This piece contains sexual content and coarse language not appropriate for all ages.
Hey Guys! This is another piece for university that I have decided to upload to my blog. This has been work-shopped by my class and after adding their editorial corrections thought I might open this up to a wider audience. If you see any errors with spelling, grammar or sentence construction, may you please alert me? Thank you!
Bradley Cooper, sat at one end of the table, his orange hair tidily placed atop his head. His eyes were a dull green, with a couple of freckles lining the sides of his nose, his breath slow and strenuous. He wore a checked blue top and black jeans, his arms crossed in front of his chest while he stared at the individual sitting across from him. His name was Steven Carnes and he was the reason why he was there.
Steven had jet black hair which was beginning to recede at the front, his eyes being just as dark. His lips were rather crooked and his eyes were narrowed dangerously as he eyed Bradley, his arms folded neatly across his dark brown leather jacket, a belt buckle visible beneath it which was holding up his loose blue jeans.
Between the two of them at the front of the table sat the appointed mediator, Michael York. He had a round, boyishly handsome face, which was strange for someone who was breaching 60. His hair would have been all but gone if not for the transplants which only managed to cover half of his scalp in a dense light brown colouration of fluff. His eyes were small and blue, his face looking a little crinkled, whilst his blue suit and red tie gleamed pretentiously upon his person.
The door behind Steven opened without warning and another individual stepped into the room. He had graying hair and large black rimmed spectacles that covered half of his face. His nose was rather large for a face his size, his eyes looking as old and frail as the rest of his body did and yet, he walked with a lively passion for life as though every step promoted some excitement. He wore a grey suit with blue stripes down the front and red ones along his shoulders which continued down his sleeves. A checked orange tie completed the image, his entire attire being so well designed it could only ever be described as ‘loud’. It was so ‘loud’ in fact that if it were to speak it no doubt would have screamed.
‘Who’s this douche bag?’ whispered Bradley in the direction of the mediator.
‘That’s Jeremiah Delaney,’ replied Michael out from the corner of his mouth, his lips barely moving. ‘He’s every plaintiff’s wet dream. They call him the terminator; hasta la vista baby!’
‘I’m sorry,’ said Jeremiah, sitting down beside Steven. ‘I was busy having lunch with our prime minister.’
‘Glad you could make it,’ grunted Steven in the direction of his lawyer. ‘I was about to start paving the town with flyers if you didn’t show up in the next few minutes.’
‘Watch your tone boy,’ retorted Jeremiah. ‘I didn’t take this case because of your smile. As long as you can provide the sum I agreed to you needn’t concern yourself with my tardiness. I see Michael York is the man hired to supervise our mediation. This should be a walk in the park. The man is well into his dotage.’
‘He’s not the only one,’ shot back Steven under his breath.
Jeremiah pretended not to hear his client as he cracked his fingers before noting ‘I’ll handle this, you just sit there and look pretty unless called upon.’
‘I see someone doesn’t have a lawyer,’ said Steven mockingly, his voice loud enough for everyone else to hear as Bradley shot him a menacing glance.
Jeremiah took a quick breath before announcing ‘okay, how about we get this show on the road? I have numerous other venues to appear at today and do not wish to be kept waiting.’
‘Is he always so blunt?’ continued Bradley softly towards the mediator.
‘Pretty much,’ replied Michael. ‘May the plaintiff provide his name and age for the record,’ he said, turning to face Bradley.
‘Bradley Cooper, 32, no relation to the actor.’
‘May the defendant do the same’ enquired Michael in Steven’s direction.
‘Steven Carnes, 31.’
‘Now Bradley,’ continued Jeremiah, ‘why don’t you explain to us why you have gone to such lengths to call this enquiry?’
‘Well,’ began Bradley, ‘two months ago I was at home and I made my way outside to admire my front lawn. You see, I had a very beautiful lawn. It had won lawn of the year five times in a row. I took great pride in it. It was my livelihood, the only thing that had never betrayed me. You can tell a lot about people by the type of lawn they have. Me, I had one hell of a lawn.’
‘What do you mean by that?’ asked Jeremiah, ‘your lawn never betraying you I mean?’ he added as Bradley nodded upon realising what he meant.
‘My lawn has remained by my side through thick and thicker,’ explained Bradley. ‘Unlike my ex-wife who ran off with the kids several years back, my lawn has never been anything but good to me. It has, did I mention, won lawn of the year?’ he asked, his teeth sparkling as he smiled.
‘Yeah, I caught that part,’ said Jeremiah, rolling his eyes.
‘Anyway,’ said Bradley, ‘I made my way outside one morning to find my lawn had been desecrated! It had been torn to shreds by a lawn mower and the centre of my lawn had been set alight. My roses had been pruned to death and one of my gnomes was missing. And the culprit for this malicious crime was none other than the man sitting before me!’ shouted Bradley, pointing a disapproving finger in Steven’s direction.
‘How you can be so sure that my client was the man responsible for this heinous offence?’ asked Jeremiah.
‘I looked over at his house, which is opposite my own, and saw him watering down my lawn mower which he had borrowed from me several months before but never returned,’ explained Bradley. ‘At the time he had run off with my lawn mower as though it were Julius Caesar’s balls! Also, my stolen gnome was standing directly beside him, and the name ‘Steven Carnes’ was burnt into my lawn.’
Jeremiah shot Steven a menacing look before continuing. ‘Perhaps there was another Steven Carnes?’
‘Another Steven Carnes?’ exploded Bradley. ‘In my neighborhood at 10 a.m. in the morning washing down my lawnmower? I doubt that very much, one’s enough isn’t it?’ Bradley took a deep breath before continuing. ‘Now, I want some justice. That, is my dream.’
‘I had a dream last night that a thick shake was drinking me!’ exploded Michael with a smile, the other three people in the room turning to face him before continuing with the proceedings.
‘Is he alright?’ asked Steven, pointing in the direction of the mediator, ‘or should I call the men in white suits and arrange for a rubber room to be prepared for Mr. York’s indefinite stay?’
Once more his lawyer ignored his outburst as he continued with the proceedings. ‘And where were you when these actions occurred Bradley?’ asked Jeremiah, giving Michael a strange look.
‘I told you, I was at home,’ explained Bradley.
‘And what were you doing?’ asked Jeremiah. ‘I want to know the precise actions that you were undertaking whilst my client supposedly ransacked your lawn.’
Bradley swallowed before answering the question. ‘I was in my bedroom, rubbing my ‘away itch’ formula onto my testicles.’
Michael shook his head whilst Steven sniggered.
‘I think it only fair that we turn the attention to my client and receive his half of the story,’ explained Jeremiah. ‘Were you in any way responsible for the occurrences which took place on Mr. Cooper’s lawn?’
‘You’re damn right I was!’ cried out Steven as Bradley looked as though he wouldn’t be able to contain his excitement for much longer.
‘Excuse me?’ questioned Jeremiah. ‘I think we need to take a moment here.’
‘I don’t think we do’ said Steven with a bright and cunning smile.
Jeremiah wrenched Steven out from his chair by his ear and dragged him kicking into the corner of the room, away from prying eyes. ‘You seem to think you have a choice here boy’ shot back Jeremiah in a harsh whisper that despite his best efforts reverberated throughout the room. ‘You asked me to assist you and out of the goodness of my heart I agreed. Now, I have not lost a single proceeding in my life and I will be damned if you are going to break my record you arrogant little prick! So how ‘bout you and I step outside for a moment so I might educate you on matters concerning our legal system; beginning with how to break it.’
‘I’m not going to deny it’ retorted Steven, Jeremiah realising it was hopeless to even try and coach his client as the two of them returned to the table. ‘And you know what,’ continued Steven, ‘I have the single most perfect and legitimate excuse for doing so as well. Mr. Bradley Cooper slept with my sweet baby sister.’
‘Define slept,’ said Michael.
‘What do you mean?’ asked Steven with a dumbfounded expression.
‘I mean it’s a very loose term,’ stated Michael, ‘and leaves room for speculation.’
‘He knows damn well what I mean by that!’ roared Steven, menacingly staring at Bradley as he spoke. ‘He was in her bed and he was in her, you know! Do I really have to say? This is all very disconcerting!’
‘So, sex’ said Michael, ‘yes?’
‘What do you think I’m talking about here, you stupid old fart!’ exploded Steven.
‘Really?’ asked Jeremiah, his eyes lighting up with interest. ‘What was she like?’
‘She certainly wasn’t how Steven described her’ stated Bradley. ‘She was like a wild fucking animal! All of this panting and growling and clawing. We went at it for hours.’
‘I bet the hounds would have been after her,’ smiled Michael.
‘Yeah,’ nodded Bradley, ‘the hounds of the Baskervilles.’
‘What?’ spluttered Michael as those on the other side of the table looked at him peculiarly. ‘Mrs. York apparently took a vow of abstinence when I wasn’t looking so I have to take my action where I can get it…’
Steven cleared his throat, in a failed attempt to garner the attention of the others in the room, continuing to explain his actions regardless. ‘I clearly remember the day it happened too. A couple of days before I destroyed his lawn he came over to my place and met my sister for the first time in years. She had been residing in Brisbane studying at an arts college. I remember his pick up line too,’ expressed Steven as the moment played out in his mind, remembering back to a time when he and Bradley were not bitter rivals.
It was several months earlier, with a gorgeous sunshine descending across the grounds. Steven opened his front door after hearing the doorbell and was instantly thrown a plate of blueberry pudding.
‘My mother baked them,’ noted Bradley as Steven allowed him entrance into his humble abode. ‘Ever since I kicked her arse into an institution she has been making this,’ he said, looking a little disgusted.
The landing was constructed of wood, with stairs opposite leading to the higher levels. The living room was adjacent to the landing, which was where an old creaking arm chair was placed in the corner containing the body of Steven’s decrepit, lifeless, snoring, burping, farting grandfather whom nobody wanted to go near.
‘Why are you here Cooper?’ asked Steven.
‘Can’t a friend visit every now and then?’ retaliated Bradley with a smile.
‘Not if this friend is intending to steal secrets about what I am planning on doing this year to win the lawn of the year award,’ retorted Steven.
‘The day I take advice on lawns from you will be a sad day indeed,’ said Bradley, leaning up against the door frame.
A creaking on the stairs alerted Bradley to another presence in the house. Jeanette, Steven’s sister, was making her way down the staircase. She had long, light brown coloured hair with blue eyes that shone out like street lamps. She wore a pale violet dress that clung to her body and jet black knee high boots.
‘Wow, fancy seeing you here,’ said Bradley with a smirk.
‘I live here you twerp,’ shot back Steven’s sister as the two of them smiled at one another.
Steven instantly recognised that something very wrong was happening in the house he currently resided in. Or was it an opportunity?
Returning to reality, Steven had a look of pain spread across his features. ‘Bradley found her impossible to resist because she has the body of an hour glass.’
‘I’m sure many women would love to be shaped that way,’ exclaimed Jeremiah. ‘I know my wife would especially. Unfortunately for me she happens to be shaped like a pear.’
Steven stared at Bradley wickedly. ‘What you two had in common – remains a mystery’ he said. ‘Bradley has always preferred women who were made from sugar and spice and my sister is quite the opposite. For one, she burps.’
‘She burps?’ questioned Michael with a weird expression.
‘Yeah,’ nodded Steven. ‘When our car broke down in Darwin she got out behind it and burped it across five states.’
‘Seriously?’ asked Michael.
‘All the best stories require a little exaggeration’ shot back Steven with an annoyed look. He shook his head before progressing onward. ‘But what really shakes me up is that he simply used her. I mean, if he wanted some smelly snatch he could have gone anywhere in town, but no, he chose my house to conduct his malicious sexual desires.’
‘For a man who went to so much trouble to defend his sister’s honor you saw have a funny way of showing your affection for her,’ said Michael, looking rather unimpressed at the terminology that Steven had used. ‘You seem like quite the chauvinistic misogynist.’
‘Well shit old timer!’ cried Steven. ‘Perhaps I should watch my fucking language? It’s not like that worm of a man inserted himself into your sister!’ he roared, pointing a finger in Bradley’s direction, ‘so excuse me if I am a little fucking infuriated right now!’ He took a deep breath as to calm himself down before beginning to speak once more. ‘On top of that I don’t know what my sister saw in him. I’d always given her credit where it was due and believed her to have sufficient intellectual capabilities. She told me Mr. Cooper had informed her that her presence helped open a window to his soul. Well, I can tell you I once looked through that window, and screamed at him to close the blinds.’
