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 Author Thread: Nymph (Erotica)
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Nymph (Erotica)
Posted: 5/28/2018 3:51:34 PM
“**** that. There’s no way, no way you’d find me doing that. Are you feeling alright? There’s just no way I could devote the rest of my life to getting ****ed by the same**** I mean one**** one ****ing****for the rest of your life? No ****ing way”.
“But he’s sweet, and a high-ranking member of the Knight’s of the holy kingdom”.
“The what? What the ****? Who cares that he’s so high up? You, obviously. You’ve only known him for two weeks, and you’re getting married to the****.
“Don’t call him that. He’s lovely”
“He’s ****ing with your head. Typical ****ing religious nutter. Ah, I know why you’re getting married so early. You want your first taste of****don’t you? I know you’re a virgin. If you’d have had****I’d have been the first one you’d tell. I mean I’ve only known you for 16 years, and you are my best friend Linda, but for ****’s-sake think about what you’re doing, getting involved with some balloon you hardly know. I mean who the **** these days waits to get married before they have sex? What if he can’t get it up? What if it’s only three inches?” Linda stood up, her face trying to withhold her brewing emotional turmoil which was approaching tears, so before they came, she decided she would no longer stay with Catherine Fischer, two years older than her twenty years.
“I love him Cath. I really love him. I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with him. You’ll see that love conquers lust. You’ll see”.
“Love conquers lust. Is that what your religious psycho has told you? Don’t get brainwashed Linda. You may be thick and naïve, but I don’t want to see you get hurt. Especially not to some limp-dicked priest”. Linda Marsh turned and stormed away, Catherine shaking her head at her as she left the college library.

‘Marriage’, she muttered. ‘Not for me’. Catherine and Linda were students of Art and design in London, neither of them clear as yet as to what they wanted to do with their lives. They were content with simply living off their grants.
Catherine usually wore clothes more akin to males than women. Her hair was fairly short, but she did not look masculine, and the clothes were bought in the women’s clothing sections, but men were mostly the focus of her attention. She had other friends who were of similar persuasion, knowing they could use their femininity to wrap slavering men whose**** did their thinking for them around their little fingers and have them literally begging. Yet Catherine took things further. She loved men. Or more precisely,****

In the five years she had been having sex, she had had 83 different men, of all persuasions and creeds, and she showed no signs of stopping. Husbands and boyfriends to her meant being restricted, tied down to one person. She wondered if that was natural. Why does the other half get upset when the other has an affair? or looks at another person sexually? Surely it was human instinct, and suddenly it was expected to stop and all carnal focus to be on them when they became an item. What was marriage anyway? Catherine thought, a declaration to friends and family of their love for each other, a gold ring on the finger, and some privileges at the bank. That was it as far as she was concerned. It was pointless. I’m not getting tied down. **** that. I’m not prepared to spend the rest of my life having sex with the same person for the rest of my days.

It was the same she thought with simple boy/girlfriend relationships. What was a date other than in interview? an interview by the woman as to whether or not she was going to allow him ‘in’. It was simply a ‘getting to know you’ activity in which ice was melted, the further implications of which was ‘OK, I now know you well enough to let you have sex with me, but do I want to spend the rest of my life with you? Do I want to spend a substantial amount of time as a girlfriend? Will he focus all his sexual activity on me?’ and ‘What will I do if he doesn’t?’

She had only ever been on one date, and had one boyfriend for three weeks, until she realised he wasn’t satisfying her, so found fulfilment elsewhere, leaving her other half crying in a gymnasium car-park. From then on, it was penis city,****valley. The most men she had had at once was six, and she was giving serious consideration to going into porn. The thought of somebody somewhere watching her and masturbating turned her on.

She didn’t care for the men’s feelings. All she wanted was sexual contentment, and most men she had been with had given her that. Some were losers, others were worth seeing again. It didn’t bother her who the man was, she cared more for his genitalia. As she sometimes said to her other friends: ‘I don’t give a **** who it’s attached to, just give me the****.

She always carried with her a little note-pad full of phone numbers of men she could call if she was feeling particularly horny, men she ranked on a scale of one to ten. For now though, it stayed in her pocket, she had a class to attend in five minutes, and the library was fairly empty, the students that were in there were all on the computers, so Catherine stood, picked up her off-white faux fur bag and went to her printing class.

Jason Paige was tall. 6feet 7inches. His figure was rather lithe and bony. He never wore anything that could be deemed fashionable. Most of his clothes came straight from charity shops. His hair hung below his shoulders, and his beard was not designed on purpose, but simply rather had not been shaved in weeks.

He approached Linda who was sat snivelling on a bench in a small field behind the science and technology wing of the campus. She was slightly taller than Catherine, had straight dull blonde hair and never wore anything too suggestive. Most of the time her attire could be described as dowdy, but she was not unattractive. If she was to put herself up on a ‘rate me’ site on the internet, she could easily score a seven out of ten, Catherine an eight.
“Hey,” he said, “What’s wrong?” He sat and put his arm around her. She rested her head against his chest.
“Oh, it’s just Catherine again”. She felt his chest exhale.
“What’s she been saying now? I’ve told you about her. She’s a bad influence. I don’t want her at our wedding. She’s nasty. She is exactly the type of person who needs to be saved. I’m not sure whether she is too far gone, but either way, the only time I want you speaking to her is to tell her the way, the truth. If she doesn’t accept, then it’ll be time for you and her to separate. You know that you’re the only one for me. My little cherub”. She looked up, and they both smiled at each other.

Chart music pumped from the speakers, and the dancefloor was fairly full with revellers dancing and jumping and shouting. ‘Sonic boom’ was a student bar and disco just off the campus. It wasn’t exactly the trendiest of places, or the cleanest. It simply became like a club on the weekends, and a pub the rest of the week.

Catherine was standing near the bar with her other friends who were similar to her in some ways, in that they liked men, but favoured relationships instead of sleeping around. They simply hadn’t found their Mr Perfect yet, and kept trying.

As Catherine and Jennifer Dale were talking, sipping their bottled bacardis, Jennifer nodded in the direction of a group of three youths.
“Don’t turn round” she said, “but one of those lads keeps looking at you”
“Is he nice?”
“Not really. A bit geeky. Oh here they go, going to the dancefloor. Trying to impress the gals”. The trio started to dance awkwardly, all elbows and nodding heads and angled feet. Catherine looked over.
“Which one?” she asked. It was answered for her by one of them smiling across, then looking away. It was clear that he was the one trying the hardest to dance, similar to a bird of paradise mating ritual, hoping the female would be impressed enough have his babies.

In an act of bravery, spurred on by his friends, he broke away and danced closer to Catherine.
“Here comes loverboy, I’ll see you later” said Jennifer, turning and walking away with the others. Catherine turned to face him, and the youth danced and jived his way across, making his intentions perfectly clear, his wide grinning face tinged red with embarrassment. It seemed as though this was his first attempt at chatting-up, and the fact that he didn’t want to be seen as a failure in front of his friends made him say:
“What’s that you’re drinking?” He was smaller than Catherine, and looked to be younger by maybe two years. He wore a stud in one ear, and had short curly gelled back hair.

Catherine smiled at him.
“It doesn’t matter what I’m drinking,” she said. “Let’s just go back to my place and shag”. The youth’s face became surprised. It was clear he wasn’t expecting that. He looked back at his friends as if to say: ‘What do I do now?’ but they were dancing away, hidden by other revellers. Catherine grabbed his hand and led him out of the club, fear surging through him more so than that which he felt in approaching her.

Catherine never went in for chatting up. She knew it was like going on a date, but was a faster method of ‘getting to know you’. All chatting up was, was an interrogation, a sizing-up. A mini interview before the inevitable reason behind it in the first place. The sex. She never understood why men bothered to ask questions. It was clear from their very approach that they wanted sex. ‘What’s your name?’
‘So what do you do?’ and other sizing-up questions meant nothing to her. If the woman being chatted up was to say: ‘Yes I like you very much. I want to get to know you and spend a lot of time with you, but I never, ever want sex’, then all the woman would see was a cloud of dust as the man vanished. Chatting up to Catherine was simply a declaration of saying they wanted sex. Questions seemed irrelevant.
She wished men would come up to her and simply say: ‘Hi, fancy a shag?’ and forget the formalities. That part could be done later, or the morning after.

In her small bedsit that passed for student accommodation, Timothy Ryan sat drinking a glass of lemonade. Catherine sat opposite. Between them was a threadbare cottage flatweave rug that has had many a student walk on it. Silence filled the room, except when Timothy sipped his drink. She had decided to see if there was any type of masculinity in him. Would he make any sort of moves? Would he continue from his confident approach at the bar? Or was it all a big act to try and impress her? Now that he was where he intended to be by trying to chat her up, she wondered if he had it in him to follow it through. It seemed clear that while Timothy thought he was a macho-stud in his mind, he couldn’t prove it in reality. Too much bedroom martial arts and mirror bicep flexing. When it came to performance out in the real world, he was in the lower leagues.

Catherine could see it in his face that he was terrified, and she guessed that if she didn’t do anything then they would be sat here all night, so she simply opened her legs, even though she was wearing jeans. Timothy’s eyes strayed to her crotch and he grew even more scarlet. She then stood up and slowly made her way across, one hand squeezing her left breast.
“Ok big boy,” she said, “Let see whatcha got”. She then sat on his left thigh, over his crotch, swinging her right leg over the arm of the chair and grinding herself into him in a circular motion, all the time smiling at him. She put her hand under her shirt to fondle the flesh of her breast.
“So you wanna **** me” she said as a statement. His face was petrified, even though he tried to hide it. She slid off him onto her knees and parted his thighs, then began to undo his belt and unzip his bootcut trousers. He gave an audible intake of breath as she slid her hand inside and found his genitals. She was quickly reminded of two peas and an acorn, and knew then that sex with this youth would be an ordeal rather than a pleasure.
“I’m gonna be late,” he said, rather loudly. “Dad’ll wonder where I am”. Catherine sat back. Timothy stood up, and without bothering to fix his trousers headed for the exit.
“Thanks for the drink” he said, and left, the door clicking closed behind him.
“Poor thing” she said. The next time he sees his friends, they’ll ask how it went, and she knew pretty much what he would say: ‘I well had ‘er’. ‘She was begging for it, screaming’. ‘We did it six times’ ‘She couldn’t get enough of me’. She could also imagine the faces of his friends, all wide-eyed and nodding as he relayed what he wanted them to believe, and they would believe him one hundred percent, rising their esteem of him.

Catherine sighed, sat on the armchair, found the television remote control, switched it on, and watched ‘Place your roulette bet’ on a freeview channel for half an hour before falling asleep.

“Seriously Cath, you need to settle down, find yourself a good man, like I have” said Linda. They were both sat in the lecture theatre, with several others who had got there early. It was five minutes before it was due to start. They were sat next near the back.
“There are so many**** out there, Lind, and only one me. So no, I can’t settle down”
“Do you know what love is?”
“I think you know what I love, and I still can’t believe your going for the no sex before marriage thing”.
“Is there no-one? No-one at all that you could settle down with?”.
Catherine thought about it for a few moments, one foot up on the back of the empty seat in front.
“Well, if there was one, I suppose it was this guy I got off with in Blackpool two years ago. Nice build, short hair, made me laugh, good sex, fairly big**** If there was one, I suppose I would choose him”.
“You see,” said Linda, “You are capable of love”. The lecturer then walked in.

Linda and Jason hugged on the pavement outside the music wing of the campus where they had agreed to meet earlier. There was a nearby café and they both ordered herbal tea.
“You said you had something to tell me” said Linda. Jason could barely contain his excitement.
“Yes,” he said. “I’ve decided become a full devotee, and I want you to join me. It means giving up everything, and I mean everything to follow my beliefs. I’m going to get myself castrated, so I’ll have no temptations. It will be pure devotion. I will be a high priest, and you will be my bride”.
“Castrated” she said. “Does that mean we can’t have kids?”
“Children?” he said, surprised. “We cannot afford such distractions, so I would like you to undergo a procedure that you can’t get at the hospital, but a few priests I know can carry it out. If you did it, you would make me so proud. I want you get yourself, well, sewn up, if you know what I mean. There’ll be no temptation for either of us”.
“So let me get this right” she said. “You’re going to devote yourself to worshipping God. You’re going to get yourself castrated, and you basically want me to do the same, and live with you as your wife”. He nodded, smiling. Linda simply took a sip of her tea.
“I wasn’t sure high priests could marry,” she said.
“Any member of the knights of the holy kingdom can marry. It’s not that restrictive. What do you say? Will you do it? Get the operation and be my wife?”. She drank the rest of her tea, placed the cup on the saucer, then smiled at Jason, but there was nothing behind it.
“You can go and **** yourself” she said, standing up and walking away.

Catherine was in her bedsit, halfway through getting ready to go out with her friends ‘on the pull’ when there was a loud banging on the door.
“Catherine,” came a voice, “Open the door”. She frowned, slipped on a pink bathrobe, and walked through, opening the door. Linda stood there in tears. She walked in.
“Linda what’s wrong?” she said, closing the door.
“It’s Jason,” she said. Catherine nodded to herself, not surprised in the slightest.

“…so I told him to go and **** himself” Linda said, sat next to Catherine on the bed.
“Besides,” she continued, “I think I’ve been in denial about something. I mean I like men and all that, but there’s something I’ve been wanting to do”. She placed her hand on Catherine’s thigh. They both smiled at each other. Catherine responded eagerly, their lips meeting, their tongues writhing together, their hands exploring each other.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
The dungeon (erotica)
Posted: 1/29/2018 3:41:49 PM
It did not look to be a place of any significance. It simply resembled the entrance to somebody’s flat above a shop, but Calvin Lavelle knew of what lay behind the dark blue door, sandwiched between a bakery and a charity shop. There were no signs, no notices indicating that it was a massage parlour, nothing to indicate the type of place it was.

He knew also that the place gave more than a simple massage. For those with extra funds, any whim was catered for. He knew as well, that the place had a basement, where more exquisite tastes could be indulged in. It was not the massage parlour, or brothel that Calvin was here to see. It was ‘The Dungeon’, where, as far as he knew, it was a place of bondage and sado-masochism. There were plenty of massage parlours giving out extras across the country. That was of no concern to him, as people knew but chose not to say anything, and it had been like that for many years. No-one was being harmed. It was all consensual activity among adults, and was something that went unspoken, because people’s prejudices were still active and strong. Many disapproved, but accepted that they were there. There were those that did not know, and would have disapproved, but doing nothing about it should they understand its existence.

Calvin wondered about this place. Maybe they simply think it’s a massage parlour that gives special treatment to those with more money, but did not know about the dungeon, a place were pain became pleasure.

He worked for an obscure magazine that not many people knew about or bought, yet still remained in business. ‘Dominator’ was a fetish quarterly, catering for all sorts of bizarre tastes, for people who got their sexual kicks from things that could be deemed ‘abnormal’. Still though, many individuals throughout the world showed an innocent façade to people who did not know about their sexual desires. Who knew that an innocent check-out girl at the local discount super-market enjoyed being blindfolded and having anal sex with complete strangers? Or a bank manager who could only get an erection when his penis was rubbing against metal? Calvin was one of those journalists who wrote complete exaggerations and downright lies when it came to his articles. At 38 years-old, voluntarily bald with a white goatee beard, and a beer induced paunch, he was the type who would go and visit strange sexual customs and photograph himself in various poses and guises, always grinning at the camera, sometimes with thumbs-up in a ‘look at me, aren’t I crazy?’ frame of mind. For this issue’s article, he had booked an appointment for the dungeon to see ‘Mistress Fox’.

He was not intending to have a session with her, but to sit in with her and a client, and watch and photograph them, maybe perhaps joining in where he would probably get the client to photograph him pretending to be whipped, his face in mock pain at the camera in his ‘I’m having a go’ attitude.

He checked the camera before leaving his Renault Laguna and crossing the road. People passed by as normal, and Calvin guessed that many of them perhaps did not know it was there. You could pass by it everyday and not notice the door.

With his Finepix digital camera around his neck, he stepped back and took a picture of the entrance. No-one batted an eyelid, and he pressed the intercom at the side, waiting for it to be answered. It was answered by the door clicking open. He entered, and it slowly swung shut behind him. He was faced with a corridor. The walls were blank, and a threadbare carpet led to the reception, where a dowdy looking woman with curly black hair was reading a newspaper at a desk, sipping from a bottle of blackcurrant juice. As he approached, he passed by a white door on his right, and written in black felt-tip at eye-level was: ‘The Dungeon’.

The woman looked up as he approached and smiled. He took out his identification and showed it to her.
“I’ve come for my interview with a Mistress Fox. I’m from Dominator magazine”.
“Oh right, yes. I heard you were coming” She picked up a telephone and pressed one digit. The room was fairly small. Along both walls either side of him were several chairs, a potted plant in one corner, and over both shoulders of the woman were two doors, one closed, one slightly ajar. He could just about hear a voice coming through, but could not make any words out.
“Jan,” said the woman, “Your journo’s here. Shall I send him down?” A few seconds later, she pointed to the white door.
“Just go through,” she said, and continued talking on the telephone.

Calvin walked across, entered, and found he was at the top of a set of curving concrete stairs. The walls here were black, with amateurish flames painted at the base leading all the way down. He reached the bottom and found an open set of double-doors leading into a carpeted corridor. He saw a woman talking into a telephone on the left wall. She was nodding.
“I know, yes”, she said, replacing the receiver. She turned and smiled at Calvin, then walked across. Calvin simply stared at her, already an erection beginning to push against the zip of his jeans. She looked to be in her mid-twenties, wore knee-length leather boots and black fish-net stockings with a red g-string. Her top simply consisted of a tight chainmail bra showing off her ample cleavage. On both her forearms she wore lace gauntlets. She had what looked to be a diamond naval stud, had a silver hoop ring in her bottom lip, and seemed to have over-done the eye-liner. Her hair was tied back in a pony-tail, and her caucasian complexion looked as though she had recently been on a sun-bed. She looked like the girl next door showing her true self.

Proffering her delicately manicured hand, Calvin shook it.
“You’re the reporter, right, come to do an article on the dungeon?” she said. Calvin nodded.
“Yes, I’d like to take a few pictures and interview some of the workers and customers if that’s ok?”
“That’s fine by me, and I’m sure by Madame Crush. She’s busy with a customer at the moment” She gestured to a closed door, but he could not hear any sounds from within.
“I’m not sure about the customers. My one o’clock is due in a minute. You can watch if you like, if he allows it. If not, there’s nothing I can do”. Calvin took out his note-pad and pen.
“Ok,” he said, “I’m sure Mistress Fox isn’t your first name. What is and how old are you?” The wall-phone buzzed, but the woman did not answer it.
“Ah, he’s here”. A man in a police constable’s uniform appeared at the doorway. Miss Fox smiled and walked across to him. The tall, dapper man, with his hat tucked under his arm, looked to be in his early forties. They talked for a few seconds, but Calvin couldn’t make out what they were saying. They then approached a white door which Calvin was standing near. He was about to speak to the man when he spoke first:
“No,” he said. “Like ****. There’s no way I’m answering your questions, and if you take a picture of me I’ll have your ****ing job, understand?” Calvin nodded. The man walked through the door. Miss Fox simply shrugged.
“I’ll see you later,” she said, “Look around, take your pictures, conduct interviews. I’ll see you in an hour”. She followed the man in and closed the door, and Calvin was left in relative silence, looking up and down the corridor. There were six doors altogether, each, he assumed would accommodate a client, but he doubted that they were ever all occupied at the same time.

The light-green painted walls featured many plaster wall casts of various body parts, all of a sexual nature. Pert breasts next to an erect penis. Over-sized lips with jutting tongue next to smooth life-size buttocks and thighs. He took a few pictures, and saw that a door towards the end of the corridor was ajar. He walked across. A felt-pen had been written on it: ‘Store room’. He pushing it open, he was faced with a small room, with three shelves on every wall.

With the camera ready, he walked in and gazed around at mouth gags, hoist bars, anal beads, chastity belts, vibrators, and all manner of equipment designed to give pain, designed to give arousal. He took and few pictures and left, seeing he had fifty minutes left before he could see Mistress Fox. He didn’t like to enter the other doors incase he was intruding, so instead decided to go back upstairs and interview those in the massage parlour. As he passed by the door where the policeman and Fox had entered he heard a loud smacking noise, followed by a cry of pain.
“You’re a naughty boy. What have I told you?”. There was another smack, and another cry of pain.

He had not got much from the employees. They had not known to expect him, and he almost felt quite intrusive as he took his pictures and notes, but he ended up in reception, sat on one of the chairs, watching the receptionist as she played pinball on the computer. He had asked her all he wanted to ask, and despite the occasional voice from beyond the doors, all he could hear was the clinking of the ball on the screen. He kept checking his watch. It was nearly time for the policeman’s hour to be up. Calvin hoped he hadn’t paid for more.
“So,” he said. “How do you make your money? you’re not exactly advertising yourself are you? There’s not a flashing sign outside that says: ‘Come on in for a massage and a shag’”. The woman gave him a
glance with an offended frown, but Calvin didn’t read it.
“Word of mouth,” she said, “Recommendations”. She looked back at her game as he jotted it down. He sighed and looked at his watch again. He decided to go and wait downstairs, and met the policeman on his way up. His face was flushed bright red, and tears streaked his cheeks. He pointed a finger at Calvin, accusingly.
“Remember what I told you,” he said, his voice sounding upset, “If this gets out, I’ll have you sacked, ok?”
“It’s alright. Fine. I won’t say anything”.
“Right”. He vanished through the door, and Calvin went down into the corridor where he saw Mistress Fox standing near the doorway, smiling at him. In her right hand, she held a chain whip.
“Come in”, she said, and Calvin entered.

The room was the size of two average-sized garages and was lit with a naked bulb in the middle of the ceiling. The canvas floor was similar to that used in martial arts clubs, and the around the walls were various fetish contraptions and paraphernalia.
“My two o’clocks due in five minutes,” she said. Calvin nodded towards the stairs with a puzzled expression, and Fox guessed he was asking about the policeman.
“Adult baby,” she said, “Loves to be made to cry, loves to be smacked, likes me to beat him with a truncheon, well, takes all sorts” she said, and shrugged.
“So do you enjoy it as well?” he asked.
“Absolutely. Beating men is a personal fetish of mine”. She smiled. “Fancy a freebie?” she asked, holding up the whip.
“Er no, can I take a few pic…?” A man walked in and stopped when he saw Calvin.
“Ah, my two o’clock” said Fox. The man was wearing a light grey suit, and was a few inches smaller than the mistress, and looked to be in his early sixties. He was a lithe figure, the suit rather ill-fitting, like a tramp going for a job interview. He had a white beard that reached around two inches below his jaw.
He stared at Calvin with trepidation. Fox answered his unasked questions.
“This is Mr Lavelle from Dominator magazine. He’s doing an article about us”.
“Er, yes” said Calvin, stepping forward to shake the man’s hand.
“I wonder if you would be kind enough to allow me to take a few pictures of your session”. The man hesitated for a while, contemplating, looking at the mistress for any advice.
“Alright, but on the condition you don’t show my face in the magazine”. Calvin nodded.
“Yes, OK, I just want to get a flavour of the type of things that go on here. Anyway, if I could take a few notes as well, that’d be great”. Calvin took out his note pad and pen.
“What’s your name?”
“I hope you’re not going to write it down for the magazine. Can you change it when it’s printed?”
“My real name’s Arthur, but you can call me, er…Mr X in the article, or whatever”.
“OK, and what do you work as?”
“I’m a doctor, so you can appreciate why I’d like to keep my anonymity. I can’t have my patients seeing the article. What would they think?”
“Are you getting ready,” said Fox, pointing to a small curtained changing room, one of two in the far wall. As Arthur walked away, she crossed to the middle of the room and sat on what resembled a padded exercise bench. Calvin sat next to her, his pad held before him, nothing written. He couldn’t help but stare at her tanned thighs. He tore his eyes away and smiled sheepishly at her.
“So” he said. “You must get all types of people in here”. She nodded, and he reasoned that even her bobbing pony-tail was sexy.
“We get them all,” she said. “Scientists. Judges. Gangsters, the lot”. He wrote it down, and stood up and turned away from her, more to hide his erection than anything else.
“I’ll just take a few snaps,” he said, checking his camera. He took one of a stainless steel table against the wall next to the changing rooms upon which were various tools a surgeon would use. They looked more like instruments of torture. Attached to the other wall were mounted shackles and chains. In one corner there were all kinds of rope heaped together.

He took a few pictures, then Arthur walked out wearing a light blue dressing gown. Fox stood up and approached a counter along the other wall, featuring all manner of equipment for all types of fetishes. She replaced the whip and picked up a studded paddle. She walked across to him and he took off the robe and threw it to the side. He stood there naked, except for a leather****ring and a watch. Calvin could see he was sporting an erection. Fox swung the paddle down to strike his ‘bell-end’. Arthur cried in pain, crouching down.
“You’ve been a bad ****er, haven’t you?” said Fox, as a statement, grabbing his hair and tugging his head back.
“Open your mouth**** she said. He did, and she spat in it.
“Swallow”. He did.
Still with her hand clasping what little hair he had, she forced him to the floor and began kicking him hard, in the stomach, thighs, back.
“What are you?” she shouted.
“Worthless” said Arthur, as she kicked him again. She then began beating him hard with the paddle. Calvin paced slowly around, taking a few pictures, but no notes. After one strike hit him hard in the face, she grabbed his hair again and dragged him towards the bench. Forcefully throwing him on it, she crossed to the counter and replaced the paddle. Calvin watched her as she fitted a strap-on harness with an eight-inch cream coloured rubber dildo. It was fairly realistic, and rigid.
“Get in position, you ****ing prick” she said to the man, picking up something that Calvin could not see properly, and placing it down the side of her boot. Arthur positioned himself face down on the bench, bending over one side. Fox walked across to him, carrying a small tub, and a towel. She placed the towel down beneath his feet, and began pouring liquid chocolate over the dildo. She massaged it in, then knelt down behind the man.
“D’you want this eh? Worthless?” Arthur nodded.
“Please,” he said, “Do it to me”. She then poured the chocolate into his ‘crack’, spreading his buttocks as she did. The chocolate covered his scrotum and ran down his thighs. She pressed the tip of the dildo into his anus about an inch. Arthur moaned in pleasure. Fox then withdrew it, teasing him.
“Is that what you want?” she shouted.
“Yes,” he replied, louder.
“Yes, what?” She leaned forward and smacked the back of his head.
“Yes, Mistress. Please, I want it in me”. She then forced it inside his ring-piece up to the hilt, and began rhythmically to pound away in him, flecks of chocolate flying in all directions.
“Is this what you want?” she screamed.
“Yes,” Arthur yelled, louder. She again smacked the back of his head.
“You want ****ing, do you? you worthless piece of shit, you ****ing **stard”. She smacked him again, continuing to thrust away. Calvin simply stared, still no new notes taken. He took one picture, but the erection in his trousers demanded attention, although he tried to ignore it.

Fox pounded away for a few minutes, Arthur’s face one of sheer bliss despite regular smacks. She then slowed down, and eased it out of him, then quickly leaned down, spread his buttocks with her hands and began licking his ring-piece. Chocolate oozed out onto her tongue and lips. After around a minute, she leaned even further down and licked the chocolate from his testicles. Standing up she walked around the side of him and pushed him off the bench.
“****ing prick” she said, as she did, taking off the strap-on and casting it aside, then walking into the middle of the room.
“Crawl to me worthless,” she said.
“Yes, mistress” said Arthur. Calvin thought it might be difficult for the man to do that, but it wasn’t. He came crawling over, and Fox pressed a boot against his rib-cage and shoved him down.
“Lie on your back, worthless” she said. Arthur did as he was told, and Calvin could see that a lot of his body had bruises and cuts, not all of them from this session. His feet were about three feet apart, and his arms spread to either side. Calvin guessed he’d been here before.

The mistress stepped over him, straddling his head.
“What a sad, pathetic, worthless piece of shit you are” she said, and looked almost saddened for him. Calvin walked around them, taking pictures, his erection still throbbing. Fox then squatted down, her g-string inches from his face.
“What do you want now,****head?”
“To eat, to taste”. Fox then reached into the side of her boot from where she had placed a knuckle-duster. Wrapping it around her right hand, she squatted even further, her camel-toe an inch from his face. He made no attempt to do anything about it. It seemed he knew what she was going to do. Arthur could see that her g-string was damp. She lifted it to around five inches away, began rubbing it with her other hand, then slid her fingers beneath the material, pulling it away to reveal her moist vaginal lips and ‘landing-strip’. Then without warning, with her knuckle-dustered hand, she arched around and punched him hard in the stomach. He yelled, his face slamming into her reddened cleft. She punched him again, and this time he stuck out his tongue, and Fox kept punching him, everytime his face pounding into her. When she drew blood, she continued, and after around two minutes, stopped and knelt down, still with her g-string pulled aside, she sat on Arthur’s face, grinding away.
“Lick me,” she said, “Lick my****, and Arthur did, his tongue probing as deep as it could, licking her clitoris, his lips sucking her labia, making her even more moist, saliva dribbling down his own cheeks.
“Lick me worthless”. She threw the knuckle-duster to the side, then reached back and gripped his hard penis and began to masturbate him. With a tight grip, she pumped his shaft hard and fast.
“You like that, worthless, eh? You gonna choke?” She ground away even harder into his face, still furiously masturbating him, her knuckles pounding hard his ball-sack. Arthur could hardly breathe.
“Tell me when you’re about to cum you ****ing worthless****, she said, letting him breathe. He then continued to lick her. After a few seconds, he closed his eyes tight.
“I’m cummin’” he said.
“No you’re not,” said Fox, and with one swift, expert move, she turned and quickly positioned herself next him, still gripping his penis, and with her other hand gripped his bulbous purple gland and squeezed, preventing him from ejaculating. His shaft felt like it was on fire, and Arthur screamed. Calvin was leaning against a wall, breathing heavily, his face tinged red.

After a few seconds, Fox slowly let go of his penis, and it fell limply to the side. Arthur, like Calvin, was red faced and breathing heavily.
“That’s what you get for being a worthless****” said Fox, slapping him hard in the face. She stood up and walked across to the counter where she retrieved what looked to Calvin like stationary clamps. He’d seen them in the ‘Dominator’ offices. Only these ones had serrated edges, like metallic sharks teeth.

Walking back across to Arthur, she stood between his legs and with the heel of one of her boots, stomped on his genitals. She did that twice before kneeling down, and gripping his testicles in one hand. She put down the clamps and inserted a finger into his still chocolate streaked anus. Arthur moaned. She inserted two fingers. With her other hand, she twisted his scrotum, then inserted four-fingers. His erection returned. Calvin was fumbling with the camera. He had still taken no new notes.

Taking out her fingers from his rectum, she stretched her hands forward for him to lick the chocolate, which he did.
“Lick it worthless” she said. When her hand was clean she picked up one of the two-inch bulldog clamps, and slid it halfway over one of his testicles. She let go, and the teeth dug into it like it was crushing an egg. Arthur yelled, but Calvin didn’t know whether it was with pleasure or pain. He thought about interfering, but decided against it.
Fox slid the other clamp onto the other testicle, the teeth straining against the delicate gland, drawing blood which ran down onto the canvas. Fox looked at that and frowned. ****, she thought, that won’t come out. With one delicate finger, she rubbed dripping blood into his ring-piece, her finger-nail scraping the skin, but not entering his rectum. She then knelt forward and took the side of his penis onto her lips. With her teeth she delicately bit a piece of skin and pulled. The skin strained, then snapped back, more blood than usual oozing out because she had damaged a blood vessel. Gripping the shaft she began to masturbate him again, but slowly, and not for long. Arthur moaned in pleasure. Fox leant down again and took another piece of delicate skin, this time from his ‘bell-end’. Her teeth pulled another piece until it tore, more blood spilling out. Arthur screamed, and Fox took the whole of his penis into her mouth and began sucking vigorously, blood spilling from her lips over his testicles. Again she rubbed the fluid into his anus, teasing him by not entering further.

This continued for around five minutes until Arthur yelled:
“I’m cummin’” and Fox withdrew her mouth and gripped his penis and masturbated him vigorously. His ejaculate didn’t spray everywhere, instead it oozed from his penis over Fox’s fingers and his testicles, mixing with the blood to drip to the floor. She leaned forward again and put her hand onto his mouth.
“Lick it all off worthless ****er,” she said. Arthur did as he was told. Fox then slowly removed the clamps and threw them aside.

She stood up and looked down at him, his eyes closed.
“Stand up,” she said, and Arthur slowly got to his feet. She punched him in the face.
“Faster,****. Arthur stood swaying, his eyes open and staring at the mistress with fear and expectation. She stepped back, then gave him a hard kick in the genitals which saw him on the floor in a foetus position. Turning and walking across to the counter, she returned with the studded paddle.
“You’re a naughty boy aren’t you? And naughty boys need to be punished”. With a scarlet face, he looked up at her, trying to smile.
She began to beat him, hard, all over. Calvin watched on the screen of his camera as she furiously smacked him, and he could also see that his face was not one of pain.
“On your knees worthless,” she said, and Arthur took a few seconds to do so, Fox pacing around, eager to continue beating him.
“Lean forward”. Again, Arthur obeyed and the mistress began to spank his buttocks. Calvin could see that Fox was using all her strength to hit him.
“Yes…” said Arthur, “Don’t stop, I’m a naughty boy, hurt me”, so Fox continued beating for around five minutes.
“You’re a ****ing naughty****” said Fox, stepping around to crack him on the back of the head. Arthur collapsed, breathing hard. Fox walked back to the counter to replace the paddle, also breathing heavily, her face reddened with exhaustion. She walked back across and stood beside him, her hands on her hips. She tapped his arm with her boot, nothing fetishist, but simply to get his attention.
“Come in number six, you’re time is up”.
“Is that an hour?” said Calvin, his face still reddened.
“Not quite,” said Fox, “but it’s what he requires”. Arthur moaned and slowly got to his feet, smiling at the mistress. He nodded his appreciation.
“Thanks,” he said, then turned and walked slowly to the changing room. Calvin watched him as he did. He realised he didn’t really know what to write for the article, knowing that he simply couldn’t fill it out with pictures, like a lot of glossy magazines.
“I could see you really love your work” said Calvin, his erection still straining at his zip. Fox saw it and smiled.
“Fifty quid an hour,” she said, “If you do a good article and generate more business I’ll knock some off. I’ll do anything you want. Anything”. Calvin simply stared at her, embarrassed at her spotting his bulge. He dry washed his face, then took out his note-pad and pen, and realised he had hardly written anything. He sighed.
“Have you been a naughty boy as well?” she asked, putting her hand on his cheek, making him step back and go even further red with embarrassment.
“Do you need punishing?”. Arthur came out of the dressing room, dressed in his suit, a beaming smile on his still reddened face.
“Thank-you mistress” he said. “I’ll go and make and appointment for my next session. Bye”.
“Okay,” she said, “Thanks”. Arthur left, and Calvin decided to follow him.
“Er, yes, see you. I’ll do a good article” he said, walking out of the door. Fox stood in the doorway and watched him disappear from view up the stairs.
“Frigid****” she whispered, closing the door behind her.

In the entrance corridor, Calvin saw Arthur talking to the woman at reception. He went across also. Arthur gave him a polite smile, and bid the woman farewell.
“I’m done here” said Calvin, “The article will be in the spring issue, I’ll send a copy”.
“Ok thanks,” said the woman. Calvin turned and headed for the exit. He soon found himself outside on the pavement. A slight breeze had blown up, and the pedestrians again paid him no attention. The door swung slowly shut behind him, and he crossed the road to his vehicle and sat behind the wheel, winding down the window.

He simply sat there, looking at his sparse notes. He still had no idea what he would write in the article.

Across the road, getting into a silver Bentley eight mk2, he saw Arthur, who was soon pulling away from the kerb. He watched as he U-turned and spotted Calvin. He slowed down and wound down his window.
“Isn’t she a diamond?” Arthur said. Calvin tried his best to smile, but there was no emotion in it. He nodded.
“Yes. I suppose she is. How often d’you see Mistress Fox?”
“Most days to be honest, she’s my daughter”. He then waved briefly, and drove away.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 8/7/2017 3:30:10 PM
Archie stared at the equipment and apparatus before him. Something simply wasn’t connecting, literally, as what lay on the table was his prototype, his robot. With synthetic skin peeled back around the humanoid form before him, he was attempting to create a human-like automaton, but it was failing. He knew he had all the parts, there was nothing to salvage, buy or bribe from anybody.

