The dead period between Christmas and New Year passes uneventfully in the shed. Apart from Electron breaking his front tooth off that is. No violence was involved. It looks bad though and Electron now speaks with a slight lisp.
There is still no sign of the boys. Several phone calls home are unanswered; perhaps they are still away in the country. Either that or they are permanently asleep.
Out of the blue on New Years Eve afternoon, Proton receives a call from Strangeness; he wants to come over to visit. On arrival he is quizzed about his and Quarks Christmas, but can remember very little of it. Turns out that the boys have been back in town for a few days now but for some reason did not hear the phone ringing.
The purpose of the visit is to borrow money in order to buy food for a celebratory evening meal for the 2 brothers. Money is handed over and Strangeness is despatched to track down some sirloin steaks and vegetables before the shops close.
Wishing him a Happy New Year for later in the day, Electron and Proton settle down for their own celebration.
The starters are consumed and the main course is about to be put in the oven when the doorbell rings.
It is 10.30 at night, too early for first footing.
The doorbell is quite insistent, Electrons heart sinks, here we go again.
On approaching the front door, to the backing of the still ringing bell they hear:
Electron opens the door to a very inebriated Quark, who flings a small knife onto the floor of the hall.
Your son’s a f****** killer.
Quark is ushered into the kitchen by his concerned mother; Electron can see blood stains on Quarks sweatshirt.
Quark is sat down on a dining chair while Proton tries to get him to remove his shirt to inspect the damage. Electron conceals the knife. Quark is babbling all the while but eventually the shirt is removed.
He has a superficial knife slash to his upper torso; his mouth and nose are bleeding but nothing to concern the emergency services.
Quark continues to babble and constantly falls off of his chair. He is upset and angry; he wants to return to kill his brother. While Proton tries to get to the bottom of things, Electron fetches a piece of timber studwork from the hallway for protection. He will sit holding this timber for the next 5 hours.
From what they can gather a fight between the brothers has ensued. Strangeness bought some rum on his shopping trip and shared this with Quark in the early evening. Strangeness and spirits do not mix well; spirits bring out his innate psychopath.
It is clear that Quark has had more than just rum, however.
“What have you taken?” asks Electron.
“Don’t give me that, you are always on something. What drugs have you taken?”
“Don’t be a f****** smartarse”, replies Electron raising the stud in his direction.
“Oxygen” he giggles as he slumps back into the sofa.
“You’d better watch your back Electron, he wants to kill you!”
Strangeness is called, he does not seem as out of it, but then he is a psychopath. He is unclear as to what caused this but admits sitting on Quark and headbutting him. “Not seriously though.” He is going to bed and has no intention of further hurting Quark.
And so it continues until midnight when Electron goes outside the house to watch the fireworks. He is later joined by Proton.
“What are we going to do with him? He is not staying here” says Electron.
“He can’t go home. He will kill Strangeness”.
“A night in the cells then”
“He’ll calm down eventually, I’ll take him home.”
“You can’t walk home, you have a bad leg”
“I’ll get a taxi”
On New Years Eve “good luck with that”.
They return inside to find Quark singing a delirious song;
“LSD, LSD plenty of acid for you and me….”
He continues babbling whilst various taxi firms are called. The earliest one can arrive is 3.15.
Only another 3 hours to go then.
By 3am Quark has come down enough to talk reasonably coherently and despite the imminent arrival of the taxi decides that he is walking off somewhere. His mother begs him not to go, but he is off.
Minutes later the doorbell rings, it is Quark again, “taxi is here” he says.
Electron, Quark and Proton are deposited back at her house. Quark immediately goes to his room. Strangeness is already asleep. Electron leaves Proton with her kids and returns to his shed, concerned that stray lit cigarettes may have been left behind. He will leave them all to it until daylight.
He has no desire to stay in a house where someone has vowed to kill him.