#BlogBattle: Loss

At her age, she had never expected to find the man of her dreams but here he was, standing before her and, better yet, he was smiling and that beautiful smile was only for her. All her life Sarah had been overlooked or, worse, ignored; she was unassuming, deeply sensitive and incredibly kind but she was plain and she knew it.

At her age, she had never expected to find the man of her dreams but here he was, standing before her and, better yet, he was smiling and that beautiful smile was only for her. All her life Sarah had been overlooked or, worse, ignored; she was unassuming, deeply sensitive and incredibly kind but she was plain and she knew it. She always described herself as nondescript; her hair lacked bounce or shine, her eyes were a clear blue but small, her nose far too strong for her face and her mouth a tiny rosebud. No individual feature was unappealing but together they just didn’t work.

The man before her, on the other hand was, in her opinion, magnificent. His hair was very dark, almost black, his eyes twinkled a deep green and his smile, oh that smile! The crows feet and the lines at the corner of his mouth showed her, immediately, that he was someone who laughed a lot, who loved life and Sarah was drawn to him in a way she’d never felt before. It was for this reason that she felt no hesitation when he held out his hand to her; she rose from her seat and walked into his arms. A perfect gentleman, he put one hand on her waist and the other on her shoulder and then he led her into a dance. Sarah moved with an easy grace that was new to her. She had always been, what her mother referred to as, ‘cack handed’ but with this man guiding her steps she felt as though she was floating.

“Will you stay with me Sarah?” his deep, melodious voice floated on the air and delivered the words that she had longed to hear for so many years. They were filled with the desire to really know her. She looked into his eyes and saw her face reflected there but, for the first time, she did not shy away from the image because, in his eyes, she was beautiful.

“I will stay with you gladly Michael” As she said the words she tried to remember when he had told her his name but she just couldn’t recall, how strange! ‘No matter’ she thought. Their dance ended as her body twirled around his, their fingertips just touching, her skirt flowed around her legs and she laughed with the joy of it all.

“Shall we go?” Michael asked her when she glided to a halt before him. He took both her hands in his and smiled; she was ready to go anywhere with this man and she walked with him gladly into the darkness.

David sat beside Sarah’s bed, her frail hand in his, and he wept. He had loved this woman for 50 of his 75 years and now she was gone. Painfully shy, he had never summoned the courage to tell her how he felt and now he cursed his weakness. Just before she died, Sarah’s face had lit up; he would have given anything for her to look at him like that, just once. He supposed he should be grateful for the fine friendship they’d had for all those years but it was to late now; she was with the angels. All he had left were his memories and, now, a profound sense of loss, for her and for the love that they’d never shared.

I’ve never taken part in a Blog Battle before but was intrigued by the challenge set by Jaye and Anita (do pop over and visit their blog, I am sure they’d love to see you) so this is my offering.

Lisa x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOWC: Mitigate

“Mr Reid, are you ready to make your opening statement?”

Simon Reid took a deep breath and then put his hand to his head to make sure that his wig was on straight, this case was being televised and he was damned if he was going to be filmed looking anything less than completely professional especially as he was up against Marty Jackson.

“Mr Reid, are you ready to make your opening statement?”

Simon Reid took a deep breath and then put his hand to his head to make sure that his wig was on straight, this case was being televised and he was damned if he was going to be filmed looking anything less than completely professional especially as he was up against Marty Jackson. That man was like a Doberman, handsome, sleek and alert and Reid had always felt like a terrier next to him; excitable, snappy but canny in his own way. He would never have Jackson’s style and presence but he could fight with the best of them; he got to his feet.

“I am, thank you your honour. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the details of this case are complex in the extreme but at it’s root we have murder, plain and simple and it’s your job to determine whether the man before you in the dock is guilty. The prosecution will argue that John Durham is personally responsible for the deaths of over 200 men and women”

Reid paused for a moment, his lively blue eyes scanning the faces of the jury. As he had hoped, their look was one of universal shock. All details of this case had been kept away from the press until today and it played to his advantage; they were staring at the man in the dock in disbelief. John Durham was well known to them, with his chiseled good looks and startling green eyes he was the media’s darling and his mellifluous voice could charm even the most hardened journalists.

“Each of these deaths was pre-meditated, which is why this is a charge of murder and not manslaughter, and each and every one has left a grieving family who cannot understand why this man in the dock before you took the actions that he did. These families want justice and it is up to you, ladies and gentlemen, to give it to them. During this trial, you will be shown photos that you will no doubt find highly distressing, broken and ravaged bodies, burned beyond recognition; these are John Durham’s victims”

There was a sharp intake of breath from many in the courtroom that seemed to blow around it like an autumn wind; no-one spoke as the Judge had warned before the trial began that anyone creating a disturbance would be ejected. Reid paused in his rhetoric once again to let his words sink in and looked over at his opponent, Jackson, but he was giving nothing away, his expression unreadable, eyes facing front.