‘I don’t see why I have to be humiliated by this man!’ shouted Bradley, ‘besides, how did you find out about any of this in the first place?’
‘How do you think?’ retorted Steven. ‘My sister and I don’t keep secrets from one another. She told me all about how you firstly couldn’t get it up, and then how you couldn’t get it in.’
‘That is a blasphemy!’ erupted Bradley. ‘Just because I took his sister’s virginity!’
‘You did what?’ cried an astounded Steven, ‘oh you mother fucker!’ he shouted, launching himself across the table before Jeremiah could contain him. Steven grabbed hold of Bradley’s hair, who struggled to be free from his grip. ‘That’s just great!’ shouted an out of control Steven as he ripped at Bradley’s hair with all his might. ‘Not only does her vagina have to be fumigated because you decided to desecrate it with your filth, but you were the first one to give her the snake. Terrific! She’ll be remembering you until the next friggin’ apocalypse!’ he cried, just as a great ripping sound echoed about the room and Bradley’s hair came off in his hands.
‘Oh my fucking God!’ shouted Bradley as he felt the naked flesh atop his head. ‘First my lawn now my toupee! Give it back to me you bastard!’
‘Never!’ shouted Steven, jumping back to his side of the table.
‘Release the hat back to its owner,’ said Jeremiah to his client through pursed lips. ‘Male baldness is no laughing matter. After you do so, perhaps we might continue this ridiculous mediation.’
‘Oh, I’ll release it!’ shouted Steven, spit flying out in all directions, ‘I’ll release it into the fucking atmosphere! Would you like that?’ he laughed in Bradley’s direction.
‘Hey!’ shouted Bradley, ‘you sent your sister over to my place to spy on me in your last desperate attempt to win the lawn of the year award! You used her to get to me, and then you complain when we fall in love?’
‘Fall in love?’ roared Steven. ‘What the hell are you on chrome dome! I sincerely doubt the feeling was mutual baldy.’
‘You should have been there on our first night together,’ said Bradley with a smile plastered across his lips. ‘I made love to her smack bang in the centre of my lawn in front of an audience of several dozen gnomes.’
‘I don’t think we needed to hear that,’ stated Michael.
‘You are sick!’ roared Steven. ‘Who has sex with gnomes?’
‘I said we did it in front of gnomes!’ retorted Bradley. ‘Besides, I don’t know why you are complaining. Your sister is a consenting adult. She was nineteen at the time! I thought she would have seen a million of ‘em by then!’ he said, looking down at his crotch as he spoke. ‘Besides, you should have known what I did to her if she indeed tells you everything!’
‘She had a boyfriend up in Brisbane!’ roared Steven. ‘I thought she would have played doctor with him.’
‘I guess she wasn’t your prized informant after all!’ said Bradley, stifling a smile.
‘Just because of that,’ said Steven angrily, ‘you’re not getting this back now’ he said, shaking the orange hair hat in Bradley’s face before thrusting it into his pocket.
‘Well,’ began Jeremiah, halting the fight as to continue the legal proceedings. ‘I personally concur that this particular occurrence, along with my client’s testimony regarding the events which took place is a sufficient excuse to explain his actions, malicious or otherwise.’
‘What?’ roared Bradley angrily. ‘But what about justice? That is what I want.’
‘Mr. Cooper believes that Mr. Carnes should reimburse him twenty- five thousand dollars for the pain and destruction he has so wrongly caused him,’ expressed Michael.
‘No,’ said Jeremiah with a shake of his head.
‘Okay, how about twenty grand,’ said Bradley, receiving the same answer.
‘Fifteen thousand?’ enquired a desperate Bradley.
‘No,’ replied Jeremiah once more.
‘Ten thousand?’ asked Bradley, his face beginning to droop.
‘Not on your life,’ explained Jeremiah.
‘Okay, I can go as low as a grand, but that is it,’ said Bradley.
‘No,’ restated Jeremiah, his arms clasped over his chest.
‘Not even nine hundred dollars?’ probed Bradley, grasping at straws.
‘No, not even nine hundred dollars,’ replied Jeremiah in an unchanged, unemotionally zealous tone.
‘Eight hundred dollars?’ pleaded Bradley.
‘No,’ shot back Jeremiah.
‘Five hundred?’ questioned Bradley, his hands clasped together as though he were about to pray.
‘Not in this life time,’ exclaimed Jeremiah as Steven smiled menacingly beside him.
‘One hundred?’ asked Bradley.
‘What did we just say?’ retorted Jeremiah with a chuckle.
‘Okay, how about fifty. Fifty dollars?’ cried Bradley, realising his chance to be reimbursed for his losses was slowly dissipating.
‘Not going to happen,’ said Jeremiah.
‘Twenty?’ asked Bradley.
‘Nope,’ replied Jeremiah.
‘Ten?’ cried Bradley, with what looked to be a tear making its way out from the corner of his eye.
‘Not today,’ said Jeremiah with a smile, knowing full well he had won.
‘Okay, how about four dollars and fifty cents for the train ride home?’ questioned Bradley.
Jeremiah nodded. ‘Sure, we could do that.’
Hey guys! This particular piece is a short story I am working on for one of my university classes. It has been previously workshopped by both my tutor and fellow students alike and I would very much like to know your opinions. If you believe there are any editorial issues, grammatical errors or general sentence concerns, et al, please notify me and I will gladly take them all into consideration before I am to submit the finalised piece in three weeks time. Thank you!
People say that a person can eventually move on after losing someone they love. It has been ten years since I lost Katarina and I never have. Today is the anniversary of her death and I cannot help but reminisce on what could have been, for the day I lost my girlfriend, is the day that I too died, for I’d hardly say I’m alive when I feel so dead inside.
The rain was the heaviest I had ever seen. The headlights on our vehicle barely managed to reveal anything that night, the entire highway more like an endless tunnel than a road. The heating in the car could barely keep out the cold; our breath was coming out before us in clouds as the two of us shivered. Even my favourite dark brown leather jacket was unable to contain my warmth.
‘I can’t believe we chose this night to celebrate my birthday,’ sighed Katarina in her natural, high pitched accent. Because English was not her first language, she often spoke slowly to avoid mixing up her words. She wore the jet black jacket I had bought her two Christmases earlier. The collar was beginning to fray as she must have worn this a hundred times or more. Can’t believe she couldn’t wear something else on her special day. Her dark brown hair hung down to her shoulders, her naturally pink lips stood out on her ghostly white complexion, her brown eyes watching the rain droplets move across the windscreen.
God, I realise I must sound like a love struck teenager on her first date, but you must understand something. For us, every date was like our first because we would always discover something new, and every time we made love it was as though we had never explored our bodies before. Every second of our time together was divine, well, most of it.
‘It’s just a little rain, it’ll dry,’ I reassured her, pulling one hand away from the steering wheel and rubbing her freezing cold hands. I saw my reflection out from the corner of my eye in the rear-view mirror. My dark hair was tied back in a green hair tie, which, according to Katarina, perfectly matched my eyes. My lips were stained with dull red lipstick, whilst blue mascara lined my eyes. ‘You’d better button up Kat,’ I noted
She smiled back at me. ‘I’ll be fine. The cold has little effect on me.’
‘I hope you don’t expect me to care for you when you’re all sick and disgusting,’ I retorted.
‘Shut up,’ snorted Katrina. ‘I cared for you when you had pneumonia; took time off work and everything so I’d expect you to do the same for me.’ She folded her arms across her chest and looked out the window once more. ‘I only hope we get there before this storm gets any worse.’ Her eyes no longer sparkled like they so often did.
I could feel Katarina’s emotion as though it were my own. ‘We’ll get there eventually,’ I promised.
‘If anyone else said this I would be unsure,’ stated Katarina, turning to face me. ‘But because it’s you Aryah, I’d believe anything,’ she giggled. We stared into each other’s eyes, neither of us noticing the van veering onto the wrong side of the road until its blinding headlights collided with our own.
It is said that a person always remembers their first kiss, or, more accurately, the person who first kisses them. Funnily enough, I don’t, I only remember Katarina. Our first chance encounter was anything but normal: she stole my car.
At the time she had been working as a journalist and I as a public relations manager. I was hired to facilitate an agreement with two rival companies who wanted to merge into one. Apparently the idea of acquiring more money was enough for them to set their differences aside to work co-operatively towards mutual goals. Katarina had been asked by her boss to write an investigative article on the merger, but had unfortunately been denied access. For the best I would presume. I left the merger almost immediately after it began. I know, I know, how unprofessional of me! But I personally felt as though my talents had been squandered. I guess I was simply unable to listen to a gaggle of grown men strutting around talking shop. On the drive back to my hotel I received a phone call and only took my eyes off the road for a second when I hit something. I slowed down to retrieve my phone so I was glad that when the collision occurred, Katarina, the victim of my bad driving was not terribly injured. Apparently Katarina had never received her driver’s licence despite taking the test a few times and was forced instead to use alternate means of travel – in this case a bike – which unfortunately bore the brunt of my vehicle’s bonnet. I did try to apologise, I swear! However Katarina was in a state of shock and would not hear any of it. This led to frustration and eventually anger, which led to her kicking me in the shin. She just so happened to be wearing metal toe capped boots, so you can imagine the pain I was in; it was probably more than what I had inflicted upon her. After I fell to the ground she looked me up and down, jumped into my car and drove off. She did leave me the twisted carcass that was once her bike, which was awfully kind of her.
Luckily for me, her inability to drive led to her arrest. According to the patrol officer, he found it a touch odd when he recovered my purse and driver’s licence on her person, stating how I had apparently changed in ‘height, weight and appearance.’ Katarina had replied with ‘shit happens,’ and shrugged at his remark. She always was bold and her mouth almost always got her into trouble. I think it was this trait of hers that I first fell in love with. The officer, as strange as it might seem, decided to drop all charges, believing that we had paid each other back in full.
However, this chance meeting progressed into a friendship, which in turn became something else. This might have been because we couldn’t keep our hands to ourselves – probably because we were always fighting, and when we weren’t, well, we’ll get to that.
Katarina’s apartment at the time was in no way the definition of cleanliness; the floor was her wardrobe and the bed was her bathroom cupboard. We had decided to test our wits at a game of poker on this particular stormy night, and neither of us wanted to brave the weather to get a good night’s supper. However, the game seemed to be one sided. I was left in the bedroom to set out the cards across the bed, whilst Katarina was inside the bathroom, the door just open a crack, enough for me to see her shadow skirting the walls as she busily went about her post-shower business.
‘How long does it take to get ready?’ I shouted.
‘Patience Aryah!’ shot back Katarina in return. ‘You shouldn’t be so eager to charge headstrong into the fight. I always win you know.’
‘Do you now?’ I asked with a sly grin.
‘I am known for being quite vicious,’ she replied. ‘I take what I want and I always play for keeps.’
‘You sound as though you do this often,’ I commented.
‘Only when there is something worth fighting for,’ replied Katarina.
‘Is that why you are getting all pampered up in there?’ I asked. ‘Are you gearing up for battle, or do you have a hot date planned after this?’
‘Don’t know’ said Katarina in reply, ‘depends if she’s interested.’
Little did Katarina know I had already left the bed, quietly navigated the room and opened the bathroom door to find her standing before the mirror in her fluffy white towel, drenched with the water continuing to drip from her body. ‘Oh, she’s interested’ I replied as I wrapped my arms around her and planted my lips to hers as she did the same to mine.
A second later I had slipped the bath towel away from her body and let it fall to the tiles. Words could not begin to describe the flawless sight that befell my eyes and it would be an insult to even try.
It was not long after I had pushed Katarina up against the bathroom wall that she had pushed me back as well, forcing me once more into the bedroom where we found ourselves a couple of feet short of the bed, her clothes cushioning the fall as we fell on top of one another onto the floor, giggling as we did so.
Katarina pinned me to the ground before tearing ravenously at my clothes, a number of buttons coming loose in the process as my shirt was thrown to the side. With that, she came down upon me like a tidal wave, ever so slowly nibbling her way down my front, not daring to stop until she reached my clitoris. From where she lay her head, Katarina smiled up at me, before taking me into her mouth, a spasm of ecstasy rushing through my veins. Mind, heart, body; I was entirely hers and she mine, and nothing but the steel of an out of control vehicle would ever separate us from one another.
Pain was the first thing I felt upon waking in the hospital ICU, the flashbacks which had comforted me disappearing into the room. My arm was broken, my face badly bruised and my lips swollen from the airbag (deploying in front of me), a deep gash cut into the left side of my face from where my head connected with the side window. Only three of my ribs were fractured and yet all of them ached unanimously. The ramblings of the doctor meant nothing to me, for all I cared about, all I would ever care about, was lying a few rooms down from me.
