14. 1950 – Part 1.
There were going to be caught. It was over now. They’d had a good run. It had started ten years earlier. She had been a blonde back then, now a dusty brunette. He jet black and now bleached blonde. It did not matter now but they had been changing their hair regularly. They still – if they did say so themselves – looked good though. He was suited and tied pinstripe braces over his shoulders and she was dressed to impress, as she always was. Long trailing skirt, white blouse and her black choker. They had hit it off from the start he was slightly withdrawn and she was always the shyest girl in the street but they had both bought the good and bad out in each other. It had started with simple things of the time. A trip to the cinema to watch the latest movie. Petting turned to fondling, fondling to more. More then turned into routine and routine in turn changed to boredom. They had both been about to break it off when they finally came out and admitted it. To their shock they both felt the same. It took a little while for two naturally shy people to admit it but once they got to talking about it they found they wanted the same. So back we go to the cinema only this time its not petting its everything they can get away with. It starts simply enough with hands but then the temptation. So they visit the cinema when its emptier its more than just hands now, its hands and mouths and everything else. Now the problem is they want more, they want more and more. Cinemas in the dark back row are also becoming boring. The books, oh they had so many books. Newspaper clippings meant for dirty old men had been a novelty at first but one day they had seen one for written erotica. Discover the sex life you’ve always deserved it almost jumped from the page, so they ordered the book. Three weeks they waited. Fantasies of what the book may contain, thoughts and wishes, dreams and desires. They may as well have stuck with their own thoughts the book was almost as prudent as they had been when they first met, almost but not quite. In fact the only part of the book that did grab their interest and that was in the introduction. The section read.
Sex is a perfectly normal thing, it is nothing to be ashamed off. Some of the more extreme sex acts have often been connected to satanism. In the interests of safety and public decency we have not included any of these acts in this book.
Satanism? Was this a step to far? No of course not, nothing was to far for them. Back to the books then. They bought every fictional book they could find that had even a hint in it. Learning in time about Duke de Richleau, Jonathon Harker and other such names. Nothing really struck a cord regardless of how good the books were. Lots of research of old texts and still nothing until the short man found them. Like the tall man he offered them what they wanted, his price? It had to be done in a certain place. He pulled a set of tarot like cards and said he could read their futures. He and they sat as he shuffled and then dealt the cards.
The card of lust came first. He grinned “Ahhh yes, not the lovers the lusters” he pulled the next card, it too was the card of lust. “You will double your numbers, the pair first pulled is a lucky sign. Your new members will help you in more ways than you can know.” He shuffled and dealt again, two cards this time. A card called the atomic clock and a card with a skull on it. “You will die in ten years, however you will live on by other means. Do not worry, you will enjoy the time you have on this plane”. Three cards this time, one with a priest, one with a large tree and another with a church. “The healer will enter the game, towards the end I think. You must find this tree it will be near a church. It is important this is where your first steps on the journey will end”. He handed her the Tree card. “I can give you one more, five cards that will tell you your fate in death. Do you wish to know?” The nodded in silence.
The game card came first. “You will be involved in a great game”. Then the blood soaked knife card, “ahh a game of revenge”. The next card was just black, pitch black. “Ahh the darkness enters the playing field”. The forth card was also a game card, he looked at it and then drew he fifth. It was a card with a series of planets all cracked across the centre. “Ahh very good, very good. This is the great game, the final game. You will play with the darkness to bring about the end and the start of a new world” He picked the cards up and put them all together, he left the stacked deck on the table. “A gift from myself to you” he said. He got up and went to leave. “A second gift will arrive tomorrow, enjoy it” he let himself out and the door closed behind him, seemingly by itself.
“Do you believe all that?” he asked.
“Not really, but its the closest to something unusual we’ve come”. She picked up the deck and reinserted the tree card. She sat and shuffled. I suppose we shall have to wait and see what tomorrow brings. She lay the cards out on the table, turned them upside down and fanned them all out. Every single card apart from the tree he had given her were black, pitch black. They looked at the deck and felt a tinge of excitement.
David jumped up from the seat Molly fell to the floor lifeless, literally lifeless. The fog had cleared completely, David and Milly sat holding hands as they had done before. They looked at Molly’s dead body and then at David. David stood there suddenly aware that his penis was still on display for all to see. Seconds if that and it had given up its salute and returned to normal. “What have you done!”