“The defense will try to convince you that one man  could not be responsible for all these murders and that his accomplices should be tried along with him but we will prove that the blood of these men and women has stained this man’s hands alone. It is John Durham who must suffer the consequences of his actions for it was he, and no other, who set this play in motion and he who must answer to the families of his victims”

Durham looked stunned as he listen to these words. He had been under public scrutiny for long enough that he could keep his head high but the tension was showing in the muscles of his jaw and his famous green eyes were dark and strained. His hand picked at a stray thread on his shirt, plucking at it over and over; even this small sign of stress was picked up by the hawk like cameramen who lined the back walls of the courtroom.

Reid gathered his robes beneath him and retook his seat, confident that his opening remarks had had the desired effect; everyone in the room, aside from the Judge and the other lawyers, was in a state of shock, unable to take in the enormity of what had been said.

“Mr Jackson, would you care to address the jury?” The Judge looked to the defense barrister to make his own opening statement.

Marty Jackson was a skilled orator and was known, to his peers, as a dangerous opponent. He never raised his voice and was never seen with a hair out of place but he could tear a witness to shreds in minutes so that they were tripping over their own words and doubting their recollections. However, this was different. This was not a man accused of murder, this was a celebrity accused of multiple murders and there was only one way he could begin if he were going to undo the damage caused by Reid’s opening remarks. He rose and turned to face the jury.

“John Durham is the Prime Minister of Great Britain, he is the man that the over-whelming majority of you voted for” Jackson watched as they shuffled in their seats like children caught in the act of doing something naughty, feeling the seed of guilt by association that he’d strategically planted.

“We are a country at war” he continued “and John Durham….”

“No, Mr Jackson, I’m going to stop you right there” The Judge’s voice rang out clearly across the courtroom

“Your honour, with respect, this is most improper” Jackson was shocked and glanced across at Reid who also had a look of disbelief on his face; a Judge interrupting opening statements was unheard of.

“I realise that Mr Jackson but this country has been in a state of war for almost 50 years now because, historically, a collective, a Government, cannot be held responsible for the death of its soldiers when in combat. However, there is always only one deciding mind, one man or woman who will give the order to fight and, in this case it was John Durham. I’m sorry Mr Jackson but, in this case, there will be no mitigation, your client is to be tried for murder……”

Written in response to the fantastic one word prompt from Fandango, albeit delivered a little late..

Lisa x

FOWC: Avid

“Mr Stevens, can you please tell me where you were on the night of the 17th?” DI Manning did not like the man sitting in front of him and he was having a hard time disguising the fact. Cole Stevens had a fleshy face, bulbous nose and slack wet lips, added to which his personal hygiene left more than a little to be desired.

“Mr Stevens, can you please tell me where you were on the night of the 17th?” DI Manning did not like the man sitting in front of him and he was having a hard time disguising the fact. Cole Stevens had a fleshy face, bulbous nose and slack wet lips, added to which his personal hygiene left more than a little to be desired.

“I told you already” Stevens’ voice was wheedling and childish “I was at home with Mother; we had fishfingers, chips and beans for dinner, I remember because it’s my favourite, and then we watched a film” All this was said with a wide eyed, seemingly genuine innocence that, with any other suspect, Manning may have accepted but there was something off here. Stevens hands were in his lap, his manner was non-aggressive, he was obviously making efforts to be friendly but there was something repellent about him.

“Your Mother will confirm this if we question her will she?” Manning had, in fact, already spoken to Mrs Stevens and she had confirmed that her son was at home with her on the night in question; he could see where Cole had got his good looks and charm, the woman was an absolute harridan. She’d berated Manning for several minutes for having the audacity to arrest her beloved son, confirmed his story with a curt ‘yes’ and then slammed the phone down.

“Of course she will, Mother would never lie and she brought me up the same way, I promise you Inspector, we were together, at home; a cozy little twosome” Steven’s let out a little giggle, no doubt at his own pathetic attempt at wit.

“And yet one of your neighbours reported seeing you leave the house that night and said that you didn’t return for..” he checked his notes “almost 2 hours. Are you telling me that she’s lying Mr Stevens?”

“Well I did put the cat out at around 7.30pm, just before we had our dinner but then that was it for the night. I went back inside and Mother and I got comfortable in front of the telly. Maybe, Maureen, I assume it was Maureen, heard me open and close the door and just assumed I’d gone out” Steven’s ugly face was open and he was smiling slightly, obviously trying to ingratiate himself with the detective.

It had indeed been Maureen Fisher who’d given them the information, she was a known busybody and not very popular in her neighbourhood as, not only did she spy on everyone, she was also a notorious gossip.

“Do you know Detective” Stevens was leaning forward and saying to Manning, in hushed, conspiratorial tones “that woman caused the break up of the Beckett’s marriage. She told Sally that she’d seen her husband kissing another woman. I never knew if it was true but I could see that she took great pleasure in telling that little story, I can tell you. I try to be friends with everyone, as does Mother, but we both struggle with Maureen”

Manning was aware of Maureen’s reputation and, under normal circumstances he’d take any information she had to offer with a pinch of salt but there was something about this man in front of him…..he wanted to believe that he was guilty.

