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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Note on A Love Story?

This story is unedited for grammar. I wanted to keep this in its raw form, it will be proofread and edited in due course. I am merely using this blog as a chance to preview my work and get the opinions of the people who read it.

A Love Story?

“Good Night Jackie. Have a good evening.” Lorna Carvallho spoke softly, the same way she always did when she spoke to Jackie. He felt gooseflesh erupt over his arms and run down his spine in a tingle of nervous impulses that made him smile. She didn’t talk down to him because of his problem - he had been taught to tell himself he had a problem rather than an syndrome or genetic malfunction as he had been told by medical professionals throughout his adolescent years.

“Night” His single answer, spoken at high volume as he always tended to do when he got excited – or spoke to Lorna at all.

She was everything he wasn’t, she was tall and skinny her creamy skin was flawless, her face symmetrical and didn’t make people stop and stare when they saw him in the street. She spoke easily and softly, she understood him, and he had been in love with her since the first time they had met. She had shown him around the small shop where he worked 15 hours a week, she had trained him and shown him where everything had to go in the storeroom, and how to fold the clothes that arrived by the box load on some days, but because of what she had taught him he kept up to speed with it.

She had told him that nobody else knew her secret way to fold. It made Jackie feel special.

The best thing was that sometimes when it was quiet she would let him help people at the till and use the cash register.

Lorna treated Jackie like a human being, she wasn’t afraid to tell him off if he did things wrong, and she was full of praise for him when he did things well. Once she had even kissed him on the cheek and ruffled his hair slightly with her hand.

“So how are things at home? Did you and your sister make up with each other after your fight?” She asked him out of genuine concern, while the others in the shop either ignored or laughed at Jackie, calling him names when he wasn’t listening like Spastic or Mongol face, laughing at their cruel wit, then suddenly smiling when he turned around or came back from lunch, putting their now well practised yet increasingly patronising and demeaning voices back in place. Lorna had her moments, there were times, especially when Jackie was in one of his moods that she would mutter under her breath or feel so angry with him that she had to walk away, it was like dealing with a small child, but one who was capable of understanding closer to that of an adult. She found it at times, especially during her time of the month such as now that the whole thing was utterly exasperating. Pressing each of her nerves as if they were protruding through her fair skin their raw bloodied ends wafting in the air like the fine hairs that covered her arms, with every breath of wind however slight that touched the sensitive ends waves of electronic pain surged through her body into her brain where they buzzed around like an wet dream over a teacher when you were in school. She knew it was wrong but couldn’t shake them.

Still, at the end of each day they were together she had forgiven him, realising that he was a human, and he couldn’t help it. They had all been given a brief training session on how to deal with Jackie and others with his condition, but all it had been was a 20 minute video that explained the illness, which was genetic, followed by a further 20 minutes of moaning and bitching about having to put up with an invalid wandering around the shop.

Cause more trouble than he’s worth. Don’t want anybody like that around here. Better keep to his bloody self, don’t want to catch anything from him fuckin’ window licker were some of the friendlier statements made during the meeting which was held not by management, but by the employees themselves one quiet Thursday afternoon.

Lorna tried her best and she knew that whatever anybody said or did, they couldn’t do more than that, she wasn’t perfect and would be the first to admit she didn’t feel completely comfortable around Jackie, there was something about the look he had in his eyes, they were too close together and seemed black as the night sky when she looked at them.

At them

Never into them, they seemed to refuse any real contact, even the light seemed to avoid them, creating dark rings around his eyes as though somebody had dipped his binoculars in ink, and although Lorna didn’t doubt the others were capable of such an act, she was sure that it was something else that caused the shadow.

“She doesn’t talk to me, but I said sorry to her.” His words sounded full of self-praise, they always tended to have the same quality when talking about things he has done. His own actions always sounded like the high ground option, slightly boastful. “Night” He said again, shouting the word as if the receding light also took away the resonance of the outside world. He turned and walked away, pulling his trousers up roughly as he walked. His backpack carefully placed over both shoulders, holding his lunch and a book, which Lorna swore he had been reading for the whole two years she had known him.

Lorna watched him walk away, not wanting to admit the feelings she held for him, afraid of what they made her. Of how they defined who she was. She watched and thought that Jackie was loosing weight, he had always been portly and was never going to be slim or have a body that girls stared at on the long summer days lying on the local beach, but he was definitely slighter than a month ago.

Lorna thought nothing else of it and instead when back to her embarrassing feelings; A mixture of sibling affection with a rather more substantial dose of.

“Pity” She said aloud to the rapidly cooling night air, watching the word form in steam as it left her lips. The sight of the short, sharp cloud, just as malicious in vapour form as it was in her head or as two simple syllables made her feel ashamed.

She backed away from the cloud and waited for it to dissipate into the air before she walked towards her waiting car. An old fifth hand Volkswagen that had seen more miles that had eaten hot dinners, but it took her from the warmth of her parents house to work every day and that was the most important thing. A to B was all that mattered. Maybe the occasional side trip to the movies of something if a nice looking man asked her. Not that it ever happened. A girl approaching her mid thirties with braces and ginger hair didn’t get too many suitors knocking at her door.
She was sure that the only person who didn’t look at her when she walked down the street was Jackie, when he looked at her all she saw was a child like adoration. Like a boy looking at the bike he wanted inside the window of the shop.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Jackie took the number 12 bus all the way to the end of his street, the same as always. The driver stopped and made sure he was ok getting down the steps, and tonight he waited to make sure that the kid crossed over the road safely, he didn’t know why, there was strange atmosphere filling his mobile office today, a closeness in the air which he could feel pressing against his body, every breath seemed a slight struggle.

Jackie walked happily, another day behind him, another evening ahead of him, he always like the dark of the night. He found it comforting, the way everything was hidden, their outlines blurred together with the dark sky around them, changing even the simplest of shapes into something wondrously complex. He was born with very little imagination or chance of being able to express himself in ways beyond simple expression, and he supposed that was why he liked the night. Looking at the normal street he lived on but instead of seeing Mr Johnson’s house with its caravan parked in the driveway – he seemed to like it there because he was in it every morning when Jackie left the house – or the rubbish bins standing to attention every Thursday morning waiting to be emptied he saw monsters with long slimy limbs and sharp snarling teeth, their hissing breath orchestrated by the rustling leaves would kill you if you were caught by it, he saw spaceships with strange lights on them, visitors coming to explore and go to the seaside – because everybody knew there were no beaches in space.

Jackie loved the night because he actually got to see the things that others could just dream about whenever they wanted.

The front door to the his house was locked, and nobody answered when he knocked on the door or pushed the bell 12 times playing the same tune that had been in his head all day, he waited in the silence until the gently falling rain had slicked his thinning hair to his scalp and his sodden overcoat finally gave up and let the water through to his t shirt and ultimately the flesh beneath. Stepping backwards away from the house, he walked down the side path round to the back door, that door was always unlocked.

There were no lights on in the house, his parents were probably sleeping already, they were old – in his eyes – and had recently started going to bed before he came home, and his sister was still ignoring him because of their big fight where she had called him bad names and locked herself in the bathroom for a few hours.

The garden was gloomy in the twilight, but the light from the other houses and the streetlight at the bottom of their shallow garden provided more than enough light for him to pick his way over the overgrown weeds and rusty garden tools without injuring himself.

The back door was unlocked as always, actually it was broken, ever since he had had to break the door down one day when he had was locked outside and it was thundering.

He was scared of thunder.
The only time of the night he didn’t like was when the lightening lit up the black, erasing it like electrical tip-ex, removing the dreams and the images briefly, showing the real background of the night, spoiling the illusion but not destroying it, and it was that which Jackie was terrified of.

The way the trees and cars seemed to leer at him through the haze.

The door opened slowly, the rubbish bag set behind it was a primitive security measure he had put in place when his father failed to repair the lock. In their old age his parents were loosing control of the house, they didn’t clean much, their joints were too stiff with the rust of a life lived to do much, and his sister who had only recently moved back in while her divorce was finalized didn’t seem to interact much with the family. She kept her self locked away in her room, sitting in bed for the most part, but sometimes at her desk looking at herself in the mirror, a brush in her hands. She had never been able to have children, something she would often lay at her brothers feet, his being a retard. He didn’t understand how, but there was a lot of things he didn’t understand, like how to work the washing machine or to cook a proper dinner for himself

Once inside the house he walked through the kitchen, draping his bag over the dinning room chair and his damp coat over the sofa, where the cold unheated air of the living room would help it to fester by the morning. The lights still didn’t work.