I was allowed the privilege of seeing Katarina almost immediately. The walk to her room felt like an eternity and although Katarina looked nothing like I remembered, my feelings for her were unchanged.
She was lying back in bed, a great portion of her body having received terrible injuries during the crash. Her right leg was elevated and in a sling, being fractured in several places. Five of her ribs were broken, her left arm being wrenched from its socket whilst her right wrist, along with several fingers, were broken. Her face had been battered, a significant portion of her cheeks and nose being caved in from the smash. This of course was just the physical damage, the doctors warning me of the severe internal injuries.
At present it seemed that Katarina was in no position for any further surgery and the medicos were planning to wait for a good eighteen hours before they attempted any further procedures. Despite all this, Katarina was conscious, fighting the twilight that was creeping up around her.
‘Hey,’ she managed upon my entry as I grimaced when sitting down beside her. ‘I’m glad to see you were not badly injured.’
‘Tell that to the rest of me,’ I replied, attempting to keep up appearances as I ran my free hand through her hair. ‘The doctors say you are going to make a full recovery,’ I said as Katarina smiled weakly at me.
‘I’m a journalist, remember,’ she stated, her lips barely moving. ‘My job is to search for the truth; don’t start lying to me now.’
‘I’ll try to keep that in mind,’ I noted, maintaining eye contact as I did so, a tear running down my cheek.
‘Please,’ said Katarina. ‘I don’t want you to remember this as anything but a happy moment.’
‘How can that be when the woman that I love lies before me in critical condition?’ I asked. ‘Besides, how do you know that this is not a tear of joy? I was not lying when I told you that you may very well pull through, because there is still every chance. You are a fighter Katarina and I don’t want you to give up in the moment when you need to fight harder than you ever have before.’
‘You know as well as I that’s not true,’ replied Katarina out from the corner of her mouth.
‘Don’t talk like that,’ I sobbed, gripping her hand with mine as she winced from the pain, but continued to hold on regardless.
‘We’ve shared in a lot of adventures,’ she said with a smile as though recalling every one of them with those words. ‘But I won’t be coming with you this time.’
‘What?’ I spluttered as tears continued to well up in my eyes, yet Katarina continued to remain strong, although even she was having trouble trying to keep her emotions in check. ‘No,’ I retorted, ‘we-we stay together. I should have watched where I was driving. I was supposed to take care of you.’
‘No,’ replied Katarina with a sigh. ‘We were supposed to take care of each other. Don’t ever blame yourself and don’t stop living because of me. I’ve been strong enough for both of us, but now you must be strong enough for yourself.’ Katarina swallowed before continuing slowly once more. ‘Who knows, if there’s a bar up there or something I’ll save a seat for you and I’ll look down on you from time to time. You will never be alone and no matter what, I will always lo-’
In that moment, Katarina slipped into unconsciousness. She never spoke again. I remained with her until the monitors around us came to life with the sound of raucous beeping, and just like that she was gone.
SYNOPSIS: Nat Banyon, a man who has been away from his home by the shoreline for several months now returns in the hopes of being reunited with his friends and loved ones and to return to the same exact life that he left.
Warning: There is a weak sex scene in this, but still, a weak sex scene is a sex scene all the same, so viewer discretion should be advised.
The nurse gently pushed me out through the doors and into the light of the sun, the wheelchair bumping along the stairs before reaching the concrete tiles below. Trees rustled around me whilst the wind licked eagerly at their leaves. Numerous vehicles could be seen driving by on the road before me, the bus pulling up in front of the curb. It was a terrific yellow in colour that perfectly matched the sun above, whilst at the same time I grimaced as the nurse unbuckled the strap across my waist.
‘Now you take it easy Nat’ said the nurse, her short blonde hair blowing across her face. ‘That was a nasty hit you took son. We don’t want you back here anytime soon.’ She pushed the hair out from her eyes, revealing the small freckles that were placed evenly across her cheeks.
‘Don’t worry Jody, I won’t need anybody to hold my hand where I’m going’ I said with a smile. ‘Home is where the heart is, that is what they say and I know mine like the back of my hand.’ I smiled to myself before becoming deadly serious once more. ‘I am going to miss you though. You and the rest of the staff’
‘That’s sweet Nat’ said Jody, pointing in the direction of my transport. ‘Hurry along now, or you’ll miss your bus.’
With one last smile I made my way from the wheelchair with my small bag of belongings and up the steps into the interior of the bus. I walked to the back where there was still plenty of space, the trip home giving me the chance to think over all that had happened thus far to make me land in this situation.
Nat Banyon’s the name. I have jet black hair that seems rather irregular for somebody who grew up living on the beach as the generalisation is that every such person like me has to have hair that is light in colour. I have dark brown eyes that look like the coral that is found down on the ocean’s surface and a face and body that has basically been crafted by the ocean.
I originally came from a beach up north, which is where I was headed back to now. Surfing had been my life and Chloe Rivers, the most beautiful girl in school had been my life’s passion. Yet in life there was always competition and in my case it came in the shape of Tyrese Lowman. Not only did he want to be the best surfer, but he wanted my girl as well. That bastard!
Long story short, I wanted to put him in his place and so, we raced. Problem was, not everything went according to plan. On the final wave that would have undoubtedly made me look incredibly awesome in comparison to Tyrese, I was flipped over on my board by an unsuspecting freak wave, slamming my head on a gargantuan rock sticking out of the drink. I don’t remember what happened next, or how the race turned out. All that springs to mind is my body lying on the beach, seaweed in my hair and the bitter taste of salt in my mouth. I didn’t know anything; not my name, not my social security number, but worse of all, I didn’t know Chloe. This alternate version of me was bloody ridiculous in comparison to the original Nat.
Suddenly out of the blue this lime green hippie van pulls out of nowhere and suddenly I’m riding with them. I know it sounds out of this world, but when you’ve no memory the first thing that occurs to you feels like it was the kind of thing you were doing your entire life. I should be glad it wasn’t the manure truck that showed up. Anyway, I end up in their band, lead guitarist and later even background vocals, singing songs about how we hated surfers and loved trees, but especially about sex. Actually, come to think of it, that’s probably what all the lyrics were about really.
I wasn’t very good at singing, but hey, nobody heard me over the blare of the other instruments. Besides, most people came to check out the lead singer, Wynona, this Goth wannabe constantly dressed in black, half her face covered by a unicorn tattoo. Unbeknown to any of the spectators though, she was with me. I know, it sounds terrible, but since I had no memory of Chloe, Wynona seemed like the perfect girl. Now that I think about it though, it scares the crap out of me.
Yet, she was always there though, Chloe. She came to nearly every concert, presumably waiting for my memory to return. She once came up to talk to me, but I shut her down, saying ‘go away surfer chick, we don’t want you here.’ It was later that I came to realise how I had hurt Chloe, after my memory was restored. Well, to an extent anyway.
During this guitar solo this glass bottle is thrown at the stage and hits me square in the head. A few minutes later after the grogginess begins to dissipate, I open my eyes and see Chloe leaning over me. ‘Surfer chick’ I say.
‘Surfer dude’ she replies, the two of us embracing one another.
Anyhow, afterwards I check myself into this hospital to get my memory back and to ensure there is no permanent damage to my brain from the injuries I sustained. Then, I’m sprung free and on my way back to civilisation. I only hope it’s the way I left it. I told Chloe not to visit me. I didn’t want her to see me until I was one hundred per cent once more. God, I bet she looks great!
Upon stepping off the bus and onto the pavement of the town I called home I instantly felt a sense of calm, everything appearing to be exactly the same as I had left it. The stores had not moved out, the fashion had remained the same and even the smell of beach side orange juice and surfer’s gel clung to the air as I smiled to myself before making my way up the street, bag slung over my right shoulder.
I quickly found myself at the local surf store located beside the beach, the gentle pounding of the waves drifting over to where I stood. It sounded as though the ocean was beckoning me back into Poseidon’s graces once more, as though I had never actually left.
My eyes wandered through the maze of necessary surf utensils to the counter where Chloe currently stood, resting her arms on the cabinets beneath her. As predicted, she looked spectacular. Her long blonde hair drifted across the counter, shining under the fluorescent lighting above. Her blue eyes glittered like icicles; her lips moist like the ocean itself; her radiant skin looking like a paradise waiting to be explored. She wore a short red shirt, her black bikini visible beneath it, whilst her brief denim shorts stuck to her body like glue. Looking up she saw me, a smile appearing on her face.
Before I had a chance to move however Tyrese appeared behind her, a dark scowl descending across his features. His tanned skin looked like barren rock under the flare of the lighting, his face resembling that of a caged gorilla. As always he had his shirt unbuttoned at the top to allow ladies to see his three chest hairs. Nothing had changed. He had done the exact same thing back in high school.
Luckily enough though it appeared Chloe was still my one and only girl. God, I just wanted Chloe to throw her legs around my waist so I could rush her over to my place and show her over the course of a few good hours my feelings for her had not changed in the months I’d being away.
I slowly walked over to her, wrapping my arms around her waist whilst staring at Tyrese who looked as though he had something on his mind.
‘Glad you could make it Nat’ he said in a deep, throaty voice. ‘We were all hoping you’d arrive in time for the annual surfing competition tomorrow.’
Chloe looked at me as though she were trying to warn me about the repercussions of my last surf championship.
‘But I’d understand if you’re not man enough to go through with it’ guffawed Tyrese.
‘No’ I grunted suddenly, Chloe appearing surprised, pulling away. ‘I’ll be fine.’
Noticing the signup sheet on the counter I picked up the biro and scrawled my signature amidst all the other wannabe surfing champions. ‘While I was away I spent a gargantuan period of time swimming in the gymnasium pool. I’m ready for a real challenge.’
‘Glad you didn’t lose your reckless attitude when you lost your mind’ grunted Tyrese, ‘see you tomorrow.’
Chloe shook her head as Tyrese walked away, before ushering me out of the store and in the direction of my place.
Upon arriving home Chloe mentioned that she had cleaned my place on a weekly basis since I had left in preparation for my heroic return. She appeared to be doing her best to keep her fears of tomorrow at bay and I did my best not to bring them up. When Chloe went to hug me once more she quickly pulled away after getting a whiff of my clothing. I smelt clean and fresh, whilst she smelt of the ocean. It was absolutely irresistible.
She loathed the hospital smell that lingered in my clothing and insisted on me ripping them off, removing most of the garments herself before rushing me into the shower and turning on the pressure as high as the aging taps would allow, the cold water drenching me from head to toe. It was like a full de-tox, any of the old which had been orchestrated by the knocks to the head being irreparably erased in a single moment in time as I felt the same old me beginning to come back to true form.
As the water ran through my hair and across my body I heard the creaking sound of the shower door opening once more. Chloe slowly clambered inside before closing the door behind her, her naked body joining mine in the midst of the moist arena surrounding us. Her breasts gently rocked from side to side, whilst her hair covered up her nipples which I slowly but surely removed before caressing that particular part of her body. She pushed her flawless body up against me as I felt a part of my body beginning to grow considerably hard as I dragged her face closer to mine before kissing passionately in the confines of the shower. Our mouths filled with both the water from the taps and the salvia from our mouths as I sucked gently upon her tongue, Chloe doing the same thing to mine. She pushed up against me once more and I felt myself beginning to enter her, such an exhilarating experience I had wanted to have happen again since the moment I had arrived in hospital, the mist from the warm water that began to make its way through the taps banning all from seeing inside.
The next day came so fast I barely had time to catch my breath before I suddenly found myself on the beach only minutes before my final showdown with Tyrese.
‘I hope you haven’t lost that fire which made you such a challenging opponent’ he grunted.
‘Not a chance of that ever occurring mate’ I said, ‘not in this lifetime anyway.’
It was a few seconds later after a rush of cool air washed over me that Tyrese said ‘I married Chloe.’
I stood flabbergasted at such words, my mouth opening before I closed it abruptly, unable to believe such a sentence. I was surprised that if it were true why Chloe had not informed me.
‘You’re lying’ I said.
‘Yeah’ said Tyrese. ‘But you know that I would have. If she had let me I mean. You know that I love her, just as you do. So I was thinking we could make this race a little more interesting, just between the two of us. The winner not only gets the respect of the crowd, but wins the heart of Chloe Rivers. The loser packs up his crap and leaves town, forever; which is exactly what you should have done in the first place.’
