Joust in the Nick of Time

Gather round boys and girls and let me tell you a tale; a tale of intrigue, valour and one woman’s fight for equality in a man’s world. 

Juliette Favreau, the only daughter of Lord Jerome Favreau and Lady Mathilde Favreau of the Avignon Favreau’s and most coveted beauty in all of France balled her fist and slammed it into the grinning face in front of her.

His eyes widened in shock for a split second and then glazed over as he slumped to the hard marble floor. Juliette scowled down at Lord Durand’s prone figure then lifting the hem of her dress so as to avoid the slowly expanding pool of blood hopped over the rotund aristocrat and strode across the ballroom her narrow eyes fixed on two figures in one corner.

“Oh merde,” cursed Mathilde Favreau. “I told that buffoon not to mention us, I knew if he said we approved the match this would happen. Well maybe not exactly this,” she said waving her silk fan at where Lord Durand’s footmen were trying desperately to revive their liege. “But I knew she wouldn’t go for it what was he thinking?”

“Lord Durand is not well know for his skills in thinking,” pointed out Jerome Favreau with a sigh.

“He isn’t a bad looking man, he’s within a suitable age and is well know for his deep pockets…”

“…and his short arms,” interjected Jerome.

“Don’t start with me Jerome,” hissed Mathilde. “You agreed to this match too you know.”


“Well she has to marry someone…”

“I’ll marry who I bloody well choose mother, and I’d thank you to keep you big nose out of it,” fumed Juliette.

“But dear, Lord Durand is a good friend to King Henry…”

“I don’t care if he’s a good friend to Jesus Christ I’m not marrying him…”

“Dear…” began Mathilde.

“No the man is a moron…”

“Julie…” tried Jerome.

“And he smells of fish. I mean there isn’t even any fish being served how the hell does he smell of fish?”

“I mean he’s not as much of a moron as King Henry but…”

“Juliette!” exclaimed Mathilde grabbing her daughter by the wrist. Juliette looked round to give her mother a piece of her mind but she stopped when she saw her mother eyes wide, face pale.

“A moron am I?” asked King Henry with a raised eyebrow.

“Yes, but it’s not your fault all that inbreeding can’t be good for you,” said Juliette dismissively.

The King’s face flushed with fury. “You’ll marry who I damn well tell you girl or I’ll lock you up and throw away the key.

“I bloody well won’t you’re not the boss of me.”

“I’m the boss of everyone I’m the King of all of France.”

“Well you’re not the king of my knickers,” replied Juliette defiantly hands on her hips. “and I’ll not drop them for some fat, fishy idiot just on your say so.”

The King was apoplectic with rage and started pacing back and forth clenching and unclenching his fists. “I’m the King of France and some little strumpet  means to defy me? No. No. This cannot stand, this cannot stand!”

“Might I suggest a solution?” ventured Jerome shooting his daughter a ‘shut-up and let me save your life look’. “How about a wager? Juliette does so love a wager.”

“What kind of a wager?” asked the King cautiously.

“If you can beat me in a joust you can pick who I marry,” said Juliette jumping in before her father could speak.

“A joust? You a girl?”

“What’s the matter you chicken?”

“It’s not seemly, jousting with a woman…”

“Buck, buck, buck, buck, buck…” clucked Juliette flapping her arms like a chickens.

“Fine, I’ll thrash you and then you’ll marry who I bloody well tell you to,” spat the King. “I’ll see you in the lists.”


“This is a stupid idea,” said Jerome for the fifteenth time as he paced in front of his daughter’s horse Buttercup. “You’ve never even held a lance before.”

“Ah nonsense,” said Juliette with a dismissive wave. “If that lump Durand can do it how hard can it be? Pass me a lance.”

Jerome signalled to his page who hefted a lance from the rack and held it out to Juliette. Juliette took it and nearly toppled from Buttercup before she let the weapon crash to the ground.

“That’s pretty heavy,” she said with a frown. “Do you have anything smaller?”

“It’s time milady,” said a groom in the livery of house Valois poking his head through the tent flap. “They’re calling for you in the lists.”



Juliette hefted her lance and closed the visor of her helmet with a thump. “Bloody men,” she muttered her voice echoing around the steel helmet. “Always thinking they know best well we’ll see if bloody King Henry knows best.”

“And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for,” began the announcer. “A first for our fare nation and the whole world as our good King faces off against Lady Juliette Favreau…”

The announcer droned on as her groom led Buttercup to the end of the list; Juliette blocked him out and concentrated on waving her lance up and down to get a feel for it. “Just stick him with the pointy end Juliette, it’s not rocket science. no need to get him in his smug face, although that would be preferable just point it…” There was a loud crack and Buttercup was off galloping. Juliette could see the world whizzing by at a tremendous pace through the gap in her visor, then the charging figure of the King filled her view.

Juliette raised her lance, pointed it at his face and held her breath. The world slowed to a crawl; she watched in amazement as her lance clipped the King taking his helmet clean off. She saw the surprise and anger in his eyes. “I did it! I did it” she thought. “I beat the basta… oh that’s not good.” She felt a pressure in her shoulder and the world slammed back into full speed as she shot off the back of Buttercup and slammed into the hard dirt.

“Shit,” she said lifting the visor on her helmet. “So close.” She tried to climb to her feet but couldn’t do more than force herself into a vague sitting position as the cheers of the crowd turned to gasps of astonishment and then groans of despair. Juliette looked over to where the King, wild-eyed with fury was signalling to his page for another lance. When one appeared he snatched it from his hand, kicked his horse in the ribs and charged forward towards her again.

Laying on her back in the dirt Juliette saw her death riding towards her. Juliette prayed to God that a righteous vengeance would come to the King for all he had done to her. then with a deep breath to calm her racing heart, she locked her eyes on the petty man with a dented shield and a lance tipped with shining steel. The ground underneath her trembled as the giant roan charger bore down on her but she refused to look away; if he was to kill her he’d God damn do it looking her in the eye, the coward.

With horse mere feet from her the sky lit up with a blinding light and Juliette turned away scrunching her eyes closed. Her eyes burned with invisible fire and even closed she could see nothing but the fearsome white light. There was a roar and a dull thud and then nothing. Juliette opened her watering eyes a crack

“Great Scott!” exclaimed the older man, his shock of white hair swaying as he looked climbed out of a strange metal carriage and looked around the lists. “This isn’t 1955!” He ducked his head back inside. “Egads, it’s 1559! Damn my dyslexia! Come on Einstein we need to get… Back to the future!”

