The Last of England


What seems like an age ago now, I lived in England with my parents. From what I remember, it was a hard life; one filled with hunger, thirst, abuse, and sorrow. My father’s main source of income was begging; he would return with scraps of cheese and bread occasionally, sometimes he would bring nothing at all. My parents gave most of what they had to me, and while they wasted away, I survived; I wouldn’t say I was comfortable, but I survived.

Around ten years into my miserable existence, my father somehow arranged for us to travel to America; he told us that he had agreed to work on a fishing vessel, in return for safe passage. The next week we set off to Dover – where we would meet our vessel – on a horse-drawn cart; it’s difficult to recall the journey now, but I remember the cold, the bitter, biting wind gnawing on my skin. Tears stung my cheeks the entire journey.

After days of travelling south from Morecombe we finally reached Dover; I remember feeling horrified by the sheer extravagance expressed by the rich people’s suits and frocks, and the utter desolation of the poor. Some looked worse off than we did; torn clothes, boils on their skin, the smell of death surrounded them.

The boat was already waiting for us when we arrived so we boarded quickly, avoiding the stinking buckets of chum piled near the port side. We were away almost as soon as I had sat on the rotting bench; the white cliffs of Dover faded into the distance as we followed the coast west. Soon we were clear of England and on our way to the new world.

It wasn’t long before I noticed the other sailors, great, beastly men with arms and thighs like small tree trunks; I avoided them as much as I could, as did my mother. However my father, who worked the ship with them, began to befriend them. I saw them play games of chance together; I saw my father lose, a lot. When the last of our money was gone he bet our clothes, my toys, and my mother’s broach. When everything was gone, even our rations for the night, he bet a pocket watch; a pocket watch he said was made of silver, one he said had been in his family for many years, one he didn’t have.

Once he had lost, and the men had found out he had lied, they were very, very angry. They began to shout, and my father begged for another chance. He told them they could have anything, they just had to name their price; one of them pointed at my mother. She was terrified, beginning to whimper, she told me to hide. I was paralyzed by fear and so when I didn’t move, she held me close; it seemed my father had refused and a fight broke out between him and the other men.

My mother took me into her arms and hid the violence from my eyes, I heard scuffles and shouts. Finally there was a noise like the slitting of a lambs throat, a guttural noise which entered my ears like the devil’s laugh; my father was dead. Then they turned on my mother.

The Once Black and Fluffy Sheep

So here I am again, re-telling the story I’ve told a thousand times, to a thousand people, just like you. It may come as a surprise to you, but contrary to popular belief, sheep aren’t performing monkeys! Although, some perform I think, but that’s not the point. Now go away and leave me alone!

I said leave me alone! Stop reading!

You really are insistent aren’t you. Fine, I’ll tell you my story. However, you are a lot older than my usual reader. Tell you what, this time I’ll tell the truth!

It all started when I woke up feeling a little chillier than usual. I didn’t think much of it at the time; it was only just coming into Spring after all. Anyway, I went about my usual business, you know, sheep stuff. That was when I began to grow suspicious, the pigs where laughing at me.

One of them said “Oi you” he laughed so hard he snorted like..well like a pig I suppose.. “get back inside or I’ll book you for indecent exposure”.

My ass was hanging out! Ha, get it? Farm humour…no?

Moving swiftly on, it later turned out that my idiot farmer had sheared me in my sleep! The bastard sold my wool to ‘The Master’. What kind of a name is that? I mean, it’s a bit presumptuous isn’t it? Sheep don’t just bow down to others you know, we don’t just follow the crowd, that’s for you lot to do. Who cares if one of the cows had a boob job, doesn’t mean I’ll get one. So, as I was saying, I wasn’t too mad, a farmer who feeds and shelters his sheep is welcome to a bit of wool from him. I just wish he hadn’t taken it all from one place…

That night, I went to sleep covering my backside with a bale of hay I had shuffled into. I seem to remember it being quite comfy, a little itchy though. But I digress, I woke in the morning feeling even colder than last night. I bleated in disbelief and in sorrow; you’d be surprised how many emotions you can fit into one ‘bhaa’. My whole back had been shaved in the night! At the time I wished I wasn’t such a heavy sleeper but now, with all manner of children and a few slightly odd adults reading me constantly, I’m not so sure I would do well as a light sleeper.

Obviously now I know who bought my second lot of stolen wool; as do all those damn ‘re-readers’ when I tell them incidentally. I hate re-readers, why do they have to waste my time, why should I have to repeat myself? That’s what’s wrong with today’s world, nobody cares about other people, just themsel…oh sorry, I do that sometimes. You’ll have to excuse me I am a couple hundred years old you know. Either way, it was that bitch, ‘The Dame’! It never ceases to amaze me that these stupid criminal masterminds use titles instead of names, imbeciles. I don’t call myself ‘The Sheep’ do I? No. Yes, yes I know it should have been rhetorical but this is my story so I can use or not use any literary devices I want.