I shook my head. This was preposterous. I knew instantly there was no way I was ever going to agree to such lunacy, even if he was playing off my massive ego which came with professional surfer territory. There was no way I was going to risk the love of Chloe over some competition that I had already won numerous occasions before. Looking up into Tyrese’s face I smiled, pitying him for such desperate methods. I knew exactly what mattered in life and winning some surf competition was not one of them as I looked into the crowd, my eyes landing directly on Chloe, before I grinned in satisfaction.
‘I forfeit’ I said, turning around to Tyrese before beginning to leave the arena in exchange for a life with the girl of my dreams. Had I made the right choice?
SYNOPSIS: Looks over a day in the life of two friends and the separate lives they live, and how everything could have turned out differently if but not for one single event.
This piece contains very explicit coarse language, sexual references and some disturbing themes.
I opened my eyes, the sun bathing my room in a vast ocean of light. Music posters lined the walls and used clothes were scattered randomly across the floor. I jerked the sheets from under me, my body crying out for rest. A sudden sexualised feeling came over me as I pulled down my pants. Grabbing hold of my growing penis I quickly began to masturbate, the feeling being extraordinarily intense as I groaned in pleasure.
To aid in the erection I thought of Ophelia, her body being both luscious and fantastical. Her permed blonde hair billowed across her face, her brilliant turquoise eyes staring back at me; her wet lips looking as moist as ever. Her tight jeans reflected her magnificent legs and fantastically formed arse; her short top revealing the snake tattoo imbedded permanently around her belly button.
I breathed a sigh of relief, semen rushing out from the tip of my penis, successfully accomplishing my erotic morning entertainment. Taking a deep breath, I pulled myself out of bed, dressing myself in appropriate casual wear for my university classes. Hurrying down the stairs to the kitchen, I gulped down my breakfast, bidding farewell my parents before briskly walking down to the train station.
Upon arriving, I wiped the sweat from my face as I stood with the other commuters, impatiently awaiting the train which was already three minutes late. My mind spontaneously turned to Camellia and as I thought of her I believed I saw her on the other side of the tracks as the train finally arrived. I clearly remembered what she had told me on her deathbed at the hospital that fateful night; two tubes connected to her nose, her bloodied appearance being far too overwhelming to believe. ‘I don’t care what it is you believe’ Camellia had said. ‘Just believe in her’ she managed, gesturing at Ophelia, before collapsing back into the bed.
It was these words that prevented me from being with Ophelia. She was beautiful, yes, but her beauty was simply to be admired, not taken advantage of. Besides, she didn’t see anything in me.
Escaping my delusional fantasy I boarded the train, the doors closing behind me.
I sat at the back of the psychology class; the lecturer arriving as I eagerly awaited for Ophelia. Upon arrival she looked exactly as I had imagined her in my wet dream as she sat beside me. Under the light, the piercings in her face were clearly visible, shining beautifully under the fluorescence.
‘Did I miss much?’ asked Ophelia, sounding a little out of breath.
‘No, it’s all bullshit anyway’, I grunted with a smirk which Ophelia returned.
‘Donald’s getting worse’ she finally said, looking a little afraid. ‘He hates me, I know it.’
‘Your father doesn’t hate you’ I shot back reassuringly. ‘Camellia’s death has been difficult for both of you. He is trying to cope with it, just as you are. All of these tattoos and piercings are your way of attempting to find yourself after such an ordeal.’
Ophelia sniffed as she took out her purse, opening it up to reveal an image of her and Camellia, the two of them looking exactly alike. With the exception that Camellia had a pink fluffy pair of rabbit ears atop her head. The image beside this was from their childhood. A skinny man sat in the centre, his broad smile being the most prominent feature. Seated on his lap were both his children, Ophelia wearing the rabbit ears in this photo.
‘It’s amazing how much things can change’ said Ophelia sadly as the lecturer interrupted our thoughts.
‘Happiness is one of the most powerful emotions of all. Go ahead, see how it feels by complimenting the person sitting beside you’ he said, as I rolled my eyes.
Ophelia turned to face me, looking deadly serious. ‘You’re a nice person’ I said awkwardly as Ophelia sniggered. I awaited my compliment, but before she had given it the lecturer began talking again, Ophelia becoming quite distant after that.
Sitting atop my bed in the late afternoon sun, my mind turned to Ophelia, believing she may have needed a little tenderness. Picking up the phone from my desk, I dialed the digits for her home phone, her mobile having being confiscated by her father after the tragic incident which claimed the life of his daughter. The phone rang continuously as I thought of hanging up, just as Donald’s pre-recorded voice came over the receiver.
‘Those fucking rabbit ears!’ he roared. ‘I can’t fucking stand them! They’re everywhere! I can’t remove them from my mind! Oh, but I will by fucken destroying the little fuckers!’ he cried out deviously, the line instantly going dead. Frozen in fear, I leapt from the bed and hurried out the door, racing towards Ophelia’s, fearing for her life as I traversed the darkening streets, sad and alone.
Upon arrival I sensed something was amiss. The entire house was pitch black, not a single trace of life originating from its eerie interior. I shuddered to myself as I navigated the disturbingly unkempt lawn, knocking on the wooden door which instantly swung open. I slowly walked on through, making my way into the lounge room tripping over something on the floor. As this occurred I threw out my hands to stop myself from falling, the carpet feeling drenched. I reached for the light and flicked it on, reeling at what I saw.
Donald lay on the floor, a revolver in his left hand. His entire body was covered in blood, the walls and floors the same. His head no longer looked like it once had, appearing to have being blown off by the gun blast as I found myself hyperventilating. What had Donald done? I ran for Ophelia’s room, which was completely vacant, hurrying back before pausing at the entrance of the bathroom, noticing some form of liquid on the floor. Turning on the light I felt my entire body sag, finding the floor covered in blood, hurrying for the bath where a body was located. I heard a whimpering from inside me as I threw my hands around Ophelia, her body having bled out from having each of her piercings and tattoos removed with a number of sharp instruments covering the floor. What had her father done I wondered, the word ‘no!’ escaping my lips, as I sobbed into her hair, feeling immense guilt for never revealing to her how I felt.
I awoke to Donald screaming. I quickly dressed and applied make-up, not wishing to further aggravate him as he appeared at my door.
‘What? Still not dressed you lazy cunt?’ he cried, holding a bottle of liqueur in his hands which he quickly finished, throwing it in my direction.
I ducked, the bottle shattering as it connected with the wall, pieces of glass flying across the room as Donald continued down the hall howling insanities. I noticed the rose tattoo on my leg and the piercings in my belly as I pulled up my jeans, grabbed my bag and hurried down the hall. I stopped outside my sister’s room where a pair of rabbit ears was placed atop a pedestal, an image of both of us smiling under it; one of our better moments. Avoiding my father, I raced out the door and hurried towards the bus that would take me to university.
I briskly walked into class and made my way over to Jared. Like always, he looked incredibly handsome as I sat beside him and began to quietly make conversation, beginning to feel life returning to my body once more. Upon mentioning the intense loathing my supposed father had for me, Jared burst into his usual sensitive drivel about how the both of us were attempting to find ourselves. I guess he didn’t realise that I had; I was exactly who I was meant to be.
Of all the people in the world I wished he would be the one to notice that as the lecturer before us broke through my thoughts, instructing us to complement one another.
I smiled, turning to Jared who looked a little taken aback as he turned to face me, his beautiful brown eyes looking directly into mine.
‘You’re a nice person’ he finally said, the words cutting through me like knives as I sniggered, attempting to hide the pain.
What I would have given to hear him tell me I was beautiful. To hear him say that he loved me, so much so in fact that he wished to take me outside and physically express it through non-stop frenetic, sexualised orgasmic activity. But no, he had completely rejected me as I became more and more distant from him with every second.
I lay on my bed that afternoon sobbing into my pillow, my black mascara running across my face. God I must have looked so pathetic, crying over some boy who I had had feelings for since the moment we had met. Donald’s sudden screaming brought me out of my stupor as I slowly made my way down the hall, finding him in the lounge room with the phone in one hand and a revolver in the other.
‘What the fuck are you looking at?’ he cried, brandishing the weapon at me as I backed away fearfully. ‘I have had it with the fucking rabbit ears and now, I remove them from my consciousness!’ Putting the gun to his head, he pulled the trigger. The effect was instantaneous. His head was completely mangled on impact, flakes of bloody facial tissue flying across the room, covering the walls as his body fell to the ground.
‘Well, it was bound to happen eventually’ I told myself, feeling a mixture of fear and contempt. Making my way to the bathroom I began to cry, tears streaming down my face, my entire body shaking. I thought of calling the police, but I knew deep down I was partly responsible for what had happened. Switching on the bathroom light I looked at my face in the mirror, before puking in the toilet bowel, wiping my face on a paper towel and staring back at my reflection. Neither Jared nor my father believed I was beautiful and if my sister were alive she too would have felt the same way. I looked at my reflection and saw a freak.
Loathed, rejected. I needed to be beautiful again.
I opened up the bathroom cabinet and pulled out a pair of tweezers, placing them on either side of my nose ring before ripping it out, blood flying across the mirror. The pain was excruciating, but I had to continue. I would not stop until I was beautiful once more, reaching my hand back into the cabinet and taking out a scalpel.
Lying in the bath, blood flowing around me, I lost consciousness, feeling contempt that I had achieved true beauty. I heard a door open, before hearing a cry of pain; noticing the shape of a person running to my side and embracing me. And as death took me, my last thoughts were of my sister.
She sat in the driver’s seat, the rain battering the windows on the dark, stormy night, the lights of passing motorists flying by.
‘Might I be able to borrow the rabbit ears?’ I asked from the passenger seat. She snorted.
‘No. They were mothers’. She would have wanted me to have them, especially since you killed her from being born last.’
I knew my sister was still affected by the booze we had over indulged on at the party, but I did not deserve such harsh treatment. ‘How can you say that to me?’ I cried.
‘Oh, fuck you!’ retorted Camellia as I felt an intense rage within me.
‘You know what Camellia, why don’t you just fucking die!’ I shouted as the truck came out of the shadows and plowed into us.
SYNOPSIS: Christos, a young man who recently lost his fiancé to an Italian athlete decides to break into her residence to retrieve the wedding ring he gave to her, with the help of a few friends.
A head’s up, this piece contains some explicit coarse language.
Jerry watched the glasses get topped up once more by the barkeep as the sound of roaring laughter and constant profanities filled his ears.
‘Drink up!’ smiled his friend, downing the glass in one gulp.
‘I think you’ve had enough’ stated Jerry, nodding at the barkeep to acknowledge what he’d said, who simply replied with ‘how many fingers am I holding up’, placing three fingers in front of Christos’s face.
‘Ah, twelve?’ questioned Christos as the barkeep smiled. ‘Close enough’ he said, pouring him another shot as Jerry rolled his eyes, unable to believe that a woman could have possibly done this to his friend.
‘She was my life’ said Christos emotionally, chugging the entire glass and indicating for the barkeep to pour him another, Jerry not even bothering to tell him otherwise this time.
Christos downed the glass once more. ‘I was her Orpheus and she was my Eurydice.’
‘It’s no wonder you didn’t last’ said Jerry.
‘But not to worry folks!’ shouted Christos, holding out his hands, ‘for I have a plan!’
‘Here we go’ grunted Jerry, tossing his head back.
‘I’m going to break into my ex-wife’s house and steal all of her jewelry’ smiled Christos.
‘Oh, right, that’s totally going to win her affection back’ said Jerry, clapping his hands. ‘Bravo, bravo!’
‘No, no, it’s not that at all!’ shouted Christos angrily, requesting another top up of his glass before continuing. ‘She ran off with some athletic Eyetie bastard, who runs around on a treadmill all day for a living, when she could have had all this!’ he shouted, thrusting out his hands for all to admire his body.
‘I bet it was a hard decision’ said Jerry, ‘the smell of indecent sweat in exchange for the smell of alcoholic abuse.’
‘I want some compensation for such unnecessary and barbaric treatment. She left me, and I was left humiliated and disgraced’ said Christos, a tear rolling down his face. ‘And the compensation I require is the ring I gave to her in exchange for her promise.’
‘What?’ questioned Jerry. ‘You mean you wish to re-obtain the ring you won in the Kinder Surprise egg?’
‘I didn’t win it!’ shouted Christos. ‘I bought and paid for it with my own blood and sweat, and I believe I deserve it back, along with the rest of her jewelry. Which is why we’re going to break into her crib and snatch it!’
