Month: April 2014

Penance

Blood was spilt. The once white room was now covered in dry coagulated blood, it was everywhere, leaving dark red traces making it look fake as if it wasn’t real but rather dried out paint. The bedroom and bathroom were both covered in it; it even reached parts of the ceiling.
Jack stared in shock at the dried out blood, it was mind blowing that one person could go to this length just to harm another. He, together with a forensic team, was looking at the strangest crime scene he had ever seen. Pieces most likely of human flesh were scattered through the bathroom, the body was cut into so many pieces it didn’t even resemble anything remotely human. The person who committed this atrocity had taken his time making sure every single piece of tissue was cut many times over. One thing was still missing however, bones. The tissue everywhere could well be an animal of some kind or it could be human, the lab will have to confirm that.
Looking at the small pieces of flesh scattered throughout the place it looked like the person used a very small and very sharp knife, meaning the person was or enjoying himself or being very methodical in his cutting, the layout of the scene showed it was the former rather than the latter.
The smell was what alerted the neighbors and led to them calling the police in the first place. When a team was sent they said the stench was so bad they didn’t waste any time and got a team to raid the house for probable cause. When they arrived and opened the door the first thing that assailed them was the smell once again. Even before the horrific trail of blood it was the smell. It smelled like something that was left to dry and rot for days and there was something else. Something acidic was in the air.
Jack walked out of the room and methodically looked through the house, there was something else here, something else causing the acidic smell. The smell led him up the stairs where a narrow corridor led to three more rooms. Jack slowly walked through the corridor and opened the first door to his left, he already noticed the smell was coming from the room in front of him, but instead of rushing forward he slowly and deliberately opened every door in between and took a good look inside of the other two rooms. Only after he made sure they were empty, and that there was nothing unusual about them, did he continue onto the room at the end of the corridor.
He opened the brown wooden door slowly. The smell was definitely coming from this room; he quickly scanned the room and took note of the police officer standing just in front of him, his back turned. The room was well kept a thick red carpet lay on the ground and black and red colors covered the walls, the only window was firmly sealed shut with large pieces of wood that was covered with parchment or canvas of some sort. Jack walked forward and stared at what the officer was looking at. He froze. A big pot placed on a small gas cooker was cooking; it was this that gave off the acidic smell.
He stared into the red colored water boiling in the pot; it was stirring gently and from time to time something white could be seen breaking the surface of the water. Jack muttered a curse and ran downstairs.
“I need a metal or something to grab with quickly” he cried to anyone in the room.
No one answered, and instead of waiting for an answer he ran into the kitchen and grabbed a pair of tongs. He ran back up the stairs into the smelly room. There he quickly used the tongs to pick out what he already knew would be there. It was white and its discovery meant that one question at least was answered. The one of where the bones were. Jack pulled out an incredible amount of bones out of the pot most of which were heavily damaged; the acidic smell was the acid in the pot, which was slowly melting the bones down. But the fact that the pot was on a gas cooker that was turned on meant that whoever the culprit was, he was close by and maybe even likely to return. He immediately communicated this to the officers in charge and after a quick briefing; guards were set up to search for suspicious individuals in the vicinity.
Jack left the scene of the crime and went back to the station; it was now a question of a lot of paperwork and waiting for the crime lab results. He didn’t delude himself that the officers at the site of the crime would find anything, the chance was minimal but it was good to cover all bases. He didn’t have any time to even sit and go through the paperwork though because as soon as he arrived he received a phone call.
Irritated he picked up the phone “yes this is detective Jack Howser”
“Hello Jack, I won’t introduce myself but I am the person you’re looking for” The voice was deep and somehow familiar.
“What do you mean?” he asked trying to sound nonchalant.
“Don’t be stupid, you know exactly what I mean. Let me correct you though, you think you caught my place just before I was coming back home or you’re thinking that I left it temporarily, let me clarify: I was waiting for you to show up”.
Jack was a little taken aback, but he wasn’t going to let it show. Jack immediately signaled one of his colleagues to check where the call was coming from. “Listen, how do I know you aren’t just makin’ all this up? We get like a 100 crack up calls a day, you are no different”
