Tag Archives: suicide

Preminition. Flash Fiction.

Elena stood at the stove, spatula in one hand, frying pan tightly gripped in the other. Behind her sat Daniel, her husband of eight years and their 5 month old daughter Jessica. Jessica let out a shrill laugh, Elena scooped up a piece of bread and flipped it, “OK, careful I’m coming around with the pan.”

Daniel cupped his hands around his mouth and called “hot stuff coming through!” Elena moved past him, rolling her eyes as she smiled at him. Elena scooped up the slices of bread and placed them onto Daniels plate, then she was back at the stove. The morning light shone through the window on her left, sparkling in the stainless steel kitchen sink. Elena dipped two more pieces of bread into the egg mixture and put them in the pan, they sizzled as they hit the heat. Elena froze, it lasted less than a second, more of a stutter than a pause but to her it seemed endless. She gripped the frying pan tightly, she could feel the warm plastic handle digging into her palm, the heft of the pan in her hand. Elena spun, with a strangled yell she brought the hot pan crashing into Daniel head, he fell from his chair, he let out a groan “what…what hap-” Elena brought the pan down on his head again, he lay on the ground, one arm twitching wildly, his breathing was shallow with occasional hitching gasps, Elena raised the pan up “I’m sorry.” She brought the pan down, Daniel lay still. Elena dropped the pan, it landed with a loud clatter. She felt sick, her hands shook violently, but she couldn’t stop. She looked at Jessica whose face was red and streaked with tears and the shrill cries suddenly came into sharp focus. Elena ran to Jessica ‘s high chair and pulled her free, trying her best to sooth her daughter. Elena turned from the kitchen and walked down the short corridor, painted a nice muted green, Elena felt a horrible stabbing in her gut she remembered how difficult it had been for them to decide on a colour, such a silly argument but it had gone on for weeks. She’d do anything to have that stupid argument again. Elena opened the front door and stepped out into the corridor, she walked down it in her bare feet, the carpet was surprisingly soft. She walked past the elevator, still trying to sooth Jessica, and in to the stairwell.

Elena’s breathing was heavy, her arms felt impossibly tired, and Jessica was still sniffling. It wasn’t that much further she’d already gone seven floors. Elena didn’t pause at the top, she opened the door and walked out onto the roof. For once she was glad she lived in a place where the manager liked to let things slide. The maintenance workers had been bitching about the broken door up here for weeks. Elena shivered as the cold wind stole her warmth, Jessica started to cry again. This was the fastest way, the best way. Elena walked up to the edge and without hesitation stepped off. Together she and Jessica fell.

Elena and her family weren’t the first to die that morning and they weren’t the last. Elena and others like her had seen what was to come, the foul things clawing their way into the world and they knew that there was only one escape.

Without a Trace. Flash Fiction.

There was no point in trying to hang on any longer. It wasn’t even like there was anyone left to mourn him. His parents had died away three years ago, car accident, his father had a bit too much to drink and had played chicken with a tree. The tree won. His sister had died when he was five, he didn’t really remember her all that much, just bits and pieces here and there. His mother wouldn’t talk about her when she was still alive. His brother had gone missing just last year, went on a walk and just never came back. He had no friends, not anymore, not after he’d driven them all away one by one. The only person who might notice his absence would be his landlord, and that would only happen once the rent was late. If he was being honest with himself this was a long time coming, he’d been trying to build up the courage to do it for weeks and today just seemed like a good day for it.

He stood at the railings of the bridge, there were no cars around, the fog meant that most people had stayed in unless they had places to be. He looked over the edge, he couldn’t see the water though he could still hear it, muted and far away. He loosened his grip on the railing and with surprising care he climbed over it. On the other side, he leaned forward and with a final, slow breath he let go of the railings. The air whipped past him as he fell, filling his ears, then he hit the cold water and everything else vanished. The shock caused him to gasp, he inhaled the icy water, it burned as it filled his lungs. He started to struggle, trying to get himself to shore but his water logged clothes were too heavy and the cold water was sapping all his strength. With one final flail he went under and didn’t emerge. The current carried his body down the length of the river, occasionally it crashed into some rocks, but it never caught on any of them.

His body passed from the river and into the ocean, never to be seen again. Three weeks later his landlord would go to his place and find it empty, the fridge full of spoiled food and absolutely no sign of where he had gone. His landlord reported it to the police who gave a cursory search and within a few weeks he was forgotten, left to be nothing more than an occasional passing thought to those who once new him.

Statement. Flash Fiction.

Derek looked out over the sea of corpses. It was such a waste. Machinery would arrive tomorrow at the earliest to start moving some of them. He had seen it before, when he was younger, and it wasn’t pleasant. Great big bulldozers would push them all into neater piles while diggers would dig mass graves. Then the fires would start. He had never forgotten the smell of the burning, a mix of flesh, clothes and hair, creating an awful, pungent odour that would cling to the area for weeks.