A power problem his Dad had told him. Nothing we can do about it but wait, he had said, that seemed like a long time ago, but Jackie could really remember for sure.

Carefully Jackie bent over the table and eventually after many fumbled attempts and a few screams as the flame shot to life and the heat warmed his skin more than he liked Jackie managed to light the three candles – they had once been large blocks of wax, more the size and shape of a wheel of cheese than a traditional candle, but tonight was going to be their last night, there was hardly anything left to burn.

Seeming to realise this fact the flames danced slower than normal, sedately swaying to the music, the slow dance of their concert, knowing that this was their last tango they were determined to make the most of the time they had left and draw the moment out as long as possible.

Jackie fell onto the sofa, its cushions covered with old newspaper to keep the condition good for when the time came to sell it on again and buy a new one. His shirt rose up over his belly which was grumbling its usual evening complaints.

“Shhh” Jackie spoke to his stomach raising a stubby finger to his lips.

Pulling himself into a more upright position Jackie reached into his trouser pocket, a tight fit for his bloated hands despite their small size. He found what he was looking for, a crumpled piece of paper that was yellowed with age and dirt. It was ripped and held together with tape, the once sharp lines faded by the sun and the edges now frayed and soft.

Jackie no longer heard the silence of the house, he was used to being in charge. The man of the house his Dad would say to him when he left Jackie alone with his mother and sister for whatever reason. You have to protect your family now Jackie his father would say bending down to look him in the eyes, before hugging him and heading out of the door.

Leaning back over the table the piece of paper was smoothed out and peered upon like a treasure map or a love letter from a secret admirer. Yet it was nothing more secretive than a list, written in large uneven block letters. Reminders Jackie had written himself of the things he had to do each day.





Jackie read the piece of paper several times over, musing over the words as if searching for some hidden message, a secret code, a spasticated enigma that might help him understand.

Walking though to the kitchen, carrying a candle with him, hoping that he wouldn’t burn his fingers. He didn’t like it when he hurt himself, he would cry and nobody would tell him if he would be ok or not, even when he was little his parents would never tell him what was wrong, a lot of the time they would ignore him, telling him to stop it or give it a rest. Sometimes his mother would even cry herself although that was normally when his Dad was out. Seeing the tears roll down her cheeks, smearing her makeup, staining her wrinkled heavily made up cheeks with mascara like a scary clown at the circus he had seen on TV late on night always made Jackie stop crying. It didn’t make him feel better, but he didn’t want anyone else to be sad so he would stop himself.

Sometimes he would get a cookie for being good and calming down.

He pulled a dining room chair with him as he walked, scraping it along the tiled floor, not worried about the ear splitting noise it made because he knew his parents always slept soundly. Jackie positioned the chair underneath the cupboard and climbed on standing on tip toes to open the door and reach inside.

The cupboard was bare.

He fumbled around his fingers searching in the places his eyes couldn’t, crawling along like a spider hunting a meal. He had bought some things earlier in the week but they were almost gone now. Finally his fingertips brushed against something. His initial reaction was to pull back, once before he had grabbed a mousetrap his father had set but forgotten about. He had come within a few seconds of loosing a finger – or so he told himself.

Once he had control of himself again he grabbed his catch and pulled it towards the edge of the shelf. It was a large bag of cookies Chocolate chip, his favourite. The bag was unopened and would give him enough to eat for breakfast too if he didn’t sleep him like this morning. His alarm clock didn’t go off and nobody woke him. He didn’t look, but he guessed his Dad was already out for his morning walk and his Mum was still asleep.

She likes her lie ins he would tell people when asked what his parents were like. Nobody ever really saw them. They don’t go out much.

Taking the chair back to its resting place at the table, covered with plates and dishes his mother was obviously spring cleaning again he told himself when he saw them. She loved to do that. She always kept things in good condition, moving them around to make them look better.

Jackie took the pack of cookies with him into the living room along with a mini packet of apple juice. He couldn’t see the straw in the cupboard, so would have to bit his way through the package to get his drink for the night, but as he wasn’t allowed to play with knives or scissors he had no other choice. Otherwise there would be water out of the tap as he was always told when the drinks were finished the day before the weekly shopping trip. Picking up the tray the candles were on, and tucking the cookies and apple juice into the pocket of his trousers Jackie left the living room and went up to his room. The darkness of the season meant that Jackie seemed to spend his whole life in the dark, he was dark when he woke up and dark when he came home, and on his days off he would still wake early, and spend the day sitting in his room reading and playing video games. He had the newest console, he had bought it himself, saved up his wages. It was great, the games were bright and colourful, they weren’t too hard like the other machines, also there were no horrible wires to get tangled up. He could never undo the knots and that always made him loose his patience.

It was only 6 o clock, but the night was falling early, thick storm clouds were beginning to join a few miles away from the powerless house, the electricity in the air was heavy enough to feel even from distance. Jackie knew it was coming, but he just hoped it would take its time arriving, however the first heavy clap to thunder shook the house – a semi detached in a small side road come cul-de-sac just behind the main road into the town – before the first biscuit had been shovelled past the waiting lips.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Instead of going straight home Lorna decided that she would grab a cheese burger for dinner. Her mother would have no doubt cooked something, but there wouldn’t be much taste to it and her parents would be more than happy to believe she had an eating disorder if she turned down dinner after a day’s work, or wasting her life as her father happily told her every chance he got. When he was sober at least.

Lorna was lucky in several ways, her mother stuck around her drunk husband for her daughters sake, taking his drunken beatings silently, his fumbled vicious intercourse when he was ready for it, if the drink hadn’t relaxed him too much were endure with only the needed moans at the right time, her screams stifled so that her daughter wouldn’t hear what was going. Giving her a chance to break the cycle, and if by sticking around meant that her daughter – all be her the unwanted result of a three day Jack Daniels binge fuelled rape – didn’t get beaten or touched in any way, as would probably have been the case if she was left alone with him.

Lorna of course knew all about the beatings, her father took great pleasure in telling her what he had done to her mother, normally only moments after he had done it. The crazed look still in his eyes, the stench of whiskey so heavy on his breath his saliva could probably be sold as a shot.

Lorna’s mother knew none of this, Lorna kept her mouth shut, fearing what might happen to her mum if she didn’t. Her father would creep into her room while her mother began to work on reducing the swelling in that days area of choice, his hands would quite often still have the bruises from the repeated heavy blows delivered only moments before, his knuckles swollen like a boxer’s after working the heavy bag un-gloved for a few rounds. Blood would still be staining his fingers like nicotine – the only sin he didn’t seem to be enamoured with – and droplets would be covering the lenses of his glasses from where the third or fourth shot of the succession had created the fine mist of blood that seemed to hang in the air of the bedroom, never fully leaving, unable to find a suitable place to settle. The wouldn’t stop him though, the look in her eyes as she saw the blood and started to cry, wondering if this time was the time when her mother wouldn’t get up again, had he snapped her neck – either accidentally or not it wouldn’t matter – had he finally taken the knife he kept in his sock draw and ran it smoothly over her skin filleting her throat like a piece of grade A meat.

No, he liked the tears.

The harder she cried the more probing his touches seemed to be. He never went all the way – or so she had been calling it when it first happened two days before her thirteenth birthday, the subsequent party had been the catalyst on that occasion, he would rub her small but already developed breasts, smiling at the way her body responded, much more willing it seemed than the dried up hag he had settled down with.

Eventually however, the fumbling became regular and the tears stopped, Lorna would hear the blows being delivered to her mothers skull, followed by the slam of a door and the heavy footsteps on the stairs and would sometimes even remove her shirt ready for his appearance, smiling for him, refusing to cry, and after a while as suddenly as they had started it stopped. Her apparent acceptance and refusal to give her abuser what he wanted had worked, he believed that she was defeated, given up and could therefore be saved for later. Four months after her fourteenth birthday the final visit was made.
Lorna was happy for small mercies, thankful for the slightest thing, anything that made her life slightly more bearable and illuminated the gloom, having not been raped by her father was one, and the only thing was that she could eat whatever she wanted, and as she pulled into the drive through window and ordered an extra large cheeseburger meal with an extra portion of fries and mayonnaise, she was happy for that particular card having been dealt her way. She would accept the braces and the hard to control red hair, which even after several doses of blond dye still showed through, just at a more acceptable brightness, she would even accept the small and already sagging breasts she had been grown, if it meant she could still find solace in a plate of burgers resting on the dashboard of her car while Nirvana blasted out of the CD player without having to worry about her good figure. She never thought of it herself, but others had, people who had never actually approached her, who would want to date a ginger.

