Fruits of the dark harvest
Oh Darren, I wish you could join me in the revelry of these meandering musings of my incorruptible mind. Tonight is a special night for both of us. It’s a night I’ve anticipated for such a long time. Tonight, we will have our most intimate moment. Tonight, you will feel closer to me than you have to anybody in your entire life. There’s one thing you’ll experience tonight Darren, it’s something only the slayers and the slain have ever experienced. You see, when I drive my knife into your flesh, and the life blood pours from your veins, when your futile attempts to fight or flee are all but extinguished, and you crumble to the floor, you will look upon me, and you will not see the face of a demon or a vengeful killer, you will see yourself, and as I hold you in my arms, you will embrace me, cling to me like an infant clings to their mother. You will look up at me, and in your dying whimpers, now void of intelligible language, you will beg for your life. In this most intimate moment, you will feel an unyielding love for me that you will have never felt since you were a helpless infant in the arms of your mother. And I will savour that moment, and indulge that illusion of destitute love -for a few precious seconds- right before I cut your throat open.
“Johnny boy” Alan calls out, waving his hand in the air frantically.
I wave back to him, looking up at the bridge where he and Edward stand, leaning over the railings, passing a joint back and forth.
I take a run up and climb the grassy embankment next to the bridge. As I reach the top, I throw myself over the railing and walk towards the pair of them.
“Put that thing out you idiots,” I say, pointing to the joint, “Have you seen how many coppers there are shooting about?”
Edward shakes his head at me apathetically, “I think they’ve got more pressing priorities today.” He says, pointing to the forensics tent down the road.
“Yeah, when don’t they?” I say, “I’ll tell my brother, he’ll have your bollocks for Bisto if he thinks you’re getting me into bad habits.”
I join Edward and Alan on the bridge and look out at the tent.
Alan and Edward are a mismatched pair. Edward -a man of monstrous proportions- with short black dreadlocks and a square jaw, stands at about 6ft2, with arms which could compete with my legs. He rode around Old Velling on a BMX; he used to have a car, until he rolled it down an embankment last year. As ridiculous as a man of his size looked on a bike that was usually ridden by eight year olds, nobody dared to talk shit about him.
Alan -by contrast- stood at 6ft4 but is skinny as a twig. A real lanky streak of piss; with his highlighted blonde hair and freckles, he epitomised the skinny white boy.
“Any news John?” Alan asks.
I shrug my shoulders, “I know as much as you guys do.”
“Bollocks,” Alan spits, “You’re brother tells you everything.”
“He really doesn’t,” I assure him, “and even if he did, I can’t tell you dopey stoner bastards can I?”
“Did you tell John anything?” Garetty asks.
“Of course not.” I say hastily, gripping my coffee mug tightly, “Well, only the stuff we can disclose. He guesses a lot of it himself. I guess he’s good at reading me.”
Garetty looks at me with raised eyebrows, “He’s good at reading everyone, apparently.”
I smirk at him, shaking my head lightly. “Speaking of reading, what did the report say from the hospital? Has the situation changed?”
Garetty shakes his head, “Not as far as I’m aware.”
I let go of my coffee cup and stand up suddenly. “What do you mean ‘not as far as you’re aware?’”
“Well those- they use all sorts of weird terminology”
“Do you need it writing in alphabet spaghetti? Is the boy alive or dead?”
“Neither!” Garetty snaps. “The doctor said something about-”
“-Septic shock, yes I know.”
I sit back down at the table, and grab my coffee mug once more. I take a sip, and exhale deeply.
“Sorry mate,” I say, “I’m just -I don’t know- what am I?”
Garetty nods at me reassuringly.
“You’re a prick.” He sniggers.
“Thanks Dave,” I say.
Night falls on the town of Old Velling. I sit in the woods next to the factory away from the clearing. I look across at the scorched earth, the remnants of many years of campfires. The local boys used this area as a camping spot for many years, often setting fire to the old lorry batteries which were illegally dumped in the area.
The battery acid leaked out and soaked into the earth, turning the entire area into a barren patch where nothing would grow. But it was not the poisoned earth that turned people away, it was the events that occurred here a few years ago, when a young boy was fed LSD and buried up to his neck in the dirt by his friends. Upon his head, they placed a bucket and two hungry rats. When they found him, his face had been gnawed to the bones; necrotic flesh still clinging to it in patches.
I twiddle my knife in my gloved hand, looking down at the rusted blade. Holes punctuate the blade, drawing air into the wound to stimulate infection. Nicks run along the length of the blade to leave a splitting wound; but the real horror sits in the sheath itself. The mud of Gruinard; the fruits of the dark harvest.
“We will leave samples at appropriate points that will ensure the rapid loss of indifference of the government and the equally rapid education of the general public.”
I listen to wind rattling in the trees, wondering how much longer I would wait before Darren and I would be acquainted.
I’d anticipated this day for such a long time; dreamt about it; fantasised about it.
I grip my knife, my fingers trembling with excitement as I look up at the full moon, glaring down at me from the sky. At once, the clattering noises of cans being crushed underfoot, and the bellowing of the inebriated fades away.
I creep through the forest towards the sound.
I know everything about you Darren. I know how you lost your fingers. I know of your obsession with fire. I know where you go to drink yourself into a stupor every Friday night. And I know that you know nothing about me. Soon, you will.
He is unconscious. Lying in a heap against a rock once again. His friends are walking away, leaving him to his own devices. Out of sight, out of mind.
If you go down in the woods today, you better not go alone. It’s lovely down in the woods today, but safer to stay at home…
I step towards him, grinning gleefully from ear to ear. I crouch behind the rock, laying a gloved hand upon his face, twisting it slightly to reveal in the light of the moon, a deep swelling bruise.
“Wake up Darren,” I whisper, “It’s me…”
Darren gurgles slightly.
“Wake up,” I repeat, “I’m here to take you home.”
Darren’s eyes open slightly, red and disorientated, “Fuck off.” He slurs.
I grip his face, pressing my fingers into the bruising on his face.
He squirms in pain, writhing about in pain.
“I said wake up.”
Darren’s eyes snap open, fixing me with an unsteady look, as he moans in pain. I draw my knife from the sheath, pressing the tip of the blade into his forehead.
I press my knees into his shoulders to keep him steady. Slowly, I tear the tip of the knife across his forehead as his guttural moans turn into anguished screams.
With surgical precision, I carve a circle into his forehead, watching the blood glisten in the moonlight. Once the circle is complete, I carve an upward facing arrow through the centre of the circle, before releasing his jerking head, watching it flap about futilely.
I sit atop Darren, looking down on him as fear pervades every fibre of his being. I inhale the cold air deeply, before slowly pressing the tip of the knife into his throat. Carnal euphoria courses through me as I slowly pierce the blade between the cartilages. I listen to the gurgling sound of the blood trickling into his lungs, as he writhes in pain.
I rise to my feet, standing over Darren in triumph. I look up at the moon, an unshakeable grin plastered upon my face.
In the distance, I notice a figure silhouetted against the light of the moon; standing picture still. I turn to face him, as Darren squirms at my feet. I hold the blade up in the air, pointing it in his direction
Darren clings to my leg, his grasping hands holding on to me like an infant, before falling to weakness.
The figure turns, sprinting away from the scene.
I look down at Darren’s whose body had fallen limp, as black blood oozed from his neck.
A pillar of ecstasy rose up from the pit of my stomach, escaping my mouth in a lupine howl which echoed through the forest, down the valley, and into the very heart of Old Velling.
(c) JC Axe 2017.