‘I want your fingerprints all over me like a crime scene,’ I heard her tell someone as I stood outside her room. When I heard these words I knew at once that the she was quoting from Twist written by Dannika Dark. So as I entered her room, I said aloud, ‘I clung to each word that fell from his lips like a spider to a web.’
‘What?’ said Niah, with an expression of surprise, ‘I… I didn’t get you?’
I told her that I was simply quoting from the same author that she had just quoted from. ‘Your words were rather dark,’ she said. All I said in response was, ‘Dannika Dark is the name.’
Niah was still perplexed but now that I was in her office, I was perplexed even more. There was no one there. So who was Niah talking to? As I wasn’t the sort who would have let suspense remain suspense, I asked, ‘Were you talking to someone on the phone?’
‘But I overheard you tell someone about fingerprints and some crime scene.’
Niah smiled and then broke into a laugh. ‘That was a punchline that a client had emailed me and wants to know if something similar can be thought of and included in the product collaterals for the event we are planning.’ She paused and then admitted that even she wasn’t aware that the line was lifted from some thriller.
‘What a twist,’ I muttered, as I walked out. These are the sort of twists that happen often in every office, I’m sure. And behind most twists is some stand-alone innocuous sentence that drops like a snake… warns, and then slithers away through some drain in panic. Panic results and no one realises that the poor snake was one of the non-poisonous species and probably more alarmed than the mortals standing on their chairs and tables.
Most twists are perched perilously between what we imagine to be the truth and what the truth really is. But some tend to come snarling at you and threaten to engulf you… and they are nearly always unexpected. Expected twists that growl and snarl or hiss are found only in works of fiction where the reader’s mind sprints faster than the writer’s ingenuity.
And some of the stranger twists that enter the lives of us mortals include the sort of twists and turns we take while driving or the twist that happens when you walk carelessly over an uneven floor… or the way facts are twisted by unscrupulous vendors of lies or the mind-boggling twists on dance floors.
Specky, my wife, was reading intently as I wrote and smiled when I looked up for a brief interlude. ‘Twists,’ she said, ‘are always the heart and soul of any gossip anywhere.’
She then turned to go and twisted to face me and asked, ‘Black tea with a lime twist for you?’
21 September 2014