Overton’s Window

Brent Overton looks out of his window for two hours at the same time every day. The view is nothing special; a quiet residential street in north London, and if only the houses on the opposite side of the road were demolished, he would have a view of the Common, the cricket pavilion and in the distance, the shining spires of the city.

Brent thinks of many things as he looks out of his window. His first thought today is that he would like to kill next door’s dog, a tiny scrap of a mutt that sits in the old woman’s armpit yapping at anything that moves.
Bee buzzes past. Yap, yap, yap.
Junkmail through the letterbox. Yap, yap, yap.
Fucking Tibetan antelope twitches its ears in India. Yap, yap, fucking yap.

Yes, Brent would like to do bad things to that dog. He briefly ponders on the distress the dog’s slow torture and death would cause the old woman, but then he remembers the time she told him off for putting yoghurt pots in his recycling and he thinks fuck it, kill the dog.

‘What sort of name is Brett, anyway,’ she says. (yap yap yap)
‘It’s Brent.’
‘Even worse. What are you, American or something?’ and before (yap yap yap) he has time to answer ‘and what sort of job do you have that you can sit at the window for two (yap yap yap) hours every day?’ and before he has time to answer ‘don’t think I haven’t noticed, you pervert, you’re lucky I (yap yap yap) haven’t called the police’ and before he has time to answer she marches off, away from the alley that divides their houses, where their recycling bins are stored.

There’s the dog now, tied to her gate while she locks her front door, bouncing around on springs, furious at some imagined grievance. It’s Tuesday, so she’ll be turning left and walking to the Co-Op, thinks Brent, and sure enough, she unties the mutt, which he thinks is called Percy and turns left up the road towards the high street.

Four steps later, she collapses, dead before her skull hits the pavement.

Brent reaches for the popcorn.


This is part 1 of what will be another on-running story, sparked literally by the phrase Overton’s Window. What with this, Mitigating Circumstances, Alfie Twitch and The Appointment, I might have to establish a schedule for each story, so each gets updated on a certain weekday. Or I might have to delete the whole blog and pretend none of this ever happened before it takes over my entire life 🙂