The teachers who expelled Angela get a nasty surprise.
By Stephen A Abell
Number of Words: 7689
The Beginning Of The End.
“She’s a nuisance,” Mr. Sam Gerald, the math teacher’s, voice rang out in the staff room.
The small group of teaches had pulled four of the grey tables together just for this meeting. It gave them a focus: Instead of being dotted around the room, they were a gathering, able to see their opposition and allies on level ground; they were a jury.
“Oh, Sam,” Mr Michael Brayshaw rebutted sadly, “in what way is she a nuisance?”
“Come on Mick, you know just as well as the rest of us Angela doesn’t get on well with any of her studies, except for your art class.” He shook his head showing his disgust, “you treat her as if she’s the next Michelangelo.”
“Well, she is the best student I’ve ever had.”
“And she’s the worst we’ve had.”
A ripple of “here, here”’s and “too right”’s ran around the table.
The English teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Clay piped up for the first time, “I’m forever catching her scribbling and doodling in her English book.” She looked down and pushed her glasses back onto the bridge of her nose, “and such things too.”
“I know what you mean there, Liz. Just last period we were discussing electricity and conductivity when I spied her scribbling away. As always, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, hoping she was taking notes. When I strode around the class later, checking on their progress, I see she’s done a very lifelike caricature of me, being electrocuted. My hair and clothes were aflame and one of my eyes had popped from it’s socket. Very disturbing stuff,” Mr Richard Copnell sighed, “very disturbing stuff indeed. If you ask me she’s got a screw loose, that one.”
“Can you hear yourselves?” Brayshaw asked. “Well, can you?” None of the small group could miss the new tenseness within his voice. “She’s fourteen years old. What fourteen year old likes science, math, and I’m sorry to say this Liz, even English.”
“I think you should calm down a little Mick before you say any more.” Mr Ray Stevens, the principal & geography teacher, warned, “You don’t want to say anything you’d regret.”
“The only thing I’d regret is if we sold Angela short. You guys are talking expulsion, and for what? Not being interested in the subjects you teach. Maybe you guys would do better looking at HOW you teach the lessons. Make them a bit more lively and fun, instead of old and dead.”
“Oh, that’s just right.” Copnell flamed and stood up, pushing his chair back violently enough to send it toppling to the carpet. As he leant forward and placed his hands on the table, his eyes narrowed and his voice grew quieter. “Art. Where there are no black and whites. No wrongs or rights. As long as you can make a mess on a piece of paper or fuck up a piece of stone you can still be called an artistic genius and make millions. Well, Mr. fuckin’ art teacher let me tell you a couple of things.
“One; you ain’t all that, because you’re here and not out there making money like the other abstract retards. Two; the school is run on wrongs and rights. This student isn’t learning; doesn’t want to learn come to that. And, even though she keeps herself to herself the other students cannot help but take an interest in her, and what she’s doing.
“Angela and her art have a reputation. It took ten minutes to calm the class, after the drawing of myself had been brought to light, and get them back onto the subject at hand. That, Mr. art teacher is ten minutes of nuisance and ten minutes of wasted time; and I for one would like nothing better than to see the back of her.”
Mr. Brayshaw looked sheepishly at the science teacher as he inhaled, righted his chair, and sat down.
“Okay. Now Mr. Copnell has gotten that off his chest and before somebody else can make an idiot of themselves, I’m going to ask for a vote. Those of you who think Angela Lowry is a disturbance to other students and is harming their learning, please put your hand in the air,” Ray Asked
Six out of the seven hands rose from the desk. Michael Brayshaw kept his flat on the Formica.
“Right, let the minutes and records show that in the case of Miss. Angela Lowry we find in favour of expulsion. I’ll get the relevant paperwork sorted and filed. I’ll have her suspended right away for five days and take it from there. Don’t worry, hopefully this matter will be resolved soon.”
“You’re all wrong.” A weak and defeated voice all but moaned.
“Oh, shut the Fuck Up Mick.” Liz, ordered venomously as she pushed herself out of the chair and headed towards the staffroom door and home.
“She’s an artist,” he whimpered, “Rich, you’ve seen her work you know how good she is.”
“When she portrays you dying in agony then tell me how good she is.” He stormed of mumbling, “No fuckin’ respect.”
As the last of her peers left the room, Mick hung his head and let out the tears he had kept back. It was not for the stinging assault Copnell laid on him. It was not even for the outcome. No, it was because he could not help but relate to Angela. He too had been the odd one out, the misfit, who dived into his artwork, fantasy, and imagination, instead of schoolwork. Today, he learnt of the other fork in the road; the other direction he could have so easily been forced down if it had not been for his very own art teacher fighting for him. He had been lucky enough to have a saviour. Angela had a loser. He had failed her.
