had four stumpy legs; one of which was being propped by half a dozen beer mats.
The semi-frowning gentleman was already seated; in another wingback. This one was brown yet still in the Chesterfield style. It was much newer and sat slightly taller than the before vacant one opposite it. He had an old-style suit on - all jet black with acute lapels. The corners of the white shirt's collar were shiny and shaped like a bird's bill. Also jet black was his hair. It was 'Brylcreemed', flush to the scalp, right down to the bottom of his neck where there was no fleshy divide between hair and shirt. The collar then overlapped the top of the floccose suit jacket. The gentleman had a thin - again jet black - beard. It too had some sort of product applied so it could be moulded into position. It grew from under his chin and was about an inch and a half long. It ended in a sharp point like a pencil. His moustache was again pointy. The very bottom-centre (top lip) of it was shaven like an archway and the two ends ended up somewhere on his lower cheeks. These were much pointier than the beard and were sculpted to be a lot thinner at a glance. Hanging below his done-up top button was a thin black tie - matching his hair and suit. It wasn’t flush to the top button and was Windsored far too tight. There was a brown stain halfway down the runway of the tie. Small, wet bits of tissue guarded the stain where the scrubbing had taken place.
The lady sat with one leg over the other in her flouncy polka-dot blouse. She had a white leather handbag - small in size - that was bound with pearls. This smart piece of apparel sat proudly in her lap; and her freckly arm remained threaded through the stiff handles.
Separating these two chairs was a desk. It had many overlapping brown circles on the far side that almost resembled the Olympic rings. On the left of the desk was a heap of papers - slightly scattered. On the right of the desk were one or two sheets of blotting paper, a taupe fountain pen and an ink well, a battered dictionary and a crisp packet. They appeared to sit in no correlation yet he was always able to pick up exactly what he wanted without looking.
The room was an old library that still kept books - many of them leather-bound. Some of the tall mahogany cabinets still had the golden coloured wire meshing protecting the books. Inevitably there were a few Bibles knocking around; one of which on the floor underneath a wired cabinet. It was open at about a third of the way through. The right half of the book rested on a rug made from bear fur. The left half of the book rested on the wooden floor - original - it had small frequent indents that suggested that at some point been attacked by woodworm. The room had tall windows that let in a lot of light. The centre window was perfectly aligned with the old toll-gate at the end of the driveway; about a quarter of a mile away.
After about 40 minutes of conversation, the lady left. She seemed to strut more upon exit; she walked quicker and with heavier feet. Her shiny high heels made a sound that resonated right through the corridors of the house. The tall, heavy door shut with more of a bang and also resonated; in unison with the heel noise. After a score of seconds, the deep sounds ceased and silence returned. Minutes later the seated gentleman slowly stood up. He hovered for a while before throwing a ball of paper towards a copper studded bin. After missing the slam-dunk he waltzed over to a gramophone. The base was green velvet and well maintained. The ear of the music player was also clean. The gentleman's face remained the same. He methodically engineered the loci of the long needle so it would rest on the 78rpm vinyl without causing superficial damage.
The woman left at speed in her uber-safe euro-box. The tires crackled on the Cotswold coloured gravel. There were randomly scattered puddles along the driveway that previewed snippets of the reflection of the house.
The house was three stories high and also made from Cotswold stone. There were trees that lined the rather wide driveway that turned at opposite right angles nearer to the house so they ran away from each other. The trees were pear drop shaped and mint green coloured. They had maintained their lush green exterior despite it being late autumn.
The gentleman's car was parked at a 30 degree angle in front of a low hedge. It was a silver (now grey) Jaguar XJS. Its 12 litre engine drank petrol like an exhausted child, but sounded like canned thunder. Whenever the gentleman starts the British brut of the engine, a sideways smirk appears on his face. He usually reverses in a very un-smooth fashion before jerking forward and speeding off in a cloud of black engine smoke.
The wind and rain rattled the windows like and aqua army - there was the sound of desperation as they combined to hit the glass at full force. These panels were divided by lead strips that created 5 columns and 24 rows, on each of the 4 windows. Every single one of the 180 sections of the windows was spotted with droplets of vapour.
The gentleman opened a small, dented tin case that was on his desk. It was silver initially, but over time it had deteriorated to become more of a 'gun-metal' shade. It had a decayed yellow logo on its lid that was illegible due to its eroded nature. He took out a small amount of tobacco, pincered between his adjoined forefinger and middle finger, and his thumb. He threw the tin back onto his desk and reached for a small piece of paper. He carefully placed the tobacco inside the now hammock-moulded paper. Then, he pinched the cigarette-to-be with the same finger combination, making the gesture that someone talking about money would make, until the paper totally cocooned the dried leaf mixture. The gentleman reached for his lighter - in the shape of an American pistol. After 3 clicks, flames projected out of the bullet hole of the dapple-layered metal gun. He then held the cigarette with just the one finger on top, with the thumb underneath, and slowly placed it between his thin, pasty lips. He chucked the gun onto his desk and it slid onto the floor the other side; making a toneless clunk on the floor.