But oh they had looked. Her face was cute, it had a young look that hid her pain incredibly, spoilt only when she smiled. . . . or spoke, revealing robotic teeth and a few repressed memories of painful kisses and tetanus shots, her body was slender, her stomach flat, her behind was firm and shaped in a way that meant despite its small look to the eye, there was a delectable quantity there to be squeezed should the time ever arrive. Her legs were equally strong and elegant from playing almost every sport her school had to offer after the day was finished, giving her a few more precious hours of freedom each day.

Sitting in her car, parked at the back of the packed parking area Lorna quickly forgot about her burgers as she watched the clouds build like thunderous but fluffy blocks of Lego, stacking on top of each other until the sky was painted a deep electric purple. The air had become heavy and hot, and as a result she had opened the drivers window fully and was leaning awkwardly across the food to unwind the passenger window when the first clap arrived, shaking her car and the contents inside with the same forceful hatred of a depth charge hunting U-Boats in the war.

The lightening followed shortly, accompanied almost instantly by the crackling forks of lightening streaking towards the ground craving some physical contact even though it would be the death of it.

It was the noise more than anything else which startled Lorna, eliciting a small shriek, stifled only by the cheeseburger that occupied her mouth at the time, some of which ended up spread across the windshield. Washing her cough away with a mouthful of Cola she fastened her seatbelt, suddenly eager to get back home and tucked up into her bed. Outside another rumble of thunder came rolling over the clouds stronger than its predecessors, it set off a number of car alarms.

Hit, Hit, Miss, Hit.

The meteorological game of battleships was underway now and something told her to get her cruiser moving before another wave came crashing down on them.

Her car spluttered to life, after a few pumps of the gas and a careful shit from first to second and back to first gear again it moved away, backing out of the space just as the rain started to fall., Large fat droplets at first, sporadic but heavy enough to cover the windshield and obscure her view. Turning on the wipers she cringed at the rubber blades drew over the window, not quite wet enough to glide and wipe the glass clean. Instead releasing a ear piercing howl that made Lorna’s skin crawl. However by the time she reached the exit of the car park the rain was lashing against the window with a force that rendered the wipers useless, she kept them on in any case. It felt like the right thing to do.

She pulled out of the car park and turned back onto the road, having to travel a little further up the main road out of town before she could double back on herself and head towards home. Her radio was still streaming classic rock making her head bob dampening the sound of the storm, however it also managed to shadow the rattling noise coming from the overworked water filled engine. Just as she was approaching the traffic lights to turn around her car began to smoke, not just from the water getting inside the engine, but it began to smoke as if it were on fire. Frightened Lorna pulled the car over the side of the road, and jumped out, afraid that the car might just burst into flames or even explode.

Her heart was fluttering as she got out and slammed the drivers door behind her, her clothes soaked through almost immediately from the monsoon that was raining down on her. Her jacket was in the car, she had taken it off when she ordered the burger.

She was soon shivering from the cold as her thin work blouse was soaked through and plastered to her body like a second skin, her trousers were also drenched and the wet fabric tickled her sensitive legs underneath. Around her the storm grew, and as the thunder shook her bones and rattled the heart in her chest cavity, three bolts of lightening lit up the black sky like an inverted fireworks display each one landing not more than a few meters away from where she stood. One caught the traffic lights, sending sparks of all three motoring colours cascading towards the ground, travelling down the pole in slow motion, the bright blue streak clear to the naked eye the familiar zigzag pattern tarnishing the post before scorching the ground as if disappeared. The second which struck almost simultaneously died sooner, crashing into a tree which simply stood firm in the face of its charged attacker and absorbed the blows it was dealt with little more than a rustling of its leaves or the creak of its upper most branches.

The third strike was the closest of the group, landing in the middle of the roof of her car, causing the paint to bubble and car shook like it had a couple of horny teenagers in it, but the strangest part - which was more a hopeful trick of the eyes – was the way the car seemed to strobe x-ray style images. The metal framework was outlined, the panels disappeared and for a split second all Lorna saw was the skeleton her car was built around. It was gone soon and the heat from the blast while it didn’t warm her up, reminded her to breath, taking in large gulps of air, needed to keep her from fainting as her heart beat faster than it had when she took the penalty in the final minutes of a hockey tournament, her organs screaming for blood and its oxygenate cargo to return from its detour to the extremities. Her shaking became almost uncontrollable now, as the cold set in, reaching her bones she could feel it, coupled with the shock, a slightly late realisation dawned on her about how close she had just been to death.

She felt strong, a sudden power filled her body, she had survived. She left the car and ran into the first street she could see hoping to find somebody home who would let her use the phone.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Jackie was sitting in his room, the lights all turned out because of the storm, he didn’t want the lightning to come through the walls again like it had done a few years ago when he was sleeping. It looked like somebody had taped a roman candle into the plug socket on the wall opposite the foot end of his bed. There had been some damage but not much. It had been decorated since then, and Jackie had covered the wall with posters to hide the socket, and so hiding the memories.

He was sweating like crazy, it looked like he had just come out of the shower, his air looked like it had been gelled flat to his head, but still he wrapped his duvet around him like a life jacket. The candle flame flickering from the howling wind outside, even though the doors and windows were all sealed tight. He shivered despite his layers and the in spite of the sweat that was now dripping off him like a sauna, and the comic book he was reading was damp from the bodily fluid that was seeping through their recycled pages. Superman’s lines being blurred with those of Lex Luther, the red ink of his cape running down his arms like blood and merging with the liquid kryptonite from the next page.

Jackie finally admitted defeat to the comic when the page stuck to his sodden finger tips and in retaliation he ripped the comic in half and half again before throwing the pieces against the wall. They fluttered to the ground, floating on an imaginary wind landing with a very realistic and heavy knocking. Each piece seemed to produce a similar tone irrelevant of size. It wasn’t until after the last piece and fallen and the sound continued that Jackie finally realised that there was somebody at the door.

He stumbled out of bed and walked along the hall, his candle let in the room. It was almost dead anyway. He knew the way, down the hall until the floor squeaked, then he was outside his parents room and it was 3 big steps and two small until he was at the top of the stairs. The lightning struck again the sound of the electricity burned through the house, every plug socket buzzed with potential energy. The knocking at the door became more frantic and powerful, even the thunder couldn’t completely drown out the request for entry.

Jackie nervously went down the stairs, he had never had a visitor before, especially not at night. The only people who ever came round asked to speak to his parents and simply walked away rather than have to try to explain things to someone as simple as he obviously was.

Don’t talk to strangers, just keep to yourself and don’t listen to what people you don’t know have to say.

That lesson had been drummed into him repeatedly, and he didn’t, he never spoke to anybody unless the introduced themselves first. If he knew their name then he reasoned that they weren’t strangers anymore. Which made them safe.

“Hello, Hello, is anybody there?” The female voice called through the letter box, accompanied by a gust of win. The voice was panic and filled with urgency. It was strangely familiar to Jackie. He paused at the bottom of the stairs, the shadow loomed in the doorway and was turned negative when the lightning reappeared. The shadow jumped, nervous from the storm, but to Jackie it looked like the figure was trying to push the door down, lunging forwards trying to break in. The scream was mistaken for a savage war cry and the knocks soon became forceful blows in Jackie’s mind, the door shaking in its frame, the locks barely able to hold the figure at bay.

Jackie walked through to the living room and peered through a crack he made in the curtains. Which were perpetually drawn, shutting out the sunlight, but also keeping out prying eyes, people trying to get a glimpse of the spastic that lived in their street.

“Hello!” The voice called again, She had seen someone moving inside, the curtains were pulled back and a pair of eyes were looking, peering at her from the darkness inside.

Lorna didn’t know why she tried this house, maybe it was because the other four before had lights on but nobody home, she figured why not try a lost cause, maybe you would be surprised. The house was in terrible condition, the grass was overgrown and the fence fallen down, either from a poorly guided car or from age she couldn’t tell and couldn’t be bothered to think about it. The windows were dirty and in some places cracked, the pain was peeling from the frames, the cobwebs had cobwebs and there wasn’t a single light shining from the whole place. The only house on the street when she looked back that was in such a bad state of repair, but still she knocked, hoping that somebody was there.