He didn’t know what those people expected to accomplish, but then who could follow what ever crazy thoughts they came up with. He continued on the path that had been fenced off with chain link fences, erected by the city for safety. Derek knew they were pointless, at night looters would come and search the corpses for anything of value, jewellery, a few coins here and there. Any of the clean clothes would be sold to second hand shops. The news had reported that they were some kind of new cult, all dying together in a mass suicide. Derek didn’t know the full details, didn’t want to know, but he had heard bits and pieces about them before. Little snippets in passing as they tried to hand him leaflets. They believed that the world was dying, that it was an awful place. Personally he didn’t see what mass suicide would do to change anything, he always wondered why groups like that never did volunteer work to try and improve the areas that they lived in. So far it was the third such group to commit mass suicide this year. There weren’t too many people involved this time, only about three hundred or so. If they were lucky they might get a small statue or fountain to acknowledge that something had happened. Most likely it would just be paved over and never spoken of again. After all there was no one to complain, most of these people had no family, and any who did, well the rich ones wouldn’t want to be associated with it all and the poor ones didn’t have the power to get anything done. He shook his head, it was all a waste. At least this group was a bit considerate. The last one had jumped from buildings, all at once. They had crushed and injured almost a hundred people who had just been going about their days. He shook his head slightly and pushed those thoughts away. It wasn’t pleasant to dwell on them. Soon he’d be at home, he’d have dinner, maybe a beer and unwind with some TV. It had been a stressful day after all, he just didn’t have the energy to worry about stuff like that. Stuff that, in the grand scheme of things, just wasn’t really that important in his life or anyone elses.

 

 

The Apparent Suicide of Jacob Henry. Short Story.

On the 2nd of September 2016 Jacob Henry, a 16 year old, walked into the locker rooms of his high school and killed himself through what appears to be ritual mutilation. Police have ruled it as a suicide though some questions remain. What follows are some excerpts of interviews with staff and students of his school.

Excerpt from interview with Jeremy Smith, Guidance counsellors office, 9.45 A.M on the 24th September 2016

I think a part of me knew, and that’s the worst of it all. I knew and I did nothing. What could I have done though? I’m only one person, I couldn’t have stopped it. It wasn’t just me either, it was everyone. Only a few people actively participated but everyone else just stood by and watched, they let it happen. I’m not a bad person, if I am, so is everyone else in that place. I didn’t do anything. I just kept my head down, if I stepped in I would have been a target too and well, you saw what it did to him. Maybe I should have stepped in, said something, but why didn’t anyone else? Why did no one in charge stop and say “Hang on, this isn’t right?” If anything they were just as bad, if not worse. They passively encouraged it. He got in trouble with everyone else, no matter what happened to him, regardless of who started it, he was always in trouble too.

It wasn’t just that he wasn’t liked, that would have made things a little easier to deal with. You haven’t met him so you don’t know, but there was like an almost instinctual revulsion towards him. I had to sit next to him for a year, it was awful. He gave off a smell, it wasn’t a bad smell, or an unclean smell and there was a smell of fresh soap but underneath that there was something else, and it just smelled wrong. I don’t know how to describe it other than that. It seemed to soak into your clothes, your skin, hell even your books and for the rest of the day you smelled wrong too, like it was a thin layer of filth over you skin. He had this weird voice too, nasally and deep all at once. I think that’s why he never really talked all that much, a lot of people winced when they heard his voice, you couldn’t help it, it just happened. I always felt so bad for him, but I don’t know, it just wasn’t really possible to try and make friends. The best I could do was be nice enough if we ever crossed paths. That sounds awful, I know it does, but you weren’t there, you didn’t feel it. He had this weird way of looking at people too, staring at you like he was peeling back your skin to reveal your insides, looking down into your very soul. You could feel it when he looked at you, a faint shiver went up your back and you just knew. It didn’t matter if there were three hundred people in the room, you would turn and there he would be, sitting, staring at you. Maybe saying this makes me a bad person. I don’t know. I don’t care, it’s the truth and that’s what is important, the truth. Sure the bullying didn’t help but no one made him do it. He did that all by himself.

