So I've just bashed a man across the head with his 1920's Gibson guitar, there's blood spurting everywhere, bits of his brain are bubbling out through his skull. We're in a dark Berlin apartment, I'm spouting Italian and he's looking very confused as he takes his final gasping breath. He'd just given me a lift from Riomaggiore, he'd thought I was a good guy, so why ... why ...?
"Muuuum! Can you come here?"
Huh? What? Who?
Damn it, there goes that thread again. Writing with kids in the house can lead to murderous thoughts, but not a lot of actual crime writing. I'm two-thirds of the way through my fifth Ghostwriter Mystery and now that the summer holidays have hit, it's all starting to go AWOL. Sort of like attempting to drive a manual vehicle when you've only ever driven automatic, it's a case of spits and spurts, bunny hops and splutters and you occaisonally make ground but you never really get anywhere. Not in a hurry, anyway.
"Mum, Felix can't find his money."
There he goes again. Except that's the other one. There's two of them, you see, so it's twice the battle and half the luck.
"It's your fault for having us," he says now, reading over my shoulder as I write this. That's the older one again, the cheekier one, the one who should know better. "It sounds like you absolutely hate us," he adds.
"Muuum, I can't find my money," says the younger one now, wandering into my office. "What are you writing?"
"Mum hates us."
"No I do not."
"Yes you do, says so right there on your blog."
"I'm just explaining to my readers why it's so HARD to finish novels with you guys on holidays. Now, if you'll let me get on with it, I'll stop writing about you."
"But what about my money?" demands the younger one.
I sigh, stop typing and turn to face him. "Why do you need your money, sweetie?"
"Because I want you to take me shopping to buy Ratchet & Clank. It's on special at EB Games."
"Shopping? Really? I was hoping to finish a few chapters today."
"But Mum, I'm really bored."
"And then we'll have something to do and we'll leave you aloooooone!" adds the other one, the older one. Did I mention he was cheekier?
At some point, this point actually, I start screaming like a hapless murder victim and they rush out of the room knowing they've pushed me too far, and I'm left alone for a blissful paragraph or two before ...
"Muuum, I can't find my socks!"
I try breathing deeply. "Why do you need your socks?"
"Because I have to put my shoes on if we're going to go shopping."
I growl quietly to myself, I save the pathetic three pars I've managed that day, I push away from my desk and I search for the money, the socks and my car keys.
It looks like we're going shopping.