A nice bit of gossip is always, well, nice. At the weekend I fed the holiday Bookwitch Towers neighbour some tea and tosca (from Börje’s, so it was almost as good as Gösta’s) and learned that the chap across the road is dead. We’d thought not, as the place – still – looks like a tip, and had assumed it was only an obstinate man clinging on to life that would prevent the place being sold and made presentable. Preferably by razing the house to the ground.

The neighbour had witnessed the [much earlier] emptying of said house, with the people doing it wearing hazmat suits as they removed the piles of newspaper, the countless old fridges and the rats. I had previously believed it was mainly the outside that had been adorned by dead fridges and even deader cars, but it appears his collection was vast. His heir seems incapable of doing anything, so who knows how long this state of affairs will continue?

You could write a crime novel about it. The dead man arrived virtually overnight. (That’s back when he wasn’t dead, obviously.) We always wondered what happened to the family of seven who used to live there. Seven people don’t just get up and go in the middle of the night.

And the man’s ‘wife’? Or maybe she was the maid? She didn’t last long, and when she disappeared their son remained with his father, who spent years shouting at the poor boy.

There used to be an enormous lorry parked outside, and I’m fairly certain it wasn’t just the goods he officially delivered that travelled in the back. On at least one occasion I saw a small car being driven in and out of the lorry. Getaway car? Getaway from what? I had a theory once, after reading about something or other in the paper.

I had hoped that with his father finally dead, the son would stand a chance of a normal life, but it seems not.

Speaking of sons, Son has always said he’d like to live there. I think – hope – after the razing to the ground and rebuilding, but I can’t be sure. Even derelict it’s probably worth a fair bit.

And you want to be careful in case any old henchmen, or worse, suddenly were to materialise outside your front door.


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