Vengence At £4.00 A Head.
Lucy sat with Angela on her bed and talked of the things she had missed in school the last two days, which amounted to fuck all. The airhead bitches were still airhead bitches doing airheaded things to seek attention and admiration. The Goths, like Lucy, were still Goths. The Sk8rs were Sk8rs. Nothing changed in five days.
Though Angela knew something huge was happening to her. Five days of suspension passed and nothing had arrived from the school. No homework and no schoolwork. Each time Lucy knocked on her door she was empty handed. This did not bode well.
She had been in that jerk, Mr Steven’s, office quite a few times in the past few months, and the pep talk was always the same; “Knuckle down”, “Start paying attention”, “Get your grades up”. A couple of times she arrived at his office to find one or both of her parents sat in the chairs. If both were there then it was a real bad omen because they were divorced. Suspension was a word, which had been banded around more than a couple of times. She even paid attention to the warnings and tried to concentrate on her other studies, but something inside kept pulling her mind away. Her right hand did not feel right until it held a pen or a pencil and was sketching one thing or another.
But now, five days had passed and there was no end to being grounded in her bedroom in sight. In her gut she wished for the phone call telling her to come back to school, all was forgiven. It did not come.
“So, Angel, baby,” Lucy drawled trying to make her voice huskier, “what you been upto in your untimely imprisonment?”
“Just the usual.” She motioned to the TV, “watched telly,” pointed to her bedside table holding the copy of Twilight, “read a bit”, and finally swept to her easel, “painted and drew a lot more.” A smile escaped and rested on her face for a few seconds. “I’ve been thinkin’ a little too.”
“Hey, take it easy babe,” Lucy giggled, “don’t go using that old grey matter, they’ll want you back at school.”
“It’s strange, I actually want to go back. I’m about bouncing off these walls in here.”
“Full moon over the Funny Farm, eh?”
“Yeah. The only good thing with this suspension is I don’t have to get dressed, I can just doss about in my PJ’s and robe.” She took a big gulp from the water bottle her mum gave Lucy before coming to her room. Looking at it she realised, “I’ve really pissed of mum and dad. I feel real bad lettin’ down like this.”
“Well, least their miles apart, so it won’t be like the old times, with them screaming and smashing the place up. They used to scare you shitless.” Lucy leaned in and put an arm around her shoulder, “I remember all the times you’d cry and we’d snuggle up.” She leant in further and drew in a deep whiff of Angela’s shampoo, “and that one time they had a go when I was over here. I stayed the night ‘cause I was too scared to leave the room.” Her hand came up and caressed Angela’s cheek.
Pulling away from Lucy’s closeness Angela spoke softly, “I thank you for all that, you’re a great friend. My best friend, and I love you, but…”
“You’re not in love with me.” The sadness was instant on Lucy’s face, though she tried well to hide it with a flippant quip, “So, I guess a snog is outta the question.”
“I’d say,” Angela blushed, “besides I believe you just copped a feel right now.”
“Straight up girlfriend,” she laughed, “a girl’s gotta get her kicks somewhere.”
“Super Slut to you Biatch.”
The two girls fell back on the bed giggling happily. Angela, for the first time, forgetting about her dilemma.
The bedroom door burst open a few second later, “what the fuck do you have to be so fuckin’ cheerful about?” Angela’s mother stood in the naked space of the doorway. Her body small and taught, her eyes alive with anger and a slight madness. Angela shot upright and looked at the manic figure of her mother but, in her minds eye, could only see a raving gremlin from the movie. “Here,” her mother launched the envelope she held at Angela. It hit her square in the chest and fell to her lap. “It’s that fuckin’ school. They’re expelling you? Just what the fuck did you do? Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. I’ll hear the truth at the meeting in a weeks time. You better watch yourself ‘till then, ‘cause I’m not in a good place, and you’re in a worse one. Just think what would’ve happen had you dad been here? And now I have to phone the fucker and tell him the good news.” She turned and started to head towards the stairs, turning back once, the anger and venom gone from her voice leaving a dejected sadness, “I can’t believe a girl of mine being expelled. A girl of mine.”
Angela listened to the soft thuds of her mother’s feet treading down the stairs before leaving the safety of the bed and closing the door on the real world.
“Like I said,” Angela coughed dryly, “I’ve been thinking.”
