The Nurse is dead chuffed to present chapter eight of her black comedy novel, The Life and Times of a Brighton Serial Killer. You can find out more about The Nurse and her epic serial killing career here.
That bitch Betty
Two fucking years. The Nurse is locked in a cupboard for two fucking years, fed disgusting mush (what’s with the porridge, you loony?) and reduced to shitting in a bucket. That’s what happens when you get greedy. There she was, happy-ish in her little garden flat in Kemptown, about to take up her hobby again. Then she was distracted by thoughts of maybe needing a bigger garden, a better place to stash bodies, and disaster happened.
Oh, she really is a foolish cuntzilla of a bint. The Nurse wishes she had ignored her inner dickhead and stayed put. A bigger home meant starting over, grooming yet another old lady to the point of no return and stashing yet another body under another patio before moving in like a Thatcher-hairstyled, twin-setted-and-pearled cuckoo. The Nurse had done it before. But she met her match in that clever bitch Betty.
Having spent a few weeks labouring under the illusion she was buttering Betty up ready for the kill, The Nurse was startled to find herself suddenly hoist by her own petard, imprisoned in Betty’s well-cluttered cupboard under the stairs, to all intents and purposes behind fucking bars again.
It takes Betty six months to simmer down, and another six to break her sulky silence. Eventually, another stultifying six months later, Betty forgives The Nurse for planning to do her in, and they become friends.
Now they’re in cahoots.
Betty is petite and elegant, a fragrant little woman in pretty twin sets and neat cashmere skirts. The Nurse, on the other hand, is one of those tall, gangly, raw boned, coarse haired, ruddy skinned English women who look better in a hairy hand knitted sweater and a tweed pencil skirt than pastelled and pearled. She’s the kind of woman people with poor eyesight call ‘handsome.’
Here they are, The Nurse and Betty, rattling happily around in Betty’s enormous Hove mansion. Betty, with her pale blue hair, pastel knits and fluffy cardigans, well-turned ankles and delicately flirtatious manner, is a perfect foil for the sterner Nurse. Who would suspect such a respectable looking pair of evil doings? Nobody, that’s who. Which is why they’re getting away with murder.
The Nurse is woman enough to admit it: murderous deeds are much more fun with Betty at her side. Betty, it turns out, has a cruel streak as wide as the M25. Her husband Len is buried under the rose garden, the unwilling collaborator in an entire summer’s worth of first prizes for uncannily large blooms. The combination of Betty’s sunny lack of conscience and The Nurse’s unique hobby is compelling, and they’re gradually turning their large back garden into a charnel house. All of which means The Nurse is in fine fettle. Back in the driving seat, as it were.
If you notice an increase in the number of missing persons in Brighton & Hove during the next few weeks, it might be down to The Nurse and Betty enjoying themselves a little bit too much.
Although The Nurse isn’t ladylike as such, she makes an effort. Forcing her abundant, wiry hair into a Thatcheresque bouffe, she flatters her exceptionally tall, mannish figure with military-precise tailoring, softening the slightly alarming effect with patterned silk scarves and discreet gold jewellery. She’d like to think she can pass as a lady, although some of the requirements of lady-dom get on her tits something rotten.
Take last night. When Betty told her to “sit like a lady,” The Nurse saw red. Tradition dictates sitting in a ladylike fashion means keeping your knees glued together or crossing your legs, neither of which is particularly comfortable. Men, however, can sit any way they like, including the classic manspreading pose, legs splayed wide and sometimes, depending on the trouser trend of the moment, happily displaying their meat ‘n’ two veg in high relief.
In a subtle way, women are still being physically controlled according to draconian values. To preserve our feminine virtues and appear appropriately modest, we’re expected to sit nicely instead of comfortably. It’s a kind of repression. Equality, it is not.
The Nurse can’t be bothered with most of society’s norms, although she does a pretty good job of blending in when she has to. This is necessary bearing in mind her inability to stop trepanning innocent people and her steely determination to steer clear of prison. But she should be able to do anything she likes with her own vagina, in her own home, behind closed doors. And that includes letting the air circulate around it whenever the desire arises.
If The Nurse feels like sitting in the kitchen with her legs wide open, fanny in clear view of the whole of christendom, it’s her prerogative. If she fancies a lazy afternoon indoors flapping her beef curtains to the rhythm of a house music tune – or even throwing shapes with the blasted things – so be it. It’s her home, and she can give her vag an airing any time she sees fit. The way she sits doesn’t make her any less of a lady.
On the other hand, The Nurse ruminates, her need to remain safely anonymous and invisible doesn’t dovetail well with busloads of passengers fainting at the sight of her wrinkly wizard’s sleeves as she gets comfy on the way to George Street. Perhaps she’d get away with it in Kemptown. But Hove? Probably not.
At the end of the day, it’s such fun having a killing partner, and The Nurse doesn’t want to offend Betty, so she keeps her knees well and truly together when Betty’s there, and lets everything hang nice and loose when she’s alone. Not normally one to compromise, The Nurse is rather pleased with herself.