All of the floor boards faced the windows which accentuated the drive length and straightness. Only 30 of the 145 boars were on show, as the rest were covered by various rugs, tables, desks, bins, chairs, stands and cabinets.
The gentleman wondered over towards an old, stained refrigerator. The wooden heels of his shiny brogues made a sustained sound of much more treble compared to that of the lighter-gun on the wooden floor. The kitchen floor was made up of industrial terracotta tiles; like that of a school canteen kitchen.
The kitchen itself was extremely small compared to all of the other rooms in the house. There was enough room for two to tango - who had missed lunch.
He took out a burgundy coloured bottle from inside the cooling unit. He unscrewed the lid and poured the acidic liquid into a stemmed goblet. It made the sound of a tongue being clicked from the roof of a mouth. The notes created raised by a semitone each time as the deep, red, velvety liquid filled the awaiting glass. A segment on the neck of the bottle was now transparent and dark green.
The gentleman's body language suggested self confidence - he swayed with a swagger as he departed the cool kitchen. He stopped to look at a large painting in the corridor that was visible from the kitchen. He stood bolt upright for a good 40 seconds before - without a biological sound being made - pivoting 270degrees clockwise on his left heel and staggering down the corridor. The only sound in the whole house was the reverberating footsteps of irregular intervals.
The sun started to slowly seep into the room through the tall, elegant windows. The light gradually crept in, and eventually filled the room. The sun's dimmer switch was now fully off and most of middle England was basked in sunshine.
The gentleman was asleep; slumped over his desk with a glass in one hand and a nub-end in the other. As the sun lit up his face - that was creased and wrinkled due to sleep - he smiled like a child and laughed as if he'd been tricked upon. His eyes remained shut tight until he rose from the chair and stood in front of the middle-- right window. He jumped onto his toes and pushed his arms above his head. His wrists bent backwards so that his full arm was being benefitted from this morning stretch. His mouth opened slowly and then eventually made a strange, toneless cry. He dribbled slightly as he did this, and the saliva dangled momentarily before dripping onto the floor.
The cellar was a cold, dark area. A droplet dropped through one of the gaps in the roof. Its consistency seemed to be too thick to be water. It dropped onto a wine cabinet full of dusty old bottles of the aforementioned beverage. There were three of these cabinets, all of which were about 9 feet in height. A wooden step-ladder stood waiting for action next to these cabinets, so even the bottles on the top could be accessed with ease and comfort.
The floor of the cellar was slated, in rough squares of about two feet across. This kept the wine cool during summer and winter.
Most of the bottles were covered in dust so the labels couldn’t be recognised. However, the closest to the door was cleaner. It had 'Merlot 1947' in a fancy font on the stained, white label. The text seemed elongated due to the curvature of the bottle.
The gentleman entered. He stood right in the centre of the room with a bewildered look on his face. After about 30 seconds, he shrugged his tired shoulders, and exited. Due to his body temperature the room became slightly warmer momentarily, before returning to its cool, dark nature.
As there are no windows, the room is light by a small, naked bulb. It hung down from the ceiling from a white wire. It remained permanently on so the room is lit at all times.
The gentleman stood abrupt at the window, carefully watching a small car make its way down the driveway. It sustained a constant speed until weaving its way into a vacant pitch out the front of the house. A very tall man struggled as he exited his car; he ducked and squinted as his head bypassed the rubber trim that before adjoined the door to the roof of the small Fiat.
The gentleman, turned slowly until finally making his way over to the door way to greet his guest. He stood, even more abruptly than before, awaiting the man who was to enter minutes later.
After 3-and-a-half minutes, a polo-shirted man entered the room; his face sported a moments shock upon entry before a familiar smile appeared upon his bare face. They both thrust out their right arms until the palms of their hands made contact accompanied by a muffled clapping sound. Simultaneously, open-mouthed grins appeared on their faces signifying enjoyment in each other's company. Both of their arms rippled, sending a short, sharp jolt down into their hands. This was rapidly repeated, thus creating the commonly known courting gesture tagged as the 'handshake'.
The gentleman entered the kitchen. The smile upon his, before so effervescent face, reduced in width and curvature with every step. He rested his elbows on the mock-pine worktop and plunged his heavy head into his awaiting cupped hands. He let out a groan in recognition of this soothing past-time. After this, he made his way over to the refrigerator, and plucked out a medium sized egg. This was then broken into a small jug before being brutally beaten by a whisk. He let out another groan, this time more vocal and needy sounding.
The tall 'Fred-Perry' man came in moments later; to investigate what the noise was attached to. After a moment of conversation, the gentleman flung the whisk and jug in his general direction before pushing him by the shoulders into a cabinet and reaching for a blade. He took a moment to admire the serrated edge of the bread knife; wild eyed and shaking. He brought the blade back above his head like a golf swing. He held the pose for a good 15 seconds… … …