“you want proof?”
“Of course I want proof”
There was a silence that was suddenly broken by a sharp cold rustling. As though someone was clearing their throat, but it sounded unnatural, like a sound effect. “Today you went into the house and saw the blood, you walked up the stairs passed three rooms and in the third room you found a gas cooker with a pot on it. Do you need me to tell you what was in the pot? Or do you believe me now?”
Jack was slightly shocked, this was a first. No one in their right mind would commit such a murder and would take the time to find who the detective in charge was and then specifically call him. “Eh… Yes, I believe you” Jack mumbled “what is it that you want from me?”
“Oh this is going to be a little study for you. A journey of your makin’ as it were” the voice trailed off and he could almost feel it smiling.
One of the police officers signaled, they had traced the call.
Jack put his hand over the horn and looked at the officer. “It’s coming from somewhere in the station” said the officer
“What? Then find out who is making this call, and where from!” replied Jack irritated. This wasn’t making any sense, just like the whole case wasn’t. It must be some kind of trick, a guy from the department pulling a fast one.
He went back to the phone and said in an aggravated voice “I’ve just about had it with you. So either you tell me what it is you want, or this conversation is over”
The voice on the other side of the line laughed a cold cynical laugh. “Let me guess, you just found out that the call is being made from within your own precinct, am I right? I’ll take your silence to mean exactly that. No, this is not a prank it is very real and its only just beginning. I’ll speak to you soon… Jack” with this the person had hung up.
For the life of him Jack could not figure out the point of the call. Not that it mattered, it was impossible to find out whom the voice belonged to but they could lock down the building which they quickly did and after a painstaking process of going through every phone and trying to figure out which one was used, all of which revealed absolutely nothing, Jack gave up. He had wasted most of the day, and he got absolutely nowhere.
It was pass lunchtime and instead of going to eat with his colleagues he decided to go back to the house the murder had taken place in, to see if he had missed something.
It was a large white house, number 5 on apple street, maybe the street name and number had a special meaning he didn’t yet understand. He wrote the details down although he knew they were already written somewhere at the station, but to write it himself helped his memory. There were still police officers stationed everywhere and the evidence collecting crew were yet to finish their work. Eventually when no new details came up Jack left the house and went back to the station, the clock was ticking and he felt more and more lost, he couldn’t think straight and something kept bugging him. Maybe it was this time of the year, he always felt this way when Halloween was approaching. There was something in the air that made the crazies come out. Although he never really seen any increase in crime overall during Halloween, it was more of a feeling rather than anything else. He always felt uncomfortable when it was Halloween, as far back as he could remember, it was always a strange time of the year.
He was back at his desk and looked over the information he got from the street and name and some hunch made him look up connections with Halloween. Eventually he found something when he searched Halloween customs. Apples were apparently associated with female deities, immortality and resurrection. Cutting an apple through its equator would reveal a five pointed pentagon (house number) on each hemisphere. There was a long list of traditions associated with Halloween and after going through several of them he got tired and left it at that. One story though was quite interesting it involved the Jack-O-Lantern. It told of an Irishman named Jack who tricked the devil to climb up an apple tree (the street). When he did he carved a cross in it thus trapping the devil up the tree. He would only let the devil free if he promised not to take his soul, to which the devil reluctantly agreed. When Jack died he couldn’t get into Heaven and the devil did not take Jack’s soul. After years of roaming the planes between Heaven and Hell without the ability to see where he was going the devil took pity on Jack and gave him an ember from Hell that would never burn out. Jack carved out one of his turnips and put the ember in. So he roamed the earth for a resting place.
The house number and the street name both made references to Halloween it was likely that the killer specifically used it for that reason. So what would be the next target? Would there be a next target? Whatever information he had it wasn’t enough and the call the killer made was very strange indeed. Especially the comment about Jack himself the whole journey in the making was giving him Goosebumps.
