7. The School – Previously.
David looked round the headmasters office. Third bloody time this year he had been summoned here because of the little shit. It was only May! First it was truancy then it was fighting and this time smoking. He could not really say too much about the smoking in itself. He smoked and he had smoked when he was at school it was the lack of respect though that's what bothered him. Back in his day.
Jeeze, did I really just think that!
You had smoked out of the way, stuck to fag ally as it was known. The teachers knew kids were smoking there and occasionally they would venture down and show their authority. Generally the kids stayed hidden and the teachers turned a blind eye. Not his Jason though, oh no not him. He had just lit up after leaving English lessons and started smoking there and then in the playground. Stupid though smoking undoubtedly was he would have been a hypocrite to have judged him to harshly. Smoking on school grounds, during the school day and just rubbing it into the teachers faces, well that was different. The headmaster entered the room along with Jason. Jason did not look bothered by any of this. If anything he looked amused. He sat down in the chair next to his father and slouched back, legs spread fiddling with a pencil. “I don't need to tell you how seriously I take this Mr Williams” the headteacher started.
“Please, its David and no you don't. You have my word I will deal with this”
“While I appreciate that Mr Williams, I am sorry to say that it is just too late for that”. Never a good sign he thought, refusing to use his first name. He’s really gone and bloody done it this time. Jesus christ this was all he bloody needed. He had a job to hold down and child to raise – hah what a joke – and it was only fair that he had some time to himself, wasn't it? Now what was coming, he dreaded to think. Probably a damn suspension so he’d have to take time from work. Why, that was what annoyed him. Jason knew he was struggling already, why does the damned kid keep putting him through all this. As if reading his mind the headteacher continued. “Unfortunately I am afraid to say that this time a suspension is not going to be enough”
Oh for fucks sake
“Your son's attitude, plus his complete lack of remorse really leaves me no choice. His attitude has been deteriorating at a rapid pace since, well you know. While you both have my sympathies I just can't see any other way out of this.”
Sympathies? You can shove your sympathies up your arse.
“I have spoken to the governors and we all agree that it's best for Jason to leave with you now”. This was one of those moments we all have had. You have two choices you either nod with acceptance and bite your tongue, or you don't. David chose the latter.
“Sympathies? Oh well thank you very fucking much”
“Mr Williams will you ple...” He did not get to finish.
“No, shut it. Sympathies offer and mean nothing. What my son needs is understanding and help. Instead you offer fuck all. Well you can shove it and frankly your school is a shit hole, always was always will be.”
With that he stormed out of the office grabbing Jason as he went, the headteacher sat in stunned silence. The headteachers secretary popped her head around the door and jumped at the sound of the main door being slammed shut, no sticky doors here! “Well that could have gone better,” she said.
“With his temper it could have gone far worse!”
Almost literally stomping through the car park towards the outer gate Jason and David made their way out of the school grounds. Jason started to laugh “Bloody hell dad you told him!”. Davids blood was already boiling, that was the remark that sent it bubbling over the top. “Told him? Jesus christ you think I did that for you?” now it was jumping the saucepan lid up and down with the pressure, it was ready to blow. “Really are you that thick? You think that was for you. I have to keep my fucking job, I have bills and rent so we have somewhere to live. What’s your contribution to it all? To get kicked out of the local bloody school. What the fuck am I meant to do now”. Jason just looked and shrugged his shoulders.
The teenage shrug, Christ had he been this bad?
“You are as bad as your bloody mother, couldn't give two shites about anything but yourself”.
“You don't talk about her, you don't talk about her” Jason’s anger now brewing. “You killed her, and now you bring her up”
“Killed her? I didn't bloody kill her she topped herself. Is this what you go around telling people that I killed her. I knew you were thick but for fucks sake you do understand what suicide is don't you?”
“Oh fuck off” was all he could reply with before storming off. David was going to call him, hell he should have called him but if he’s being honest he wanted the little shit out of his sight.
8. The Priests Doubts.
He stood in the centre aisle of the church trying to work out why he felt so uncomfortable. The funeral and burial had gone well, as well as can be expected. It was always hard to do but there had been nothing there. He had felt a darkness, a shiver not just up his spine but deep in the very centre of it. Something was wrong, he just had no idea what. He had no love for David Williams he knew that. He knew he was supposed to love his fellow man and although David had had it hard he was a hard man to like. His temper had mellowed in the past year or so but he still had it in him and when it did blow it tended to be nuclear. His wife had killed herself eighteen months ago, then the accident that had taken their son had happened last month. The police enquiry had found he had slipped whilst drunk and fallen down the stairs breaking his neck. It was a sad story and had truly seemed to devastate David. Some had said behind his back that he was the cause of his wife killing herself and maybe there was a little truth in that. It was certainly not a happy marriage come the end but he had felt that suicide is a very personal thing and unhappy or not you cant force someone to do it. Maybe that's all there was to it, maybe he was feeling Davids lack of hope and complete and utter nothingness. He was sure that was wrong though. He had sensed that before he presumed they all did from time to time. This was not an empty feeling this was a feeling full of rage and anger. It had not come from David it had come from something else, something evil and dark.
Help me, help me help this man.
He just stood mindful of his own thoughts trying to dig out an answer to a question he did not know.
Am I being paranoid? Am I wrong?
No, he didn't think he was. He had felt evil he was trained in some ways to feel it, To sense it. No trained is the wrong word. He was destined, born to feel it. He’d known it from the second he’d taken his last drop of alcohol. His eyes were not just opened they had been blown wider than ever before. He had sensed people hope in him, their loss at times and their joy at others. He walked the aisle to the crucifix at the end. He stood under it and prayed. He prayed for strength.