‘Damn’ he thought to himself ‘I can’t afford to lose objectivity here. Am I targeting this guy because he looks like such a creep?’

Stevens had no real record except for an incident 3 years previously when he’d been accused of abducting a child. That and the neighbour’s testimony had been enough for Manning to warrant questioning him. The notes showed that he’d protested his innocence, saying that he’d found the boy wandering alone in the Supermarket and was taking him to the police station when he’d been stopped by a suspicious security guard. The young lad had been crying for his Mum and did not look as though he was with Stevens willingly. However, the Mother admitted that she’d taken her eyes off the little boy while she was sorting out her other two kids, no harm was done and the case was dropped.

“How do you explain that the witness saw you re-entering your property at 10.30pm that night? This wasn’t a case of hearing a door open or close, she actually saw you and she said that you were carrying something”.

Stevens’ eyes flickered for a brief moment but the look had passed before Manning had any time to really register it

“I am sure I don’t know Detective, perhaps it was another night? I did collect some dry cleaning from the late night place in Rossamund Street on the Thursday, maybe that’s what she saw. She does like a tipple or two in the evening our Maureen, it wouldn’t surprise me if she’d got her dates confused” He rolled his eyes and motioned with his hand to indicate having a drink. It was another childish action and Manning wondered at the man’s intellectual capacity, he didn’t seem stupid but then he didn’t seem the full ticket either.

Manning knew that he had no real cause to keep Stevens in custody but he felt sure that he was hiding something and wanted to interview him further. He leaned forward, thinking about how to frame his next question.

“Guv!” The door had flown open and Sergeant Greaves entered at a run. He stopped alongside his boss and whispered in his ear

“There’s been another one Guv, 5 year old girl, missing since last night” the words were spoken urgently and with the desperate energy of a man who’d delivered bad news such as this more than once.

Manning shot up, almost knocking over his chair in his haste

“Stevens, you can go but I might be wanting to speak to you again, do you understand?”

“Yes Detective, of course, it would be a pleasure” those flabby, fleshy lips curled into a smile

‘Urgh!’ Manning thought to himself as he followed his Sergeant out of the room and motioned for a WPC to escort Stevens out of the building.

“Thanks dearie” said Cole as he turned up his collar and walked in the direction of the nearest bus stop.

‘Mother will be pleased to see me back’ he thought ‘she’ll need some help down in the cellar now. It will be such a nuisance moving all those sweet little teddies’ that’s what Mother had always called them, ‘teddies’, she’d taught him so much over the years and he really did love her dearly. ‘I’ll have to do something about Maureen though’ he thought ‘such a nosy woman!’ He’d been so careful to be quiet that night but she’d obviously seen him coming back in.

He hadn’t really wanted to go out but Mother had made his favourite dinner and she’d been so insistent that he find her another little teddy, she’d always been such an avid collector and it was nice for them to have something to do together. He sighed. He felt sorry for his Mother in some ways, she’d never been quite the same since the accident with his little brother, poor Teddy, he missed him………

After a short absence, Fandango has hooked me with another of his one word prompts

Lisa x

 

 

The Meaning of Life Part 5 (maybe)

“What’s going on down there now?” said with delicate mastication and a small spray of biscuit crumbs

“Don’t sneak up on me like that! You made me jump and look…oh bugger….I’ve spilled my tea” There is much huffing and ineffectual wiping that does little to stem the steady flow as it makes its way across the desk

“What’s going on down there now?” said with delicate mastication and a small spray of biscuit crumbs

“Don’t sneak up on me like that! You made me jump and look…oh bugger….I’ve spilled my tea” There is much huffing and ineffectual wiping that does little to stem the steady flow as it makes its way across the desk

“So much for ‘all seeing'” snickers quietly

“What was that? Hmmm what did you say?” It’s surprising how effective hearing can become when an insult is in the wind.

“Nothing boss. Anyway, what’s going? Anything interesting?” He looks down onto the factory floor, trying to divert his bosses attention, not realising for several seconds that his left elbow is resting in a puddle of rapidly cooling tea “Sod it!”

“Mind your language! Not very much to be honest, all the usual: nice people being shot and complete bastards enjoying life; you know how it is”

“MY language!!? I’ve been meaning to ask, what’s that Dump bloke been up to lately? Did the essence of sheep have any effect when we brought him in for reprogramming?”

“Nope, not one iota and I’d made a fresh, extra concentrated batch especially; he’s still determined to put a bloody great metal wall across half my factory, damn cheek! Are you going to put the kettle on?”

“grumble…….it’s always me that makes the tea…….moan……mumble” There is the sound of a kettle being filled with much bad grace.