If she was honest the house looked and felt dead, abandoned and forgotten, and when she pushed the letterbox to call the stench of decay burst through in a thick cloud, like stale air escaping an ancient tomb.

The eyes startled her and she jumped backwards. Just as another fork of lightning speared the earth, scarring its surface. Lorna felt as though she was being guided towards this house, the lightning trapping her in a high voltage maze. She was filled with the urge to run, but before she could turn the door was opened and she was grabbed around the waist but a pair of strong arms and hauled inside.

“Out of the storm, Out of the storm, Come, Out of the storm.” The raised voice kept repeating in a familiar tone.

The stench within the house was overpowering, and only fear kept Lorna from throwing up over the floor, which she felt was covered in what she could only assume was newspaper or rubbish of some kind. She stood still, her back to the front door listening to her heart begin to slow, the rain finally driving against the door rather than against her. Her clothes were so wet her nipples could be clearly seen through her shirt and bra together.

“You shouldn’t walk in a storm Lorna, its bad for you. You can catch cold or something” The voice knew her name, and she found it oddly comforting. She still hadn’t seen the owner of the voice, the black exterior look to the house was echoed inside. There wasn’t a single light, not even one of a video recorder or television on standby.

“Jackie?” She spoke into the darkness, her lips moving vocal chords pronouncing the name before her brain fully realised why.

“Yes” The short and blunt reply at least assured her of who she was with.

“I didn’t know this was your house. Are you ok, did the power go out or something?” She asked, the stench forgotten about, more through politeness than anything else.

“I don’t know, don’t worry about it, I have candles.” He replied defensively, but Lorna ignored him, used to his temperamental outbursts and dramatic over reactions, and had actually gotten quite good at dealing with them.

“Well candles are good, but light is better. Come on I think it is just the fuse or something because the rest of the street has power. Luckily” She added as an after thought. She felt her way through the hallway, shuffling her feet as best she could in case she tripped and fell in the dark.

“No. Lorna I’m scared, I don’t like storms. Don’t make too much noise my parents are sleeping.” He told her, his voice echoing through the house is if it were empty.

The further she got from the front door, the more intense the smell became. It was almost indescribably, somewhere between the sweet stench of rotting meat, the metallic odour of blood and bleach. The combination made Lorna feel instantly queasy and she had to forcibly cover her mouth to keep from showering the pitch black house with vomit. Instead catching it in her mouth and swallowing it back down with nothing more than a grimace as the ejected stomach acid burned in her throat.

“What is it Jackie? What are you trying to hide, you don’t have to worry.” She spoke slowly and calmly to him, a simple process but some of the time it was all the was needed to help him think rationally again.

“No!” He shouted even louder, something probably either a foot or a first reasoned Lorna slammed into the wall nearby Jackie’s heavy breaths were next, increasing with speed as his rage seemed to billow out of nowhere much like the storm clouds “Go” He yelled at her. “I want you to leave now Lorna. Ill see you tomorrow. Bye Bye” He continued to shout, his previous comments about his parents seemingly forgotten.

“I’m scared too Jackie, but I promise you once we get some light going it will make us feel a lot better. Then we can sit and wait for it all to finish What do you way?” She had never seen Jackie in such a rage before, she thought it was just because of the storm, he was scared and his family were not with him. To be honest she found it a bit bad of them, but she had lost her trust in families a long time ago so guessed her views didn’t count for much.

Lorna began to move again not searching for anything, more moving towards Jackie to try and comfort him. Her varying emotions colliding again, struggling to decide between a feeling of pity or sisterly / motherly love for the man who was actually her own age but she never thought of his as anything other than a boy in the throws of puberty.

It was by absolute chance that her hand brushed the light switch on the wall, lower than the usual placing, probably installed specially for Jackie if he was home alone.

Touching. Lorna thought to herself cynically.

If it had been chance that allowed Lorna to happen upon the switch, it was its close relative that made her try it. Light exploded from the bulbs, which although not strong, came as such a shock they may as well have been theatre spots, shining down on the lead actor delivering his Once more unto the breach dear friends address.

Jackie cried out beside her, the light burning his eyes, while Lorna threw her arms up into the air shielding her eyes from the glare but not eliminating her vision.

It didn’t take long for her eyes to become accustomed to the light, and the first thing she was, the only thing she saw in fact caused another rush of regurgitated stomach contents, this time the force of this eruption was too great for her lips to contain and it sprayed from her mouth like a horizontal shower, covering the floor and the back of the sofa. She hadn’t realised that they had worked the way into the living room.

She paused at the thought. Living room, from what she was gazing upon dead room would have been a better turn of phrase.

The room had once been homely, a large and comfortable looking sofa, with matching armchair, facing a good size television with a coffee table providing a resting place no doubt for weary feet who come nightfall had seen enough of the floor and welcomed their elevated position, on the wall there were photos, some of babies some of the family as a whole and a couple of scenic shots – taken by Jackie’s father during various family holidays. There was a fake open fire which burned with a fake flame but somehow still produced a heat, and the walls were painted a two tone colour. The base coat was a simple cream colour, which provided a good background for the dried blood and solidified brain fragments which provided the contrast. The pictures were hazy behind arterial sprays, the sofa was sodden with blood, so much so that patches still glistened in the now acceptable level of light. The carpet which while never top quality was ruined with not of a near solid layer of blood more than could have come from one person, but also various forms of vomit, faeces and urine. Flies buzzed merrily, their bodies fat and swollen from the riches they had discovered, their minds and bodies so drunk on filth that they didn’t even fly away when the light came on The only movement that resembled retreat was the wriggling of the maggots, the gestating next generation of IT flies to gorge themselves on their parents hard earned riches.

Behind her Lorna could hear Jackie screaming angrily, the rage in his voice was unmistakable, he was angry at her, as if she had betrayed his most deepest of confidences by turning on the light.

“Jackie, Jackie, wh..” She couldn’t say anything else, neither her brain nor her stomach would allow it. Her eyes continued to scan the room, equally unable to absorb any more information. Everything became unrecognisable and she found her image began to blur as her mind began to task of blotting everything out.

Only one thing remained in focus and that was the iron which was on the coffee table, clumps of scalp, brain matter and hair clung to all three points, not to mention the clotted covering over the working surface. This object of destruction remained in sharp focus even as Lorna’s world went dull, her eyes becoming heavy.

It was only then that she realised she couldn’t breath. Jackie had wrapped his rage filled arms around her throat and was squeezing her windpipe shut with a force that seemed almost unnatural. She began to struggle, her body quickly suffering from the cut off supply of oxygen because of the speed her heart was racing, she felt her pulse begin to slow, her limbs became heavy with fatigue.

The whole time Jackie didn’t stop screaming, sometimes the rage left and all there was, was madness, but then the anger would return. Lorna felt safer with the anger. Anger she could deal with, insanity was something else

Jackie began to pull her towards the stairs, taking her somewhere, she didn’t want to know. If he had killed his family, then why not kill her. She began to struggle, throwing her head back, scrapping her knees down his shins, she even tries to stamp on his foot, but none of it worked.

Slowly she was worked up the stairs, walking backwards, the grip loosened slightly, the screaming died down as Jackie concentrated hard on climbing the stairs.

“Jackie …St….stop” Lorna wheezed, as the world once more became dark. The lights in the upper portion of the house were obviously on a different circuit and so didn’t hadn’t come on when she flicked the switch.

The smell of decay returned to her nose, filling her nostrils with this acrid aroma, stinging her throat – coupled with the left over vomit – with its abrasiveness.

“No no no no no” Jackie repeated, an edge of confusion had entered his voice.

They reached the top of the stairs and paused.

Jackie was thinking, he didn’t know what to do. Lorna had seen his secret, the way his family lived – or didn’t. He released his grip around her throat, and when she tried to run he grabbed her again and threw her into the hallway. “Don’t run” He screamed at her, his voice shrill like that of a woman. He was actually hitting himself also, scratching at his head as if trying to claw into his own brain and find an answer.

“Its ok Jackie” Lorna whispered her voice hoarse from being trapped in a vice.

“Quiet, Quiet!” He yelled, contradicting what the finger pressed against his lips was saying. “You will wake my parents” He spoke with anger, but Lorna believe him.