 

Excerpt from Interview with Brianna Jones, Guidance Counsellors Office, 1.45pm on the 24th September 2016

I always felt bad for him, ya know? I mean he never did anything to hurt anyone, I tried to be nice to him, I even invited him to eat lunch with my friends a few times. He stopped after the second time though, one of my friends, Brad, made a few jokes about him. Brad could be a dick sometimes, but I know he didn’t really mean anything by it. I don’t think he trusted me, like I think he thought it was some kind of prank or trap or something. It was sad to see. He was obvious when he walked down the halls, all folded in on himself, like he was trying to hide. Anytime there was a sudden noise he always, always flinched and looked around like he expected someone to hit him. I saw it one time and my heart just broke for him. I mean I don’t know what things were like at home but I always assumed they weren’t great either. He wasn’t dirty or anything and he always had food and stuff, but there was just something in the way he moved, the way he was always on edge. I told the guidance counsellor but she brushed me off. I never really liked her, she always tried to be too friendly, almost like she was trying to fit in or get our approval. I don’t know. She was just so fake, and completely useless too as it turned out. I wouldn’t say I blame her, that distinction goes to the assholes who tormented him day in and out, but she could have done something, she could have stepped in. I tried to talk to the principal too, but he didn’t really care. It was awful what happened to him, but I can understand it. After all everyone just kept pushing him and pushing him, eventually something was going to give. I just don’t think anyone expected it to be like that. I don’t know what their end goal was, I don’t even know if they actually had one. Either way he did it and that’s on all of them.
Excerpt from Interview with Rick Johnson, Guidance Counsellors Office, 3.15 P.M. on the 24th September 2016

I guess I was his friend. Like he didn’t really have what you could call friends. We talked sometimes, he overheard me talking about Pokémon once and we talked about it for a little bit. I didn’t particularly like him but I didn’t dislike him either. I didn’t mind it when we had a chat, it felt kind nice, he always seemed to relax a little when we were talking, I knew he was getting bullied, I didn’t really know how badly or anything. I saw him maybe once or twice a week I guess. He never really talked about himself. I didn’t know much about him other than he liked Pokémon. I think he has an older sister though, but I could be wrong. I never really saw anyone out and out bully him. Most of the time it was little things, like he’d be walking down the hall and people would bang into him and yell at him for not moving, or just keep going while he had to pick up his stuff. That kind of thing. I tried to help him once but he pushed me away. I think he was embarrassed or something because I saw that he was crying. I tried to follow him, to try and talk to him but I lost him in the crowd. It was the last time I saw him. I don’t know if he started avoiding me or if we just didn’t bump into each other again. I don’t know. He was a nice enough kid, maybe if he had gone somewhere else things would have been better for him.

 

Excerpt from Interview with Brody Smith, Guidance Counsellors Office, 10 A.M. on the 25th September 2016

Yeah, no one liked that kid, at all. I never did anything to him of course, but you could see it in the way people looked at him. He just didn’t fit in, but then he never really tried either. He always kept to himself, never really talked to anyone. Like maybe if he made more of an effort things wouldn’t have been so bad for him. I guess we’ll never know now though. Mostly I feel bad for his parents, can you imagine your kid doing that? I didn’t go to the funeral, it felt wrong, I didn’t even know him after all, but I saw them coming out of the church, his mother collapsed outside. I heard she’s in some kind of institution now or something.

 

Excerpt from Interview with James West, Janitors Office, 11. A.M. on the 25th September 2016

I was the one who found him. Awful, awful thing. I mean I know they said it was suicide but I really don’t know. I don’t know how anyone could do that to themselves. I think it was those assholes who tormented him everyday, it was like a game to them, always hanging around him, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. I told a few people about it, but no one listened. I knew things were bad for him but I didn’t realise how bad. Maybe if I knew I would have made more of an effort for him. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. Seeing him like that. Awful.

 

Excerpt from Interview with Principle Jack Hayes, Principals Office, 4.15 P.M. on the 23rd September 2016

Yes, I’ve heard of these reports of so called bullying. Nothing could be further from the truth, I dealt with them all fairly and the truth is he was just as often an instigator, if not more so. He would pick fights, follow them around, make snide comments. He would never try to defuse the situation, he would always escalate. There were plenty of times that he could have gone to a teacher, the guidance counsellor or even to me, but he never did. That more than anything shows that he knew he was responsible too. I tried to steer him the right way, tried to get him off the path he was following, but there is only so much you can do. Obviously he was a young man in pain and reacting to that with anger and violence rather than reaching out for help. If he had reached out to someone, maybe, just maybe things would have turned out differently.

 

Excerpt from Interview with Ben Owens, Guidance Counsellors Office 9 Am. on the 25th September 2016

Ugh. Yeah. Him. He was an asshole. No ones going to say it because he’s dead now, everyone has gone into hero worship mode, but he was always a dick. Sure we got into a few fights, but he was always the one to start them, walking into me, saying stuff under his breath, that kind of stuff. Yeah, it’s sad that he’s dead and everything, I feel bad for his parents, but I’m not going to miss him and I’m not the only one who wont. Maybe that makes me an asshole, but I’m just saying what no one else will.