He ducked back into his carriage and it rolled backwards then tore off down the lists and vanished with a deafening roar in a burst of flames. Through the haze of smoke Juliette could just make out the crumpled form of King Henry II where the strange carriage had crushed him against the tilt barrier.

“Umm… thanks God,” muttered Juliette crossing herself. “Thanks a lot.”

And that my friends is the tale of how an unlikely young woman saved all of France from the evil grasp of King Henry II.


The Sheltering Bones

Kal burst into waking, a scream caught behind his clenched teeth. His body lurched into a crouch, hands clutching at the cold ground and his eyes darting about the shadowy space. There were no slow, gradual wakings for him anymore, nor for anyone else; not since the God Wars had started. Slowly, agonisingly, his heartbeat slowed, his breathing calmed. The thickness of the silence and the darkness reassured him that he was alone. He sank into a sitting position, his arms wrapped round his knees, pulling them close to his chest. His breath frosted in the cold air as he waited for the light of dawn.


They had come from the distant stars, falling onto the world in the thousands. Some had hailed them as gods come to punish the sins of the world, others said they sought only to conquer, claim this world for their own, but soon enough the truth became clear; they had no interest in this world, or its tiny inhabitants. It was just another battlefield. They were huge and mighty and full of wrath, and they brought their own war with them. They were unknown gods fighting an unknown war, they fought and died across the world for two years until it was a shattered wasteland and then, at last, they moved on. They left behind a broken world littered with the bodies of their fallen, and the few remnants of humanity that had survived hoped desperately that they would not return.

When the god-giants had come, Kal had been living with his parents and his sister, Effy, in a city. In those shattering first days it quickly became clear that staying the cities was foolish and likely fatal, and so they had gathered what they could and left. Kal’s father had led them, hiding his own despair and terror beneath a quiet confidence, swearing each night that they would survive. And together they had done, for a two months. The destruction of the world that was took so little time; as each city was crushed it seemed mankind lost something of what it had gained over thousands of years. No one was safe, and people grouped together for survival. Kal’s parents had gone scavenging but had not returned. Hiding Effy and telling her to stay put, no matter what, Kal had gone to look for them.

He’d found his parents not far from their shelter. His father’s torso was sliced from shoulder to waist, the snow blood red beneath him. His mother lay on her back, most of the blade of her husband’s long dagger buried in her chest. The handle, with perhaps 6 inches of broken blade, lay in a clean patch of snow between them. Kal could not say how long he had stood above them, staring at them. Finally he reached down and took up his father’s broken blade, and went to find his sister.


The cold light of morning at last arrived, and Kal shook himself to stem the flow of memory. He stood slowly, stretching his cold, aching body. He looked once about the cave that had been his home for the night, and then unblocked the entrance. The sun was just above the horizon, and a bitterly cold wind cut straight through Kal’s clothes. He got some dried meat and oatcakes from his bag for breakfast, and then turned to the west. He took the first bite as he began to walk.

He saw the god-giant around mid-morning. The day was becoming bright and clear, and as he looked ahead to see the cliffs he’d expected, but also something more. Soon after he was certain, could even make out some details. The thing had been enormous, one of the largest Kal had seen. It wore some pieces of armour, dented and damaged, and a strange thing that might have been some kind of gun lay shattered on the ground beside it. The thing sat at the base of the cliffs, back resting against them, legs stretched out. A giant sword had been driven through its chest, pinning it down even had it wanted to move. But the thing was long, long dead. Such a specimen would be ripe for scavengers, and so Kal squinted, trying to see more detail of the god-giant. They’d take what they could of cloth and metal and flesh and bone, picking at the bodies till nothing was left. But this body looked intact… Soon enough Kal could make out tiny shapes moving all over the giant corpse.

“So this is what we’ve come to,” Kal murmured, watching perhaps twenty of his fellow humans clambering over the dead, frozen body, salvaging what they could whilst the light was bright, before the Slithers emerged from their burrows. Thinking of those strange creatures, the parasites the nameless giants had brought with them, Kal shuddered. Insects they were, but as large as a man and five times as strong. To meet one was to face almost certain death, as he knew only too well… Kal closed his eyes tight, trying to shut out the memory before it could overwhelm him, but he knew it was futile…


The God Wars lasted perhaps a year, no more. But at the end of that year the world was a shattered husk, thrust into a new ice age by the destruction caused by the god-giants. At the end of the year they moved on, leaving only their dead. And the parasites that fed on them.

Kal had cared for his sister, had protected her as best he could. But she was only a child in a world of ice and monsters. Fear and hunger and loss took their toll, and one night Kal had lain beside her, holding her close to share his warmth as the two clouds of their breathing became one. He cried then, where he had not cried for his parents; he had no reason to hide it any more. He wept, and held his sister close, and as his tears froze sleep finally claimed him…

Shaking woke him, confused and exhausted, he realised Effy was shaking him, her hands gripping his shirt… But she was gone, he knew that, couldn’t deny it, and so what then was… An insectoid hiss and clicking noise pulled Kal violently awake, and he sat up, looking at the body that had been his sister. Effy’s body was shuddering and twitching because something was devouring her. The creature, large and insectoid and purple-grey, had burrowed into Effy’s side and started to feast even as Kal had held her tight. He choked out a sound, part horror and part rage, and the creature stopped moving. Slowly the head withdrew from his sister’s torso and faced him, stained crimson and dripping with thick, cold blood. A Slither, not fully grown, but still it was a thing out of a nightmare, fangs and mandibles and purple-grey chitin.

Blindly Kal’s hands sought his father’s broken sword, and he brought the blade up just as the nightmare thing lunged…


It was mid-afternoon when Kal reached the corpse. He could see no more scavengers, and was relieved. He did not get on so well with people any more, seeking solitude rather than companionship. In the new world, that might perhaps be the path to oblivion, but he felt it was the right path.

He did not know where he was aiming for until he stood on the huge knee, looking up at the head. The eye sockets were dark, a cracked metal helm sat on the skull… And Kal realised he had been looking for this corpse, this giant for a long time. Nodding to himself he began to climb.

