Available on a coaster
Available on a coaster
I had a car and thought I was doing fine but it took a little ride at the fairground on some merry-go-round that rose and fell with piped music running through my veins to make me realise that I froze with the motion into nothingness. The air was cold. The blood in my veins felt thick and black and heavy. It was as if Death held a stick against my throat for a second restricting the passage of air to my lungs. Next, a painted clown came and did the same circling me like a lion his eyes just pinpricks of black light. Then it was the ringmaster in his high boots cracking jokes with me and the merry go round continued. I held on tight watching and listening senses burning alive and feeling marked now for inspection. Introspection! I got off the ride a different man and sank slowly to the ground. The dew soaked through onto my knees bent in agony against what might prevail should I look up again to the innocent sky, glance at the bodies of passers-by instead of their feet or regard the milling people buying things and browsing the stalls like candles glowing too brightly. Candle mass would have been appropriate with the organ music coming from the ride behind me. The moment passed I stand up and look around with my eyes and staggering feet and feel glad to be groggy but alive. I feel a little gloved hand take mine and I look down into gypsy black eyes and the little ride begs me Again! Again!. Splinters of ice pierce my heart and I get back on the ride again smiling widely. It’s now or never I think and wait for the ride to start..
Once Upon A Time There Was A Little Girl.
And one fine day she took it upon herself to go to the shop to buy groceries,
She took the list prepared by her mother and with the money in her purse went out wearing a hat
The sun was shining and her journey was a good one.
At the Store Mr Patel greeted Pamela ‘Hello Pamela, Come to do some shopping?’
Mr Patel handed a basket to Pamela and she set off on her way.
Half an hour later she was done walking home with the groceries.
When she got home her mother said to her ‘Well done Pamela! For doing the shopping. As a reward tonight you can cook dinner’
‘Hurrah’ said Pamela laughing
Pamela’s mother got out the ingredients mince-beef, tomatoes, one large onion, and various herbs and spices and put them on the kitchen table along with a sharp knife.
Pamela followed the instructions followed by her mother until it came to the onion.
First, she peeled off the hard outer skin. Then she peeled off each layer of the onion one at a time until she reached what look to her like a large walnut.
Pamela went to the kitchen draws and pulled out the largest nutcracker she could find and cracked that nut in two only to find inside a red apple.
Pamela took the plunge and took a bite only to find that the apple contained hundreds of little black spiders in a red sauce.
She put the apple down on the table and watched as the little black spiders ran everywhere.
She rubbed her eyes sure she was in a dream and then looked again. and a big black spider was knocking at the kitchen door and then her mother walked in on eight hairy legs and Pamela fell over backwards and hit her head on the tiles, knocking herself out.
She awoke a couple of hours later with the doctor there who said ‘There’s nothing to worry about. Just a bump to the head. Children will be children, and children will fall over!’ This brought a laugh from her mother who was fussing nearby.
Okay, Pamela. Goodbye! said the doctor, placing a large red apple on her bedside table.
Pamela looked at it and inwardly groaned. Her mother, now back on two legs thankfully, smiling said ‘I’ll put this with the others downstairs, O.K. Pamela?’
Pamela went to object but at that moment, a hairy spider came down on its silk and dangled inches in front of her, centimetres from her eyes.
Pamela shut her eyes and then opened them again. The spider was still there and the apple in her mother’s hand too was dripping a red goo onto the floor.
There was only once thing for it. Pamela opened her mouth took a deep breath and screamed.
Sheila looked up from inside the chest cavity of her victim. Her feline teeth stained red, her whole face blood red only the whites of her eyes like ice lightning flecked with green.
Her stance was that of a cat also and she used her legs to gain leverage when she tore with her teeth into her victim just like a jungle cat does. If she had a tail it would have been swishing lightly with pleasure.
Sheila was a clinical lycanthrope, one who rather than seeking treatment for her condition lived out its fantasies. She growled like a big cat, tattooed her face with fur and even had her teeth filed to resemble that of a feline beast she imagined she turns into periodically. After a number of escalating ‘incidents’ compulsory, court-ordered treatment lead to today’s CBT session at the hospital.
Today Sheila was in full blown psychosis and after breaking her victims neck was now imagining she was a jungle cat feeding on her victims body. Her victim was her counselor from the regional mental health team. Well, she had wanted to explore ‘feelings of animality’ thought Sheila begrudgingly. She got the real thing today didn’t she Sheila ripping out her victims heart then taking a bite while winking at the CCTV.