Angela’s plan was ingenious. She knew how much Lucy loved the shadowy world of the Goth fantasy and lifestyle and on numerous occasions joked about what she would do if she were a real witch. Not one of those, goody-two-shoe, Wicca kind either, but a fully-fledged right out of the dark-side bad hag. Though, of course, still with the cute face and drop dead bod. It was easy to seduce her into searching out the website and spell she required. Lucy assumed they were playing a game of “what if”.
“What if” those bastard teachers got their comeuppance? That was her main theme of her little ruse. Could she not remember Lucy telling her a story or was it an urban legend of a painting coming to life and killing its owner and his family? Twenty minutes of searching Lucy’s favourite sites and Angela had her answer. Four rune stones, placed at the corners of the painting, had worked their glamour on the unsuspecting family. Angela bookmarked the page when Lucy called a toilet break.
Next, she incorporated the playing of the guilt trip card. She convinced Lucy hexing the teachers was not the way to go and instead she would try to make them feel a little sorry for her. Maybe, when the hearing came around everything could be back to normal.
While being suspended from school, Angela had worked feverously at a new piece. It showed one of her main characters “Judiah Lust”. Though, his appearance sang of youth and anamorphic sexual tension, his eyes told tales of ages past and dark lust. He wore a dark blouson, opened to his midriff, his exposed belly button wore a shiny diamond stud. His black jeans hung teasingly on his hips revealing his pelvic V, which in turn pulled the eyes towards his most private of places. The bulge in his groin was significant and was the only sign this entity was male. Cladding his feet were 1950’s style canvas boots. This bad boy was all rock ‘n’ roll.
The internet is a marvellous tool, within minutes of Lucy’s dexterous typing they had all the addresses of Angela’s teachers. The car horn blaring outside drew Lucy straight back into the present and away from the joys of the cyber world. “Shit,” she spat annoyingly, “it’s ten already. I’ll give this to my pa he’s bloody punctual. It’s Friday night, he could’ve given me another half hour, you’d think.”
“He is a train driver Luce.”
“Yeah, so you’d expect him to be late by an hour or two.”
The horn blared again. “I wish he’d give me a couple of minutes to get my shit together, what’s a girl to do when she’s all in a fluster.”
“Grab your coat, give me a hug and sod off home, and be thankful your parents are together and care about you so much.”
“Lucy Loveless, get your ass down here before your father wakes up the whole fuckin’ street.” The tired and weary voice echoed up the stairs without any vigour.
Lucy wrapped her hands tightly around her friend’s waist, “Love you babe.”
“Yeah, I know you do. Love you too, my best friend.” Angela’s hands pressed her shoulders lightly.
Suddenly Lucy’s face shone with an impish grin as her hands dropped to Angela’s ass and squeezed. Pulling away quickly from the touch she blurted, “Slut.”
“Super slut, if you don’t mind biatch.” As Lucy closed the door behind her, she turned and winked at Angela, “that’ll give me something to dream about and keep me warm tonight.” Then she was gone.
Angela waited until the sound of the cars engine was no longer audible then turned on the monitor and searched out the newly bookmarked sight. She quickly downloaded the picture and zoomed into the rune stones. Picking up her pencil she quickly sketched a necklace around Judiah’s smooth neck, placing the runes in order from left to right. An hour later and the picture was complete.
Earlier the next morning she scanned the piece and printed out seven copies on high gloss paper. The shine added to the luminous texture of his flesh. She carefully framed up all the prints and placed them into Jiffy bags with a simple piece of patterned paper, with one beautifully calligraphic word written on it, “Sorry.”
Her dad, as always, picked her up at ten and they made their way into the town. On the way, they made one short stop to post the seven parcels. For twenty-eight pounds, death was sent on his way.
A Picture Paints A Thousand Words.
Death and English literature.
The parcel was waiting for Mrs. Clay when she arrived back from school. Being a widower, after her husband suffered long and horribly from cancer, finally dying seven years earlier, putting them both out of their miseries, Mrs. Elizabeth Clay hardly received any mail, apart from the junk kind. Her creased and wrinkled hands played with the package, as though by touch alone she could deduce what was inside and who had sent it. She placed it on the table near the door as she removed her coat and hung it up. Retrieving the parcel, she moved into the front room and in the setting sun, she sat in her armchair by the window and once again caressed the brown paper envelope.
