Friday, December 28, 2012
Short Story: "Night Vision" by John David Ball
a short story
from MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE, July, 1977, pg 118
First Sentence: "Laurence Biedebrooke plunged his overdone toast into the center of the fried egg which lay before him."
Last Sentence: "It was a lot to carry, but it was going to be a long trip."
Author: This author does not appear in my searches. There is of course the famous mystery writer John "Dudley" Ball of "Mr. Tibbs" fame, but the two appear to be far from having any connection.
I must say this was my favourite story from the several I had access to in my partial copy of this magazine. A chilling tale of an elderly couple who are tired with each other and begin a day like no other. The day begins with the thought that one may be trying to kill the other ...but which? is looming in the air at first. Then the wife's dog is poisoned, but lives. The husband is sure someone is trying to kill him and the wife with heart problems becomes excited but is more concerned about her dog. When it becomes apparent who is trying to kill who, the final enactment of the hands-off murder is suspenseful. We don't really have any sympathy for either of these characters who have stopped caring for each other but the killer does give the other spouse a final chance by giving them an out. They respond in their usual selfish manner though and the killer opts to continue with the plan. A sad story when you think of it, which one is guilty of the greater crime, and more cold-blooded than a viscous crime. I enjoyed the writing, the unfolding of this scenario, and the pause for thought the reader is given. Well done.