As he scaled the massive body, Kal saw that the giant had been picked clean, every scrap of useful material seemed to be gone. This could well mean that few scavengers would be back this way, which would suit his purposes. Finally Kal stood in the eye socket, looking into the dark recess of the fallen giant’s skull. He pulled his torch from his back and shone it into the darkness. With a cry of fear Kal leapt back, just stopping himself from tumbling over the edge to escape the nightmare, when he realised it was not moving…

It was a Slither, much larger and very different from the others he had seen. Heart pounding, Kal realised he held his two knives at the ready, but the creature was clearly already dead. He sheathed his father’s blade, but held the second knife, the one he had made from the fangs of the creature that had devoured Effy, he held ready, just in case. Cautiously he approached the nightmarish head, but it did not move. He tapped it once with his chitin dagger, and the head of the Slither tumbled from the body. It was truly long dead.

Stepping further into the cavern of the giant’s skull, Kal shone his torch about the space. It was… empty. There was no other way to describe it, the skull was almost entirely empty. The strange Slither had been some parasite, living in the corpse, devouring its brain till there was no more to eat…

Kal wondered if he should move on from here. There could be more Slithers about the corpse, and yet… He knew, somehow, that there were no more threats hiding in this giant. He’d paid his price, lost his life in war, lost his mind and memory to parasites…
“He’s paid his price.”

And with the words came a sense of kinship with this dead warrior, and following that an idea formed in Kal’s mind. Perhaps it was the thing he had always been looking for, or perhaps it was new, he could not say. The cavernous skull could be a shelter. The chitin of the dead Slither would make tools. The sun would rise and shine on him through the giants eyes each morning…

Dark was beginning to fall as Kal knew at last that the time for running from the past was done. He shrugged out of his pack, light a small fire for warmth, and settled himself for the night. He thought of his mother and father, of Effy who he had tried to save…
“I paid my price,” he whispered.

And so, curled within the mind of dead, frozen god, Kal slept.


Boots entrenched in a crusted case of sludge and broken bracken squelched their drunken path onwards into the black, a dark as thick as the bloke who walked through it. Not that he thought that, or would admit so. He was the king, royalty roaming with no castle to go home to. Did he like it? Did he fuck, but whinging wasn’t his style. He owned his status, he was accustomed to “his sort”. The “sort” the sober’d cross the road to avoid, or secretly wield a concealed key in their palm. No, he preferred to bait an easier prey (in nature, the famished would rather eat four somethings than one challenging catch). The rat-assed, the vulnerable, or the little lost child.

Shadows streaked across the park as the sun gave up on the day, the suited scum had had their chance. The diminishing light gave way and the rejected stepped forward in a sort of hopeless freedom where the nobodies can pick fights, lose teeth and drink to forget the whole debacle. That was the way he liked it. His eyes watched the potential targets scrapping away by the gates whilst he sat on the damp memorial bench, betting silently on who would be the victim of his unique brand of comforting. He swigged something more akin to turps than alcohol: an acidic lick to the back of his throat as it passed through rotting yellow teeth.

“Hello,” arose sweet and soft little voice by his side, which did not shock him so much as gently lure him out of his focus from the task at hand. His head turned to a pale little girl, in Sunday dress perhaps and a lost expression.

“Hello,” he drawled as he observed the new situation, and weighed and altered his evening’s plans in an instant. “Where’s your mummy?”

To this, the girl dropped her eye contact, a little ashamed or embarrassed at asking for help he thought. She must be worried. “Would you like me to walk you home?”  Her eyes of palest blue raised with a newfound glimmer of hope, and her lips could barely conceal an excitable smile. A little nod and it was agreed. The stranger- the absolute bloody stranger- would escort her home. Naïve or stupid, this was now just a simple course of events. Did she never hear of the big bad wolf, the hungry teeth of a stranger in the woods that little girls were warned about tucked in their beds? This time Little Red had saved him from donning granny’s piss stained intimates. This was quite literally a walk in the park. Think of which, he quickly surveyed the park they stood in. No one gave a crap. Or were conscious, at least.


He looked back to find that the girl had already started to walk ahead, though she stopped to make sure he wasn’t lost. A little odd: she seemed eager, not just to get home, but for him to join her on her way. Don’t question it, he concluded as he sidled up to her silently palms sweaty with a pensive tremble and a neutral smirk.

“Can we…?”


“Can I show you something, Mister? I have something that might help you.”

“Help me?” A chuckle broke from his lips with a questioning lilt.

“Before you take me home. Follow me. Please, Mister?”

Weird. Normally he wouldn’t pander them, but even he’d admit that his process was becoming tiresome, like automatically slumping into a repetitive missionary position. A small change, a little risk, could be a treat. I’ll humour her, he mused, call it a last request. He could always purchase ice cream after.

Her detour took them into the city to North street and staring up at a crumbling complex, cheaply knocked together and stewing in its own filth. This deviation out into the open had initially made him nervous but again no one stared, nor whispered accusations like suspicious nonagenarians. They didn’t look too dissimilar as a pair, heck maybe he looked like a schlub worth breeding with. Once more, the girl had disappeared from his side and silently hovered impatiently by the door. He caught up to her, pushing the greasy grey door handle with grime deeply set in its grooves. The girl shot through the lobby way and leapt up the receding hotel-reject carpet. By now, the brat’s behaviour had reached peak irritation, had grated too much, had diverted his plans off course for too long. He pounded up the stairs after her.

Breathless, he grasped the chipped handrail as he tailed the child up into a decaying corridor. Clutching the wall he caught his breath, and upon inhalation noted a faint chemical odour amongst the airborne grime. The coldly lit corridor was long, apparently hastily wallpapered by maintenance and left untouched and peeling for the last seven years. One grubby door in a series of five was ajar. The child’s stubby fingers grasped around the edge, peeping with an intense glee exclusive to the eyes of children. Apartment 213. Impatience started to hit him in hot waves, allowing exasperated grunts to escape through breaths as he barged into the apartment.

The room he stepped into smelt like savoury bleach. The stench smacked him in the face instantly. It was empty save for a few essentials: a steel kettle, cleaning chemicals, and a polaroid camera resting upon a wooden side table. But the girl was gone. How? The little shit had been right there. Not enough time had elapsed for her to unclasp her hands from the door then hide. A blonde man turned the corner. His stoicly indifferent face expressed a muted confusion as he cocked his blandly attractive head.


The intruder hovered, awkwardly seized as the ashy-haired man drank in his body head to toe like a strong margarita. The drunk blue eyes flashed suggestively. How unexpected, salty, delicious.