The basement of the house was where he worked. It was his sole aim, to bring life to the five-foot nine sexless being, or object before him. He hoped everything was in the right order. The eyes were connected to what was effectively, a hard drive, within which a compact disc could be inserted from outside to retrieve stored data or insert new information or instructions. Yet, there was nothing to indicate that his efforts had been anything approaching successful. Not a twitch of the hand, or an electro-chemical impulse within its transistors. To all intents and purposes, it was dead.

He stood up, looking at it with a frown of irritation. Perhaps I should sew it up, he thought. Cut open the human body from head to toe, and it will die. Perhaps this is in that state. Maybe if it was to be sewn up, and resemble a human from the outside, it would come to life.

It didn’t need actual sewing however. As with a cut on real human skin, it will heal as it fuses together. All he needed to do with this, was make it touch and it would meld instantly leaving no scar.

Before he did that, he gave it another once over, checking the connections and making sure everything was where it should be. Yet, there should be some flicker of indication to denote the fact that what he was doing was correct or along the right path, but obviously it wasn’t. There was something, he knew, something that just did not connect. Everything was in order as far as he was concerned, but he could not work it out.

When satisfied that everything was in its right place, he was about to begin melding it when he decided that whatever the fault was, might be covered by the skin, therefore making it difficult to access. He guessed that there should be some indication, no matter how small, that indicated that it was not a failure.

He stood back from it, looking at its synthetic face, the only part covered by the skin, and at its closed eyes. It looked like Archie. He was trying to make a robotic version of himself. He stared at the innards, but nothing leapt out at him, nothing designated the problem. He then heard a door opening, and footsteps on the basement stairs, and the basement door opening.

A younger man than Archie by around five years walked in carrying a clipboard. He walked across.
“Still nothing?” he said, more of a statement than a question.
“No,” said Archie, “I do not know what it is”. The man sighed, and nodded, then wrote on his paper.
“Then you’ve failed,” said the man.
“Yes,” said Archie “I have” He turned on his swivel chair and looked with concern at the man.
“What happens now?” he asked.
“The mission is aborted,” said the man. “You await my instructions as I may find another use for you, but until then, you can rest”. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out what resembled a lighter. Archie turned and looked back at the innards of his robot.

The man pressed a switch, and Archie closed his eyes, his head and shoulders slumping, as though he’d fallen asleep. The man began to write on his clipboard:
‘Mission cancelled, automaton failed to create a copy of itself. Archie is not intelligent enough yet. It, however, knew that it did not work properly, and acknowledged its lack of understanding. I recommend the Archie series be halted until anomaly is corrected. If Archie cannot create a copy of itself, then its other characteristics are sufficient to allow the line to continue. I recommend a period of four months to improve Archie’s intelligence, perhaps then he can activate the copied automaton. Should its intelligence then fail to create a copy, then I recommend reactivation, and the Archie series can join the ‘Ivan’ series in public interaction. We are a long way, however, before machines can procreate, and evolve along their own pathways without human interaction’. He walked across to look at the innards of Archie’s copy.

Not understanding mechatronics or robot technology, what he was looking at made no sense. He wondered, however, why there were four small lights in the middle of the chest, three of them green, one red. He turned and crossed to the entrance, walking up the basement stairs. He would later send in other workers from the electronics factory where he worked to take everything back to the laboratory. They had simply ran out of space in the relatively small building, and had bought a nearby derelict house at auction. It was much cheaper than extending their premises they had discovered.

As the man left the house, the red light in Archie’s clone’s chest, which was one of four batteries, flicked to green. It had been on a timer, and had been counting down to zero before it activated. Archie’s copy slowly opened it eyes.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 8 (view)
Out of this world
Posted: 4/6/2017 4:05:07 PM
Thanks for the good replies....
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 4 (view)
Out of this world
Posted: 12/26/2016 3:28:42 PM
Thanks, much appreciated.

I use the grammar I think is best for the story, but it could be wrong, I hope it does what I need it to do, whatever is best for what you are trying to convey.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Out of this world
Posted: 12/20/2016 3:53:19 PM
Altering the frequency of the radio he had built himself, the noise of static could be heard once again, but turning the tuner further, he came across a voice that he was expecting, as he had been here many times before, trawling through the fm, am and medium wave frequencies to try and discover a signal, sound, or even voice, that did not come from this world. The voice he heard now was that of a taxi firm, telling one of its cabs that there was a pickup outside a hotel. He always listened in on the police, ambulance and taxis. With a microphone attached, he could speak with whoever he listened to, but he chose not to do that. It was reserved for any one, or any thing that tried to make contact through the airwaves.

He had converted his shed in the garden into a small station after he had retired, to send and receive airwave transmissions, rather like pirate radio. On top of the shed there was a satellite and a large aerial, enabling him to listen in on broadcasts from Europe, including their emergency services, but he didn’t speak German, or Italian, so what they were saying had no meaning to him. Instead, he concentrated on the UK, listening, most of the day, for a broadcast from outer space. It was the reason he had converted the shed, convinced that if aliens were to make themselves known, it would be through radio waves. He was in there most of the day. As when he wasn’t he was usually always thinking: ‘What if they are trying to contact now?’, so he had made the shed his second home, with his headphones on, listening to static, or white noise incase there was something he didn’t recognise, waiting for alien communication.

He decided he would try the radar frequency, even though he didn’t have the correct equipment for it to work properly, it did however, let him listen to airplane transmissions, but they never said anything exiting, simply saying something about coming into land, with the station saying that they are now cleared to land, so he didn’t bother much with listening to them. When he did, he found himself falling asleep with boredom. If he’d had proper radar, he would be able to scan the skies for any objects that could be deemed unidentified. However, having enquired at an army base in the midlands, he was told they couldn’t let him buy any, so he had to make do with minimal radar equipment that allowed certain pulse radio broadcasts to be listened in on, such as that of the airplane, and sometimes ships that were in nearby waters, but they were just as dull as the airplane broadcasts, so he hardly listened to them either.

He switched the radar scanner to that of microwave frequency, higher than that of normal broadcasts, and heard something he had not heard before at this level. It was a high pitched tone, or whistling, fused with a crackling sound, like when listening to a radio station not quite on the exact frequency, with the whistling being what is broadcast.
“Hello, hello, is there anybody out there?” came a voice. He was stunned, frozen with shock. This had to be from outer space, without question. This frequency was not used for communication, as it would not be audible without the correct equipment, rather like regular radio and mobile phone communication. If they all operated on the same level, then everybody’s calls could be heard, and it would be like listening to hundreds of voices at once, or in a crowded place, such as a pub, or an audience at an interval. Voices can be heard, but not one word can be made out. This level was never used as a form of contact, until now. He nervously fumbled with the microphone to try a plug it in, and when he did, he shouted a few hellos and told them he could hear them. He then asked:
“Where are you from?”. And the voice replied:
“We are from a planet called Earth”.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
King Kyruss
Posted: 7/2/2016 3:28:58 PM
He had a weakness. One which he guessed may be quite embarrassing should his workmates discover it. However, he was not ashamed of it, because he saw no reason to be. It was perhaps quite a contraction in regards to who he was and to his profession that he should indulge himself in such fantasies, and fantasy, was exactly what it was. Bill Simmons was 36, worked on a building site, and lived a bachelor life in a bedsit. He was quite overweight, completely bald through choice, and had a tattoo of a spider-web across his right shoulder. His work colleagues were similar. Every Friday after work they would go the local pub and binge drink and talk loudly about anything and everything, punctuated every few seconds by a loud, drunken laugh. Basically, they were normal, but when Bill went home, he would indulge in his passion, a passion which he had to admit was really an obsession.

Three years ago, he had found himself in a Sunday morning market, and was rifling through a box of second-hand books when he came across a book entitled: ‘Valley of chains’. The cover featured a dragon in chain-mail, flying with a rider on its back between two mountain peaks. It was only thirty pence, so he bought it, and loved every word of it. It fuelled his interest in fantasy, as it was sheer escapism from the harsh reality of the building site. When he only had a few pages left, he had found himself in a side road that he had never noticed before in his local town centre. There was only one shop there, a place called ‘Other Realms’, which was basically a shop which sold items of fantasy such as boardgames and figurines, etc.

He found himself wandering around it, and thought about getting another book when he came across the board games section. He had visited the town centre to sort out a credit card related enquiry at his bank, so had not expected to find this place, so therefore had not much money on him. One board game caught his attention, entitled ‘King Kyruss’, the cover of which simply featured and ornate and expensive looking throne, made of gold and gemstones, carved with snakes and dragons and tigers. It was empty. No king sat there, and upon reading a brief on the back, he found that the object of the game was to find the king and restore him to the throne.

Intrigued, he also discovered that the price of it exactly matched the amount of money he had in his pocket, so without hesitation, he purchased it, hoping that nobody he knew would see him on his way home with it.

The game became a fascination for him, turning slowly into an obsession which has lasted so far for two years. The board featured six squares, each depicting a different realm. One was featured on a remote planet. One was based in an underwater kingdom, and the others were in different fantasy kingdoms. They were connected by smaller, ladder-like squares, where he used a plastic gold coin as a counter, rolling dice to determine which realm he would search for the king in. Each realm had its own set of cards, a hundred in each, and he had to be careful not to look at them outside of playing the game, because one card simply read: ‘Open the chest’, which meant exactly that. A little wooden chest with a little wooden key was in the centre of the board, and Bill knew that if he got that card, he would find the king. Whatever was in the chest would point to the final card, which he guessed would feature a picture of the king on the throne.

That would be it then, game over. Two years of searching. Round and round the board he would go, reading the cards the dice told him to read, fighting Goblins and riding dragons. Each card featured a picture related to the realm, and information regarding what was happening at that point, and his progress, but the dice had never let him land on a number that would take him to the chest, that was, until now. It had gone midnight, and he was up for work early in the morning.

Nothing moved outside. The bedsit was silent, and a lamp on a nearby table illuminated the words of the card he held: ‘Open the chest’. This was it, he’d found the king. He was hesitant, yet exited, even nervous, but he didn’t know why. He also didn’t know why he would wait until tomorrow evening. He was tired now, so would be thinking straight when he opened the chest. He went to bed that night as exited as a little boy on Christmas eve, spending an exited, restless night in the knowledge that he’d finally cracked the game.

The following day, Bill’s workmates noticed a considerable change in him. He seemed jittery, unable to concentrate on his work, and less communicative than normal. He disappeared an hour before he was due to leave, unable to wait any longer, leaving his superiors and work mates looking around the site for him.

When he got to his bedsit, he closed the door behind him and leaned back against it, staring down at the board in the middle of the room, and at the chest in the middle of that. He still wore his hardhat as he slowly approached. Kneeling down, his trembling hand reached for the small key that had been laid before the chest. He clutched the chest get a better grip, but found that it wouldn’t move. Strange, he thought, he didn’t remember gluing it down.

He slid the key into the lock and turned. His excitement grew even further in intensity when he heard a click, and the chest slowly opened of its own accord. When it began to open, a blue tinged light beamed out, and when it had opened fully it spread out to encompass the whole room, and Bill no longer felt the floor beneath him, he was floating towards the chest, as though being pulled by gravity. The light was bright but not blinding. His whole essence and being was taken into the chest, which slowly began to close, the light going with it until there was once again, a silent bedsit, the board game still there, still set out, alongside which there was a yellow hardhat.

When Bill’s vision returned, he found he was sitting down, looking out of a glassless window, at a yellow and red sky. He found that he was also in a grand hall, seated upon a throne, wearing a jewel encrusted crown.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Dear friend...
Posted: 1/25/2016 3:10:13 PM
The sun’s heat was particularly humid in the open plan office, as though the windows were large magnifying glasses, the workers under inspection, the heat rebounding from their computer monitors to bombard them as though they were in an oven.

Benjamin Lowell looked up as a shadow fell over him. Trevor Ingram was standing there, holding out a bacon and egg sandwich and a styrofoam cup of coffee.
“You’re a workaholic, you know that?” said Trevor.
“Doesn’t matter,” said Ben, taking the food, “I won’t be here in two years time, I’ll be relaxing in the Canaries, playing as many rounds of golf as its possible to handle”.
“Ah, yes, retirement. I’ve only got fourteen more years to go.” Trevor sat at his desk, across the carpeted aisle from Ben and turned on his swivel chair.
“Absolutely roasting,” he said, unbuttoning his shirt, then standing up and crossing to the window. He looked down from the fourth floor at people milling around the courtyard.

They worked as accounting technicians for a major bank, and both, in their own unique way, rather enjoyed it. Something about analysing figures and checking invoices brought a certain amount of satisfaction, especially as they knew that although they were cogs in the well-oiled machine, they were cogs that played an important role in its maintenance.

Ben relaxed back in his chair, and checked his personal email. He found he had three new messages. One was from ‘Naughty nymphs’. His subscription was due. Another was from his friend at the darts club, reminding him to bring his digital camera on Friday. There was an important game and he wanted photographs of the occasion. Another was from what simply appeared to be spam email.
All it said in the subject line was: ‘Dear friend’. He opened it, and skimmed through it, then laughed.
“Hey Trevor,” he said, “Listen to this”. Trevor wandered over from the window and stood by Ben.
“Dear friend,” he said, “You are my only hope. I am turning to you in desperation. My sister is sick and is lying in a coma. I cannot afford her hospital fees, and in order for her to receive treatment, I need to raise a total of £2100. If you would be so kind as to contribute towards it I would be very grateful, or perhaps you could donate by please sending me your bank details, and I will take only the amount you request. I hope you can help me, and thank you in advance of any contribution you may make.

Yours, Ags”.

“Ags,” said Trevor, “Who calls themselves that? Anyway, how blatantly obvious is that? They’ve got the cheek to just ask for your bank details. Normally they ask after a couple of messages. Delete it, don’t reply, ‘cos they’ll know your email account’s active. Anyway, back to work”. He turned and crossed to his desk. Ben read the email again, and a switch at the back of his mind flicked and he thought: ‘What if…?’ What if there really is a sick sister who needs help? It just might be genuine. He didn’t delete it, but put back up his database, and continued his work.

At home, sat with his wife of 37 years, watching a daily gameshow, the sprouting seed gradually entwined itself into his psyche, and he had visions of a woman lying on a hospital bed, attached to a life-support machine. What if …? he kept asking himself. What if I’m the only one who can help her? What if she dies, and I could have saved her? It was this thought that sent him into the back room to use his laptop computer.
“What is it dear?” Margaret asked.
“Just something from work I need to check”. She tutted, and rolled her eyes.
“A complete workaholic, you really are”. Ben forced a humourless smile, and was soon waiting for his email to appear. When it did, he clicked on ‘Dear friend’, and began to write a reply:

As you are probably well aware, there are many cons and scams on the internet, and yours seems like it is no exception. However, in the rare case of this being genuine, I feel you will understand my concern if I asked to see evidence of your sister. If I am convinced that this is real, then I will help you.

Benjamin Lowell.’

He turned off the computer and closed the laptop, then sighed, and went back into the front room.

The following morning, the first thing he did in work was check his email, but there was no reply. At midday, he checked again, and a reply had appeared. He felt apprehensive at opening it, not really knowing why, but he did.
‘Dear Benjamin’ it said. ‘I most kindly welcomed your reply, and can guarantee you that this is genuine. I can guarantee it, because I can prove it. My sister’s name is Tina Morgan, and she is currently in D-Wing of the Royal Constance medical institution. If you like, you can meet her. Please let me know when the best time would be for you. I thank-you in hopeful anticipation of your trust.

Ben read it again, and again, and the seed that had been planted suddenly grew even more quickly. Royal Constance is five miles away, he thought, and nodded, deciding that he would follow it through. His sceptical mind, however, warned him to still be vigilant. This could all be part of a scam. He nodded again, agreeing with himself, then formulated a reply:
‘I am not sure when you will see this message, but the time now is 12:04pm. I am owed time off, and can visit this afternoon.’ That was all he wrote, and he kept his email open and minimised while he worked, refreshing it everytime he maximised the screen. A reply came ten minutes later.
‘The Constance has a café’ opposite its reception. I will be sat alone in a corner, or thereabouts, depending how full it is, reading a newspaper. I will meet you at 2pm. I thank-you again’. For the rest of his time at work, Ben could think of nothing else, and conducted his work almost on auto-pilot. On his way out, he bypassed Trevor who looked at him with curiosity.
“You look as if you’re going home,” he said.
“Yes, the wife’s got an appointment and wants me to go with her”.
“It must be serious if you’ve left your desk. You never have time off. You must be owed about six years by now”.
“Well…yes, see you tomorrow” Ben said, and walked across to the stairs.

It took him two buses, and forty-five minutes to get there. He had two minutes to spare, but saw that Ags was already there, sitting by a window, deep in concentration in a newspaper. Ben was almost reluctant to disturb him, and he stood staring for a few moments, apprehensive, like a nervous teenage boy trying to pluck up courage to approach an attractive girl, but he did, mainly because he realised he was starting to look suspicious, just standing there in a café’, watching one of the customers. Ags looked up and smiled. He wore a wool fawn suit with a grey waistcoat, and sported a neatly trimmed beard that almost, but not quite suited him. He looked to be in his late thirties.
“Benjamin Lowell?” he said. Ben nodded. Ags stood up and they shook hands.
“It’s nice to actually see a real person behind these emails” said Ben. “I’ll bet most of them that are fake, you’ll never see a person behind them,” Ags said, gesturing to himself. “I’m real. Tina is real. This is all absolutely genuine, and I really do appreciate you coming. Come this way, I’ll take you to her”. He gestured to the exit, and they both left the café, and Ben followed Ags to the second floor. They chatted casually along the way, and Ben came to realise that there was nothing extraordinary about him. He seemed normal enough. Not somebody he would particularly bother about making friends with, but a decent individual with common characteristics.
“…and that’s why I don’t drink herbal tea. Here we are”. They reached the ward and Ags walked to a door and pushed through into a smaller corridor, and to a door on the left which he opened and entered. Ben found that they were in a small room, containing a bed, a chair that looked to be taken from an outdoor café, a respirator, and drip feeding glucose intravenously to the occupant of the bed. There was a sheet covering most of the person, but Ben could see that it was a woman who he would guess at being around thirty-five to forty.
“That’s my sister,” said Ags, with a sigh. “She needs a lot of expensive treatment”
“Isn’t this the NHS? Isn’t this free?” He spoke quietly as though he may wake her.
“She doesn’t trust authority. Or people who want all sorts of information about her, so she never signed up, never got insured. Always believed in natural cures. Bit of a free spirit is my Tina. A bit of a hippy really, but now she needs all the help she can get. If she hadn’t have got in the car with her now ex-boyfriend who had been drinking in a wine-bar, who then ended up ploughing into the back of a HGV, who incidently, only got away with a broken shinbone, and now has a permanent limp, she wouldn’t be lying here now, fighting for her life”. Ben simply stared at her for a while, the regular beep the only sound, telling him she was still alive.
“Alright,” he said. “How much is it you need again?”
“The cost could vary. Nothing is certain. I only mentioned £2100 as a rough estimate. If you give me your bank details, I will take only what is needed”. Ben nodded.
“Small price to pay,” he said.

Two days had passed since Ben had left Ags at the hospital, and despite his trusting of him, he was still apprehensive when he checked his bank account on the computer, especially when there was a two-second blank screen before the total appeared. It was exactly as Ags had said. £2100 had come out. Should any more be needed, Ags had promised to let Ben know beforehand. So far, there was nothing, and Ben’s account was still healthy.
“Working again,” said Trevor, appearing behind him, eating a chocolate bar.
“Yes, it never ends. It’s got to be done”.
“Yes, but, seriously. A man needs a break sometime”. He wandered across to the window, looked down at several people milling around at the entrance, smoking, took a bite of his bar, and walked across and sat at his desk, firing up his computer. A few minutes later, he checked his email.
“Hey, Ben” he said, swivelling on his chair, “I’ve got an email from that one who sent you a message the other day, sobbing about how he needs our bank details for his sick sister”. Ben swivelled and smiled.
“It’s real,” he said. “I didn’t want to tell you, but I might as well. I followed it through. I met Ags, and I saw his sister”. There was a few seconds of silence between the men.
“Really?” said Trevor, finishing his bar and putting the wrapper in his waste-bin.
“Yes, you can trust him”. Ben told him more of what had happened, and Trevor nodded, saying: “OK, right. I suppose I’ll send him my bank details incase he needs anymore. It can’t be left just up to you”. He turned on his chair and began formulating a reply.
“I wonder how she is, Tina,” said Ben. “I’ll give the hospital a call to check”. Previously, Ben had intended to do just that, and had written down the number of D-wing. He picked up his telephone and dialled. As he did, he minimised his work, and logged into his bank account to check his money again. The phone was answered on the other end.
“Hello,” he said, “sorry to bother you, I was wondering if you could please give me an update as to how a Miss Tina Morgan is. The woman in room 2A”.
“You mean the woman in the coma?”
“Yes, that’s her”. The white screen appeared before his account came up.
“A Mrs Bernice Montgomerry, she’s been there for two months”.
His bank account showed zero. His money had been cleared.
“There, I’ve done it,” said Trevor, “I’ve sent my bank details”. He swivelled on his chair.
“Hey,” he said, “You know what Ags probably stands for don’t you?
Another gullible sucker”.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Feathered friends
Posted: 12/10/2015 4:00:33 PM
".....well my chaffinch has been looking rather off-colour lately, I'm sure it's caught a bug. The other day I saw a fly buzzing near the cage, and you know how many diseases they have".
"Millions. Well, a lot. I'd get it checked. Take it the vet soon as you can".
"Yes, I think I will".
I listen with interest to the bird-fanciers around the tables that have been pushed together in a large rectangle, and can’t help but hate everything they say, and listen with revulsion. Why? Because they shouldn’t be here. I am sat as a guest, not a member of ‘Feathered friends’, a group of like-minded individuals who meet every week to discuss all things avian, each of them owning, and having heavy involvement with birds. Mr Kent here, owns two rare, African-grey parrots. Mrs Megan owns 24 budgerigars and 16 canaries. The despicable Mr Edgar owns racing pidgeons and has a large aviary with****tiels and goldfinches. As for me, Sheila Mirabelle, 64 year-old widow, I own nothing now. You see, this morning, I let all my birds go. I let them fly out into this cruel city, into its dangers, its choking smog, where cats prowl and nesting sites are rare. I love birds. Always have. It’s why I started the ‘The bird appreciation club’ at a local school, which would open for night classes, and we would meet in the geography classroom. It was great. For two years we got ourselves up to twelve members, until Mr Edgar over there came and changed everything. See, he was a member for a few months until he told me he’d let two of his goldfinches go. Just let them fly out into this cruel city.

Yes, I understand that it’s hypercritical of me, but under the circumstances, it was the best thing I could do. He said they were sick, and would have died soon anyway, had a virus that he didn’t want to spread to his other birds, but I said take them to the vet, they can cure it. He said they wouldn’t have been able to do anything, and would probably have put them down. I said they could have cured them and could have gone back in their cage. Basically we argued, and he left, and set up ‘Feathered friends’ a rival group to my own which is now basically defunct. He has 26 members, and I have none anymore. They all went to Edgar, who met at the same time as I did. I’m sure he did it on purpose. They meet in a ground floor room in a local college, and have been doing so for three months. ‘The bird appreciation club’ has been decimated because of him. I suppose in part it is jealousy, and in coming here it’s like admitting defeat. Yet, I’m not admitting defeat. Although when I came, I saw a wry smile on Edgar’s face, a cruel smile, a smugness which said far more than words could.
“Come to join us then’” he had said, and I caught the inflection in his voice that said: ‘It was only a matter of time’.
“Just curious” I had said, and had sat with the others, feeling disgusted as I did, feeling a burning hatred because they should not be here, they should all be at the school, in my club. They destroyed it, they took it away from me, and I hate them, I despise each and everyone of them.

Soon, one of them will ask me about how my birds are, oh…hold on, a few faces have turned to me.
“Sheila, nice to see you joining us. How have your birds been?” I barely hear the words, and stand up, surveying their vile faces, and looking at them all with revulsion.
“You should not be here”, I scream. “You should all be at my club, but you stole it from me. I hate you all”. I then pull a trigger that I had been clasping in the pocket of my coat. None of them questioned why I was still wearing it, but then it was quite chilly outside.

Lately I’ve been trawling the internet and was surprised to find that the claims that you can find virtually anything are true, including how to make a suicide bomb. It works, it really works, and now I find out whether I, or we, will get wings and fly into the afterlife. Maybe I’ll find out what it’s like to be a bird.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
First born
Posted: 9/11/2015 3:46:44 PM
He squeezed his eyes tight and placed his palm over his ear in a vain attempt to shut out the noise that felt like a hammer blow to his brain each time it ricocheted into the bedroom. He lay in his bed, in the darkness, facing the window, the warmth of the duvet cocooning him like a caterpillar. Rain lashed the window, and thunder rumbled away in the distance, but the shed door continued to bang away in the wind, and his mind told him that this weather was not going to go away anytime soon. It was here for the night, and that door was not going to stop. He lay there hoping it would, that it would just cease, as if the weather would take sympathy on him, and close and lock it for him, but he knew he was going to have to get up and go out there and lock it.

He sighed loudly, put one leg out into the cold and swung the duvet back. Standing up, he hurriedly put on his dressing gown and looked down at the sleeping form of his wife, who was currently immersed in dreamland, totally oblivious to any noise. He wondered if that had anything to do with her being seven months pregnant. Even in the gloom, he could see her swollen stomach, and hear her barely audible breathing. He smiled. It was his first. At 38, she 37, Miriam and Geoff Oswald awaited their first-born with eager anticipation, choosing names, shopping for clothes, as before then, both of them were career-minded, she choosing job security before settling down, he of a similar mind, but choosing the right time he wanted to do it, whilst maintaining his job as VAT assurance officer for the local council. She as a chartered secretary within the same department, but since then had transferred to a part-time position as a receptionist at a nearby medical walk-in centre.

They knew that in order to maintain a successful relationship, then they could not work together, or be in the same environment often. Absence can be a virtue when it comes to cementing long-term relationships, and reduce the natural amount of hostilities such a union can produce. Yet, each of them with the career positions that they had and were in, were not suited to a meek individual who could not handle the pressure and the strains of the job. It meant that they were both as stubborn as each other, and arguments were frequent, yet, with the pregnancy, it had seemed to make Miriam worse. He couldn’t do anything right, things she had for years simply ignored, such as leaving towels on the bathroom floor, not closing the front gate. He put it down to the turmoil of hormones that the pregnancy had on her mental state, and he believed would return to normal upon the birth. Everything would be fine once the baby arrived, he naively thought, rather like that of teenage mothers who upon discovering the hard way that their adolescent thinking of ‘It won’t happen me’ was proven wrong when they discovered that the pregnancy testing kit turned to blue. ‘They’ll have to stay together now for the kid’ their parents would say. ‘Maybe now they’ll get married, now that there’s a baby on the way’. Hence, the cloud of dust in the teenage father’s wake, and single mothers pushing prams around bargain basement shops and markets. Yes, the baby would solve everything, Geoff thought. Only two months to go.

Geoff was only five feet four, quite stocky with thinning wavy black hair. His emerging bald patch he was sure was down to work, down to stress. At one point he actually thought that if it can be proved to be directly the cause, then he would have sued. Compensation culture occupied a sizeable piece of his mind, but he was rather apprehensive about it, and had not yet made a firm decision, but that decision was, he guessed, that he would do nothing about it because if he failed, it would be rather embarrassing. He hardly ever used a comb, because the hair always chose its own style, and he usually always wore dark, staid clothing, of little or no style whatsoever. His wife was no different in the fashion department. She was a fan of brown, and seemed to have bypassed the eighties, as her style and tastes had halted in the mid-seventies. She was a ‘Mother’s daughter’, a girl that simply became their mothers, bypassing adolescence. With her Victorian attitude to manners and erotica, and her dowdy appearance, there were not many men who gave her a second glance.

He turned and walked out of the bedroom, and felt his way along the wall, even though he had lived there for three years and could probably have done it with his eyes closed. He didn’t want to turn on the light, so precariously made his way down the stairs and through into the kitchen. He shivered as his bare feet walked onto cold plastic flooring and shot a freezing bolt of chill through him. There was a small cupboard next to the fridge that stored various paraphernalia, such as a mop and bucket, pieces of carpet, and bottles of bleach. Old shoes cluttered the bottom, amongst them his holiday flip-flops which he fumbled around for, and slipped on. The key was already in the back door, and he unlocked it, tightened his gown around him, and stepped out into the freezing night.

The wind pushed him off balance immediately and he staggered across his limestone patio onto the lawn towards the shed which was still banging away as if a naughty child was constantly kicking a football against it. Lightening lit the area up for a split second, and the rumble of thunder came two seconds later. Already the rain had soaked him, and his hair was matted to his scalp. Another bolt of lightening struck a telephone stanchion behind the shed. The electrical box shattered and there was a ball of luminous blue that exploded, knocking him to the grass. The shed seemed to suddenly become elongated, then upside-down, and melded into its surroundings, along with Geoff himself.

He awoke on his back, staring up at a blue sky. The sun was out, and a fat bee lazily crossed his line of vision. He leaned up on his elbows and looked around him. He was in the same place, but was still soaking, and wearing his flip-flops and gown. The shed looked different, older, its wood stained and cracked with age. The door was missing, and there was nothing inside it. Its windows were gone, and it looked about ready to collapse. The grass was much longer, and was filled with weeds and pieces of litter. He slowly got to his feet and looked back at the house. It was the same, but different. It had been painted white, as opposed to the beige he had thought it was. The patio was still there, and against the wall leaned a cordless grass trimmer, looking dejected through lack of use. This is definitely my house, he thought, isn’t it? The surrounding area was similar, the neighbouring houses looking vaguely as he remembered them, but he was convinced that he stood facing his house, in his back garden. The back door was wide open, and he could hear no sound from inside. He felt a little apprehensive, not really knowing why. This is my house, he thought, I have every right to be here. He slowly walked inside, and did not recognise the place. The layout was still the same, but there was a completely new fitted kitchen, with an extractor fan above the oven and a cupboard above the worktop. Geoff thought again that he was in the wrong house, but then convinced himself that he wasn’t. He thought about calling out, but then decided against it. Into the hall, he stopped. The front door was wide open, and he could hear a car engine nearby. The carpet was thinner, cheaper, a dark green to the rust coloured one he remembered.

He cautiously went inside the front room. There were two black leather sofas at a ninety degree angle, facing a 44-inch plasma television. There was a coffee table in the middle upon which were cans of lager, white powder, several straws, and three handguns. Bullets were also amongst them. He then heard the car engine outside being revved. Somebody was here, just out in the front, and Geoff looked out of the window and saw that the layout was still the same. He could see several semi-detached houses opposite, as well as the corner of his local park. He looked down at a newspaper on a sofa and saw that the date was the 23rd of January 2025. 2025! he thought, staring wide-eyed at it. As far as he knew, it was 1995. ‘MY BOOZE HELL’ was the headline. Claudia Sterling had apparently collapsed and was sick outside club ‘Anonymous’. Claudia Sterling, Geoff thought. I know of her. She was a four-year old rising star of dance and theatre as far as he knew. She could sing and dance like those twice her age and was tipped for stardom. Then who was outside? he thought. On the wall, in the corner above a CD micro system, hung a cracked framed photograph. It had been knocked skewiff, and showed three people smiling at a round table of what must have been a function, or party. He instantly recognised himself. Crossing over, he saw his wife as well, and sandwiched between them, a baldy smiling youth. My son, he thought. That’s my baby, and he looked back towards where the car would be, as though the intervening walls were simply not there. My son. He walked to the living room door, and looked down again at the table, at the drugs and weapons.

It can’t be, he thought. It can’t be my son. Out into the hall, he stopped at the wide open front door. He could hear clinking and shuffling, as well as the engine. Geoff didn’t know what to do, fearful of walking out there, but not really knowing why. It’s my son, my lad, so why am I afraid to walk out there? He wondered if he would see his future self, but so far it appeared that only his son lived in the house. He then heard another noise, a loud jangling tune, suddenly followed by: ‘Hello? Oh, alright, listen, I’ve been meaning to talk to you’. Geoff heard more clanging as tools were put down. A shadow fell across the doorway. He’s coming in! he thought, then turned and dashed up the stairs, stopping at the top of the banister to turn and see who it was coming in. He edged himself out of sight, but could just see that it was same man in the photograph.
“Look, I’m havin’ to put the price up to £800” he said, holding a small mobile phone to his ear. Geoff saw that he approached the stairs, and panicked, turning around and crossing to the bedroom door which was ajar. It was the same room he and Miriam used, but a double-bed was against the opposite wall. His son walked up the stairs.
“You’ve no idea what I had to go through to get it,” Geoff heard. He saw that ahead of him, at the back wall, the clothing cupboard was still there as it was. One of its doors was open and he hurriedly dashed across and squashed himself inside, amongst leather jackets and trousers. He was breathing heavily with nerves, and just managed to pull the door over before his son entered the bedroom. A three inch gap gave him a view of the bed, upon which he saw four shotguns, and innumerable bullets.
“You’d better have the cash. I didn’t get this for nothing”. The man sat at the edge of the bed, and with his free hand, picked up one of the weapons and admired it.
“Yes, right, good. Its pump action, sawn off, as you wanted it, Right? So what d’you want it for?” Geoff saw him nod several times as he listened.
“Starting small time then,” he said. “Listen, if you’re going to scare old people into giving you cash, you don’t need a shotgun. You just need a knife or baseball bat. I’ve done it myself. Just get into their house when you know they’re on their own. Wear a disguise. Say you’re a gas man or something. It’s alright, most of them let you in. Smack them around so they can’t call the police and just rob them. Easy, I used to do it before robbing shops. Thing is though, you’ve got to mean business. If they refuse, or fight back. You’ve gotta blast em. You can’t bottle it. Two that did it to me are now dead, and the pigs haven’t got a clue. It’s why I can talk about it over the phone. They say they’ve got all sorts of intelligence and surveillance and all that, but they’re too busy going after speeding motorists and litter bugs to see what’s going on right behind their back”.

Geoff was trying to breathe slowly, but he knew he was audible. His son picked up another shotgun, and once again, examined it affectionately. He nodded a few times, said a few yes’s, and rights, then continued: “I know what you mean. Did you know that me and the lads are planning another job tomorrow? A bank. It’s so obvious. How many bank jobs do you hear of these days? Not many, right? so I reckon a lot of these places have let their guard down. They always have money on site, behind the counter, don’t they? And if we go in just before closing time, when there won’t be as many customers, we’ll take a few hostages and get what we can. I mean, to show we mean business I think I’m gonna blast one of ‘em. Well, I need to test out my new shotgun. We’ve got the masks, the getaway, and the firepower. Well, your gun’s here anyway, and you’ll pick it up when? Tonight, good. See ya then”. He threw the phone on the bed, and****d the weapon and aimed it at the wall, looking down it as though it was a sniper rifle. He slowly aimed it around, towards Geoff, who held his breath. The gun passed him by, and his son did not see inside the cupboard gap. He****d it again, nodded to himself, then placed it on the bed with the others. Geoff could hold his breath no longer, and tried his best to be quiet as he sighed quite audibly, a leather coat creaking also. His son picked up the mobile phone, put it in his pocket, and left the room. Geoff heard footsteps recede, and he guessed he’d gone back out to the car. He almost fell out of the cupboard, and got his breath back and surveyed the room.

That’s my son, he thought. A violent criminal. How could that be? How could I spawn that? An image of his friend’s father came to mind, because he had reacted badly to the discovery of his son’s homosexuality. ‘How can I spawn a child like you?’. ‘You’re disgusting’ ‘An embarrassment’. ‘How can I tell my friends about you?, and what you are’. ‘You’re not my son’.

