Sonia Bernac

Ed was a true gem of our house. Almost everyone in the neighbourhood knew that he was a real handyman. Always helpful, affordable, punctual, accurate – simply one of a kind. Ed’s neighbours were in his good graces in particular, so he fixed our diverse faults for free on more than one occasion, always eager to work regardless of time. He wasn’t scared of dripping taps, clogged toilets, broken locks, air-locked radiators or draughty windows. He tamed and forced skittish washing machines and vicious cars to humble service. Over time, he mastered TV sets, telephones and computers. Once he got everything working in our building, Ed extended the range of home repairs – he started with the first floor and fixed Mrs. Frank’s marriage. The successful elimination of the problem encouraged Ed to further actions. Meanwhile, Ed’s hands started gaining a weird golden tint. Shortly after that, Ed proceeded to the ground floor and weaned Mr. Franks off drinking, eliminated domestic violence on a third floor, healed Griffiths’s child, helped Brooks child in A-levels, cured Mrs. Young from depression, Mrs Stuart from nymphomania, and Mr. Foster from impotence. Ed didn’t ignore our smaller faults as well- over time we were becoming prettier, kinder, more honest, hard working and polite. Ed’s hands began to glow like the noblest metal. We felt chosen. No wonder that our privilege aroused raw envy of our neighbours, who would have rather liked Ed for themselves. One evening, unknown perpetrators attempted to kidnap Ed when he was cycling back home from one of his countless jobs. We could not let that happen again. Apart from that, the continuous and gruelling effort was sapping health of our benefactor, who started getting short of breath when climbing the stairs and we were worried that he wouldn’t last for much longer. To prevent further kidnappings, we closed him in the basement, posted two people on guard and organised patrols around the building. It significantly lowered comfort of our lives, because Ed was bawling his guts off when locked up. One night we leapt to our feet after hearing a horrible scream. We all run downstairs. Useless Ed was lying in the puddle of blood. Somebody chopped his golden hands off and stumps of his arms were scattered around accusingly. We were looking at each other with hatred and suspicion. One of us had a hidden fault.

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