 
Of the people that were interviewed, some eighty people in number, only ten of them knew his name, most referering to him as “that kid” or “Jack.” At this point the interviews were stopped and my permission to be on school grounds was rescinded with threat of arrest if I was to return. The small town was not rocked by the death as one would expect, instead it was quietly swept away, few people, if any, seem to know the story of Jacob. Those in the town who are asked react one of two ways with confusion or hostility.

 

On September 28th 2016, my hotel room was broken into, the perpetrators took nothing, my recordings and laptop were destroyed. I was told that it was unlikely that anyone would ever be caught, however one of the responding officers told me that it would be better for me if I were to leave the small sleepy town. Though they did not come out and say it, the underlying threat of “or else” was clear to me. With my work destroyed and the towns people closing ranks I had no choice but to leave as locals became increasingly hostile. It is still unclear as to what exactly happened the day Jacob walked into that locker room and questions still abound as to whether or not it was a suicide. With his body cremated and the medical records lost during a fire, those questions will likely never be answered.

The Only Way. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty relaxing. Watched a bunch of Game of Thrones to be prepared for the new episode. Also making some good progress on a project I’m doing at the moment. I’ll throw up some pictures on my twitter when it’s done.

On with the show!

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Mary was sitting on her bed, in her small room. It was dark, the curtains were closed. She didn’t see the point of opening the curtains. Not like anyone was going to see inside here. No one had been in the apartment in weeks. No one but her. Only leaving to buy food and even those trips had become shorter and shorter. It had been seven days since she had last left the apartment. She stared at the small bottle, her eyes were dull and listless. It was so innocuous, so innocent. Her hand reached out for it, then paused.

Go on. Do it. It’ll be better for everyone. It’s easy. So easy, just like going to sleep. You won’t feel a thing. I promise. Go on. Everyone wants you to do it, you’ll be happier, they’ll be happier. Go on. The pain will stop, the misery will go away, no one will have to deal with your stupid thoughts and ugly face anymore. Go on.

She picked up the bottle and slowly unscrewed the cap, then she tipped a few pills into her hand. They were so tiny, so white. She had thought she might feel something when they were in her hand some kind of fear or sadness. Thought maybe they’d feel heavier, their significance adding weight, she tilted her hand slightly, letting them fall over one another. She knew what she was going to do, what she had to do. Everyone would be better off if she was just gone. She was damaged, fucked up beyond repair. Even now she couldn’t even cry. One hand went to her cheek, unconsciously checking that it was still dry. She emptied the bottle onto the bed, then added the pills from her hand. Mary counted them out, one by one, moving them into a neat little pile. She wasn’t sure exactly how many she needed, but she was sure she had enough of them.

Once she had counted them, she put them back into the bottle.

What are you stupid? To stupid to even kill yourself you coward? Yeah, of course you wouldn’t do it. Of course you’d want to inflict yourself on everyone else.

Mary stood from the bed and left the small room. Her apartment was big, but it seemed all the bigger now that she was here alone. Her roommates had moved out one by one, leaving her by herself. She had driven them out. They didn’t say it, but she knew. She had drove them off like everyone else. They were better off though, better off without her in their lives. She went into the kitchen, and looked through the cupboards, trying to find it. She knew it was here somewhere. One of them had left it. Probably as a hint, hoping she’d finally do it. Her hand closed around a heavy bottle. She took it down from the shelf. The bottle of vodka was almost full. There would be more than enough. She took the bottle and started to walk back to her room.

Go on then. Do it.

She lay on the bed, getting herself comfortable.

Why? Why does it matter? You won’t be feeling it if you do it right. But then you’re too stupid to do it right. Too stupid to do anything right really. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it.

Mary picked up the bottle and poured a few pills into her hand, she dry swallowed them, then followed it up with a swig of vodka. She grimaced at the taste, but she kept it down. She alternated them, one after the other until the pills were gone. She looked at the bottle, about a quarter was gone. How much would she be able to drink before she started to throw it up again? She took another gulp. It burned going down, she coughed once, then cleared her throat a little. She should have brought water or something to take away the burn.

Of course you wouldn’t think of something like that. It’s simple and you still manage to go and screw it up.

She took another gulp hoping maybe, finally that voice would be silenced. The voice that had been following her around for months, whispering in her ear, telling her the truth about everyone. What they thought of her, why they hated her. Today was the day it would finally stop forever. She took another swig of the vodka, she was feeling light headed and woozy. Mary reached out to place the bottle onto the bedside locker. She missed the table and it landed with a heavy thud. The smell of vodka filled the room, the gentle glug-glug-glug was strangely soothing. She let her hand fall and closed her eyes. Already the voice was fading. She smiled and waited for the darkness to consume her.