Not my son, Geoff thought, surveying the guns on the bed. It can’t be. He walked across to a sideboard, and amongst several issues of ‘Biked and racked’ magazine, featuring motorbikes and semi-clad women from around the world, and a few credit cards that he was convinced were not his, there was an issue of ‘Domination’, featuring a person wearing a rubber zipper mask on the cover, with rope wrapped around them, which was tied to a post. Geoff closed his eyes. Not my son, he thought. No way. Anger began to rise within him, giving him increased confidence to go down and confront him. He turned and strode towards the bedroom door, looking down again as he did at the guns on the bed. They began to distort, to elongate, as though he was looking at them through water that had suddenly been disturbed. Everything he could see melded together, and Geoff became an ingredient, a drop in the malformation, his consciousness vanishing.

It suddenly returned, and he found himself lying on his back, in his garden at night, wind and rain lashing him. The shed door continued to bang, but Geoff did not acknowledge it. Instead, he got to his feet, got his bearings as much as the weather would allow him, and looked up at the bedroom window. He was breathing heavily. “Not my son,” he said aloud. “You’re not my son,” he shouted. The tear in the fabric of reality and time and space which had been ripped open by the lightening and power surge, creating a chaotic vortex, sucking Geoff through, had healed itself. Like a cut on skin, it heals over time, but here it was much quicker and healed fully, leaving no scar but the memory of where he had been.

Geoff was breathing heavily, still staring at the window.
“No way” he said. “No way”. He then ran back to the house, bursting through the door. He dashed across to the counter to where he knew there was a large bread knife in a rack. Picking it up, there was another flash of lightening which flashed from its blade, before returning the darkness again.
“Not my son,” he shouted, dashing through into the hall.
“You’re not my son”. Running up the stairs, rain water scattering from him as he did, he burst through the bedroom door and stopped. With the room being in darkness, his eyes could not immediately adjust, so he scrambled for the light switch, and the room was illuminated. He crossed to his wife, who was still sleeping soundly.
“You’re not my son” he said, staring at her bulging stomach. He reached down and wrenched back her sheet to expose her bare skin. Still she slept. His wide eyes stared at her stomach, and the images of what his son would become flashed through his mind.
“You’re not my son!” he screamed, raising the knife, and plunging it down, tearing through skin and flesh, the blade slicing through the foetus. He repeatedly stabbed, his wife startling awake, screaming, her wide startled eyes staring at Geoff, who sent the knife plunging into her neck, slicing through veins and nerves. Blood spouted from all the wounds, the heart still pumping the fluid as best it could, the crimson liquid splashing up at his face and soaking his gown. He stabbed her throat three times, the blood from those wounds spraying into the blood from her stomach, which he continued to stab. A liquid scream gargled from Miriam’s throat, her head falling back, ripping the knife wounds wider, more red fluid gushing forth. His arm quickly grew tired, and after a few moments, he stopped and stared down at his writhing, scarlet soaked wife. Every inch of her was red, and the blood soaked into the duvet and mattress, dripping onto the carpet. Geoff was breathing heavily, the stab wounds in the stomach had converged into one pulpy, gaping maw, the blood-soaked foetus carved into pieces. He did not hesitate to send the knife into his own throat. He managed four times before he lost the strength to continue. Blood rained down over his wife, spouting over the bed. He swayed, dropped the knife, and collapsed forward. Pain tore through his neck and he gripped his throat in a vain attempt to stop the blood-flow. Geoff and Miriam writhed on their scarlet death-bed, and as the life fluid gouted out of Geoff, he unconsciously found himself adopting a foetus-like position. He trembled as though cold. Miriam had stopped, but blood continued to spill from her. Geoff soon stopped also, and outside, a flash of lightening struck the electrical box at the side of the house, short-circuiting it, cutting off power. The room was plunged into darkness. The storm continued to sweep forcefully across the town, and in the back garden, the shed door continued to bang.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Out of this world
Posted: 7/3/2015 10:49:55 AM
Altering the frequency of the radio he had built himself, the noise of static could be heard once again, but turning the tuner further, he came across a voice that he was expecting, as he had been here many times before, trawling through the fm, am and medium wave frequencies to try and discover a signal, sound, or even voice, that did not come from this world. The voice he heard now was that of a taxi firm, telling one of its cabs that there was a pickup outside a hotel. He always listened in on the police, ambulance and taxis. With a microphone attached, he could speak with whoever he listened to, but he chose not to do that. It was reserved for any one, or any thing that tried to make contact through the airwaves.

He had converted his shed in the garden into a small station after he had retired, to send and receive airwave transmissions, rather like pirate radio. On top of the shed there was a satellite and a large aerial, enabling him to listen in on broadcasts from Europe, including their emergency services, but he didn’t speak German, or Italian, so what they were saying had no meaning to him. Instead, he concentrated on the UK, listening, most of the day, for a broadcast from outer space. It was the reason he had converted the shed, convinced that if aliens were to make themselves known, it would be through radio waves. He was in there most of the day. As when he wasn’t he was usually always thinking: ‘What if they are trying to contact now?’, so he had made the shed his second home, with his headphones on, listening to static, or white noise incase there was something he didn’t recognise, waiting for alien communication.

He decided he would try the radar frequency, even though he didn’t have the correct equipment for it to work properly, it did however, let him listen to airplane transmissions, but they never said anything exiting, simply saying something about coming into land, with the station saying that they are now cleared to land, so he didn’t bother much with listening to them. When he did, he found himself falling asleep with boredom. If he’d had proper radar, he would be able to scan the skies for any objects that could be deemed unidentified. However, having enquired at an army base in the midlands, he was told they couldn’t let him buy any, so he had to make do with minimal radar equipment that allowed certain pulse radio broadcasts to be listened in on, such as that of the airplane, and sometimes ships that were in nearby waters, but they were just as dull as the airplane broadcasts, so he hardly listened to them either.

He switched the radar scanner to that of microwave frequency, higher than that of normal broadcasts, and heard something he had not heard before at this level. It was a high pitched tone, or whistling, fused with a crackling sound, like when listening to a radio station not quite on the exact frequency, with the whistling being what is broadcast.
“Hello, hello, is there anybody out there?” came a voice. He was stunned, frozen with shock. This had to be from outer space, without question. This frequency was not used for communication, as it would not be audible without the correct equipment, rather like regular radio and mobile phone communication. If they all operated on the same level, then everybody’s calls could be heard, and it would be like listening to hundreds of voices at once, or in a crowded place, such as a pub, or an audience at an interval. Voices can be heard, but not one word can be made out. This level was never used as a form of contact, until now. He nervously fumbled with the microphone to try a plug it in, and when he did, he shouted a few hellos and told them he could hear them. He then asked:
“Where are you from?”. And the voice replied:
“We are from a planet called Earth”.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Silent streets
Posted: 4/18/2015 1:58:42 AM
He was deep in thought, contemplating the dilemma before him. He walked back and forth, trying to figure out how he could light five fireworks without the first one exploding before he could light the fifth. These fireworks, or bangers, made in Japan, were not average bangers. Each one was like a miniature bomb. These ones were strapped around the head of Carl Gershan, who was tied to a chair, barely able to move, near a wall painted white. He couldn’t make a sound as his mouth was strapped also. His wide eyes bulged with fear, pleading at Lance Emery not to light the fireworks. Yet there was no doubt that Lance was going to do it. As he paced back and forth, he flicked a lighter without even knowing it as he thought about his dilemma. The silence was heavy, pierced by the flicking lighter and Lance’s pacing footsteps. Perhaps it was more for effect that Lance taunted Carl with the lighter, stretching out as much time as he could to make his fear level reach as far as it was go. Carl knew he was going to die, knew Lance had done this kind of thing before, and knew Lance never let anybody of the hook, ever.

He knew he was no different, but couldn’t bring himself to accept it. Perhaps Lance was in a good mood, and if he sees the fear in Carl’s eyes he might feel a fragment of sympathy which meant he would change his mind. It wouldn’t happen, and Carl knew it.

Lance finally worked it out, and smiled not a sinister, but a genuine happy smile because he knew that all he had to do was light one firework, and that would cause a chain reaction, causing each banger to explode. There was a moments silence within the room, broken by the flick of the lighter which he slowly brought towards one of the bangers. Carl tried to scream, and his eyes nearly burst forth from their sockets as the blue touch paper of one of the bangers was lit. For several seconds, the only sound was that of a barely audible fizz as the paper burned. When it had all burned, there was a split second where nothing happened, and in that amount of time Lance thought it hadn’t worked, but then it did, and he was correct about the chain reaction. Carl’s head disintegrated, splattering in all directions, over Lance, over the white wall where it glistened bright red in the bright lights. Lance stood staring at the stump of the neck for a few moments as it gushed out blood, then he turned and looked at the TV camera that had captured it all.
“See that folks?” he said, “See his head explode? Look at me, I’m covered in blood and bits of brain. At least I think it’s brain, who knows if he had any?” There was a roar of laughter from the studio audience, and now with a microphone in hand, and an inane grin, Lance addressed the TV viewers.
“You’re watching live executions here on the Lance Emery show on LBN, Live broadcast network, bringing you inmates from death row here to die in all manner of exiting ways which you the viewer,” he pointed at the camera, “send in. Many thanks to Stan from Texas for sending in the fireworks strapped to the head idea, he wins a trip to the site where Carl Gershan murdered his wife and father, where he’ll see the bedroom where he took an axe to them, and actually get to hold the very axe he used. Maybe if he’s feeling brave, he will spend the night in that room. So remember folks, if your execution suggestion is used live to the nation, then you could win a trip to the scene of the crime where the inmates committed their acts. Keep your suggestions coming in, and join us next time for an outside broadcast where we’ll be throwing an inmate over a cliff. We’ll capture every detail as he splatters against the rocks”.

The Lance Emery show came to an end. It was the most popular show in the world, taking advantage of people’s taste for violence, basically giving them what they wanted to see. No longer was the death penalty carried out behind closed doors. Well, you would watch, wouldn’t you? even if it was out of curiosity. The public had become so desensitised to violence through films and the media, that in order to satiate their desire for more, the blood and guts had to be real. There were no special effects here. Such was the demand that criminals who would normally receive a lengthy jail sentence were now receiving the death penalty. One who had stolen a police car and taken it for a joyride had received the death penalty, and it was becoming increasingly apparent, that soon every criminal would probably be executed on TV. Its popularity was such that across the world whenever it was shown, society came to a halt, with most, if not all TVs tuned in to the show, and that outside, for the shows duration, there was nothing but silent streets.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Uncanny Maiden
Posted: 1/23/2015 10:58:52 AM
When he pulled up his Honda Civic in the village, he noticed that there seemed to be an air of trepidation, of suspicion. It would not have surprised him if the locals were watching him from behind their curtains, especially with him being a total stranger, and the first time he had ever been there, or been so far out of his area, but as a reporter for the Lincoln chronicle, he had been sent here to investigate the ongoing story of people going missing, and before he left his vehicle, he could see two notices featuring different people attached to lampposts. In this small, Lincolnshire borough, which barely even registered on some local maps, people were simply vanishing. It was approximately around once a week, and in the Lincolnshire area as well, but not as concentrated as it was around this village. The police were suspicious, but as usual, were too busy wrapping themselves up in red tape to concentrate properly on the investigation.

Already three detectives had been assigned to the enquiry, and they had paperwork to fill in, superiors to meet, permission to seek, money to discuss, and the officers also deigned to assist also had more pressing matters to attend to, such as Mrs Howell’s feelings in a nearby bank since she had been called a fat old walrus by an anonymous email. Whoever had sent it was in serious trouble. The police also had litter louts to fine, and cctv to survey to see who was putting their feet up on the seats of trains. It all meant that the investigation was very slow, and as a consequence, the main area of suspicion was void of policemen, but David Lawrence had hopes of being the one to crack the case, to grab the story that would make the front page news, not just of the Lincoln chronicle, but the nationals.

He knew that the local pub was always a good place to start, but in past experience the inhabitants seemed to band together in their collective amnesia. Most people not knowing anything about anything, when David knew very well that nobody wanted to be seen as a ‘grass’. As in prison, there are only a few things that are worse than being seen as this. However, in private, secure in the knowledge that they are anonymous, some people begin to remember. They remember things about their family, their close friends, their poisonous words hiding behind a mask of inscrutability. So whilst it was tempting to seek out the local drinking nest, perhaps to sample some of the local brew, his conscience told him, and maybe ask one or two questions, incase people were drunk enough to start giving answers, he thought that he would probe a few of the citizens, then maybe pass by the pub to seek solace in the bottom of a pint glass as relief in having solved the case, or in sorrow at ending up back where he started with nothing.

Armed with a rough notepad and pen, and with a typical reporter’s resolve to eek out the thread that would solve the case, he left his vehicle and locked it, deciding to head for the nearest shops where rumours start, perpetuate, and evolve. He entered a salon, and found that there was a woman in her late fifties sweeping the floor. He wondered just how much business a place like this did out here, but then that thought vanished as he realised he didn’t care.
“Hi, excuse me,” he said, as the door slowly closed behind him. The woman continued brushing for two more seconds before turning to look at him. She nodded slightly to herself, as if he was exactly what she had expected, as perhaps lately, she had come across others like him.
“You’re a reporter” she said, as a statement. David nodded, his pen poised over his pad.
“Can I just ask you a few questions?” he said.
“No,” said the woman. “As it’s not me you should be asking. It’s the person responsible. The last house you pass as you leave this place on the right. It’s her. I’m sure of it. She’s a witch. Who knows what she gets up to. That’s who it is. Remember ,“ she pointed in the general direction of the road he had just driven along, away from the village. He scribbled a note on his pad.
“That way, on your way out of this place. As you leave, the house there”. He caught her antagonistic tone of voice, but decided to risk one more question.
“Why do you believe this person to be responsible?” He looked up at her, and saw that she had turned away from him, and was sweeping the floor again.

He left, and decided to try this house she had mentioned. It was only a two minute walk along the road, but he decided to drive, and soon pulled up outside a semi-detached house, beyond which, a small cluster of trees bordered a forest. It was an unkempt place, left to decay. If a small hurricane, or storm was to sweep over it, it would probably collapse. He left the vehicle, opened the rusty gate and crossed to a cream coloured, flaking door. He knocked, but there was no answer. After a futile repeated attempt, he walked around the back of the house, but found a red painted wooden door blocking his way. He pushed it, but found it to be locked from the other side. Suddenly, he heard bolts slide back on the upper and lower parts of the door, and it then it swung open slightly. There was nobody there who could have opened it. David stood there for a few moments, not knowing what to do. If I go in, he thought, it might slam shut behind me. I have a chance now to escape. The reporter in him helped boost his confidence enough for him to decide that it was worth pursuing. If the police weren’t doing their job, and there were missing people here, then he felt a sense of duty, a duty to society, and to his superiors who would spray him with as much kudos as they could, with a promotion and a lot more money, he hoped.

When he had crossed the threshold, the door closed quickly, and the bolts slid back into place. In panic, he tried to pull the bolts back, but they wouldn’t move at all. With rising fear, he turned and walked into the back yard.
It was fairly large, all concreted and bordered with angry looking bushes. In the middle was a sturdy wooden post. A chain led from it to the collar of a doleful looking Rottweiler. It sat amongst pieces of bone and flesh, the concrete splashed in scarlet and purple. The dog went to walk towards him, but the four-foot chain stopped it. David could see fear in its eyes, even a thread of hope, and he guessed that it was not responsible for the feast that surrounded it. It was a meal.

He then saw large pawprints leading to and from the backyard door, accompanied equally by a human footprint. David did not understand what he was seeing, and slowly made his way to the door. Fear surged through him, and he wondered if he should just try to escape, get as far away from this place as he could, but he knew that he couldn’t do that. What if I solved the case, he thought. I cannot come this far only to run away. He wondered about knocking to announce his presence, but thought that maybe it might not be such a bad idea if nobody knew he was here. It might mean that no questions are asked with regards to his story, but if he found those missing people, he could probably ask such questions from the safety of a prison interview room. Gripping the handle, he slowly turned and pushed it.

A grinning face made him stop. A woman who looked to be in her mid-forties, wearing a dark dress and a multitude of jewellery stood there smiling.
“I was expecting you,” she said. David didn’t know what to do, or say, but after a few seconds, he stood back, and was about to speak when she spoke again.
“I must thank Barbara for sending you to me. Usually I have to go out and bring people in. I take it you’re here to investigate the disappearances. Well, there’s one”. She pointed at the dog.
“That’s a dog,” said David, some of his fear subsiding. He poised his pen over his pad, and the woman walked out into the yard, but did not go near the animal, as it looked at her with absolute hatred.
“Mr Gregory, who owned a bakery several miles from here is the latest to go missing, and that’s him. He’s food for my Morgan. My husband. I keep him in the basement, See? I can tell you all this because I know you’re not getting out of here. If I brought the missing people in, then folk would get suspicious as to why they weren’t leaving. So if I turn them into animals, who is going to ask questions as I bring them through the front door? Maybe somebody will think: It must be a zoo in her house, but that is not grounds to call the police, is it? or the press”.
David’s pen was still poised over the pad, nothing written.
“Is it true you’re a witch?” he asked, pandering to his own scepticism, whilst subtly revealing it to the woman.
“It certainly is, but I’m not fully converse with it as yet, but I’m learning. See, I can turn people into animals, but my husband, well, he’s not totally complete”. She looked genuinely saddened.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Iona” she said.
“Iona,” he repeated, writing it down. “Do you really expect me to believe that you can turn people into animals and use them as food for your husband who you keep locked in the basement”.
“I never said he was locked there. It’s his own choice. He can wander the fields if he likes. In fact, sometimes he does at night. See, he cannot face what he is, what I have made him. I didn’t want to make him like that. It’s the way it happened”.
“Can I see him?”
“Oh, you’ll be seeing him alright”.
“There are no missing people here are there?” David said, matter-of-factly.
Iona didn’t answer. David continued:
“What I see here is a lonely woman who plays out bizarre fantasies, and imagines herself as a witch. I’m guessing you don’t have any kids, or perhaps any family”. Iona smiled.
“You don’t think I’m a witch? Explain how the door locked behind you”.
“Trick machinery”
“Trick machinery? Going to put that in your paper, are you?”
“No, this is not even worth a few words in a side column on page ten, in fact, it’s time for me to leave”. Iona held out her right hand towards him, then slowly lifted it up. David suddenly felt his feet leave the ground. He struggled as he rose, and ended up almost level with the roof. Iona withdrew her hand, and David fell to the floor, his notepad and pen flying away.
“Ahh, what the hell are you doing? and what are you?”
“Never call me a fake”, said Iona. She turned and walked into the back kitchen.
“Come in,” she said. David slowly got to his feet and composed himself. He reluctantly walked into the kitchen where he found Iona opening a trapdoor.
“Morgan will be glad to see you,” she said. David saw wooden steps leading down into blackness. He stood there for almost a minute, staring at it.
“Can’t he come out?” he asked.
“Yes, he could” said Iona, but I don’t think he’s going to. He’s turned himself
nocturnal, you see? I suppose because he can be free at night”. He heard shuffling coming from down there, and scraping.
“Ah, he’s awake” said Iona. She knelt down a reached down in the side of the trapdoor and flicked a switch. Light flooded the basement, but David couldn’t see anything except more steps leading down, and in a surge of confidence, he walked down until he reached the bottom. He found that the basement was quite small, about half the size of the back yard. The floor was covered with straw. Something lying against the back wall made him stop and stare. It was eight or nine feet long. It’s right half was feline in appearance, the face melded into the features of what could only have been a sabre-toothed tiger. The other half of its face was human, but completely pale, bloodless. One six-inch tooth protuded from its large mouth. Where a right, human arm should have been, there was a front right leg of a tiger. The other arm was human. Light brown fur went down his right side to its leg, which was feline to its human left side, even though the foot of that leg was almost a paw.

Iona walked down the stairs behind him, and suddenly and a thin, liquid, transparent substance surrounded him, like an oval bubble.
“What’s this?” he yelled, and tried to break free from it, but it would not tear. He was trapped. Iona walked across to Morgan and knelt beside him.
“What’ll it be?” she asked. The hybrid looked at David for a moment, who was still trying in vain to break free.
“Snack,” he said. “A snack please”. Iona stood up and looked at David for a few moments.
“I got the spell wrong,” she said. “He wanted to turn into a Smilodon, believing that I could use the spell of reversal to turn him back, but because the spell was not complete, or correct, the reversal spell cannot work. I hope one day to work out the spell specific to this that means it can be reversed. Still, he enjoys his meat”. Iona waved her hands in the air, closed her eyes and muttered incantations that seemed to be from another language. David suddenly felt himself contorting and shrinking. Pain tore through him as bones snapped and reformed, and organs twisted into other shapes. A scream tore from his throat before his vocal cords contorted. At a height of around two feet, his hands became rodent paws, and his eyes became black. After a few more moments, the transformation was complete. Iona opened her eyes a saw the terrified looking rat in the large transparent shield. She crossed over to it, and waved her hands the correct way to dismiss the bubble. Reaching down, she picked up the rat by the tail and looked at the petrified creature. David was conscious of what had happened and tried in vain to escape.
“Quite apt, I think” said Iona, “You shouldn’t feel much different, considering your profession”. She grinned, then swung him underarm to her husband, who caught him in his gaping maw. He chewed and swallowed in three seconds.
“I’ve got a rottweiler for you to have later” she said. Morgan nodded, and went back to his makeshift bed. Iona walked back up the stairs, switched off the light, and closed the trapdoor behind her.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 11/24/2014 3:49:24 PM
There was not much of interest in the market. It seemed to be simply people trying to get rid of their unwanted attic junk. Yet buyers picked up and examined rusted cutlery, books that had been soaked in water, videos and cassettes so ingrained with filth that it would be rather brainless to put them anywhere near a machine. General tat and junk that belonged on a waste tip, not still with a price on. So when Gerard Lawson saw the only thing that caught his eye, he debated whether or not he wanted it. It was a figurine, or ornament that was simply of an elderly man, with a pipe, standing as though he was waiting in a queue, or at his local football ground watching his side being defeated. It was pure white, and rather statuesque at about six inches high. He bought it for a pound, even though he was expecting to pay at the most fifty pence. If he’d of known it was going to be a pound then he would have left it, but the fact that he drew the attention of the seller meant that he had felt obliged to purchase it.

Upon returning home, he felt regret at having bought it, simply because he knew he could have saved his pound for a loaf of bread or milk. Instead, he had to find somewhere to put it, and thought that on the end of the mantle-piece in the back room should do. It was a room he hardly used much. At 62, widowed for fourteen years, in a house he had occupied for 34 years, Gerard wondered if he had felt any affinity with the figure, whether that had influenced his decision to enquire about it. Did he look at it, and somehow see himself? It didn’t matter, it was his property now, and on the mantle-piece would be fine, as it would be hardly seen, and perhaps even forgotten about.

That night, at 2:30am, he was awoken by a distant house alarm that often sounded unexpectedly because of a fault. One day he had told himself he would walk around there and tell them to get it fixed. One day, he thought. A glass of milk for the moment was required though, he decided, and got up and pulled on his dressing gown. A few moments later the last of the milk sank down his throat in the dark and cold kitchen, and the alarm stopped. Making his way back to the stairs, he heard a clinking sound as he passed by the back room. He stopped and frowned. What was that? he thought, opening the door to check. He put the light on, and saw that the figurine was on the floor. How did that happen? he thought, replacing it. Thinking nothing of it, he turned off the light and went back to bed, and was two hours into sleep when he was awoken again, by his radio in the bathroom. After he had roused, and had switched it off, deciding that it was faulty, he had only stepped out of the bathroom when he heard another clink from downstairs. He switched on the landing light, shielding his eyes from the glare, taking a few moments to adjust.

He looked down at the stairs, and saw that the figurine was on the bottom step. He knew it wasn’t him, that he was not at fault, but, he thought, it must be something. When it came to things supernatural, Gerard was a sceptic, so there must be some logical explanation as to why it was there. Perhaps it was me, he guessed. Was it old age? Where the brain cells disappearing at increasing rate? Deciding to move it in the morning, he switched off the light and made his way back into the bed. Outside, wind and rain swept across the town, but Gerard could not hear it, could not hear the spattering droplets against the window, as he was an hour into sleep. He was slowly roused awake by a movement, a movement on his pillow. All he had to do was reach out with his hand to put the bedside lamp on, which he did, and when his vision cleared, he saw the figurine inches away, lying horizontal. He watched as it slowly put itself into an upright position, and leisurely lifted itself from the pillow and glided over him. It stopped and waited. Gerard could not fathom what he was seeing. Was this some strange, lucid dream, or was this very real? He laid on his back and propped himself up on his elbows to look at it. It seemed that that was what it was waiting for, as it then sank down onto the duvet across Gerard’s chest. It, however, didn’t stop there, as it seemed to burn through the material, and then his chest. It was as though his chest was being branded, but it burned through. Gerard tried to scream, but his lungs were scalded through, and the figure then began to liquify, as though the heat was melting it. It dissolved into him, and Gerard’s terrified eyes could only stare as the last of the figure sank into him. He could feel it burning and scalding his insides, but still he could not scream as he felt it sinking into his very bones. He clutched his chest in a vain attempt to somehow stop it, and he saw that his hand was becoming white, and hard. It was becoming porcelain. As his heart dissolved, the last words he thought were: “I’m shrinking. I’m shrinking”. Soon, he shrank to around six inches, and stayed like that for a long time.

There was nobody to raise a concern about Gerard’s whereabouts, so for three years he lay beneath the scorched duvet until a drug addicted youth decided to break in. He did not find much of interest. He didn’t even find the figurine, but as he had found it easy to enter, and had never seen anybody coming or going, the place became a squat for him and his friends. The local neighbourhood watch knew of this, did not like their community interfered with by criminals, so kicked up enough of a fuss with the authorities to have them moved. So after the house had been cleared, it became boarded up, and the figure lay at the bottom of somebody’s cardboard box, full of useless equipment that could barely be given away, in a garage occupied by furniture and general fourth and fifth hand goods. The person responsible for the garage and everything inside it was a car boot sale veteran. Every week he would sell his junk at a few markets, and earn quite a substantial profit. The day came when the box was lifted into the back of a van and driven, at 5:30am to the market. Even though he’d been doing it for years, he still had to arrive early to stop his place being claimed for that week. This week, he took with him his ex-wife’s son, whom she had had before she met him. At sixteen years old, he seemed to enjoy it, and would perhaps one day take over the mantle.

Arriving at the market, they were setting up when the boy lifted out the box containing the figure, and accidentally spilled everything into the back of the van. He gathered them back, but missed the ornament, and walked across to their pitch. Hours later, when the market was in full swing, customers crowding around stalls to see what was on sale, the man decided that a deckchair that he had left in the garage might sell, so he left responsibility with the boy, and crossed to the van. He saw that the back door was open, and was about to close it when he saw the figurine lying next to an old tyre. He reached in and took it, then closed the door. He turned and called across to the boy and showed him the ornament, making a throwing gesture for him to catch it. He threw it underarm, and the boy reached out to catch it. It hit the back of his left hand, and spun to the floor, smashing apart. Everybody in the market stopped and looked around when they heard an ear-splitting scream.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Feeding time
Posted: 6/27/2014 3:15:14 PM
The van pulled up outside the house, its driver switching off the engine. Mrs Lyson watched from behind a net curtain in her upstairs bedroom. It’s about time, she thought, watching as the plumber rummaged in the back of the van for his equipment. He was soon heading up the path and ringing the doorbell. She opened the door and allowed Bill Hollis to enter. They exchanged pleasantries, and Mrs Lyson told him that the sink upstairs was only producing a trickle of water when turned on fully. She insisted on giving him a cup of tea before he even put one foot on the stairs, and told him about all the trouble she had had in trying to get a reputable plumber when there was so many cowboys out there. She asked him if he didn’t mind her going out to the shops, leaving him to get on with it. Whilst surprised by her faith in him that he was honest and sincere, he did not expect her to leave him in the house all on his own. She was either not thinking straight, or placed absolute trust in him. In the hallway, she donned her coat and bade him farewell. She would be back in an hour or so, she told him, and Bill had the house to himself.

Bill was in his early forties, slightly overweight, and always in need of a shave. He had been a plumber for five years, a joiner before that, and before that, spent seven years in prison for trying to smuggle heroin through customs. Before that he had been in college learning media studies, until he left, realising he was going nowhere with it, and had to abandon his dreams of acting in dramas, or on the cinema screen. Upstairs in the bathroom, he found nothing wrong with the taps. They were all working fine, but he would still tell Mrs Lyson that he’d fixed it, and charge her accordingly. Accordingly, in Bill’s terms, meant as many costs as he could get away with. Bill’s reputation as a plumber was not impressive. He always did minimal work at high costs. He was the type of person that are featured many times on TV where rogue workmen are often found out and confronted. He wondered how long it would be before he was shoving a camera out of his face and running away down the street. He placed a few tools around the bathroom, to make it look as if he had been working, and opened the cupboard beneath the sink to expose the pipes, in case she came back early. He decided to spend the time waiting for Mrs Lyson, wandering around the house to see if there was anything of interest. He wouldn’t steal anything, unless he was quite certain he could get away with it, but he had a friend, who had met in prison who was good at house breaking, so if he made a mental note of everything worth taking, he could tell his friend who would burgle the house, and split any sales he could get from selling them. His friend was often remarkably tight-fisted when it came to sharing the wares. He would take approximately 70% of the takings, telling Bill that it was him who did all the hard work, and all Bill did was tell him what was worth stealing. He was right of course, but Bill didn’t think it fair that he took so much, so he didn’t see this particular friend much, only when an opportunity arose where he could perhaps make a substantial profit. First things first though, he thought. He would have to search the house for valuables.

It took five minutes to go around it all, and end up in the front bedroom, over looking the front of the house. He was disappointed. There was barely anything worth a second glance. She didn’t have a video, or a microwave, and the TV and radio she had dated back to the early eighties, and were not worth much. He stood at the window, looking out to see if he could see Mrs Lyson. He couldn’t, but turned around when he heard the bedroom door shut quietly, as though somebody had come in and tried not to wake anybody who were sleeping in the bed. He thought that perhaps it was one of those doors that shuts slowly, and closes after a few seconds, so he thought nothing of it, nor the fact that the temperature in the room was slowly dropping, as though a window had been left open at night. He was curious though, about an emerging sound that was filtering into his ears. It grew louder until it reached a certain pitch. He could not work out what it was.

It sounded like the base of a waterfall to Bill, and out of the corner of his eye, movement caught his attention, and he looked up at the ceiling at the cause of the noise. At first he could not comprehend what he was looking at, but eventually it sank in. The ceiling was seething with****oaches, climbing over each other in some unknown pursuit. Each one looked to be the size of a small mouse. Bill had to scream when, as if on cue, they all dropped. Landing in his hair and crawling beneath his collar, these****oaches sank their incisors, or where they teeth? It certainly felt like, into his flesh, and slowly but surely, they ate him down to the skeleton.

It wasn’t long before Mrs Lyson was stood staring down at the bones that once belonged to the plumber. All the****oaches had gone, and would return when she lured another unsuspecting victim to fix the sink. Mrs Lyson was 148 years old, but looked about 60. The ageing process was frozen at that age because that was when her husband had died. He had been an entertainer, a stage magician who had dealings with real magic, but in an amateurish sense. He had been trying to use it for his own benefit, but had inadvertently ingested a lethal****ail which he had believed would give him eternal life. Instead, it had killed him, but reincarnated him as a thousand****oaches that had the ability to bestow one year of extra existence to a person of his choosing. The price would be to simply feed them one human. For one human, one year would be added to Mrs Lyson’s life, and she kept her husband fed well. It was easy to bring unsuspecting victims into her house. Plumbers, electricians, gas men, all left alone for her husband to feed on.
Several years ago, she had managed to acquire several vats of corrosive substances which had been sent for waste by a school science department. Why they needed so much of it she never knew, but they ended up in her basement, which took care of the bones, so not a single trace of them remained, except for perhaps the drifting molecules that had once been a part of that person, drifting in the air, like their departed spirits, or ghosts.

It was easy to find potential victims. She would find them in the yellow pages, and understood that the smaller the advert they had, the more likely they were to be a charlatan or bad worker. Now though, she had the task of dragging the skeleton into the basement, but there was no rush. She had all the time in the world.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 2/18/2014 3:26:08 PM
He hated his boss, ‘hated’ her. He always felt oppressed in his job, psychologically bullied because she simply took a dislike to him. He seemed to be the type of person whom, to her, was instantly dislikeable. It was not her who had hired him, so she had no choice but to accept him as an employee. He wondered if she was trying to find a way to dismiss him, but then thought that perhaps she enjoyed tormenting him because he let her get away with it. He had to he supposed, or she probably would sack him. Maybe she was frustrated because he never gave her a reason to dismiss him.

As a health records clerk, his job did not warrant excitement. In fact, nodding an acknowledgement to the student nurses who he came by was as exciting as it got. He hated it, and he hated Miss Barbara Deacon. Miss. 57 years old, and married to her job. He knew that she had never had a man in her life. Probably just as well he thought. Any poor wretch who had been caught in her web was bound to have ended up as her slave, or prisoner. Yes love, sorry love, I won’t do it again. Yet, tempting as it was to simply walk out of the job, he stayed because it was a kind of safety net. Knowing how hard it was to find work in the current climate, he stayed because it was financially secure, and at one point in his life he had spent three years signing on. Never again, he had thought, so the job stayed as long as he had it, within his comfort zone which included his wife and three year old daughter, and as he lay in the darkness, staring up at the ceiling, he still couldn’t help but think of Miss Deacon, hoping she would simply leave, or leave him alone.

Maybe, he thought, she held a secret desire for him, and that was why she kept hassling him. Was it her way of finding a partner? annoy those you fancy in some convoluted plan to catch them on a hook and reel them in. Some people had strange ways of going about it. So by keeping him the centre of her attention, he was popular only to her it seemed, and he didn’t know what to read into that. Yet she epitomised the word ‘battle-axe’, and the thought of her fancying him appalled him, and he turned in his bed to look at the closed curtains. A muted shaft of blue blended into the darkness on the ceiling, and he closed his eyes, and there she was, in his mind’s eye, watching him, but eventually she faded away to give rise to other thoughts that concerned him, but soon they gave way to the warm grip of sleep that enclosed his consciousness and took him to oblivion.

It wasn’t long before he began to dream. He was standing in a field that he did not recognise. A few trees were scattered around, and across to his right at around a hundred metres was a forest. The grass was mostly of ankle length, and the sky held no clouds on what seemed to be a sunny day. He began to drift across the pasture, but not through his own will. He wasn’t concerned. He didn’t know it was a dream. The rules of reality and physics in dreamworlds are instantly shattered, but this seemed normal enough, considering.

In the distance, he noticed somebody coming, or drifting towards him. He saw that it was Miss Deacon. She looked at him curiously as they passed. They turned to look at each other as the distance between them grew, but eventually both drifted out of sight. The field was huge and expansive, and his drifting began to speed up. Soon, everything melded into white, and it surrounded him like a fog. The white became muted, and grey tinted its shade, until it became black, unconsciousness returning him for the rest of the night into a dreamless void.

Waking up, throwing the duvet cover back and swivelling to sit upright, it became immediate that something was wrong. Not only was he in unfamiliar surroundings, he was also in an unfamiliar body. Standing up and looking in a dressing table mirror, he looked into the face of Miss Deacon. Elsewhere, her mind had entered his body, and she was in a similar predicament. He realised as he stared at him-herself, that he had became that which he hated.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 2 (view)
Quantum Physics On The AfterLife
Posted: 12/8/2013 2:06:03 AM
Firstly, it's from a newspaper, which means anything they say is to be taken with a pinch of salt. It's a waste of time reading any of them.

However, the laws of physics break down at the quantum level and scientists don't understand it, so there may well be an afterlife through that.

Also, if life is energy, and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, then when you die, your 'lifeforce' may then 'convert' in to another form of energy, or something else, which may then be called an afterlife.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 10/12/2013 3:41:52 PM
The prospect of decorating never appealed to Derek. It was always a case of putting it off until later, but later never came. He would make excuses that he would often believe himself, such was the conviction he told them with. Yet, today, he had actually made a start, dampening the wallpaper to make it easier to strip. His wife was no help whatsoever. It was her constant pestering that forced him to make a start, if only to keep her quiet. The hall was first, where there was an elegantly carved table, upon which lay the telephone. It couldn’t stay there while he was working, so his wife suggested putting it in the loft. Derek couldn’t see why putting it the loft would make it any safer than putting it in the spare room or bedroom, but once his wife’s mind was made up, that was that, the table had to go in the loft, along with many other miscellaneous items that would be ‘safe’ up there. Most manageable furniture would end up in there, Derek thought. There was no reasoning with her. Derek had been married to her for 22 years, most of them happy. At least that’s what Derek told himself.