Did he really think that his parents were sleeping?

Lorna walked towards the bedroom door and Jackie moved to stop her, blocking her path, his chest heaving as he breathed.

“Jackie, I have to check. Don’t worry.” She told him, her resolve strengthening, he didn’t know, something horrible had happened and he didn’t know.

She pushed past him and for once he offered little resistance, grabbing the handle she walked into the room. It was filled with darkness, but the stench was overwhelming, it assaulted her senses like a kamikaze pilot, unafraid and unashamed of what it was. Even death had its dignity

The door creaked open, and she fumbled on the wall for a light switch, she found nothing, then she remembered the switch downstairs, and how it had been lowered. Her hand slipped down the wall, but she felt a strong shove from behind and she fell forwards. Stumbling she fell into the bed. She braced herself and threw her arms forwards and felt something in the bed. Cold and hard through the thin sheets. She didn’t need the light.

“No No. You don’t listen. Why don’t you fucking – he coughed as she spoke the word, it hurt him to have to spit it out – listen to me.” It sounded like he was holding back tears. Grabbing wildly at her clothes, trying to grab hold of her. To throw her out, to beat her, she didn’t know.

“Get off me.” She cried out, the darkness seeming to envelope her words, hiding them the way it hid the bodies she was being forced against. Kicking out her legs she raked her heels down his shin and dug it into his toe. She didn’t want to hurt Jackie, he didn’t know what he was doing, but she didn’t want to be here. She had to get out, get out and get him help.

“We can get you help Jackie, Call somebody and they can take care of you.” She spoke as she raised herself off the bed. Jackie having let go to nurse his injured toes.

She could see his eyes in the dark, glowing white orbs surrounded by darkness, like a crocodile in the river, only its eyes visible. Then it pounced. Lightening stuck again, she had been so preoccupied that she had forgotten all about the storm The room filled with light just as he leapt towards her. She was powerless to resists and he threw her onto the bed.

He mounted her quickly and scratched at her face with his hands, fingers curled into claws. His nails dug into her skin and she closed her eyes for protection. Her arms engaged in trying to push his heavy body off hers and let her escape. The fist was late in arrival, and no unexpected. Placed into her stomach just below her ribs. Her breath and with it her fight pushed out of her, and with no more vomit to expel she curled up as best she could and cried. Cried stinging tears which burnt her bleeding face.

Then he was on top of her again, screaming and raining blows down onto her, club like blows all over her body, wild with their power and animalistic with their ferocity. It was as thought he was tenderising her like a piece of meat. She cried and called out, but her mouth was covered over with a sweaty hand that tasted strongly of old pennies.
She bit down hard on his hand, but it had no effect. His rage was in full swing and nothing could stop him. He pulled at her clothes, ripping her shirt, the rain made it paper thin and it came away with the slightest of tugs, her breasts exposed and nipples ready hardened. The foul air tweaking them even more.

Before she realised what was happening her trousers had been removed and her legs forced open. She tried to stop him but another fist, this time to the side of her head made the whole room spin, and with that her body relaxed and she felt him enter her. Violently and dryly he began to ravage her, yet with each thrust she found herself more accepting. Each time his throbbing member delved into her privacy she saw more of the truth, as though the throbbing vein that ran the length of his shaft was carrying images instead of blood. Images transported through her increasingly flowing pleasure and into her brain.

She spread her legs wider voluntarily, and even pulled him towards her, the images became clearer and she understood.

He thrust and she saw the family, sitting around the dinner table. Jackie was angry and his parents were arguing. He had been shouting for over three hours and they were tired. He withdrew and ploughed into her once more and she saw his father leading him up the stairs. Jackie was stamping his feet and thrashing his arms around wildly. Hands clenched into fists. He reached the top of the stairs and turned around, pushing his father away from him. He didn’t like to be touched. She moaned as her body began to celebrate this experience. His father threw his arms out to balance himself but his legs were twisted and he fell back, his head connecting with the stairs three times as he fell, each time at the base of his skull. He was still alive when he finally stopped bouncing, but only just.

He withdrew, pulling back to far, his rage subsided, his actions exceeding his plans. Guilt began to set in, until her hand reached from around her leg and grasped him, holding his cock gently and guiding it back into her warm opening.

She had to see more.

His mother and sister ran to the noise, worried about the noise they had heard. Jackie was standing by the body. His father was bleeding from the ears and the mouth, his whole body shaking as he tried to speak. Jackie was crying, scratching at his own face, staring at his father, sorry for being bad.

“I was sorry, I didn’t mean it.” He grunted as he resumed his thrusting, the power building once more within him. Lorna didn’t feel the orgasm approaching, not until the power of it overwhelmed her and she locked her legs around him, screaming as her body began to quiver.

The lightening struck once more this time connecting with the house. The windows rattled and cracked in their frames, the lights came on again, the power seemingly jolted into action. She saw in the bright white light Jackie’s mother and sister push past him, he stumbled into the living room. They were shouting at him, asking him what he did. Tears straining their voices, grief reducing their words to nothing more than abrasive words. It was then she saw him pick the iron from the shelf where it was cooling down before being put away.

He began to pant. He swung the iron. First at his sister, splitting her head open in one powerful movement. He was pounding into her with such fury now that she came again right there, riding the wave of her pleasure and stepping from the dwindling wave to the newly formed crest of the other.

His sister had died instantly; his mother herself had taken three solid blows, his strength failing him as did his stomach as he covered himself in the blood. Spraying from the three wounds to her skull. Still she managed to crawl away, her shrill pleading not heard by her son, the boy she clearly loved. Instead all she earned was another blow, with the full face of the iron this time. The blow shattered her now and fractured her eye sockets, the still fairly hot metal stuck momentarily to her skin, leaving blister marks behind, but they never swelled, a final double handed clubbing blow with the iron sliced through the already battered skull and carved out a chunk of brain about the size of an large orange. It hung to the iron but before she saw it fall he his thrusting stopped. His body began to shake and his screams of rage became screams of delight, his eyes rolled into his head and for a second she thought he was going to fit, then she felt him shake inside her and was filled with a force that pleasured her for a third time. The held each other shaking. Her eyes gazing towards the ceiling, it was a light pink colour, obviously his mothers choice. Her eyes traced the ceiling and paused when she saw six eyes staring back at her. Jackie’s had the glazed look men have once they have fired their shot for the day, the other two were almost liquid, held in their sockets by a thin membrane., like eggs carefully removed from the shell, the protective sack still intact.

She shocked slightly, not as bad as she would have expected, their faces gazed at her, mouths open tongues hanging out like deflated balloons left hanging outside long after the party ended, their skin decayed thinning their faces. They were wet and covered with a clear fluid that was collecting in large droplets and occasionally falling onto the bed.

Lorna rose from the bed, her trousers round her ankles her legs shaking, barely able to support herself, the bodies were sitting in bed, the covers pulled unto their waists, hands folded over each other, wedding rings glistened in the artificial light, too large now for the rotted fingers. Jackie’s fathers head was twisted too much to one side, broken as he fell down the stairs, death hadn’t been instant, and he had watched as his son battered his family to death. He choked on his own blood and felt his heart slowing before his life was finally over, his bowels emptied and the stench of faeces and concentrated urine were the last things he smelt, and blood pouring from the walls of his house his last vision. His wife’s head was slightly more unusual, it looked fine from the left hand side, but when viewed face on it looked like a large chunk the shape of a trivial pursuit piece had been crudely carved out, her brains long since melted away to liquefied nothing, pink and slightly jellied they still occupied her skull, but now settled at the base like the remains of a bowl of soup.

Their faces had been cleaned roughly, and the room was filled with cheap air freshener, the kind that smelt nice in the shop but that was where it remained. D

Besides her Jackie was curled into a ball on the floor at the end of the bed, he wasn’t crying, but was muttering something inaudible. She bent down, squatting and feeling his semen drip out of her and run down her leg in congealing clomps. She wiped it away idly and stroked Jackie’s arm. He too had his trousers around his ankles and withdrew from her touch.

“It’s ok Jackie” She spoke softly to him, stroking his arm in loving slow movements, and within a few seconds he was sitting facing her. His face still contorted but the rage was gone. He was back to the old Jackie, he hadn’t known what he was doing and now she was sure he just felt bad for it. “Shhhh” She said when he opened his mouth to speak.

