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666 Great Junction Street

Part 17

In the afterlife no-one can hear you squirm. You are peculiarly subject to the squirms of those still condemned to life, however.

As Lech Lutha and John F. Kennedy continued their speculation as to who had been murdered in Memory Lane, Lech felt a definite twinge of pain in his lower back.

'Talk of this is giving me pain,' he said, clutching himself Rigsby-like, whilst arching his back.

'Is it like a kick in the kidneys?' asked the dead Kennedy.

'It is. Yes. As far as I remember.'

'Then it could be a sign.'

'Of what?'

'Well, when someone kicks it in the afterlife, you get a phantom kick in the kidneys. Don't ask me why - you just do. You see when Lee Harvey Oswald came here, he was later shot again by Jack Ruby, purely for the hell of it. Anyway, Lee was transported back to life as a dung beetle. I got the kick in the kidneys when he was sent back as he was reminded of me again, naturally.'

JFK noticed the blank look on Lutha's face. 'Are you following me?'

'Not in reality. No,' said Lech.

'Well, whoever has been murdered in Memory Lane is remembering you as they return to life again.'

'But who could it be?' wondered Lech.

'Were you murdered when you were alive?' As the statement escaped his lips, the president pondered its absurdity. 'Well, you know what I mean.'

'I died of national causes.'

'Natural,' corrected the president.

'No, national. I was killed fighting for my country.'

'In the war?'

'No. In a bar. In Leith. Scotland. My assailant was making fun of my withered arm and also Poland. I hit him with a snooker cue, he hit me in the face. I fell and hit my head and ended up here.'

'Well, that's it, then. Your attacker must be the one who's been killed in Memory Lane. Who was it?'

'Was a fellow named Glen Grottie. He boxed for his country - light or middle weight, and after started bouncing at Eldorado nightclub. He never liked me because of my way with the ladies which he never had. A bitter man. He was hibee though, so you could be right.'

The president and Lech left the Dead Lion and made for Memory Lane where they learned from a chap called Casper that it was indeed Glen Grottie who had been murdered. Apparently he had insulted a local dignitary in such a heinous manner that Casper was loathe to repeat what was said. Suffice to say, Glen had now been sent back to the land of the living as a tick.

'A tick you say?' said the president. 'That's interesting. I wonder what happens if he sucks the lifeblood out of a living soul?'

'I'm sure I don't know,' said Casper. 'Do any of you guys know of a Michael Cade? He was instrumental in bringing me to a wider audience when I was a confused afterlifer in my young days. I was just thinking about him the other day. I sure would like to meet the feller again.'

Next week: Through the Keyhole



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