“And don’t forget the hobnobs while you’re at it. Do you know, I just don’t get it. Why would you want to shut yourself behind a huge wall, it makes no sense to me at all”

“Are you talking literally or metaphorically boss? Tea’s up by the way and we’ve run out of hobnobs but I managed to find some jammy dodgers”

“Literally. Mmm thanks, are those the ones with the cream in the middle or just jam?”

“Just jam. I don’t know guv, I mean, he’s got the walls of that big white house he lives in, walls around the gardens, people with guns behind those……makes you wonder what he’s afraid of really. I mean it’s not like he’s going to end up with all the good people on one side and all the bad ones on the other. Talk about naive” this was said with a slight pause mid-sentence to dislodge a particularly sticky smidgen of jam that had welded itself to the roof of his mouth and a roll of the eyes.

“Oh you know I don’t like those, have we got any shortbread? Yes, I’ve been wondering that too, so I’ve decided….oooh thanks, I thought we were out of hobnobs” happy munching ensues.

“So…you’ve decided…..”

“Oh, yes, right. I’ve decided to give him something to be really afraid of; can you go and get me one of those lightening bolts we keep stashed behind the hall cupboard?”

“You sure boss, they’re a bit old fashioned and not all that accurate if I remember rightly”

“I don’t need them to be that accurate but I will need a few of them if you don’t mind; can you see what stock we’ve got left? I think I’ll have some fun keeping him behind his walls for a little while….literally and metaphorically” There is an evil gleam in the eye that really shouldn’t be there but that won’t come as a surprise to most people……..

Lisa x

 

 

 

 

Finish the Story — The Final Hunt: Part 6

There was a noise overhead and both Alec and Sam turned sharply to try and identify it’s source; necks craning upwards they searched the sky but there was nothing other than a dense cloud bank.

Fandango has tagged me for something new today and that’s to add to a story originally started by Teresa, the Haunted Wordsmith; it’s like a kind of blogging relay race apparently. This is the story so far……

Teresa’s Part:

Anne and Gladys waved as the men left for their hunt. When they were out of sight, they both laughed knowing full well that none would have the heart to really shoot anything. They liked a boy’s day out as much as they liked a girl’s day in.

“So,” Fred said as they passed the gate into his family’s hunting grounds. “What do you think the girls are up to today?”

Alec laughed. “Talking about us, what else?”

Sam nodded. “Yep.”

As they walked through the fields into the tree line, the dogs’ ears’ picked up. Boy whimpered and cowered close to Fred’s legs. Toby’s fur stood on edge as he stared into the woods and growled.

“Easy there,” Alec said, trying to calm him.

Sam kneeled and unzipped his gun as quietly as possible. Suddenly, both dogs were on alert as a …

Morpethroad wrote:

small, bespectacled man stepped through the bushes. The dogs were going berserk by now straining at their leashes. It was clear the dogs sensed a danger the men did not see.

The man walking towards them was squinting as he approached as he had the sun in his eyes.

“Good afternoon,” he said as he drew near, “your dogs won’t bite will they? I do have a fear of them.”

Sam stood with his gun in his hands unsure of what he was seeing and hearing. The place they were in was a piece of rugged bushland, no one lived there because it was the family’s hunting grounds and it was considered unsafe to even camp on the land for any reason at all.

Fred was trying his best to hold onto his dog, and Alec held firm on Toby’s collar. Once the small man came within a few feet of the hunting party, they could see…

Pensitivity101 continues:

he was holding something in a plastic bag.

Fred lost his grip and Boy lunged at the man who dropped the bag on the ground and threw his arms up to protect his face.

Fred was afraid they would have to shoot the dog but Boy wasn’t interested in the man at all, just the bag, which he snatched up and obediently brought back to his master.

The little man was shaking with fear as Sam reached out his hand to help him up.

“You realise you’re trespassing don’t you?” he said.

The man straightened his glasses and collected himself.

“I’m sorry about that, but we’d received a repor….”

“We? Who is we? And what are you doing here? You could have been shot!”

Fred had taken the bag out of Boy’s mouth and stared at the contents in disbelief.

“Guys? I think you need to look at this.”

Sadje’s contribution:

Sam and Alec stepped forward to take a look at what was in the bag. Fred’s hand, clutching the bag, was trembling. The bag contained a severed hand, the digits were shaped like a claw. But it was like no human hand they had ever seen. It was like it belonged to someone very big and skinny.

“Whe…, Ahm….Where did you find this?” Alec uttered the question through vocal cords which were refusing to cooperate. Sam and Fred were looking askance at the stranger. The whole situation had taken on a nightmarish quality.

The man, again made an attempt to introduce himself. “I am Bennett, from The Agency of Alien Detection, TAAD. We received the alien activity signals from this area and a party has been investigating the situation. This is part of the remains we were able to recover. Do you have any information regarding this?”

The three men stared at him with gapping mouth and glazed looks. Who in their right mind would believe this man. But the evidence was in their hands.

