For those who are interested. Chapter 1, Draft 2. Typo’s so ye has been warned.
David stood and listened as the priest said his last words and the coffin was lowered into the ground. It was never right to bury your own child, especially at such a young age. A drunken fall down the stairs and his life had been ended before it had even really began. He had been a troublesome teenager, but nobody deserved that. It was only him at the funeral his wife had committed suicide a few years earlier his family long since forgotten or unspoken too. He should have invited them he knew that but they had wanted nothing to do with him so he in turn returned the favour. Bollocks, what are they going to do refuse to speak to me?.
The priest stood and watched as the coffin was lowered into the ground. He too had been a troubled teenager drinking and doping more than his fair share before he had had his calling. Deep down he knew it had actually happened and he knew from talking to others that the calling can come in strange and unusual ways but he always had that doubt that the crow and dove were a drug and drink created hallucination. What he could not doubt though was that they had sent him on a better path in life, hallucination or not. He would not have ended up in the same place as poor old – young – Jason, he had past that age already but it would not have surprised him had he ended up either in the ground or a cell. In a perfect world he would have liked the plots of bother mother and child to be near each other, but then if it were a perfect world they would not have died at the same time at the very least David had got a few extra years with his son. The church had long since sold the extra fields it had once owned so now even in death space was a premium and you were placed where they had room. Hindsight he thought staring over at the field next door. The church had had their reasons he knew that but infertile ground, an empty field how it would have been useful to him now. Davids eyes had reddened he had not been crying he was not that type of a man, he showed those emotions in private and only then when they burst from him. He had mellowed in the weeks following his sons death, his temper used to be well known in the town. Hushed whispers and local gossip spreading like a wildfire but in recent weeks he had just seem withdrawn. Losing everything you have ever loved maybe even ever possibly love would have that effect on even the strongest of spirits. What is the point in getting angry if you did not care?. Like a picture sometimes a gesture is worth more than words, he wandered over to David and placed his hand upon his shoulder. He could have spoken and spoken at length about the passing but he felt that this was not a time for words. The service had finished it was time to turn the page, to move on. Gone but not forgotten the time for words would come later. David placed his hand upon the priests and then turned and walked away towards the end of the cemetery, he needed a smoke heck he needed a drink and a smoke. He needed an escape, something to take his mind of things.
He wandered and smoked. Strolling along the very far edges of the graveyard lost with nothing but his own thoughts. He approached the gate overlooking the adjacent field and that was when he saw them. It would be polite to say they were making love, but lets be honest with each other they were fucking. Making love is almost by definition an act of love. Maybe these two loved each other, maybe they did not how can you know for sure but what they were not doing was love making. One minute he was on top, then she was on top. They were rolling about under the old tree going at it like bunnies that had not seen each other for six months. He took a drag of his smoke and watched. It was not about voyeurism as such although who could deny there was a little of that it was though more about escapism. For the first time in four weeks his mind was on something other than the loss of his whole family he would wake thinking about them and fall asleep with them on his mind, for now at least his mind was elsewhere. The woman was now on top, he could see her clearly enough. She had a old fashioned pageboy haircut hanging down at the back. Her white blouse, long black skirt and haircut all complimenting each other. The only thing that seemed out of place was the choker around her neck. She was moving away and he could see her stocking tops showing, the clip for the belt just on display and he ran his hands up her legs. He backed away behind the hedge next to the gate, lets give them their privacy he thought. He took another drag and then decided that if they wanted to do it in public then privacy was something they had forfeit; besides his only other option was to go home and that was not something he really wanted to do.
The man was now on top, her legs wrapped around him. It really was not about the sex for him it was completely about the distraction this can be proved by the next thought that went through his mind. As he watched her legs in the air he thought about her white blouse and wondered what detergent they used, they would need something good for those grass stains. Oh to be young and in love. The man was wearing a white shirt – no grass stains he could see – and a trilby hat. His short blonde hair was just visible under the hat. He also he noticed was wearing a black tie, had they been to a funeral too? Death and sex two things that seemed to be linked, the potential of life starting and life ending he supposed. He really did was to leave now once you had got past the initial shock and excitement of seeing something that you should not be seeing then watching two people screwing from fifty paces was not one of the most exciting things in the world. He wanted to leave but something told him – almost a vice in the back of his mind – to stay and enjoy the show. Maybe he was far more interested and found it far more interesting than he had initially thought. Approaching the end now he thought as the man moved behind the woman. He grabbed her hair with his left hand and pulled it back, it was deceptively long the curling of the haircut hiding its true length. Rain started to spit a little spite made him smile at the thought of this ruining their fun but they were covered by the tree. Her hair was being pulled so tight now that her head was looking straight at the tree, she couldn't move it forward. It must have hurt but she seemed to be enjoying herself, whatever floats your boat he thought. The rain fell faster and the man moved faster. He did not see the mans right hand slip from view but then why would he he was watching the woman. The rain poured and the right hand came back into view. Had it not been for the sun peeking through the clouds he would not have noticed the knife straight away but the glint of sunshine reflecting from the blade hit him square in the eyes. He did not have time to react sometimes you just can not quite comprehend what you are seeing and my the time you do come to terms with it then it is all over. As they finished the knife was bought forward to her neck and slit across it from ear to ear. The blood sprayed forwards covering the tree like some strange modern art exhibit her body slumped forward and down almost instantly as the man released her hair. The man threw his arms and head back just kneeling like someone being held by an invisible crucifix. David jumped back once again hidden from view behind the hedge. He was shaking and his heart raced. He went to take a drag from his cigarette not realising it had burnt down to the filter, he threw it to the ground in front of him. He was usually pretty good for littering but it seemed unimportant to him, he did not even think of the bag he had in his pocket for things like this. He looked around the hedge into the field but he could not get a good enough view. Taking it step by step he crept to behind the gate. Creeping was pointless the rain was hammering down and they were towards the centre of the field they would have been able to hear him even if he had ran and stomped. He watched the man before the tree still staring into the sky, his arms outstretched. He was saying something but he could not hear nor see enough to make out what he was saying. Slowly almost moving frame by frame in a slow old flip book the mans head started to move downwards. It moved like a dancer under a strobe light edging forwards to what would be considered its normal position. Once it had got there it started to turn once again very slowly. The mans face was coming into view, worse than the face his smile. It was almost stretched from ear to ear, a maniacal grin on a maniac. He was frozen, frozen in pure terror. Something in the mans eyes just told him that he knew he had been watched, he knew he had been seen and that he could not allow that to stand.