‘I’m all for the snatch part’ commented Jerry. ‘That I could really use right now, but there is no way I’m going with you to Cynthia’s place to steal her jewelry. Now, I don’t care if you paid for it, as soon as you gave it to her, it became hers.’
‘It ain’t gonna be just you and me on this gig’ smiled Christos. ‘I’m bringing Evelyn, my ex-girlfriend along, you know, the woman from way back.’
‘And why do we need her?’ asked Jerry.
‘Because, we need at least one professional on this job’ nodded Christos. ‘Besides, I’m a little terrified of her.’
‘You’re terrified of a woman?’ laughed Jerry. ‘How could you possibly be terrified of a woman? They’re all made up of sugar and other sweet, delicious things.’
‘What the fuck are you doing you dumb son of a bitch!’ roared Evelyn. Now this was the way a real woman behaved. Her mouth salivating, her hands clenched into fists, her eyes a bright red in fury as veins began to protrude from the corners of her pupils. ‘You fuck this up one more time and I’m gonna snap your fucking neck!’ she shouted, the attendant behind the register cowering in terror as he attempted to give her the right amount of change back for the twenty dollar note she had handed him for the packet of tampons she’d purchased, not to mention the several liters of fuel for her ride; a hybrid mustang.
Evelyn’s phone suddenly rang as she flicked it open, grunting ‘what?’ into the receiver before grabbing the man behind the register by the scruff of his neck and holding him over the counter. ‘Swap me out the proper change, or I’m gonna beat the shit out of you, before ripping out your eyes and skull fucking your brain!’ She watched the attendant attempt to procure the change from the register as she nodded in response to the call. ‘Yeah, I can be there’ she said, before putting her phone away and eyeing the attendant coldly.
The correct change was suddenly thrust in her direction as she caught it in mid-air preparing to leave before grunting ‘and one more thing.’ She turned around to the attendant and knocked him out with a right hook to the side of the head, leaping over the register and beginning to empty out the entire till.
Jerry shuffled in the cold, his hands in his pockets as he waited out on the side of the bridge that led towards Cynthia’s house. The ground was frozen in a dense layer of frost as his breath came out before him, his legs shaking in the cold of the night. A pair of headlights were visible on the highway up ahead as Christos’s BMW drove up beside him, the roof being disengaged as his friend smiled up at him. He was not alone however, another man who was considerably plump sitting in the backseat.
Jerry indicated for Christos to exit the car and talk to him in the privacy of the trees, his friend grudgingly following Jerry’s lead.
‘Why do we have to steal your ex-wife’s jewelry when you’re riding around in that piece of ass?’ cried Jerry.
‘I blew all the money on the car’ grunted Christos with a sideways glance as Jerry rolled his eyes.
‘And what about the jolly fat man sitting up back?’ probed Jerry. ‘I thought it was just going to be me, you, and your ex.’
‘Change of plans’ said Christos out from the corner of his mouth. ‘My aunty isn’t going to be home tonight and so asked me to take care of my cousin, Marty. He’s a little slow in the head and needs constant supervision. He has a few strange obsessions and hobbies, so don’t mind him either, and whatever you do, don’t mention we‘re going to steal anything. I have him believing we’re going to Disneyworld.’
‘Right’ nodded Jerry, making his way over to the car. ‘Hey Marty, we’re going to go steal some shit, wanna come?’
‘Awesome’ smiled Marty as Christos gave Jerry a dirty look before grunting ‘would you mind sitting in the back?’
‘Is there anything else you wouldn’t mind me doing?’ barked Jerry. How ‘bout I wipe the windows while I’m at it,’ reluctantly doing as his friend requested.
‘Can you drop something?’ asked Marty as Jerry sat beside him.
‘Oh yeah’ grunted Jerry between clenched teeth, ‘this is going to be a real pleasure cruise’ he said as Christos gave him a look before beginning to drive on towards Cynthia’s place.
Barely twenty minutes later they arrived outside of Cynthia’s. The residence was an extremely gargantuan mansion sitting on top of a large hill overlooking the surrounding plains. A metallic fence ran around the entire property as the three men admired the place. Christos stopped the car as the headlights ran over shapes before him, Evelyn beginning to walk over to them after peering in through the fence at one of the windows, entering the vacant seat up front.
‘Who the fuck is this?’ barked Evelyn, indicating at Marty as Christos said ‘don’t ask.’
‘Glad to meet you again Evelyn’ said Jerry, reaching out his hand as she swiped it away. ‘Don’t touch me!’ she cried. ‘I’m not your whore!’ She calmed down before continuing. ‘I’ve checked the place out. They left a couple of hours ago, so I don’t know how long you have.’
‘You mean you’re not coming?’ questioned Christos in a frightened squeak as Evelyn shook her head. ‘It’s your party.’
‘Jerry?’ asked Christos.
‘Why don’t you ask Marty, he looks as though he’s dying to come in there with you’ retorted his friend.
‘Drop something!’ smiled Marty.
‘And look, he’s already in the mood to vandalise shit’ grinned Jerry as Christos exited the car. ‘Fine, I’ll do it on my own you bunch of pussies’ he grunted, moving towards the gate.
‘Come back over here and say that’ yelled Evelyn. ‘Bitch!’ she muttered, watching Christos make his way over the fence and collapse on the other side before disappearing into the darkness around him.
Ten minutes later Christos had still failed to return, Jerry becoming aggravated in the back seat.
‘Drop something’ said Marty suddenly as Evelyn rolled her eyes. ‘How ‘bout I drop a turd, would you like that!’
‘That would be funny’ commented Marty.
‘Yeah, right on your friggin’ head’ grunted Evelyn as security alarms suddenly began to ring out from the household, a great crashing sound being heard as pieces of glass were showered across the grounds. Christos leapt out from an upstairs window before rolling across the lawn, making his way back over the fence and into the car with a couple of bags tucked under his arms.
‘I got the dough’ he smiled.
‘You got something’ mumbled Jerry, the car beginning to pull out from the house and onto the highway.
The next morning the BMW was parked outside of a McDonald’s drive-in, Marty being left to protect the vehicle whilst the others made their way into the fast food outlet to grab themselves a bite to eat.
A few minutes later as Jerry, Christos and Evelyn walked back into the parking lot they could instantly tell something was terribly wrong. Especially upon discovering the car missing.
‘Did we lock the doors?’ asked Jerry, looking around the parking lot as if hoping to see it parked somewhere else.
‘I don’t know’ stated Christos. ‘But I did leave the keys in the ignition.’
‘Did you happen to leave the engine running as well?’ barked Evelyn. ‘Hell, we should’ve put a sign up saying ‘please steal this car because these barmy shits couldn’t lock the fucking doors!’
‘What about Marty?’ asked Christos.
‘Screw him’ retorted Evelyn, ‘I’d be more concerned about the loot we left him with. And who’s to say he didn’t double cross us?’
‘He can’t drive!’ shouted Christos, Evelyn looking about to take a piece out of him as a police car suddenly drove up beside them, its sirens blaring as two officers sprung out from its interior.
‘Put your hands in the air where we can see them!’ they commanded as Jerry swore under his breath, Christos reluctantly doing as they asked before finding himself with the others in the back of the car.
Christos found himself in the confines of the dark interrogation room which was immediately flooded with light, an officer making her way into the room.
‘We found your car’ stated the officer, sitting down before Christos. ‘We also found your cousin in the back seat. We would have charged him with complicity in your crimes, but he’s been treated leniently because he didn’t know what he was getting himself involved in. Jerry too has been acquitted because it seems he’s quite a pillar of the community, stating he only became involved because he didn’t have the heart to say otherwise. As for Evelyn, she has a rap sheet bigger than my arm, and we just can’t be bothered going through the paperwork to charge her with something else. You however, you’re ours. I went through your file and found your educational statistics.’
‘School’s not for everyone’ stated Christos.
‘Yeah, well who wants a university degree anyway when you can receive an even better education from the Crayon Cabana. It appears you received an even more efficient education from your prior employment as well, the Majister of Meats’. She paused before continuing. ‘You know what I see before me? I see an incompetent individual who no doubt is on his way down to a place I wouldn’t even attempt to imagine. Have you anything to say for yourself?’
Christos grimaced. ‘Did you find the ring?’
SYNOPSIS: A man relives the occurrences of a party that was quite unlike any party you, the reader, has probably ever been too.
I sat in the cold, dark interrogation room at the local police station, my breath being visible before me as I exhaled. My back was drenched in sweat, my hands timidly moving before me on the frozen metal table. The lights were suddenly switched on as I leapt back in my seat.
The door opposite opened, a man in a plaid suit which appeared to be cutting circulation off from his brain entering the room, cradling a file in one hand and coffee in the other. He had jet black hair that was greased back across his head with eyes that were just as black and sinister. He looked more like a criminal mastermind than a law enforcement officer. He sat before me, dropping the files onto the table whilst fixing up his tie with his now free hand, taking a terrific gulp of coffee immediately after doing so.
‘Mr. Henderson’ he said in a raspy voice, ‘I am detective Lachlan Mitchell. I’ve been assigned to this case because of its distinct peculiarity. I’ve looked over all of the information and I must say, it doesn’t look good for you son, nor for the two chuckleheads I have placed in other rooms just like this one. So before I slap the cuffs on you I would like you to explain to me in your own words what happened two nights ago.’
I tilted my head backwards, taking a deep gulp of air whilst rubbing my eyes, before beginning to divulge the events which had taken place.
I had drawn the short straw. That was why I found myself in the mortuary on the night of my best friend’s birthday. Andrew and Michael were sitting patiently out front in Andrew’s Mustang, smoke billowing out from the exhaust, Michael advising they keep the engine running in case they had to bolt.
I crept timidly down the halls of the mortuary which was located a few metres adjacent to the medical facility. Darkness surrounded me around every corner, my mind concocting scenarios of security being around every turn. Michael had made schematics of the entire building from his night shift at the hospital, the map in front of me not only being incredibly small, but being terribly difficult to read under the dim light of the torch I grasped in my other hand.
On the walls were numerous rooms that were locked, a door with a pane of glass located in front of each which cast eerie shadows across the interior of the complex as my torch connected with such secured areas.
I swung open a door before me and found myself in the lab where the bodies were to be prepped for the funeral arrangements. A putrid odour of death and decay hit me like a tonne of bricks as I stumbled backwards from the killer stench, attempting to hold my breath. In front of me in the centre of the room was a metallic table that shone brightly as though it had been kept pristine over the years. A body, who I presumed to be deceased, was placed atop of it, wrapped in a white cloth that extended across the entire body. The shape of the human form, which I presumed to be male, was all that could be made out. And all I honestly wanted to make out.
A stand made from the same metallic alloy was placed on the left side of the table, with numerous locked drawers located upon its lower most sections.
The walls were a dark blue in colour, with window panes located upon the ceiling, the full moon being visible up in the sky above. Across the walls were posters advertising different medical procedures and the ways a corpse was to be prepared, such things making a shudder travel up and down my spine.
Drawers where the deceased were kept were located on the wall, my hands reaching out and quickly beginning to drag them open one by one. I must have opened up seven, each of them either being empty or filled with some person who died in an incredibly insidious way, before I managed to discover the one which held my best friend; Warrick Childs.
He looked quite peaceful under the torch light, for a dead guy I mean. I’d being half expecting his guts to be hanging out of him like undigested offerings that a bunch of carnivorous hounds would have left behind after digging into him.
He had bright orange hair that looked rather untidy, yet considerably pristine. His green eyes were closed and he had numerous freckles located across his cheeks.
I slowly began to move him out from his confinement, his body crumpling to the floor at my feet as I closed the creaking drawer which clicked into place.
I suddenly felt Warrick’s hand shoot out and grab my leg, my body nearly falling backwards in fright, my torch darting around the room before I came to my senses, realising it had been the cat in the corner which had touched me, the creature of the night hissing from its hiding place. I shook my head before slowly picking up Warrick’s body and swinging it over my shoulder, my legs buckling beneath me under his dead weight as I made my way towards the door.
Just at that exact moment when I was about to make my fantastical get away (if I must say so myself) after implementing the perfect crime, I heard the creaking of one of the cabinets sliding open. Turning my head, I noticed the body of a near naked woman hanging out from the long line of cabinets, my eyes rolling into the back of my head as I gently placed Warrick onto the operating table atop of the other corpse.
‘Don’t mind me’ I said, hoping that neither of the corpses were at all homophobic.