“You’ve killed her” Milly stuttered. David did his trousers up turned and ran, he headed upstairs. Could he have escaped outside? He did not know, and he did not feel it was worth the risk. Upstairs he could barricade himself in to a room, he could hide and survive until this nightmare was over. Outside he had two choices left or right and last time he had tried it they both lead to the same destination. He ran into the first room he knew was unlocked and pushed the bed against the door. It was an effort but he got it there in the end. He sat on the bed as the he listened and heard the footsteps hammering up the stairs. The fists started banging on the door. “Open the door David, its no good you have to face up to what you have done”
“He is right you know” said Molly, who somehow was sat on the bed right next to him. He leapt and almost cleared the room in one leap, cowering in the right corner of the room. “You have to face up to what you have done” Milly said, she was standing the the left corner and wandered over to sit next to Molly. “If you don't face up to what you’ve done, then how can you ever have forgiveness?”. He grabbed at his face, hiding them from view closing both eyes covering them with his hands too. He pulled at his hair. “What… what do you want”. No answer. “Answer me damn it”. Still no answer. He lowered his hands and looked. The room was empty. Not just empty of Milly and Molly it was completely empty. Nothing at all, not even the carpet he had thought he was sitting on.
16. The Final Minutes of Jason Williams.
Alcohol. If being a little bit wobbly is merry. Struggling to walk and talk could be classed as drunk. Jason was neither of these things, Jason was completely and utterly shit faced. Like any self respecting drunk he had tried to order a taxi to get him home. After the third attempt – this time ordering a burger – the taxi company stopped answering his calls. He picked a fight with a lamppost, or rather he walked into a lamppost were it sentient you would have to say that it had won as Jason was on the floor admiring the stars. Stars are wonderful, there must be more out there than just us he thought. Then he threw up. A combination of crawling, staggering and what could very loosely be called walking and he was finally at the front door. He tried the door and it was locked. He kicked the door “Fricking arshole, I live here too”. He fumbled in his pocket to find his keys, gabbed them and attempted to find the lock. Hah, first time. He turned and the door unlocked. Throwing the door open he stepped into the small hallway. He left the door wide open and stumbled towards the stairs, grabbing the bannister tight with both hands. He took the first step, then the second and finally the third. He started humming a song he knew, but soon changed he lyrics. “One step, two step, three steps. Grumpy old bastard locked the door”. Forth step and then the fifth, finally the legs worked to get him to the sixth. “Hah, four steps, five and six. I bought my key so fuck you, you dick”. Next three felt easier. “Seven, eight and finally nine. How strange this is I am feeling fine”. As he said the last word he leant forward, wretched and threw up all over the final few steps. He lifted his head and wiped his mouth on his sleeve. He looked up and saw his David stood at the top of the stairs. “You’re a fucking embarrassment” he said. Jason took the next step - squelch - he had forgotten the puke on the step. He took the next one more puke. He was standing almost nose to nose with his father. “And you’re...” hiccup. He waved his finger in his fathers face “You’re a complete and utter wanker” hah, take that he thought. David turned to walk away, what was the point he had tried everything he could. “Is that what you did with Mum? Watched her and then walked away. You fucking piece of shit”. David stopped and took a deep breath. He couldn’t do it. He knew he should walk away but he just couldn’t. His temper was building he was not going to stand here and be spoken to like that. “Did you watch her die, watch her cut her wrists and then laugh as she died?”
Straw, Camels back broken.
David flew forward back to where he was stood before. “You listen to me you little shit. I loved your mother. I would have done anything for her” his spittle was dancing on Jason’s face “Look at you, you waste of space. Kicked out of school and then getting pissed every night. What are you doing robbing little old ladies to be able to pay for it?”