Sam took the bag from Fred and was going to examine it closely when…

Cheryl added:

…when the bag’s contents started moving. The claw-like severed hand was scratching at the plastic bag. Sam dropped it like a hot potato! The boys started to freak out and started to whimper. The spectacled man even stepped back. “Oh my,” Bennett stuttered, “I thought it was, uh, uh, dead!”

Sam kept his gun at the ready. There was no way this “thing” was going to hurt the boys. Bennett fumbled nervously in his pocket to retrieve what looked like a cell phone, but was actually a communicator to the rest of the landing crew. His face seemed to change shape a bit and he started to adjust his hair. Sam looked at the little man with more than just curiosity. Who was this guy, really?

This was Fandango’s contribution

“Do not touch that bag!” Bennett, who was no longer a small, bespectacled, unimposing man, shouted. He had suddenly grown taller. His skin took on a shiny, reddish tone and his hands took on the same claw-like shape of the severed hand in the bag. The three men stepped back and even the two dogs stopped barking and cowered.

“What are you?” Alec asked. “you definitely are not human.”

“No,” Bennett admitted, “I am not. My companion and I were sent here from our home planet to explore your planet. Our mission was peaceful. Our intent was merely to collect air and mineral samples. We intended no harm. But then we encountered a hostile group of creatures who jumped my companion. I’m ashamed to say that I ran for cover, while these creatures devoured my companion. All that was left of him was the hand that I put in the bag. But he is apparently beginning the regeneration process.”

“Creatures? What kind of creatures?” Sam asked.

“Similar to those,” Bennett said, pointing to the two dogs, “but larger and much more viscous.”

“Wolves,” Fred said.

Sam raised his rifle and aimed it at the alien. “Sam, what are you doing?” Alec shouted.

Suddenly…

Now over to me:

There was a noise overhead and both Alec and Sam turned sharply to try and identify it’s source; necks craning upwards they searched the sky but there was nothing other than a dense cloud bank.

“Looks like there’s a storm coming” said Alec “Perhaps it was thunder we heard”

He turned to look at Sam who had resumed his position; stock still with his gun aimed at Bennett’s head

“That wasn’t thunder, was it Mr Bennett?” Sam said quietly

“Sam! Please put down your gun, there’s no need for threats, Mr Bennett has explained that he has no beef with us, he’s just doing some research”

Alec was surprised at his friend’s behaviour especially as Boy and Toby were no longer agitated but laying peacefully at their feet. In his experience dogs were far better attuned to sense danger than any human.

“And you believe him do you?” Sam was absolutely rigid and he spoke from the corner of his mouth through clenched teeth as though in mortal terror or suppressed anger, Alec couldn’t be sure which.

“Yes I believe him Sam now put the gun down for God’s sake before some gets hurt”

Alec was becoming genuinely concerned, they were both hunters but he knew from long experience that Sam was not a violent man. He stepped forward to try to placate his friend and persuade him to drop his weapon.= but just then the sky darkened and………..

That’t it from me, I’m passing the baton to Billy at GoodtobeAliveToday to carry on with the tale

These are the rules:

1. Copy the story as you receive it.
2. Add to the story in some fashion.
3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.
4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
5. Have Fun!

Thanks again Fandango for the tag and over to you Billy..

Lisa x

FOWC: Free

He almost felt sorry for the woman in the witness box, she looked so pathetic with her scraggy hair, tiny watery eyes and turned down mouth. ‘She really is one of the most unattractive women I’ve ever seen’ he thought to himself.

He almost felt sorry for the woman in the witness box, she looked so pathetic with her scraggy hair, tiny watery eyes and turned down mouth. ‘She really is one of the most unattractive women I’ve ever seen’ he thought to himself.

“So, Miss Babcock, you maintain that, on the night in question you were in the Downey Arms until just before 11pm, is that correct?”

He had always prided himself on his beautiful speaking voice and one glance at the jury told him that he had their attention.

“Yes……yes I was” Her voice was like the feeble twittering of a baby bird

“And can you confirm who you were with until this hour?”

“The defendant” He could barely hear her answer so he was sure that the jury couldn’t

“Louder please Miss Babcock, for the jury if you please”

“The defendant”

Her voice cracked with the effort, it was as though she was so used to cowering in the background that she’d lost the power to be heard. Her eyes were downcast and she was twisting a small handkerchief between her fingers. ‘The ultimate wallflower’ he thought.

“The defendant, ladies and gentleman of the jury, she was with the defendant. This means that the man accused of these crimes cannot possibly have committed them as, at the time of the attack he was with Miss Babcock. Thank you miss, I have no more questions”

The prosecutor tried every trick in the book to trip the witness up but she would not be swayed. He showed the photos of the poor young girl that the defendant had brutally raped and then stabbed to death and, although, she looked aghast and started to cry silently her resolve never faltered. Damn! He hoped that the evidence he’d presented would be enough; he had a witness and there was a certain amount of circumstantial evidence but no DNA.