Betty is such a one. The Nurse loves watching her friend in action. Betty’s ‘delightful distressed old lady’ act is a blast. She bathes meticulously, then dresses in her one of her best outfits, maybe the lavender-fragrant cream suit with a bow-neck blouse, cream tights and kitten heels. One time, Betty wants to add a fascinator, but The Nurse tells her not to be so fucking silly, she isn’t going to a fucking wedding, and they snigger like Beavis and Butthead.
After weeks of experimentation, they decide they like their pre-noon adventures best, the time of day when it’s hardest to imagine dark things happening, the time of day when people are relaxed, unwary and easy to fool.
This time, Betty lays her velvet trap in the bus stop at the bottom of St James Street, sniffing into a tiny embroidered hanky, a glistening tear running down her soft, powdered cheek. A man offers his help, and Betty weaves her story, fragrant little hand plucking helplessly at his sleeve.
She leads him, twittering prettily, down the snickleway opposite the bus stop and out of sight. The Nurse is waiting, pink fluffy handcuffs in clenched fist, and together they bring him down. A quick tap on the temple with Betty’s lump hammer, and he’s theirs.
They whistle Chemical Dave out from his hiding place, and he slides the unconscious bloke into a body bag nicked from the hospital up the road. Half an hour later, they’re safe at home in Hove, ready for action.
The Nurse opens a secret drawer and takes out her brilliantly sharp Victorian trepanning kit. The man, conscious again, struggles, his eyes dark with horror. He can’t reconcile the pretty, chintzy room, innocent Betty and the starchily efficient Nurse with what’s happening to him. The Nurse’s hand is steady and her aim unerring.
Now and again, the trepanning works, and they throw the victim, alive but holey, out of their car high on the South Downs, where the poor buggers eventually come to and can’t remember a thing thanks to The Nurse’s mastery of drugs. Mix a few up, administer them and bingo. Combined with the stress of the situation, it wipes the memory very effectively.
Sometimes it goes wrong. This is one of those times. The Nurse is aiming for a 100% positive trepanning record, but at the moment she’s hitting a disappointing 30% thanks to a lack of practice. She’s rusty, hence the plague pit of a back garden stuffed with stinking dead bodies. Luckily, she doesn’t give up easily. She tries, and if she doesn’t succeed, she tries again. And again. Betty just adores the high drama of it all, bless her.
One more failure. Ah, well. There’s always another time. They raise their eyebrows at each other in frustration, bury the man, wipe their hands clean of bloody soil and head indoors for tea and cake.
You know when you get a tune in your head and it sticks, sometimes for days? Even when you love the song, you end up wishing you’d never heard the blasted thing? Right now, The Nurse is in the middle of a beauty, a fucking record breaker, probably the most persistent earworm in a lifetime’s earwormery.
Two weeks ago, Joni Mitchell’s ‘Carey’ hit The Nurse hard out of nowhere, loud and clear and awesome in its acoustically-perfect clarity. She goes with the flow as usual. There’s no choice other than to hunker down for the duration.
At first she loves it. It’s like being Joni Mitchell in surround-sound, with lyrics intact, every fiddly bit and curly vocal reproduced beautifully. Bang and Olufson would adore it inside her head. They’d fucking freak.
When things get nasty after a couple of days of fun, The Nurse takes to her bed. She has to work her way through it and hope this earworm won’t be a long one. But when her brain starts looping and sampling, she knows she’s lost the battle.
First it picks a few segments of tune and arranges them into a ’round’ so they dovetail together in different ways, like children singing London’s Burning. Then her brain creates more loops and samples with different instruments, including drums, strings and a brass section. She chops and changes, repeat loops ad infinitum then starts over with a fresh set of permutations, the original song still playing in the background in its entirety at full blast.
Nuts. By this time, The Nurse is going nuts. She considers banging her head against the nearest brick wall for the blessed distraction. She wakes in the night for a pee, and the tune is there, incredibly loud, like flicking a switch. It accompanies her every move and thought. She taps her feet to it, walks in time to it, chews in time to it. The song drowns out the telly, and the same goes for reading. On, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on… and bloody on.
Next, doom and gloom, a second tune fires off and adds to the cacophony. This time it’s We built this city with rock and roll, by Starship, a song she fucking despises. She knows by now she’s in for a particularly rocky ride. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, like being stuck in a fucking musical washing machine. By this time, in unguarded moments, she’s reduced to swearing, muttering to herself with half-focused eyes. People must think she’s a nutter.
Then she’s cut off at the knees by a third tune, this time by Neil fucking Young. She is side-swiped by the song about a horse with no name, and now there are three. Three songs. Three of the asshats, playing and looping, interchanging, never silent, 24/7.
By this stage, The Nurse is reaching crisis point, but at the same time there’s light at the end of the earworm tunnel. She knows from experience that this spirit-breaking three-tune finale marks the beginning of the end of her ordeal. Give it a couple of days, and it’ll die down to a whisper, then disappear.
