(Let’s recap, our hero has hotfooted to Angela’s house to find evidence of her demise, and the phone has just rung)
When I was fifteen I found myself alone in my friend Dean’s house. He had to nip to his grans for dinner and he told me that I could stay and watch his video of 101 Great Goals (this was 1989 by the way because the last goal featured is Keith Houchen’s diving header for Coventry against Spurs in the 1987 Cup Final). He would only be an hour or so. Anyway there I sat on his mums sofa, eating their crisps and supping their lemonade, when the phone rang.
Dean’s Room – Allison Crutchfield (2017, Merge Records, Taken from ‘Tourist In This Town’)
It was his dad on the phone – and he thought he was speaking to Dean. So I pretended to be him so that Dean wouldn’t get into trouble for letting his mates loose on the snacks. It worked for about two minutes until the dad twigged and he shouted down the phone at me and told me to buggr off out of his house. I was never invited back to that house ever again.
Anyway, there I stood in Angela Finch’s sitting room with two options, firstly I could ignore the phone, which in hindsight is what I should have done, but in reality I took the second option and answered the phone. My reasoning is that I thought it might be her sister and I could get some vital information
But it wasn’t her sister.
There was an awkward silence when I answered, and a female voice said “Oh”. Then there was another awkward silence. So I spoke and said that I was in the house fixing a cupboard and that Angela wasn’t in at the moment. Could I leave her a message. The voice said she was Veronica Chambers and she was call back later, before I could say another word, she hung up. I wrote the name down on a cat shaped post it note and stuck it on the phone and decided to continue with my looking round.
I Found A Reason – Cat Power (2000, Matador Records, Taken from ‘The Covers Record’)
But my mind was whirring a bit more. The name Veronica Chambers meant very little to me but I was sure I had seen the name somewhere before in the village, and it played on my mind as I looked for the address book. If Veronica was a close friend, she would be in the book I thought. I also sent my wife a message because if she was local then my mother in law would definitely know her,
“Can you ask your mum who Veronica Chambers is please?”
It didn’t take me long to find the address book. It was on the second shelf of the bookcase tucked in between a big copy of the Bible and an Illustrated Guide to Horses. It had a flowery cover, but I didn’t open it because something else on the shelf caught my eye. There was a printed picture left on the sideboard and I picked that up instead. It was a photo of Angela standing in a group with four people. They are standing in the church in front of the font and a huge basket of flowers. Angela is in the middle of the group and she is flanked on the left by the vicar and to the right by a religious looking man who is shaking Angela’s hand. To right of the religious looking man is Kevin and to the left of the vicar was Mrs Checkley. Kevin is just about smiling but Checkley looks absolutely furious, murderous you could say.
Hideous Heart – Ichabod Wolf (2018, Adult Teeth Records, Taken from ‘Carry On Crow’)
Angela was holding something in her other hand, but the photo was blurred – but I have seen this photo before somewhere, very recently.
I popped the print out back where I’d found it and took the address book over to the small coffee table, which had a half done puzzle of a farmyard on it and sat down to read it. I looked at my watch, it was twenty past four, and I needed to be somewhere else.
Get A Move On! – Mr Scruff (1999, Ninja Tunes Records, Taken from ‘Keep It Unreal’)
Then my phone buzzed just as I was turning to C in the address book. It was my wife.
“Veronica Chambers is the partner of Fat Kevin the bloke who fixed her boiler for free last summer, those are her exact words. Does she need some work doing?”.
Bad Feeling (Demo) – Veronica Falls (2011, Slumberland Records, Taken from ‘Veronica Falls’)