Her body jerked and twitched, almost writhing on the bed. She had died only seconds before. The movements became more violent until finally it was free, clawing itself from her corpse. It stood over her, looking down at the body, feeling energised. It had taken months to get her to crack. She was stronger than some of the others it had fed from, not the strongest it had ever encountered, but still, strong enough. It leaned over her body and breathed in deeply, then exhaled slowly with a small, satisfied smile. That energy would keep it going for a good while. It turned from her body and drifted from the room, then it left the apartment, sliding through the cracks in the door. It had just fed and it was still full, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t go hungry again soon. It moved down the hallways, and finally it was outside, drifting down the street, enjoying the warmth of the sun. People moved around it unconsciously, not allowing it to touch their skin. Soon it would find another meal, the hunt was on again.

Last Resort. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I didn’t really get up to much, went out to dinner with my family for my mums birthday, which was really nice. I’ve been reading a lot these past few days. I’ve been utilising my kindle, which is handy. I’ve been kind of tired the last few days and I usually read before I sleep, so that put a bit of a hamper on my reading habits, but I’ve been carrying the kindle around and reading during the day too. I’m reading the Mist Born trilogy at the moment and quite enjoying it. My weekend was fairly relaxed over all, despite being a little unwell.

It’s also been ridiculously hot here the past few days. I haven’t suffered too much yet, though it is quite unpleasant. Luckily I now have a fan in my room so I’m not too hot to sleep. I’m hoping the weather stays nice but the heat dies off a little. The days just feel kind of muggy and unpleasant. I much prefer dry heat. Well, I actually prefer cool temperatures, but if I had to decide between types of heat, dry heat would win.

Or maybe I should just move to Greenland.

On with the show!

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She looked at the pills sitting on the table, they seemed to glow in the light. She picked them up, they were so light and cold in her hand. She put them down again, thinking. Absentmindedly she brushed the residue from her hand onto her jeans. She picked up one pill and studied it from every angle. She had to know what she was doing. There would be no going back. It seemed like a dramatic gesture, but at this point it was the only thing that might work. Beads of condensation gathered outside the glass and slowly travelled down the side. She caught one with her finger and used the dampness to draw on the misted surface of the glass. After a few seconds the swirls started to join and before she realised it, she had cleared all of the misting. Oh well. She took a sip from the glass, her throat suddenly dry, as though anticipating what she was about to do. She picked up the pills again, the thought of swallowing so many at once made her gag. She put them down again and picked out three, then carefully she put them into her mouth. There was no smooth coating on them, instantly her tongue was covered in their bitter, acrid taste. She brought the glass to her lips and took a gulp of water. Three seemed ok. She wasn’t going to gag, that much was clear. She picked out the next three, choosing carefully, as though it mattered in the end. She did it methodically, mechanically. Choose, place in mouth, swallow, repeat. Again and again until all the pills were gone. She didn’t know how long it would take. She went to the sink and refilled the glass, then she drank more water. She hoped it would help them dissolve faster. She went back to the chair and sat down, waiting quietly. She wondered if maybe she should go to the sitting room, maybe upstairs, to lie down and get comfortable. No. The kitchen was best. She looked at the clock, wondering how long this was supposed to take. Time seemed to stretch out, slowing to a maddening crawl. She reached for the bottle, intending to take more, when she blacked out.

She woke slowly, her eyes burning as they tried to grow accustomed to the light. Her entire body ached, she tried to sit up but she was too weak. She was in a white room, a hospital obviously, but she was the only person in the room. There were no nurses, no visitors. She waited, letting herself build a little strength, then she began to look around the room. There was no call button, but there, on the table was a cup of water, her mouth suddenly ached, it needed water, she was so thirsty. She reached towards it, the faint tug telling her her hand was attached to an IV. The cup was so close, so very, very close, her fingers brushed against it when darkness fell again.

It was night when she woke once more. She was still sore, but it seemed a little better. She looked for the cup, but it was gone. She could hear noise down the hall, a TV maybe, she took a breath and tried to call out, a thin croak escaped her mouth, it was so dry, her throat felt as though it was on fire. She tried again, managing a faint “help.” She tried to turn, but her body was too heavy and she was too tired. She lifted her head, the effort exhausting her. She fell back against the pillow, breathing heavily, sleep took her again.