Recovered CCTV footage then shows her marking the corpse and the ‘territory’ with her own scent by urinating over her victim and the table, floor and walls.
Forensic Psychiatry reports indicate ‘severe psychotic breakdown’, ‘grossly disorganised behavior’ and recommended indefinite secure incarceration. Prognosis: incurable.
Smelling bad and festering with yellow maggots and pus in the jellyfied state is how I imagine briefly Myra would look on her deathbed, laid flat on a mortuary slab in an old building with peeling paintwork. I was there looking at her while someone held a clipboard. Then I was thinking about my poster on my wall then back to the mortuary scene, before I think again of the task in hand, retrieving the dead sheep from the hill and bringing it back to the farm where it will be collected and burned.
As there are no labourers in the workforce. not that’s it’s a job entirely of labour. The sheep need a familiar voice around after the other night when the jaguar struck again. I volunteered for the job. I got the job. And seeing as how I am bust tomorrow over at Myra’s, tonight is when I am gong to do it. Shouldn’t be hard really. Just tie a bowline around the two back legs and lift mostly off the ground and drag back to the farm. A mile and a half over grass and through two fences. Should be easy. Getting there in this cold will be a challenge though hence the vodka. I can feel the warmth in all my extremities and can feel it’s giving me a buzz despite the early frost. I break into ‘Jean went out and bought some old barn, only to find it contained – another barn,’ an old song I learnt as a child and was walking along merrily blowing a great load of breath into the frigid night air. I turned a corner and heard a movement from the woods., like an animal, a big one. I stopped and swore wishing that I had bought my flashlight with me.
‘Whose in there then?’ I said into the bushes ‘Anyone in there?’ I stepped into the forest by about two metres and looked around. Nothing in the clearing up ahead and nothing in the trees. It’s the vodka playing tricks on my mind I hope I added. I turned around to go back to the path and that’s when I heard it again. A thud on the ground I felt more than heard. It then trailed off. I turned around quickly shouting this time ‘Whose there?’ but again I could see no-one.
‘HELLO!’ I shouted but there was no reply. I took another swig from the bottle to settle my nerves and shouted a threat into the darkness lest there be anyone wanting to fool around and headed on back to the path.
Bloody sheep, bloody imagination.
I saw in my head where the sheep minus its brain had lain, right up in the corner of the top field by the dry stone wall. When I got there I could have a sit down first finish the bottle then take the fastest route back home with my load.
Feeling good, I was about to round the corner to the field when I heard a shotgun blast from the top of the field nearby and shouting and screaming.
I ran towards the sound and just heard the gurgle of a death rattle in the mouth of Ted Flanders one of the men from the village always preaching about this and that and one firmly in favour of catching the Jaguar alive.
In the moonlight, I could see that half his face was covered in blood and that his jacket was hanging down between his legs. He turned and fell and I could see that it wasn’t his jacket but his entrails flowing from his stomach that had been ripped open before he fell by what I thought… A Jaguar?
Up ahead was a commotion lit by a Coleman lamp sitting on the wall that one of the men must have bought with them. I heard another shotgun blast and what looked like a man with the head of a jaguar in the flash. I threw away the bottle of vodka in disgust and grabbing a stout stick from the ground rushed up closer to see what was going on.
I saw another body lying on the ground, Aldred Baker, another village man, then I saw his son Jeff Lying on the ground missing one of this arms. And I could hear a gnawing sound and a guttural roar coming from up ahead. Someone screamed, A high terrible sound and then all went silent.
I dropped to the ground. The Coleman lamp above in the field was showing a scene of carnage but no sign of an attacker but something was wrong with me. My face and jaws ached and I could smell the blood and there was something wrong with my fingers.
I lay there in the wet grass and tried to gather my thoughts but all my thoughts were on the pain in my head and face and the feeling in my hands and feet. I tried to stand up but puked instead. I felt bad. very bad but excited by the smell of blood which seemed to permeate every thought and instinct.
I sensed, more than heard a body move above me and turned over my arms held in front of me in defence. And what I saw coming out of the ends of what used to be my hands surprised me more than the face of the jaguar/man creature who was now helping me to my feet. I had three-inch claws instead of the hands I used to have and from what I could tell I had grown fangs in my mouth that extruded from my jaws and wrapped around my lower jaw in imitation of the monster now gently mopping my brow and making purring noises. What was happening?