He glanced across at the defendant. The man was, in the prosecutor’s opinion, too good looking by half and even he had to admit that he had charisma but there was something off about him, his unshakable self-belief, under the circumstances, just didn’t seem natural. ‘May be he was innocent after all’ he thought…

“Not guilty” the verdict rang out around the courtroom and there were several gasps of surprise but also a few concerned faces, this meant that there was still a vicious murderer out there somewhere. Reporters dashed off to file their stories and elaborate warnings and the public gallery slowly emptied. At last just he and Miss Babcock were left

“You did quite beautifully my dear, well done”

He took her clammy hands in his own and tried to suppress a shudder of revulsion. She looked up at him and gave a tiny smile

“I did it for you” her little voice was full of adoration and she took a half step closer towards him

“And you will always have my gratitude”

He enveloped her in his arms and felt her cling to him like a barnacle, as though he was giving her a life line. ‘Such a sad little thing’ he thought ‘she’s never known the pleasure that a man can give, that’s for sure’.

“I love you” she whispered.

He couldn’t bring himself to say it back to her but he held her even closer and hoped that would be enough. She’d been such easy prey, an obvious target with her little pink cardigans and sensible shoes. He’d flashed a smile and listened to the boring stories of her boring little life, he’d bought her drinks and then dinner, all the while flattering and cajoling. Their night at the Downey Arms had been almost insufferable for him but, for her, it would never, ever be forgotten. He’d walked her right to her door, arriving just before 11.15pm, he’d taken her face in his hands and kissed her gently on her drooping mouth

“You’re beautiful” he said before he turned and walked away.

At first when they spoke of it she said “that special Saturday”, obviously he’d had to remind her that it had been Friday several times before it became fact in her mind but for her it was their date and not the day that needed to be preserved in her memory. They’d talked about it so often after that; he’d call her or send little text messages just to let her know that he was thinking about her, remembering…..

Of course, he’d had no choice but to defend himself in court; he knew she’d be only too happy to share her special memories with him but he couldn’t trust her if she was under attack from an experienced barrister. It was a risk he’d had to take and it had paid off and now he was free to pursue his passions; there’d been a particularly juicy looking journalist in the gallery, he couldn’t wait to hear her scream!

As for little Miss Babcock, well, she’d have her memories….

Written in response to a gentle prompt from the lovely Fandango

Lisa x

 

FOWC: Pencil

“I’m here to help you, do you understand?”

The man had a calming, gentle voice and his face, behind his large black spectacles, was kind. He could elicit a response with nothing more than a well timed pause and an encouraging smile. The prisoner before him was known to be recalcitrant but he’d worked with him over several weeks and felt that they were finally getting somewhere.

“I’m here to help you, do you understand?”

The man had a calming, gentle voice and his face, behind his large black spectacles, was kind. He could elicit a response with nothing more than a well timed pause and an encouraging smile. The prisoner before him was known to be recalcitrant but he’d worked with him over several weeks and felt that they were finally getting somewhere.

“I know that the terrible crimes you committed were in response to a fear that lies deep within you; do you think that you can share that with me Peter?”

Dead, cruel eyes stared back at him. Peter had demonstrated a penchant for violence since early childhood, according to the notes that he had read before agreeing to meet with him and his attacks had escalated over the years until he progressed to murder. 11 women were dead; brutally tortured until their poor broken bodies just couldn’t take any more.

“Perhaps you can you write it down for me?”

He was quite shocked when Peter began to scrawl on the paper before him but said nothing for a few moments, hoping that he would finally get to the root of this man’s problems.

“That’s it Peter, well done, just write down those things that you really fear and we will be able to find a way to set you free”

He leaned forward a little in his cold, metal chair and attempted to read upside down. It was not difficult as Peter had only written one word, over and over again – ‘Fire’. Of course! This was the key, his parents had died in a fire and the local police always thought that Peter had set it but had never been able to prove it and, as he’d only been 7 at the time, what was the point? However, if Peter had set it, why was it his deepest fear?

“Were you there Peter? Did you see who started the fire?”

Had this been the trigger for all his subsequent violent behaviour? Had he witnessed an arsonist setting a trap for himself and his parents? Could that really be enough? He thought again about the terrible crime scene photos that he seen and he wasn’t convinced…

Peter had paused in his writing while he’d watched the emotions flash across the other man’s face. ‘People are so stupid’ he thought and he smiled to himself, a twisted grimace that brought no light to his dark eyes. He was scared of fire, not because of his parents, they’d deserved to die, but because he hadn’t been able to control his one and only experiment with it. He’d thought that the blow torch he’d found in his father’s shed would be so much fun but the flames found the edge of a table cloth and it was all over far too quickly. He’d immobilised  both his mother and father with his baseball bat, what a great birthday gift that had been, but instead of being able to take his pleasure with their prone forms, the fire claimed them and the game was over. Yes, fire terrified him; it took away his control…

It was almost as if he could hear the flicker once more, feel the heat as the red and orange tongues licked at everything they found. He remembered the pain as the fire had streaked across his left hand and it jerked involuntarily.