She woke again, there was a nurse in the room, the nurse injected something into the IV line, then saw she was awake. The nurse looked at her for a moment, then left the room. She tried to call out, but she couldn’t speak. She waited in silence, waiting for the nurse to get back, waiting for that cup of water. The nurse didn’t return. Her body began to feel as though it weighed an incredible amount, she couldn’t move. Her eye lids felt too heavy, she couldn’t keep her eyes open. Darkness, but this time it wasn’t sleep. She could still hear. She tried to open her eyes, move at all, but she couldn’t. Someone entered the room, not one person, two. “She was awake a moment ago.” “Oh well, let her rest. Poor thing.” “What do you mean poor thing? She’s the idiot who downed a load of pills. She doesn’t deserve pity.” “Something must have driven her too it. Besides, she hasn’t had any visitors. No partner, no parents, nothing. It’s sad. Surely she must have someone who cares for her.” She tried to open her eyes, tried to speak, but her body didn’t respond. “She wants to throw away her life. Maybe it wasn’t that great.” “Well, we won’t know until she wakes up. Be ready to call the doctor when she does, he wants to talk to her.” “I dunno, she’s looking a bit rough. I’m not sure if she’s going to pull through.” She tried to speak, to tell them she was awake, that she was fine, again, nothing. The nurses left the room, still talking, their thin soled shoes whispering against the floor.

She lay in silence for what seemed like years, she had no way of knowing how much time had passed, someone was coming again, they came into the room, leaning close, she could smell perfume, light and flowery. “Now my dear, don’t worry. I’ll take care of you. I know what you really want. It isn’t fair to do this to you. You’ll be free soon.” Free? What did that mean, was the woman going to help her get out of here? Her arm went cold. “I know what it’s like. It wasn’t right of them to bring you back. They weren’t supposed to.” The woman put a hand on her forehead, it was warm, the hand moved from her forehead and lightly stroked her head. “it’ll all be over soon.” The woman left the room. She tried to struggle, to call out. This wasn’t what she wanted, she wanted to live, she wanted anything but death. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. He was supposed to find her, realise his mistakes. He was supposed to stay and they’d  be happy together. She wasn’t supposed to die, not here, not like this, not alone. The coldness crept up her arm and into her shoulder. There was no way to stop its steady march, it was inevitable.

The Final Straw.

Hope everyone had a good weekend, mine was fairly tame, spent most of it sleeping or being tired. Didn’t get up to much really. I’ve started watching Battlestar Galatica, never seen it before and it’s on Netflix so I figured why not? I’m also occasionally watching episodes of Buffy, which is also on Netflix, which seems to be a deciding factor in what television I watch lately.

On with the show!

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I always said I wouldn’t change when it happened. We agreed, though I think out of both of us, I was the only one that actually believed it. I always knew you thought I would change, I could always see it in your eyes when you said it. You said it for my sake and every time I knew I would show you that you were wrong. Well, I guess in the end you were right. Not that that is too surprising, I had to change, so did you, we had to, to survive. Sure we could have continued in our idealistic ways but the world would have crushed us to a pulp. In my naiveté I thought we could change things, that we’d be different. That’d we’d usher in a new era, only to arrive at the destination and find that everything was unchangeable, it was the same and it always would be. I’ve done terrible things, terrible things that I had to do, there was no choice. You’ve never talked about it and nor have I, but I’m sure that you’ve done awful things too. That little open secret, that everyone knows and no one will talk about. Of course they can’t. why would they? Because there’s always the risk that who ever they confide in haven’t’ done anything. That they will look at you, shocked and appalled, and it will bring about your downfall. That’s the beauty of it all. We live in fear of anyone else knowing, so it keeps us static, paralysed. We can’t rise up against the injustices as a group, instead we’re left to rot in our own private prisons.

I’ve killed many people, I’ve lied and cheated, I’ve extorted and bribed and I’ve never felt remorse. Not until tonight.

It was supposed to be simple. That was all. Blackmail, and if that didn’t work, a little murder. He knew how the game was played, knew what it was worth and everything was going smoothly, until he tried to screw me over. I don’t know how he thought he’d get away with it, I don’t know why he decided to try. Maybe his wife put him up to it, hoping to increase their station. All I do know is I had to kill them all. It’s different, killing children. So much different.

I started with him first. Gave them some time. I thought it would be simple. His wife would run with the kids, report it to the police, I’d bribe them, robbery gone wrong and they’d pin it on some scumbag, right? That’s how it’s supposed to work. Not this time though. She stayed. The stupid bitch stayed and forced me to do it. I heard her, screaming, shouting. She was brandishing a gun, where she got it I don’t know. The children behind her, one hand trying to guide them. What the hell did she think she was doing? She probably never even held a gun before. The hem of her dress kept tangling in her feet, she stumbled a few times, I knew that she’d fire the damn thing accidentally any second, so self-preservation kicked in. I shot her. Right in the chest. The gun in her hand went off, but the bullet was wild. She fell backwards, knocking her kids down. She told them to run but they didn’t listen either. There wouldn’t be enough money to get me out of this. I knew it, so did she. That’s why she told them to run. People would be up in arms, they’d want to know who killed the kids parents. If everyone died, well, there’d be no witnesses. I could claim I went to the house, talked to the guy, then left. Everything was normal. That was all I had to do. That was it and I’d be safe. So I did it. They were crying when it happened. The eldest went first. I doubt the youngest knew what was going on. All she heard was a lot of loud noises and people stopped moving. I hope she didn’t understand. I panicked. There was so many things I could have done instead, I could have just hit her in the leg and run, I could have said she went crazy, shot her husband and attacked me.