He wandered the fields that David had walked through but found nothing. Five fields later he gave up and turned around. One entrance and one exit to each and nothing at the end. The fields were dry from the long hot summer, he hoped we’d have rain soon. The world needs balance.
He went to David's house, determined to get to the bottom of it all. He knocked on the door but got no answer. He looked through the windows, the house was empty. He checked the door, who knew what luck a little faith could grant but no it was locked. He gave it a gentle push just to be sure but no such luck. Break a window maybe? No to much noise. He noticed a bird on a plant pot by the door, he did not know why but he felt the urge to investigate the pot. A spare door key was underneath it.
He was a little hesitant at going into the house, but he had to know. He knew this man was in danger.
Just, lets not end this with me in a jail cell.
He pushed the key into the lock and opened the door. He stepped inside
9. Lumps and grumps.
He finished with the toilet and turned to wash his hands. Water, soap, rinse and repeat just to be sure. He went looked around the bathroom for a towel and could not find one. He wiped his hands loosely on the top of his trousers and went to open the door. He had expected the door to be stuck again but this time it opened with the same ease it had for Molly. He stepped out into the hallway and saw Chris leaving what he had presumed was the girls room. “Hey”
Think, think, ahh there it was.
“Chris right? Do you know where I can find a towel?” he shook his hands, shaking some of the water from them. It was just natural for him, he was someone who used his hands and gestures when talking. He shook his hands to demonstrate what he needed. It was undoubtedly silly but he did it without thinking about it. Like gesturing drinking a glass to ask someone if they wanted another pint when you are in a busy pub. The tiniest little spot of water hit Chris’s hand, his reaction was something David had not expected. Almost instantly his skin turned a patchy red where the water hit. It seemed to spread up his arm moving at a frantic pace. “You stupid fucking idiot” Chris screamed at him, specks of spittle hitting Davids face like venom. “What have you done, what the fuck have you done!”. The rash was spreading and had started appearing at his neckline. “We’re all here for one night only, and you and you co..” He was stopped in his tracks by an almighty voice, it was almost a voice he recognised, almost but not quite. It just boomed “No!” and Christ was seemingly dragged back at pace along the hallway. The rash was spreading and had almost covered his face. Where it had started on his hand the skin looked like it was decomposing, falling away in chunks. Where it fell he did not know watched in horror it as it flaked away it seemed to just vanish into dust. Chris hurtled down the hallway towards the door at the end. He should have hit the door he was moving at such a pace. As he got to the door he just vanished. The house shook, everything within its walls rattled. David wanted to run but he stood motionless just staring at the empty space where Chris or a broken door should have been. He didn't even notice the racing footsteps approaching him from behind.
Michael arrived behind him first, Molly followed just afterwards. “What happened?” Michael asked. “I just shook my hands and he got a drop of water on him, then...”.
Madness, this is madness
“Then it was like something grabbed him, it shouted no. He was dragged down the hallway and he, he just vanished” His voice broke a little as he spoke, he was shaken. Shaken to his very core. Had he just seen a ghost? Was Chris a ghost? He’d had it, he had to get out of here. “Fuck this, I am out” he said as he pushed past Michael. Molly stood in his way, not trying to block him but as he got near to her she reached out and grabbed his arm. She ran her hand up his arm and he felt a warmth, a softness flow over him. She leant forward and whispered into his ear “calm” he felt a sudden calmness. He breathing slowed and he was sure the pulsing in his chest returned to normal. “You have to tell us everything”. He felt like he was in a trance. Like being double dosed on a mild sedative. He still had full control of that he was sure but he wanted to tell this woman everything, anything and everything she desired. If she had asked his deepest darkest secret he would have told her, anything. Was this her power? Was this her strength. He let her lead him to the front room. Michael followed and poured them all a drink when they arrived. Milly sat opposite him and repeated almost word for word what Molly had asked. “Tell us everything” she only added “Start after the funeral”.
This time he told them everything. The sex, the violence, the voices and the eyes. He went into details he didn't even know he had seen or remembered. He could now remember that the woman was wearing seamed stockings, the laced pattern at the top. He remembered the man's pinstriped braces hanging at the back of his trousers. He finished his story, not once taking his eyes from Milly. It would be dishonest to say that he was looking eye to eye, every now and again his eyes wandered down her body and up her legs. He was sure she was not wearing any underwear. He could even visualise it. It was almost as if she flashed him occasionally but only he could see, his own personal peep show. That couldn't be possible though as Molly was sat right beside him if he could have seen so could she. Milly looked up at Michael who was stood over by the window. “Michael this could be a problem”. She turned back to David. “David, listen to me. Chris had aquagenic urticaria its a water allergy essentially”
“Bollocks” Michael interrupted “That would not explain it”
“No it would not” Molly said. “But it could explain what kickstarted it” Milly Continued without breaking beat, they really were on the same wavelength. “What if it started with a mild reaction and then something took over, something took him?”
“It doesn’t add up, we are here because of Chris. Can you still feel it here? If Chris were taken the link would be broken”
“And if the link were broken we would not still sense it” Molly finished.
“David, the voice. You said it was familiar. Think who was it?” Again he swore she was flashing him. Like a subliminal message in a film it was there and then it was not. He knew the answer to the question, he just did not want to admit it. He could not help himself he had gone this far. When you have stepped into the unknown what is one more step. “It was.. it was the voice of my son”
“I think there may be something else here, something worse,” Michael said. David snapped out of it suddenly. He felt Molly’s hand on the very top of his leg, fingers moving touching everything. He jumped up from the sofa, the lump in his trousers embarrassingly hard.