Ten minutes of gentle touches brought no flash of inspiration to her so gingerly and with great care, she started to pull open the tab. There was wood inside, she could see it through the gap. Something glittered in the setting sun, and once more, her mind went blank. As she turned it over she caught sight of vivid purple colour and hesitantly she slid her hand inside and pulled out the piece of paper with her nails. The children in her class called them talons and claws, because they were long and deadly looking. Her husband had loved her nails. Her teary eyes focused on the paper and the beautiful script, “Sorry.”
Who was sorry? Why were they sorry?
With a deep inhale, she upended the envelope and let the mystery item drop onto her knee. It was a frame, made from mahogany. Turning it over she caught her breath before it escaped. The artwork was so detailed and luxurious. The young man in the painting looked so lifelike, so real. She ran a finger over his bare chest and shuddered inside. She was a widower of fifty-five but she wasn’t dead, she told herself as butterflies and other things squirmed in her chest, stomach and lower down. Something about this painting stirred deep feelings with in her. More than a little afraid she flung the picture and frame onto the sofa, face down. If you can’t see it, it can’t hurt you, her mind foolishly told her.
The room was darker now, as the outside world journeyed into twilight, and the English teacher found the stress of the day telling as her eyes closed and she drifted into dreamland.
The war seemed to last an era. She watched as the greys were killed; she cried when the blues were killed; she howled and prayed when her husband was killed. The land outside her door was covered in an ocean of blood. Every stem of grass; the bark on the trees and hedgerows; every single leaf and flower was saturated in a crimson red and iron hung in the air, heavy and thick.
Looking down at her white dress, she was amazed to see it was spotlessly clean and radiated a brilliant white in the incandescent moonlight. Looking up, a movement caught her eye. A swift shadow moved in the distance, down the parade from her home. The darkness grew ever larger and she began to make out a rough shape, within seconds she knew it to be a horse and its rider.
As they drew closer she picked out more and more details. The horse was solid black, the rider rode bareback and his attire was as black as his steed. In the moonlight, the only visible thing about her night visitor was his skin. It glowed and to her it looked alive. Within a couple of minutes, he brought his mount to a halt at the base of the porch steps.
“I’m sorry to bother you Miss. but I’ve become separated from my unit and, even though I hate to admit it, I am quite lost.” His voice travelled to her ears and ran syrup like to her heart like pure honey. There was a power in it she could not resist.
“Which unit are you with dear sir?” She stammered, trying to regain control of her speeding heart.
“Not one that a lady such as yourself could have ever heard of.” There was a twinkle in his dark young eyes.
“Plenty of soldiers come this way; I may have heard tell of it.” Without knowing she inhaled and pushed her breasts up and forward.
“We are the night brigade,” his voice hushed as though speaking a secret, “and we are responsible for this.” His hand gestured the blood soaked countryside as he swung his leg over his rides back and dismounted. His booted feet landed with a visible and audible plop. Splatter painted his leather boots and trousers. He climbed the steps to stand before her and took her roughly by the waist, pulling her close.
“My name is Judiah Lust,” his words tickled her ear and she shivered with uncontrollable pleasure, “and what do they call you Miss?”
“Elizabeth,” she sighed in trepidation.
His black eyes bore into her mind, “come with me Elizabeth,” he commanded.
Unable to slow her heart and less able to ignore his command they walked into her house and up the sweeping stairs to her bedchambers.
“Undress for me, my dear Miss. Elizabeth.”
Knowing it was wrong and a sin to reveal her nudity to another man apart from her husband, she began to slowly disrobe as he watched avidly from his seat on her wedding bed. She was surely hell-ward bound for this indiscretion, but it felt so good.
Once she was naked, he stood before her and ran his fingers all over her body. Wherever his fingers touched, her skin took on a life of its own. He planted kisses on her neck, working down to her bare breasts and lapped joyously at her enlarged nipples. Never before had she felt such passion, she was overflowing with it. A cold breeze brushed against her legs and dried the passion on her legs.
Greedily she began to undress this mysterious stranger. As she unbuttoned the black woollen long coat he wore she aroused even more by the naked chest underneath. Not a hair graced the white alabaster skin, no mark, no scar. As the coat fell to the floor she whispered, “You are perfect Sir.”
She kissed longingly his perfect chest as she worked the buttons on his trousers free. No sooner had the last one popped from its hole than his manhood popped from its confines, and his trousers fell to the floor effortlessly.
In one swift movement he lifted scooped her into his arms and laid her gently on the bad. Slowly he drew himself above her and glided himself inside her. She sighed and explored in pure passion.
With each slow and painfully pleasurable thrust, he kissed her. He kissed her all over her body. Hours later when they were both sated he climbed off her prone body and smiled.
