Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Snippet: Henry

The Crime Scraps post about Geung, Colin Cotterill’s character with a learning disability, bought back fond memories of one of my own characters from an unpublished novel - Henry, who has Down's Syndrome and who works as an assistant to an amateur detective, who is herself wheelchair bound. Henry is one of the stars of the Irish Special Olympic Judo team, who is pretty handy in a tight corner and has great humour with a mischievous streak. He's a character I'm hoping will one day see the light of day as I'm very fond of him. Two Henry snippets:

Henry swivelled the chair around and pushed Mary down the drive. Jack trailed after them, leaving Mrs Roche stranded and confused in the doorway. As they turned at the end of the driveway, she gave a faint wave and slowly closed the door.

‘Ignorant cow,’ Mary muttered under her breath.

‘What Ms Carmichael?’ asked Henry.

‘I said, I thought that Mrs Roche was very rude.’

‘I thought you said she was an ignorant cow.’ Henry said loudly before bursting into a braying laugh.


Mary was sitting at the wheel of her car, her fingers drumming off the steering wheel, staring over at Aidan’s house. In the passenger seat Henry was humming, bouncing his head to the tune he was making.

‘Henry, you’re repeating. How does the rest of the song go?’

Henry looked at Mary and carried on humming the same few notes over and over.

‘For god’s sake Henry, do another tune, will you.’

‘My favourite,’ stated Henry and then resumed his humming.

‘I know! We all know. Can’t you do another one, that one’s driving me nuts.’

‘How long we gonna be here, Ms Carmichael?’

‘I dunno, Henry. It depends on whether Aidan goes out or not. Maybe ten minutes, maybe a few hours.’

‘Can’t we just go and talk to him?’

‘No, no, not yet. We need to work out if he’s behaving oddly, you know, if he might be doing things he shouldn’t. Besides, what would we say?’

‘We could ask him if he’s seen Mrs Roche’s cat?’ Henry suggested.

‘We could, you’re right, but then what? Aidan, are you doing things you shouldn’t?’

‘Yeah,’ said Henry enthusiastically. ‘We could ask that.’

‘No! He’d know what we’re up to then, wouldn’t he. We need to catch him out. Get him to reveal what he’s hiding.’

Henry nodded his head and then started humming again.

‘Jesus,’ Mary muttered, ‘can you hum a different tune, Henry?’

‘It’s my favourite,’ he replied, continuing to repeat the same few notes.

1 comment:

Uriah Robinson said...

Lovely stuff Rob. Henry certainly deserves to see the light of day. I have not mentioned previously, but my son Jacob is a total West Life fanatic and has done his level best for the Irish economy by buying everything West Life he can find.