Run, just fucking run!
That is what his rational mind was screaming at him. Run back to the man of God, run to the priest. This was something out of his comprehension. This was something that not just made the hairs on the back of his head shiver, every single hair on his body was standing to attention screaming for him to turn away and run as fast as his legs could carry him. He couldn’t though his feet were rooted to the spot, invisible roots spreading from the tree in the centre of the field holding him in place. He was suddenly free from the imagined vines that had held him in place. He took the option that deep inside he knew he should never have done. He leapt the gate and found himself standing in the field with the man. Was it something built deep into his psyche to save the damsel in distress?
What if she does not need saving? What if its to late?
Was it part of just having nothing else to live for or was it simply that he was verging on the edge of madness. He did not know and we can have no way of knowing, but he looked at the man and the man with the smile as wide as Alice’s cheshire cat stared straight back at him, unblinking eyes piercing deep into his soul. A million thoughts flooded his mind at once.
What the fuck am I doing?
Should I run?
How do I help?
Do I confront him?
What is wrong with him?
Why, why does he not run?
Then a voice, a voice in his mind. It was an intrusion into the one place that was truly private and yours and yours alone. Somewhere that you did not have to tell anyone about, yet here was this voice projecting itself directly to him. Like a finely tuned radio broadcasting just for him the voice was as clear as a bell and he knew that is was coming from the monster posing as a human being watching him. “Run run little man, Run as fast as you can, you cant catch me I am” He stopped, just for the moment. A slight hesitation, maybe a hint of nervousness.
Was he afraid of me?
“Do you like my Columbian neck tie” it asked. The cockiness had gone it had sounded so full of itself at first now it just had lost a little of that edge. Not a lot but just enough to give him a little confidence in his actions. He covered his eyes with his hands, a child’s actions to something you did not want to see but it was all he had. As any child will tell you hiding under the duvet is the best way to keep the monsters away, the imaginary ones anyway.
Stop it, I don't believe in any of that shit!
He peeked from behind his fingers letting them creep open at a pace that would have embarrassed a snail. He could feel that his head was clear, the boring into his head had ceased he knew that much. Was it not looking, did children know something that we as adults grow out of. Dismissing the monsters as we grow up, explaining those creaks and noises as the acts of an overactive imagination. Moving his fingers was a mental anguish. Half his mind was telling him not to look that it was not worth it. If you could not see it then it could not harm you. The other half was saying why not look, you are either fucked anyway and besides, you don't believe in any of that shit. He looked timidly at first but then with more confidence. He put his hands down, the man was gone.
He ran to the centre, to the tree. Looking everywhere just to make sure he was alone, he was. He could see the blood sprayed upon the tree before he had even reached the half way point. He knew he was to late and it was pointless but he did not slow his pace. He arrived at the tree and fell straight his his knees grabbing the woman by her neck applying pressure to the gaping wound. He knew it was pointless what little blood that was left just dribbled over his fingers being washed away by the lashing of the rain. When they had been screwing the rain had been mild and the tree had managed to cover them, now it lashed down and coupled with the rain he was getting soaked through. The woman lay slumped her skirt pulled up. She was just left there like a discarded toy, something that was played with and then thrown away. There was a second voice in his head now. This one was pleasant almost timid in its entering as if it was not quite sure if it was welcome or not. “Find him for me, catch him for me” it said. He was in no doubt it was the woman’s voice. The second it finished he could feel, or rather sense the body losing its last grip on life. It could not happen that quickly he thought but he could almost feel the woman’s body getting colder the head and neck that he was holding became a dead weight. He looked at the only other exit from the field, he had a choice to make. To go back to the way he had come or to venture forwards into the unknown. He wanted to run, oh god he wanted to run away so quickly.
“You’d better run all day, and run all night. Keep your dirty feelings deep inside”
He could hear the lyrics in his head, the song held a special meaning for him. Was he imagining it, was it a message was it just part of the madness he was sure he had now contracted. Voices in your head, now music. His next move just cemented it all he must be going crazy. He ran, he ran as fast as he could. Only instead of running towards the one person who may have been able to save him he ran away from the priest, away from the graveyard and away from any chance of redemption.
The priest stood with the grave digger watching the man. “What do you think he is up to?” the grave digger had asked. They had watched him stop and smoke, then he seemed to have seen something and ran into the centre of the field and to the tree. He had stopped their for a while and then ran to the other side and in to the next field. “No idea” replied the priest. Something though, something was not right. He could feel it. Something was happening and he did not like it one bit. He had learned to trust his feelings no matter how strange. Over the years it had held him in good stead no matter how much they went against what others thought or what was considered conventional. “Still could be worse, at least it’s a good day for it” the grave digger said.
David had seen rain in that field. The Grave digger just saw sunlight. The priest however saw darkness. He saw a darkness he had never seen or experienced before.