Ralph the coroner called him a little later to let him know that the bones they had found were part of the right arm and that there were nowhere near enough bones to make up a whole individual. The primary DNA data also came back and there were no matches to the DNA yet but one thing was sure there was only one DNA print in the crime scene. All the blood belonged to the same individual. The bones did too. When he had first entered the house he assumed it was a sight of several murders. If all that blood belonged to one person then that person was surely dead, and missing an arm.
Paul stared at his watch and realized it was already 5pm, time to go home and put the case behind him. He packed his things and went home, he forgot to eat and it seemed like a strange and surreal day. He reached his home at 1441 Orb Street, and quickly got in. He defrosted a readymade meal and sat down to eat it in front of the television. It was at 6.00pm that he had realized he had forgotten to get candy for the kids trick or treating through the night. He quickly got up and drove to the closest convenience store to get some treats. Once done he went back home, on the way the smaller kids were already outside going from house to house asking for candy. His house was the least decorated on the block and there wasn’t even a single Jack-O-lantern in his front yard.
As soon as he had reached his home his phone rang. It was a hectic day and he was as irritated as could be when he picked up the phone. “Yes? What is it? And make it snappy!”
“Hello Jack. Ready for the second round?” It was the person that called the station. There was no way in hell he could have found his phone number, his number was unlisted.
“How did you get my number?”
“Let’s not dabble with irrelevant details; did you check your mail yet?”
“No…”
“I suggest you open it and have a good look” with that the phone went dead.
Jack got the mail out of his letterbox and had a look. One thing stood out an envelope with dark red writing on it. He took the envelope and opened it. In it wrapped in a cloth was a small finger. The finger seemed unnaturally small like it belonged to a dwarf; it was then that the realization hit him. The finger didn’t belong to a dwarf it belonged to a child.
Jack quickly got on the phone and called the precinct, in 10 minutes his home was crawling with cops and it would take several hours before he had a result that meant something. Normally he would have to wait for the finger to be analyzed but his friends and colleagues pulled an all nighter and a few hours later much to everyone’s surprise they had a result. The only reason they got a match on the finger so quickly was the fact that they already had the DNA in their database. The DNA was the same as what was found in the house on Apple Street. The finger did belong to a child and there was one other piece of information that he should know. The finger was severed when the child was still alive. From what else they could tell the finger was severed not more than several hours ago. This case now officially made no sense. How could the blood at the house – and he was assured it was adult blood that they found as was the arm – belong to an adult and the finger he received belong to a child match?!
A quick explanation was given that possibly someone manipulated the sample so that the DNA markers used overlapped, but it wasn’t very likely. Then again it did seem like it was an inside job.
Jack’s phones were now tapped and his house was under surveillance. If, no not if. When the mystery person would call again they would be ready. Jack sat down on the sofa in his living room and tried to clear his thoughts. His thoughts kept going back to the child, he had to be dead now… or at least treated for the finger. His thoughts kept turning around and around, until a few rounds of trick or treaters later came another dreaded phone call.
“Hello Jack, have you figured it out yet?”
“Figured what out?” asked a weary and tired Jack
“Oh, Jack are you playing games with me? Figured out who it is that is calling you and whose DNA it is you have” asked the voice innocently enough, although Jack somehow knew there was nothing innocent about this person.
“I am working on it, but it would save me a lot of trouble if you could tell me”
“Oh Jack, haven’t you learned anything yet? What is the point of me calling you if you are just going to be a spoil sport about it?”
“Jack! Jack!” Came an urgent cry from his headset “The bastard is in your house! I don’t know how he’s doing it but he is calling from inside your own home, we have officers covering all exits you give us a signal and we will barge in and get him!”
“JACK” came a shout echoing through the phone line.
“What?!” answered Jack angrily
“Did you forget about me?” asked the voice
“How could I? What do you want from me?” he asked again
“I want to continue playing our game”
It was too much; the whole day was too much and he needed a break. “What the hell is it that you want?” he muttered tired
“Oh, I would have thought you would be more frightened if someone, most likely a suspected killer would call you from your own home”
This was enough to shut Jack up. He could think of nothing to say. He had enough and gave the officers a sign to move in. After a quick search through the house they found nothing. It was what he expected in the first place, criminals nowadays knew how to use the system to their advantage. He must have been some hacker or something, making it look as if he was in the house.