Something in his smile made her fearful and worried. There was a new redness on his lips, a redness which looked to be wet, like blood. She tried to sit upright and her body failed her. His control over her had disappeared a good while before so what was keeping her from movement?
“What have you done to me Sir?” She whimpered.
“Do you really want to know dear Miss Elizabeth?” Was there sadness in his tone?
“Yes,” she pleaded, “show me, I urge you.”
With gently hands, he lifted her torso and slid the loose pillows under her to prop her up. As she gazed down on her body, she was relieved to see she was no longer naked. A sticky and slick covering of blood covered her skin. On nearly every inch of her upper body were puncture wounds from which her life flowed.
As she looked back to her undoing, she saw he was already dressed in his black attire. “Why?”
“Because we are the Night Brigade,” his hand gestured around the bedchamber. She drew in a shocked breath to see it was covered in her blood, she watched as it soaked into the skirting boards and started to rise up the wall, soaking the wallpaper, “and we are responsible for this.”
Her eyes closed and she drifted away into nothingness.
As he closed the door behind him, Judiah whispered, “Sorry.”
E=MC(who gives a crap)
“Hi babe,” Richard Copnell called into the house as he barrelled through the front door, “I’m home.”
“In the kitchen, love,” the sweet reply came, “just getting your dinner on the go. Come and tell me how your day went.”
Richard threw his coat onto the coat hook and cried out, “Yeah,” his hand punching the air when it stayed in place. As he walked down the hallway to the door at the end he continued the routine, “same old same,” he said. “The little fuckers ain’t there to learn and half of then can’t spell IQ, even when you give them a choice of two letters.” He smiled at his own putdown. Over the years there had been many. Most were rubbish, he would admit. Others though were “Pearlers”. One’s to remember and store away in his little grey cranial organic computer. “And, how was yours dear?”
“Oh, just the same old shit. Did another boring morning shift at the lav factory. Life is such a joy knowing you’ve built the perfect crapper. Then home and get tea started for her majesty’s arrival”
“Are you calling me a Queen,” he camped up as he skipped into the kitchen, hands hanging limply in front of his chest. He cleared the distance between them in seconds, wrapping his arms around his partners neck, pulling him close and planting a big wet, sloppy and audible kiss on his lips.
“I mean,” Richard continued as he skipped out of the shocked grasp, “If I’m not incorrect Dean, you’re the one who like to wear the dresses and the nice frilly things.”
“Well, I do have the body for them.” He pirouetted to show of his slender form, “Anyhow, I don’t hear any complaints from you Richy dear.”
“Neither will you.” His hand snaked up the back of Dean’s skirt and clamped down firmly on his muscular arse. “I think you look fuckin’ great.” He pulled Dean closer and moved in for a proper and loving kiss.
“So what’s for dinner then?”
“I’m doing a beef kung-po with extra fresh vegetables. Should be ready in about twenty minutes, do you wanna shower now or later? You have time.”
“We’ll take one later,” he winked, “I feel real dirty today and nobody does my back better than you.”
“I am noted for getting into all the nooks and crannies,” he laughed. “Anyway you can go and rest in the front room. There’s a package come for you, feels like a frame of some kind or another.”
“I’ll just make use a cuppa tea and then I’ll take a look.”
“That would be much appreciated, thank you babe.”
As he sat down on the sofa, he kicked off his shoes and pushed back into the comfortable leather. The large brown envelope sat on the table next to the arm rest, he sat his steaming mug beside it on the coaster and picked up the parcel. He could tell straight away Dean was correct. He ripped open the flap and pulled out the black wood frame. The patterned paper fell onto his lap. Looking down he mouthed, “sorry.” Sorry for what?
Bringing his attention back to the frame and the picture within he was stricken by the detail of it. The young man in the picture was so lifelike; the painting could have been a photograph.
The name burned quick in his mind.
Now how had that bitch known he was homosexual? She did not pay any attention to the class work so why had she paid so much attention to him. He was certain most of the staff thought he was straight, and a hundred percent sure his students did. He went to great lengths to not over-butch his character, so as not to make it unbelievable. He even starred at certain types of girls, just so they thought he was straight. It was not because he was ashamed, he was not, completely the opposite, he was very proud. But, kids could be such ignorant and hurtful bastards at times. He watched as a fellow teacher had been ridiculed to the point of transferral. This was not for him, he loved the town he lived and worked in and he wouldn’t let any snot-nose push him out.
But, how had SHE known?