It doesn’t happen. Four weeks in, and she’s still doing the three-tune loony dance. Who’s in charge? Not The Nurse. She’s not doing it. It’s her head, and she can’t pin down a cause. These particular earworms are as unstoppable as runaway trains.
It’s a miserable thing to have to go through: intrusive, loud, insistent, obstructive, all-consuming, exasperating and utterly tedious. Usually a stoic, she has almost been reduced to tears this time around. Betty, hovering helplessly as the music throws The Nurse to and fro’, is most distressed. Finally, annoyed beyond belief by the racket in her head, she makes her way to the doctor to see if there’s anything that can be done.
The GP looks an awful lot like Crazy Mary, whose antics The Nurse enjoyed so much back in jail, and it turns out this is indeed her. Mary was released early thanks to years of good behaviour. Being a reformed character of sorts, she has finished her GP training and is now a practising doctor with a special interest in the minge.
One of Mary’s best pre-prison friends is a gynaecologist from L.A. who spends his days inspecting the expensively coiffured minges of the rich and once-were-famous, mainly middle aged and elderly ex-daytime TV starlets. He carries out major repairs and overhauls on said minges to fix overuse, abuse and aging.
People are living much longer these days, and the ladies want their vaginas to remain usable well into their 70s. Mary’s chum charges a small fortune to turn sausage-wallets as loose as a wizard’s sleeves and piss-flaps the size of John Wayne’s saddlebags into something the lady could open beer bottles with. Or so Mary is told.
Anyway, it’s the kind of story that inspires trust in The Nurse, and going to see Mary turns out to be a great decision. Mary’s advice is good. Rather than do everything possible to avoid the earworm, she recommends meeting the songs head-on, singing all loudly from start to finish time after time until they become so nonsensical they are not songs any more, just a racket, and the brain finally chucks it out in disgust.
It works, thank fuck, and The Nurse is free from unwanted brain-music until the next time an earworm bites. Better still, Crazy Mary is well up for nadgering that famous cunt of a lawyer up in Finchley, the one who made sure her friend got locked up for the longest possible sentence. She thinks it sounds like great fun.
Betty is acting a bit weird today for some reason. The Nurse locks her in the house for safety and phones Crazy Mary on the way to the railway station. Mary’s raring to go. They catch the train to Finchley together, fragrant paper bags of M&S pastries in hand, handbags weighted down with celebratory bottles of Jack Daniels. It is Friday, after all.
Approaching Simone-Rodken-Dickhead solicitors, the pair stop on the doorstep for a moment and grin at each other before ringing the bell. An ugly toad of a bloke opens the door, looks The Nurse up and down in a superior fashion, smiles at Mary, then ushers the pair into the hallway, flapping his damp pink hands.
Yes! It’s the same twat who helped put The Nurse away all those years ago, the self-same arse-trumpet. He’s even fatter and nastier than he was back then, and his monumental ego refuses to recognise her. Jolly good.
Mary is a stunner, a sort of dark-haired version of Betty, all Lorna-Dooney and exotic. The lawyer preens as he steps behind his massive desk, sized in inverse proportion to his tiny, weeny dick, and directs her into a chair. The Nurse, handsome and tall as she might be, is not extended the same courtesy and is left to seat herself.
As The Nurse’s friend weaves an imaginary pre-arranged tale of injustice, theft and lost love the lawyer hums and hahs, jotting notes with a fucking ridiculously large fountain pen, in what the ladies imagine is another clear sign there’s an unusually small member present. Then, notes complete, he stands to shake hands with Mary… and all hell lets loose.
Mary likes sex. A lot. But she doesn’t enjoy consensual sex. She likes it rough and ugly and fast, and she likes it best when it’s finished off with a great, big dollop of violence. With the lawyer’s Sterling silver letter opener handy on his desk, she doesn’t even need to reach into her bag for a weapon. Fancy blade poking hard against the lawyer’s Adam’s apple, she undresses him from the waist down with her spare hand and jumps on board, egged on by The Nurse’s giggles.
Ten minutes later, he drops to the floor, shagged to death, and the women scuttle out of the office and down the stairs, glad the receptionist has her head deep in a bodice-busting novel and probably doesn’t give a flying fuck anyway.
That’s the way to commit the perfect murder. Buy a train ticket using cash on the day. Travel somewhere you’ve never been before and have no reason to return to. Pick a victim who doesn’t know who the fuck you are. Kill them quickly, out of sight. Leave instantly. But don’t run. Don’t scream away in a getaway car at ninety fucking miles an hour like a dick-brain. Amble off with a nice smile on your face, and the job’s done. Nobody is any the wiser.
The world is poorer by one lawyer, which means it’s actually richer in many ways. How very satisfying. What a great day out. Mary and The Nurse shake hands and go their separate ways, promising to meet up again soon.
Feel free to make a PayPal donation to help fund the second volume of The Nurse’s adventures. Or don’t. She is utterly indifferent to the feeble doings of ordinary humans.