The rest of the night passed without any incidents and when the next day finally appeared the night before seemed hazy, like a dream, but soon enough he was right in between it once again. After a briefing about the case and an update on the findings most of which he had already known, he was back at his desk. The DNA results yielded nothing and the people upstairs were now setting up a scheme to swab all police employees for DNA thinking about an inside job. How else, could someone find intricate details about the investigation so quickly know who was assigned to the investigation in the first place? Secondly how did they find Jacks phone number and home address so quickly unless they were working at the police station? So DNA from all detectives, police officers and other employees was collected which gave the lab enough work for weeks, but considering the urgency it was moved straight up the ladder and results started coming in from as early as next morning. Next to DNA they also took prints from everyone. Jack as lead detective wasn’t counting on anything crucial arriving from the data though he trusted the data would arrive eventually.
That afternoon he received a phone call not to his desk phone but to his cell phone. He picked up and at this point he was almost expecting it.
“Hi Jack, are you ready to play round 3?” said an all too familiar voice
“What is it this time you sicko?”
“Temper temper, Jacky boy. In a manner of minutes you should receive a package guess what will be in it” the line went dead.
Just as the line cut a delivery boy put a large package on his desk, it was delivered by a standard company and no details were available on the sender. The package contained 9 fingers. Again the fingers were cut when the child was still alive this though there was some good news. There was a fingerprint. The lab ran it as quickly as they could and funnily enough found a match within minutes of running the search. It belonged to someone from the department, specifically to Jack. Jack was called into the interrogation room and was questioned quite heavily for hours. From head detective he became the main suspect in a flip of a coin.
It was hours now, he was put in a holding cell and although he was given the benefit of the doubt he still had no answers and no idea how his fingerprint got there. He was trying to figure it all out but there wasn’t much point, all he knew was that the killer was steps ahead of him and he was trying to catch up.
A guard opened Jacks cell and without too many words took him back to the interrogation room. Jack sat down and a few moments later Detective Charles came into the room. He was new, the previous interrogation was conducted by Detective Prosper, and it was weird to now have a different officer give the interrogation. That usually meant that something has happened to change things.
Instead of waiting for a question Jack asked ‘What happened?’
Detective Charles looked at Jack and said ‘listen I will be honest with you if you will be with me. Alright?’
Jack nodded
‘Then let’s begin. Why did we find your fingerprint in the package?’
‘For the millionth time, I don’t know. It’s a set-up this weird guy has been setting me up from the get go. You know that, you have been to all the briefings and there is nothing else I can tell you about it. All I know is that this guy thinks this is some kind of sick game between me and him and for some reason he thinks this the last game we will play. So most likely he will pin this whole thing on me and that’s all I got’
‘How about this then, what do you think this guy is after?’
‘Revenge. Plain and simple’
‘You don’t find it a little too elaborate for just a simple revenge scheme?’
‘Maybe, but I’m not in the guy’s head. I think he will do everything to rattle me and turn my world upside down and from what I can see he has managed it quite nicely’
‘Ok, I believe you and that’s why I will give you a recent development we had with the hope that you as the head detective in the case will be able to give me some advice’
‘I’ll do what I can. But before that when will I be released?’
‘I’m sorry Jack I don’t know. You haven’t asked for a lawyer which I guess you did because most of us are your friends, but there is no way they will let you go without a new lead. You are the only connection and now the only suspect’ Paul Charles looked slightly ill at ease which Jack was glad to see. But he knew the system well enough and if he actually had wanted to be released immediately he would have gotten his lawyer as soon as he was arrested. ‘Here is where we are at now… we have identified all the fingers and they all belong to the same child. That child has DNA that matches you’
Jack stared open-mouthed and flabbergasted. This guy must be some kind of DNA expert there was no other way around it. ‘He must be an expert in DNA or something’ said Jack finally