He had convinced himself that she was the only woman for him. As it was these days, with Derek being the exact opposite of a male model, at 59, with a beer gut, and his faculties slowing down with age, he had become the epitomy of the answer to the question in relation to his wife: Who else would have him? He had accepted the way things were. If he tried to change anything within his marriage, then he always sought her approval, or permission, accepting her answer, always without question. She was downstairs now, making cottage pie. He didn’t like cottage pie, never had. One remark 18 years ago as to what he thought of her cooking was enough to keep him in cottage pies for years. ’ Yes, this is lovely’, he had said, and that was that. It was cottage pie every Tuesday. It didn’t matter. She always saw Irene on Tuesday for a social evening at the local conservative club for card games, bingo, line dancing, and all manner of activities that she enjoyed along with people of a similar age. Derek used her absence to go to the takeaway. Char siu and chips, covered in curry. It was sheer bliss. When he had finished, he always disposed of the empty packet by leaning over the fence in the garden and putting it into next door’s wheelie-bin. For seventeen years she had never suspected.

Tonight was his little bit of freedom to relax in front of the TV and watch what he wanted. The remote control was all his. In the meantime, he had to haul the table up into the loft. The stepladders were open beneath the dark square in the hallway ceiling, and he found himself having to find a torch. He retrieved one from the garage, one bought for him for his birthday six years ago by his wife, and hardly used. Its beam was powerful, and picked out everything in the loft in glaring intensity, including a collection of broken pieces of furniture, no use to any one, piled up in the far corner. Putting broken furniture up in the loft was one thing, Derek thought, but then piling it all up in the corner meant to him that there could be a reason for it, or somebody had had nothing better to do. Perhaps it was hiding something, he wondered. Having been here for four years, and only once having ventured into the loft, he had never thought that it could be concealing something. There was nothing else of interest up there. Layers of asbestos, an empty, dust laden bin-bag, a piece of wire, and a piece of broken glass. With the torch laid at an appropriate angle, Derek began to move the pile, starting with a piece of chair leg at the bottom. He should have thought, but he didn’t, that beginning at the top would have been easier, as the whole pile came crashing down. He jumped back, clutching onto a wooden post. Thick dust swirled like black smoke from burning tyres and clogged his throat, making him cough like he did the first time he had tried a cigarette, 40 years ago.

The ceiling remained intact, but Derek was more worried about the wife. He was waiting for a call from downstairs to ask just what on earth the noise was, but when nothing came, he assumed she must be out in the back yard, or somewhere out of earshot. The torch was underneath the furniture somewhere, producing muted shafts of light through the wood. One beam, deflected from the surface of half a coffee table, despite the thick layer of dust, cast the wall, hidden by the pile of useless furniture, in a muted yellow hue. Derek came to the conclusion that the furniture was hiding nothing. It was a blank wall. At least, Derek believed it was a blank wall until he looked a little closer. He stepped over the furniture and managed to crouch down and see that part of the wall was a different colour. Most of the bricks were old and encrusted with grime, but one part held new bricks, hastily cemented together. There were six bricks that Derek guessed had not been there as long as those surrounding them. It seemed as though somebody had sealed something up.

It didn’t take him long to go downstairs into the garage and retrieve a hammer and chisel. He was soon back up inside the loft, chiselling away at the bricks. He found them to be quite tough, chipping away small fragments of cement upon each strike of the hammer, but eventually, he managed to remove them all, but couldn’t see inside because the light did not filter within, so he found himself having to retrieve the torch, a task he found quite difficult as it was almost concealed under the weight of the furniture. Eventually, he grasped it, and was soon pointing it into the hole in the wall.

Perhaps the last thing he would expect to see, was what Derek was looking at. Who put that there? and why? he thought, as he stared at the compact disc cemented into the adjoining wall. The case was unremovable, but its Perspex front could be opened and the CD removed. On the CD itself, the words: ‘DO NOT OPEN’ were written in black felt tip pen. He looked closer and discovered that it was a CD ROM. He opened the cover and removed it. It looked usable, and free from dust. In the small, spare room, Derek had a computer which he used as a form of escapism when he wanted to stay out of his wife’s way. He would, as the phrase says: ‘surf the web’. That was all it was used for. He never bothered to buy any software for it, not seeing any need. The internet was sufficient enough for his requirements. Not that he had any requirements. It was a novelty at first. He had been seduced by TV and press adverts, proclaiming all its good points. When he had had it installed, he searched for virtually everything, playing with it like a child with a new toy, but eventually he settled into familiar sites that he always came back to. Sites about cars, and holiday destinations. All places he would like to visit, preferably without her downstairs.

Eager to find out what was on the disc, it took him almost two minutes to climb down through the hatch, one foot trying to find the top of the step ladder. Eventually, he climbed down, disc in hand, and went straight into the small room to turn on the machine. As it took its time coming on, Derek looked out of the window, at the eyesore across the road. Even when it was occupied it was an eyesore, but now it seemed even more so, as it was being allowed to be run down and neglected. Bramwell high security prison held no convicts. All its occupants had been dispersed to various other holdings around the country, its last prisoner leaving four years ago. Derek didn’t know why it had closed. There had been conflicting views as to the exact reason, but the gist of it came down to money. There had seemed to be a distinct lack of it, or somebody wasn’t putting it where it should be. It didn’t matter why exactly it had closed. The fact remained that across the road there was an empty structure that once housed some of the country’s most dangerous criminals. Now it was a shell, home to any rats that had the freedom to run along the corridors, and spiders that had spun their webs in the corners, waiting patiently for any flies. No longer did those corridors echo the voices of those whose liberty had been taken from them, the walls absorbing the hatred at being locked away, at not being able to roam the countryside, at not being able to take their children to the fun fair. Freedom for them was something to be dreamed about. The despair they must have felt at the thought of remaining like that for the rest of their sentence must have made the emotional impact intolerable. To spend five minutes alone must have been a reward, but not in solitary confinement, where too much time alone could cause further psychological damage.

The prison system had probably got it all wrong, causing unknown anguish so that the prisoners suffered worse than that which had been intended by the court that put them there. Yet they were in there for a reason, to be shut away from the society that rejected them because they were a danger, a threat. It did not matter how much they suffered inside, because nobody cared. They chose the criminal way of life, so they must face the consequences should they be caught, and any further suffering caused by isolation or over-crowding was a bonus to the victims of the crimes. They were prisoners, simple as that, law-breakers, people who had opted out of normal society, having chosen instead to step over the threshold of what is accepted by the majority of the public. Once they were behind the prison walls, out of sight, nobody cared who they were, except friends and family. Society only cared that they were paying for their crimes. Once justice had been meted out to those to whom it is deserved, then people were happy. It wasn’t Derek’s idea to move here. He had had to be persuaded by his wife, but the answer was always going to be yes. She had wanted to be closer to her sister who was in an out of hospital like a person who worked there, complaining about this, complaining about that. They had been moving house anyway, and this house had seemed quite adequate, its price considerably lower than what they had expected, perhaps due to irrational fear of escaped prisoners.

The computer came on, and Derek became hesitant in putting the disc inside the machine. What if it contained a virus? It could wipe everything from the hard drive. He realised that there wasn’t much saved in it anyway, and that curiosity would get the better of him. Despite his reservations, and indeed the warning on the disc, he knew he was going to put the disc in the machine, and he did.

It took a few seconds for the autoplay feature to activate, and when it did, the screen went black, then white, and icons began to appear in the form of prison cell bars. Beneath each was a number. It stopped after ten icons appeared. Beneath them, the warning was repeated, but his time in flashing red: ‘DO NOT OPEN’. Derek knew he was going to open one of them. Again, his curiosity wouldn’t let him obey the message. He chose an icon, and double-clicked on it.

Suddenly there was surge of electricity that came through the mouse, and he found he could not let go. It was as though he was receiving an electric shock.

His soul or essence, was being pulled into the computer, and he felt his life draining away as though he was bleeding to death. It wasn’t long before he had been taken into the computer. His lifeless body was slumped in the chair, hand still gripped tightly to the mouse. It began to surge again, power, or essence, flowing back into his form. He began to re-animate, and when the flow stopped, he let go of the mouse and jolted back. It took him a few seconds to re-orientate himself, and when he did, he stood up and looked around.

It was not Derek’s mind, but the mind of the person who had been trapped inside the disc on the icon selected by him. Within each image there was a different person, trapped on the disc, waiting for an opportunity such as this to possess a person’s being and once again interact with the physical world. Karl Melville walked to the window and looked out at the prison across the road. It had been his home for so long, his home because he had murdered two teenagers for trying to break into his car. For most of his life, he had been in and out of prison, as he used to be a member of a gang, or syndicate, that opened up bars and clubs, funded mostly by drug money. The teenagers were not to know they were breaking into a known gangster’s car, but he had no sympathy. He had been carrying a handgun at the time, which held sixteen bullets, all of them pumped into the thieves. At that time, Karl had been sixty-two, and with his past reputation, and with the murders, witnessed by a few people, he knew that he was going down for a long time. He wasn’t surprised to receive a sentence of 25 years, and he knew that he would probably die in jail. Along with the others who were trapped on the disc, he was one of those who died in prison, and were buried in its grounds.

One of the prison workers, who helped to try and rehabilitate those who could not fit in with society, occasionally found himself alone in the place where prisoners were buried, and when there was a new arrival, he would perform an ancient Indian ritual where the soul would be trapped in a certain place until it is set free. Being technological minded, he had matched both interests to store their souls onto disc. It was not for malevolent purposes that he had done it. He had thought that if he had access to their consciousness, he could continue his psychoanalysis of them, and try to alter their personality in order to make them compliant members of society again, before they turned to crime. How he would actually achieve this without a body for them to possess, he had no idea. He was more interested in experimenting with them.
Once he was satisfied that they had altered their way of thinking, and were ready to enter back into civilisation, he would find a suitable body for him to use in order to attempt it.

It was a test, or trial. One that was never fully accomplished, because the souls, trapped on the disc were highly resentful that they had been used in that way. They were angry, malevolent spirits. They were resentful mainly of the fact that he would not let them rest in peace. For most of their lives they had been locked away in prison, ending up dying there, and then locked away on a disc for what could well be eternity. The man had lived across the road from the prison, and devoted more time to his experiments when the place had closed. One of the prisoners, who was remorseful about his crime, basically stealing a huge amount of money meant for charities, had possessed the man’s form when he, like Derek, had clutched the mouse, and knowing full well what the other prisoners were like, made it so the disc would be difficult to find. He sealed it away and simply left town, heading as far away from the house as possible. He had left a few months before Derek moved in, heading abroad, not even knowing himself where he was going, his legacy unknown to anybody, except perhaps to the ex-prisoner who now stood in the small room of Derek’s house.

Karl turned and looked at the screen. The virtual prison cell which he had once occupied, now held Derek, so he wouldn’t open that one. The others, he could release, give them the freedom they had been denied by society’s law. He chose one at random and clicked on it. He didn’t realise that there was only one body to possess, and that if he wanted the others, he would need other people to grip the mouse. His spirit, or soul was taken back into the disc, and the person that had been trapped on the cell that he had clicked, possessed Derek’s form. He knew not to click on any of the icons, and stood up, examining his surroundings. He was another remorseful prisoner, ex-gang member who once terrorised an estate and basically ‘owned’ it with his group of thugs. He was aware of the dangers of the disc. Other prisoners on the disc, who were not repentant, would, given the chance, go back to their criminal ways, and he couldn’t allow that.

Derek had been a heavy smoker, as next to the keyboard, there was a box of cigarettes and a lighter. It was the lighter he was interested in. Soon, he was walking down the stairs, only to find Derek’s wife coming out of the front room.
"Did you put that table in the loft like I asked?" she said, assuming that he hadn’t. He stood there for a few seconds, staring at her.
"Well? Are you deaf as well as daft?". He smiled inanely, then crossed to the front door and opened it.
"You might want to leave the house for a few days," he said, gesturing out.
"What?" she asked, suddenly confused.
"You might want to leave. Quite soon this place will be a shell. I decided to burn it down". He pointed to the top of the stairs where black smoke billowed across the ceiling.
"It’s up to you, In the meantime, I’ve got unfinished business to settle". He walked out of the house, his wife rooted to the spot in confusion at the altered behaviour of the supposed man she married, and the growing fire upstairs. When the smoke billowed down the stairs, she came to her senses and quickly left, mystified at these sudden changes in her circumstances. She looked frantically around for Derek, for an explanation, but he had gone, free from his virtual prison, and in a way, free from the constraints his wife had imposed, suddenly finding the confidence to walk away. Above her, dark clouds gathered, a warning that soon they would unleash a torrent of rain. Perhaps they were waiting for the house to burn down before extinguishing it. She stopped, and was suddenly aware of the huge imposing building that once housed convicts that towered above her. It seemed as though the very place itself was watching her. She shivered, a chill brought on the growing air current. She hurried away, and like her husband, or indeed his shell, did not know where she was headed. Soon she would regain her senses and head for her sister’s, but in the mean time, the house slowly but surely, was burnt to a crisp.

When the fire had burned itself out, partly extinguished by the driving rain, a fireman, walking through the charred remains, was puzzled as to why a compact disc had survived the inferno. He didn’t tell his superiors, but pocketed the disc, promising himself he would play it on his PC when he got home that night. He was curious as to why it said: ‘DO NOT OPEN’.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Mr Clement
Posted: 7/29/2013 3:42:50 PM
“I still don’t see why it takes two of us to stand here. I mean, it’s not as if they’re queuing up to get in, and it’s only half eleven. Another three hours of this? And I’m bloody roasting. Why I have to wear a suit I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll stick this out for much longer” Lee Griffiths said, sighing in frustration and looking along the pavement in both directions as if contemplating his chances of simply making a run for it.

His chances were good, excellent in fact. His colleague, he guessed wouldn’t have bothered to give chase, as there was probably no point. They were both bouncers, stood outside a wine bar in a pleasant district of the main city, where apartments and properties were in the expensive price ranges, so many bars and restaurants competed for business around the same, small area which was almost one mile square. Lee was 39 years of age, had had six years as a royal marine, before leaving for home, disillusioned with army life. He had returned to his school friends whom he had found, were mostly operating on the wrong side of the law, so he became no exception.

Twice he had been locked away in prison, and upon his second release, promised himself that he would go straight, but still, bad influences were all around him, and he knew that going straight meant that your friends talked about you behind your back the more and more unlike them you became until those friends stopped calling, and became virtual strangers, but Lee hovered on the borderline, occasionally venturing into the criminal world, and sometimes into its opposite.

He was, in a way, a small-time crook, but going straight held no real appeal for him. He had been to a gym to increase his physique, and to a certain degree, was happy with his size. At six foot two, and half a centimetre of hair all over his scalp, he would certainly be a formidable opponent in a clash, and being aggressive came easily to him, so he found a job as a bouncer and basically worked for several firms on a casual basis. He would sometimes do hotels and theatres and nightclubs. Nightclubs were his favourite because it meant there was more of a chance of becoming involved in a conflict, as he loved turning teenagers away and throwing people out, but his job had taken him here, to ‘Fable’s wine lodge’. It was his fifth day here.
“Sophistication,” said Lee’s colleague, chewing on gum and blowing a bubble. He was leaning against the doorframe, and pushed himself away from it to step across to Lee.
“That’s the image that this place wants. That’s why there’s two of us in suits. It’s a visual thing, lets people know that this is a classy place. Rich folk only, no poor scruffs who want to be seen in this joint”.
“The place is virtually empty. Three people we’ve let in so far in two hours. It doesn’t take two of us. Seriously, I’m gonna transfer soon”. The other man shrugged his shoulders, carried on chewing, and looked along the road nonchalantly.

After a few minutes, Lee was shuffling around and wandered into the small foyer of the place. Near the back , he saw a waiter approach a table with a cold drink of what looked like cola.
“Bloody Ray,” he muttered. “I didn’t know Ray was on now” he said to his colleague, who nodded, looking back a Ray, then at the road again.
“He owes me money”. Lee weaved through the tables and caught him as he was on his way back to the bar.
“Oi you, a word”. He grabbed the waiter’s upper left arm and pushed him to the empty bar. Ray was in his early twenties, and had remains of acne on his face. He smiled nervously at Lee who was eight inches taller than he was.
“Aren’t you forgetting that you owe me a tenner? Remember, petrol money or whatever it was you where short of until pay day. Now if I’m correct, pay day was yesterday, but I don’t remember you running up to me to pay me back. Or have I forgotten?”
“Sorry Lee,” Ray muttered. “The money’s in my coat, through the back. Just give me a few minutes, and I’ll get it”. Lee let him go, then nodded.
“Good,” he said. “You better hadn’t run off, either. I’ll be out the front”. He hooked a thumb to the entrance. Ray went behind the bar and disappeared through the back. Lee wandered back to stand beside his colleague. He sighed, looking left and right again.
“I’m starving,” he said. “I’m going to get some dinner. Do you want anything from the shop?”
“Ye, alright,” said the other man. He took out his wallet, and removed a five pound note. He handed it to Lee.
“Try the new place round the corner. It’s a new sandwich shop or something. Get me an egg and bacon barm and a hot chocolate, ta”.
“Where is it?” Lee asked. His colleague pointed to the corner of a crossroads.
“See that travel agent there? Turn right there, and it’s about halfway down. You’ll be there in two minutes”. Lee nodded, and set off.

He turned the corner, and saw where he meant a little further up. There were a few shops and businesses between them, and one of them was a small café with three metal tables and chairs outside. It seemed to be one of those places that tried to capture the atmosphere and essence of a European establishment by having outside seating, but amongst the pollution and encroaching concrete, it looked completely out of place, and whilst the gesture seemed reasonable in its meaning, it simply seemed to be pointless.

At one of the tables sat a middle-aged couple, and at another, nearest the café entrance, sat an elderly man, sipping at a cup of tea. A walking stick leant against his chair. Something about the man made Lee slow down and look intently at him. There was something about him that set his mind in perplexity. He had seen him before, somewhere…
It struck him like a lightening bolt on his cerebrum, and he stopped.
“No” he said aloud. “It can’t be”. He realised he was standing and staring, then spun on his heel and stepped across to lean against a post-box, his back to the café. He looked over his shoulder, and saw that the man, and the other customers were unaware of him. He looked away and dry washed his face.
“Mr Clement”, he muttered. “Mr bloody Clement”. He felt his face flush red, and a surge of fear, masquerading as adrenalin shot through him. Mr Clement had been an old school teacher of his from the age of nine upwards. Lee’s parents had moved into the area, and placed him in a new school, where Mr Clement ruled with an iron fist, and a sturdy wooden cane, a cane which he certainly put to use. It seemed that only the most normal of teachers were forgotten. The dull and boring ones were remembered because they were precisely that. There were those that could not control a class and were reduced to tears, and there were those that ruled through absolute fear and violence. Mr Clement epitomised it, and Lee had experienced his hostility. He could not remember a time when he saw Mr Clement in anything other than a bad mood. Some teachers it seemed were in a constant state of depression and resentment.

He was quite literally, the last of the ‘old school’ teachers that wore a cap and gown, and wielded the cane with such natural ease it seemed that they would practise at home at night. Lee was also convinced that some of the other teachers feared Mr Clement, even perhaps his superiors. They let him get on with it. Those screams from the classroom? Not kids playing around. It’s Clement hitting children on the backs of the hands so hard that they actually broke bones. Sometimes he would strike them across the face. Discipline, and a strict iron rule in the classroom was paramount to Clement’s method of teaching. How could you learn if your mind was wandering out of the window? It would soon return with a wooden blackboard duster thrown at the face. Not only did some pupils receive a face full of chalk dust, but broken teeth and noses. He would humiliate children by bringing them to the front of the class and basically beating them with his wooden cane until they bled.

He needed scant reasons to raise his cane. Sometimes none at all, simply inventing a reason. It was, in a way, legalised child abuse, and Lee could easily have imagined him at home, in the basement, the place decked out like a bondage dungeon, with him as the master, never on the receiving end, but dishing out his beatings to his heart’s content. Lee had been on the receiving end of the wrath of Clement, no more or less than the other children, but sometimes Clement would bring his strict discipline in front of the entire school. At assembly at one time, Lee had been laughing and giggling with a friend, while the rest of the place had been relatively hushed. Suddenly a hand had gripped his hair and dragged him to the stage at the front of the hall.
“Right, this is what happens when anyone steps out of line” he had shouted. “Hold out your hand. I said, hold out your hand”. Lee remembered it vividly. He had held out a nervous trembling hand, palm downwards, and Clement had raised his trusty cane. At its apex, Lee had seen Clement’s eyes, and they conveyed nothing but pleasure. He cracked it down onto the back of his hand, breaking three of the bones. He was then shoved towards the steps at the side of the stage and told to sit down. The pain, however, was too much for him to stay mute. The hushed assembly was punctuated by Lee’s sobbing. “Quiet,” Mr Clement would shout, and repeated it a few times before dragging him out onto the stage again and striking him across his cheek-bone, followed by a yelling in his ear.
“I said, quiet, understand?” For the rest of the assembly, Lee sat in pain, trying his best to stem any sound. He just about managed it without attracting Clement’s attention. He had promised later that he was somehow going to get his revenge on Clement, but at that time, his hand was still bandaged, and as time went on, thoughts of revenge slowly eroded away until he hardly ever thought of it, and when he did, he had known that at the time there was nothing he could do. After he left school, he remembered Clement as the most despised teacher he had ever had, and that was that. Yet, now, here he was, having a quiet drink at a café, minding his own business. Lee remembered his vow of revenge. His hand had been in a bandage for two months. There was also the humiliation in front of the school. Things like that were not forgiven easily, especially not by a schoolboy.

Lee chanced a glance over his shoulder, and saw that Mr Clement was as he was, in not having noticed him, and sipping his tea. He can’t do anything to me now, Lee thought. I could knock him down with my little finger. He flexed the hand that had been broken, then clenched it into a fist. He tensed his right arm and felt his biceps.
“What are you gonna do to me now, old man?” he whispered.
“What are you gonna do?” He turned, and strode across to Clement’s table.
“Oi! Clement. I want a word with you?”. He said, pointing an accusing finger. Clement didn’t look up straight away. Instead, he slowly put down his cup in its saucer, then looked up at Lee. There was no recognition on his face.
“I don’t suppose you remember me do you?” Lee continued. “I was just another kid for you to hit with your stick. Well let’s see you try it now”. With his left hand, Lee leaned on the table and pointed his finger a few inches from Clement’s face.
“The amount of pain you caused me, and all the other innocent kids who didn’t deserve it. You should have been bloody locked up. I ought to take that walking stick and break it over your face”. After a few seconds, Clement said:
“Don’t you dare point your finger at me, little boy”.
“Little boy? Who are you calling a little.…?” he stopped, and slowly stood back up straight. A slight wave of fear had swept through him, and he frowned. Clement grabbed his walking stick and slowly got to his feet. He twisted it around and pointed it at Lee.
“You come round here, while I’m having a quiet drink, disturbing me. How dare you? How dare you?” The fear surged through Lee’s veins. He downcast his eyes to the table.
“Sorry,” he muttered. “Sorry sir”. Oh my God, he thought. I just called him sir. Why did I do that? His face flushed red, and the embarrassment and fear became one.
“I remember you,” said Clement. “Little troublemaker. And I’m guessing that you still are. Which hand did I break?”
“L-left sir”. Oh my….I said it again, he thought. By now a few people had stopped nearby, and were watching. Some slowly did other things whilst looking over.
“Hold out your right,” Clement said. Lee struggled not to. “I said, hold out your right,” Clement shouted. Lee’s right hand shot out. Clement raised his walking stick, and brought it crashing down. He cracked two bones, and Lee yelled out in pain. He collapsed to his knees, clutching his hand.
“That’s for disturbing me” Clement said. Lee clambered up into a seat at the table. Clement struck him across the head with the stick.
Lee yelled out again. “Sorry,” he cried.
“That’s for embarrassing me in front of everyone”.
“I won’t do it again sir, I promise”.
“Damned right you won’t, boy”. He then struck him on the head again, a little harder. Lee screamed. A trickle of blood streamed past his left eye.
“That was for….er. That was for”. Clement looked around for a few seconds, and saw that there was still tea left in the cup.
“That was for making me leave a perfectly good drink”. Clement pointed the stick at Lee again.
“I’d better not be disturbed by you again, boy, understand?” Lee nodded.
“Yes, sir, sorry sir”. Clement nodded, spun around, and slowly limped away, using the stick to help him walk. Lee leaned forward, his forehead touching the table, clutching his throbbing hand. He could not have known that the power of authority figures was still a dominant force within him, and as it was embedded at an early age, these figures still held influence over him. Schoolchildren see teachers in this way, and because the young mind is so impressionable, it did not fade in Lee, and nor would it have in many children. Mr Clement did not know it either, but reacted to Lee’s responses, proving that Lee, even in adulthood, still did as he was told by the people he was brought up with as authority figures.

After five minutes, he felt a tapping on his shoulder, and he slowly looked up through teary eyes to see Ray holding a ten pound note towards him.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Game over
Posted: 6/16/2013 4:02:06 AM
The word divorce was becoming more and more frequent in his mind, as though pervading his consciousness like an unwelcome image, which to Neil Parker, it was. He had just ended a phone conversation with his wife. It was basically an argument over how much she was spending. It was quite petty really, considering it was simply about buying extra food for their dog. Neil had said they didn’t need it, as there was plenty to last until pay day. No, she insisted, it can never have enough.

It was a spiralling argument in the fact that their voices grew louder and louder until she had cut him off, leaving Neil sat in the car with an angry red face, clutching the steering wheel tightly after the link had been severed. He had pulled over to the kerb to take the call, and still sat there, his thoughts twisting and turning in disorder, but reaching the conclusion that he did not want to go home just yet, did not want to face her, as home was where he had been heading when he had received the call to ask him if they needed anything whilst she was in the supermarket. It was one of a number of arguments they had had recently, over petty and trivial matters. Four years of marriage, he thought had dissipated what affection there had been in the beginning. Now, the dying embers of the flame that they had once called love was almost extinguished, and divorce had passed the horizon, and was becoming closer and closer. Neil was 36, and worked as a network administrator. He had been writing a firewall program for a mental health branch of the local hospital for their internal network, as some of the staff had been caught surfing the internet for nefarious sites that even the most liberal minded person would be embarrassed at. They had been asking him to basically get a move on, as they were impatient to monitor their employee’s computer access in the interests of security. So a hard day would not be compensated for by an angry wife who increasingly picked arguments about insignificant matters. He decided to go for a drive, basically to calm himself down, as his face was still tinged in scarlet.

He performed a U-turn, and after around a hundred metres turned right. Any further and he would have seen his place of work, and he didn’t want to think of that. He drove as straight as the roads would allow for around two miles and found himself in what was familiar territory, even though he had not been there in over twenty five years, as well as the fact that he only lived three miles away, he had never found reason to return, but now he found himself in the housing estate where he and his school friends used to play. After a few minutes he saw a house that made him brake. It was decrepit and metal sheets covered the windows. Neil parked the car and stared at the house, smiling slightly. It used to belong to Gregory and his father. His mother had left when he was two years old, leaving his father as a single parent, so Greg’s anti-social behaviour could almost certainly be levelled at his parent who could barely look after himself, being as he was, addicted to sniffing glue. So no surprise then that Greg turned out to be the school bully, to show signs that he wouldn’t follow the rest of the children in class and get an education. Greg was the one who showed a penchant for outdoor pursuits, for survival tactics. Basically, he always carried a pen-knife around with him, and liked to carve sticks and twigs into arrows and spears. Perhaps he ended up in the army, Neil thought. Maybe that was the best place for him.

What became of him though? he wondered. He remembered the last time he had saw Greg. It had been the both of them and two other school friends, Ryan and Patrick, on an after school sojourn to the local abandoned railway to engage in exploration. With bushes and shrubbery sloping up on both sides of the embankment, they were shielded from even the most suspicious of prying eyes. Neil remembered standing at the entrance to a dark and gloomy tunnel, feeling a surge of fear at the prospect of walking in there, but putting a brave face on in front of his friends to show that he was fearless, and courageous. The tunnel, though, was not the only source of interest for the boys. Greg seemed to be in his element, with his pen-knife, slicing off blackberries and eating them raw. ‘I could live here,’ he had said. ‘I’ve got everything I need. Food and shelter’. None of the boys had doubted the fact that he would probably have tried, if the lure of a house and a warm bed had not been available. Perhaps it might have been better if he did, Neil wondered, considering the father that he had to go home to. They had begun to play a game of hide and seek, with Neil being the one who was to do the searching. As he had to count to a hundred, he sneakily looked through his fingers, and saw Greg wandering into the tunnel, swallowed by the gloom. That was the last he ever saw of him, as two of the boys fathers, but not Greg’s, and one of their mothers, appeared on the embankment, having followed the same path down. Their faces said it all. They were not happy. Neil’s father had strode towards him hooking a thumb behind him. ‘What have I told you about coming down here? Come on, home’. The other boys sheepishly emerged from their hiding places and reluctantly went back with their parent.

Neil smiled slightly, looking at Greg’s old house. In a way, he thought, the game of hide and seek was not over, and wouldn’t it be strange if Greg was still there, still hiding inside the tunnel, 28 years later? As the abandoned railway was only approximately one mile away, he decided it might be worth going down there, but thought that maybe he should be getting back to the house. The thought of going back to his wife answered that for him, and he drove along the deserted roads until he pulled up alongside a railing that bordered the railway. Two rails had always been missing, and like then, it was still the same, meaning that the path was still in use, use for other bored children to find fascination in exploring the unknown. He got out of the vehicle, a cold wind blowing over him, and opened the boot, retrieving a small torch he had hardly ever used.

He crossed over to the makeshift entrance, and looked around him to make sure nobody was watching. Suddenly he felt like a child again, engaging in an activity that brought back more memories, especially as the surroundings where exactly as he had remembered them. As they did when he was eight, branches and leaves seemingly tried to hold him back, but he emerged onto the embankment, and there it was, the entrance to the tunnel, as oppressive and formidable as ever, around twenty metres from where he stood. He slowly approached, and stopped when he reached the entrance. The surge of fear came back to him, and he was glad nobody could see his reddening face, as embarrassment of that coursed through him. He walked in, flicking on the torch when the gloom overwhelmed him. Nothing in particular caught his attention. It was simply debris and rubble as old as the tunnel itself. On the right side wall, there were regularly spaced alcoves, each one boarded up, except one further along, its board split and splintered, as though wrenched aside, leaving enough room for perhaps a small boy to squeeze through. Neil walked across and shone the torch inside. The light caught something metallic that did not gleam very brightly. He found it a tight squeeze to force himself through, and he ended up on his knees, the torch beam wavering. He eventually stood up, dusted himself down and corrected the light beam. It came to rest on a steam powered locomotive. The torch only picked out a small section of what was clearly a beast of a machine. He wandered around to the front and picked out the words ‘British Colombia’ on a large plate stretched across the face. What on earth was this doing here? he thought, and realised that it had been walled up. He had never known about a parallel tunnel, and realised now that the bricks where the entrance would have been were not the same as those of the rest of the tunnel. They were newer, even though they were probably more than thirty years old. With bushes and weeds being allowed to grow across it, he’d never given it a second thought, and even the first thought was a glancing, split second observation that barely registered in his mind. He guessed that there was probably a wall behind the train as well. He slowly walked along the engine’s length, and saw that there were carriages attached, the door to one up to his left, looking locked and tight, but he decided to try anyway, and was surprised to find it open. He clambered up and walked inside, turning to close the door, but not really knowing why. He was surprised to find it already closed. I don’t remember closing it, and didn’t hear it shut, he thought. For a few seconds, he simply aimed the torch beam at the door, then turned and walked into the carriage.

It was simply a passenger vehicle, albeit expensive, as there was a carpet, and expensive looking teak seats and tables. This was probably first-class. He progressed through into the next carriage, and found it to be similar. The third, and last carriage was also similar. This was obviously a train that only the richest of the upper-class would have travelled on, he thought, yet, left abandoned, not even in a transport museum, shut away to all eyes, save for those nosy enough to go exploring. He made his way across to another exit, but found that he could not open the door. It would not budge. He pulled down the window and went to reach outside but something stopped him. His hand touched some sort of obstruction, yet the torch told him there was nothing there. It seemed to be some kind of force-field. He slowly backed away, and stopped when he thought he heard something coming from somewhere within the carriage. It sounded like breathing. He spun the torch around, and its beam picked out the source beneath one of the tables. The little boy scrunched his eyes against the light, but Neil kept it steady. Who it was, was obvious to Neil, as it took him a few seconds to realise that it was Greg.
“Greg,” he said, “Greg, you’re still here?”.
“Neil!” he said, “You’ve found me. How did you get so big?”. Neil said nothing for a while, just kept the torch trained on the boy who looked not to have aged at all. He clambered out and stood with his hand before him in an attempt to shield his eyes from the light, but still it was not taken away.
“Game over,” Neil said. Greg smiled, his face looking hopeful.
“Did I win?” he asked, and it was Neil’s turn to smile, even though he couldn’t understand what he was seeing.
“Absolutely, you win”.
“Yay,” said Greg, a fist raised. “That’s top”. Neil took the torch away, and sat down at another table, his mind racing. Neither he nor Greg knew that this train was sealed away because of its dangerous qualities, by those who had died with this knowledge, some through age, and some through choice. Its occupants, once onboard, could never leave, could never age. They were frozen at the age they entered in a kind of stasis, and would remain so permanently. In a way, it was perhaps a blessing and a curse. They were never to age, and never to die. Yet, they could not leave the carriages. The force-field wrapped around it would keep them inside, keep them prisoner. It did not account for the effect that being trapped there might have on the mind. Should one be shut away for any length of time, then the crushing effect of boredom and inactivity on the mind has a warped effect, proving that the removal of a person’s freedom is perhaps the worst punishment possible. When liberty evaporates, madness abounds, and with the torch on the table, Neil saw that on the fringe of the beam, Greg was simply staring at Neil, his expression one of wonder, one of intrigue, one of dementia.
“How’d you get so big?” Greg asked again, but Neil didn’t answer, his chaotic mind wouldn’t give him a response, so he simply smiled a humourless smile, and Neil could see that that was good enough for Greg. His question, in Greg’s mind, was answered.

There was silence for a while. Greg simply stared at the newcomer, his old friend and new company, stuck on the express to nowhere, for all eternity.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Who I am
Posted: 4/15/2013 1:59:57 AM
My name is Sharon Hazel. I am 25 years old, student of fashion design at Tameside college. I am five feet two inches, and whilst I am no glamorous model I do consider myself to be at least halfway attractive. I enjoy rhythm and blues music, and once a week attend a line-dancing class. I like romantic comedy films, but I also like the occasional horror. I don’t read books, but read gossip magazines. I live with my boyfriend of six months, Martin Fraser, a student of business finance and investment in the same college, and he’s wetter than soaking sponge. A reedy individual in an almost handsome kind of way. It is to my almost shame that it was me who pursued him. There was no problem landing him of course, but a woman likes man’s man, who can be coarse, rough, uncouth, yet be loving and tender as well. Even out at night, should we run into trouble, I am sure it would be him hiding behind me, but, until Mr Right comes along, I shall persist. He can do the loving and tender part to a certain degree. He likes to call me ‘my love’, which is fine. I quite like it, but not all the time. It can be quite embarrassing sometimes, especially when out in public, say perhaps in a take-away, where he would say ‘I’ll have the egg fried rice, what’ll you have my love?’ or when we’ve been browsing around shops, he’ll pick something up, like a book or a DVD, and say: ‘I think I may purchase this my love’. Honestly, I could slap him, but if I did, he would probably collapse in a blubbering heap.

I think recently, he has been in danger of asking me to marry him. As we passed by a jewellers one time he stopped and looked in the window at the engagement rings, purely to point out their designs which he mentioned may help me in my studies. Another time we passed by a church where a marriage was taking place. The guests were outside, milling around, and a horse drawn carriage carrying the bride was slowly approaching. You should have seen his face, beaming as though it was his sister’s wedding, and he hasn’t got a sister. If he does ask me soon, I’m sure I’m going to say no. It will upset him, but has to be done I suppose, for now at least. Perhaps it’s to give Mr Right more time to walk through the door and whisk me away. Until then, well, that’s me, that’s who I am.