The girl perched on the mottled kitchen counter, idly swinging her legs as the machine drilled through her unconscious friend’s skull piercing and bit into soft peach flesh, spraying a fine dust of bone meal across the carpet as a circle of human mince gathered around the furiously spinning metal. She liked to stick around to observe the job being done, to confirm that the men had passed over, had stopped suffering. Fluorescent liquid sloshed the sides of the plastic tank wielded by the blonde man as he poured it into the open frontal lobe. It hissed as it cooked the fleshy build up around the hole, claiming the skull as its new vessel. She closed her eyes as choking cries frothed and gargled, content. What followed she didn’t much care for: adults had their strange addictions, some ate pills and others hugged many people under sheets or in the park.  She didn’t quite get it, but she had liked dolls when she was burdened by skin and bones and she imagined that they probably weren’t of interest to the nice blonde man with the drill either.

The smell akin to a stale aquarium and rotting tropical fish faded as the freshness of cold air and clean grass cut through the stink. She opened her eyes. Her legs now dangled from the damp memorial bench of the park. Coughs loudly spluttering blood and vomit rose by the overflowing bins. The unsuccessful brawler from earlier that evening had finally awoken, the acidic contents of his empty stomach hurling themselves across the gravel path. The little girl hopped off her seat with a kind smile. He was among the suffering forgotten. And she knew how to help.

The New Governor

Widow Sallie owned a plantation,

Harvesting timber and fuel for the nation.

A feast she prepares,

and all will be there,

The Gov’nor received invitation.

A gathering turned into a party,

Poor Gov’nor’s attendance was tardy.

But still he was fed.

Soon after they wed,

She gave birth to Flora and Archie.

Falling ill the Governor died,

Not a virus so Sallie survived.

No funeral was had,

For his corpse was so bad.

But the King insisted for pride.

The statesmen looked in the ground.

But the Governors body not found,

Her children shocked they gasped,

Where is he? they asked.

Sallie faints as if struck or spellbound.

The kings soldiers looked into his absence.

They looked to Sallie for guidance.

But once through her door,

they existed no more;

Their corpses provided sustenance.

After death her daughter uncovered,

The bones and remains of the others.

She discovered too late,

Guv’nor, dad and his mates,

Widow Black had served up for supper.

Sleeper’s Lake

The moon was full, and it shone brightly through the leaves as Marcus gazed out across the water from the centre of the calm lake.  The boat swayed slightly in the breeze and he caught sight of a pond-skimmer dancing over the surface.  “How simple the life of a pond-skimmer,” he thought before he took hold of the oars and gently steered himself towards shore.

Serena stood at the bank, her boots caked in mud from her walk through the trees, her skirt smeared from where she tripped on a protruding root and her bag now sporting a hole courtesy of a stray branch.  The little row boat she sometimes took out was not in its usual spot, moored to the short jetty, but instead floating its way gently back to shore commanded by a slight figure, a silhouette in the moonlight.

As he approached the jetty, Marcus realised that he wasn’t alone.  The woman was maybe a foot shy of him, her hair falling in thick curls about her face.  The sleeves of her jumper were rolled up to her elbows, mirroring the thick socks protruding from her hiking boots, but contrasting dramatically with her floral skirt and bare legs.  She was an eclectic mix of pretty and practical in such a way that said she couldn’t give two fucks about whether she was pretty or not.

Serena’s first thought was that this boy was an idiot and clearly not from around here.  As he drifted closer she could see he was wearing a shirt, tight fitting jeans and what appeared to be Converse of all things, but you could hardly tell as he had mud practically up to his knees.  In all her years coming to Sleeper’s Lake she had never seen another soul as it wasn’t exactly the easiest to get to but that was part of the appeal.  So, to find another person at this time, her time, should have been an affront, but somehow it intrigued her.

“Hey,” called Marcus, the wooden boat nudging the jetty as he pulled close.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, trying to sound light and chatty.
“I could ask the same of you,” she replied rather curtly.
He hefted himself out of the boat, swaying slightly as he crossed onto stable, dry land.
“You’re not from round here are you?” she smirked.
“Marcus,” he said, holding out his hand.
She stared at it a moment before raising an eyebrow, “Serena.”

“Serena,” he repeated, speaking her name like it was something to be savoured.  She glanced up and saw the moonlight reflected in his crystal-blue eyes, as cool as the water.  A smile tickled at the corner of her lips and she watched as his did the same, spreading wider, confidently, creasing little dimples in his cheeks.

He grabbed his bag from the hull of the boat and slung it over his shoulder.  “She’s all yours,” he said, stepping aside and gesturing to the boat before trudging away.  She watched after him, resisting the urge to chuckle as he slid on the uneven ground, until he passed the line of trees and was gone.

He did his best to remain steady and look cool as he walked but the ground was soft underfoot from the recent rain and he slipped about at every other step.  “Must get some better boots,” he thought.


Sheets of ice floated on the surface of the lake as Serena steadied herself in the boat.  She leaned over the edge watching the rock she had thrown over the side sink into the dark of the deep.  She liked that; the way sometimes it went straight down and other times it would bob from side to side as it sank.  She watched as the ripples started small and spread across water, flotsam and jetsam bobbing in its wake.  She watched as the wave reached the shore and the jetty.  He was there.  Marcus.  Much more appropriately dressed this time, in boots and a parker, a woolly hat pulled over his hair against the frost.  He watched her, blowing into his hands to stave off the chill.  A warmth sparked in her chest at the sight of him and she reached for the oars to make her way back.

Marcus had been back every week since that day some months ago in the hope that he might catch her.  Once before he had watched her from the treeline, unsure what to say, but this time he couldn’t pass up the chance.  He stepped out and dumped his bag onto the jetty, warming his hands as she bent over the side of the boat, reminding him of the family cat playing with the tap water.  When she looked up at him it was like a firework exploded in his chest and he fought the awkward grin trying to take over his features.

“Hey,” she said in a rather coy manner that surprised even herself.
“Hey yourself,” he replied.
“Not seen you in a while.  Settling in ok?”
“It’s a nice town,” he offered, “Bit quieter than I’m used to.”
“Quiet?  It’s too busy for me.  To many nosey neighbours.  That’s why I love it here, at the lake.”
“So peaceful.”
“Yeah, it is.”

Their eyes met and both forgot the cold completely for the briefest of moments and yet the longest time.  Bound by some invisible pull they stayed until, finally, Serena let out a sigh and glanced across at the boat.
“She’s all yours,” she smiled before walking towards the trees, ground crunching underfoot, her cheeks rosy despite the cold.