I hurried over to the open cabinet and attempted to slide it back into place, the prosthetic breasts of the young woman’s deceased corpse preventing it from property sliding back in. Every time the head and neck of the young woman made their way inside the confines of the cabinet I felt a sense of joy. That was of course before the exterior of the cabinet connected with the huge breasts which bounced it backwards, many times the drawer nearly colliding with my crown jewels. The woman’s breasts themselves were like two cannons sticking out from the side of a pirate’s vessel, bouncing up and down in place. If that was not bad enough they were so lusciously beautiful I found them almost impossible to resist, just wanting to grab a hold of the gorgeous creatures to see how they felt. Such a job must have cost several hundred thousand dollars and were deliberately placed there to be admired and groomed, not to be left to rot in the drawer within a mortuary for Chrissake.
I took a deep breath, attempting to keep my mind on the problem at hand. If the doctors came back down here and saw the body outside from her home then they would certainly know without a doubt that there had been a grave robbery. I jerked and jabbed with the cabinet, the body rocking all over the place as though it were listening to Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits collection. Finally, after a sickening squelching sound issued forth from the cabinet’s interior the body was rammed successfully back inside.
I breathed a sigh of relief, rubbing my hand over my sweaty forehead, before grabbing Warrick’s body off from the table, grunting in agony as I did so before hurrying out of the mortuary with his head banging up against my back like a drum.
Reaching the car, I dumped Warrick’s body into the trunk, hurrying into the back seat as Andrew revved up the engine.
‘Okay boys; let’s go have ourselves a party!’ I cried, the car flying into the distance, the rest of the night after that being nothing more than a blur.
The detective nodded his head as I concluded the story, before pulling out a laptop buried beneath the files he had brought in with him. He opened the computerised device, which was already on line to an internet site which had aired coverage from the night of the party.
Before me was streamed a film of Andrew, Michael and I at a table, with our deceased friend Warrick located directly in the centre.
Michael had skin that was heavily tanned, his hair being a pitch black in colour that was cut incredibly short. He wore a dark blue shirt with stripes of a white colour going horizontally down the front.
Andrew had blonde coloured hair that was raised high up on the left side of his head but lower down on the right. His eyes were a blue colour and he had a devilish smile about him, a light blue shirt placed across his chest.
Warrick on the other hand we had managed to shove into an orange and blue shirt that was comprised of stripes going vertically across the fabric, with white trousers located on his legs. A party hat was perched atop his head which was continuously tilting forward, his body unable to remain upright for long.
We each chugged down a few beers before emptying a number of overloaded glasses down Warrick’s cold, dead throat, cheering after such an accomplishment had being successfully orchestrated by our dead friend. A great amount of the alcoholic fluid dribbled across the shirt we had applied over the white gown the mortuary staff had tied around Warrick’s body to hide his genitalia.
Andrew suddenly moved out from the camera frame, before placing a giant mud cake in the centre of the table. ‘Make a wish!’ he cried to Warrick, who tilted his head to the side before collapsing on top of the table, the cake splattering into a few thousand pieces beneath him.
‘This went on for some time’ noted the detective, fast forwarding the image. ‘Then we get to this disturbing scene’ he said, clicking the play reticule, the video beginning to continue once more. A woman dressed in a sleazy black outfit stepped on top of the table, beginning to do a rather sexualised dance in front of Warrick. Her hair was curled into some kind of afro, her eyes sparkling like glitter in the night. The only clothing she had on her person was a black bra and panties with a couple of notes thrust into the side of the threads. Her breasts reminded me a lot of those that belonged to the woman I had managed to ram back inside the cabinets at the mortuary. ‘You’re one year older big boy!’ she cried in a high pitched voice, moving herself on top of Warrick and wrapping her legs around his body. She grabbed his crotch before crying ‘whoa, your penis is so hard and erect, like a cadaver!’ Warrick’s head suddenly titled onto her chest as she purred, grabbing hold of his head and thrusting his nose deep inside of her cleavage as to allow him to get a better look, appearing not to notice the current predicament he was in.
The detective suddenly turned off the video, his face conveying an element of shock as I sat speechless before him. ‘I am glad to say that we did locate his body’ noted the detective after taking a short breath. ‘It was found outside of a park on Rockchester Avenue, nearly twelve kilometres from your place of residence, which according to the video and the forensic evidence taken by the police officers was where the party ensued. Some of that same evidence was located at the mortuary which we’ve linked to your DNA, presumably sweat’
‘Well if you found his body, shouldn’t you perhaps let me off with a warning?’ I questioned.
‘I said we found his body’ grunted the detective. ‘It was decapitated.’
I raised an eyebrow at such a statement.
‘It took us a further nine hours to find his head’ commented the detective. ‘It was located fifteen kilometres east of his body, in a football field between two goal posts. What it was doing there is beyond me, but I doubt he was there to watch the big game.’
I went to speak but the detective quickly cut me off. ‘You would be pleased to know that we attached the head to the body, all in time for the funeral which was held late yesterday afternoon instead of the initial scheduling which had been booked for the morning, for obvious reasons which I doubt I will have to explain.’
‘Well, I guess everything sorted itself out in the end’ I said.
‘However’ said the detective, quickly cutting me off once again, ‘there’s more. We later discovered alcohol in the deceased’s system, apparently planted there after his body had been abducted. This was found after the funeral. It appears the embalming fluid and the alcohol mixed together in the stomach of your friend and caused a chemical reaction, which further caused his entire stomach to explode during the funeral precession. His body was blown into a thousand pieces and scattered across the entire chapel, his head coming to rest in the lap of his poor mother, Daniela Childs, who unfortunately died of complications to the heart at the scene.’
‘I’m sorry to hear that’ I said with a stutter.
‘Okay, now let’s go through the list of wrongs you and your gang have successfully orchestrated thus far’ began the detective, counting them off on his fingers. ‘We have breaking and entering; public mutilation to the deceased; some sexually explicit actions which I am proud to say I did not air to you this evening; public drunkenness; destruction of property; littering; attempted vandalism; successful vandalism; reckless driving under the influence of alcohol, among other substances which stripper Lucky Lucy has attested to providing you and your happy team members. Along with this she admitted to the performing of numerous erotic and illegal actions which the five of you were involved in for a number of hours. We have mortuary theft; attempted grand theft auto; vicious slander towards strangers who wish to remain anonymous; urination in a public place; the unintentional murder of sweet Miss Daniela Childs and the desecration of the deceased. Both Mr. Warrick Childs and Miss. Hilary Watson, whose cadaver was found crushed inside her assigned cabinet within the mortuary, her body, apart from being beyond recognition also appearing to be coated in the same gel found in prosthetic body parts, breasts for example?’ he noted with a raised eyebrow.
I tilted my head to the side, having absolutely nothing to say for myself.
‘I guess what I would like to ultimately know is why throw a party for a dead man?’ continued the detective. ‘It seems a little redundant if you ask me, but then again I’ve always considered myself to be quite the normal individual, I don’t get off on all the fiendish and satanic mumbo jumbo you and your gang orchestrated on the night of these viciously vulgar occurrences. What? Haven’t you anything to say for yourself?’ he probed as I shook my head, the detective beginning to stand to his feet. ‘I’ll be back in a while after I’ve interrogated the other culprits involved in this orgy of insidious criminal activity.’
‘But, you can’t leave me in here!’ I crowed as the detective reached the door, ‘what if I catch my death of cold?’
‘Not on your life’ grunted the detective, the lights dimming as the door closed behind him.
SYNOPSIS: A masked vigilante traverses a futuristic monarchical society looking to avenge the murder of the woman he cherished.
‘Who I am is not important. What I intend to do however is. For years I have watched the tyranny and grotesque malice tear this once proud city apart. But no longer will I stand back and watch this city sink into infinite decrepitude. This change within me began six years ago when I lost somebody truly important to me, now I intend to change the system and right the wrongs. Tonight, I am going to kill someone.’
The masked individual walked through the dark streets of Saint-tropolis, each one crowded with individuals eager to sell goods to ensure they had supper that night. The mask covering his face was dull white, black goggles shielding his eyes from view. His outfit was a luxurious suit and tie, while his feet moved silently through the night in the ball room dancing shoes he wore.
The masked individual cut down an alleyway to avoid the police who were searching for atheists. Ever since the revolutionary revolt by the Clergy, the entire planet had been under the immense control of the church. During its first year of office, the Clergy hunted down and murdered over seventy-five million atheists. Any still remaining converted to a religion to ensure their survival. It didn’t matter what religion one preached, as long as it was in existence and involved a higher masculine being having full control over everyone and everything, the church didn’t seem to mind. That is why the masked man had to avoid the officers; he was an atheist, quite possibly the only atheist in the entire world. That made him the single most dangerous threat to the Clergy.
The Clergy had primarily used fear to get into power and they were not afraid to use it to ensure the total respect of the community. If one such religion became too powerful they simply cut it down in size, ensuring equilibrium amongst the people. Those however who found that the murdering of civilians on a daily basis was not the most acceptable method of control stood up against such tyrannical methodology. Such people were almost all but extinct now, the masked individual being one of the last to survive.
He continued to weave in and out of alleyways, before finally reaching the Loud Oyster, one of the most famous taverns in the entire city. He strolled into the dimly lit building with its dark green walls; tables erected on either side of him as he walked past the bar and over to a dark corner where his informant was waiting.
Although the masked figure did not trust Snake Eyes, he had no choice but to use him, he was after all the best snitch in the city. Around his eyes were the tattooed decorations of snake scales, lime green in colour, hence the name, the rest of his person filthy with dirt and grunge. The masked individual sat opposite him, instantly taking a photo out from his breast pocket and shoving it into Snake Eyes’ face.
The image was of an incredibly beautiful young woman. She had rosy red hair and luminescent blue eyes. Her complexion glittered under the light of the photographic flash, her face illuminated under a perfectly constructed smile; her teeth white and straight; her lips moist and warm. What could be seen of the top half of her dress was a white cloven fabric with numerous frills around the neck and seams on the side, her hand perched just under her chin. There was an aurora of innocence about her, something that was extremely rare within this city.
‘Where is she?’ asked the masked man in a deep voice.
‘I don’t know, I swear’ replied Snake Eyes timidly.
‘Cut the crap’ grunted the masked man. ‘You know as well as I that I could have killed you the moment I stepped in here and been gone before your body hit the floor. The only reason you’re alive is because I believe you can help me. The moment I feel you can no longer provide me with the details I require you will become obsolete. Do you understand what I’m saying?’
Snake Eyes nodded fearfully.
‘Good’ responded the masked man. ‘Now let’s try that again, where is she?’
‘I already told you I don’t know!’ cried Snake Eyes. ‘I’m telling you the truth!’
‘Then how about another question and you’d better have me an answer for this’ said the masked man dangerously. ‘Where’s Black?’
‘I don’t know who you are talking about’ said Snake Eyes.
Almost everyone knew who Black was, it was the location of such a man that was the most difficult to discern. Two years ago Black created a brand new religion, a cult really, one that was rather fond of the dark arts, including dark rituals, demonic possession and sacrificial offerings. The Clergy had originally accepted such an ideology, believing it would not be welcomed by the people with such a passion; but they were wrong. His followers had doubled, if not quadrupled in the first few months alone and now even the government was beginning to feel the weight of his presence, something that most religious leaders did not quite enjoy. But Black however did not seem to mind. He however, did have the unfair advantage of being invisible. He had no documentation to prove he even existed; no place of residence; no base of operations. He was a ghost and everybody knew it. That was no doubt one of the most terrifying things about the man; he could come and go as he pleased and take anything and everything that he wished and there was no one that could stop him, or so he thought.
‘I despise liars’ commented the masked man. ‘In a religious world, you do realise that a lie is one of the most heinous sins one can implement? Killing you now would be considered a favor in the eyes of your Lord and Savior.’
‘How about this for a lie!’ shouted Snake Eyes. ‘The girl is dead! You hear me, dead! She was sacrificed to the Gods of whom Black prayed and they bestowed their gifts upon him, turning him into a far more dangerous and wicked being than anyone could have ever imagined.’
‘Liar!’ thundered the masked individual, grabbing Snake Eyes around the throat, beginning to choke the very life out of him before noticing Snake Eyes looking over his left shoulder.
Turning around, the masked man noticed numerous police officers standing behind him, before having a fist thrown into his face. An infinite black was suddenly bestowed upon him, just as he felt hands beginning to go for his mask.
He threw his hands up into the air to prevent them from touching his face, but was suddenly kicked in the jaw, the pain travelling throughout his entire body. He lay motionless on the ground for a second as a bright white light swallowed him whole, before fading to black once more, the sound of mocking laughter being the last thing he ever heard.