The picture had overtones of a young man in sexual heat and it called out to him. Disturbingly he realised his body was reacting. Quickly he placed the picture face down on the far side of the sofa, where it stayed until dinner was over and the pots had been placed into the machine for washing.
As they retired into the front room for the night, football was on the television tonight and Richard already had the beers set by the sofa. Dean came in and sat in the middle of the sofa, his arm around Richard’s neck. As he brought his feet of the ground and curled them on the free seat next to him, he kicked the picture.
Picking it up and turning it over, he muttered sultrily under his breath, “boy, I would fuck him.”
Quickly Richard snatched the picture away, “yeah, I bet you would.”
“Hey, don’t get sarky with me,” he growled with a playful air, “I’m not the one getting near pornographic photo’s in the post.”
“It’s not a photo. It’s a painting.”
“Get away. If it’s a painting, then its fuckin’ awesome. Who did it?”
“One of my students; the one who we requested for suspension. Remember, I told you about her.”
“You kick her outa school and she sends you a present,” he sneered, “what a sarcastic bitch.”
“She say’s she’s sorry. It’s on that note there.” He pointed at the purple paper next to Dean’s foot.
“If she’s sorry for what she’s done and she’s sent you this tantalising picture, what are you going to do in return?”
“Nothing. Absolute Zilch. She should’ve paid more attention in her classes and she wouldn’t be where she it right now. She’d been warned too. Now it’s too little to late.”
The television popped into life as Richard pressed the “on” button. “As far as I’m concerned she got what’s coming to her. Case closed now watch the soddin’ footy.”
“I like it when you’re forceful Master.”
“I’ll give you forceful later.”
Two and a half hours later, after the match and after the shower Richard showed just how forceful he could be. After their lovemaking, while curled up in each others arms they drifted into sleep.
“Boy,” Dean groaned tensely, “I would fuck him.”
Richard cast Dean a hard and menacing look, “yeah, I bet you would.” Then turned and looked across the small clubs busy aisles at the dance floor where one solitary man-boy held audience. The laser lights and mirror ball played on the reflective essences of his skin, shooting dazzling light bolts at the mesmerised men in the audience. All he wore as he smoothly twirled and gyrated to the beat of the music was a tight pair of Union Jack thongs.
At least he’s proud to be British, the dislodged thought ran through Richards mind.
As he watched the dance evolve, he became surer the boy was looking at him. Out of the hundreds in the place, he only had eyes for him.
Richard started to fight his way through the hordes to gain possession of his precious one, when suddenly a hand clamped down hard on his shoulder. “Where do you think you’re going?” The voice was harsh and mean, but he could still recognise it as Dean’s”
“He want’s me.”
“I don’t think so Richy; he’s mine.”
A chorus of anger and jealousy rang throughout the millions in the club. “HE’S MINE,” they all chanted, and chaos erupted around him. The fight was immense; towns fought towns; counties fought counties; countries fought countries; billions fought amongst themselves for the attention of this single effeminate man.
Limbs were torn asunder and blood flowed freely.
Above the carnage, the performer had become the onlooker. Like a kestrel, he hovered over the blood-covered fighters, and then he would swoop down quick and pull one gore soaked human from the mêlée. As he watched the never-ending fight for his attention, he supped slowly from the neck of his prey. Once his food was drained and white he simply discarded it into the frenzy below and watched eagerly for his next fresh morsel.
Richard was appalled to realise his mind was calling out, I’m here; take me next; please take me.
As he turned away in disgust of the bloody scene hands grabbed him under the arms and hoisted him into the air.
“I am Judiah Lust and I hear your pleas Richard Copnell.”
Richard stared into the perfect face. “I love you,” he stammered in a whisper.
The two sharp fangs pierced the skin in his neck and ruptured his jugular vein. His mind began to grow dizzy; his vision became hazy until everything was nothing but indistinct blurs. Below him, the fighting sounded like beautiful music to his ears. Consciousness was fading fast and somewhere in the dim distance he could hear someone calling out his name. It sounded as though they were afraid and their tone gave a call of urgency. A few seconds later and the voice was gone, the fighters music was gone. All that remained was the blissful silence and comforting eternal blackness.
One plus one equals three.
Sam Gerald came home to find his home a mess. If he did not know any better, he would have called the police about a burglary. However, he did know better. It was that useless woman he called a wife and her two kids from the previous marriage.
Right from school Sam had no luck with the ladies and after becoming a forty year old virgin he said enough was enough. He signed up with an internet-dating agency, and after a few nightmare’s he came across Maureen. On her own, she had been the perfect lady and they both enjoyed their time together. On the odd occasions he took out her teenage boys, they seemed to enjoy themselves. It was only after the wedding he learnt the awful gut wrenching truth. It had all been a scam.