She was loading up the boat when he arrived; a light jacket over his t-shirt, hands in the pockets of his jeans and bag at his side.  He looked like he’d stepped right off a film set where he played the romantic lead.  He moved to sit next to her, feet dangling inside the boat.
“Hey,” he said, sitting just close enough she could feel his body heat.
“Help me with these rocks?”

Despite the warmth of the evening she still had her thick walking boots on and the same skirt she had been wearing that first night they met.  Something about that pulled at his heart a little and the warmth grew stronger.  He pushed them away from the shore and they rowed quietly together, one oar each, until they were in the centre of the lake.

They stilled the boat and it rocked slightly as they stored their oars under the strip of wood acting as a seat.  As he sat back up their fingers brushed and a jolt of electricity sparked up her arm.  They glanced up, eyes locked.  His fingers snaked in-between hers until they were intertwined.

Her hand was warm in his and soft to touch.  He wanted to stroke the little blond hairs on the back of her hand but resisted.  Instead he stared deep into her emerald eyes.  She bit her lip slightly, nervously and he felt his mouth getting dry.  This was it.  He leaned in slowly and she leaned too, but the relief didn’t come until their lips touched for the first time.

She sank in to it, getting lost until they finally pulled away.  They smiled shyly at each other, tongue darting out to capture the taste of their first kiss.  She gazed up at him, smiling before uttering, ”help me?”

She reached down and opened the large bag at her feet as he lowered the last of the large rocks they had collected into it.  She tied it tight, ensuring the knot didn’t catch on the crimson-painted fingernail attempting to escape; the colour of the varnish clashing with the deep burgundy of the blood.  Together they each hefted a bag to the edge of the boat before locking eyes once more.  She smiled and he thought how he had never felt anything like this before; someone who really gets you.  He nodded to her and they pushed their loads over the edge before leaning over, watching the bodies sink into the black.

Carnival House

Alex sat up in bed as his heart thundering in his chest; his panicked eyes darting wildly around the room as he hugged his sweat soaked pillow to his chest, a pitiful shield against the darkness. In his dream fogged mind he swore he could smell the stale stench of sweat, bad ale and worst of all the sharp metallic scent of his mothers blood on his father’s knuckles. His stomach roiled and his eyes stung with unshed tears. After a long moment his eyes seemed to focus, his breathing lost its ragged edge and his hands loosened their death grip on his dirty straw pillow as the nightmare started to fade.

Alex let out a low sigh and rubbed his face with his hands; no matter how many times he had that dream it never lost it’s impact. After his first few weeks at Carnival House he’d learned to control the screams his screams – the other boys didn’t appreciate being woken and were not shy about showing him their displeasure – but most nights he still awoke early, drenched in sweat with the images of his father’s snarling face burned into his retinas.Knowing his sleep was over for the night Alex levered himself up in his shabby cot and looked around the room in the cold, grey morning light.

Carnival House had been home for the last five years, since his father killed his mother and beat Alex to within an inch of his life in a drunken rage. It was the place where the government sent those kids who were considered too damaged for rehoming. ‘Don’t get me wrong,’ Jonesy the jug-eared kid in bed next to Alex had told him on his first day. ‘They say they’ll find us a home alright. They say it but really it’s just a half-way house, somewhere to put all us notrights until we’re old enough to put out on the streets.’ Jonesy had been right, in Alex’s entire time at the orphanage he’d never heard of a single kid that had been rehomed.

He slipped out from under his damp blanket and dropped soundlessly to the cold stone floor; beds stretched as far as they eye could see in the half-light of the cold morning. This room alone had 60 beds each holding a shifting moaning form, no one slept well in Carnival House, the place had an air of fear and taste of pain to it. Rumor had it the place was originally a hotel where the mad owner tortured and killed his guests; if the new owners where anything to go by Alex could believe it. Gregor Hynd, the warden of Carnival House, was a sadistic fuck with was a taste blood.

Only one bed in the dorm was empty, the one across the room from Alex’s bed, That bed belonged to Simon. At the far end of the room one of the new kids started sobbing, some kids didn’t last a week, some didn’t last a day but everyone broke eventually. Alex had cried like a baby his third night when he realised that he was never going home. He felt no shame looking back now everybody cried, everyone except Simon that is. In the long history of Carnival House no one could name any  new kid who did not to cry bar Simon; those people who knew him swore he didn’t have it in him. Alex did his best to stay away from Simon, the boy wasn’t all there. Not that he was slow or a nutter or anything like that, he was razor sharp, intense in fact. It was more that he had a way of looking at you like you were a frog he’d like to dissect; he gave Alex the creeps.

Alex padded silently down the aisle between the low cots when the door at the end of room opened a crack and a small form slipped inside. The boy scampered down the hall and whispered urgently shaking sleeping feet as he passed.

“What’s the deal?” Alex hissed to the boy as the dorm slowly came alive.

“Simon is back!” he replied and the word spread down through the dorm like wildfire. “Simon is back. Simon is back. Simon is back.”


Simon shot a glare at Gregor as the giant warden of the orphanage opened the thick steel door of the basement and stepped inside. Gregor closed the door without taking his eyes off Simon and slid the bolt home with a crash. Simon shrugged, he knew a scare tactic when he saw one, he used them himself often enough after all,  and he wasn’t biting.

“Now isn’t that better Simon?” said Gregor licking his lips. “Now we can talk in peace.”

Simon raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

“Oh, ho, ho. So it’s the silent treatment eh?” said Gregor taking a step closer to Simon. “There’s no need for all of that, just tell me where you’ve been and with whom and all this will be forgotten.”

When Simon still said nothing, Gregor’s face screwed up in anger and he rushed forward swinging a meaty fist. Gregor pulled his punch at the last second his fist so close so Simon’s face he could feel the hairs on his knuckles brushing his cheek. Gregor growled and ground his teeth in frustration; Simon hadn’t even flinched.

“You think you’re tough boy?” spat Gregor. “You think your a big man I’ll show you who the big man here is.”

He pulled back his arm and crashed his fist into Simon’s stomach and Simon folded to the floor with a grunt the air rushing from his lungs. Gregor’s smile was cut short as Simon slowly dragged himself to his feet a smile on his face.

“Oh, what a big man you are!” he laughed. “Hey, let me buy you a pack of gum. I’ll show you how to chew it.”