I was gently lead to the body of the former shotgun wielding farmer Giles May He Rest In Peace whose neck was broken judging by the odd angle of his head. I felt sad in the parts of me that were still human but also sad on a new level too aware that a ritual had not yet been completed.
My companion picked up the farmers corpse by his head and bent over him. I heard a large crack and knew that was the man’s skull be opened from the top. I knew then what I needed to do.
I tried to pick up the shotgun from the floor where it lay loaded broken but ready to fire, but my claws could no pick it up. I cried tears of blood trying to pick up the thing but then realised I could probably do more damage than I could with the shotgun through my claws and teeth. The jaguar-headed and human bodied man was now slurping over the head of the deceased farmer paying me no attention so taking advantage of my position I launched myself at its neck ripping it open from behind and felt a great pleasure in feeling its hot blood spurt over my claws. Despite its injury, the monster turned around to face me dropping the corpse and drawing itself up to its full height. Instinct took over and I launched myself again at its throat and with my teeth ripped out what was left of its neck. The creature fell backwards in a spray of bright red arterial blood and then lay silent.
I was breathing heavily through my nostrils and the smell and taste of human blood were heavy in my thoughts as I figured out my next move.
I moved over towards the dead creature that had taken so many of my friends lives and lifted it up till I held its head in my hands. I opened my jaws as far as I could as I reached down and bit hard. After it was done. I sat down and waited for morning.
The keys on my keyboard are full of magic. They should believe in themselves!
It’s Christmas again and the movies are playing on television as the big day looms ever closer. Hams and Turkeys are flying off the shelves at supermarkets up and down the country. Dads are stocking up on beer and candles and mums are doing that last bit of Christmas Shopping and making sure Sue, Benjy and all the little ones are happy.
It’s a Jesus-themed Christmas time at our local church with nativity plays and fayre to enjoy even though it’s cold!
Teens are indifferent to the real meaning though and are busy compiling lists of why Christmas is overrated and too commercial while looking forward to big presents and parties!
I hate Christmas. I like Doom Metal, Death Goth Metal and Black Metal. I remind myself.
Myra is at the bar and I am finishing up an assignment. The death goth movie poster I have on my wall is cool. I want tonight to be as cool, no cooler! Myra might go off on one, as usual, not that its usual, it could be my imagination playing tricks on me. Colin and Luke will be there. I fold up my laptop. Time to go.
I walk out to the hall and countdown the seconds to the car. Now I am walking past the car and heading up the road towards the village. Nobody is about. A text arrives ‘Where R U? Myra x’. I’m five minutes away. I text back saying it will be with her in ten. There’s something I need to do first. I head towards the off license and buy a bottle of vodka that I stash in the hedge. I mark the spot with a piece of red rag I find in the gutter. That’ll do for later tonight.
At the pub, I try to ignore the sideshow of the chatter of the jaguar remembering that I still need to drag down that sheep off the hill and join my friends. Hurrah! The night starts slowly but soon builds a momentum of its own and me and Myra have some quality time together. She talks of a new store opening on the other side of town and we agree to go there on opening day. A celebrity will be there to open the store, but I will be with my own celebrity, Myra. We cheer the oncoming Christmas with a row about which politician we would vote for if he or she lived locally and soon the night was dark.
Outside the quiet was as still as a single blade of grass. An owl hooted in the trees and underfoot was a thin frost. Footsteps were approaching crunching the gravel. The smell of burning pipe tobacco followed by grunts and the sound of low voices whispering. The sound of a shotgun being snapped shut followed by laughter preceded the pitter-patter of dogs feet and a single bark punctuated the night.
‘CHEERS ALL!’ shouted the landlord at the end of the night and we headed outside where people smoked and waited for lifts or taxis.
‘So I’ll see you tomorrow then?’ asked Myra
‘Yeah, at yours,’ I say
‘Bye then,’ said Myra
‘Bye Hon!’ I say
I stand at the kerb as Myra gets into her taxi and heads off towards her place in the next village.
I have a quick smoke and then zip up my jacket against the cold. I have something to do. I begin walking. I retrieve the bottle of vodka from the hedge where I left it unscrewed the cap and took a deep swig. I felt a warmth spread into my fingertips and I screwed the cap on tight. Before I headed on. Further along, the hedge I retrieved a piece of rope. All I needed for the task in hand – Midnight Sheep retrieval.