She leant forward and kissed him deeply, her hand roaming back between his legs. He was hard again and she wanted him.

They made love once more on the floor of the room, his parents festering gaze was blank in approval.

The storm continued long into the night, and finally calmed down just before the sun rose. The pair lay sleeping on the floor of the bedroom, arms around each other. Lorna woke first and rose, peering through the curtains to check on the day. The sky was blue and the clouds were light. She turned around, Jackie was beginning to stir.

“Morning sleepy head” She whispered to him, “Quiet, you don’t want to wake your parents.” She gestured with her head towards the two bodies. She smiled at them. A friendly smile, as if she was happy to see them.

Lorna moved out of her house soon after, her parents shocked and stunned at the suddenness of the actions, and her mother had cried when she walked out and pulled out of the driveway. She cried for herself, her daughter would be better off she was sure, she was a smart girl, she cried because she knew that it was now just the two of them.

The two set up home together, her parents never saw her again nor did the meet the man who stole her heart. Her prince charming.

They tidied the house and buried the bodies of his Jackie’s parents in the garden, and the body of his sister, who had been sat in her room, tied to the stool before her vanity mirror, a brush in her hand, also tied in place, make up scattered around the desk.

They can still be seen wandering around, Lorna is often sporting varying long sleeved high necked shirts, baggy enough to cover her bruises, but not to hide her swelling stomach.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Note about Rain of Blood

The story below is the unedited version, posted to enable me to play with the site, creating expandable link and read more links.

There will be a fully edited version uploaded in the near future. It is currently with a friend being proofread.

Once the edited version is ready I will delete this post and the story leaving only the correct version for people to read.


Rain of Blood

“In sickness and in health.” The vicar read through his normal routine. The summer wind blew a gust through his rapidly thinning grey hair, which coupled with this thick rimmed glasses perched neatly on the very tip of his nose had been the deciding factor in choosing him to perform their nuptials.

As she spoke Leslie McCartney tried to listen to the words, but couldn’t help but keep both her eyes on the steadily building layer of hulking cloud that was gathering exactly over their heads. She hadn’t been too enthused by the idea of an outdoor wedding, but it was the only thing her soon to be husband had insisted on. Leaving her in complete and utter control of everything else, something she actually relished unlike many other people who had called her a fool for organising the wedding the parties and the honeymoon all on their own, especially as she had just announced that she was pregnant with their first child.

Now, standing before the altar in the garden of the small country church – which they had fallen in love with as they drove home from a weekend away. It looked just like a postcard picture nestled back from the road surrounded by trees. It was old and quaint, everything they were looking for. It even had a large outdoor space especially for external weddings. Not that it was used much anymore or so the very aged Vicar Roger Butterworth had told them. It was his first wedding for sometime. His main trade he told them with real enthusiasm was christenings – her white dress clung to her body, specially designed to highlight but not over emphasize her growing bump. She felt a chill as another gust whipped through the congregation and down the aisle with all the grace of a drunken uncle arriving late after having just emerged from the cloister with the 18 year old bridesmaid.

She suddenly sensed all the eyes in attendance focus on her exposed back and not looking at the almost faded tan lines from the previous month’s early summer sun. She returned her focus to the matter at hand, looking from the vicar and into the eyes of the man standing next to her.

“I do” She said with a smile, unable to break the gaze. She had fallen in love with Nathan Owens the first time she had seen him for the very same reason she was still hopelessly in love with him. His blue eyes as deep and clean looking as the sea surrounding a fantasy desert island.

Behind her she felt a communal sign of relief, silent to the ears of anybody but her. Above her head she felt the pressure in the sky building. It was getting so dark around them that in the distance she saw that the street lights were beginning to light and it was only 2 in the afternoon.

“By the power invested in me” The vicar was now building up to his big final speech, the most important lines of the whole show when he was interrupted by a large crack of thunder, followed almost instantly by the whip cracking sound associated with lightening charging toward the ground like a plummeting locomotive.

This time the gasps coming from the crowd were unmistakable, as was the crying 3-year-old daughter of the best man, who was serving as the ring bearer.

“Lets finish this Reverend” Nathan spoke impetuously, something completely out of character, but Leslie put it down the weather. The clouds had developed further and everybody was looking up at the sky, their fingers crossed. Even the vicar was staring towards heaven.

“Lord help us” He whispered under his breath, shortly before his was pushed roughly in the shoulder by Nathan, whose eyes were narrowed, his lips pulled tight over his teeth. A vein had emerged in the side of his neck and Leslie noticed that it was steadily pulsing along to the tune played by his heart.

“Just bless us and we can get going.” He growled, his voice came from the very depth of his body, and actually scared Leslie - who was the only person looking at that time.

The first cold drip landed on the back of her neck. It made her jump, but not because of its low temperature, but because of its warmth. The drop felt like the last drips falling from the shower when you turn it off retaining the temperature of the water that they followed, stragglers in the liquid parade desperate to arrive before the end.

Behind her Leslie heard people shuffle and begin to stand, a few screams emanated from the front row, and beside her Nathan gave a chuckle. “It’s about time” He spoke to the sky. His neck craned back as far as it would allow.

“May the lord protect us.” The vicar’s words chilled her the way she had expected the raindrop to do. She looked at him and jumped even higher. His face was white, his lips matched the shade perfectly, it was as though they had been removed and replaced with grafts of regular skin. His eyes were wide, the pupils dilated and between his eyes was a dark red spot. and if it wasn’t for his now incredibly pale skin and the past meetings between the two of them Leslie would have simply thought he was an Indian. Then she began to shake, it started deep inside her stomach, shaking her young and unknowing foetus and radiating outwards and then along her body in both directions until it ran out and disappeared into the atmosphere. The red drop began to move, slowly working its course down his face, following the contours of his nose before stopping on the tip. Building in mass stretching its outer layer to capacity before taking the last plunge to the ground to be absorbed by the earth.

“What is going on?” Was all that Leslie could ask. She looked down and saw a similar red stain on her gleaming white dress. The dark spot made the gown glow even brighter than the sunlight had, but now this gleaming spoil was ruining her moment. Another joined it, and these were followed by several more. One landed on the palm of her now outstretched hand. She brought it to her nose although she knew what it was. A scream started to build in her throat but its escape was cut off by Nathan’s lips covering her own, his tongue caressing hers and running its way over the top of her teeth. In his hand, pressing against her stomach he held a bible, open on the same page as the vicars. He let it drop to the floor where its pages were soon stained with the increasingly steady drops of blood.

“It’s time. Stand here with me and welcome them” Nathan released her from his faux loving embrace. He held her head in his hands, they were cold, rough and completely unlike the hands that had held the large diamond ring which spent the last 14 months decorating the finger on Lindsey’s right hand. He held her head firmly in place, he had a mad look on his face, he was grinning like a Cheshire cat, and around them the blood rain began to pour. Most of the guests had fled, hurried into the church by the vicar, who managed to organize the chaos quite smoothly as he never took his eyes from the sky.

“Nate, what’s going on? What are you doing? Your scaring me” She blurted out as much as she could in between breaths, which had been dramatically shortened by the shock she was bordering on entering.

“Nothing my sweet. Our day is being blessed.” He told her, his eyes while still deep were as dark and cold as the Atlantic Ocean they planned to fly over the next morning.

Leslie began to shake. She was unable to process what was happening. Her perfect man, the man who all her friends had loved had become a frightening figure, standing covered in blood holding her face until it hurt. His grip and unusually sharp nails may have drawn blood but it was impossible to tell. He felt her eyelashes become sticky with the gore that was pouring from the sky. Every time she blinked a sickening sticky sound travelled through her senses into her overworked brain. The only thing she could think of was the blood.

Suddenly she was grabbed once again, only this time she was pulled backwards. There was little force behind it but she was off balance and about to faint so it didn’t take much to get her moving.

“Come with me hurry…..hurry get inside” The vicar was crying in her ear. His lips close enough to touch her lobe, but even still she hardly heard his words.

She moved her feet but her body was slow off the mark and her shoulders were grabbed much more forcefully by Nathan whose face was contorted in what looked like pain but after a closer look was clearly not. “Stay” He yelled at her.

“Here he comes. He only wants to bless our day, our child, our future. He chose us and now you want to walk away before he returns. Where is your motherly love” He cried his voice getting louder as he spoke, the wind increased, sending the drops of still body temperature blood flying through the air almost horizontal, further drenching the dress which while lacked the large train and veil of the more traditional dresses she had tried was still deceptively heavy especially when wet.