‘The lab tried some non-conventional techniques to figure out if other DNA sequences were homologous’ Paul quickly corrected himself when he saw Jack’s uncomprehending look ‘or I should say were the same as the DNA they got off you and the answer is it is a perfect match. They assured me that nothing is a perfect match but this one was. There is no doubt in their mind that the fingers belong to you as does the fingerprint. Now the fingerprint I can still fit into the story because it wouldn’t be too difficult to arrange for it. I mean he could have gotten it from somewhere and used that imprint to frame you. The fingers though are a very different story, they were cut off when you were a child and maybe kept somehow that nobody would notice together with an incredible amount of blood or something like that… I don’t know. Feel free to jump in at any time’
Jack just stared, there was nothing he could think of that could help this case. All he had were questions and not a lot of answers. After a short silence he said ‘All I can tell you is that for some reason he has made me his enemy. The child he is killing or killed already is supposed to be me. I can’t give you more than that, other than the fact that I was never tormented or lost any limbs when I was a child so it could not have come from me. Maybe it’s one of our own lab workers?’
‘We already looked at that, and all the results were controlled by 3 different technicians and all came to the same conclusion. The DNA is identical, there is no doubt’
‘Then I’m sorry to say that there is nothing I can add to that. Maybe if I was at my desk he would have called me to give us something else to go on, but since I’m in here that won’t work either’
‘Sorry Jack. I’m sure they will let you out shortly, for now though they will still keep you here. I will put in a good word and try to get you out’ with that Paul left and Jack was led back to his holding cell.
Jack sat in his holding cell pondering his fate, maybe he made a mistake not getting an attorney as soon as he became a suspect, but that was too late now. An attorney wouldn’t really have helped now anyway and if he would have gotten one he wouldn’t know that the DNA was the same. All of it, the blood, the fingers everything was his somehow. He couldn’t really figure it out it had to be a trick there had to be something else to it. Something he didn’t think of.
The lights started flickering and suddenly the cell and hallway were all covered in a veil of darkness. Jack couldn’t see anything, all light was turned off and he was now in a dark room alone. The room was eerily silent, nothing appeared to be happening. Normally there should have been a person around already to check up on him. The silence was unnatural, and illogical.
The silence was broken by a rustling sound that came from the corner of his cell. The rustling sound grew in volume and intensity until he could hear nothing other than the noise. Just when he was about to block the noise by covering his ears with his hands it stopped. ‘Someone, please help me’ he screamed.
‘No one will help you here Jack’ the voice was the voice he had heard before on the phone. It belonged to the killer.
‘How did you get in here?!’ Jack asked, he was becoming increasingly frightened. It seemed as though nothing could protect him from this person, the voice was close to him and somehow this person got into a cell and organized a blackout.
‘Oh Jack you still don’t know?’ With that a light turned on and shone out in front of him. The cell wall was gone and instead the light shone on a person that stood in front of him. That person looked like himself. ‘Hi Jack’ although the voice was slightly different, the rest was an exact replicate of himself.
Jack tried to look unperturbed and failed. ‘Who the hell are you?’
‘I’m you jack my boy’ with that the person slowly started changing his voice to match his. ‘See?!’
‘This can’t be’ Jack was shaking his head in disbelief.
‘Oh but it can. It’s Halloween’
‘Who did you kill?’ Jack asked
‘Oh you know the answer to that too’ with that another projector lit up and a child appeared. The child was wearing a red long sleeved shirt and a red cap hat. He was missing his right arm and right leg. It was only after looking closely that he noticed that the shirt wasn’t red but rather white. It was stained red by blood. ‘Have you recognized him already Jack?’ asked the guy that looked like Jack.
Jack looked closer but the kid looked just like any other normal kid. It was then that the person removed the cap. Jack recognized him instantaneously. It was himself; he was maybe 9 or 10 years old. It was too much, there were too many things going on he couldn’t understand.
‘Oh Jack. You know nothing do you. You sad pathetic excuse for a man, every year it becomes easier to mess with your head. I don’t know if it’s because you are becoming dumber or because at long last I’m actually getting to you’
Jack had no energy left he understood nothing. Apparently magic, time travel or whatever it was, were all normal. ‘What do you want from me?’ he asked
‘Oh Jack, if I would have known it would be this easy I would have done this a long time ago. But there is no time left Halloween is coming to an end’ with that the lights were off once again and Jack stood alone in the dark again.
‘Oh don’t forget Jack’ came a voice echoing in the dark, a voice that sounded like his own ‘here is your little light to guide your way’ A pumpkin head appeared in his hands, it was emitting an ember like light through its eyes and mouth. ‘See you next year… Jack’
© 22/04/2014