“Hah, I sold your old LPs you daft old shit”
“You did what, That’s it I’m done, tomorrow you can fuck off and I don't want to see you again” Jason threw a punch at his father, he all but missed just skimming the side of his face. David was taken aback, verbal violence he had got used to to some extent. Physical violence had never been a part of this equation. “Christ, you cant even throw a punch” he pulled his right arm back ready to swing at Jason. He bought it forward and Jason ducked. How he managed to duck it he’ll never know. In other situations it would be considered a lucky break unfortunately in this one it was not. Jason twisted to avoid the punch and as he twisted he slipped on his own puke. He watched in almost slow motion as his son fell backwards down the stairs. I’d love to tell you he reached out to try to grab him but by the time that crossed his anger filled mind it was to late. Jason’s neck cracked on the first step it hit the body lifeless by the second hit and slumped like a rag doll when it hit the bottom. David collapsed at the top of the stairs and cried.
He called the ambulance and the police at the same time. Apart from telling them about his punch he told them the whole sorry story. The drinking the argument, everything. The truth was he knew he had not hit Jason but he also knew that had he not attempted it then Jason would have slept it off and tomorrow would have been another day. Instead the only lesson he had learnt was that he had to control his tempter. An enquiry took place but as there had been no signs of violence the death was ruled an accident. An accident he thought, an accident.
He lay tied up next to the pool. The more he struggled it seemed the tighter the ropes became. He struggled some more but it was no good he was tied far to well and far to tightly. “Do you float?” he was asked. The voice came from behind him, he tried to twist to see but it was useless. “I am going to fucking kill you” he spat out. “When I get out of here, I’m going to cut you to fucking pieces” and he meant it, oh yes he meant it. He’d come close before but he’d only used his blade thus far for threats but this time he meant it. He was going to cut this bitch to pieces. “But you can’t do that” she said. He knew that voice, it was Sharon. Fuck Sharon, this was a joke, this was payback. “Fuck you Sharon, let me out of this”
“What and let you cut me to pieces?” she added quotes with her fingers to the final four words, not that he could see. “I think not”
“I’m going to fucking kill you, you bitch” the bile was pouring verbally from him.
“You already killed part of me, so this will be easy”. Now he knew what this was about. The stupid bitch, it was about the baby. Eighteen months earlier she had got pregnant she saw it as his fault, he saw it as hers. They had gone out to “celebrate” and he had doubled up her drinks all night. Gin and tonic, old mothers ruin. The first few she had said tasted strong but he had just said it must be her hormones, after the first few the rest flowed easily. At the end of the night he offered to walk her home. He had never done this before and she was starting to come around to the idea of a baby, maybe it would make him grow up a little. Was this the first sign of him taking responsibility? It was a small step, not a large one but a small one none the less. They reached her house and he pushed her against the wall and kissed her. She kissed him back. He pulled away and looked her straight in the eyes, smiling he said “You’re dumped bitch”. He then pulled back and punched her as hard as he could in the lower abdomen. She had miscarried within hours and cried herself to sleep that night, and many after. She had told nobody not a soul but she had not forgotten. She would never forget. She had started to plan her revenge that very night.
He saw the heels of her shoes come into sight. “They say a baby can go straight into water after birth, I wonder how long you’ll last” she walked over until she was right beside him. She put her foot on to him and pushed. He turned slightly being pushed closer to the pool. “Stop, fuck it stop. You’ve made your point.” she pushed again. “Sharon, please stop” Ohh please, she liked that. She did not think she had heard him say please before, still he was going to die. “She pushed once more and he was teetering on the edge. She leant over towards him and gave him a kiss, right on the lips. She looked him straight in the eyes and said “You’re dumped, you bastard” and gave him the final push. He held his breath for as long as he could but eventually the water flooded his lungs. Needless to say after years of drinking and smoking he didn’t last as long as a baby would have, not even close.