Six years later
The masked man awoke the way he had every morning for the past six years; inside a jail cell, his limbs chained to the walls. The interior was comprised entirely out of brick, resembling that of a castle, the type that appeared in the black and white films the clergy used to showcase back when he was on the outside.
Shortly after he had been arrested his captors had attempted to remove his mask and put an identity to his face. However, upon discovering that it had been surgically crafted to his skin they had given up. They didn’t exactly care anyway; they had after all caught the terrorist and made the streets safer. One less atheist on the street made the clergy sleep better at night. Such may seem almost borderline ignorant, but if the Clergy could close their eyes and get a good night’s rest, then the compensation they supplied to their municipals became considerably satisfying.
However, today was different than others, the metallic cell door that appeared to have rusted terribly over time swinging open, two officers removing the chains that had been bound to the masked man’s person for so long. He was quickly led up a cobbled staircase that was made up of the same brick that his cell was to the top most section of the facility.
The masked individual found himself in a brightly lit room overlooking the entire city. There was a great round window on the other side of the white walled room which gave one a perfect view of the amazing metallic-looking civilisation below. A metallic desk was positioned in the centre of the room which had been bolted to the brick floor, many scientific tubes and beverages cooking across the table top, pink and green liquids visible within the vials and glasses.
Standing before him behind the metallic desk was Commander Vurtura, the officer in charge of the city. He wore a luxurious black suit with red cuffs down the side, stirring a cup of tea he held in his grasp. His face was considerably well padded and his eyes were a black in colour as though there was not a shroud of emotion behind them. His hair was gelled back in a thick ointment that made his hair shine under the light, a smug look upon his face that just made the masked man want to punch his lights out.
‘For how long were you out terrorising the streets of my fair city?’ questioned the Commander, looking directly at the masked man, his yellow hair shining under the rising sun.
‘I don’t think that such terminology is in fact an accurate way to judge my activities’ stated the masked man. ‘I was attempting to free those who deserved saving from the tyranny of the governmental body. The people should be given a right to choose whether they worship a God or not, not have that choice made for them under the threat of exile or public execution. However, if one is too stupid to see that, then such a person is not deserving of my time and can be left in the hell that they made.’ The masked man shook his head before growling under his breath. ‘On top of that I don’t like riddles, so how about you get to the part where you tell me why the hell I am out of my cell or go put me back in it.’
‘Very well’ stated the Commander, placing his tea onto the table. ‘Straight to business, I like that in a man. How old was the young woman you failed to save?’
‘If she were still alive she would be celebrating her twenty-seventh birthday next week’ commented the masked man sadly. ‘Why?’
‘I thought you may enjoy extracting your vengeance on the man who stole her life’ said the Commander. ‘The terrorist codenamed Black has resurfaced. We fear he intends to strike a significant blow to our regime and we believe you would be the perfect man for the job.’
‘Are you saying you would just let me go?’ questioned the masked individual. ‘That does not seem anything like you at all Commander.’
‘Nobody is forcing a gun to you here, Mask’ said Vurtura dangerously, disliking the man’s tone. ‘Is that what I should call you, Mask? Does that at all seem appropriate? After all, a man without a face is a man without an identity. And a man without an identity simply does not exist. And if you do not exist, then you haven’t got yourself a name.’
‘That was beautiful’ said Mask. ‘Did you spend your entire morning rehearsing that just for me? I must say I am flattered.’
‘Do you not remember who it is you are talking too?’ thundered Vurtura. ‘Guards, please remind this scumbag who it is that I am!’
‘Yes sir’ said both the men holding Mask in place before both hitting him across the back of the legs with great metallic clubs that they gladly detached from their belts.
‘Now, let us try that again’ said Vurtura. ‘Do you wish to take the opportunity I am handing to you? This is of course a silver platter opportunity, not some run of the mill concoction.’
‘Where do I find him?’ questioned the masked man.
‘In truth we have no idea where he’ll be’ stated the Commander. ‘We always assumed you were considerably street smart. I’m sure a man such as yourself will have no problem in finding his location. Now, if you’d just follow Morrison, my police chief, he’ll escort you down to the nurse’s station where we can prep you for the assignment.’
Upon concluding his sentence, a rather wide individual made his way over to the masked man, before escorting him from the room. Morrison, as already noted was rather wide all over. His face was wide, his belly was wide and so too were his arms, his legs and his feet, the shoes on such gargantuan feet looking to have been specially made. He wore a dark blue suit with a metallic club strewn across his shoulder, a smug, pretentiously egotistical look tattooed upon his face. He had beady black eyes that darted around in a paranoid manner, a large hooked nose that looked to have been broken many times before and greasy hair that was beginning to become rather absent atop of his head, the hair that was located on the left side of his head being brushed over the top to make it seem as though he still retained a proud head of hair. There were after all no bald leaders within the city and it would look rather strange if he were the odd one out.
A few minutes later Mask found himself on the ground floor of the facility, the entire sector covered in grunge, the pipes above leaking fluids onto the floor. Morrison stayed outside as an officer escorted the masked man into a brightly lit operating theatre, a young woman in a white nurse’s outfit standing before him. Her skin was almost a dark green in colour, presumably from spending too much time in this dungeon of a place and was moreover heavily blotched as though from having a terrible case of acne when she was younger. If she did not have enough character with these two rather powerful visual impressions, she also spoke in a heavy Romanian accent.
‘You must be my patient’ beamed the nurse, sounding the way a vampire would in one of those ancient Hollywood classics. ‘If you’ll just lie back onto the table we can get started on inserting the tracking device into your skull. Standard operating procedure I’m afraid.’
‘Nobody mentioned anything about tracking devices’ grunted the masked individual.
Under a second later the officer who had been standing guard was thrown out through the doors into the hallway; police Chief Morrison unfastening the pistol attached to his hip, hurrying into the operating theatre to see what the commotion was about, before a fist was shoved into his throat. He collapsed to the ground, his hands to his neck whilst his breathing came out in numerous wild gasping sounds.
‘But wait!’ cried the nurse, ‘you are yet to receive your tracking implant!’
‘I don’t need one’ said the masked individual with a nod. ‘Now, please excuse me for I have an escape to promulgate.’ He made his way down the corridor as quickly as he could, his footsteps not making but a sound as he moved back up the way he had come, just as the sirens began to ring through the entire compound.
‘Alert, alert’ cried the voice of the nurse over the emergency frequency. ‘Prisoner escape in progress. I repeat prisoner escape in progress. Masked man attempting to flee underground laboratory! Security teams report in immediately!’
A couple of minutes later Mask hid in-between two red heating conduits that were located on the left side of the wall as a group of security officers hurried past him, each with rifles cradled under their arms. He sighed to himself upon the realisation he had not being detected before walking back out again.
‘I can’t believe this is happening!’ cried a voice that Mask knew only too well as Vurtura began to make his way around the corner with a security guard walking beside him as escort.
In a flash, Mask threw out his fist and knocked the escort out, his body falling limply to the floor, assault rifle collapsing by his side.
‘Ah, Commander’ said Mask in a dry voice as he looked up at the man who had kept him prisoner for the past six years.
‘I can have men down here in three minutes!’ said the Commander with a flicker of worry on his face.
‘You’ll be dead in three minutes so the security teams will have nothing left to protect’ said Mask, smiling to himself, unbeknownst to the commander who could not see his face.
‘I was going to let you out’ said Vurtura. ‘Is that not compensation enough?’
‘Oh, you mean the tracking device in my brain?’ laughed Mask. ‘Yeah, real great, top bloke you are. I’ll be sure to take that under advisement’ he concluded before punching the commander in the face. With that, he dragged the clothes off from the guard on the floor and proceeded to place them upon his person, before hiding the now relatively naked body of the escort in-between the heating conduits.
Mask then stepped out and continued to make his way out the way he had come, just as a security team came running towards him. ‘Help the Commander!’ he cried. ‘I’m going after the masked vigilante’ he said, the guards moving in the direction of Vurtura as the masked individual made his way towards the nearest exit.
During his time in prison, the masked individual had never forgotten any region of the city, which is what made it so easy to rediscover the residence of Snake Eyes. He remembered the snitch was housed on the thirty- second floor of an atrocious apartment block that stood at the far corner of the city like a discarded piece of rubbish.
Taking the elevator up to the intended floor, the masked man stepped off onto the landing and moved down the red coloured wooden hallway in search of Snake Eyes’ apartment, picking the lock soundlessly upon locating the correct room and creeping inside.
A fireplace rich with flame illuminated the dingy apartment as the masked vigilante crept across the wooden floorboards and into the bedroom of Snake Eyes, whose apartment was kept in the same manner as himself; in squalor.
His bedroom had the same red walls, with one exception. Just like Commander Vurtura had a large round window overlooking the city, so too did Snake Eyes. His however did not seem to have been cleaned by the same individual as the one who had being assigned to the one in the Commander’s office, and judging by the look of the place the maid had been fired long ago.
The masked man reached down and ripped the terrorised Snake Eyes out of bed, the red sheets falling away below him as he was dragged to his feet by the scruff of his neck.
‘You’re supposed to be in prison!’ cried Snake Eyes.
‘Oh, I know’ smiled Mask. ‘But they let me out for good behavior’ he continued, before grabbing Snake Eyes by the collar and pinning him against the great circular window that was suspended above his bed. Now, with a proper opportunity to look upon the design of the window in question, Mask began to make out other additional encryptions that were placed around the side of the window. Staring intently at them, Mask came to the conclusion that they were Christian images, each of which was in the shape of an angel that held either a trombone or a crossbow, with fluffy white wings attached to their backs that kept them suspended in mid air.
‘How sweet’ grunted Mask. ‘You came prepared. Angels placed above you during your time of death. Now why did I not think of that before my arrival? I after all had six long years in prison to think all about this one moment and I forgot to think of that one detail.’
‘Please!’ cried Snake Eyes in a pleading tone. ‘Please, I beg of you, don’t kill me. I am not worth killing am I?’
‘What is with the Christian images?’ continued the masked individual. ‘I thought you were a Muslim?’
‘Oh, I am sweet masked man, I am!’ cried Snake Eyes, Mask only tightening his hands around Snake Eyes’ throat even tighter still.
‘I don’t think you know what you are’ growled Mask, ‘how can one trust somebody who does not even know who or what they are.’
‘Believe me when I say, you can trust me!’ cried Snake Eyes.
‘And all of this red’ proceeded the masked man, looking around his surroundings. ‘Reminds me a lot of what blood used to look like.’
‘Believe me when I tell you that blood has not changed much in the six years that you have been away’ said Snake Eyes. ‘It still looks very much the same to me.’
‘You would know wouldn’t you?’ growled Mask. ‘You spilt enough of it yourself.’
‘No, no I didn’t!’ wailed Snake Eyes. ‘No I didn’t!’
‘Not in person you didn’t’ said Mask.
‘Not ever!’ screamed Snake Eyes.
‘Liar!’ roared the masked man. ‘The smell of your slanderous lies is almost as repulsive as the smell of your rancid flesh. All of those lives you destroyed by ratting them out to the police, giving away the information on every single atheist you could find. Just to ensure that they did not find the one you were trying to hide all this time! You are accountable for all of these lives, every last one of them!’
‘I protected your identity to ensure you would not be found’ pleaded Snake Eyes. ‘When they found you six years ago, that was just sheer coincidence!’
Mask remembered the mocking laughter he had heard as he blacked out six years ago, knowing full well that coincidence was not one of the things that happened that day. ‘You and I both know that we are not talking about me here! We are talking about you! You are the atheist who you have hidden away for so long!’
‘Okay!’ cried Snake Eyes. ‘Okay!’ he screamed once more at what appeared to be the top of his lungs.
‘Scream all you want’ said Mask. ‘Not a soul will ever hear you. Nobody is going to put their neck out for somebody who goes around stabbing others in the back for pure entertainment.’
‘Please!’ shouted Snake Eyes. ‘I beg of you not to kill me. You aren’t though, right?’ he asked with a weak grin.
Mask did not bother to answer his question, but rather decided to ask one of his own. ‘Where can I find Black?’ he asked dangerously.
‘I don’t know’ cried Snake Eyes in a frightened squeak.
‘Let’s not play this game again’ cried the masked man, punching Snake Eyes in the stomach, before repeating the procedure. ‘I know you have his location. It’s just a question of whether you tell me now, or after I cut you into a thousand different pieces.’
‘I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you!’ cried Snake Eyes. ‘He’s giving a speech tomorrow night at the old North Plaza. There will be a great rally there. It shall be pretty hard to miss.’