She couldn’t speak, her entire body was frozen, she didn’t even see the rain falling any more. She knew it was there, but it didn’t enter her brain, which was now diverting new information while attempting to sort what it already had. All she saw was Nathan’s face and the wild look in his eyes. Everything else was just black, as if he was delivering his talking heads speech to the camera. Even his words were muted, his lips moved and she heard a sound nothing more.

“Release her. Do you not fear the wrath of God!” The holy man called to him, standing firm defying his age. If she had noticed, if anyone had been looking at him, they would have noticed that the vicar wasn’t anywhere near as blood soaked as the others. The drops seemed to avoid him as best they could. Some of it was hidden by his already black overcoat, but beneath his unfastened jacket his white dog collar gleamed a brilliantly clean colour. It seemed to emit light and cut through the gore.

Nathan stared directly into the eyes of the vicar and held his gaze. The two men stood firm and then Nathan began to smile. “God! I don’t fear your fucking God. God fears me. You hear.” He leant his head back to the heavens again and held his arms out in an ironic pose and laughed, a deep guttural, maniacal laugh that actually shook a few cobwebs away from Leslie’s mind and she turned and ran towards to the church.

Behind her she heard Nathan scream once more, his voice unusually carried on the wind that was now blowing into her face carrying all other sounds further away. She reached the steps of the church, her trainer shoes – she had never been a fan of wearing high heels and regardless she had twisted her ankle playing squash the week before – slapped noisily on the wet church steps. Deep pools of blood gathered there, but stopped suddenly three steps before the top. Instead all the drops fell on the one step creating a waterfall effect that sent the arterial fluid cascading down the remaining steps as if it were desperate to escape the shadow of Gods house.

Yet another scream stopped her in her tracks just inches away from the large heavy oak doors which were slowly being inched shut but the shaken members of both families. Leslie turned and saw to her horror that the vicar was still standing there. He was facing the church, his dog colour still gleaming white, fighting until the end to retain its purity. His eyes were wide and his moth looked like a he was doing the sort of facial exercises that women did in the late 1980’s before Botox became the high street option of choice. The most shocking thing however was the arm that was now protruding from his chest. The open hand clenched into a fist, blood and entrails – which she knew belonged inside the man they were now held before – dripped to the floor with the same semi congealed dripping of an egg white slipping through your fingers while you separate it from the yolk.

The arm then retreated and with a sucking sound that everyone thought they heard it was gone. The vicar stood for a moment, and before his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fell to the floor he managed to cross himself and grab his crucifix which he was ironically holding in the inverted position. He tried to correct this but fell before the managed it.

Tears were now falling freely from Lesley’s eyes, leaving snail like tracks down her cheeks, not removing the rapidly congealing blood from her face, rather just diluting it.
“Come on Les” Her soon to be - if not already for she had lost track of events -brother in law called to her. She was only inches away from the hopeful sanctity of the church but she could move. The rain wasn’t reaching her where she stood, but her dress was completely dyed, her hair clung in clumps to her scalp, and she stood there like a victim from a low budget slasher film while her unborn child kicked for the first time. It hurt her, but she didn’t register the pain. She was too concerned by the figure that was now walking up the steps. Nathan ascended the stairs one at a time brining both feet to rest on the same step before moving up another level. He came to rest on the same spot where the blood itself dared not venture.
“You can’t stop it Leslie. He blessed our union long ago, and today is his chance to return and claim what is his.” Nathan hissed, his skin seemed tighter over his bones, the blood didn’t seemed to be clotting on him, it was as though there was a current to it, and it simple drifted over his skin, moving in a steady fashion, never stopping. It flowed and the more she looked at him the more she saw it flow. His whole body whether bare skin or clothed the blood was flowing in a swirling pattern from his head to his feet.

“Fuck You!” She screamed at him, her pitch high enough to make the lone dog in attendance emit a slight howl in agreement.

“No we did that already remember Les, you couldn’t keep your hands off me. You were wild that night, and now the way is paved for him.

Leslie felt the kicking inside her stomach again, stronger this time and painful enough to register, as though something was scratching, trying to escape. Her hands went down to her stomach and she gasped as the realisation dawned on her.

“You really think I’m having a baby blessed by the devil. His son. You have gone mad.” She spat aware that her words had all the sting of a butterfly but was proud at getting them out without stuttering.

Nathan smiled again, even his teeth were stained red, with congealed clots sticking out between his teeth.

“You’re not having the devils baby. Silly girl. I wouldn’t do anything like that to you” He answered, his eyes never leaving Lesley’s no matter how she willed herself to turn away. “You are giving birth to the devil himself” With that he began to chuckle, his eyes turned yellow as he did, something that was definitely noticed by Leslie and both sets of parents who had left the church to rescue the girl they all considered a daughter.

They put their arms around her and together the two fathers pulled her backwards into the church. She was as heavy and stiff as stone, the only thing that let them know she was alive was the agonised cries she made as the pain in her belly grew sharper and sharper especially once she crossed the threshold. Her belly began to swell, she couldn’t help it, and within seconds it had almost doubled in size and she felt blood – her own for sure this time – begin to flow without inhibition down her legs under her dress.

She fell to the floor and lay looking up and the timber supported church ceiling and screamed as she felt her stretch marks begin to split, she felt the same burning sensation as when her slightly schizophrenic cat Bubbles scratched her. Her family gathered round her, mainly to hold her down and stop the thrashing for fear of harming the baby. All of them unaware of the cause, apart that is for the old man who had been at the back of the party, the grey skinned man who looked like he had only a few days left to live who had slipped in just before the proceedings began, completely unnoticed even by those who he sat beside. He walked slowly to the front of the church muttering beneath his breath in Latin. The only person who paid it any attention was Nathan, whose face further twisted in pain this time as the words reached his ears. He froze and stared into the eyes of the stranger, but this time he looked away, and backed down a few steps.

“You can’t stop him. He has already arrived.” Nathan screamed in a voice barely understandable and so dissimilar to his own that people inside didn’t even know he had spoken. Nathan gestured towards the sky. The blood still fell but slower now, the clouds were glowing with the colour of fire. The man looked up and flinched at what he saw. The clouds were swirling and creating a funnel that slowly extended towards the ground like the twisted hand of an aged leper reaching out for the small bits of change the kind hearted would throw at him from distance. Around the top of the funnel as the flame colour in the clouds reached its most vivid two large shapes, like the eyes a preschool child your draw with crayon could be seen staring down towards the world. They were black, not like storm clouds on a autumn day, and not black like the night, for when they were compared they would look like a spring morning compared to the total absence contained within the eyes above.

“May the Lord protect us.” The man said, his hear covered by an old dusty slightly worn looking grey fedora the shade of which was almost a perfect match to his skin, but a few escaping strands of hair told everyone that his hair was pure white beneath, and obvious testament to his age. He returned his gaze towards Nathan and calmly continued to speak in a different language, one that only Nathan somehow understood.

“Your Aramaic sayings and beliefs will not help you any more old man. Give me the child or I will rip you a apart from the middle out.” With that Nathan lunged at him. The man didn’t move and Nathan came to a jolting halt on the same step three from the top as he did before. He held his hands up to his head as if he was dizzy. He lunged again and made no progress. This time the old man backed up half a step as if feeling the force regardless.

“You wont get it. I wont allow it.” He spoke simply and in a commanding voice that made everybody listen even Lindsey. The pain lessened suddenly and has he walked over to where she lay she began to feel slightly at peace with herself. Her heart rate slowed and her now over swollen belly – which looked like she was a week overdue with triplets – calmed, bordering on splitting open like a piece of rotting fruit. Just the slightest touch would probably rupture it and send her premature foetus shooting into the world on a geisha of her own bodily fluids.

“Please help me. I can’t loose my baby. Please help my BABY” She cried with a wild devotion that only a mother could understand.

The man leant over her and made the sign of the cross on her forehead. “Hold on my child” He spoke quietly to her the noise of the wind and the delusional screaming of a mad man didn’t seem to enter the church. As if God were catching them before they could cause more harm. He talked in the same language again as he did at the door, but Leslie could understand that he was saying names. The names of the Saints, or so it sounded to her – Peter, Paul, Matthew, Barnabas just some the names she recognised.