I left the house calmly. Ditched the gun. No one saw me leave, I’m sure of it. Not that it matters now. I didn’t try to hide the bodies, or what I’d done. I considered burning down their house, destroy all the evidence. That’ll tell you how fucked up I was. Didn’t even think of the runaway fire that could have happened. Thousands more could have died.

It happened only a few hours ago, but it feels like longer. So much longer. I’m sorry I have to do this to you. To everyone. I have the documents I kept as insurance, for a day like this. I can’t do it. I can’t live with this. I’m sending this to everyone I can think of. Everyone will know. What they choose to do with it all is up to them. You are not the only one to get this letter, but no one will know who you are, no one but you. I never said it before, but I love you, you were like family to me. More so than my own. I don’t think I’d have made it this far without you there. Thank you for that.

I’m sorry.

He paused for a moment, then he pressed print. There was nothing else to say. He hoped it made sense to those who read it. The printer whirred to life, spitting out copies. Finally it stopped, once it did he began to stuff the envelopes, working quickly. He didn’t know how much time he would have. He gathered the packets and left his apartment. The streets were clean and devoid of homeless, one of the luxury’s money could afford him. He mailed the letters in seven different post boxes. Some of them would have to make it. Once he was done, he returned home. He considered eating something, having some kind of last meal, but the thought made him feel sick. He wasn’t hungry and even if he was he wouldn’t be able to keep anything down.

Back in his apartment he walked around it briefly, looking at all the times he had collected, all the quaint things picked up on his travels. The little mask pressed into his hand by a mother, trying to force him to buy it as her baby cried into her chest. He paid twelve cent for it. A fortune in her eyes. His paintings, his statues. Works of art, most were priceless. Gifts from the artists themselves. Not that it mattered now.

He sat in front of his computer and got the email ready, once it was composed, he filled in the recipient box, over six hundred addresses. Personal and business. He took a deep breath, then clicked send. Most of them wouldn’t make it to their targets. Once they knew what he was doing they’d do everything they could to stop him. Not that it mattered to him. He had to end it now. Everyone knew it was better to end it than to be caught. He didn’t want to spend the rest of his artificially extended life in the prison system. They’d torture him every day for the fun of it. He had no information to give them, no way he could make a deal. No. this was for the best. He picked up the gun that was sitting next to the keyboard, the one he had used not so long ago. He hoped that it would be painless, that it would be quick. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, then pulled the trigger.

The Tower. Short Story.

This has been an interesting week so far, as some of you are probably aware, I got my second ever review, which was exciting, I was compared to Edgar Allen Poe which is, in my opinion, extremely high praise so I was extremely pleased with that.

Then, on Monday, I chased a bird around the garden with my sister. It had a tag on it’s leg and couldn’t fly, we were not sure if it was a pet or injured, it didn’t seem to have a broken wing or anything and it had fairly bright plumage, so we captured it (my sister grabbed it with her hands, she’s diseased now, so we don’t go near her, but I digress) and we brought it to the vets.

We were told that another bird had been brought in a while ago, also tagged, so they were unsure if someone was capturing birds and breeding them or even just tagging them, but they had a guy who took in the last bird and he might take this one. My sister has said that if they can’t find a home for it, she will take it. Interesting way to get a pet. We were talking about it on the way to the vets, just bringing it into a pet shop, in a plastic basin, covered with a towel, and asking what kind of cage we would need. Que them ringing the SPCA while telling us they have the perfect cage in the back, but it will take about twenty minutes to bring it out.

Anyway, enough rambling, on with the show!

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The Tower

She climbed the stairs slowly, not wanting to be out of breath, though she could easily rest at the top.
She had broken through the chain, breaking it easily. There was a large ‘KEEP OUT’ sign which she ignored, though before she would have been extremely nervous, to the point of almost shaking.

She was wearing a long, flowing dress, her favourite, with a pair of high heels. A necklace adorned her neck, its pendant covered in jewels which flashed and sparkled in the light, drawing attention to the hollow of her neck. Her eyes were equally decorated, earrings dangled and bounced, teardrop shaped jewels hung suspended by clever twists of wire, making them seem to almost float after her. Her wrists were circled by thick, jewel encrusted bracelets which jangled as she moved.