The masked man let Snake Eyes fall to the floor. ‘Do you still keep that sniper rifle of yours in that safe behind this hideous picture?’ he asked, standing in front of a grotesquely over weight woman trapped inside a painting. Snake Eyes nodded, the masked man throwing the painting to the floor, entering the code he had recited into the safe which instantly swung open, the man dragging out a briefcase before beginning to leave.
He stopped suddenly, placing the briefcase on the ground, grunting ‘and one more thing.’
He hurried back to Snake Eyes, throwing him against the glass window once more. ‘Remember six years ago when I told you one day you would become obsolete?’ Snakes Eyes nodded fearfully. ‘That day is now’ said the masked man, picking Snake Eyes up and throwing him through the window, the snitch screaming as he fell to the street below.
One night later the masked man found himself in yet another ravaged apartment block, on one of the top most floors with a perfect view of the adjacent building. Removing the sniper rifle components from the briefcase and beginning to piece them together, he attached the silencer to the breach before placing a pen to a piece of paper and writing a note that explained his actions.
As he did so he heard the cheers of those outside, picking up the rifle and making his way to the window. He pulled back the blinds before looking through the scope at the stand that had been erected in front of a rundown building. Numerous white pillars were posted around the front that looked to be the only things holding the aging concrete monster up. A symbol was inscribed into the centre of the roof of the building, one which had been used since the initiation of the Clergy as the ruling parliament.
Suddenly, Black made his way out onto the stage, holding out his hands to embrace the crowd. He was dressed in a black uniform, a white trilby perched atop his head; his face, as always when he was seen out in public being shielded from view. To the crowd he may have looked like a saviour, but to the masked individual he looked nothing short of a monster.
He watched Black take the podium, clearing his throat, the chanting of the crowd dying down, the masked man depressing the trigger as this occurred, one single bullet being launched from the rifle which spun in mid air, descending towards Black. Upon connecting with the flesh that was Black’s face, it completely pulverised the entire head of the creature the masked vigilante had dreamed of killing for six years now. He sat back inside the apartment as the body of Black fell limply to the ground outside, blood spurting uncontrollably out from the wound as cries of protest and howls of pain dominated the surrounding area.
Taking a deep breath the masked man laid his head against the wall behind him, a look of contempt hidden away under all of the fabric that shielded his face from view. ‘That was for you Charlotte’ he said. ‘That was for you.’
SYNOPSIS: Explores the final few days in the life of police officer Marcus Lithammer, revealing how it was that he died and the culprit responsible for his murder.
Officer Marcus Lithammer was found dead this morning inside the house of a Mr. Dominic Chase. He died instantly from a bullet to the side of the head, the murder weapon; a magnum revolver located a couple of metres away from the body. Dominic Chase, who is believed to be dealing with psychological issues is the prime suspect in this murder investigation and is still unaccounted for. Dominic’s family has told police they will do everything they can to help bring their son in swiftly and safely. Officer Lithammer, a decorated veteran of the Melbourne police force leaves behind a fiancé.
Fifteen nights earlier:
The sound of the loud bar echoed around me as I shuffled in my chair, staring into the face of the soon to be Mrs. Marcus Lithammer. She had brown shoulder length hair and a spectacular smile. Her teeth were a bright white that was almost artificial in appearance whilst her lips were covered in a bright red lubricant that made them glitter under the lighting from the ceiling above. She wore a fabulous black dress with what looked to be small sapphires located across every inch of its design, the garment placed tightly across her body, revealing all of her curves. She smiled back at me as we shared a toast, downing the drinks in one gulp. I smacked my lips, feeling my revolver pressing up against my lower thigh as I moved it over to the adjacent side. ‘What do you say we call it a night?’ I asked, alternate devious intentions in mind.
‘But it’s not even eleven p.m.’ retorted Abigail. Before she could say anymore her beeper went off, her face becoming contorted in frustration as I sat back in my chair, holding my head in my hands.
‘And it’s a mystery as to who that could be’ I said sarcastically as Abigail gave me a dirty look.
‘He’s my brother’ she retorted, reaching around inside of her black leather hand bag for the device that was irritatingly ruining a perfectly orchestrated evening.
‘Yeah, your brother’ I grunted, ‘who appears to spend more time with you than I have in the past six months. I want to spend time with my fiancé for at least one night without his interference. Is that too much to ask for?’
‘You know about his condition’ shot back Abigail.
I nodded, rolling my eyes into the back of my head. ‘I know, I know, fear of the dark, fear of tight spaces, fear of being touched. I ask you, how many things can a guy be afraid of?’
‘I told him, if he needed my help to call me’ retorted Abigail. ‘So if you intend to vent your aggression on somebody, let it be me. He’s innocent’ she said, storming out of the bar as I quickly paid the tab before hurrying after her. ‘Shit’ I thought, ‘if everyone was so damn innocent I’d be out of a job and living out on my arse.’
It was a short drive to her brother’s house, the streets dark and gloomy, the moon being extraordinarily bright at its pinnacle in the sky as I stopped the vehicle adjacent to the intended residence. The double storey home looked pale and gloomy in the darkness as Abigail looked at me, before exiting the vehicle, her breath visible in the darkness as I did the same.
The door to the residency flung open before Abigail had even rung the bell, her brother looking at her with glee filled eyes.
‘Hello Dominic’ smiled Abigail.
‘I’m glad you came’ said her brother. ‘I was having trouble sleeping. Whenever I closed my eyes this nightmare continued to play in my mind. Might you be able to stay with me tonight, at least until I manage to get to sleep?’ he asked as Abigail nodded, leading the way into the home. I managed a nod as Dominic looked at me, being unable to properly master a verbal greeting as the door closed behind me.
The interior of the home was shrouded with wood; wooden floors, wooden walls, even the furniture sharing the exact same pattern. Abigail led the way up the stairs, before turning right upon reaching the landing and escorting Dominic into his room, Star Wars posters littering the walls as I stood at the doorway as both brother and sister made their way into bed. I watched and waited patiently as Dominic began to count his usual numerical sequence in his mind to help him get to sleep, Abigail looking up at me with apologetic eyes as she mouthed the word ‘sorry.’ I instantly realised that she was not coming home with me tonight and it was with an angry heart that I briskly made my way down the stairs, slamming the front door behind me, hoping I kept that bastard of a brother awake for just a short while longer.
After driving around the town for a short while I eventually made my way back to the police station, logging into the target range and shuffling over to the farthest lane. Setting myself up in front of the target, I removed my magnum revolver from my belt and loaded all six chambers, pointing the loaded weapon at the intended target and squeezing, watching it go away. ‘If only everything were so easy’ I thought with a mischievous grin, ‘if only everything were so easy.’
Eight nights earlier:
I had parked my vehicle outside Dominic’s residence, waiting for his return home to speak with him. I took a deep breath as I turned on the radio, listening to some agonisingly brutal rap song which made my blood boil as I shut the radio off once more. Staring through the rear view mirror I suddenly noticed Dominic hobbling up the street, holding a cluster of books close to his chest, his eyes darting back and forth as though he were expecting somebody to attack him. Paranoid bastard, I’ll give him something to be worried about.
I exited the vehicle and hurried across the road over to him. ‘We need to talk Mr. Chase’ I began, being a little out of breath as I continued. ‘It’s about your sister. Well, actually it’s about your sister and I.’ I looked at him, his face looking puzzled, as if he were attempting to play coy, pretending he didn’t know who I was. ‘You do know who I am right?’ I continued, my voice tightening with anger. ‘We’ve met countless times in the past. You must have recognised me at some point in your ridiculously useless life! Anyway, I’m just here to say that I want you to lay off your sister. Why don’t you call your parents next time you have trouble sleeping? Now, I know about your little problems and I feel for you man, I really do, and many people in my position wouldn’t. But I would like to at least spend a little time romantically involved with your sister. Can you allow me that?’
The bastard didn’t even respond, appearing to completely ignore me as he walked past me and towards his front door. ‘You can’t have her you know!’ I cried as he slammed the door behind him.
One night earlier:
I lay in my relaxing bed, the wooden slats beneath me groaning as Abigail made her way over to me, unbuttoning her purple blouse and dropping it to the floor. Her amazingly luscious body that I had not seen much of recently looked as delicious as ever as I licked my lips, eager to taste her succulent flesh. I found myself salivating at her image, her dark hair rolling across her shoulders, her darker eyes looking directly into mine. Her brassiere matched the colour of her panties, both being a filthy black in colour as she made her way into bed beside me. I reached my arm around her and caressed her skin, kissing her moist lips as she groaned.
‘We haven’t done this in a long time’ she purred, beginning to unbutton my police uniform, falling on top of me and giggling as I embraced her in a warm hug. The two of us locked lips as her tongue ventured into my mouth, exploring the environment as I closed my eyes. Her hands reached for my zipper as I began to feel myself getting an erection – the phone spontaneously ringing and breaking through my greatest fantasies.
‘No, no, no!’ I shouted, infuriated at what had just happened as Abigail made her way off from my person and reached for the phone. Speaking for only a few short seconds, I instantly knew what was happening as I fell back into bed, holding my head in my hands as she put the phone back down. ‘I’m sorry Marcus’ she said. ‘But I really need to go.’
‘You don’t have to’ I said, becoming aggravated. ‘You need him like a hole in the head. I’m your fiancé! Could we at least spend some quality time together before we seal the bond? I was accosted by an attempted murderer today but you don’t hear me crying out for help, do you? I come home and I want to spend some time with the woman I am so in love with, not watch her leave to spend time with her brother. Do you not want to feel my erected penis inside you? Do you not want me caressing your succulent breasts? Do you not want me sucking your delectable clitoris? Jesus Christ, if I didn’t know any better I’d say the two of you were engaging in an incestuous relationship!’
‘That’s enough Marcus!’ shouted Abigail, putting her clothes back on. ‘I don’t need this crap from you right now’ she cried, tears in her eyes. ‘So just cut the bull and leave me be. I’ll be back as soon as I can’ she said, leaving the room as I fell back into the bed.
‘I can drive you!’ I shouted, hearing her cry ‘I’ll take a cab!’ the front door slamming behind her. I watched her from my window as she hurried down the street, cell phone to her ear. I buttoned up my shirt, grunting whilst I did so before eagerly hurrying down the stairs two at a time with the intention of following her.
I had parked in my usual position, opposite Dominic’s residence. I had watched Abigail arrive by cab, had seen the lights in her brother’s bedroom go on as she knelt down beside him, their shadows moving across the walls. I had waited patiently for over two hours, wondering what was taking them so long as Abigail finally emerged from the house, a taxi pulling up immediately as soon as she reached the curb, beginning to drive her back down the street. I rubbed my hands together as I took a deep breath, exiting my vehicle and walking towards the house. I picked the lock with a thin thread of wire, hearing the tumblers click into place, the door opening in front of me as I walked out onto the landing with the intention of speaking to her brother. I closed the door as quietly as I could behind me before slowly making my way across the wooden floor. Jesus Christ! Who in their right mind had their house comprised entirely of wood?
‘I’m sure I’d get his attention now’ I thought as I began to make my way up the stairs as slowly as possible, before hearing a sound coming from the kitchen. I crept back down the stairs and across the wooden floor, noticing a shape in the darkness that appeared to be constructing a sandwich as I sprang up behind him. Grabbing him around the neck, he instantaneously began to scream and squirm in protest, thrashing his arms around insanely as I dragged him into the lounge room and threw him into one of his wooden chairs.
‘Remember me?’ I growled through clenched teeth, ‘cuz I remember you.’ I took out my revolver and held it at my side, Dominic’s eyes growing wide with fear. ‘You ignored me before, but I doubt you can do that now. You think you know what fear is? Well let me educate you on something – you haven’t even scratched the surface. You know nothing about fear! Now, let me show you what fear really is’ I growled, holding the revolver in front of me. ‘Let’s see who the fates decide is the one most deserving of the love and affection of your beautiful sister, shall we?’
I removed every round but one from the chamber of my side arm, placing the others inside my pocket as I pointed the gun at his left temple and pulled the trigger. Dominic leapt in fear, astonished that nothing had happened. I drew the weapon to my head and smiled, pulling the trigger as I heard the weapon click, the chamber being empty. I pointed the gun back at Dominic, feeling extraordinarily powerful as beads of sweat ran across his face while he appeared to try to mouth sentences, the sounds being incoherent drivel. Pulling the trigger, the gun once again clicked, failing to fire as I turned the gun back on myself. I smiled at Dominic, holding the weapon steadily in my hand, before squeezing the trigger.