My name is Oliver Grayson, I am seventy-two years old, and a widower of four years. I have three sons and a daughter, all of whom live away. So basically, I have a lot of spare time, and associate myself with the local photography society, and urban farm, where I volunteer as a gardener. For most of my life, I was in the army. The royal marines. I was a specialist in vehicle mechanics, which was basically a job for life, but circumstances change. At the age of fifty-five I became surplus to requirements as new blood came through, and despite dedication and experience, I was asked to leave. It’s perfectly understandable. I can see it from their point of view, and bear no ill feelings towards them. It’s what happens. I just had to accept it. So out into civvy street I came, and what a strange place it is. Even after all these years submerged in it, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten used to it. See, I suppose you could say I’m from the old school. Some of my views and opinions are, in a way, Victorian. In my day, or in my time, or basically, when I was young, things were so much different, where they used to sell jugs of tea in kiosks on the beach, where women started wearing something called a ‘bikini’. I can honestly say I was shocked. Nowadays, girls walk around with barely a stitch on, and it’s normal. It’s a daily occurrence. This world is moving so fast these days, I can barely keep up. Actually, I don’t think I can keep up. All this technol, technolgy, or however you say it, is leaving us old folk behind. I thought a mouse was a small mammal, not a computer thingy, and a programme was something you watched on television, not a computer thingy. With violent crime all over the place, and smutty filth on TV all the time, and ipods and Xboxes, and satnavs, I don’t recognise the world anymore. If I could just return to the fifties, or sixties, I’ll be happy. Well, that’s me, that’s who I am.

My name is Douglas Mitchell. I am a psychiatrist at a hospital institute, and I am responsible for four patients. We have 16 patients altogether who are basically, not fit for inclusion in society. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if this government in one of its ridiculous cost-cutting measures, opened the doors and let them out. That’d be just what they would be inclined to do, and it makes me wonder who it really is with the mental problems, and who belongs where, but I digress. I am inclined occasionally to rant about councils and governments and beaurocrats, mainly because they irritate me so much because of their usual lack of understanding about that which they have no clue about. Sorry, there I go again. Anyway. I say I have four patients under my supervision, I am concerned about one in particular. Patient B we call him, because when he was admitted, he had so many names that we didn’t know which one to call him. You see, he had so many personalities. 24 we managed to estimate, but now through various treatments and therapy, we’ve managed to get it down to two. Sometimes his name is Sharon Hazel, and sometimes it is Oliver Grayson. These ‘people’ actually did exist, and maybe somewhere they still do. However, Patient B was at one point, before schizophrenia confused his mind, a civil service economist who was very good at computers, and utilised that to the extent that he could obtain data from various sources regarding different people. He would steal their identity and committed online fraud to the total £446.021. When one of the persons was similar to him, he would sometimes visit the area where they lived and pretend to be him, because they would not have known what he looked like when ordering hardware from electrical shops and booking hotels. After six years, and 24 personas, he never went back to who he was as he ‘became’ these people, believing he actually was them, until his mind flicked a switch, and he instantly became somebody else. Now, locked away in a padded cell, in a straight jacket, slouched in corner and talking to himself, patient B resides. Why he is like that I am not sure. He has never been violent, nor shows any inclination of it. I was not the one who was originally assigned to him. That was Brendan Kyle, and he resides in the cell next to him, in a similar state. You see, this form of schizophrenia has mutated into what seems to be an airborne viral form. Brendan had managed to get him down to 16 personas when he could take no more, and started forming personalities of his own, until the real him vanished. Now there are five people whom he is. A charity events organiser in Southampton, a Welsh widow, a London sewage worker, a female homeless alcoholic, and an assembly operative in Maidstone. As I sit here, on a bench out in the hospital gardens contemplating what I am going to do, I realise the implications of what my patients have become, and know that to bring them back to who they were is an arduous task that I cannot do alone………..Mother, is that you? Is that you? Please let me out, it’s dark in here. I won’t do it again. I promise I’ll be a good boy.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
The poisoned cradle
Posted: 4/2/2013 1:23:50 PM
A weekend in the Lake district sounded like a reasonable suggestion, but James Morton and his wife, along with their two daughters found it to be quite an ordeal, as their simmering, disordered marriage had only lasted for four months, and already the cracks were beginning to show. They had been together for eight years, and throughout that time had split up five times, yet, somehow they ended up together, and a whole year had passed without any ructions, resulting in James’s proposal of marriage, but soon after, arguments began to punctuate their relationship, and at one point they agreed to the stay together, ‘for the kids’, but it was more than that. Neither of them wanted to risk leaving their comfort zone, and venture out into the lonely world of singledom. So arguments became more and more frequent, and James slept on the couch more and more often. He had suggested a trip to the Lake district, as the fresh air and change of scenery might do them all good, and maybe it did, but it did not stop their bickering, their souring of the mood of the occasion. It was not constant, but enough for both of them to barely crack a smile for the duration, and it was Hazel who suggested they leave earlier, as rain had started, and didn’t seem as though it would let up, and your own bed is always the comfiest. So without much protest from James, they left in the afternoon, instead of the evening, as planned, but the girls wanted to stay longer, and now, as they headed home along a winding country lane, they sat on the back seat in a sulk, as did their mother who stared out of the passenger window, in a bad mood because James hadn’t put much petrol in to cover the journey there and back. The needle was nearly touching the red. She attributed it to him being careful with his money, but it was alright for him to throw money on going for a drink with the lads. He could spare that money alright.

He, in turn, reflected her mood, so the interior of the car was filled with an oppressive atmosphere, heavy with antagonism, but silent. After a few moments Hazel spoke again:
“Told you…” she muttered.
“Look will you just leave it!” James shouted, his left hand chopping the air as though fending off her bitterness. The sound of sighing came from the back seat, but it was ignored. The car came to a crossroads, and James drove onwards.
“What are you doing?” said Hazel. “You should have turned right. You should have turned right”.
“I know,” said James, but there’s a village down here, and I just need to pick up a few things”.
“ A few things? Such as?”
“You know, like food and water”.
“We don’t need food and water. There’s plenty for the trip home, plenty for the girls, and how much more petrol are you going to waste doing that?” James was silent. He knew she was right.
“If we run out of petrol halfway home….” she threatened, pointing an accusing finger at him.
“This place better hadn’t be far,” she said, resuming her sulk, and staring out of the window.

It turned out to be a little over a mile away, but when they reached the place, James pulled up outside a line of four shops, then opened the door and got out. The silence that had pervaded the car interior seemed to expand outwards when he had opened the door, as when he stood, looking around, all was quiet. He could see nobody. A slight breeze blew a brown leaf onto the road. From his vantage point, he could see a public house, a church, and a post office.
“Well hurry up then” said Hazel. “Get what you want and let’s go”
“There’s nobody here,” he said. “It’s deserted”. Hazel didn’t reply for a few seconds, then got out of the car and stood, like her husband, surveying the area.
“Where is everyone?” she asked, as if he would know.
“How am I supposed to know?,” he retorted, crossing onto the pavement and walking across to what must have been the local newsagents.

Save for the fact that there was nobody behind the counter, everything seemed normal. The newspapers where for the previous day. When he came out he was eating a chocolate bar.
“Was somebody in there?” she asked. He shook his head.
“Then I hope you left money on the counter”.
“Nope,” he said. “Nobody’s going to miss it”.
“But that’s theft” said Hazel. James gave a wave of dismissal.
“Oh, I’m going for a look around, you can do what you like”.
“Who’s that mummy?” said one of the girls, who was standing beside the car, pointing along the road. James followed her pointing finger and saw in the distance, a man struggling with a bicycle, as though he didn’t know what to do with it.

James began walking towards him, picking up pace as he went. When he was about forty metres away, the man saw him approaching, dropped the bike, and turned and ran towards a small church beyond a row of trees.
“No, wait” said James, reaching out a hand, as though that would somehow stop him. He ran past the bike in the direction of the man, who he saw disappear through the main entrance of the building. He was soon following him through and found the man standing at the altar. He approached slowly.
“Excuse me,” he said, as he walked cautiously. The man turned and looked at James, who saw that he seemed ordinary enough. He was a normal man of around late thirties, wearing the attire of a priest.
“I can’t ride a bike.” The man said. “Why can’t I ride a bike? You’d think I would be able to, but I can’t. Sorry, forgive me”. He walked forward to greet James. They shook hands.
“What’s happened here,” said James. “I came with my wife and kids and found…” He stopped talking, as he noticed that the man’s hand still gripped his, and it was getting tighter.
“I thought I’d lure you in here,” the man said. “As I don’t quite think I’ve got to everybody in this place yet. I didn’t want your wife to see what I am”.
The hand that gripped James’s, began to disperse, or melt. It seeped into James, who could feel his blood turning cold, and his consciousness fading.
“It’s true what they say,” said the man. “A virus has no feelings who it transmits to. You could say that I’m a new, advanced strain. I can take on the form of humans, or any life-form that I can infect. So if I’m going to spread, then I’m going to need a host”. James’s vision blurred, but before everything went black, he saw the grinning face of the priest who slowly transmitted himself into James, who stood there for a few seconds, before stretching, and testing his new body.
“Right,” he said, turning and walking towards the entrance. Before he could get there, the two girls came in.
“Daddy, what’s happening?” one of them said. James simply stood there for a few moments.
“Where’s mum?” he asked.
“By the car, she’s still upset”. James knelt down and reached out a hand towards her. Leaning against the car, Hazel could not hear the screams.

After a few minutes, Hazel saw one of the girls walking back along the road towards her.
“Well.” She said, as she approached. “What’s going on?” The girl looked at the car, then at Hazel.
“Can you drive?” she asked.
“What? What d’you mean?” The girl looked at the car for a few more moments, then shrugged.
“Well, it doesn’t matter I suppose”. She stepped across to Hazel.
“Don’t worry, everything’s going to be fine,” she said, as she reached up and gripped Hazel’s hand.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 3/20/2013 3:25:38 PM
It’s a demon, he thought. It has to be. For the past week, he had had migraine-like headaches which he believed was a supernatural occurrence. This spirit, had gained entry to his mind, and now it wanted to get out, but it couldn’t, so banged away at his skull in an attempt to find an exit, rather like a spider in a bath, unaware of the plughole from which it came. He took all the pills he could without overdosing, but they didn’t work. He tried to convince himself that the voice inside was his own conscience, but concluded that a demon had taken over, and demanded to be let out. It didn’t possess him enough to control his actions, but it still resided in his mind. That was according to him, anyway. He was susceptible to believing in such issues. Sometimes demons took human form and committed heinous acts of criminality. Sometimes they possessed people and controlled their actions, but the one inside Ian Morton seemed to be a novice. Perhaps this was its first possession, or it changed its mind. Either way, it banged on his skull and demanded to leave. How did you get in? Ian had asked, aloud to himself in his mirror. Ear operation, it had said. A week earlier, Ian had had a myringotomy procedure in his right ear to relieve increasing pressure and to prevent infection, and for several seconds there was direct access to his brain, to his mind.

I want to leave, the voice said. Find a way.

Ian worked as an industry and commerce accountant, was 38 years old, had a permanently greasy mop of black hair that he was always flicking back, and wore thick black rimmed glasses. He walked with a stoop that made him looked constantly suspicious and shifty, and whilst he did not shun the attention of other people, he did not seek it, or particularly welcome it. He lived alone in a basement flat with his two hamsters, Cedric and Jasper. Women had not featured much in his life, and he accepted that. Yet, the most private area a person has, away from anybody, away from anything, was the mind. Prisoners, slaves, anybody reluctantly surrounded by others, and confined in anyway, can retreat into their imagination, and there, go, be, and do anything they want. Ian’s mind had been taken over, but the spirit could not be visualised, only heard, and felt, and that made him wonder that it was in fact his own conscience, intensified by an unknown disease that could cause a person to believe that they heard voices. Yet, Ian believed it was a demon, and tablets could not remove it.

It was 5.30pm. Home time. He locked his office, passed by the secretary, and nodded goodbye. Near the main entrance, a blue overalled worker was fixing the overhead lights. He was on a step-ladder, examining the end of a wire. In his other hand was a cordless power drill. Ian slowed down and stared at it for a few moments, then continued out onto the street. That’s it, he thought, because his thoughts were still his own. If I drill into my skull, then that will let it out. Perhaps, came the voice. Give it a go. As it was a Wednesday, the libraries were open late, so he walked half a mile to his nearest centre and looked in the health section for any information on old curing methods and remedies, but he could not find anything, so decided to go on a computer to see if he could find anything out. He was soon online, and searching for trepanation. Despite it being a somewhat unorthodox and unbalanced procedure, he saw it was mainly for medical purposes for which it was used, and would be similar to what he was thinking in the relief of the headaches, but there were few mentions of the reason he sought, but he found two sentences which simply told that people in the middle ages, believing they were possessed, trepanned their skulls to let the demon out. This was good enough for him, and Ian logged off, and left the library.

Not far away, a DIY chain store was open late, as they always were, and Ian walked up and down the aisles until he came to the drills. There was quite a choice, as well as the drill bits for the end. How big a hole, though, he thought. He decided on half an inch. He didn’t buy a cordless, but a heavy one with a long wire. Soon, he was heading home, his nerves burning slowly at the thought of what he was going to do. He was soon staring at the water in the transparent kettle in his flat, as it headed for boiling point. After a few minutes, he was sitting in the main room, watching the drill on the small coffee table through curls of steam from his tea. He had fitted the drill bit, and had plugged it in to see if it worked. It did, so now it sat there patiently waiting for him to begin.

He finished his tea, and stared at the cup. I suppose I’d better wash it, he thought, and walked through to his kitchen. He washed it, and put in on the draining board. Cedric and Jasper will need feeding, he remembered. What if it goes wrong? They’ll be trapped in their cage. They can’t stay then. They’ll have to go. He took the cage outside onto the small patch of grass outside his flat, and let them go. He watched as they sniffed around the new environment, and realised that he couldn’t put it off any longer. He went back inside and closed the door behind him. Leaning back and closing his eyes, the banging came again inside his skull. Let me out, came the voice, and Ian was soon sitting back in his seat, drill in hand. He wondered if he should shave first, but then decided against it. He lifted the heavy contraption to the top of his head and pressed it against his scalp, his finger poised to start it. His eyes were clenched. He waited a few more seconds, then pulled the trigger. The drill bit easily ripped through his scalp, and tore through his skull. Pieces of skin and bone few in all directions, and it soon reached the film covering the brain. The weight of the drill almost pushed the bit through, but Ian caught it, and tilted forward. There were a few seconds of agony as the drill’s weight strained within his cranium, threatening to crack his skull in half, but it fell out and clattered on the floor.

Ian collapsed to the carpet, breathing heavily, a trickle of blood seeping from the hole down his face.

All you’ve done, said the voice inside his head, is create a doorway, so I, and others like me can come and go as we please. Then it was gone. The headache vanished. It worked, he thought, it worked. There was a slight singeing pain in and around the hole, but he was sure it wouldn’t last. After five minutes, he had wiped away the trickle of blood, and wedged on a cap. He felt good enough for a trip to the shop, so he donned his coat, found his keys and left the flat. The hamsters had vanished. He walked up a few steps onto the pavement.

Suddenly another voice inside his mind spoke, different from the other. I appreciate the doorway, much better access. You don’t mind if I borrow you for a while, do you? I want to go this way. Ian turned and walked to the left, his actions not his own. No, he thought, stop, stop! But he walked into the main paved shopping area of his home town, and vanished amongst the crowds.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
At rainbow's end
Posted: 3/12/2013 5:17:30 AM
He absolutely hated meetings. They never seemed to have much point to them, but each week he would find himself in two or three which always descended into a beverage sampling, back slapping jamboree, as too many of his colleagues for his liking spent most of their time on golf courses and in restaurants rather than actually doing any work. They earned more money than they could spend. For Philip Drake, a public sector accountant for a large housing association, these meetings were unnecessary because usually nothing ever resulted from them, but still, he was not in a high enough position to refuse to attend, but he didn’t mind the odd jaunt or indulgence in certain meetings, especially with people he knew. He was guilty of that, guilty of enjoying it sometimes, but there was work to be done. The initial purpose of the meetings was to talk about the matters at hand, but most of the time, no-one felt like discussing them, but did so reluctantly. Philip, it seemed, was becoming a rare commodity within his business circles. He was work focused, and when the job was done, he could relax. Yet, nothing was ever completed, just added to and modified, which meant more meetings, and more money spent. Sometimes he thought of giving it all up, but in the end, his conscience would remind him that the perks of the job weren’t that bad after all. Despite his colleague’s love of excess, together with their aversion to work, he couldn’t give it up.

Today there was a meeting in one of the cities branches with several external auditors to discuss cash flow and expenditure, and he was late. In his brand new BMW Coupe, he sped along a country lane, knowing that it was a shortcut that would take him to the outskirts of the city. From there, it was only a ten minute drive to the meeting, but he still had around twenty minutes of driving through countryside for the meeting that started in fifteen minutes, so he floored the accelerator, not really sure why he was nervous about being late. No-one would probably miss him. He had, however, set his own standards high, and it would not look good to the auditors to be late. He had thought of phoning in to say that he couldn’t make it, but couldn’t think of a good enough excuse to use. He had never used an excuse before, and was not about to start doing so.

Philip was 48 years old, wore white and cream suits, and sported a white beard of around one inch in length. He had receding hair and wore a choker with a small polished seashell. He also sported that most abhorrent thing that all information regarding how to go about a job interview warned against. A tattoo. A tattoo that could not be covered except partially by sunglasses, but they were not practical. Twenty-eight years ago he had a tear, tattooed to the side of his right eye, and age had not worn it well. It was slightly blurred, and a shade lighter than what it used to be, but it was still distinctively a tear. Two years after it had been etched, he had regretted it. It was one of those moments where it seemed like a good idea at the time, as he was in a ‘rocker’ phase, wearing leather jackets and sporting long hair. However, college and education took over, and he literally got down to business, cut his hair, hung up his jacket, sold his motorbike, and even a few years afterwards would look at photographs of himself in all his gear, sometimes holding a guitar, sometimes with a cannabis joint, and he would shake his head in embarrassment. Did I really look like that? he would say. What was I thinking? He had thought of getting the tattoo removed, but abhorred the idea of a laser going anywhere near his eye, so it stayed, and it was only his credentials and the fact that he knew somebody in the business, that made people overlook it. They had found their prejudices to be wrong, and that appearances are not always an instant judge of character.

As he drove, the windscreen became speckled with fine rain, but it wasn’t enough to use the wipers. Further up ahead, he saw a rainbow arching into the clouds, and wished he could just pull up and relax in the serenity, instead of speeding along with a worried mind. After a few moments the road curved around to the left and he found himself surrounded by a kaleidoscopic array of colour. He realised that this was the rainbow’s end. It exists, he thought, it actually exists. He slowed down, and looked around. No pot of gold, he wondered. Its probably been nicked. Typical. He then realised that the car was no longer driving on the road, and that he was in fact, going up. The car, as did he, slowly vaporised as they travelled up the rainbow.

Then suddenly he was back driving again, as he was, towards the city. He frowned. Not really sure what happened. He was still speeding along the curved road when he realised that something was wrong. He was on the passenger side of the car, and he discovered he was left handed. The steering wheel was in front, as normal as it would be, and he also realised that the road was now curving to the right. He felt as though he was driving in the opposite direction to where he was heading. Everything appeared reversed. A car emerged from around the corner ahead of him, a familiar looking car, with a familiar looking driver. As he stared in shock at himself, he swerved to the right to avoid a collision, but his other self, in the mirrored, parallel world, did the same, swerving to the left. The vehicles smashed into each other, metal crushing into metal, glass smashing into glass. Both tears beside Phillip’s eyes struck each other, and flesh crushed into flesh. Like a tear, or rain drop, both cars, and both Philip’s evaporated, along with the rainbow.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 2/28/2013 5:52:57 AM
The bus came to a halt and Bob Clement stepped off, nodded an acknowledgment to the driver who drove away, leaving him in a light breeze under the bright sun and cloudless sky. He was in unfamiliar territory, so he had no idea where to go first, and thought he would find a local pub or café, as the locals there might know where to find who he was looking for.

After around ten minutes, he was sat outside a café, drinking tea, in the village of Mosshey, eight miles north of Arbroath, Scotland, near the North sea coast. He took from his inside pocket, a letter that had brought him here. He’d already read it many times, and had virtually memorised every word. He read it again, not really knowing why, perhaps to confirm he was in the right place, or a simple desire to read his old friend’s words again.

Dear Bob,
I was saddened to hear I was being posted to another division up in Arnhem to help repel the German advance, effectively meaning I would never see you again. I never struck up a similar friendship as I did with you in Normandy, and as you know, the war ended four months later, when we all went our separate ways. I would like to know what happened to you. It would be good to see you again, catch up on old times. I came up to a village in Scotland. Mosshay, overlooking the North sea. I do hope to find a wife and start a family. It’s nice and quiet here, a far cry from the frontline. So if you’re ever up this way, please call in, we could have a drink, which of course, I will pay for. Anyway. I hope your keeping well, and I look forward to seeing you again.
My kindest regards.

Thomas Roberts. 07/02/1946.

When he had first received the letter, all those years ago, Bob having returned home to Plymouth, he had told himself he’d make a special journey up there. However, circumstance meant that he had never found the time to make the trip. A marriage and a career meant that gradually he had not so much forgotten his old comrade, but accepted that he would probably never make the excursion. As the years went by, he harboured doubts about simply turning up and expecting to be greeted with open arms. He guessed he probably would be, but it did not alter the fact that he would be a virtual stranger to him. He certainly would be now, after 59 years. It was a pensioner’s golf tournament that had brought him to this part of the country, near to where his old friend lived. He knew it was a good opportunity to visit Thomas again, and he certainly could not pass it up, being only eight miles from Mosshay. He had lost the golf game, so therefore travelled north to find his old comrade.

He folded up the letter and put it back, wondering how on earth he was going to find Thomas without a proper address. He finished his drink and decided that the best thing to do was simply ask around. He asked in the café, in a charity shop, even a boy riding past on a bike. ‘Do you know a Thomas Roberts?’ was met with shakes of the head and shrugs.
‘Sorry, but you could try….’. was a trail that he followed that eventually led him to a tavern, or pub, overlooking the sea. At the entrance to a footpath that led down to the rocky coast, Bob looked out towards the horizon, the breeze stronger, ruffling the sparse hair he had left. After three hours, he wondered if this place might be the last chance saloon. He turned and walked across to the entrance. Inside it was dark and gloomy, the bar itself obviously well lit. There were not many people in there. An elderly man by the window wearing a flat cap was reading a newspaper, a cigar jammed between his teeth, curling blue/grey smoke in the light from the window behind. Another man, early fifties, was in the darkest recess, doing nothing but drink from his pint. At the bar, another man, late forties, was chatting to a portly, bald barman, also late forties. He thought that if this turned up nothing, then he would probably have a drink, then give up and go back to Arbroath, to his golfing colleagues.
“Excuse me,” he said, to both of them. “Do either of you happen to know a Thomas Roberts?” Both men smiled, but there was no humour there.
The man sitting at the bar nodded.
“Ah, Tommy. Daft old fool. You shouldn’t bother going to see him”.
“You know him?” said Bob, smiling.
“Yes, we know ‘im,” said the barman. “’E lives just up the road ‘ere”. He pointed in the general direction.
“’bout a mile up the road. First ‘ouse you see on the right. That’s ‘im. You shouldn’t bother. E’s a bit, you know”. He twirled his finger at the side of his head.
“What was that thing you called ‘im recently,” he said to the other man.
“Erm, a paranoid schitzo. E’ thinks folk are out to get ‘im. The postman doesn’t bother goin’ up there any more. E’ says he gets chased off the property. E’ always sets ‘is rottweiler on folk who trespass. Well ‘e used to, till it died. On the rare occasion e’ gets mail, the postman leaves it ere’ behind the bar, and I’m the only one brave enough t’ go up there an’ post it. The last time I went up, he chased me off with the dog lead. Big chain it was. E’ caught me on the elbow, fractured a bone. ‘Ad to go t’ casualty. Right barmy e’ is. I think it all started back in the eighties when e’ was burgled”. The barman nodded in agreement.
“E’ came ‘ome from somewhere one day t’ find is ouse’ in a mess. Money and anything valuable taken. Burglers thought they were onto something. So came back a few months later, when they thought e’d forgetten about ‘em. Ready for ‘em e’ was. Two of em, stabbed, tryin’ to break into ‘is kitchen. They certainly didn’t do any more burglin’ after that. Tommy got 2 years inside for that. E’ came out more twisted and bitter, trustin’ no-one. Thinks eveyone’s out to rob ‘im. Daft old fool”. Bob nodded.
“I was in the war with ‘im. Maybe when ‘e sees me, e’ll be alright”. The other men looked at each other, saying nothing.
“Thanks, you’ve been a great ‘elp” said Bob, turning and walking out into the sun. He began walking up the winding slope that led to the house, and beyond, along the coast. Trees lined both sides of the lane, sunlight dappling his face as he went. First house on the right, he told himself as he walked. After about fifteen minutes, he came to what must be the place, on top of the crest of the lane, which continued northwards on a gradual downward slope.
He stopped to regain his breath, dabbing his forehead with a handkerchief.

The house was bigger than he thought, with white painted walls and grimy windows. A large gate barred entrance, but Bob found it easy to open. He was surprised how nervous he was feeling. After hearing what the two men in the pub had said about him, and the fact he hadn’t seen him in nearly sixty years, he was glad nobody was around to see how uneasy he was. Before the house was a large area which was probably built for cars, but there were none. There was debris scattered around. Pieces of wood and metal from unknown machines were dotted around, untouched in years. He saw a rotting kennel, but it was obvious it had no occupant. He apprehensively approached the front door, and knocked as loud as he could. After a few moments, he knocked again, but the place was silent.

He wondered if he might try around the back, and decided that while he was here, he might as well. The garden was in a decrepit state, and in serious need of attention. Grass and weeds were almost waist high, and like the front, it had debris scattered amongst it. To his surprise, he saw that the kitchen door was open. It was somewhat a contradiction to what the two men in the pub were saying, so he wondered if they may have been exaggerating about him. He approached the door, took out his handkerchief again and wiped his brow. He also took out the letter to show Thomas he still had it. He leaned in and knocked on the door, then stepped back and waited. He then heard a familiar sound, a loud clicking.
“I didn’t think you would resist my trap, you no good thief”, came a voice from behind. Bob didn’t have time to turn around, to lay eyes upon his old friend again, when the shotgun was fired into his back, his chest exploding.
Bob fell forward, sprawling on the few paving flags between the house and the garden. Thomas slowly stepped over, and looked down at the intruder. He had deliberately left the back door open as a temptation to any would be thief brave enough to trespass on his property, so he could mete out his own kind of justice. He saw the blood stained letter in the man’s hand and bent down to pick it up. Leaning the shotgun against the wall, he unfolded it and read it. It gradually dawned on him just who this person was, and he looked down at the face of the supposed intruder, and recognition came to him. He stood there for a few moments, letting it all sink in. He then calmly stepped back to the shotgun, reloaded it, and turned it so it pointed at himself. He could not live with what he just done, and face a prison sentence, so had no hesitation in pulling the trigger. Bob would see Thomas again, but not in this world.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Pretend friend
Posted: 2/17/2013 1:41:15 AM
To any passer-by who saw him slowly walking along the shoreline, he was alone. With his hands in his pockets, and a downcast gaze, watching the water lap the beach, he was a solitary 37 year-old in a business suit, up to his ankles in water as he walked like the loneliest man on earth, the sea breeze ruffling his thinning hair and flapping his blazer. It was late evening, the time when the last person on a beach would be packing away, as the sun had sank into the ocean, and the wind would be picking up pace. Except this wasn’t that type of beach. No tourists came here as it was too far out of the way, and it wasn’t very long in comparison to other beaches. It just reached past half a mile, and at its widest, it would just be longer than the widest motorway. Most of it was covered with stones, with the sand being at the shoreline.

Patrick Burnett looked out at the horizon, at the orange, yellow and red sky, pondering whether or not he should walk towards it, let himself be carried by the tide, out to sea, following the sun in its descent into the ocean. He had come down here to see if he could follow it through, see if he could go for a long swim in his suit, diving down for a close-up of the sea bed. He knew he would never do it. His subconscious had been telling him all along, and now, stood here, he discovered it was right. Despite the solitude, and quiet, Patrick had company. Patrick always had company, even in the shower. Ivor was standing in the water also, only he had taken his shoes and socks off and rolled his trousers up to his knees. He was gesturing for Patrick to go further out into the water.
“Go on,” he said, “You can’t do it can you? You big coward”. Ivor would sport a grin most of the time, like he was doing now. More so now, because he knew for sure that Patrick could not commit suicide. He had already known it, but now it was definite, and that was reason for Ivor to be happy, to wade in the water like a big child, mocking Patrick, making him feel even more depressed.

When Patrick was five, he had discovered an old children’s book up in the attic, following the adventures of Ivor the farm boy who looked after the talking pigs and horses, where the sun never set and everything seemed so picturesque and wonderful in its illustrated style. Patrick had identified with Ivor, and when he put the book down, Ivor remained in his imagination, becoming entwined in his psyche, and becoming with no hesitation, Patrick’s pretend friend. For a five year old boy, this is nothing unusual. Children can get away with talking to themselves, as it is part of the developing mind, an emerging personality. After childhood, it becomes questionable, and there was no exception in Patrick’s case. Ivor had never gone away, as with most children’s imaginary friends. He projected forth from Patrick’s imagination like a permanent hallucination. Growing with him, developing like Patrick into an adult. Going with him everywhere, talking to him, always in Patrick’s company, never leaving his view, except when he closed his eyes, but when he opened them again, he was always there, especially in the mornings when Patrick woke. Ivor would be staring down at him with that grin of his. During his teens and beyond, Ivor would be hovering around. He was there for his first kiss, his wedding, his honeymoon, and his divorce, his interview at the bank, and at work, and at his recent dismissal, always in his field of vision, grating on his mind and sending him spiralling into a depression. He would tell him to go away, but it was exactly the same as telling somebody not to think of a dog, or a chair, the image always comes to mind.

So with Ivor, telling him to leave was like trying to forget, sometimes it’s impossible. It had become such that Patrick had begun to talk to Ivor openly in public, basically being aggressive towards him. ‘Go away’, and ‘Leave me alone’, the most prominent phrases shouted, leading people to believe that he was losing control of his mentality, and causing his superiors at work to agree that it was probably best they let him go. To employ somebody with mental problems looked bad on the bank’s image, therefore, they felt they had no choice. It was the same with his marriage. It broke down after 14 months because she couldn’t cope with his depression. There were times when she had said it felt like there were three of them in the relationship, and at one point, telling him it was as though he was having affair with himself. Ivor simply stood around and did what he did best. Nothing. Or irritate Patrick. He didn’t have much of a personality, only what Patrick had given him, the persona from the children’s book having vanished a long time ago, Ivor’s companionship becoming something of an impediment and an annoyance. Not a true, or indeed real, friend.

Patrick could barely remember the feeling of being absolutely alone, and recently he had had the idea that maybe certain pills or tablets could cure that part of his mind causing the projection of Ivor, so decided he would confide in his doctor so he could give him the correct prescription. Ivor didn’t like that. Didn’t like the fact that somebody would know about him, so decided to loudly protest down Patrick’s ear as he sat in the waiting room. ‘What are you doing? You really don’t want to be doing this’. This caused Patrick to shout aloud, like an embarrassing drunkard sometimes seen on a bus, or walking down a busy street. Shouting though, was not enough to make Ivor go away, as when the boiling point of anger is reached, there is only one place for it to go, the violent route. Patrick grabbed a teenage girl’s mobile phone from her hand and threw it at Ivor with an ear-piercing scream of ‘Go away’. Of course, the phone passed through Ivor and smashed into the wall, and Patrick ran from the doctor’s, not because of any consequences from the waiting room, but to get away from Ivor. He ran as he had never ran before, and stopped after around two miles in a supermarket car-park to regain his breath. When he looked up, who else should be standing there, smiling down at him?

Ivor either didn’t care about the effect he was having on Patrick, or he genuinely couldn’t see it, rather like a smiling teddy bear or doll that retains its smile after literally being thrashed and beaten. No longer was he the cheerful little boy, riding a talking horse across the meadow. Now he emulated Patrick in his own way, dressing like him, sometimes behaving like him, and sometimes seeming as though he was nothing like Patrick. No longer could he be called an acquaintance, or confidant. He couldn’t truly be called an enemy, either. Irritant was more akin to the effect Ivor was having on him. A brain irritant, or malfunction that caused Ivor’s constant projection, his personality perhaps emerging through the subconscious that is responsible for dreams. Patrick often wondered how it was he had never gone away, why he remained constantly around him, sending him slowly in a into a depressed psychosis, unbalancing his state of mind.

Prior to him coming down to the beach, he had attended an interview at a building society for a financial consultant, sat under the gaze of four executives. He found it quite intimidating, and matters were not helped by Ivor pacing around behind the men. When he decided to speak as another question was being asked, Patrick couldn’t make out what the interviewer was saying, and told Ivor to be quiet. A split second after he had said it, he realised he had said it aloud, and the man asking the question looked shocked. Obviously he’d never been spoken to like that before, and consequently responded with a shocked silence. After they had looked at each other in surprise, they looked back towards Patrick and saw an empty chair, and the door slowly closing.
“Can’t you just leave me alone,” Patrick said, looking at Ivor who was still standing further out into the water. Ivor said nothing, but stood looking back at Ivor with his hands on his hips, as though contemplating what to say. He then began to wade towards Patrick and stopped before him.
“I can see I’ve been quite annoying sometimes. I can understand that. However, I will admit that I am afraid. Well, actually I’m terrified. I don’t want you to forget me. I’m fearful that you will. I will die if you forget me. That is why I am always in your vision. I will risk you forgetting me for a few minutes though. I shall recompense you with something I know you’ve never forgotten”. Ivor then walked past Patrick, towards the sand dunes. He turned to speak, but Ivor had gone, and for the first time since he was five, he felt alone. It seemed as if nobody was around for many miles, and the feeling of isolation on the beach felt good. He looked all around him, and knew then that he truly was alone. He savoured the moment, believing Ivor’s return to be imminent, but it wasn’t. For around five minutes, he walked along the beach, wallowing in the sensation he’d missed. As he looked out across the calm ocean, something over to his left caught his eye. The water was being disturbed, and Patrick watched as head and shoulders appeared. Before the whole person emerged, Patrick saw that it was Ivor, and the feeling of isolation simply vanished. Ivor walked to the shore, and Patrick saw that behind him, more of the water was being disturbed, and he watched with incredulity as many horses and pigs emerged, no longer confined to the pages of the children’s book, and no longer in cartoon form, but as real as imaginary animals can be. Ten of each came to the shore, followed by two other individuals, dressed in strange garb, as though they were on their way to a fancy dress party.
“Didn’t forget me, did you?” said Ivor, stating the obvious as he approached him.
“Remember the book where you first found me? Well here’s the other characters in it. We have the author to thank for making this possible, for bringing us off the page and into your mind. I don’t know much about her, only that she only wrote one book, was into alchemy and pagan rituals, and disappeared somewhere in South America after the book had been published. You had a rare copy, as I understand that it was soon withdrawn after publication, I’m not sure why”. I can guess, thought Patrick. Ivor nodded.
“Yes, I’m sure you can”. Ivor gestured to the other men who were standing amongst the animals.
“This is Roland the cave inhabitant,”. He wore a distinctive caveman’s outfit, and resembled a typical Neanderthal. Exactly as a cartoon caveman should look in the real, physical world. Rather like an actor playing the role.
“And this is Floyd the tree dweller”. He wore a green outfit, his posture resembling that of a gibbon, or orang-utan. His skin was pale and tinged green, his eyes and mouth, frog-like, yet distinctly human.
“You remember us from the book don’t you?” said Ivor. “ Remember our adventures? Well I brought them all back to be your friends. We can all have adventures together”. It then hit Patrick, that these were going to be exactly like Ivor. Pretend friends who would never leave his vision, who would be around him constantly, twenty-four-seven.
“Hello Patrick, pleased to meet you”. He saw that it was the nearest horse that spoke. It was then that he burst into laughter, and this caused all the others to do the same. Patrick didn’t know what he was laughing for. Was it because of an acceptance by him that he had all these friends? Or because he knew he had finally gone mad. Not even he knew that.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
The antique fox
Posted: 1/27/2013 6:55:03 AM
He wanted to buy a gift that would be completely unexpected. The type of object that could never be guessed. His father was the type of person who had it all. The type of person who it was difficult to buy for. It wouldn’t matter if he bought him something ordinary and perhaps traditional, like socks, or a bottle of whisky, but he was always doing that, so his father was probably expecting something along those lines. Not this time, though. As Thomas Walters stood at the window of an old antiques shop, he saw exactly what his father was going to receive for his birthday. Amongst what were supposedly antiques, like cheap vases and cameras, a stuffed fox stared at nothing with its glassy eyes, made to look as though it had stopped to listen. Its ears were pointing upwards and it was facing to one side as though it had heard the call of hunters, or some other threatening noise that brought its senses to full alert. That was his father’s gift, he thought. He was quite sure he would like it, but hoped he wouldn’t expect one of the traditional presents as well. It could well be a case of: ‘Yes, very nice, now can I have my real present?’. Quite simply, he was getting the fox, as it was his birthday the following day, and he didn’t particularly relish the idea of continuing shopping around, not when his present was in the window of the antiques shop. It was the type of shop that nobody ever seemed to venture into, yet, remain open for years. All of the 15 years he had been living in this town, he had never gone inside, until today. It was also one of those rare shops where a little bell would ring upon opening. Inside wasn’t much different from the window, but there didn’t seem to be many actual ‘antiques’ in the true sense of the word. There was furniture that was probably fashionable in the sixties, ornaments that could probably be picked up in some bargain store or market. There were a few electrical items, such as radios and toys, but nothing that could be any older than the 1920s. Seated at the back, behind a cheap looking desk, a man in a pristine white suit sat scrutinizing a paperback with an eyeglass that looked embedded into his skin. It didn’t seem as though he was aware of the customer.
“Er, hello”, said Thomas. The man looked up, put down his book, took out his eyeglass and stood up.
“Sorry,” he said, “I do apologise”.
“For what?” asked Thomas with a slight smile. “I’m interested in the fox you have in the window”. The man thought for a moment, as though trying to remember it, or he was deciding how much to charge.
“The fox, yes, I know the one you mean. It’s five pounds for that. Sorry to charge so much, but I don’t normally obtain items like that”.
“That’s ok,” said Thomas, “It’s actually quite reasonable”. The man smiled, as though it was his fourth or fifth ever sale.