As you can probably tell, I was pretty mad. I was on the verge of a breakdown at the time; I wouldn’t leave the stable for anything. Then I thought to myself, the farmer does have a family to feed, I guess he just needed some extra money this season. I let him off! That, was the worst mistake I have made in my entire life; I’ll get to why later. So I slept again, honestly believing that the worst was over.

I woke in the middle of the night, yawning intensely. That’s when I heard him, ‘ The Little Boy Who Lives Down The Lane’. He had stolen the last of my wool! You see, he’d heard of my lovely wool from his pal, ‘The Dame’ and, like any respectable evil genius would, he decided to get some for himself. This time however, the farmer wasn’t involved, ‘The Boy’ had decided he wasn’t going to pay, and had taken my wool himself.

I crept out of the stable and saw him creeping through the bushes towards the lane, that sly fox thought he could get away with it that easily! I prepared myself to charge; trying to imagine that the farmer’s dog was behind me, and there was a nice patch of green grass where ‘The Boy’ was, I began to run.

I screamed the most evil, vicious war cry I could imagine “Bha!”

Dreams of Flight

Once he had finally fallen asleep, Alex began to float peacefully on a sea of dreams. That is, until the water became land. Inside his own mind Alex ran, he saw flashes, pictures of dreams he had dreamt in the past, and those he had not yet conceived. Finally, one caught his eye, and once again, his dream world shifted.

He was flying. A long, torn, black cape attached to his shoulders was being dragged and twisted behind him. Suddenly he was aware that he was chasing something, a jet. Straining muscles that could never have existed in an ordinary human, Alex sped up, quickly gaining on his target.

Small suckers grew on the palm of his hands before he latched onto the outside of the cockpit. The pilot, a balding man with more hair on his chin than on his head looked up in surprise; he began to descend immediately, trying to shake Alex off. The newly grown suckers strained but stayed in place as Alex watched his biceps grow

When he was ready, Alex pulled the cockpit door off its hinges, and grabbed hold of the man within. He was terrified, but no matter how loud he forced his voice in desperate bargaining, the jet engine’s roar drowned him out. Before flying to the ground, Alex pushed the joystick forward, sending the plane plummeting toward the city.

Alex was fast, he was down in the streets before the jet was halfway to the ground. Once he had handed the man over to the police, he flew back into the air. Again, he began to expand his muscles. He became a huge, hulking mass, floating above even the tallest city skyscraper.

The jet was falling at an alarming rate, and even Alex was worried he wouldn’t catch it for a second, but he did. Slowly he allowed it to push him down to the roof of a nearby tower block, where he extended his arm into the cockpit, and switched off the engine.

That is where the dream ended, Alex’s alarm woke him up; it was 7.30am. He got out of bed and walked to the bathroom to wash his face. Looking in the mirror, he noticed he had changed in in his sleep. Suckers covered his palms, and his muscles were huge.

“Shit” he muttered, “I have to stop doing that.”

The Detective

On the seventh floor of a four star hotel in London, a detective marched down the hallway. He had been called from his bed, from his wife, for a suicide; he was angry to say the least. Inspector Barker met him at the hotel room door; its inscription read 7B. David, the detective, shuddered. It was following him, he was sure of it now. The apartment in the West End had been 7B, and the gun that was used to kill Mary was inscribed with the hellish, mortifying, 7B.

David calmed himself. “Inspector Barker” he said in greeting, “what’s going on? Where’s the rest of the force?”

Barker shook his head, “There have been a few, developments…we need you to take a look at this, I sent the rest home, didn’t want them getting in your way.”

“Then let’s take a look” said David, trying to keep his composure. The room was stale; blood had dried into the carpet beneath a young man’s head. It looked like he had put a gun into his mouth, just as the report suggested.

David scoured the room for details but saw none. He began to turn back to Barker, “What exactly am I supp-” Stopping mid-sentence David sighed, Barker was pointing his gun at the detective’s head.

“Read this” said Barker as he handed David a note splashed with blood, “they want you to know before you die.” He read the note aloud:

They found me, I thought I was safe. I’m taking the easy way out. I won’t be like them. I won’t turn into one of THEM! 7B started this, and it will end it…

Terrified, David managed to utter three words, “What are, they?”

Barker laughed, “That’s for me to know, and you to find out.”

In his final moments David heard what had been irritating him at home, and at work; a scuttle, like that of a beetle, across the windowpane. Full of fear, he tried to look at the window behind him, but he fell to floor before he saw them, dead.

The Beginning – Part 2

I’ve had a lot to deal with today so I haven’t actually been able to write anything new for you all. However I have decided to post another 500 words of the first chapter of my novel, obviously I won’t keep doing this because if I ever finished it and wanted to try and get it published, it would already be on the internet for free and no publisher would print it; there’s no profit in free material. You can find the first part here, I would copy it in but then the post would be quite large so if you’re interested all you have to do is click the link. However this does sort of work as a stand-alone piece as well so feel free to read it that way if you want. Let me know what you think.