The next punch caught him right on the temple and sent him spinning to the floor a gob of blood flying to hit the wall with a sickening splat; Simon just lay there laughing. When Simon tried to push himself to his feet the giant warden rushed forward and delivered a vicious kick in the ribs. The crack echoed around the room and now Simon’s laughter came with a oh of pain at the end. Wild-eyed Gregor stared at Simon shaking with impotent rage.

“OK, OK, you win Gregor,” said Simon holding up a hand when his laughter finally subsided. “I’ll tell you who I was with.”

“Fine.” Gregor said unclenching his fists.  “There was no need for this you know, I’m a reasonable man. Just tell me who you were with and what you were doing and we can pretend this never happened.”

Simon pushed himself ponderously to his feet favouring his left side. “I was with that spastic kid of yours, we were double teaming your fat ugly wife, it wasn’t one of my finest conquests but needs must.” Simon laughed again until Gregor charged in, grabbed him by the throat and slammed him to the floor. Simon’s head bounced off the cold stone tiles. He stopped laughing, his mouth twisted into a scowl and his stare burned into Gregor’s very soul. “Careful now Gregor,” he whispered. “You’re going to get off me now and leave me here. If you touch me again it’s your son that will suffer.”

“Don’t you say his name, don’t you even think about him or I swear to God I’ll break every bone in your body you little shit,” spat the warden his face inches from Simon’s.

“James,” said Simon his eyes flashing. “Poor old spasticated James. What do you think he’s doing right now? I’m going to guess sitting in a puddle of his own piss drooling and playing with himself.”

Gregor let go of Simon and stood his every move tense, his face a mask of pure hatred. “Remember you asked for this,” he growled walking over to the workbench in the corner. Simon watched laughing as he slapped the top off a plastic box and rooted around finally coming up with a thick steel wrench. “I offered you and out and you spat in my face. Well now we’ll see how tough you really are.”

He stalked back over to where Simon lay smiling and lifted the wrench above his head. “Last chance Simon, take it back.”

A mad giggle escaped Simon’s lips and Gregor lashed down with the wrench catching Simon a glancing blow that rocked his head to the side sending a shower of blood into the furious wardens face. Gregor wiped the blood from his eyes and when he looked down his heart nearly stopped in his chest. The boy looked like he’d gone 12 rounds with a heavyweight. His right eye was swollen closed and his face a red mask of blood from the jagged cut in his scalp but Simon just looked up at him smiling a demonic smile with red stained his teeth.

“You didn’t say Simon says,” he laughed.

Gregor backed slowly away and dropped the bloody wrench to the floor. “You’re mad,” he muttered. “You’re completely mad.”

“What’s the matter warden?” asked Simon crawling forward leaving a trail of blood in his wake. “Don’t have the stomach for it?”

Gregor turned on his heel ran from the bloody boy in the basement, he threw himself through the door and slammed it shut behind him sending the bolt home with a mighty crash. Simon heard his footsteps moving swiftly off up the corridor and let the smile fall from his face for the first time. His jaw clenched and his stomach roiled as he tallied the damage. “I warned him,” he whispered rocking back and forth. “Simon says, they boy is going to get it, Simon says.”

Simon felt the rage burning within him. He fanned the flames with memories, each blow from Gregor feeding the fire. As the blaze grew the cold of the floor receded; he was warmed by the fire, warmed by his righteous anger, he wrapped it around him like a blanket.

He sat like that for sometime, brooding in the darkness his mind a white hot blur, beating at his skull like a caged animal, roaring in protest at the unfairness of it all. In his mind everything moved faster than it should, the steady drip of rain on the road outside moving slightly quicker than usual. The rain, the cars driving by, even his own breathing was fast, out of sync with the world slightly. Like an itch he could not scratch the noises of a world just out of kilter fueled his anger. He could hear his blood rushing through his veins, a deafening torrent, the boiling river of his anger. Teetering on the brink of madness Simon forced himself to take a deep breath, then another, the world slowly  dropped back in to sync with him and he swallowed his anger. It settled as a white hot ball in his stomach, he could feel it burning, his eyes snapped open, icy blue fire.

“Time to get out of here and pay someone a little visit,” he whispered in a cold hard voice.


Simon rapped on the door with a jaunty do do do do do, do do. It was the kind of a knock that he imagined a jolly old postman would do in a straight to TV movie so you knew he was one of the good guys. After a minute or two of silence Simon heard a shuffling coming slowly closer and then a slow ponderous voice came from behind the thick wood of the door.

“Who’s there?”

“It’s Simon, James. I’m a dear friend of your fathers.”

“Dad told me never to answer the door to strangers,” Slurred the voice. “I can’t get into trouble, no sir.”

“Very wise James, very wise but as I said my name is Simon and I’m a dear friend of your father. So you see I’m not a stranger at all, why not open the door and let me in?” There was a long pause and Simon felt he could almost here the cogs grinding in the spastic’s head. “I have a present for you.”

There was the swish of metal on metal and the door opened with a creak. “Present? What kind of present?” said the boy poking his head around the door. Simon felt his stomach turn at the sight of his vacant eyes, fat tongue lolling from his mouth dripping saliva on his already stained shirt.

“Oh, James,” smiled Simon sadly sliding the rusty kitchen knife out of belt of his trousers. “I didn’t say Simon says.”

James backed away his dull eyes wide with confusion as Simon strode across the threshold and pushed the door closed behind him with a soft click. “Now James. James, James, James what shall we do with you?” He waved the knife slowly back and forth the light glinting off the dirty blade highlighting the madness in his cold, hard eyes.

The First Kill Is The Sweetest

escVR – Your Dreams Made Real

Jenn read the sign behind the android receptionist as it began to speak. She had never been a “tech person” but it was a means to an end.

“Welcome to escVR, the world’s most immersive virtual reality system, how can we help you?”

Advancements in artificial intelligence had created machines that could pass the Turing Test, but robotics was yet to fully realise a human face, and so the receptionist of escVR was instantly spottable as the one jarringly unreal element of the huge facility. The receptionist android continued in a slow, soothing voice.

“We cater to any requirements our client might need – and without another human being involved, we guarantee complete privacy and anonymity. You are free to explore whatever your heart or mind desires.”

Jenn took a breath and spoke, the scowl she wore on her face near-permanently unmoving.

“Tell me about the immersion suites.” 

The android smiled (it always smiled, but the smile now seemed to grow a little wider), “Our immersion suites utilise the most cutting edge technology available to give you a complete experience. You fall asleep and we tap into your nervous system, and prompt the brain to respond to what you experience in the virtual world. You won’t be able to tell if you are awake or asleep except for the timer, which will audibly prompt you with each remaining hour.”

