It was an ugly petit bourgeois house in a suburb of Paris, noteworthy only for its proximity to the dump where Marie Antoinette assumed unreal dignities. Bruno Quelcon was the second son of a tedious and mannerless man who lounged around in detective overcoats, dreaming of being a matinee idol, whereas in fact his looks were singularly unremarkable. His wife was a neurotic French bitch who alternated between moaning about food and screaming at her family. The other son, Olivier was a kleptomaniac liar. Perhaps Mr Quelcon had a mistress. But his wife Marie only ever moaned when out of the bedroom.
Once when Bruno disappeared at an outing to the Louvre she slapped his face repeatedly when he emerged at the tired house some hours later. The family was like French pesticide, and they owned a neglected Alsatian who used to sit at the end of the long drive wishing to escape. Their cousins were human shit. Some bitch who used to play with her hair in the mirror as if she were flirting with her own imagined image. I say imagined because she was a dog, an insult to bitches. English haters. As a journalist, I investigated them for their neglect of animals. All of them assuming dignities. The entire family despised the English, and bragged about Napoleon, that murderous French dwarf.
As a teenager Bruno used to stand on one foot, the toes of one show pointing downward into the other foot as if he was pigeon toed. He was effete and unlikeable, with black hair that covered his pimpled forehead, and shifty eyes. He also had a habit. It was not a drug habit but a strange thing he used to do, he used to cover his hands with soap and shake hands with guests laughing at them as they wiped their hands on their trousers, it was, he said, a fetish, one of cleanliness and the need to wash filth from his skin, probably his father’s or his mother’s, at any rate, one day looking in the mirror he saw soap everywhere. Bruno thought it was of significance, whereas in fact a neighbouring girl had set up a soap bubble machine in her back yard and it had blown into the Quelcon’s house.
Bruno became an engineer and cocky, he defrauded the company he worked for in the United States. A series of crimes led him to jail in Alcatraz.
In prison he realised he was nothing more than a French prick, but he did have fun with the soap. He became the pussy for a hard man who used to bend him over and jack knife him all night. Bruno groaned. His brother was arrested for theft. His mother took a lover who stole her money. His father was arrested for masturbating by the French beans in a supermarket. There Bruno was in jail, a genuine one hundred percent piece of French Alcatraz fetish. A French hotdog smeared with barbecue sauce.
Richard Godwin is the author of critically acclaimed novels Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer,Noir City,Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme and Savage Highway. His new novel – NOIR CITY is out now!