Conversations

“You know what I hate the most about that movie?” asked David.

            “No, but I bet I can guess. The voices!” exclaimed Donnie.

            “You’re absolutely right! Those god awful voices, I mean you would think the director would at least do or say something to those two”

            “Could you imagine that conversation going down? They are both character actors so they would both remain in character the whole time. So you would have Bane on the one hand and Batman on the other or you know Hardy aka Bronson and Bale talking to Nolan”

            “Yea hardy was kickass in Bronson, but no that would never happen. Nolan would never talk to them, he would send his production assistant or someone, I mean have you seen the size of those two? They could wipe the floor with him”

            “Yea your right so you would have this production assistant trying to communicate with those two… Guys there is a problem. The director thinks you should change the voices a little and…

            “WSSDFESDTWEFREPSSSSSSSDRWFERF”

            “Well it’s not me; it’s the director who said it I swear. Yes I know Mr Bale you are batman, but… Oh Christopher just informed me that whatever you want to do it’s all right”

            “ASDEFSDCSD”

            “Can you believe what type of movie you would have if they changed the voices?”

            “Yea a halfway descent one. Hahaha”

            “Do you know the story of the man and the woman?”

            “Don’t think so”

            “So a guy tells his wife. Ok I’ll prove to you once and for all that a kick to the balls is more painful than childbirth. Fine, says the woman go ahead prove it. So the guy says in the history of the world no guy has ever said you know what go ahead kick me in the balls again”

            “Ha ha. But you know that’s not true you remember that weird guy at that student party we went to?”

            “What guy?”

            “There was this guy there that granted had way too much to drink but he asked Tim to kick him in the nuts. You remember? Tim was wearing those heavy army boots that have metal plating in them and he kicked him as hard as he could. The guy literally came off the ground and then to everyone’s surprise asked him to do it 3 more times. After that Tim had enough and half expected the guy to drop dead right there and then”

            “That was a great party I laughed my ass off”

            “Yeah. We still have that picture of the two of us, actually the weirdest thing about that party next to the really alcoholic punch that we made was that we still had loads of beers left afterwards. We thought everything would be finished and we still had a crate. Ok granted 15 crates were gone, but students are known never to stop right until they drop”

            “If I remember correctly quite a few dropped”

            “Yeah you’re right. Good times man”

            “Good times”

Ego of a shithead

What’s so special about a writer? I mean let’s face it there are millions of them, anyone with a pen is a writer and if we really come around to it only a handful are any good. Only a handful will be remembered as truly great and even less as groundbreaking. I know this sounds bleak but it is intended to.

Why you might ask well the answer is very simple. To put a writer’s ego back where it belongs, just because someone can write or got published or whatever reason it does not magically mean that you are better than those around you. The same goes for any and every profession.

I don’t understand why it is that certain people believe themselves to be god’s gift to humanity? Even if there is some mighty strong evidence to support this shouldn’t humanity have a say in this? Is a person who is down on his luck worse than someone who has just won the lottery say? Or is it all an exercise in fate conjunction and we are pawns in a game of chance where whoever rolls the dice can win, we don’t know who or what but we believe in something there… Ok so it’s becoming a ridiculous exercise in philosophy but I still think there is a valid point here somewhere.

Why should one person be better than another, why should one be a leader over another. In most cases there is an element of luck but most often there is ambition and next to ambition there is an eagerness to succeed without any regard to the way it is done. It is this eagerness that does tend to work and a wise man once said if you really want to succeed make from miracles a reality. But I digress.

Everyone of us was a complete and utter annoying little shit. This is the way the world turns no one is brilliant all the time no one is always nice. I am sure that some of the nicest people I know were absolutely shitheads when they were teenagers for example. Maybe that’s something to keep in mind when you are doing well. I once was a shithead let’s make sure that I don’t turn into one again. 