The boys’ mother bribed them to be good with twenty pound notes. While on her own, she was good company, with her breed she was an angry, twisted, and bitter hag. Always barking orders and lazy enough to live is squalor while she watched her daytime shows on the new large plasma screen, with surround sound. In a matter of six months, the police were paying regular visits to their door and Maureen had an ASBO for unsociable behaviour.
Sam wanted nothing more than the nightmare to be over. Though, she had told him on many occasions if he thought a divorce was the answer then he better be prepared to live penniless for the rest of his life. She always smiled gleefully when she said, “I’ll take you to the cleaners Sammy Boy and you won’t be able to stop me.”
On a pile of discarded food and used plates sat a picture frame. The picture was obscured by a note in Maureen’s scrawl. This came for you, he read, I don’t know who he is but you could do with looking a bit more like this and you might get some. If you don’t want it then put it on my side of the bed. I need something pretty to look at instead of your old weary face. Gone down to the club to watch the male strippers, it’s Shazz’s hen night don’t know when I’ll be back. Don’t wait up and feel free to clean the kitchen. M.
No dinner and no clean pots to make it in. His anger boiled over and he threw the picture and frame across the kitchen, where it caught in the tea towels hanging on their hooks and fell onto the pile of dirty clothes waiting to be washed.
He stormed out of the house and down to the local for copious amounts of ale and some good old pub grub.
At eleven, he staggered back to the house and went straight upstairs, climbing into the empty bed.
Half past seven in the morning he awoke to the radio alarm and a string quartet playing something romantic. Climbing out of bed, he cast his attention to the lump on the other side. The wicked bitch of the west had returned. Amazingly she was not snoring. The noise she usually made would wake the dead and make the deaf hear. Today, she was quiet and he whispered a quick thank you the BIG G upstairs.
Twenty minutes later, after his morning ablutions were carried out, he strode back into the bedroom. She was still quiet; and stranger still was the alarm radio was on and a symphony was frantically playing a tune. The one thing she hated more than most was classical music. Something was wrong.
He walked cautiously to her side of the bed and noticed the rivulets of blood running down the sheet. With a shaky hand, he pulled back the cover. She was corpse white, and never looked better. Two bruised puncture wounds oozed the last of her life onto the bedspread.
Sam gently pulled the Duvet over her head and returned to the matter at hand. Once dressed, he went downstairs and filled the kettle then flipped the on switch. While he sipped at the coffee, he dialled the police and told them the good news. Twenty minutes later, he was in handcuffs being escorted off the premises.
In the court, he pleaded not guilty which the jury refused to believe. After all, who else could have performed such a heinous crime? This was one question Mr Sam Gerald would never be able to answer for he had never seen the painting in the frame.
Art for arts sake.
Michael Brayshaw looked at the picture and glowed with pride.
This little piece was her best yet. The detail was so magnificently portrayed that he could almost see her model breathing. As he scrutinised the painting more the tears began to fall. He hated himself for failing her and here she was apologising for letting him down by sending this picture and note. Angela must have found out someway that he had tried to keep her in school; that he had fought in her corner. He blotted his eyes with the backs oh his hands and walked into the bedroom in search of a handkerchief.
Blowing his nose and soaking up the water from his eyes, he returned his gaze to the artwork before him. It put all his pieces to shame, he felt he should pull the works from his walls and burn them all; compared to this his art was nothing.
It’s shit, the voice inside his head said.
“What?” He queried the empty room.
You’re right; your art is shit. You should burn the whole lot. At least it’ll keep you warm awhile, the voice answered?
“Who the fuck said that?” He called anxiously to the empty flat. “Who are you?”
I’m you am I not? The voice questioned in return, I am in your head after all.
Yes, he thought, but you’re not part of me, it doesn’t feel right.
Look at the picture, the voice commanded.
Mick looked down and noticed the picture had changed. Now only the boys face was visible and it filled the area, side to side and top to bottom. The mouth moved but the words rang in his head.
Mick, my name is Judiah Lust and I am justice.
A hand appeared at the corner of the frame and pushed up. The glass cracked and slithers flew into the air, a few cut into Michael’s face and drops of blood spattered onto the frame. Judiah’s tongue lashed out and licked the glass clean as he pushed his other hand free and onto the frame.
As Mick watched in awe, the two hands began to push at the frames edge. Instead of cracking, it stretched and stretched. Within a minute Judiah’s head poked through the frame and into reality.