Unsurprisingly, a few people glanced in his direction as he walked home, the fox heavy under his arm as he walked up a winding slope to his detached house where he lived with his wife and two children. That night, he had been ordered to keep it in the shed, away from the children, because it had scared them when they had seen it. Thomas attempted to wrap it, not putting it into the actual shape, but loosely, its content ill-defined. As he wrapped it, its dead, glassy eyes occasionally stared at him, and when it did, he knew how the children felt. When he had finished, he closed and locked the shed quickly, keen to be back in the warmth of the house.

Thomas slept restlessly. He dreamed that he had given his father the fox, who wasn’t happy with it. He had put it in his garage until he decided what to do with it. The fox then suddenly leapt down from the bench, ran through the kitchen, through the hall, up the stairs and into the bedroom where his father lay asleep. It leapt onto the bed, and clamped its jaws around his throat. That was where the dream ended, but Thomas did not wake. Instead, the dream repeated itself again, and again, and again.

Thomas looked more than a little dishevelled in the morning. More than usual, but after a good, filling breakfast, he was driving the two miles to the next part of town to where his father lived in his semi-detached. As usual, he was in his garage, doing something to his Chevrolet avalanche. He never drove it, just constantly maintained it, because it was more of a hobby than a chore. Thomas pulled up in the driveway and saw his father up ahead, in his blue overalls, wiping grease from his hands, the vehicle’s bonnet wide open . Thomas was soon approaching with his father’s gift under one arm.

He stayed for approximately an hour before heading back home, but he knew that his father was displeased with his present. He was expecting him to say: ‘That’s just what I’ve always wanted’ in a sarcastic tone, but Thomas was glad he spared him that.

Neil Walters had left the fox on the counter in the garage until he decided what to do with it. It was still there a few days later, staring at him as he worked on the car. As it was putting him off, he decided a good place for it was the small bedroom where nobody ever ventured, hardly even him. The room was a makeshift storeroom, a place for those items that have no use, but are too good to throw away, a place for unwanted gifts.

That night, Neil sat in bed, bathed in muted light from a bedside lamp. He poured another measure of whiskey, having already cleared nearly half of the bottle. His senses had become almost numbed, and his vision, although never clear, was now much worse. His hearing was similar. It was just about adequate normally, but both of those senses at present didn’t necessarily need to be used, so he indulged in an ever growing passion for whiskey, perhaps to forget that he was becoming more and more alone. He would frequent the local pubs, going partly for the surrounding social atmosphere, because there were people in there. It didn’t matter that they were strangers. That was usually preferable to an empty house, watching television. He had made a few friends in the pubs, people who could be described as local. People like him. That slowed down the growing depression that was caused by isolation, but now, when surrounded by quiet, was when loneliness sank its teeth in deepest, so he numbed his senses with his second passion, and that was when he was past caring. Nothing mattered when in a drunken stupor. Things that had he been sober would have put his senses on full alert, did not work while alcohol was in his system. Things like the sound of scratching at a door. A door creaking open. More scratching, closer this time, louder, but still unheard by Neil. What his sense of sight became aware of was the bedroom door slowly opening.

The following morning, Thomas was feeling bad about the present he had given his father. What seemed like a good idea at the time, eroded away to make him feel quite low. So he decided on buying the biggest bottle of whiskey the off-licence sold and driving around straight away. He was soon knocking on the front door, bottle in hand with an expression of sorrow on his face. He had keys to let himself in, but had never used them. There was no answer after a few knocks, so he took out his mobile phone and tried ringing him. Still nothing. Obviously he must be out, he thought, so decided to leave the whiskey inside, so that when he came in he would see it. A good place, he thought, was the kitchen counter. It couldn’t be missed there. Soon, he was in the living room, leaving the bottle on the cluttered coffee table. Ever since Neil became a widower, 9 years ago, he had let the place become cluttered with useless items, such as old newspapers, leaflets, paraphernalia that helped to personalise the house, and define a huge portion of the personality of the owner. An untidy household reflected the fact that the owner simply didn’t care what people thought any more. What he did in his own house, and what it looked like, was his business, nobody else’s. Why should he tidy up when he had no reason to? Cleanliness was not a concern Neil had, and Thomas was certainly aware of it. It seemed to be messier than the last time he was here, and he wondered if the bedroom was in a similar state. Up the stairs he went, and was surprised to find the curtains still closed. He could not make anything out properly, only that the bed was occupied. He guessed that he was asleep, and stepped close, his eyes gradually adjusting. He saw that his face was much darker than what it should have been, as though he had splashed oil onto his face. Thomas was aware that there was an odour that could well be blood. He was about to fling the duvet back in panic, but before he touched it, it went back itself to reveal the face of something he couldn’t quite place. Shock was only a split second away, and in that split second, he realised it was the fox, no longer stuffed, and very agile. It leapt at Thomas’s throat, but the shock had numbed the pain.

After a few moments, the fox came out of the bedroom onto the landing, its mouth dripping blood. It didn’t know where to start looking, so it tried the other bedroom and began searching.

The antiques shop had a closed sign outside. This had happened many times when normally it would have been open. Inside, upstairs, the owner, still in his white suit, sat cross legged on a mat, his eyes closed. In all corners, incense burned. Its thick smoke curled slowly into the air, and one candle burned in front of him, on the floor. In his mind, he could see through the eyes of the fox. He was controlling it. It was a kind of telepathic remote control. He was searching for something valuable, something that could be described as antique. Something he could sell in the shop, along with all the other items he had taken from those who had bought the fox previously. The fox would find something it could fit in its mouth, in its empty stomach, then find a way out of the house. Sometimes when it could not find a way out, it would have to wait until night time, before smashing out of the back or kitchen window. It always found a way out. The shop owner would come when it was least suspicious and retrieve the fox. That way he didn’t have to break and enter, and become an ordinary burglar, or thief.

The fox found an old pair of spectacles that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the seventies, and an ornament of a small bird. It looked like a kingfisher, or sparrow. It found the garage open, so went in and decided to wait by the Chevrolet. There was light coming in from beneath the main garage door, indicating that it wasn’t locked properly. It just needed somebody to come along and lift it open. The antique shop owner smiled, knowing that he would do just that. When he opened his eyes, and cut off the connection with the fox, the fox would snap back into the position that it was found to be in, in the shop window. He stood up and extinguished the candle. He decided to go straight away to collect the fox. That way if the bodies were discovered, the finger of suspicion wouldn’t be pointed at him, not when he had wiped away the blood from its jaws.

Approximately a week later, a man and wife were passing the antiques shop. The wife stopped at the window.
“Look at this,” she said, her husband wandering back to see what she had spotted.
“A stuffed fox” he said.
“Yes, we can afford it, can’t we?” . The husband thought for a moment, then reluctantly agreed. They entered the shop, the bell above the door ringing once again.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Mummy's boy
Posted: 1/16/2013 10:35:50 AM
The knife dripped its last drop of blood onto the carpet, and Paul Campbell stood in a state of confusion and panic. His mother lay motionless on her bed, blood glistening from the daylight from the windows. That was it, he thought. In a brief moment of madness, or was it sanity? he had stabbed his mother 46 times in her chest and neck. Blood had soaked the whole double-bed and was currently saturating the mattress. It also stained the carpet in crimson wet patches which glistened, even though they were in shadow. He dropped the blade and took a few steps back. He was breathing heavily. Despite her being 58 years of age, and small and frail, the act of murder was exhausting. He was surprised that he didn’t feel regret, but he was sure he would. He had loved his dear old mother, without doubt the bedrock of his life. Without her, he was sure his world would collapse. Paul was 36 years of age, worked in a bank, and had never left home, had never married, and thwarted the attentions of women who had tried to make him fly the nest, but in his own perspective, they were trying to sever the bond he had with his mother, and that was simply not going to happen, so intentionally single he had stayed, mothered by a devoted parent to their only child. His father had died of smoke inhalation three years after he was born in a fire where he had worked in a clothing manufacturers. So the bond between mother and son had never truly passed the childhood stage. She cooked for him, cleaned for him, bought his clothes, told him when it was bedtime.

Basically, she had mothered him to such a state where he did not wish for outside influence. He did not want friends, not when he had his mother. He didn’t want to be subjected to their bad influences, their desires, their persuasions. He had to block it out in the workplace. All of his wages went to his mother so she could look after them both, and the house. He found he didn’t need money. He hardly went out to spend it. Occasionally he ventured with her to the supermarket to help with the shopping, but basically his world consisted of his workplace, which was mostly a humid office, the supermarket, and the house. He did not wish for anything else. His mother was his world, but now there she was, on her death bed. Now what am I going to do? he thought. The very act of causing harm to her usually abhorred him. He would never dream of hurting her. It had only happened once before when he had kindly offered to do the dishes. He had been washing a saucer when she had come into the kitchen and discovered that the milk had gone. She had accused him of drinking it, which he had, but her nagging had caused him to throw the saucer at her. It had missed, but he had immediately felt remorse and sorrow. Later, he had wondered what had caused that to happen, and remembered that earlier on that day, in his office, he had overheard one of his colleagues on a telephone engaging in a social call. The colleague had recently taken up exercise and had been discussing health foods. Of the snatches of one sided conversation he had heard, one of them had been: “….and drink plenty of milk”. This, he had guessed had probably caused a subconscious influence on him, which therefore had led to the milk bottle being empty. It was one major factor in why he did not like to mingle with other people, as they were dangerous.

Tears for his mother would come. They would come like the base of a waterfall, but the shock of what he had done, and the surprise he felt in the realisation that he was capable of murder, would take a while to be replaced by emotion. Again, he remembered a snatch of a conversation he had overheard on the way back to the house from his work. Two women had been chatting on the pavement, one holding the hand of a bored looking boy of around eight years old. As Paul had passed by, he had heard: “….he stayed up till ten o’clock last night, didn’t you?”. He wondered if this was another factor in the influence the outside world had over him. His mother had never let him stay up past eleven o’clock. It was a discipline he appreciated. He knew he was susceptible to influences, but his mother kept him in check, kept him balanced. Without her, he didn’t know what would become of him, how he would cope. At work, he was not the most popular employee. In fact, nobody liked him. He was the office loner, talking to colleagues always on a professional level. He liked it that way. If somebody tried to speak to him about anything other than work, then he would become tetchy and irritable, so nobody bothered. New employees soon learned his mannerism. Yet, bad influences had infiltrated his mind again, and resulted in his mother lying on the bed, staring up at nothing. Not my fault, he thought. I’m not responsible. Yet, his conscience wouldn’t let him think that way. Wouldn’t ease the burden he’d brought upon himself. Yes, it was my fault. If I hadn’t been manipulated, maybe mum would still be here. Upon hearing the mother of the child mention that the boy had stayed up late, he decided he could do the same himself. He was simply watching television. It was a wildlife documentary about venomous snakes. She decided that that programme was decent enough for him to watch. She would vet his programming, and not let him watch anything too violent, or too risqué. Again, he appreciated this. There were bad influences everywhere, and she did a good job of keeping him sane, keeping him pure. Most people had good and bad elements of varying degrees, and Paul liked to think he had no negativity within him. He was a good son, who made his mother proud, and by doing that, he made himself proud.

Yet, in suppressing his bad elements to such a degree, it was like a spring, pressed down. His overwhelming goodness kept the coil at bay, but when negative influences crept in, it would spring up, until his positivity pressed it down again. It wasn’t pressed now though. It had sprang up and caused him to get so angry, that the only reason he had stopped stabbing was through sheer exhaustion. He simply physically could do it no longer, but the desire to keep stabbing had subsided, and he realised what he had done. His purity had vanished in that act. Perhaps he was not simply ‘bad’, but evil. It was an evil act, but he still liked to think of himself as a good person. The very fact that his mother day dead before him was testament to the fact that he could become bad, could be susceptible to outside influences, which in turn, could change his behaviour, could make him perform an evil act. He was right to shun other people’s company, if this was what they could make him do, he thought. They had taken his mother, had caused his negativity to spring up and turn him into a rage filled individual, who had simply said to his mother:
‘Can I stay up another fifteen minutes to watch the end of this programme?’
‘No, you can’t’ she had said. ‘You know it’s past your bedtime. Get up those stairs, and I want the light off by the time I get up there’. Paul had angrily stormed up the stairs, changed into his pyjamas, and was about to follow his mother’s orders when she came in to reprimand him for angrily walking away. With a wagging finger, and a stern expression, she was going to give him a severe scolding, but Paul was still angry, and picked up her husband’s fishing knife that she had kept for sentimental and aesthetic purposes on a sideboard, and sent it into her neck without hesitation.

He looked at the other side of the bed. It was glistening crimson. I can’t sleep there tonight, he thought. Maybe never again. No more tucking in. Sometimes he regretted the fact that she never read to him anymore before he went to sleep. She had stopped reading, not a children’s book, but a fantasy novella aimed at teenagers. It had reached its conclusion three years ago, and she had never read to him since. Perhaps, he thought, he was a little old for that kind of thing. Mother knows best.

He turned and walked out onto the landing, and descended the stairs, his blood soaked pyjamas cold against his skin. He slowly made his way into the living room, and sat in her favourite armchair. The television was still on. He saw that the credits were rolling for the end of the programme he had wanted to watch. He was tired, and his eyelids began to droop slightly. He was suddenly jolted awake by his mobile telephone ringing. It was in his coat in the hall. He slowly made his way towards it, rummaged through his pockets until he found it, and saw that the screen read: ‘Anonymous call’. He answered it.
“Hello,” he said, “Who’s that?”.
“I know what you’ve done,” came a hoarse voice. “I know. Someone’s been a very bad boy, and don’t think that…” Suddenly there seemed to be a disturbance on the other end of the line, as though the person had been distracted.
“I’ll speak to you later,” the voice said “Keep your phone on”. The call was ended, and Paul heard nothing. That was it, he thought. I’m caught. Perhaps prison might not be such a bad place. With mother gone, I’m going to find it very difficult to look after myself. Yet, he wanted to stay to feel her presence. The house would surround him in a loving mother’s embrace. Who knew? he thought, who was it? and how did they know? The police will find me anyway when the man tells them. I might as well hand myself in. Perhaps I’ll get a lighter sentence that way, and if I do that, then the sooner I’ll be back here.

He walked out of the house, slowly making the one mile trek to a police station. People stared in fascination at him as he walked, but he ignored them, just like he would have done if it had been a normal day. The place was quiet. A policeman who appeared to be in his late fifties was sat reading a newspaper. Paul ambled in and fell to his knees. The man stared at him with trepidation.
“I’ve killed my mother” Paul said, loudly. “I’ve killed her”. Suddenly, the mobile telephone in his hand rang. He’d forgotten he was carrying it. The policeman didn’t move. Paul answered after a few moments hesitation. He was breathing heavily.
“Yes,” he said, quietly.
“I know,” the voice said again. “I know who you are, and what you’ve done, what you’re doing. I know you’re stealing from the bank you work at. Well, cut me in, and I won’t say anything”. Paul dropped the telephone, and put his bloodied hands to his bloodied face.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Psycho Charlie
Posted: 1/7/2013 9:52:09 AM
He wondered why he had never thought of it before, in all his years of burgling houses, most of them urban, he had never specifically gone out into the countryside to burgle a house. They would seem to be easier than normal dwellings, as the owners would probably own plenty of electrical equipment, such as TV’s, hi-fi’s, etc. Entertainment out in rural areas is more difficult to come by than in the city. There was also the fact that there were not as many prying eyes around, save for that of the insects and birds. There were no signs on any posts that said: ‘Neighbourhood watch’, and escaping out across the fields would be much easier than jumping over walls and fences. This house, though, surprised him. It was a normal looking house, out in the countryside, not too far from civilisation, around two miles. Over the doorway, there was a hi-tech looking security camera, straight from a science-fiction film, and over the windows, there were iron bars, so any burglar, if they managed to gain entry, would have to exit the same way. There was also a larger than normal satellite on the roof, facing skyward, next to a conventional aerial. He wondered why this would be so, why the occupier of this house would have such tight security. The obvious question sprung to mind. What are they hiding?

Neil Kendrick had been burgling houses for the past fifteen years, and at 38, he simply couldn’t stop. Some of those years had been spent in prison, one two year stretch, and one four year. He was not deterred though, he couldn’t give up. He had kleptomania for taking items from houses. In receipt of state benefits, he topped this up by selling what he could from his thieving, hence his expensive watch, bracelet, Mercedes-benz. He didn’t have that with him. It was back at his expensive house. Here he had brought his expensive transit van, perhaps expecting to walk out of the front door with everything of value the house had. Maybe the house was secure because there was something extremely valuable in there. This was more incentive for him proceed. There was also the challenge of the place. He would find it difficult to get in, and wondered whether he would find something inside to make it worth the effort. He had to try, had to crack this place, as a demonstration to himself of his house breaking skills. Basically, he thought, break into here, and he can break into anywhere.

Parked on the other side of the lane, looking at the front of the house, he wondered whether he might survey the house first, to see just where his point of entry might be. Usually he didn’t need to give the house the once over, as they were generally standard. Window and door locks, and house alarms were all he needed knowledge of when house breaking. He never needed to come back twice. In this case, however, it perhaps might be necessary. He left the vehicle and walked along the garden wall which had high privet hedges spanning around it. The security camera was trained on the front gate, so he knew he was to avoid it, and for the moment had cover, so anybody looking out of any of the windows would not see him. He reached the corner of the privet hedges, but the wall continued and became a normal barrier to the field, stretching into the distance. It branched in a T shape, and continued along the side of the house, so he had to scale it in order the see the rear of the house. Moments later, he was keeping himself low, close to the wall to avoid any watchers. When he thought he was relatively safe, he stood up and surveyed the property. He knew it already, but it was further reinforcement of the fact that this was no ordinary house. The wall surrounding the back yard, or garden, was as tall as the house itself, around thirty feet high, topped by barbed wire and sharp spikes.

After a couple of minutes, he was back behind the wheel of the van, the house more confusing now than previously. The only, and best way for him to enter, was through the front door itself. There were no doors at the sides, or leading into the back yard. With the windows being barred, and tightly shut, it seemed like the front door was the only way in an out of the property. He would have to bypass the security camera, and pick the locks. This was indeed a challenge to an experienced burglar, and Neil decided that trying at night-time might be best. Starting the van, he turned it around, and drove back along the country lane, unaware that the security camera had been pointing directly at him.

The moon hung low in the sky, casting a muted blue across the land, with wisps of cloud passing in front of it every now and then, and reflecting from the windscreen of the van, parked much further back than he had been before, because he thought that if the occupant heard the van’s engine, then they might be alerted. So he had pulled onto an embankment, and walked the rest of the way to the house. He found the camera to be pointing away to his left, which meant that he could walk in through the gate quickly and close it behind him, which he did. He was soon standing beneath the camera, so that whichever way it pointed, it would not see him. However, it did not seem to be on, as previously it had had a little red light on top. Now it had gone, so it was probably seeing nothing. With a little pen light torch, Neil readied his lock picking equipment, and saw that he would be here for a long duration, as he shone his torch on all the security equipment keeping the door shut. There was a numerical keypad that needed a password, three yale locks and two mortice locks. He took a deep breath of the cold night air, and started at the bottom. As the wire went into the locks, his hands couldn’t help but push at the door, and he was surprised as it slowly opened. Whoever owned this place had either forgotten to lock it, or knew he was coming. He preferred it if the owner had forgotten, so decided to risk entering. With his penlight torch pointing in front of him, he entered the musty hallway, diluted slightly by the cold air behind him. He decided to close the door behind him, leaving it as it was. The walls had plain green wallpaper that looked as though it had been there for many years. No pictures hung, nor a mirror. There was nothing here of any significance. The torch picked out stairs, and two doors opposite each other.

All was quiet and still, motes of dust lazily drifting in the beam of light. He tried the door on his left and found it was the main living room. There was a large TV, beneath which was the equipment he assumed to be from the satellite on the roof. DVD, Video, and in another corner, a computer, probably linked to the internet. This person was certainly wired to what was going on in the world. There were also shelves of books, and books scattered around the place, along with empty food packets and newspapers. The books he noticed, were mostly scientific, the torch picking out a few titles: ‘Genetic algorithms’, ‘Theoretical aspects of Lithium and Helium’, and ‘Electronics, a student’s guide’. There was nothing else except the electrical equipment to interest Neil, and leaving that room to enter the room opposite, he was surprised at the difference. There was a large table full of newspapers, and cuttings put up around the walls of pictures and headlines. The torch picked out a few: ‘WERE NOT TO BLAME’ and ‘MINISTERS ONE MILLION PAYOUT’, ‘TORY SLEAZE SCANDAL WIDENS’, and ‘SLAP ON WRIST FOR LABOUR’S TRANSPORT SECRETARY’ . Neil noticed that the running theme throughout was that they were all government related, and a book on the table was entitled: ‘Who wants to be a freemason?’. There was nothing worth stealing in there, so he left it and decided to walk through into the kitchen, where he saw nothing out of the ordinary, until he reached the chopping board, where the torch picked out quite starkly what could only be blood splattered across it, and bits of flesh and bone from an unidentifiable species. He thought that perhaps the owner went out into the country and caught their own food. He panned the torch around again, and something caught his eye outside the window, in the back yard. It was a blinking red light. Was it another security camera? he thought. The torch beam picked out something he could not discern, but it wasn’t a camera. He remembered the yard having a high wall and barbed wire, so decided to try the back door, and found it open. The cold washed over him again, and he stepped out into the yard, the torch panning around as he tried to take in what he was looking at, trying to work out just what he was seeing. He saw that there was some kind of tarpaulin, or canvas sheet above him as a make-shift ceiling, stretched across the whole yard. He pointed the torch at the blinking red light and saw that it was coming from some kind of small machine he could not recognise. When the torch picked out several severed heads on the floor, he didn’t have time to recoil in shock as bright lights suddenly came on, like floodlights at a football ground. He turned suddenly, and saw that standing in the doorway from which he had came, was a man in combat trousers, with no top, and a bandana. He had a large, black and brown wiry beard and straggly hair. In one hand, he held a long, double-barrelled shotgun, the other, a blood stained machete. He walked slowly towards Neil and stopped about four metres away.
“I’ve been expecting you,” he said, pointing the shotgun at him.
“What the hell’s going on here?” said Neil, fearfully.
“You work for them, and they’ve sent you to spy on me, just like them”. He gestured to the severed heads.
“They come here masquerading as postmen, but I know see”. He tapped the side of his head with the machete. “I know what they really are. They’re spies, working for the government, wanting to get a look at what I’m planning. Just like you. What’s you’re excuse?”. Neil was momentarily stuck for words, his mind racing with confusion and fear.
“I’m a burglar. I’ll admit it. I’m a professional thief, and decided to burgle you. Simple as that”.
“Professional eh? Would a professional come into a house with the front door already open? That doesn’t sound like a professional to me. See? You’re one of them. I knew it. You’re a government spy, just like the others”.
“You’re paranoid, nobody’s after you”.
“No-one knows what I’m up to. They can’t see what I’m planning”. He gestured upwards. Your satellites may be trying to penetrate through with all your fancy technology, but by the time you invent x-ray vision, it’ll be too late, I’ll have done what I set out to do. Say hello to Charlie. I named him after myself”. He gestured behind Neil with the machete, who turned and saw something that he was surprised he had missed earlier, considering it was the most prominent thing in the yard. It was a large metallic sphere with many wires attached. It was a least thirty times the size of an average football. It didn’t take Neil long to work out what it was.
“It’s a nuclear bomb,” he said. “It’s a nuclear bomb”.
“Correct,” said Charlie. “200 kilotons of thermonuclear destruction. It’s ready to go, and
I intend to take it down to the houses of parliament and level London”. Neil was stuck for words, but eventually said:
“Why?” Charlie said, “Why? I’ll tell you why shall I? For twenty-five years I worked for the government in their research department, helping develop biological weaponry and their deployment methods, as well as helping to expand the knowledge we already know about how fusion and hydrogen bombs work. The bombs we now have in storage are much more powerful and that is thanks to me. I’m the one who helped the government in their research, and what thanks do I get? Nothing, that’s what. Chucked out because they said I was mentally unstable. Psycho Charlie, I was called once, by one of my superiors. Well I soon put him in hospital. I was just so disillusioned with it all. Something didn’t quite fit. I was being used. Yes, that’s the word, used. What with all their secret societies, they were planning to use our research to further their own agendas and leave me out. It’s corrupt. It’s all corrupt, and I’m going to wipe them all out. They won’t have time to get in their nuclear bunkers either. Notice the ordinary man in the street doesn’t have access to one of these bunkers. No, the royal family and suits in parliament are alright aren’t they? I bet they’ve got one each, and I bet they’ve got gas masks. Notice they’re not handing them out? Keeping them for themselves, see? It’s all corrupt, and they sent you to spy on me, didn’t they? Posing as a burglar to try and get information”.
“So you’re going to take this to London, and set it off?” Charlie nodded.
“I’m gonna buy a lorry, specially. Special delivery”.
“What about all the innocent people you’ll kill?” Charlie pointed the machete accusingly
at Neil. “Innocent blood is a consequence of war. It’s the price to pay for a better system,
one free of sleaze and vice. I’m going to destroy London, and destroy the corruption that festers there. I’m going to be doing society a favour, and don’t you talk to me about spilling innocent blood. You’re part of that system, the system that’s spilt more innocent blood than this bomb will”. Neil shook his head, and for a moment, was not aware of his fear.
“You know, I think I agree with whoever fired you. You’re paranoid. You’ve built up such a mistrust of the government that you see everybody as a spy. You think that they, whoever ‘they’ are, are out to get you. You’re suspicious about everything, and obsessed by it, and you’ve built this bomb out of your hatred for who you see as your enemy. This is your only answer. The only way you can get revenge for being hard done by, for being expelled for being mentally unbalanced. They were right, you are a psycho”.
“You see,” screamed Charlie. “I knew it, you work for them. You’re a secret agent”. He swung the machete at Neil’s face, smashing into his cheekbone. Another swing broke the hinge of his jaw and smashed several teeth. Neil staggered back against the bomb, holding up his hands in futile protection against Charlie’s onslaught. Furiously, Charlie hacked at Neil, taking off fingers, ears, and pieces of flesh, blood splattering Charlie and the bomb. When his arm grew tired, he pressed the gun against his stomach and pulled the trigger. Neil’s innards exploded, his spine blown in half, and Charlie’s combat trousers soaked in glistening crimson. With Charlie being of unstable mind, his anger at Neil, whom to him, represented somebody from the government, was such that he wasn’t thinking straight. He hadn’t thought straight for a long time, but here is where straight thinking would have been useful, as Charlie had not thought about the power of the shotgun. The bullets had easily passed through Neil, considering the barrel had been pressed against his stomach. The thin metal of the bomb had easily been blasted through, and its detonation could be triggered by its sulphuric content being exposed to air, which it duly was. For a split second, Neil and Charlie wondered why everything around them went dazzlingly white.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 12/28/2012 2:46:26 PM
Armed with a rolled up newspaper, Raymond Stockton hit out at a large wasp that had invaded his bedsit, but missed, and hit the frame of a print of the Andes in winter. It flew around the shadeless bulb in the middle of the room, even though the light was not on. Another swing at it produced no effect as it simply flew out of the way. Normally he didn’t mind wasps, or basically any other insect, as long as they didn’t invade his home, but this one was an irritant. For three hours it had flew around, and had shown no signs of wanting to escape. Occasionally it had landed on the ceiling, and proceeded to crawl around, as though knowing Raymond didn’t want it there, but stayed because it knew it was being a pest. It didn’t seem to be an ordinary wasp. It was black, and around two inches long.

Landing on the ceiling again, it proceeded on another walkabout, as if it knew it was fairly safe from Raymond, who was 46, five feet four inches, with long, straggly hair, and a moustache that drooped down the sides of his mouth and disappeared into a unkempt stubble. He couldn’t hit the ceiling as it was eight inches out of reach, and standing on a chair was no use as the wasp simply walked or flew away. He wondered what he was going to do. It can’t stay. Normally, insects, if left, or forgotten about, having found their way into a home, simply vanished after a while, and are never seen again, but he guessed that this would not be the same. He wondered if perhaps it was thinking of building a nest here. Maybe conditions were right. Raymond hoped not. He valued his privacy. He wasn’t exactly a loner, but was very untrustworthy of basically everybody. He didn’t acknowledge his neighbours, and mostly spoke only when spoken to. He liked it that way. Perhaps it was because the news was always negative, and bad. It did nothing to promote sociability, and simply made people suspicious, certainly of strangers, and sometimes friends. Raymond was a product of this line of thought. Paranoia had never been so prominent. Ironic in fact, that a simple wall can separate strangers at a distance of mere feet, and perhaps sometimes inches, yet keep the mentality of privacy satisfied. Yet, his solitude had been invaded, and he could not be content knowing that the wasp was here. There it was, near the kitchen. It decided to launch itself from the ceiling and fly around in a kind of lethargic manner that seemed to mean it was in no hurry, was maybe giving itself some exercise, or was happy in the fact that it had found a new home. Raymond swiped and swiped at it, but it was no use, he missed every time. It flew back to the ceiling and began wandering around again, seemingly without a care in the world. Bug spray, that’s what I need, he thought, and saw that he still had time to visit the local convenience store that sold virtually everything.

After around twenty minutes, he came back, armed with a can of ‘Bugged out’, but found that the wasp had gone, or at least was missing. He stood in the middle of the room, can ready to fire, but there was nothing. Perhaps it had decided not to make this place its home after all, he thought. After a few minutes, he put the can on the window sill, ready to snatch up if needed.

For the rest of the night, he was aware that it could come from anywhere, but it didn’t. He couldn’t concentrate properly on his television, or radio programmes, and five scouts of the bedsit revealed nothing, and he went to bed that night satisfied that it had gone.

Darkness pervaded the room, and Raymond had been asleep an hour, unaware that other eyes were looking down from the ceiling. The wasp was satisfied that he was fast asleep, and flew down and landed on his pillow. It scuttled beneath his thin duvet and clambered onto his stomach. Raymond was awoken by a sharp stabbing, as though he had been jabbed by a dart. He flung the duvet back, and managed to switch on the bedside light. The instant he did, he saw that hovering, inches from his face, was the wasp, only this time, he saw its face. It was human, and watched him for two seconds before flying away, out of his sight. No, it can’t be, he thought, clutching his aching stomach. Impossible. He recognised the face. It was of his best friend, who had died two months ago in prison. No way, Raymond thought, breathing heavily. Was this part of a dream? A nightmare? The pain told him that it was not, but what about the wasp’s face? Perhaps that part was a dream, he thought. He did after all jolt from sleep. Yes, he thought. The wasp had stung him, and now it was going to die anyway. He was satisfied with that explanation, and went back to sleep, and found himself in the morning, staring out of the window of his bedsit, at the road below, but not really seeing it, as he was thinking of his friend whom the wasp had reminded him of. Charlie Benson. Raymond missed him, but, standards had to be kept, rules maintained, and the fact that Charlie had crossed one line, meant the severing of a fifteen year old friendship that Raymond had dissolved. Charlie had been good on computers. He was quite adept at using the information superhighway and basically, used it to download films and music illegally to burn onto discs. In Raymond’s view, this was unacceptable, as it was theft, and had called the police, who had arrested him and gave him a £2000 fine which he refused to pay. He chose instead to take a six month prison sentence, and was locked away with dangerous members of society who had committed far worse crimes. One such criminal, who had received news of his girlfriend’s liaison with another man, was in a foul mood, overheard Charlie’s conversation with another convict, and thought they were talking about him. He attacked them both that night, stabbing and killing Charlie, and injuring the other man. Raymond had shed no tears.

After approximately an hour, he was sitting on a bench in his nearby park, enjoying the solitude and atmosphere. It was a rare, small space of greenery with a path that bisected it diagonally and was twice the size of a football pitch, but was slowly being eaten into by the growing concrete jungle that surrounded it for miles on each side. Sometimes it became quite crowded, and the feeling of seclusion would vanish, but now it was fine. He was contemplating whether or not to stay, or go and find a quiet corner of a library somewhere and read a newspaper, when a sharp pain bolted through him from his stomach. Another came, then another, and Raymond fell forward from the bench onto the path. He tried to yell out but found he couldn’t as the pain persisted. He felt liquid seep through his shirt and saw that it was blood. He rolled onto his back and clutched his stomach, but his hands went inside and felt movement, squirming. He managed to look up and see that there were many larvae, eating him. The wasp had laid its eggs inside him, as each of them, at around an inch long, had a small, human face, each that of his ex-friend, who upon crossing over to the other side when he died, found that reincarnation was real. He, however, discovered a way to choose what he came back as, and to where, as well as to alter the genetic make-up of the appearance, thus reminding Raymond of who was the conscious mind within the wasp. It meant also that reproduction was a lot quicker than normal, and those inside his stomach, all twenty four of them, began to emerge as a distorted version of the catesia wasp, the same as the one that had invaded Raymond’s home. One of them bit into his heart, then, as if on cue, all stretched their wings and flew upwards, circling above him. Raymond saw them all watching him before he died. They then dispersed, flying away in all directions.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
The plant house
Posted: 12/21/2012 6:45:40 AM
This had to be the place. It stood out like a cat being entered for crufts. The house was virtually covered in ivy, and the well maintained garden looked like it was to be entered at the Chelsea flower show, with a central water feature surrounded with white roses and expertly trimmed grass, as though it was the turf of a football pitch immediately prior to a cup final. Bill Norward got out of his fiesta and approached the wooden gate. He had heard of the reputation of the owner of this house. Unsurprisingly, he sold plants, and other horticultural items. Bill’s grandmother had been taken into hospital, having fallen down a set of stairs in her residential home. He hardly ever visited her there, so now that she was in hospital, he thought he’d better show his face to show he still had some semblance of compassion. So where better to buy flowers? rather than at a florists where they charged high prices.