Huddled in the corner of the room, two young children and their mother wept. They must have heard the gunshot; they must have known their protector, their father, was dead. It was too much. A tear squeezed its way through the corner of my eye and onto my cheek. Through my blurred vision I could not see in much detail, but I could tell that the family were shocked.  I wasn’t surprised, they probably had expected the ‘no mercy’ method of policing that the new government had encouraged in its officers, not some pathetic, crying assailant.

I sat on the cold stone steps that led down to the basement, they hadn’t told me about the two children. Regardless, they would expect me to kill them, like father like son they would say. In a government hell bent on eradicating the Muslim faith, among many others, there is no room for kindness. Tightening my grip on the gun, I turned to Abdul’s family and took aim.

The mother looked desperate, still holding onto her children, she looked accusingly at me, as if this was my fault.

“Kill me,” she begged “but not the children.” I stared at her, like with Abdul, if I let them go I would be found out. They would come for me and I would be killed, but as I stood above the whimpering family, I realised something. My life wasn’t more valuable than theirs. I have lived twenty seven years on this Earth while these children have combined lifespan of less than a third of mine. I lowered my gun.

“Go” I whispered, “quickly.” The mother stared in disbelief.

“Go!” I said a little more forcefully. “Cover yourselves up; don’t let anybody see your faces, leave the country as fast as you can.”

They needed no more encouragement from me, the mother ushered the children upstairs. Before she got there I caught her by the arm.

“Don’t let them in the kitchen” I said quietly enough so that only she could hear it. She nodded. Nothing more needed to be said, so I released her arm and let her prepare her remaining family. Slouching against the basement wall I waited for them to leave, the room was bare; only the dripping of a leaking water pipe could be heard above the quiet rustlings of the family upstairs. The cracks in the wall fascinated me; with nothing else to do I counted them. Ten minutes passed by and I finally heard the door close above me. There was no going back now.

Steadying myself, I made my way up the stairs. In the kitchen I tied Abdul’s body to a chair and began the process of torturing his corpse. It is impossible to bruise a dead body so I broke bones, pulled out hair, cut off fingers, and sliced his face open; if anyone asked about the absence of bruising I would say that I killed him too quickly for them to form because I was angry that he didn’t renounce his faith. This would be frowned upon, but not severely punished. Finally, I placed the chair over the spreading pool of blood, smeared his clothes and face with the sticky red liquid, and washed my hands. Only then did I call for a removal team to clean up after me, to hide the evidence of my first murder.

Rain

Rain slammed against the roof of my car. Glancing out of the rear window I saw a young girl sprint towards a taxi. She was struggling due to a pair of hefty six inch heels. Unfortunately, the taxi had been booked and an old, decrepit woman stepped out of her house and took the girl’s ride home.

Looking utterly destitute, she stumbled past my car and into the alleyway across the road. I looked at my watch, Dave is supposed to be here by now I thought, where is he?

Suddenly a scream tore across the street. The girl had been pinned against the wall by a hooded man, he had already ripped her dress and was beginning to take off his jeans.

“Help me,” the girl cried, “please!”

At first I froze, not knowing what to do I just stared; first in shock, then horror, and finally anger. I remembered the cricket bat on the back seat that John had forgotten when I picked him up from practice. Grabbing it I jumped out of the car and quickly ran towards the alleyway.

“Get the fuck off” I said as the bat came down on his face. Reeling backwards, he spat out a tooth. Again I started forward, raising the bat as if to strike his chest. He ran.

With the attacker gone I turned my attention to the girl who was slumped against the wall, she was almost completely naked. I gave her my shirt and jacket before checking she was alright.

“I’m OK” she said quietly, “thank you.”

Both of us sodden, I led her back to my car, back to safety.

The Police Officer

Last night, on patrol, I witnessed the most horrific crime I have ever seen. We were called to a pub on Oxford Road called The Oxford; we were told a fight had broken out. My partner, a man I had only known for a few days accepted the call. He said a simple bar fight would be a good training experience; I had only joined the force a few days before.

When we got there people were streaming through the door, as if terrified. Peter, my partner, called for backup, he said people don’t run like that from a simple bar fight. Hurrying into the pub we were immediately hit by a spray of blood. I froze.

On the floor was a dead man, his face had caved in; he must have been hit pretty hard. The assailant was still going. He had smashed a bottle and was stabbing the man in the chest repeatedly. My partner acted first, he tackled the madman to the ground and knocked the bottle out of his hand. I just stood there, I couldn’t move, I just stared at them struggling.

That’s when the backup arrived; they pulled my partner and the criminal apart and within a few minutes the pub was locked down and forensics were on their way. My partner drove me home, he said I needed a rest. I don’t want to go back there, I’m going to quit. There’s too much evil in this world.