Mick dropped the frame and ran to the bedroom door.
“Sorry old chap,” the voice came from behind him and not from his mind as it did earlier, “I can’t let you get away that easy.”
The door would not open. He could try the window, though he was three stories up and the drop would more than likely kill him.
Judiah had his chest halfway out of the frame, when Mick rushed over and tried to pick it up. His aim, to smash it against the wall. He could not lift it off the floor.
“Hey, loser,” the live painting taunted, “this part of me is real and I have real weight to go along with it. If you did pick me up, how far do you think you could throw me? Rerally?
“And if you don’t believe how real I am…,” Judiah’s head snapped forward and sharp pointy teeth tore through Mick’s flesh before he could move his hand away.
Mick, in amazement, let the painting fall, as he stood upright in shock and pain. As the frame fell and Mick stood, the rest of Judiah’s body was revealed to the world. He stepped free from the frame and released his hold on Mick.
“I would like to thank you Michael Baryshaw, you and your imagination. These past days I have been trapped in other peoples dreams, as this is the area where their imaginations are strongest. Yet your imagination intertwines with reality and everyday situations, all you need to do is to look at your art to understand.
“Why are you here?”
“To bring chaos and disorder, for we are the Night Brigade.”
“We are seven, once trapped and now freed to roam wherever we may choose and not just in the wastelands of peoples dreams, nightmares, and fantasies. All this is thanks to you.”
“Then go and roam, leave me be.”
“I can’t I am so hungry, I need you.”
Mick turned quickly and raced past Judiah heading towards the front door of his flat. From out of the painting in the hallway, a big thick green fleshy tentacle shot out of the canvas and thumped to the floor in front of him, securely fastening itself around his foot. Mick pitched forward and crashed onto the floor breaking his nose.
The abstract plant in the painting began to recoil its tentacle.
From a door on his right a cacophony of bird squawks and calls rang thought the small rooms, suddenly a cloud of hungry birds ejected into the hall. Mick rolled over to protect his face. All the birds looked deformed though this did not stop their beaks and claws from being razor sharp.
He felt the blood start to run down his back.
In his bedroom, he could hear the sketchpad tearing and his heart sank. In these pagers were his nightmares. Things to monstrous to describe in words, so drawing would have to suffice. Now, he could here the thudding of the crawling undead coming from his bedroom in a soft slow repetitive rhythm.
As the nightmares walked into the hall way, Judiah at their head, Mick as the only question his fear stricken mind could form.
“Because we are hungry.” The monsters answered as they fell upon him. Judiah’s teeth punctured his vein and drank deeply of his blood, while the others tore at him. He felt claws rip his flesh and tug at his insides. He watched in agony as a life-size pencil sketch bit into his arm, above his elbow, and took it clean off. Blood spurted everywhere, until Judiah, caught hold and took the bloody stump into his mouth and drank Mr. Michael Brayshaw dry.
The shock finally carried him into unconsciousness’ awaiting arms. From there she took him peacefully to death.
The Magnificent Seven Return.
The screams from downstairs woke Angela with a start. As quickly as they began, they ceased. Had it been a dream? She wondered confusedly.
Unfortunately, the sounds coming from the stairs killed that theory. Somebody was in the house and that somebody had done something to mum. Quickly she reached to bedside table and retrieved her mobile from its resting place. Thumbing 999 she awaited a reply.
“All our lines are busy,” buzzed inanely in her ear, “please wait to be connected.”
The sounds were outside her door now and she knew they belonged to more than a single person.
Slowly the door creaked open and in walked Judiah, behind him was Judiah, then came a third, a fourth soon all seven entered the room.
“What is going on here?” Angela’s voice betrayed her nervousness and fear.
“You read the runes too, Dear Miss Angela Lowry,” the seven Judiah’s chorused.
As Angela dropped her mobile and backed away to the window with the Judiah’s closing in on her, an operator took the call. “Please state your name?”
“PLEASE,” Angela screamed, “HELP ME.”
“Hello, hello,” the operator’s voice sounded worried and concerned, “are you th…” The call ended with a few wet gargling sounds.
The Judiahs closed in further; she put her hand out she would touch them.
A scream of such agony erupted from the telephones speaker. Outside her window, sirens were blazing and she could hear a people crying and pleading for help.
In her head, she heard Judiah Lust say, “We are the Night Brigade”
“And we are HUNGRY,” the seven before her growled, as fourteen fangs shone in the light. Then, like Kestrels, they swooped upon their prey.