Outside them Nathan leapt at the door once more, and Leslie felt the priest move as if being pushed by some invisible force. This time Nathan laughed in triumph as he landed on the next step up. The man stopped and looked over his shoulder. He shook his head an returned to his prayer, speaking quicker now.

Nathan’s parents turned to look at their son and saw that the blood waterfall and reversed and now the blood was pouring up the steps collecting on the unblemished higher ground like a pool. It soon reached the top and Nathan leapt again, making anther gain on his ascent. The blood followed him. In the background the funnel was now a matter of feet above the ground, and the eyes were beginning to glow. A small red dot could be seen in the centre.

The man made another three signs of the cross on Leslie’s forehead and quickly followed with another three on her stomach, which flinched at his touch, but was soothing and she felt the swelling decrease each time his gnarled fingers grazed her flesh; the dress long since burst at the seams, revealed her bleeding bump to the world. She looked up at the man through tear filled eyes, red and stinging from her own sweat, and she saw his face change. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and he began to speak in English.

“Lay still my child. We must cast out the demon before he takes control of your child, before he kills you both.” Normally those words would have filled her with panic, but Leslie felt compelled to trust this stranger and was calmed by his voice. Almost hypnotised by its tone. She looked into his eyes and felt herself being protected. Wrapped in a blanket and carried away from harm.

“ I cast you out unclean spirit.” He began, but before he could finish the sentence the wind began to howl and burst over the threshold lifting the grooms father into the air and carried him through the doorway, and launched him down the aisle and sent him skidding on his side into one of the middle sets of pews.

The man was also knocked off balance, but never broke his blind gaze and connection with Leslie. “Close the doors” He called, his calm voice now replaced with one filled with urgency. Everyone rallied together and tried to force the doors closed against the wind.

The man resumed his prayer, his hand resting gently on Leslies stomach which was now half its over inflated size.. “Be gone In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” He traced continued small crosses on her skin with his index finger. His nose began to bleed, a few drops at first but soon it became a steady flow. Still he held firm.

Outside Nathan was now at the top of the stairs, and the blood had rushed against the tide and was waiting at the doors to the church. Biding its time before it swept down the aisle like a gore filled tsunami, washing away anything that gets in its way.

The group made some progress with the doors, but the driving wind easily countered their rapidly flowing adrenaline and equalised the playing field. They all saw it happen. Behind Nathan, over his left shoulder they saw the funnel touch down. Fire flew down from the sky, sliding down the black smoke funnel. The earth split open with a loud crack as the flames came billowing out of contact point scorching the ground over a two-meter radius.

The fire flowed constantly and built into a wall of flame, the heat from which was felt almost immediately inside the church. Nathan took the final steps forwards to the edge of the churches entry point; his feet stopping with a long jumpers precision just behind the line of the threshold.

The congregation whose division was no longer based upon bride or groom but on distribution of strength resumed its heaving efforts to seal the church. While Nathan laughed joyfully as he watched their frantic actions. Beyond them lying on the floor in the middle of the church lay his wife, her legs bent at the knee her feet flat on the floor, but the blood no longer flowed from her loins, and instead had started to flow backwards much like that of the rain. Nathan stared in near disbelief. “Its too late” He called, but was ignore by all.

The old man now had his head lowered and he spoke directly to Leslie’s unborn, undeveloped foetus, but he soon raised his head towards the ceiling of the church, the paintings which provided the edge to the oak supported structure were glowing, their colours radiant and new. The figures were all in their sculpted positions, but their heads were all turned to see the scene below. This wasn’t easily seen on those direct above, but as you got further towards the altar the difference could be seen clearly.

He called at the top of his lungs, his voice filling the air inside and out of the church, echoing around the walls. The stained windows shook, the blood covering their external side slipped away leaving them almost flawless once more.

“And those who have done good shall enter into everlasting life but those who have done evil into everlasting fire! May we no longer fear any evil since the Lord is with us; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever”

The wind died slightly and then returned with an almighty gust that blew the doors back against the inside walls and threw the old man limply the whole way down the church and into the altar sending the crucifix flying along with the candles and cloth, all of which fell to the floor in a noisy pile.

Nathan began to take his long awaited step over the threshold. Behind him the wall of fire began to wobble unsteadily, a parting appeared down the middle and a shape could be seen standing the other side just waiting to escape.

“Amen” The word suddenly filled the church, all the people in attendance that day felt suddenly compelled to shout the word at the top of their lungs. Nathan’s progress was halted and the wind stopped howling and the blood stopped flowing, it was inside the church now and only inches away from their feet. The two largest men both brothers of the bride ran and quickly pushed the heavy oak doors shut like they were the lightweight doors of a confession booth. Just before they did the wall of fire erupted, sending the wall of fire hurtling towards the church like a back draft, and all they could do was stand frozen in fear for the first time since the blood rain had begun. The doors caught each other and closed just before the fireball hit. The heat from the blast was intense but the doors held firm.

On the floor Leslie remained still, breathing rapidly but controlled. Her entire body now sticky with the combination of the fallen blood and her own sweat, the stress from the ordeal finally taking its toll on her body. Everybody gathered round her as the fire cast its orange glow through the windows. There was a fearful notion move through each of their minds, the thought that the church would simply burn to the floor, but the building held firm and was left untouched by the flames. All that could be heard was the final screams of Nathan. The doors then blew open again but this time nobody flinched because the first thing they saw was the clouds parting and the blue summer sky begin to show once more. The funnel was beginning to dissipate into the air and the fire was retreating back into the split in the earths crust and only the last licks of flame remained above ground. That and the now greatly disfigured Nathan who was clinging for his life to the crust of overturned earth holding onto whatever he could to keep from being pulled down into the fires of hell as payment for his failure. The eyes were still in the sky but only directed upon the pit, and Nathan, who was now completely devoid of hair and his skin was raw and open with blisters covering the most external parts. His eyes were black, their colour removed forever. He cried one last time before his grip failed and he fell from view, the ground closing swiftly behind him sealing his fate.

Everybody gathered round Leslie and tried to talk her out of moving, but she insisted she was fine and raised herself to a sitting position before her father helped her to her feet. She was unsteady but moved forward. She walked for the second time that day down the aisle, her father by her side holding her arm to keep her supported. They walked passed the groaning figure of her father in law who was himself sitting holding his head in his hands. She headed towards the altar to find the man to whom she owed her life and the life of her child; who she could fell still living inside her.

Only the man wasn’t there. The piled of dented artefacts was lying undisturbed, but his body was gone.

“No need to thank me my child. Its my job.” The voice spoke from behind them. The man was standing in the doorway to the church, the sky a brilliant and unblemished blue behind him. His hair as white as Leslie’s dress had been flowed from his head and down towards his shoulders, thinning on the front but full and thick everywhere else. His face was covered with a few days beard growth that showed signs of being equally white. His long duster style jacked was open exposing the white robes he wore beneath. His skin also no longer had the grey tone of before, but was as pink and healthy as a teenage boy chasing the girl of his dreams.

Leslie faced him and smiled at him. His voice effected all of them in the same way. They trusted it and if he had told them to lie down and sleep until morning they would have done it no questions asked. Suddenly beams of sunlight shone through the glass windows of the church and the open doorway. Bathing the figure in a golden light. His jacket fell to the floor and he raised his arms towards the sky.

They then watched in stunned awe as from behind his back a large set of wings emerged and spread wide; the large white feathers easy to see even at the other end of the church. He returned the smile and stepped backwards into the open air before ascending on the beams of light, disappearing from view.

Leslie and her guest walked slowly towards the door, emerging in brilliant sunshine, they were all temporarily blinded by the light, and when everything returned to them colours seemed so much richer than they ever had before, and the surroundings were unharmed, the wedding set was all in place, the archway, the seats, even the external altar. Leslie looked down and saw that her dress was once more the pure white it had been when she picked it from the rails, and the same was for the rest of them. Even their hair had returned to its fully primped glory. The only thing that remained unchanged was the lifeless figure of the holy man lying on the ground. His body whole, no longer having been violated in the brutal fashion everyone had witnessed not 30 minutes earlier.

His robes were spread around him like a cape, his face looking into the sky, but was shielded by a grey fedora gently placed over his brow giving him a peaceful look, like a sheriff sleeping in a quiet western town. In his hand he held his bible, open on the final pages, before a soft gust of a summer breeze blew the book closed.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Coming Soon

A selection of stories written to scare, disturb and entertain.

Read and Enjoy!!!