The person who lived here, sold through recommendation, and could not be found advertising. Nor where they in the yellow pages. It was not an official business. He grew the flowers here, and sold them from here.
He opened the well oiled gate and walked along a marble path to a sturdy oak door, where the brass knocker was in the shape of a rose. He knocked and waited. It was soon opened by a frail looking man who must easily be in his eighties. He leaned on a walking stick and looked up through thick, black rimmed spectacles, the glass of which must be from the same material used in magnifying glasses. His eyes were not magnified, just indistinguishable and distorted.
“Hi,” said Bill, “I understand you sell plants”. The man nodded.
“That I do,” he said, “Come in”. Bill stepped in and the man closed the door behind him. He extended a frail hand, the other gripped tightly on the walking stick, keeping him from falling over.
“My name is Eugene Clemence” he said. Bill shook it and looked around the hallway. Everywhere where there could be a plant, there was one. All available corners had been taken, even each side of every step leading upstairs.
“My water bill isn’t cheap,” said Eugene with a smile. He walked along the hallway to a door at the back, which Bill assumed led into the kitchen.
“The plants here are not for sale,” said Eugene. “Those ones are through here”. He opened the door and gestured Bill through. He found he wasn’t in the kitchen, but in a room the size of a small bedsit. There were shelves full of plants, and Bill could not make out any part of any wall. There were some scattered randomly on the floor.
“Take your pick,” said Eugene, “I’ll get you a cup of tea”. Before Bill could refuse, he had gone through another door which Bill assumed again to lead into the kitchen. How could he refuse a cup of tea from such a dear old man? Bill mused, and then noticed something that had not registered when he’d entered. In the middle of the room, there was a table. There was nothing special about it. It was a typical, cheap dining table, but on it, there was a briefcase, with both latches up. Bill’s curiosity was piqued, and he listened for sounds of Eugene, but he could not make anything out. All he had to do was open it, he thought, see what was inside, and close it, back the way it was when he found it. He stepped across to it, listened once more incase Eugene was on his way back, and found that he wasn’t, so carefully opened the briefcase, only to be greeted by a cloud of yellow smoke, or steam. It billowed around his face and Bill could not help but breathe it in. Its effect was immediate, and as Bill could feel consciousness slipping away, he also felt himself dissolving, like paracetamol in water. Darkness enveloped his mind and he could feel no more. After a good five minutes, Eugene came into the room, sure that all the gas had gone. He looked at the open briefcase and grinned.
“They never can resist” he said quietly, and looked down at the new plant on the floor.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 12/10/2012 3:05:43 AM
When he heard a loud, sharp crack, he instantly knew what it was. He checked the sole of his sandal and saw that he had stood on a****oach, one of its legs still twitching. It didn’t matter. He was always standing on them, most of the time on purpose. Stanley Marwood was on his way to the fridge to retrieve milk. Upon opening it, the sudden light sent more****oaches scuttling around, trying to find some form of darkness. The milk had taken on a light yellow tinge, as it been there for three weeks, its purpose only for putting in mugs when he made tea. He put it back, and the****oaches felt safe again to feed on the mouldy butter, the fungicidal cheese, the brown grapes, and the half eaten pot of yoghurt which he had every intention of eating. From a tin next to the sink, he picked out a tea-bag. Around it, in the sink and crawling around the cupboards beneath it, many ants dashed around for some unknown purpose, on a neverending search for food, or for some token to take back to the nest, which had to be nearby, or there wouldn’t be so many of them. There could realistically have been around 400 in and around the sink, but Stanley didn’t care. There was also glistening lines criss crossing the sink, walls and counter, marking the path where slugs had slowly crawled. While he waited for the kettle to boil, he amused himself by crushing the ants beneath his thumb on the drainage board next to the sink. He wiped blood on his trousers, made the tea and walked back into his living room.

Stanley was 57, and had never done much in his life, other than own an allotment for 17 years, but had to abandon it when a new road was built which cut directly through it. This had made him more bitter than he already had been, and slowly but surely, his negative attitude towards many things had lost him his friends. Everything, according to him, was the government’s fault. The councils. Those with some sort of authority. People who wore uniform. They were all conspiring against him personally. This was why they gave him minimal benefits and hounded him with all sorts of threatening letters. Pay your licence. Pay your water bill, pay this, pay that. What Stanley failed to realise was that this was the normal way of life for most people. If you had money, you could live easier, with more home comforts. If you were poor, you had to budget carefully, but Stanley found fault everywhere. The television and papers were full of rubbish. The kids of today were mindless psychopaths, and no-one trusted anyone any more. Perhaps that was one thing he had got right, but his bitterness had led him to let his appearance slip. He had worn the same clothes for five months, and for three months had not washed at all in any way. His hair was long, matted and wiry. He had a straggly beard where once a fly had laid eggs. He had been in bed, felt movement, and soon discovered that maggots had emerged onto the pillow. That was one of the times he had actually bothered to do something about it. In fact, that was the last time he had washed, but as yet, it was only a matter of time before another fly laid more eggs in such a comfortable nest.

His living room was small, but had been made smaller by all the litter he had accumulated. It wasn’t over the top, he did put some things in the bin, but most of the time he simply put them to one side and ignored them. He mostly used one half of a sofa as his regular seat, the other half piled up with old newspapers, posted circular adverts, and empty cans of lager along with half eaten, dried up trays of gravied chips. A few pizza boxes lay around, with some of the food left. A television was set up in one corner. This was covered in useless paraphernalia, as was the mantle-piece and a lot of the carpet. Stanley’s appearance had taken on a slight grayish tint. This was because some of the dirt on his skin was now ground-in. It was the same with the dirt on the windows. The last time they had been cleaned was fifteen years ago when he had told the cleaner after paying him to bugger off and don’t come back until he lowers his price. All of the window sills in his house was like a little grave-yard, scattered, as they were with the bodies of many flies, bees and wasps that had been confused by the glass and had exhausted themselves trying to get out. Some of the small corpses were simply shells, having been there years, and some of them where fresh, dying only today. The front and back gardens were overgrown with weeds. They were basically small jungles for the insects and rodents. He watched television as he drank his tea, disgusted as usual by what was on. They must think we’re thick, he thought. They spoon feed us this rubbish and expect us to be entertained. Yet, every day, he always found himself watching it. Flies buzzed around all over the place, and beetles and lice crawled on the carpet. In amongst what could realistically be called debris, maggots crawled and wriggled. Some of them in amongst mouldy fruit, somewhere beneath the litter. The air always held a heavy, musty odour of decay, the stench of waste.

He finished his drink and leaned forward to do what he always did when he saw a****oach on the coffee table, scuttling along across papers and torn open envelopes. He slammed the cup down, crushing it. He laughed aloud and looked at the bottom of the cup. It was squashed amongst other****oaches that had died the same way. A few months ago, he had bought a fly swat. That was always kept on the coffee table. He didn’t just use it for flies. Many a crushed carcass had stuck to it, most of them now just falling off. Stanley enjoyed using it. He would swat all the insects he could see when he had it in his hand. Most nights when he was on his way to bed, he would smack every insect he saw, so it usually took a while to get to the bedroom. Tonight was no exception. He put the mug down, picked up the fly swat, stood up, and saw a spider on the back of the sofa. There was no hesitation in crushing it. It left a smear, but so had previous spiders, killed the same way. Out in the hall, he turned on the light, and a few****oaches and beetles scuttled to find darkness. There were a few flies on the walls. They were always difficult to swat, Stanley had found, but he enjoyed the challenge. He got two hits out of two strikes. He had been a master of this for a while. Two****oaches scurried across the floor. He simply stood on both of them and walked up the stairs. Halfway up, he saw a spider on one of the steps. It had built a web in a corner. He smacked it, its carcass dropping off the weapon. Before he reached the top, he had swatted one beetle and four flies.

He walked into the bathroom and switched the light on, putting the swat next to the sink. In the dusty bath, he saw three house spiders, seven beetles, and nine****oaches, most of them crawling around, probably wondering where they were, and how they could get out. He also noticed that around the window, some of the frame had rotted away, and woodlice crawled around, some of them making the short journey to the area behind the sink taps, and along the walls on an epic journey to the floor or ceiling. Again, a few****oaches scuttled on the floor, searching for darkness and small crevices. Two moths fluttered around the bare light bulb, casting flickering shadows, the sound of beating wings against the glass loud in the small confines of the bathroom. He soon entered the bedroom and pressed on the light. A spider had been on the switch, and was crushed beneath his finger. He wiped it on his trousers and accidentally stood on a spider and beetle in the two steps it took to reach his bed.

Every night he would read a novel before settling down for the night. Most of the books he read were adventures set in wars. So he sat for a while reading that, the sound only punctuated by the buzzing of three flies around the light bulb. After a while, he stood up, switched off the light, and climbed into bed, beneath his grimy, dirt stained sheets in his clothes, which he always did. Sleeping in his clothes kept him warmer. That was his excuse, and for a long time, he had stuck to it. The flies had also settled wherever they land in the dark, and all was quiet. After a while, he began to feel movement near him beneath the sheets. It was normal. It happened every night. Insects didn’t follow his sleeping patterns, so sought darkness and warmth next to him, and crawled along him and over him, never truly seeming to settle. He felt what must have been a****oach climb over his bare foot and crawl along his calf, under his trouser material. As it neared his knee, it found progress increasingly difficult, but still, it pressed on, reaching halfway along his thigh, when Stanley, finally irritated by this, slammed his fist down onto where it was. Its innards and shell smeared his skin, but Stanley settled back down to go to sleep. He didn’t settle though, as something caught his eye at the window. Something outside was glowing white and slowly moving around. What on earth was that? he thought, deciding to get up and investigate.

He never closed the curtain at night, but had trouble seeing through the dirt encrusted window, but what he made out was that there were several specks of light, rather like a concert crowd waving lighters when the band performed a ballad. He had to see what they were, so left his bedroom and went downstairs and into the kitchen. Before he reached the back door, an audible crunch reached his ears and he automatically knew he had stood on a****oach in his bare feet. It oozed between his toes, but he ignored it and carried on to the back door. Unlocking and opening it, he walked out and stood before the small jungle which was bathed in white beneath the hovering lights. More came from there to join the others, and float around like many stars that had somehow came much closer, yet had remained the same size. Soon, they all seemed to gather together to form a shape. Some floated by him, and Stanley saw what they were. They were little glowing insects. Lice, flies, Spiders, slugs, ants, woodlice, etc. All the ghosts of the insects Stanley had killed slowly gathered into one huge shape. It formed into a giant, glowing****oach, the size of a coach. After a few seconds, it began to slowly walk towards him. It reached about two metres before him, before the shock of it was too much for Stanley to take, and his heart simply stopped, his face went white, and he collapsed dead, into the jungle. The image dispersed back into the specks of light, and all slowly faded away.

Stanley didn’t know that the large****oach couldn’t have done anything. It was after all a spirit. It had no substance in the real world, so could not have harmed him. Rather like insects in the real world. Their defence against humans being their very appearance. There is usually nothing to be afraid of. How can a small, inch long insect reduce a fully grown person into a nervous wreck? It is part of their natural defence, and the****oach’s very visual presence performed the job it had meant to do, cause him shock and give him a seizure. He was also unaware that insects had to have souls as well as mammals. They had to if they were living, sentient beings, and if humans and animals went somewhere after death, then insects had to go somewhere as well. So it was with the insects in Stanley’s house. They had got their revenge for his constant killing, and now the garden and his house, for now, had become an insect paradise, and if this was heaven for them, maybe their ghosts were already home.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
The old abode
Posted: 11/19/2012 10:56:56 AM
He could only stop and stare. There was nothing else he could do at that moment. He’d skidded to a halt on his bike, nearly going over the handlebars as he saw the abandoned house on one of his familiar trails. For 15 years he had ridden along this pathway, twice a week, and not once during that time had he seen the semi-detached, set back from the path, surrounded by the trees the route cut through. A well trodden path led to a rusty gate. Beyond a low wall there was an overgrown garden, a haven for rodents and insects. How had he missed it? he thought. All these years, and yet so prominent, so obvious. It was not as though it was hidden. Perhaps he’d been so intent and focused on his exercise that it had literally passed him by. Peter Benson was an avid biker. A cycling enthusiast, 39 years old, and a competition veteran. He’d won on a few occasions, and he was trying to win everything there was. The tour de france was his dream prize, and he supposed all his training was geared towards that. Anything he picked up along the way was a pleasant bonus.

He forgot his exercise regime, and left the bike on the side of the path and walked down to the gate. It creaked loudly as he opened it and walked through. He stopped and looked up at the house. It was in a poor state, in serious need of repair. The windows were opaque with grime, and the woodwork was split and fractured, the paintwork flaking away, the path cracked and overgrown with weeds. The roof was missing several tiles, no doubt they lay somewhere in the garden, victims of stormy weather. The front door was open ajar, as though the house knew he was coming, and was welcoming him. Yet it didn’t seem particularly inviting, despite the weather being pleasant, the sun hiding behind wisps of cotton wool clouds, framed by an ultramarine sky. He walked the path and did not hesitate in pushing open the door, which protested at the lack of oil on its hinges.

He hesitated before stepping inside, not knowing why, not understanding the slight tinge of fear now burning inside him. He entered and stood in the hall, silhouetted against the doorway. The carpet and wallpaper were worn and tattered, as though they had been there for years, which they probably had. Stairs led up to the left into shadowy gloom, as though the darkness itself was asleep. Doors to his left and right were closed, and the door at the back, leading to the kitchen was ajar. He decided to try upstairs first, partly to allay his fears, and prove to himself that there was nothing to be afraid of. It was simply a rickety old house, still furnished, still with a few framed pictures on the wall, of nothing special, foreign scenery and ocean liners. Silence hung in the air, and time itself seemed to have stopped here. As expected, a search of the upstairs rooms revealed nothing of any interest. A smashed bottle of whisky was spread beneath the front window, looking out onto the unkempt lawn. Each piece of glass had dust ingrained on it, and one of the windows was broken, as though something had been thrown from the inside, as there was no further glass scattered around save for that belonging to the bottle. Peter guessed that whoever was responsible had probably had a drunken mood swing.

The duvet and pillow were also dusty, and looked delicate to the touch. Peter ignored it and went back downstairs. He decided to try the kitchen first, and it was when he pushing it open that he noticed that the front door was closed. Light beamed in through the grimy window above the door, but Peter knew that he had not closed it. He guessed that it probably simply swung shut of its own accord, nothing sinister or out of the ordinary. The kitchen door opened quietly when he pushed it, and again, he noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Upon the floor tiles lay a thick carpet of dust, amongst which there was a frying pan and a mug lying on its side. Nothing special. He was about to step inside when he heard snuffling coming from his left, then scratching, followed by a low pitched whine. Peter saw that it was coming from the door beneath the stairs. More whining and scratching caused him to think that a dog had been locked in there. He stepped across immediately and unhooked the catch. He pulled it open about four inches when something made him stop. His instinctive alarm was flashing inside his mind. Something about it just wasn’t right. The scratching had stopped, and Peter backed away from the small door along the hallway. It opened a few more inches, and Peter stepped away to the front door, tried the lock, but it wouldn’t open. He could only stare in horrified fascination at the blackness beneath the stairs, and wonder why fear within him was burning fiercely.

Something began to emerge, slowly, like an animal emerging from captivity into new surroundings, for that was not too dissimilar to what it was. A snout, teeth, and eye sockets emerged, covered in transparent leathery skin. Peter stared as gradually the skeletal corpse of a dog came out, its skull hanging low, but those empty sockets undoubtedly watching Peter, wary of the strange human near the door, its liberator. It came out and stopped, and it was when Peter noticed the corpse of a young boy standing behind the dog that his world began to spin, as though he had suddenly acquired the effects of a strong hallucinogenic drug. The floor came rushing to him, and the ceiling kaleidoscopically turned, as did the two faces above him. That was when everything went black, and oblivion engulfed him, but didn’t give him rest, instead put him back exactly where he had fallen, only 34 years ago.

He was stood in the hall as it used to be when it was occupied. It was as though he was in a dream, yet acutely aware, but here, there was nothing bizarre about it, rather like he was intruding on somebody else’s memory.
A voice came from the back room:
“Stupid mutt, get it out of my sight. Damn things got the pox. I don’t want it here”. A man appeared from the room, dragging the dog behind him. He didn’t have to drag very hard, as the dog did look ill. Its eyes looked sunken, and white discharge was streaming from its mouth. The man opened the door beneath the stairs and literally threw the dog inside. It hit the wall and Peter heard a crack. One of its ribs had probably broken. Suddenly a small boy came running out of the room from where the man had came, crying and reaching for the dog. The man caught him and lifted him up to face level.
“You care for that mutt more than me!,” he bellowed. He then dropped him, gave him a hard smack on the side of his head, and shoved him in with the dog and locked the door.
“You show me some damned respect!” the man shouted, then to himself:
“I’m going the pub”. He walked along the hall, grabbed a jacket hanging on a nail in the wall, then walked through Peter, opened the door, slammed it behind him and stalked away to what could effectively be called his other home. Peter could smell that he had already started drinking when he had walked through him. The vision didn’t end there, instead it continued for a while with Peter simply standing where he was, staring at locked door. He was unable to move, unable to look anywhere else. In the vision, he had a thought. He guessed what the picture was beneath the stairs. The dog was lying there, dying of a disease, too weak to move, while the boy was curled up by it, crying, but Peter couldn’t hear any crying, so he was probably sniffling, or sobbing quietly into the fur of his pet.

The man never returned home. Nobody knew who he was, or where he lived. He had ingested far too much in the pub, and what instinctive radar pointed the way home to a drunk who clearly did not possess the ability to think straight, or even think at all, was none existent. He had collapsed whilst crossing a road on his way home, cracked his head against a pavement, and never woke. Through sheer hunger and frustration, the boy scratched the door trying to get out, but in the end had to face the inevitable.

With the dog’s rotting corpse beside him, he had sampled a few of the less repulsive parts, even attempting the shrivelled heart, but all the while, whatever disease the dog had, was affecting him, and instinct also told him that his father was not returning. He had laid down beside his pet, and died.

Everything went black for Peter, and when consciousness returned, he found he was not back in reality, but in a graveyard, near an overhanging tree that had obviously been there many years. Perhaps the cemetery had been built around it. It was night-time in the vision, a half-moon casting a muted hue over his surroundings. He saw a dog emerge from behind him to his right. Peter guessed that it was same dog he’d seen earlier. It stopped, sniffed the air, and looked to follow a scent across to the nearest grave to where Peter was stood. It began to dig franticly at the grave of a Sheila Morgan. The grave looked fresh, so the soil came away easily. After a few minutes, it stopped, half in and half out of the hole, then came out, shook itself as though it was wet, then ran away into the darkness.

Peter then awoke, back where he had fallen, only to find the boy corpse and his pet still looking down at him. Suddenly a pain in his chest made him want to cry aloud, but he found he could not. Then he realised that the boy had his skeletal hand inside his chest, clutching his heart so it could not beat, could not pump blood around his system. The dog had fresh blood on its teeth and jawbone. Obviously while Peter had been having the vision, the dog had torn a hole in his chest so the boy could place his hand inside.
“What a lovely disease we have”, the boy said. He then removed his hand, and it wasn’t long before Peter’s consciousness began slipping away. Light headedness made his vision blur, followed by darkness black as pitch.
After around five minutes, Peter stood up, stretched, then looked down at the hole in his chest. He then looked at the boy, who said:
“Just making sure you got infected, and hastening your arrival”.
“Infected? Don’t say that,” Peter said, smiling. “Okay, that’s enough for the time being. Time to die for a while before we spread again. It’s a pity I can’t stop the process of decay, but I’ll have to work on that, I’ll have to mutate, evolve a progression of development that means we don’t age. After incubation I’ll have to work on that”.
“Shall we rest back beneath the stairs?” asked the boy. Peter nodded. “Yes, I’ll stay upstairs on the bed. See you in a couple of years”. Peter walked up the stairs and lay down on the bed. The boy and dog went back beneath the stairs, the lock clicking behind them. Soon afterwards, in conjunction with their slumbering, or indeed, their dying, the house itself slowly faded away, vanishing into thin air, having as much substance as an airborne virus, a virus that had adapted itself to possessing human and non-physical form, in accordance with the requirements it needed in order to spread, and since viruses are technically neither dead nor alive, it slipped through death’s door because it needed to. It recharged it batteries like a hibernating mammal, like humans need sleep, and emerged back through the door into an existence in which it had maybe mutated as required for its survival, akin to animals adapting to their environment, or rats familiarizing themselves with poison, so it is no longer effective. Years later it would emerge back to where the house used to be, in order to spread. It did not spread fast, like other diseases, but it did not need to, it could not die, so had all the time in the world.

Twenty-two years later, George Clemence was stood scratching his head in confusion. For the past eighteen years he had been walking his dog every day along the same route, and not once had he seen the house that was so prominent, so obvious, he wondered how on earth he’d missed it.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
The other half
Posted: 10/27/2012 2:38:21 AM
He stared out from behind the glass of the small frame, the picture taken 22 years ago as he stood on a beach, the sea behind him beneath a cloudless sky. She wanted to feel emotion at his passing, wanted to shed a tear, but she couldn’t. He hadn’t been a bad husband, and he certainly hadn’t been good, but then neither had she. Yet he had seemed to treat her as though she wasn’t really there. She had been someone he could fall back on when he had nothing else. He had had many affairs, but she always forgave him. It had come to the point where he would simply tell her he had been with another woman. He didn’t fear any repercussions from her because he knew she would forgive him. He had exploited this for many years, using her reliability to get away with anything. Perhaps it was because she needed him as much as he needed her. The word ‘doormat’ often sprang to mind. If that was what she was to him, then so be it.

At one point she had thought he may be right. If she could put up with his playing away and drunken mood swings, then there must be something wrong with her if she stayed. What was it that she didn’t have that made him look elsewhere for affection? Again, if she could not provide contentment for him, then that of course must prove that there was indeed something wrong with her. This provided the reason for her forgiveness. It was a case of, if I cannot provide you with what you are looking for, then I forgive you for looking for it elsewhere. Yet, at the back of her mind, suppressed by this train of thought, was her conscience telling her: ‘Sandra, how long is this going to go on? Tell me you’re not living in denial. He’s using you as a base. Off he goes to work all day as head of his car insurance agency, coming back for his tea, then going back out to nowhere you’ve ever been with his rich mates and getting drunk and getting up to all sorts while you’re sat in here watching your soaps and waiting for him to come in so you can make him a cup of tea in the false notion he actually cares about you. You provide him with his food, mother him, and believe that one day he’ll change. You know very well he’s not going to change. Is he suddenly one day going to stop his philandering, buy a huge bunch of roses, and declare his undying love, and never even glance at another woman? You’ve more chance of walking on Mars’. This seed of doubt eventually grew to overpower the notion of reservation she had harboured for many years. It is the reason she had killed him. She had poisoned his food, and finished the job with one of his rusty saws he kept in the garage for the rare occasions he actually bothered to decorate. Perhaps it was desperation borne of insanity. Her tolerance over the years had slowly eroded away any normal thoughts she used to have, and brought with it a type of neuroses that eventually led her to let him ingest the poison. Why she had to saw him half, she couldn’t really answer. She thought it was incase he woke up. Maybe she hadn’t put enough poison in. If he found out, then she guessed he wouldn’t be too happy about it.

Her hands were still filthy with soil, having buried him in the garden. The garden had never properly been maintained. Occasionally an old lawn mower would be taken out of the garage and taken over it, but the weeds always grew back. Now though, in amongst the undergrowth was a large patch of soil. Using a rusty spade, she had surprised herself with her strength at digging, especially at 59. There were no witnesses, the nearest neighbour being all of 50 metres away around the curve of a country lane that led into the town, and eventually the city of Exeter.

Silence hung in the air, omnipresent, his absence noted by the very atmosphere, and altered accordingly. Walking out into the kitchen, she looked down at the place where she had used the saw, where his innards had spilt, where she found it hard to saw through his spine, where the blood carpeted the tiles, and seeped into every orifice and cavity in the kitchen. It was all gone now, mopped and soaked up with towels and his clothes, but still there hung in the air the odour of blood, and the tiles would never be as yellow as they used to be. They now held a tint of ground in crimson. Out in the back garden, the air was cold, blowing the weeds slightly and chilling her bones as though the angry ghost of her husband was standing beside her. She wondered whether or not to put a cross where he lay, some sort of final gesture to seal the fact that he had truly gone. When she put her hands in her pockets, she felt, then pulled out his reading glasses that he had been wearing when the effects of the poison had truly taken hold. She had taken them off in the kitchen before she used the saw. She walked across and placed them on the mound of soil, beneath which his corpse now lay. The glass in the spectacles reflected the sky and the clouds, as though showing her where his soul had departed to. Beyond the clouds, into other worlds beyond. She turned and walked back into the house, closing it behind her, feeling the heavy silence descend upon her, and surround her like morning mist in a countryside valley.

Hours later, with the sky black as pitch, with no moon or stars to pierce the dark clouds above, Sandra decided that she would make a hot mug of tea and take it to bed. The house felt empty, and to a certain degree, colder than normal. Perhaps it was because winter was drawing in, and the darkness crept across the land earlier each day, bringing with it a coldness that would cloak her and penetrate every bone. It meant that the bed covers at this point were an attractive proposition, that, and a large mug of tea.

With the bedside lamp on, casting her and the bed in bright yellow from the pale lampshade, Sandra read her dog-eared paperback romance novel, about a king’s daughter obliged to marry a squire, whilst she secretly receives gifts and love letters from a secret admirer. After around half an hour, the mug empty on the bedside table, she put the paperback down after discovering who the admirer was. It was the gardener. She switched off the light and settled down, her mind surprisingly relaxed after what she had done. Perhaps it was the huge weight off her mind, the part of her psyche that worried and fretted over her husband, dying along with him. She also noticed the silence. It had never been this quiet before. There was no wind, and no nocturnal animals to pierce the atmosphere audibly. It was as though time itself had stopped in this area, and was perhaps deciding whether or not to stop her heart beating, as she had done to her husband, but soon there came a bang from somewhere that sounded close, and she wondered if she had been in some sort of half conscious state. Did I hear a bang or was it the remnants of a dream?

The bang came again, like a door closing. It sounded like the back door, leading into the garden. Had Sandra looked out of the window with a large powerful beamed torch, and trained it on her husband’s grave, she would have saw a gaping hole. Moments later, she heard a soft, barely audible sliding sound that changed to a rougher, coarser sound upon contact with carpet. Sandra wasn’t afraid, just confused, her mind trying desperately to work out what it could be, and she remembered that she hadn’t locked the back door, her mind elsewhere. Perhaps it was an intruding cat, or a fox from the fields. What else could it be? It crawled slowly along the hallway, leaving behind a trail of soil and slivers of flesh. Sandra realised that whatever it was, was coming up the stairs. Slowly but surely, the sound amplified in the stillness, it climbed the stairs. It took a few minutes to reach the top, and it continued to draw closer, the dragging sound increasingly louder. In the pitch black of the bedroom, Sandra heard the door open, a slight squeaking sound came from the hinges. She had always meant to put a drop of oil on it, but most of the time, her mind never came close to even thinking about it. Nervously fumbling for the bedside lamp switch, she turned it on, and could not comprehend what was in the doorway at first, something that crawled towards her, with a gaunt, white face and white, sunken eyes. The top half of her husband dragged itself slowly towards the bed, a rasping breathing issuing from its damaged lungs. Sandra was so frozen with fear, her vocal chords refused to work, her eyes wide and staring, like a rabbit caught in headlights. He disappeared from view at the foot of the bed, but then a hand appeared, grabbing at the duvet. It hauled itself up, and slowly crawled towards her, its white face cast even brighter under the glare of the light.

Sandra did not know that he could not die. That he was immortal. His trysts and rendezvous that Sandra knew of, but not about, had resulted in a certain pact, that he, and several of his colleagues had achieved. Quincy, a name he had given himself, because he never liked Colin, had been part of that well known network of individuals called the freemasons. It was basically an excuse for a lads-together type of club, involving those members of society that had done well for themselves financially. What could they do other than talk about how rich they are? If it was to be a club, or society, then within it there must be some sort of common purpose, rather than simply being in the bracket of high earners. They came up with spirituality, the seeking of some form of light. So they would perform rituals and ceremonies exclusive only to them, and try and keep themselves covert and secretive, perhaps because they may be ashamed of what they were doing. Why would a high earner, manager of a successful company, dress up in a gown and wig, and sing and chant like a true believer, when if they were to do the same in front of their wives, they would die of embarrassment?

Quincy used to be like that. He used to be a member of the inner circle. He was basically as high as you could get, but became rather disillusioned with those of the outer circle, inviting people to come along to their meetings. The initiation became easier, and more people got to know of them, wanting to be part of something exclusive. Their members grew, and the whole meaning of the organization became diluted. Quincy and a few other members of the inner circle who were of like mind, decided enough was enough. They were allowing too many people in. It was the last straw when they allowed the owner of two shops dealing in second-hand goods to join. Quincy and his colleagues decided to form a separate sect of their own. A kind of cult within a cult. They pursued the true meaning of what was initially set out at the forming of the fellowship, only pursued it much deeper, not only seeking out a pure light that would purge them of all their sins, but also looking into the side of magic that is often unnoticed. Grouping together as much material about unseen forces from across the world together, and forming the parts they thought might have some significance, they formed their own rituals and incantations. They didn’t know exactly what they where doing, simply using the occasions they were together for the telling of tales of debauchery as well as for consummation of beverages, and the performing of rituals about which they had scant knowledge. They did not realise that the forces they were dealing with, were very real, and if misused, very dangerous.

However, they had managed, somehow, to obtain a certain energy, an energy that required a certain sacrifice. Their deaths. The prize was too great to ignore. The fact that they had to die in order for it work was very off putting. It took only one of them to believe it, and follow it through. He had taken a lethal concoction of tablets, and waited to be reborn as an immortal. It took several hours, and the others had retired to a lounge where they drank, convinced that it was a wake, wondering how they were going to explain his death to those concerned, when he appeared in the doorway, hardly looking much different. To prove he was immortal, somebody later shot him in the heart. He got up, and there was no pain. This remained exclusive only to this sect, the other freemasons were happy to pursue their ideals, blissfully unaware of what had been discovered. They all commited suicide, exchanging their life energy for another that guaranteed them immortality. Of course it was not as simple as that. In order for it to be sustained, and to keep from showing the signs of decay, he needed to regularly drink copious amounts of blood, and to worship the deity that had given them this gift at certain times. They all got together once a week at a country estate for a feast of blood drinking and worship. One of them had links with the meat industry, and was therefore able to supply them with cattle upon which to gorge. If one of these meetings was missed, then the deity had warned that it would take the preservation property of the endowment away, which meant they would walk the earth in a decaying state, eventually ending up as a walking skeleton. Quincy was afraid because he knew he needed to get to one of these meetings, so he could do nothing else but reach forward to Sandra and say, in a rasping whisper:
“Help me”.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 3 (view)
Buried pleasure
Posted: 9/16/2012 2:51:03 AM
Yes. I can understand what you mean. Many thanks.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Buried pleasure
Posted: 9/4/2012 11:31:13 AM
It was perhaps the death of a national figure that caused her obsession. A nation in mourning had entwined itself into her psyche, rather like that of a fixation on a particular television series, or a person. Unknown to her, or rather not acknowledged, like a repressed memory, was the fact that deep down, somewhere in her mind, there was a kind of pleasure in mourning. Collectively together, united in grief, there was indeed some camaraderie within the anguish directed at the same person, amongst the loved ones, and amongst those who were not loved, but were not hated. When the ‘nation’, or those who cared, those who shed a tear, or went out of their way to buy and lay flowers at a certain place, went away, went back to their normal lives, Barbara Tristan found herself standing at a graveside during a funeral, looking down at the coffin in the earth, upon which lay a single white rose. She looked around at the other people there, who, like herself, barely heard the words the priest intoned, and felt, somewhere within her, the outer fringes, or reflections of what can only be associated with pleasure.

Afterwards, when everybody had left, Barbara went her own separate way, away from these people, all of whom were complete strangers to her.

She lived alone in a semi-detached unkempt house, neighbour to an empty, boarded up abode, and to all the rodents and insects that lived there. She was the type of person who did not much care for her appearance, except on the day of a funeral. She found out through various means where and when funerals were taking place, and turned up like a long lost relative who had come to say goodbye. The people who turned up at funerals generally only knew those in their social circle. There were the obligatory familiar faces, and those whom they had never seen before, who had some link to the deceased, whether it be those they chatted to in a pub, or perhaps a distant association along a relative bloodline. Barbara fitted into the category of the unfamiliar to everybody at the funeral. Nobody would question her, because people just assumed she knew the deceased in some way, so therefore had a right to be at the funeral. She was prepared for any questions regarding how she knew the person being buried, and the answer would always be the same, should she ever need it. As yet, it had not been reqiured. There should be no further questioning when she answered: ‘Just a friend’.

Barbara had been married once, but her husband one day, decided to perform a disappearing act, leaving a note saying he had found someone else. She knew he was too cowardly to confront her about it, so took the easy option. She guessed where he had gone, a southern resort to see the woman whom he had been flirting with on one of their weekend breaks. His leaving was, in a way, a kind of passing away, as though he had died. She mourned him, and in a strange, extraordinary way, found herself enjoying that as well. However, with her addiction to attending stranger’s funerals, she had increasingly found it more difficult to find out where they were taking place. She wondered if perhaps the cemeteries in her locality were becoming full, so had to attend those further out, the ones she had more difficulty in discovering information about. People in her vicinity couldn’t have stopped dying, she thought, so why were there less and less funerals? Perhaps it was more fashionable nowadays to be cremated, and she settled on this as the answer. What could she do? How could she satisfy her infatuation? The answer hit her straight away, and she had to digest and absorb it, because she knew that in order to continue to satiate her obsession, she would have to commit murder.

Who though? Who could she kill that would mean a large funeral, with lots of attendees? Mr Benson, 86 year old great-grandfather who lived on his own next to the canal that cut through the town. He would be missed. He had lived in the same place for 52 years, and was most certainly a pillar of the community, so his passing should merit a considerable amount of tears. How to go about it though, she had no idea, so spent the next few days trying to figure out a strategy. She finally came up with a plan that meant she could get him alone for a few minutes. Unfortunately, she couldn’t figure out how to poison him, or kill him in any way, other than staving in the back of his head with a hammer. Mr Benson loved bowls. It was a passion of his. Each week, there was a match on the green behind his local pub, and he would walk one an a half miles to reach it. Part of his journey took him around the bend of what is usually a quiet road. On one side there was a granite wall, beyond which were expensive residences, and on the other, behind undergrowth, bushes and a small slope, there was a large pond. It was in that area where Barbara decided it would be the best place to meet Mr Benson. There would be less chance of any witnesses, and she only had a few moments before it would have been impossible. That, she decided, was her little window of opportunity, and must not be missed. If she did, then she would have had to have waited another week, and her desire for funeral attendance would have grown, temptation making her agitated and anxious.

Armed with a brand new claw hammer she had bought, she decided the best tactic was simply to hide in the bushes, and as he walked past, come up behind him and strike him with the hammer. When the day of the bowling match came, Barbara nervously waited in the bushes, waiting for Mr Benson. It was cold, the pond behind her like a sheet of glass. She waited over an hour, passing the time by imaging what the funeral would be like. Eventually Mr Benson appeared, making his way, as ever, to the pub. He passed by where Barbara was hidden, and she reached up to grab a branch to pull herself up onto the pavement, and realised how slow her reactions were, as she had been in the same position, like a trapdoor spider, waiting for an insect, since she had arrived. Cold had set into her bones, and she found she hadn’t the strength. The hammer dropped from her other hand, and the branch she had grabbed snapped. She fell backwards, almost like a statue, into the freezing water. She hadn’t the strength to struggle, and slowly sank into the murky depths of the pond.

