Why couldn't it have been the ghost of Marilyn Monroe that haunted him? thought Brian.
In the sheer horror of that fearful encounter, Brian had, inadvertantly, swung his arms up in the air, thus, scattering the contents of the cat litter tray, (which the cat's themselves had been boycotting, due to it's sheer weight in bodily waste matter,) so that copious amounts of urine soaked cat litter, inter mingled with cat faecal matter, came cascading down, showering him from head to foot.
Now Brian felt relieved that he wasn't being haunted by the spirit of Marilyn Monroe, he'd have hated her to see him like this, and what did he smell like?
Conversly, it did seem a fitting tribute to Beryl Coalshed, and, as he watched the said foul matter scatter over the phantom, he saw how her figure faded into a blue, grey mist that formed into a vortex, that diminished, spiraling and slowly merging into a single solid lump of excrement.
Brian didn't know what to do. Should he tell Gladys what he saw, or, would it only upset her? Brian never had known how to approach Gladys even at the best of times. It was strange that they'd married really, he'd sort of, stumbled into it.
They'd both been working at the chicken factory. One day, at lunch time in the canteen, Brian saw that Gladys was sobbing into her pork pie. Being a kind sort of man, he went over to find out why.
It turned out that Beryl had thrown her out and Gladys had no where to go, so Brian offered her his sofa until she found somewhere of her own.
Night after night they stayed up and Gladys spoke of her mother's temper, how she kept a piece of lead piping purposefully for when she was angry, and how she swung it at cups, plates, sausepans, the furniture, whatever was at hand, and how afterwards she would expect Gladys to join all the plates together with super glue, and hammer out the bends in the sausepans.
How mean she was, refusing even to share her matches or toilet rolls with anyone. Ah yes, you had to take your own toilet roll if you visited Beryl Coalshed!
Her laziness, making Gladys do all of the ironing, washing, cleaning, sewing, shopping, decorating, gardening, you name it! Strangely though, Gladys wouldn't have a word said against her mother and worshipped the ground she walked on!
The strain, however, must have told on her, because one night, whilst relating one of her lamentable tales, Gladys broke down and cried. Brian, ever the considerate gent, put his arms around her to comfort her.
Seizing her opportunity, Gladys held Brian tightly, fiercly clinging to him and begging him to never stop loving her. She made him, there and then, pledge an oath of a life time's loyalty. "Swear you'll love me forever," she demanded, and Brian, ever the meek and loving, found himself swearing he would.
From then on, it was always, "If you ever leave me I'll kill you." from Gladys, and Brian never wanted to put her to the test.
The decision about wether to tell her or not was taken for him, as disturbed by the commotion, Gladys walked into the kitchen and saw the fearful mess her kitchen was in. So he told her of the startling apparition as tactfully as he could.
Strangely, Gladys seemed to find comfort in the story, and she lovingly and carefully cleaned up the spilt contents of that litter tray as though each particle were precious to her.
When she came to the particular dollop into which Beryl's effluent had settled, she was particularly devout. She placed it adoringly into an old tobacco tin and carried it around in a native American medicine bag from that day forth! Much to Brian's displeasure!
On the floor, where Beryl and finally deposited herself, there remained both a stain and a smell which nothing could remove. Brian wanted to contact the local priest for an exorsism, but Gladys wouldn't hear of it, and was all for making it into a shrine.
She contacted mediums in the hope of drawing her mother back, but the mediums just seemed to back out of helping her when shown the spot where Beryl had rested.
Gladys became fanatical about bringing her back, refusing even to empty the litter tray at all in the hope that it would draw her late mother back in. She kept nightly vigils, clasping a portrait of Oliver Cromwell for good measure.
Then it happened, one Sunday evening, just as the ice cream came down Suction Street. Gladys had nipped out to get herself a ninety nine, they both enjoyed a ninety nine, and said that nothing was finer after a lard sandwich. Brain didn't like ice creams, he was a strict vegan, and so he'd stayed in the house, he was just turning the portrait of Oliver Cromwell away around so that he didn't have to look at it, when turning around she was there again! This time she spoke.