“Do you see now Peter? Are you finally facing your fear?”

He looked up to see the man smiling at him but it was no longer kind and gentle, it was predatory, the satisfied smile of a hunter that’s finally caught it’s prey.

Peter could feel the flames now, dancing around his feet. He pushed the chair violently and stood up, backing away from the table. He looked down and saw that his white, prison issue trainers were smoldering. He flung himself onto the floor and tried to tear them off but the melting rubber stuck to his hands and began to burn. He screamed as he watched the flames begin their dance and felt the pain as it started to spread……

“I’m sorry Inspector but there’s really nothing I can do with this one, he’s finally tipped over the edge and I don’t think anything will bring him back now”

He turned back and passively observed the prisoner who was now writhing on the floor in apparent agony although no-one could see any immediate cause.

“What happened?” The inspector asked as he indicated to his men that they should take Peter to the psyche ward; if he was any judge this prisoner would end his days there.

“He finally faced his fears” The man looked tired but satisfied

“How did you get him to do it?”

“Me? Nothing. I just gave him the pencil

A gruesome little tale once again inspired by Fandango and his one word prompt

Lisa x

Assassin

‘Bollocks!’ Kadem thought to himself ‘I really hate this bloody job sometimes!’

He looked through his latest work order and really wished that he could just bin it and walk away but, in his profession, that really wasn’t an option. He rubbed his eyes and briefly put his head in his hands before turning his attention back to the screen. 

‘Bollocks!’ Kadem thought to himself ‘I really hate this bloody job sometimes!’

He looked through his latest work order and really wished that he could just bin it and walk away but, in his profession, that really wasn’t an option. He rubbed his eyes and briefly put his head in his hands before turning his attention back to the screen.

She was beautiful, absolutely no doubt about it; a work of art one might say. She moved with the grace of a dancer and her smile could light up a room

‘Good morning my lovely’ he whispered

She couldn’t hear him of course but still he took pleasure in watching her. She waved to a guy selling coffee from a little street cart, jumped over a puddle and laughed as the water splashed her heels. This girl had such a lust for life…..

Kadem had been watching this one for weeks; his job necessitated that he learn as much as possible about his subjects. He studied her and her interactions with others, he looked at her work, her productivity rates and her online profiles. Of course, he wasn’t supposed to have any kind of emotional attachment and, normally, he could maintain a professional distance but this one was different…..

The guys he worked for had decided that she should be terminated and that was all there was to it but Christ! this would be hard! How did you end something so beautiful, so alive? His fingered hovered, he hesitated…….he never hesitated. Why was this so difficult? He had a job to do, why couldn’t he do it?

He ran his fingers through his hair, distracted, agitated and then turned his attention back to the girl once again. She was laughing at something; her long blonde hair was whipped up in the breeze and she pushed it impatiently away from her face, then she turned…

It was as though she was looking straight at him. The laughter faded from her eyes and something else replaced it. She didn’t turn away or run, she just stood there staring, her face sad.

“You cannot see me” Kadem said out loud “You can’t possibly see me”

This had never happened before, what the hell was he going to do? The girl still hadn’t moved but now her head was bowed, her eyes lowered; the stance of a supplicant. Kadem had never regretted his choice of career, he had a huge amount of freedom and was exceptionally well paid but this…oh this…….he brushed a lone tear from his cheek and steeled himself to do what he knew he must do…

<DELETE> One key stroke and she was gone.

‘Fuck! I hate this job sometimes!’ Kadem said to himself…there was no-one else there.

 

Lisa x

The Man Who Cried Rape…

The story broke in the morning papers, a few hours after this respected elder statesman had finally been told what he had been accused of. He left the police station a broken man, broken by questions and accusations and into the waiting glare of the press, waiting like hyenas to capture the perfect image of his shame and confusion.

“Would you mind coming with us please Sir”?

“What’s this about officer? It’s late”

“We need to talk to you down at the station Sir; some allegations have been made against you”

“Allegations of what? Look, what’s going on?”

“Please come with us Sir”

He looked back into the concerned eyes of his wife, took his overcoat from the stand in the hallway and followed the policeman through his front door and into the waiting throng of press, gleefully snapping away,  enjoying his discomfiture.

The story broke in the morning papers, a few hours after this respected elder statesman had finally been told what he had been accused of. He left the police station a broken man, broken by questions and accusations and into the waiting glare of the press, waiting like hyenas to capture the perfect image of his shame and confusion.

Barricaded behind his front door with his crying wife and shocked children, a prisoner in his once happy and tranquil home, he discovers that he is not the only one plunged into this nightmare. Friends and former colleagues have been dragged into the gutter with him; their names and faces plastered over newspapers, the internet and social media, their characters muddied. He takes a call from one desperate friend who is trying to comfort his wife, she has dementia and has been traumatised by the search on their home by police looking for ‘evidence’ against him.