“How do I program the simulation? There are real people I want to interact with, how do you replicate them?”

“You simply tell me what you need, and we draw from real locations to build the world for you. For the people you interact with, we look at their social media profiles, their jobs, their likes, their interests, and build a character profile of them. The more information they have given to Facebook, Google, etc, the more accurate we can be. We use video recordings of them to match appearance, movement and voice.”

“Is that legal?”

“Our team of lawyers assures us that we comply with all laws relevant to the territories in which we operate. For full terms and conditions, see our online presence.”

Jenn thought she detected an element of sass in the android, but shrugged it off as an echo of dealing with hundreds of receptionists in her life leading up to this point.

“And I can’t get hurt whilst I’m inside?”

“Any event that would ordinarily cause you harm is only an illusion of the experience. Your body and mind are totally protected by our safety systems – the experience would end abruptly for you, but no physical harm will come to you.”
She proceeded to describe the scenario she wanted – very similar to the real world, but with a few subtle tweaks. Nothing that couldn’t be done outside the experience, just inconvenient to arrange in the real world. She was taken to the immersion suite. She had expected a futuristic looking room with neon lights and heads up displays, but was surprised to find it sparse and minimal. A dentist’s chair, wires leading to the corner of the room, and a headset. The future was never the way it looked in movies.

She lay in the chair and was given an anaesthetic – she fell instantly into a deep sleep, and awoke in her own bed. She couldn’t tell the difference between the experience and reality, and didn’t want to either. A soft voice in her ear told her she had four hours. At the end of which, it had been explained, she would collapse into unconsciousness in her experience, and slowly wake up in the real world.  

Jenn got out of bed and dressed herself in a low cut top, blue jeans and a leather jacket. Her blonde hair she tied up in a bun and she applied a bright red lipstick to her lips. 

It’s not subtle, but that’s the point.

She left the apartment and walked across the street to the bar opposite. For a moment she remembered she was in a simulation and marvelled that they had even captured the smell of vomit and cigarettes as she sauntered in.

Jenn saw the person she was looking for immediately. Robin, she had remembered his name was. A handsome man, the same age as her, with a leather jacket and white t-shirt. His manner reminded her of James Dean, though with his arms propping him up against the bar, and a glass of whiskey in his hand, he was channeling a Hollywood film noir more than an angst-ridden young upstart.

She leaned back against the bar and smiled at him – they’d met before, but only briefly as he’d taken more interest in the friend she was with. She reintroduced herself and they talked for a few minutes. Jenn made sure to laugh loudly at his jokes, and touch his hand whenever it seemed natural enough. 

When she invited him back to her apartment – he jumped at the opportunity. They continued to drink and flirt. She kissed him then got up to pour them another drink. He looked relaxed and she smiled back at him in a girl-ish way that he had no way of knowing was entirely out of character for her. She reached into the cupboard and pulled out the gun that she had arranged to be placed there by the simulation’s designers, pointed it at Robin and pulled the trigger. 

Blood splattered against the wall behind him, a darker shade of red than she had expected. She looked at his lifeless corpse and the hole the bullet had left in him, but felt nothing. She had expected conflict in herself. Shame, satisfaction, righteous fury. But instead she was faced with emptiness. She was drunk enough she thought it was real, and only when she woke from her experience some hours later, did she reflect on its unreality.

The following day she returned to escVR and played out her scenario again. Again she brought Robin back to her apartment, but this time she poisoned his drink. And again, she felt nothing.

When she awoke, she wondered if it made a difference if he knew why he was being killed. If he understood that justice was being done to him. She returned to the simulation and before shooting him again, she gave him a chance to explain himself.

“I don’t care what she told you” he’d replied, “she wanted me. If she woke up the next morning and didn’t want to admit it, that’s not my problem.”

She had taken more pleasure in shooting him that time, but the gun was too distant. Too remote. Too impersonal. 

Back to the simulation she returned again. She felt it was like coming up for air, compared to the suffocating reality of her day-to-day life. She lost track of the number of times she killed him, and the number of ways. She relished each of them.

Finally she hit upon the method she could enjoy. She would pin him down on the bed, reach across to the pillow beside him and use it to smother him. 

She tried it and found the connection she was lacking. She held the pillow over his face and pushed down hard, as his arms flailed and legs kicked out. As she screamed her reasons at him, she felt him loose consciousness, felt the sense of power flow into her, and knew that this was how she had to do it. 

And yet, she kept coming back to the simulation. She told herself it was because she wanted everything to be perfect, to consider all eventualities. She modified his behaviour each time, and built up her own strength to compensate. 

After she’d been though the experience over a hundred times, she felt ready. She dressed herself as she had in the simulation, walked into the same bar, the same way and leant against the bar as she had so many times. She looked around and saw other men flirting and persuading women to go home with them who were clearly in no state to take care of themselves. Her face turned to anger whenever she was sure her target wasn’t looking.

Jenn lured Robin back to her apartment and the knowledge that she was finally going to do it for real filled her with an ecstatic zeal. She held the pillow down all the harder, and the rush of feeling him go limp beneath her was unlike anything she’d expected.

As she gathered her breath she looked out of her window and saw a man bundling a barely conscious woman into a taxi outside. She made a mental note of both of them. 
She turned her attention back to the body on her bed, and took a knife from her beside drawer. After all, she still had to take her memento, and it wouldn’t stay stiff forever

April. I got nothing to pun…

Hello ND Fans! (Wow, really?)

Welcome to the post that signifies the beginning of the April challenge and maybe an interesting time for the writers. By now you should be able to start voting (click here) for March and basically choosing which of the writers you’ll be visiting in the loony bin because this month we’re going MACABRE. I know, April Fools, April Showers brings May Flowers well shut up reader! Last month I gave bloody Queen to a writer as inspiration for a love story and she gave me a court case! They (she) needs room to breathe!

So the gang get to write about macabre stuff. Where is the weird little addition Steven? I hear you ask. Well…

For bonus points, I’m offering a list of serial killers to feature as stars, extras or maybe just inspiration for our writers pieces. These are at the writers own choice and/or risk as some of the listed could be described as NSFW…

There are some dark people out there, or not anymore because of the death penalty

ANYWAY, I had to do a example piece. I actually learned restraint with my dark voices of my brain. So enjoy my slightly disturbed brain and we’ll see you next month!