A typical meal

The food arrived in a large square plate. That was the first mistake it made the food look small and uninviting. Never put food in the corners of a large plate it makes it look untidy and not nearly neat enough.  He ordered the house sirloin with veggies and baked potatoes.  The seasonal veggies were broccoli, carrots, courgettes and some spinach. The vegetables were slightly soggy because of the garlic sauce and although it was nicer if the vegetables were slightly crunchy it wasn’t a complete disaster. The garlic sauce worked well to give the plate some much needed colour. The baked potatoes were also nicely cooked and were seasoned well, with some salt and pepper.

The same could not be said for the meat though, which was sogging in its own blood. It was not badly cooked but they didn’t give it enough time to rest. He ate only a few bites and left the rest of the plate unperturbed. He took a few sips of wine and was about to ask for the dessert to be delivered when he noticed that the plate was untouched. The vegetables he took a bite of, were all there untouched. The meat was uncut and the potatoes were similarly untouched. It was as though he had imagined everything.

He sighed and cut the meat again. He was surprised to notice that the meat was not leaking or soggy no blood was dripping out of it. The potatoes were perfectly cooked and crunchy. The vegetables were nicely crisp and it was almost a complete different plate in comparison to what he ate before. The only remark was the plate itself, which was the same large square plate. This time he finished the whole meal and enjoyed it. Although sirloin was always considered one of the most popular cooked dishes and it was difficult to get it wrong, it was a good fulfilling meal.

He took a deep breath, content and blinked. His eyes were averted from the plate for maybe just a moment but that was enough. That second his gaze had slipped from his plate was enough, when he looked back the plate was full with the same food again. There it was the sirloin steak, the baked potatoes and the seasonal vegetables. They were the same just as the previous time, with once again slight differences. The vegetables appeared almost raw while the potatoes were overcooked and the meat well done when it was supposed to be medium rare.

He was less surprised this time but more annoyed and full, maybe he hadn’t eaten everything but the feeling that he had was there and that was enough. He tried to force himself to at least try and take a few bites but the food was badly made and there was nothing here that would make him give the restaurant good points. He cursed under his breath and tried to swallow a piece of the meat he eventually succeeded and looked back at the plate.

The plate was full again. He screamed in rage much to the irritation of some diners and the amusement of others. This couldn’t be happening; food could not keep on appearing on the plate without any reason. That was not how these things worked this was not how things were supposed to go.

“Sir…?” The voice was far away, bridging worlds and ideas from its distance.

“Sir?!” The voice grew steadily closer and this time there was an edge to it.

“What? What?” came the muttered response.

“Sir, you fell asleep and you were calling out. So I thought the best thing to do was to wake you” said a waiter standing next to the table “I am also pleased to tell you that your food is ready, so please enjoy it” He added smiled and left the table leaving the costumer to his meal. The costumer looked around confused and when he saw his meal laughed out loud and left the restaurant. In his plate was a sirloin steak seasonal vegetables and some baked potatoes.

Matt’s unforgettable day

Writing challange 3:

So in this challange you have to use the following words:

Catharsis – the purging of the emotions, or relieving of emotional tensions. Hippophile – one who loves horses. Panacea – a remedy for all ills. Xylography – the art of engraving on wood. Capriccio – a caper; prank. Ambivert – one whose personality type is intermediate between extrovert and introvert. Bedash – to dash or strike against.

I chose to do a short story so here goes.

Matt stared at the book in contemplation. The title read xylography – all you needed to know and more. He wasn’t sure it was what his next artistic remedy would be, but he thought he might give it a go none the less. After several hours of reading about the different techniques he gave up, this wasn’t his cup of tea and he didn’t feel all that good about carving wood. He thought of himself as more of a tree loving person, he couldn’t really harm a tree even if he wanted to. He knew more about yoga and Zen practices then art anyway. He actually started the whole thing because of a girl naturally. She was really hot and was all into yoga, he took a few lessons with her and learned how to experience catharsis. But it didn’t work out at the end because she was an ambivert.

Matt left the book on the table for the librarian to organize and walked towards the exit when he saw a small note hanging from the side of the door. He walked towards it to have a closer look and saw that the note read Capriccio. He scratched his head when suddenly a bucket of water fell from above him and bedashed him squarely on the head. Laughter broke out around him.

