Saving Dave

Dave hasn’t made a will.

A Christmas present from Dave’s dad … cretin

This is in part because he doesn’t have a pot to piss in, and in part because Dave doesn’t know what day of the week it is.

In fact, Dave doesn’t know that weeks even exist because he’s been a wheelchair bound quadriplegic in a permanent vegetative state, locked in his own world for the past eighteen years.

But all this is about to change.

A week after Dave is awarded £10 million in medical negligence damages, he has an accident that leads to a miraculous recovery.

Trouble is, he doesn’t know whether to tell anyone.

His father is trying to kill him.

His neurotic, bipolar mother existed only to meet his needs before becoming entangled in an affair with her therapist – the only person, she feels, who takes the trouble to understand her, and now she lives for the moment she can be free to run off with him.

His pernicious siblings want a home in the mansion the compensation will provide for him. And everything else they can get their hands on.

What should Dave do?

Although Dave has never heard an explanation of the word psychopath, he knows he is one.

He will kill them all.

Because … after all, he has the perfect alibi.

BRIEF CHARACTER OUTLINE:

Note to self … heck, note to everyone: no character in Saving Dave bears any resemblance to, nor is based on anyone, living or dead, with the possible exception of the author. Oh … and SCOOTER (family dog). Although Scooter was actually female.

The family live in the North-West of England near Manchester.

Someone has to.

They have never been to Devon.

DAVE (18):

DAVE HEMPSALL was born with dislocated hips and required what should have been straightforward corrective surgery when he was aged two.

But Dave is in a permanent vegetative state, because of a complication from the operation from which he never recovered. It took sixteen years to get the NHS to confess to fucking up Dave’s life, and then – one week ago – a judge made them pay ten million as a lump sum compensation payment to Dave, in addition to a Periodical Payment Order of three hundred thousand a year.

Life’s a beach? Not for Dave

Dave’s parents (ROGER AND GILL HEMPSALL) control most of the trust that administers the lump sum and the Periodical Payment, and are responsible for deciding what Dave needs. They are basically pretty much free to spend the money on whatever they want. So, if they feel that a new Ferrari will improve the quality of Dave’s life, Dave-slash-Roger will get one.

What’s life been like for Dave? Dave cannot see, nor move any of his limbs voluntarily, but he has phenomenal hearing.

And although he cannot see with it, he can also control the movement of his right eye. Dave attended a Special School but he was mostly left to lie on a beanbag while his carers-slash-teachers talked about boring shit that made up their sorry lives.

Dave does not fully understand the pejorative function of the word, but he knows – broadly speaking – what a wanker is, because that was all they talked about.

The only meaningful education Dave received was from BBC Radio 4, which is constantly playing in his bedroom. So Dave knows about Donald Trump, Muslim fundamentalism and Brexit, although he’s not quite sure how long a week is, and even if it has anything to do with time – a construct, which he does not understand.

Dave hates his carers. Dave hates Donald Trump. Dave hates Teresa May, the DUP and David Cameron, but he kind of admires Al-Qaeda because he believes that at least they try to change things, although even Dave has to admit that what they do is a little extreme, and innocent people become collateral damage.

Although – Dave thinks – their deaths can’t really be considered collateral damage, because they are the actual targets. Dave understands that this is why terrorism works and he doesn’t need John fucking Humphries to tell him this every morning.

In reality, Dave would like to become a terrorist, load up his wheelchair with Semtex, blow up as many people – particularly his family and his carers – and end it all, but he knows that this is impossible.

This is because the only other living soul that Dave can communicate with – via the movement of his right eye – is SCOOTER – the family dog, and even Dave knows that obtaining sufficient Semtex, hardwiring it to his wheelchair and fitting a timer is beyond Scooter’s limited functional capabilities. Scooter’s functional capabilities are pretty good for a dog, but he has yet to master anything more complex than the undetected theft of chocolate decorations from the Christmas tree.

So, unless and until something dramatic happens to Dave – like finding a cure for pseudocoma, he knows he is basically fucked, and no amount of money is going to help him to achieve the quality of life he feels has been denied him, and the revenge to which he considered he is entitled. Even worse, he knows that everyone he hates will be enjoying the benefits of his windfall.