Nobody noticed her missing. Her body was never found, so no funeral could take place, where no mourners would shed a tear for her, nor even think of her, all memories of her forgotten, as though she had never even existed.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Posted: 7/26/2012 1:33:15 AM
It started so innocently, all those years ago, when they were six years old, when he woke up to discover a big plastic spider on the pillow. Even at that age, spiders were frightening beasts to him, and he had been in tears for hours afterwards, much to the other boys amusement. Gary and Steve were childhood friends that had grown up into 34 year olds who were still good friends now, as then. They lived five miles apart in the midst of a sprawling city, Gary in a posh detached house, with a career woman, four years older than him, and Steve, in a bedsit, conducting an affair with the woman of his night school Mathematics teacher. He was unemployed, having had various jobs in various unskilled capacities, such as packing soap in a factory, and distributing leaflets like a poor postman, all the time being paid pittance. He tried to merge benefits and work, but the fear of being caught meant he was too afraid to try it. The government’s advert campaign which basically said: ‘Benefit fraud, we know who you are’, got to him. It worked. So it was either one or the other, both were meagre finance, but in the end, the obvious choice was work, which didn’t pay much more than allowance, but more nonetheless. At present though, it was back to signing on, back to the dole queue, his job as a supermarket shelf-filler having been basically stolen from him by the person whose job he had taken. They came back to their position because they had more experience. So it was back to signing on for Steve, and also back to thinking about how he was going to get back at Gary for an incident which had crushed Steve’s soul and left him dejected and depressed, a reprisal which would top what had happened to him.

After the spider incident, Steve got his revenge when Gary stayed over night at his parents. When Gary was fast asleep in a sleeping bag, next to a cupboard, Steve sneaked out of his room, got the plastic bucket that they used to make sand castles with, filled it with cold water, and struggling back to the bedroom, with such a heavy weight for a young boy, poured it over Gary’s face, waking him instantly. Steve collapsed into fits of laughter, the parents were woken up, the light came on, and Gary never stayed the night again, but their practical jokes on each other continued until this day. It was case of one-upmanship, a kind of light-hearted revenge. When they were 24, they were at a local seaside resort, swimming in the sea, and enjoying the heat and atmosphere, when Steve obtained the keys to Gary’s car, parked just beyond the beach. He drove it back to the hotel with all of Gary’s gear inside. Gary was still in the sea, and later discovered his missing car, and a missing Steve. It was a two mile walk back to the hotel, and with the wind picking up, bringing with it a cold element, he had no choice but to walk in nothing but a pair of soaking shorts, through the streets to his hotel, only to find his car parked outside, and Steve pointing and laughing.

Gary got his revenge for that the following night. They had been on a lad’s holiday in a beach resort with a few of Gary’s work colleagues. Gary enlisted their help in his revenge. He gave them money to buy some cheap aftershave, which they did, and then asked Steve for a ‘see who can drink a pint the fastest’ competition. Gary knew that aftershave would be hard to distinguish in a pint glass, as they were almost the same colour, a light brown. So if Steve had already had few real pints, and he was to be handed this one, it would very unlikely that he would be able to tell the difference until he tasted it. Secretly, crowded around in the toilets, they poured the aftershave into a pint glass, giggling like little schoolboys, and went back out into the bar. Steve took the pint without question, and the ‘competition’, began. Their friends counted down from three, and Steve took three or four gulps before he realised that it wasn’t lager. He never made it to the toilets before he was sick, and when he did, spent most of the rest of the night in there, while Gary, at one point, was actually on the floor, foetus-like, convulsed with laughter.

So it went on, revenge for the revenge, an unending spiral of practical jokes which had resulted so far, in this most cruel joke on Steve. He pictured Gary, sitting behind a desk somewhere, laughing at his mis-fortune. Through his disappointment, through his anger at him, he had managed to come up with something that topped it, and left Gary in a much worse situation.

Gary worked for a compensation firm, the type that is always advertised on Television. ‘Had an accident that wasn’t your fault? No hidden costs. No win no fee. Call us today’. He was high up in the chain of command within the company, enabling him to afford many of life’s luxuries and live in comfort, giving him many advantages over Steve, and enabling him to play his latest joke on him.

The job seemed so perfect. Gary knew that at Steve’s night school, there was a message board in the main foyer with all kinds of activities and items being advertised. In one corner, there was a job vacancies section, which Gary knew that he looked at every time he came. He had told him, that was no secret. So Gary had made up a job that seemed perfect to Steve. Software engineer. It meant working in the animation industry and would lead to working in special effects for cinema. The line that nailed it for him was: ‘We will pay you to train’. Basically, it was ideal. It was normal, full-time wages, whilst he learnt the craft. He rang up and got an interview the following day, upstairs in the college in a lecture room. He wore his best gear, got himself looking smart and presentable, and through nerves and tension, he had entered the room. There was a panel of three. Two men in their sixties, and a women in her forties, all quizzed him with the right questions, and conversed with each other, and in the end was told: ‘You’ve got the job’. He wanted to hug each one of them, but settled for shaking their hands, and leaving the college to head straight for his local jobcentre.

He signed off benefits, as he started the job in two days, and eagerly anticipated his first day at work. When it came, he got himself smart again, and headed for the college where the job was based. He was to report to room B27 at 10am, and when he got there, found there was a meeting on in full swing. Somebody was halfway into a presentation. A projector was set up, pointing at a white-board, and everyone in the room was sat attentive, quiet, listening, until Steve walked in. The man giving the presentation simply looked at him, expecting some explanation.
“I’ve come to start the job”, Steve had said.
“What job?” said the man. Steve had then noticed someone in the room on the far side, a hand clamped over their mouth, trying desperately to stifle laughter. Who else other than Gary? A check at reception revealed that there was no job. Gary had obviously got a few of his friends to interview him, and had simply invented it all.

What was he going to do? he had thought. What would really get him back? It was when he went into a newsagents to buy a newspaper that he saw the answer. He could only smile. It was obvious. Gary always did the lottery, proclaiming that if he won, he was going to do this, he was going to do that. Imagine if he thought he’d won, only to find out he hadn’t. That would be cruel. How he would do it though? Neither of them were averse to enlisting the help of others in their quest to humiliate the other. This one needed serious planning, and help, but he was sure it could be done.

He was right, it was done. Gary was elated when he found out, as it was a rollover week, and there was only one winner of £14 million pounds. Him. He quit his job, telling his boss exactly what he thought of him and what he could do with the job, bought a bigger house and a sports car. He basically got himself into debt, and it wasn’t long before he had to show his ticket to claim his winnings, and it wasn’t long after that before he got that sinking feeling.

It was easier than he had thought, Steve had noticed. Two weeks after his phantom job, Steve recorded the show where the numbers are shown. So with that week’s numbers, he had paid a few of his college friends to make up a replica ticket with those numbers on. All he had to do was wait a while until Gary had forgotten about that week’s lottery, and watch him become increasingly agitated at Steve’s lack of response. He had found himself looking over his shoulder a few times.

Steve had persuaded Gary’s partner to let him make a replica of the front door key, so that he could let himself in while they were both out. He told her he wasn’t going to do much, nothing overblown. What he did do, was lift up a section of carpet, then remove some of the floorboards beside their television. He had bought a video recorder specially, and set it up so that he could play programmes on the TV without their video being on, so it looked like a normal programme. He set it up to play the lottery programme, and came to the house a few minutes before the numbers were due to be drawn. It was quite precarious his technique, and very unstable. There was absolutely no guarantee it would work, but he was desperate, he had to get Gary back, had to top what he did to him. Outside the window, as Gary clutched his ticket, Steve tried to get as close as he could to the TV, standing on flowers and weeds with a remote control. He had taken out his mobile phone and rang Gary. It was only two rings, enough to distract him from the TV for a moment, while he activated the programme. Gary watched with anticipation the numbers appear with the ticket that had been swapped for the real one, when Steve had used the key the previous night to enter the house whilst Gary was asleep. He had sneaked in and found Gary’s wallet, and simply exchanged them. When he was certain that Gary was watching the show with the ticket, Steve had left as quietly as he could and was halfway along the road when he had heard Gary’s cry of elation. Of course Gary couldn’t wait to tell him, and tell how he was going to spend it, and spend it he did, until he had to pay up.

‘I’m a wanted man,’ he had said to Steve. ‘You’ll never believe how much debt I’m in. Carol’s left me, my house is going to be taken off me, and there’s no way I can get my job back. It looks like I’m behind you in the dole queue’. Gary, for a reason not even he knew, was not very angry with Steve. He was just lethargic and depressed, partly because he couldn’t think of anything to top it with. He had moved in with his parents who were not happy at having debt collectors knocking every day. Meanwhile it was Steve’s turn to constantly look over his shoulder for a reprisal which he was sure was imminent, and it was, when Gary rang him to tell him he had something to give him. Strange though how it could only be given to him at an abandoned car valeting garage. It had long been empty, and had been used by squatters and drug addicts. Now it had been abandoned by them, and was home to insects and occasional rodents. The place was larger than a normal house garage, with an office at the side. Steve had to pass through that to enter the gloomy garage. When he had, he found he couldn’t see properly so had opened the garage door, which he found opened quite easily, as though it had been used recently. The place had lit up, and Steve had turned around to see Gary hanging from one of the rafters, a knocked over step-ladder beneath him. He looked dead, his face white, a line of blood streaming from his mouth. Next to the ladder, in quite a prominent position, was an envelope bearing Steve’s name. It took him a while to pick it up, his mind still in shock at seeing his friend hanging. He had torn it open and read quickly:
‘Steve, I hate you. You’ve cost me everything. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. You’ll never know how much I hate you.’ At that point Steve had dropped the letter in despair, looked around the garage and saw what he seen before, but didn’t take much notice of. It was a rusty saw. His mind was confused, and it believed that this was genuine. Gary had killed himself in depression at what Steve had done, at the situation he had left him with. In the brief moments that Steve believed, he had torn the serrated metal edge across his throat. Had he read the note further, he would have seen: ‘By the way, only joking’. Gary had seen what Steve was doing, and had shouted out at him when the blade had gone beyond the point of no return. Steve had collapsed to his knees, clutching his pumping throat, his bulging eyes watching Gary, as he struggled to free himself from the noose. A chain had been set up alongside the noose that had gone into the back of Gary’s jacket, keeping him up whilst maintaining the illusion of hanging. When he had seen what Steve had done, his struggling had torn the jacket, rendering the chain useless. He had begun to hang for real, the noose tightening around his throat. At one point in their death throes, they had reached out toward each other, but of course it was useless. Whether they continued their japery in hell or heaven, nobody knew, and in the end, neither of them had the last laugh.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Benevolent spirit
Posted: 7/1/2012 9:55:17 AM
Once again she had awoken late, which was unlike her, and in her dressing gown and slippers, surveyed her living room, surprised at what she saw. It wasn’t as she knew it, and what she was used to. It was different. It was tidy. Margaret Hayes was 65, and had lived on her own for twenty-one years. She looked at the spotless carpet, the polished ornaments on all shelves, and could detect an odour of marine scented air freshener. She hadn’t necessarily lived in squalor, but last night, she was certain it wasn’t like this. Had someone broken in and tidied up? Had someone possessed her while she slept and forced her to do it herself? This thought quite alarmed her. Margaret had been quite susceptible to believing in things supernatural. Whenever a psychic came to a nearby theatre, she would book front row tickets, and sometimes she had been in an audience for shows that have been televised. The spirit world to her was as real as the physical. The thought of possession scared her. She’d seen it done. She’d been there when those possessed were speaking in a foreign, long since vanished language. Perhaps it was the ghost of the previous tenant who finally couldn’t take any more untidiness, and decided to interact with the physical world by possessing Margaret.

She decided to check the front door anyway, just incase someone had broken in. It was untouched, as was the back door. There were no signs of any break in. This brought her to the conclusion that it had to have been a ghost.
The following morning, having woken up late again, she hadn’t even reached the bottom of the stairs before she noticed something was wrong. There were three, full bin-bags at the front door, as though they had been prepared to take out. They hadn’t been closed, and she could see that they were full of clothes. Heading back upstairs into the bedroom, she opened the cupboards to find she had only a few clothes left. Most of them had gone. She was all for giving to charity, but this was a bit much, so eventually she rehung her clothes, confused as ever as to who the ghost was, and why they were haunting her.

The following morning, again, waking up at ten am instead of eight thirty, she found that someone, or something had been in the kitchen. The fridge door was open, and food had been spread across the counter, some of it eaten. A milk carton had been opened, which she knew she hadn’t opened the previous night. This ghost was hungry.
She was growing more and more anxious. One person who might know, was her friend at church, Nora. She was in touch with the spirit world. If she came to the house, she might be able to communicate with whoever was haunting her. She would give it one more night, and if anything was different the following morning, then she would be on the phone to Nora, telling her to get round here, fast.

When she woke up the following morning, it was by noise, the sound of the television stirring her awake. She was surprised to find herself standing in the living room, with the remote control in one hand, and the television about to start a programme which had fascinated her four days ago. This was a repeat. It was about people who do strange things whilst sleepwalking.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
AK Anvil
Posted: 5/27/2012 9:41:35 AM
Michael noticed yet another change in Anthony’s behaviour. They were subtle changes. Not enough for people to notice, other than family and friends, basically those who knew him, and were around him often. Michael was his older brother, older by eleven years, Anthony being fourteen. The age where they cannot be given advice, because they knew it already. Michael kept a watchful eye over him, mostly for their mother’s sake, as their father had absconded abroad after the police had picked up the scent of his involvement in illegal cigarettes. In a way, Michael thought of himself as a kind of father figure to him, although Anthony would never admit to that. When they were that age, they liked to think of themselves as mature, even adult. The age where they were too big for toys, and too young to indulge in adult pleasures. They often looked up to adults who displayed the types of behaviour they were familiar with, the ‘screw the system’, anti-social type of person who appealed to both adults and youth.

One such person, AK Anvil, real name, Boris Princeton, was somebody liked and respected by Anthony. He was a singer, in the lightest meaning of the word. To adults who could see through him, he was just a talentless shouter. He would strut about on stage, shouting illegible words into a microphone and passing it off as music. Of course, teenagers loved him, especially Anthony, who had joined his fan club. Occasionally, through the post, along with loyalty certificates and posters, there would be an invite to a get together of AK Anvil’s fans. Michael thought it odd that there was one every month. Off Anthony would go to a different destination every time to discuss his idol and listen to his music with other fans. Today he was particularly pleased because Anvil was touring, and coming to town on the weekend. So the club had organised another get together, and had invited the man himself, who accepted their invitation to go to the hotel where the meeting was to take place. So it was obvious that Anthony was going. There was no way he was going to miss the opportunity to meet the man in the flesh and actually talk to him. After each fan club meeting, Michael had noticed Anthony came back a little more distant, brooding more than a typical teenager which Michael attributed solely to his obsession with AK Anvil. His room had two small patches of wallpaper, the rest of it covered mostly with Anvil posters. He wondered just what type of people he was mixing with when he went to these meetings. What sort of influence where they having over him? They reminded him of a cult, where new members became embroiled in their ways and mannerisms as they grew to accept and believe what had been preached to them, and altered their behaviour accordingly.

As the time grew closer to when Anvil came to town, Anthony was becoming visibly nervous, or jittery, rather like the approaching day of an exam, or the long walk to the boss’s office when he was in a bad mood to ask for time off, or a raise. When the day did come, Anthony was surprisingly relaxed. Michael wondered just what sort of effect seeing him in person would have on him. Would he come back completely changed? For better or worse? Or would it be a case of being a huge anti-climax when he met him. Would his on screen and stage persona reflect what he was like in real-life? Would he be whacky and crazy as he would have all his fans believe? Perhaps he would, when in the hotel amongst the members of the fan club, but when he was alone in his room, he would probably return to being Boris Princeton, who enjoys country and western and old romantic black and white films.

Anthony left early to meet up with the other members of the fan club, and everything went as expected. Anvil performed on stage, with Anthony as close as an audience member could get, loving every minute of it, and when it had finished, he walked, along with the other fan club members, the hundred yards to the hotel where Anvil was staying, showing their special passes to the security guard who had to turn away non members. They waited approximately two hours in the hotel lounge before Anvil walked in, all of them dumbstruck with awe. They had arranged the seats in a makeshift circle. There was approximately forty altogether, and one in the middle for Anvil. When he sat down, he looked around at all the expectant faces and said:
“Who’s first then?”.

When Anthony returned home at around half twelve, Michael was in front of the stove, cooking scrambled egg. When he turned around and saw Anthony standing there, holding forth a plastic bag with an indiscernible item inside, he realised his obsession had gone too far. Anthony simply didn’t look right. He looked as though he was in a state of trance, or under hypnosis.
“Look,” he said, “I got a souvenir from Anvil”. Michael took the bag from him and looked inside. He instantly recognised it as a human heart. He dropped it and stepped back.
“What have you done?” he said.
“I took a piece of Anvil. We all did. It’s mine”. He picked it up and took it out, staring in fascination.
“My piece of Anvil,” he said, and walked out of the kitchen.

When AK Anvil had started out, two years ago, he and his record producers had concocted a stratagem, or ruse, to basically get the record buying public to buy his records. Taking their inspiration from failed attempts in the past, they expanded on the idea of injecting subliminal soundwaves into the records. They were so subtle, they could easily avoid detection, but they were there, in all of Anvil’s recorded output. They discovered they could alter these waves to affect certain parts of the brain, to tune it to their requirements. They could basically heighten a persons distaste for Anvil music, or heighten their liking. They couldn’t set it to too high a level, or people would get suspicious. Everybody who heard his music would be buying it, from classical enthusiasts to elderly people
who didn’t like anything modern. They set it at an optimal level. Not too low, not too high. Many people who heard his music gradually grew to like it, people who normally would despise such music. Of course there were people who didn’t like it, and those who would just about tolerate it if it came on the radio. They wouldn’t buy it, or borrow it, they simply would not turn the radio off if it came on. Yet, the effect it had on those who would have liked it in normal circumstances was an increase in their admiration to exceedingly dangerous levels. Every time they heard Anvil’s recorded music, it would affect their minds to such a degree as to enhance their devotion. When they were in the hotel, and Anvil had sat down with them, what he said and did were of no importance as they went unnoticed. They could not let him go. He was there, amongst them, and with the subliminal effects at their insecure intensity, unaccounted for by Anvil and the producers, they simply could not let Anvil go. They had to have a piece of him. The fan club members had stood up and surrounded Anvil, and proceeded to tear him apart, each taking their own piece of him as a personal souvenir. How far the subliminal soundwaves could go on its effect on the mind was not something assessed by the experiments. The most devoted fans of AK Anvil were already at an irreversible stage. Every time they played his music, which was every day, the subconscious waves had a slightly increasing effect, rather like dementia, with a gradually decaying state of mind. It was a similar effect with Anthony. Every time his music was played, it would increase, ever so slightly, the effect of the subliminal message: ‘You love this music, you want this music’. Yet with its constant bombardment of repeated playing, the increased effect it would have on devoted fans would be anybody’s guess.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
Anonymous call
Posted: 5/10/2012 12:07:37 PM
Everybody has a price. I learned that recently. A price in which anybody will do anything for money. The premise is simple. If I said I would pay you one hundred pounds to walk into a supermarket and steal one item, it being of no concern what it was you stole, would you do it? Of course you would. What if I gave you 200 or 400 pounds? The more money I give you, the more likely you are to do it, to break the law. If I gave you one thousand pounds to smash somebody's window, well, I know the answer to that.

Being a poor student, I was given these incentives by a person I've never met. He rang me up and offered me money to perform tasks that have no real relevance to anybody. Thing is, though, he paid up. He knew my bank details, and paid the cash he said he'd give me when the tasks had been performed. How he knew I’d done them I do not know. I assume that he'd been watching me. I suppose it was a lesson in greed. The more money a person has, the more they want, and their only pleasure gained from it is in its attainment. They never spend it. It's the same with me. I'm rich, but I cannot earn any more.

The phone calls have stopped, and I cannot access my bank account. I came to understand the true power of money, and the stranglehold it has over society. Imagine suddenly waking up in a field, and you have absolutely no idea as to where you are. You discover you have no money whatsoever, or the means to attain it. What do you do? What about when you get pangs of hunger? Do you beg? Or do you steal? Do you break the law in order to eat? Would you, if you had to? Of course you would. The structure of towns and cities is geared to the pound, the dollar, the rouble, and if you haven't got it, you suffer.

Everything must be paid for. A ride on a bus, a ride on a rollercoaster, a place to park your expensive car, in which you put your expensive petrol. The privilege to watch a new film on a big screen, and the food that goes with it. The staff that help out in your entertainment are not doing it for the fun of it, because they want to help you enjoy yourself. Their incentive for their painted smiles is money, is pay day, so they can go spending. How many people do you know who work a mundane job would do it for nothing? would work a forty hour week for no pay? I don't think there's anybody.

The incentive is the wage, the oil that keeps the vast economic machine running, society's lifeblood, and it can turn friend against friend. Friends who have known each other for many years can fall out over money. It can destroy marriages, cause deaths, and generally create vast amounts of misery.

Yet, by turn, it can cause vast amount of happiness. I thought it would make me happy. It did, I suppose in its attainment. I would receive a call on my mobile. It would always say: ‘Anonymous call’, and whoever it was, was making me rich. Burn down a derelict house for six thousand pounds he had asked. An empty house, just burn it down. Of course I did, and the next day, I checked my account, and found I was considerably richer.

Find somebody who owns a cat, kill it, then break into their house and hang it from the light in the living room. For that, I was to receive half a million pounds. Half a million. I found the task rather easy.

The next assignment I didn’t think twice about. Such was my desire for money that I was entranced by its lure, and was hooked like a shark scenting blood in the water. Sever your bonds, said the voice, sever everything you know. Leave home, leave your friends, don’t even say goodbye. Move down south to this address. He gave an address, and it’s from there where I speak now.

On the journey to a London suburb, he rang again, and told me that before I was to reach the address, I was to bring the head of a tramp. For that, he would give me one million pounds. Would you kill a tramp for a million pounds? I would, and did. It took a while. I bought an axe, and searched the back streets. A tired old man was half asleep in a back doorway to a restaurant, presumably hoping for scraps. I thought this doesn’t happen very often, does it? Me, a rich student, standing before one of the poorest members of society. I axed him without hestitation, taking care not to harm the head, which took four strikes to come free. I put it in a new bag I had bought, and headed for the house, which, to my disappointment, wasn’t a lavish affair, but a derelict abode along a side street with a ‘for sale’ sign outside, attached to which was a ‘sold’ notice.

Well, it didn’t matter, it wasn’t my place, and I could buy whatever house I liked. The door was open and I stepped inside. It was then that the phone rang again, and I saw that it was a text message. ‘Go up into the attic’ it said. So up the creaking stairs I went, and saw that there was a step ladder leading up. I clambered up and found that the light had been switched on.

I also discovered that the money I was to earn this time would not be going in the bank, as it was here, scattered around. The place was literally carpeted in money, and I could roll in it. As I did that, another text message disappointingly informed me that the money was not mine, yet. It could be if I did one more thing. There was a million pounds exactly in ten pound notes. The man rang me. I think he couldn’t be bothered to text again. He told me to close the hatch.

In doing that, I knew I would be locking myself in, as there was a mortice lock on the entrance that could only be unlocked from outside. I had to shut myself in what was effectively a prison cell. I had to trust the stranger, have confidence in him to come and unlock it.

What I want you to do, said the voice, is read one more text message I will send after I finish speaking to you. Once you’ve read it, understood it, I want you to smash the phone, make it useless. I’m sure you can afford a new one. Perform what it says, and if you do that, the money’s yours. Sayonara my friend, I won’t see you again. That was it, he clicked off, and about a minute later, the text message came through:

Escape, it said, nothing else.

Alright, I thought. All I’ve got to do is get out of here. Easy, probably. I smashed the phone against a wooden beam. I made it useless. So I tried to escape, but couldn’t. The floor was made of polished hardboard. I couldn’t penetrate outside onto the roof, and after a while, sat down in the money to think about how I was going to do this.

I saw the bag, and emptied out the severed head. Wonder what that’s for, I asked myself, not really thinking about it. I thought perhaps that if I couldn’t escape, the stranger would come and rescue me, but I was wrong.

Another scout of the attic revealed that I really was trapped. There was absolutely no escape, so exasperated, I sat down again in front of the head, and then I realized what it was for. It was to give me time. It was my sustenance until I figured out how to get out of here, to keep me going if it took a while. I suppose it catered for all my nutritional requirements, being both solid and liquid. As I lie here, staring up at an abandoned cobweb, I understand now what the stranger had taught me.

So full of greed was I that all I saw was the money, and now it’s useless. I can’t eat it. In here, now, with me, it has no meaning, and it can’t help stave off the pangs of hunger that I knew would come. After I’d eaten the head, every bit of it, the hunger stayed away for around a full day, and there was nothing else for it, but to start on myself. It hurt, but I managed most of my left forearm. Thing is, though, although I’m staving off hunger, I can’t really think straight with regards to escaping, as I think I’m going mad. I ate the broken mobile phone, and my watch, and very reluctantly, some ten pounds notes, but still the hunger comes, and I know I’m not getting out of here. My lesson has been learned. Money isn’t everything.

See, the thing is, as the stranger has access to my account, he can easily take out of it, so effectively, that money is his now his, and when I die here, he can come and take all this money away, and I realize that he is no better than I. Money can warp a sane person’s mind. He gets most of his money back, as being greedy meant I didn’t spend much of it, and now as I lay here bleeding waiting for the inevitable, my sense of greed does not let up its grip on me as I find myself jealous of the stranger, because he is after all, rich.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
State of mind
Posted: 4/8/2012 1:35:59 AM
When he awoke, pain rushed immediately to greet him, and he cried out, putting his hands to his head as the headache tore its way through his brain. He kicked out instinctively, knocking over an empty bottle of whisky. There were also empty bottles of vodka and cans of beer strewn around him. He lay on his back, staring at the ceiling, his vision slightly clarifying, but the pain remained. It was an effort to move, and eventually, with aching bones and tender muscles, he turned over and kneeled up, hands still clasped to his head. He was in his living room, which looked like it had hosted the wildest of parties. Empty pizza boxes and foam trays containing cold chips covered in curry were on the sofa, as well as half smoked cigarettes stubbed out and strewn around the place. The television had been knocked skewif, and dvds had been thrown around, the discs no doubt used a Frisbees. He even saw a golf club lying amongst a smashed pint glass. The carpet, which was a light green, was stained brown with beer and tomato sauce.

Through his migraine, through his pain, he could not remember anything about the merrymaking. Nothing, except when he was leaving a night-club. There was shouting, arguments. He remembered somebody approaching him with the angriest face he had ever seen, and he saw that that person was clutching a jagged bottle-neck, and that was it. No more memories. He thought after that incident, he must have come back here to his house with his friends, and maybe their friends as well, and maybe some new friends they had made at the night-club, but something just did not click into place. He’d had many hangovers before, and within them he could always remember something about the previous night, and why wasn’t he feeling sick? he wondered. A usual component of having a hangover is being bent over the toilet bowl coughing and spluttering up everything the stomach contains and usually more, but that feeling was not present. It was probably made up for by a more intense headache. Something wasn’t right, he thought. Between the mental image of the bottleneck in the man’s hand, and now, waking up, he guessed that obviously something had happened to him, something unpleasant, besides the hangover. Had he been stabbed? Is that why I can’t remember? he thought. Surely I would remember that.

He looked down at himself to see if there were any wounds, or blood. He was in normal, casual clothes, clothes that he would wear to a night-club. Yet, they seemed as though they had been put on for the first time, rather like he had been trying them on in a shop cubicle and left them on. That was when he noticed the backs of his hands. They were not scarred, or damaged. They seemed different. They were white, virtually bloodless. He tried to make fists of them, and after a second or so, they did. Alcohol, he knew suppressed the central nervous system, so reaction time was considerably slower. He now remembered three years ago when he had been caught and fined for drink-driving, but even so, in this case, two plus two seemed to make five. He had to find a mirror, and knew there was one in the hallway. He remembered that as well. He could remember, through his hangover, memories of things before his emergence from a night-club. Just everything but the previous night.

He tried to stand, and did so like a newly born lamb, his balance certainly off kilter. He didn’t fall, and eventually stabilised in the middle of the living room, his head in his hands, breathing slowly and evenly, the pain subsiding only slightly. Again, as with his hand, the command for his legs to move forward took a second or two to comply, and he did so, falteringly, as a drunken lamb would, towards the open doorway. He fell against the wall beside the door, composed himself again, and staggered out into the hallway. He saw the mirror, and the table beneath it, upon which was a telephone. Eventually making it to the mirror, and using the table like a zimmer frame, he stared at the reflection in the mirror. He could not comprehend at first what he was seeing. His understanding took longer to comprehend than his actions.
“That’s not me,” he said to himself. “That’s not me. I don’t look like that”. His face was white, bloodless, like his hands, his hair sparse, in strands, unkempt. He noticed a dark red line about an inch above his eyes, and fresh stitches along it, as well as beads of blood. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed someone coming quickly down the stairs. Before he knew what was happening, a syringe had been sent into his neck, and before his vision hazed and unconsciousness met him, he saw reflected in the mirror, in the corner of the hall, a cctv camera.

The balding, rotund man who stood over him, watched as another man came down the stairs, slowly, with a satisfied grin on his face. He wore a cheap suit that looked as though it had been plucked from a bin bag outside of a charity shop. He was tall and elegant, suave, sophisticated. At least he thought he was. He acted that way, believing himself to be among the upper class in society, and indeed, he did have the credentials in order to apply for it, but like going for a job that required three GCSEs, he only had two. He aspired to something just out of his grasp, and he craved it. He craved attention, and most of all, he craved fame, and notoriety, and the look on his face confirmed that now he had achieved what he wanted. This will do it. This will bring him everything he ever wanted, and probably more.
“What shall I do with him, boss?” the man said.
“Shake his hand, he’s made us rich. Oh, and that was a good job you made of the living room, making it look as if there’d been a party”. Doctor Felton walked in there, amongst the empty cans. He stood in front of the sofa, looking through the net curtains out into the morning. He’d done it, he thought, and he had the proof. The other man came in.
“Turn the cameras off,” said Felton. “I have everything I need. Rewind it to just before you come barging down the stairs and erase the rest”. The man did as he was told.

Felton just stood where he was for now, for he wanted to do nothing else but bask in the knowledge of his impending fame. This was definitely a nobel prize winning occasion. It had been a long road to this destination, but it was worth it, to see for himself his creation, his masterpiece. It made the pain of rejection easier to take.

Doctor Felton had been a surgeon, literally on the cutting edge of pioneering new techniques. He had assisted in prolonging the lives of people who had had heart transplants, keeping the organ from being rejected by the body for much longer than is usual. Of course, in the end, the patient always died of heart failure, but he had received distinguished awards for his efforts. However, when he had tried to restore the sight of a convicted armed robber who had been in a skirmish in prison kitchens, with the eyes of a coma victim, who had had a 15% chance of waking, he had incurred the wrath of his superiors, who struck him off their registers, and took back some of his awards. His name was rarely mentioned in the echelons of the surgical world. The man woke, and the prisoner’s new eyes had failed. Yet, Felton still craved notoriety, still desired that breakthrough that would mean his name would live forever. He would go down in history as the pioneer of the first brain transplant. The brain was of a man who had been leaving a night-club. He was no stranger to trouble. Often he was the cause. Inside the club, he had got into an argument that escalated toward violence. It was a case of: ‘I’ll see you outside’. When outside, his opponent had sent a jagged bottle neck into his throat. He had bled to death before he reached the hospital, so his brain was still intact, still fresh, easily obtainable from the morgue. The other man was another coma victim, and ironically, he was in an argument with his wife before he got so heated and angry that he swerved off the road, down a slope, into a wall at the side of a field. The woman survived, and had gone to recuperate in her mother’s up in Scotland, giving Felton the man’s house to use in his experiment. The operation itself had taken eight hours, through the night in the nearby hospital.

Felton still had his uniform, so could wander through the place without being stopped, especially not by porters and cleaners who did not question why a doctor was operating on his own in a basement theatre at night. It was one of those things that surgeons did, and that was that. Felton soon came to realise that in order to pull this off properly. In order to clear his path to notoriety, he was going to need help. He was quite amazed when help came to him. Felton guessed it was somebody who had wanted to walk along in his shadow regarding his failed experiment with sight restoration.
“If you want to try anything else like that, maybe I can help. I’m not a surgeon, but anything else you might need doing that I could help with I would be most grateful to be of assistance. You don’t have to pay me”. Cue a grin by Felton, followed by a handshake.

Felton knew that history wasn’t made by following rules. If you did as you were told throughout your life, kept your head down and didn’t cause any fuss, then soon after your death you were soon forgotten, simply becoming a smiling face on a fading photograph in the loft of your future grand children. Well not me, Doctor Felton had thought. My legacy has now been written in the history books. The pioneer of the first successful brain transplant. Doctor Felton, take your prize, he would be told. What would he say? he wondered.
‘I’d like to thank, er, nobody, because nobody helped me at all. No-one’s going to share my glory’. He knew who he wouldn’t be thanking. The people who had struck him off. He could see their faces now as he walked up to collect the nobel prize. Quiet, red-faced with envy. Maybe he would give them a wave as he passed their table. A screw you, look at me now wave.

He heard his assistant walk in and stand still, as though waiting for further orders.
“Nice view,” he said. Felton nodded.
“It certainly is”.
“It’s a pity my brother will never see a view like that, or see at all. That’s down to you”. Felton frowned and turned to look at the man. He was stood there with the golf club swung back, ready to strike.
“I was just waiting for the right time. I’m not deprecative of your success. It’s great that it worked, but your other one failed. You didn’t care that he might wake up, and you stole his eyes, experimenting on him to give them to a goddamned convict. A lot of people become famous after they die. Go and join them”. Felton held out his hands in a futile gesture, and the five-iron was sent smashing into Felton’s temple, cracking his skull, and lodging in his brain. He fell forward where his experiment had woken.

Out in the hallway, Felton’s assistant wiped the handle of the golf club with a handkerchief as best he could. With the experiment subject still unconscious, he pressed it into his hand, and pulled from his pocket a mobile phone. He wiped that as well and carefully put that in his other hand. He lit up a cigarette, left the house, closing the front door behind him. He walked away almost as satisfied as Felton had been. Almost.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 33 (view)
Draw? Paint? Sculpture? Other?
Posted: 4/4/2012 10:16:25 AM
Yes, I do a lot of artwork which can be viewed here.

Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 1 (view)
The artefact
Posted: 3/26/2012 1:45:48 AM
He was one of those children who were ahead of their years mentally. For seven years of age, he displayed the intelligence of a nine year old, and it was perhaps that advantage that made him remember, or link the small object he had found on a beach to the display in the local museum in his home town. In the Egyptian section there was a slab of circular marble upon which was written hieroglyphic text around the centre, which no historian had ever deciphered. It surrounded a hole the size of a tennis ball, seemingly like there was a piece missing. For Scott Thompson, the black marbled circular object would fit nicely, yet he knew he couldn’t just walk straight in there to test it out, although he could see no reason why not. He knew about procedure, and permission, and red tape. So he took it to his father, who didn’t seem that concerned about it. It was simply a round shiny stone found on a beach, washed up, or thrown there, but Scott simply wanted to fit it in the hole, if only for completion of the artefact. The museum staff probably didn’t even know it was incomplete, if at all it was.

Scott’s pressure on his father caused him to relent and they made their way to the museum, finding themselves standing in front of the large artefact which seemed like a giant wheel, seven feet high. There was a rope barrier in front of it, but that was useless. Anybody could still touch it. Scott wanted to insert the stone there and then. It certainly looked like it would fit, but his father could not engage in such a thought. He liked to do things properly, so he sought out a member of staff, bringing them to the object, explaining what Scott wanted to do. The employee simply shrugged and said he could do it, knowing full well the headache it would have took to get permission, but since they were in front of the artefact with the stone, why not do it there and then? So Scott did, ducking under the barrier, and placing the stone into the centre, where it slotted perfectly, only for the hieroglyphs to start to shine.

Within seconds the whole thing became akin to a rippling, glowing spherical water surface. Scott crashed back into the barrier. His father picked him up, but continued, with the staff member and a few other people who were there in the Egyptian section to stare, and they all watched, not knowing that the missing piece was all that was needed to create a portal, or gate. It was the key that made it work, the last jigsaw piece that alerted other species on other planets that Earth was now accessible, and could be travelled to, and then the aliens came.
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