17. 1950 – Part 2
As promised – for he always kept his word – the book arrived the next day. Not bound in human flesh as one might expect from a book designed to facilitate evil it was just a small paperback. He flicked it open, every page was blank apart from the publisher listing. “Bloris LTD. Bridgwater, Endzone”. The only place he had heard of was Bridgwater obviously but what good was a blank book anyway. He tossed it on the table and went to make a cup of tea. When she came down from the bedroom she picked up the book, flicked through it and found exactly the same. He bought her a cup of tea over and sat down opposite her. “Well it was fun while it lasted” he said and handed her the tea. As she grabbed the tea there was a spark of static between their fingers. With the static an image formed on the front of the book. It was a black circle with a spark of what looked like lightening circling it. At the bottom five cards formed. The Killer, The Priest, The Policeman, The Sex Symbol and The Thief. They turned the page and read. It was printed and read like a biography of the pair. Starting with how they met and ending with the short man delivering the book. The final page with writing on it challenged dared them to find the tree. Finding the tree didn’t prove difficult. Bridgwater has only a handful of churches so they visited them all. Once again the law of sod came into play and it was the last church they visited, but there is was almost a picture perfect recreation of the one on the card. In a field behind the cemetery, part of the church plot that had not been used for years if not decades. As they had found the tree they headed back home and to the book. The next page had revealed itself, they were now challenged to have sex under the tree. As time went on the challenges became more extreme but they generally involved the tree. It started with a bird being killed there, then a cat. Eventually it was a person. The book warned that they would be caught but they should not panic. They did panic, the idea of getting caught was not a worry. The idea of being separated was. In the end they did as requested. They found a boy, killed him and buried him exactly where the book told them. They then made love under the tree once more, it was the best it had ever been. They were being watched by another couple, they spotted them as they sorted their clothing out. Panic, fear and shame hit them hard, but the couple wandered over quite casually holding hands and smiling. They talked and realised the four of them all had the same interests, kinks and desires. They were caught as the book had said, but they needn’t have worried, again as the book said. The twosome had become a foursome.
The book guided the four until the end, but by that point they knew that there was more than just this world, more that would awaited them. So they found themselves, all four under the tree one last time. The police closing in but oh what fun they’d had. When they searched this field the bodies and memories they would unearth. The four of the stood in a square the tree in the cenre, a gun pointed at the one on their lefts head. Purchasing them so soon after the war on the block market had been easy. So many desperate people eager for money and what did it matter if they were traced back to them, the world would know of them in days anyway. They looked at the tree, smiling they all said in unison “See you on the other side” and pulled the triggers. The bodies all fell at the same time.
The police arrived and found the bodies. Over the coming days and nights they would close several missing persons cases. When they searched their house they found a small booklet. Pages sown together to form a basic spine. The front cover just contained a crudely drawn lightning strike. The pages inside were hand written and detailed everything from their first meeting to the final act they would carry out later that day. The final page had “All Hail The Darkness” at the top and it was signed by all four of them.
The priest at the time loved having that field but now he had to get rid of it. He ordered the tree destroyed and the field sold. It was sold at a minimal price, nobody wanted to pay the going rate for something they knew the owner wanted sold, nor for somewhere that at any time they may encounter a human body. Over the years various people were hired to get rid of the tree. It had started by cutting it down and cutting into what remained of the trunk. From north to south and from east to west many times over. Yet still the trunk would sprout. The next step was digging it up. In came the diggers and out went the tree. Within a year a new sprout was found in exactly the same place. So at long last they tried to burn it. Lots of petrol and one little flame. It burnt and burnt and eventually the tree and the ground was a charred yet still within a few months a new sprout had appeared. In time they gave up and the tree was just a myth, it was a place that people spoke about in hushed tones or as a story to scare their friends.
18. Beginnings and Ends.
David crept across the room towards the door. He pushed his ear against the door and listened. He could not hear a thing, the silence was worse. The silence meant he may have finally cracked and gone truly insane. He had just been in this room with two people, one of them he had killed or thought he had killed anyway. Now he was alone and the house felt lifeless. He opened the door a crack and peeped down the hallway. Nothing. He opened the door as quietly as possible and had a good look down the hallway. Looking at first towards the back and then towards the staircase. Still he could see nobody or no thing. Creeping he made his way towards the staircase, the hairs on the back of his neck not just tingling the were dancing the samba. As he got to the very top step he saw them standing at the bottom. David in his black shell suit burnt to a crisp. The skin black and cracked with red pulsating flesh underneath. The two girls Milly and Molly, their necks with a section ripped out white and as pale as a sheet. Chris soaked to the bone, his lips blue and eyes almost popping from their sockets. Finally the final four, The two he had seen in the field and the two who had been the police all with the right (left? Check this) side of their heads missing, blown away by an antique weapon. Michael spoke first. “Remember David, ghosts cant hurt you”. Was he telling the truth, he could not be sure. If they could not hurt him what was to stop him leaving now? Then he remembered the rain, he looked out of the window and it was still hammering it down. “If you cant hurt me, then what is the point?”