And there’s nothing that he can do about it.

Or is there?

THE SIBLINGS (15):

BORIS, AXEL AND HENRY HEMPSALL are ginger-haired triplets, born when Dave was five years old. They detest Dave and Dave detests them.

Unfortunately, Dave has no way of showing this – other than to shit in the bath occasionally, but as they only have to endure the smell – whereas their mother has to actually clean it up – this is nothing but a hollow victory.

However, the triplets have the ability to inflict both physical and psychological pain on Dave, and they do so at every opportunity, making Dave’s life even more hell than it already is.

An example of this was the occasion when they persuaded their father to do a parachute jump for charity with Dave strapped to him. Dave hates the idea of flying, let alone being pushed the fuck out of a plane, and was terrified for weeks leading up to the event; and although he managed to vomit continuously throughout the descent and constantly fill his nappy in the car on the journey home, he considered this insufficient payback, and he longs for an opportunity to gain revenge over his pernicious siblings.

Didn’t we have a lovely time … ?

His siblings long for the day when he will either die and leave them all this money, or will fuck off to live somewhere else. And leave them the money.

Each of the siblings’ characters will be more fully developed, but for the most part, they hold similar views, values, resentment and animosity towards Dave.

GILL HEMPSALL (44)

GILL HEMPASLL is the long-suffering mother of Dave and the triplets.

For the first fifteen years of Dave’s life she was neurotic and bipolar, suffering from both manic and depressive episodes.

She detests her husband, the triplets and practically everyone else – particularly the carers and the woman Social Services send round to bath Dave, none of whom she trusts. Her life revolves around Dave … or it did, until she fell in love with MALCOLM MAYNARD a clinical psychologist, to whom she was referred to treat her neurosis.

As this relationship flourishes, Gill becomes less focused on Dave’s needs and their relationship deteriorates. Dave knows everything about the affair because Gill constantly talks on the phone to Maynard while administering to him.

So, as a result, Dave feels neglected and marginalised; abandoned by the one person who had given him a modicum of love and self-worth.

There are now three things Dave would like to do to his mother: firstly to inform his father about the affair. Secondly to tell him that Maynard is only in it for the money.

And the third? 

To kill her.

ROGER HEMPSALL (46)

ROGER HEMPSALL was an only child of elderly parents who had died by his fortieth birthday, leaving him over two million pounds and twenty acres of interesting but undevelopable land.

However, by his forty-fifth birthday he has spent almost all of it. Roger worked as a teacher (a job he hated) for twenty years until his parents’ death in a mysterious car crash gave him the freedom he craved.

He has spent the past five years and most of the money on fast cars and doomed business projects and is now facing bankruptcy.  

With money running out, Roger convinces Gill that they should get a lawyer involved, and, as a result, not only does Dave receive his windfall, but Roger and Gill are awarded substantial compensation for their expenses and loss of earnings over the first eighteen years of Dave’s life.

To describe Roger as greedy would be a bit like characterising the Brexit process as a triumph in democracy.

Roger wants to gain full control to the ten million, currently locked into Dave’s trust fund, over which he has only partial control.

Dave, of course, has no will – because he is incapable of making a will – therefore should Dave have an unfortunate accident or die due to ‘natural causes,’ the entire contents of Dave’s bank account (after tax) will empty into Roger and Gill’s.

Roger has the outline of a plan to kill Dave – but following Dave’s miraculous recovery, unknown to anyone other that Dave and Scooter – Dave has a pretty good idea at to how he is going to get his retaliation in first.

THE “ACCIDENT” (Probable opening chapter)

Perhaps it was no great surprise that the first word Dave said was “fuck.”

            And the fact that this utterance occurred some eighteen years, two months, three days and seven hours after he was born caused considerable consternation; not least of all to Dave.

            In fact, it caused so much consternation that the four other people who heard it, actually imagined that they had heard it, or that there must be some other logical explanation for the fact that they all thought that they had heard it.     And this was because there was as little likelihood of Dave saying anything – let alone “fuck” – as there was of the tennis ball that had just slammed into his temple reciting the entire works of William Shakespeare.

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