It was quite a long way to that top, so she kept her steady pace. She could sit if she desired but the stairs looked filthy. She had carefully applied makeup after cleaning away the tears. It seemed a little odd doing it, but she wanted to look her best. She had never really felt attractive in life and she hoped, in death, she would gain some secret beauty that had been previously denied.

With each step she thought of what had drawn her here, how as a child she would look up at the tower in awe and imaging all the adventures going on inside as the knight rescued the princess, slaying the evil dragon, troll or sorcerer, all to win her hand and together, they would marry and enjoy the rest of their lives. She imagined the lone witch, looking down at them all in disdain, cursing them in ancient languages with a raspy, seldom used voice, dumping disgusting ingredients into her boiling, bubbling pot. She thought of her own prince and how happily ever after was quickly and decidedly replaced when she was. He was gone, off with some unknown tart. He had a child with her, the mystery woman. A child. Something fate had never deemed her worthy to carry.

She was alone in the world. No prince would touch her again, not after she had been cast aside, like so many pieces of ephemera. Who would want her? They probably all talked about her behind her back, behind those sympathetic looks and clucks they were secretly laughing. Gleeful that it was her downfall and not theirs. Well, they wanted to talk about her, so she would give them something interesting to talk about. She would live on in legend, she would be loved.

Her breath came in angry gasps and her cheeks were flushed, she pushed the thoughts away, trying to calm herself. It would do no good to dwell on it all now. She wanted to be happy, at peace. Her calves had started to burn, a deep ache steadily throbbing with each step. She could do it, make it to the top. She had to.

She stood atop the tower for a few moments, steeling her resolve, she took a few deep breaths of the cool night air. Her chest no longer heaving from the effort. She stepped closer to the window and carefully stood on the ledge. She didn’t know if it would support her weight, it was old, but that didn’t matter now. She looked down at the ground, so far below, after all, it looked a lot higher from where she stood. She took a deep breath, then slowly, as if in a dream, she stepped forward into empty air and silently, she plummeted to the ground. The clouds covering the moon moved aside briefly, illuminating her white dress, causing her to shine like a falling star momentarily, before the earth, as though enamoured with her beauty, rushed up to meet her.

There was a meaty thud and a loud crack when she landed, her last sight was the ground rushing towards her and, as she turned in the air, the sky, covered in a million stars, spectators that came just to see her die. Just before she struck the ground she smiled faintly. They had come to see her off, she was loved.

She looked serene, lying there. The fall should have smashed her body to bits, but, by chance, it had preserved her in her dress. She had gained what she wanted, what she needed. In death she was indeed beautiful. Her skin unnaturally pale, the diamonds shining brilliantly.

Bugs, with no knowledge of petty human desires or thoughts, trundled across her body, unaware of the sacrilege they were committing, simply happy that they had a meal before them. Rain fell from the grey sky above her, falling onto her upturned face, dripping into her milky eyes until they overfilled and spilled down her cheeks, like the tears she would never cry. Her dress becoming filmy and obscene as it plastered against her cold skin. Her underwear painfully obvious to anyone who would see, but no one did.

She would lie, alone but for the sun and moon, the stars and the bugs who all came to her final feast. She would lie like this, host to a perverted dinner party for three days until a group of teenagers broke into the grounds, on a dare and instead, stumbled across her body.

At first they thought that maybe she was sleeping or passed out. Then they saw the paleness of her skin, the bugs moving to and fro, they could smell the scent of putrefaction and together, they would run. Not telling a soul of what they saw until one, in a fit of screams woke from a nightmare and told his parents.

In death she was more famous than she had ever been in life, everyone for miles around and beyond knew her name, it hung on their lips, dripping in gossip and a hint of distain. Floating on cigarette coated breath, spoken over coffee and whispered over back walls. Tales in the playground were rife, turning those who found the body into minor celebrities in their own right.

In death they all knew her and she was beautiful. Buried, as she had hoped with her jewels, lonely protectors guarding her earthly body against diminishing beauty. When her body was gone and rotten, when there was nothing left, they would still shine, bright and proud, at the people who gazed upon them.

They stayed with her for years, slowly sinking downwards as the supporting flesh rotted and was consumed until finally, they saw light again. The flashlight of grave robbers. Hastily grabbed, their protests unheeded, they were shoved into a bag and she was quickly covered again. Finally alone, stripped of her refinement, her body would rot, unattended, unloved and, should anyone open her coffin again, they would no longer see the beauty of the jewels and wonder what gorgeous woman was given them and by who, perhaps by a suitor or as a dowry. Instead, they would see her as she truly was.

A woman, unloved and alone.