“Revenge” Said Milly and Molly.
“Helping a fellow soul” David said.
Chris hesitated and then said “Redemption”
“And you four?” David asked the others?
“Oh we have our reasons, but lets just say its a game” the woman replied. Was she the leader of this group of spectres? She seemed to speak with an experience, with a knowledge the others did not have. “So if you can not hurt me, then where do we go from here?” They just stood at the bottom looking at him, then the man with blonde hair spoke. “We can keep you here for as long as we like, you’d die of old age or maybe suicide”
“Hunger?” one of the police officers said?
“We can fuck him to death, well fuck him as he dies” said the other. David just stood listening if they truly couldn’t hurt him then what could they do, Who’d break first he thought, he also remembered something else, something that Micheal had told him. “A place, a point and a time”
“What?” The woman asked, “who told you that?”
“Sparky over there” he pointed at Michael. “I am guessing I am the person, this is the place and point and the time is now” he paused. “The question I have is how much time do you have? I don't think you can stay here forever, so why don't I just get a drink and let you lot run around in sheets all fucking night”
Hah, got you he thought. He could see in their faces that he was right. Check and fucking mate. Get out of that one. Who needs the Scooby gang when you have him. “You are right” the man on the end said “We cant hurt you, Nobody here can. We only have a limited time here too” David sensed a but, his confidence was misplaced. “However, the one behind you, well that's a different matter”
Behind me, behind me? What the fuck is behind me.
He did not want to look for two reasons. The first being that he just didn't want to look, if he didn't look did it really exist? The second being he didn’t want to tun his back on them. As we have seen before he has to look, so slowly he turned his head. He could see nothing. He turned a little more eyes creeping first and his neck and body following. Still nothing. He was all the way around and he still saw nothing. He was just about to turn back feeling he had been tricked when Jason appeared from out of nowhere right in front of him. His heart jumped from fast to warp speed. Jason smiled and just said one word “Boo” David stepped back and fell down the stairs. He heard rather than felt his neck break on the first step he hit, thankfully any pain was over because of that. As he slumped at the bottom of the stairs the life draining from him David leaned over and spoke. “Its true we can not hurt you, we can however make you jump”.
The priest sat in Davids kitchen looking around. He could see nothing really of interest to him nothing that would make sense of what he was feeling. On the kitchen table were some books, paperwork and an old picture of a house that had written “Jason aged 9” on it. A large house with crooked windows and doors. A white pathway and two chimneys, typical child's drawing he thought. A book of paintings and one about mysterious killers and victims of the twentieth century. He flipped the book of killers and victims open and saw it was taken out from the school library by Jason. The doll maker of the sixties, the vengeful vixen in the seventies. The fire starter in the eighties were all bookmarked, the corners turned down. The things that fascinate kids these days he thought as he closed the book. He suddenly felt a lifting of the weight that had been on his shoulders, as quickly as it had come it had retreated. He sat at the table he should have felt happy. He should have been relieved but he was not he just felt a great sadness. He knew he was to late. Whatever was going on had ended. He left the house, closing the door behind him and headed back to the his church.
The town centre was its usual messy self. They tried, they all tried and there were without doubt worse places to live but sometimes he really did wonder if it was worth it. Today was one of those days. He left the town to wander to his church the autumn leaves adding the colour to the world that he loved. He arrived and headed straight for the graveyard, that was where this had started maybe he would learn more there. Nothing was there just the freshly filled grave ready for the headstone to be planted at some point in the future. He strolled towards the gate to check the field once again. He reached the gate and then he saw it by that tree – by that damn tree – he ran over.
Davids body was leaning against the tree lifeless. He didn't need a doctor to tell him that. The neck was broken and a bone was sticking out from it. He looked over the body and prayed for the first time in his life he played to anyone, anyone who could help. He looked over the body once more and saw David was holding a card in his hand. He picked it up, he didn’t know why. It just felt right, he just knew it was left for him. The card had a priest on the front and was called “The Healer” he flipped it over and on the other side was a message scrawled in a black marker, it just said “I shall see you soon healer”