“What is it that they’re looking for? They’ve turned everything upside down; the wife is beside herself, you know what’s she’s like if her routing is disturbed. They’re asking me to remember events from 30 years ago for Christs sake, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday!”

He could hear the break in his friends voice as he tried to make light of things.

“I don’t know what to say to you my friend. We have an accuser and, apparently he has been believed, the police didn’t offer any ‘evidence’, just questioned me…..for hours”

He could hear the weariness and frustration in his own voice and he rubbed a hand across his face as if trying to erase the lines that seem to have deepened since yesterday; God was it only yesterday?

He turned his attention back to his friend who had even more shocking news for him. A colleague who had died two years previously was accused along with them

“For the love of God, the man’s dead! This is going to crucify his family, haven’t they suffered enough already?”

The two men finished their conversation and went back to their waiting families, unable to answer the terrible questions that hid just behind their eyes.

No charges are brought but the trial by media begins. His photograph is everywhere, the terrible accusations are in print for anyone to read: rapist, kiddie fiddler, beast, monster. He can’t sleep, can’t eat. He ventured out only once, he needed to feel fresh air in his lungs and his poor wife needed more tranquilizers to help her keep her sanity; it was the only thing that he could do for her, except swear over and over that it wasn’t true.

He wouldn’t be able to enjoy life outside for many months after that day. The vile words that were thrown at him like stones, the people with their cameras and their tape recorders crowding around him, taking the breath from his body. He did what he had been told and kept silent but he was so angry that he wanted to lash out at them, smash their stupid bloody cameras and scream

“I’m innocent”.

He was experienced in the world of politics, he should be after 45 years, so he knew that they would make up their own stories however many times he denied the accusations; their readers lust for salacious gossip encouraged their poison pens and lined their pockets.

He was right. The stories continued, the hate, the filthy comments, all of it. Of course, their home had had to go, how could they go on living there with all this going on? They’d made a new start somewhere far away and were trying to have as normal a life as possible but he knew that his wife still cried every day although she did her best to hide it from him. Losing his job didn’t help; after all his years of faithful service he was thrown out like a sack of rubbish, not because he had been found guilty of anything but because the accusations ‘hurt the party’.

He hurt too. He was hurting.

They found his body in his car, surrounded by empty pill packets and an equally empty bottle of scotch. Ever the perfectionist he had arranged everything so that someone else would find him; he couldn’t bear to cause his wife and children more suffering than he had to…….he’d done enough of that already. His note read:

“I am sorry for the pain that I have caused to you, my family, and I am sorry that I am not strong enough to continue living this life. I did none of the terrible things of which I’ve been accused; I hope that you will believe me in that. I have no guilt in this matter other than than for the suffering that you have been through because I am who I am. I love you all so very much but you will be better off without me; maybe now it will stop and you can all live again. I’m sorry”

Two weeks later the same papers that had driven him to take his life and ruined the lives of his friends and colleagues reported, quite dispassionately, that the accuser of these men had lied. The police had taken his word as fact and the media had picked up the baton and beaten them all with it. The man who cried rape was a fantasist, he had dreamed up the whole thing: the child rapes of 30 years ago, the pedophile ring, the murders, all of it.

He would, of course, be charged with perjury; the police would make sure that he got his just deserts, after all he’d cost them a small fortune between the investigation and the payoffs to the innocent men that he’d accused………

This story is mine but is based on this article  which was published today.

Lisa

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The Best Film Ever!

Have you ever watched a film that was so incredibly, mind alteringly brilliant that it stayed with you for days, months or even years after it finished? Did it speak to you on a level so deep that you never thought that such a thing could be possible? Everyone has seem a film like that at one time or another in their lives – what was yours?

Have you ever watched a film that was so incredibly, mind alteringly brilliant that it stayed with you for days, months or even years after it finished? Did it speak to you on a level so deep that you never thought that such a thing could be possible? Everyone has seem a film like that at one time or another in their lives – what was yours?

Mine was Primal Fear; based on a John Grisham novel, it is the story of a young, somewhat naive, almost dim witted young man who is put on trial for the brutal murder of a Catholic bishop. The film deals with the court case and the events which preceded it – namely sexual abuse and corruption within the church. Edward Norton plays the young man, Aaron, and his performance is absolutely flawless, he wraps you up and invites you in to his world in a way that I’ve rarely seen, he is completely convincing.

His lawyer is played by Richard Gere who is best known for his roles in romantic comedies such as Pretty Woman and the Runaway Bride. In this role he is tough and insufferably arrogant but, at the same time, trusting and vulnerable; a difficult combination to pull off for any actor.

I’m not going to spoil this film for you by giving you any more detail, the only thing I will say is that it has a twist at the end which you will not see coming and which will make you doubt and question everything that you’ve seen up until that moment…

If you are looking for a truly great film, Primal Fear is most definitely it!

I’d really love to hear your recommendations so please let me know which films have stayed in your mind and why

Looking forward to it :O)

Lisa

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