The Interview Room

He sat in the office, staring at the ornate clock behind the plush chair opposite.
How many fucking times have I had to stare at that clock? He thought, hatefully. But still it went on ticking, almost intentionally catching each second with a sarcastic and sharp ‘CLICK!’ He hated that stupid fucking clock. He stretched out to gain feeling once more in his extremities. The plush chair in front of him was somewhat of a polar opposite to the hard backed wooden chair in which he found himself once more. Though, this time felt very different…

Suddenly the door to his left opened and in stepped a portly gentleman with grey wispy hair on the sides of his head. His grey suit, along with his long moustache gave him the look of a walrus; the dark green tie falling into place as seaweed caught in the debris.

“Radley, isn’t it?” The blob of a man asked as he stepped around the desk; stepped around being used in the most malleable of its phrasing.

“I’d prefer John, if it’s all the same” John Radley straightened his posture on his chair, letting out a series of cracks from his aged spine. The executive’s chair let out an almighty sigh as the larger man sat down.

“Oh,” he said with a hint of surprise, not like himself at all. “John, you say? Quite. Well John, my name is Mr Green… “

“No it isn’t” John smirked at him. The three chins were quivering in silent outrage at the interruption. The fact that the comment also showed a level of knowledge that his new employer did not agree with just made John smirk that bit more.

“Your name is Charles Eribesque. You are the bastard child of the late Xavier Eribesque, though not to the public. To the public, you are Albert Green: Charity owner, Philanthropist and generally all round nice guy.” He hadn’t meant to put the emphasis on round but he couldn’t help himself now he was in his stride. Albert’s eyes grew wider with astonishment as the creature before him turned from an embodiment of hate to a confident and unbridled power house. The ropes around his wrists and ankles looked like they would let go in an instant, if he only asked.

“Well Mr. Radley, you do your homework don’t you?” Albert stood and went to the mantle and picked up the clock, turning to place it on the table in front of John. The ticking resonated through the wooden body and then the table, giving the feeling that the noise was filling the entire room. “And what, pray tell, do you know about Charles Eribesque?”

What do I know of Charles Eribesque? He asks as if he were referring to someone else.

“You want me to go the short road or the long?” John asked, trying to buy time to think. He knew that around his old employer’s office were secret buttons to alert his team of the situation.

Xavier had died more than four weeks ago now and his dirty little secret had somehow worked his way into the business and up to the point of assistant, now head CEO. The announcement of his promotion mere days before Xavier’s demise only confirmed Radley’s suspicions.

“No need to drag out the exposition, Mr Radley. How far did the old dog dig before the viper caught him by the gullet?” He sat back into the chair and made a steeple of his fingers, looking triumphant and smug.

“Your father…”

“DO NOT PATRONISE ME!” The bulk may hold him down but John realised how quickly Eribesque could move. His age finally started to show on his face and Charles played on it. “Yes, I know about your past as much as you know of mine. Decorated war veteran turned detective who retires into a security team at my father’s behest. So please, I’ve shared; your turn.” He sat back down, though looked less placid than previous.

“I don’t know…”

Once more the hands came down on the table with ridiculous speed, and John kicked up to try and catch him off guard. The problem, however, was his body was a lot older than his mind and it could not produce the effect he had so desired. The fat dustbin lid of a hand swooped up the clock and connected with John’s temple…


He awoke once more into the office of his late employer. He looked up at the ornate clock behind the plush chair opposite. His head pounded and took all his might to lift it to the angle before dripping and rolling to one side, revealing Charles sat in the corner of the room. He had his back turned and appeared to be polishing what was revealed to be a handheld drill as he turned at John’s sudden groan. He crossed the room towards him and placed his face a mere breath away from John’s; revealing the stark white makeup he had applied with blue diamonds around the eyes and the red, jagged smile.

“1994, do you remember?”

John’s vision spun as his brain swam from the nausea to try recall anything from the year.

“1994! Do you remember!”

Charles slapped him across the face and backed off, circling like a lion in a cage.

“Okay, how about something more relevant. Do you remember when you met me in 1978?” The fire in his eyes pushed more and more at John’s hippocampus.

“You were, the last Gacy boy. I took you in after before the trial to protect you.” His mind flashed back to the visions of the crawlspace under the building. Gacy had tried to destroy the evidence of his, as he put it, “unlicensed cemetery” by releasing the sump pump to fill the space with water. John had been present when the first body parts floated to the top, grey and decaying. He was pulled back to the present by another slap to the face…

“SO 1994! Do. You. Remember?”

“I executed him, May of that year. This isn’t the way to get revenge, Charles. I killed him for you. You don’t need to go on with that hate.”

The man cackled in front of him, distorting the clown face into something much more terrifying. He stepped over to the desk and the drill set.

“Do you know what I did when I made my first million? I bought his house. I wanted to rebuild his legacy. He was like a father to me AND YOU TOOK HIM!” He began pacing once more. John’s head was starting to play ball.

“You asked what I knew about you. I know you bought the house. I also know about your little vendetta; 33 victims, all named John. I assumed it was in outrage at him.”

“You were wrong!” He grabbed the drill and almost glided over to John, wrapping one arm like a vice around his neck and placing the drill bit to the back of his cranium. “You took Jeffery Dahmer from me that same year.”

John’s entire body tensed. His confidence had been his downfall. He thought he could overpower Charles and get out in time, but his time had come. He decided to go out fighting…

“Dahmer was killed by an inmate, Charles. Not me! You gonna blame me for Chikatilo as well? You fucking psychopaths are all the same! Especially you, you fat, unimaginative prick!” He swung his head to the side, scraping the drill bit across his scalp though cracking Eribesque’s nose on connection. Charles had not expected such a fight, John knew and this might be the thing that saved him. “You kill 33 men called John in honour of that fat puff and think it gives you the right to wear his mask? Look at you, you pathetic piece of shi…”

The end of the sentence was lost beneath the sound of the drill whirring against bone. He somehow heard it before feeling the intense pain. Moments later he waited, expecting it to penetrate his brain and rip him into oblivion but the firey patch of his scalp soon was simply vibrating from the throbbing of blood vessels rather than the of the drills volition. He could barely make out what Charles spoke to him, there was a whistling that he couldn’t tell was coming from inside his head or the room.

“Oh no, my sweet. You won’t go that easy, I have to test another theory before you go in the crawl space.”

The last thing John saw before blacking out one more time was the old fashioned kettle in the Killer Clown’s hand…