Matt removed the bucket from his head and looked around at his friends and asked “what is this supposed to be then?“

“Best prank ever!” Cried Martin “You seeCapriccio actually means a prank so we just pulled aCapriccio on you” everyone cried out with laughter much to the annoyance of Matt who left the library cold and unhappy.

Back at the dorms he quickly took off his cloths and took a nice warm shower to get some heat back into his bones. He was just starting to feel a little better when someone was knocking on his door. He quickly put his bathrobe on and in annoyance opened the door. His annoyance quickly changed to surprise when in front of him stood a large horse with a sign around his neck stating: To our favouriteHippophile with love. This was becoming ridiculous what was he supposed to do with the horse now? He went back inside and got dressed he then got out and walked into a steaming pile of crap the horse had left for him. He cursed under his breath and walked the horse out of the dorms much to the bemusement of all the other students. Naturally it was up to him to clean everything up and not one of his friends who pulled this stupidCapricco. Did he actually think that or prank? They were getting to him…

The school grounds had a large farm located about a mile from the grounds that is most likely where his so-called friends got the horse from. Matt started walking his shoes now smelling to high heaven and his mood completely ruined. There was only one thing that would make this day better. OnePancea that would cure all his ails and lift him off of this day. The farmer had two daughters and one of them was the subject of Matt’s admiration for the last year or so, even before he met Minerva the yoga fanatic.

Melanie, she had dark brown hair and beautiful dark brown eyes. Unfortunately she had a boyfriend, but at least he could see her today. That made the trip a bit more tolerable. He quickened his pace thinking about meeting her again and reached the farm relatively quickly. Once there the farmer eyed him suspiciously and took the horses rains from him without so much as a word. He then motioned him to go to the back of the farm and sit on the benches where people would sometimes sit and watch the horses ride. Matt sat there obediently and was getting a little restless when suddenly the whole structure crashed and he fell into a pile of what looked like feathers. Bursts of laughter sounded everywhere and he tried to quickly regain his footing but slipped several times before he finally got out of that mess. Feathers were stuck to him and around him now was a crowd of people most of them were his so called friends but the others he didn’t know.

He was angry, this was the last straw! What had he done to deserve this treatment? And from people he thought of as his friends no less. Just when he was about to get abusive with some of the friends standing a little too close to him, he noticed Melanie standing just out of reach laughing her beautiful laugh. His rage was forgotten although he still wanted an explanation.

“You really don’t know?” cried Martin

“Know what?”

“It’s April first! We thought instead of you getting to us like you did the last two years we would all gang up on you. Plus we have a lot of it on video now so you should check it out on you tube soon enough” Martin laughed whole heartedly.

Matt was flabbergasted he completely forgot about it. He walked over to Melanie that was still shedding a few tears of laughter and asked her if she would like to go on a date with him. She looked at him in surprise and after a second or two answered that she would much to Matt’s delight.

How their date went and how Matt got all his friends back on the next 1st of April is another story…

Matt stared at the book in contemplation. The title read xylography – all you needed to know and more. He wasn’t sure it was what his next artistic remedy would be, but he thought he might give it a go none the less. After several hours of reading about the different techniques he gave up, this wasn’t his cup of tea and he didn’t feel all that good about carving wood. He thought of himself as more of a tree loving person, he couldn’t really harm a tree even if he wanted to. He knew more about yoga and zen practices then art anyway. 

Under appreciated horror

The internet is filled with these types of lists. But I thought I’d put in my two dime worth of thoughts because I disagree with many of the lists out there. I divided my list into sections so it makes it easier to see the category. There will be no best of in here, meaning no psycho or shinning or the exorcist. Specifically because those movies are on every list, so instead I’ll put movies that I thought were good but do not get the attention they should. So here is my little contribution in no particular order:

Gore/Comedy

Braindead/Dead-again – This is an amazing tour of a film. It is filled with gore, horror, comedy and pays tribute to many movies out there. It is one of the best gore movies ever! The fact that it was directed by Peter Jackson is just an added bonus! If you haven’t seen this yet and you are a fan of horror movies you don’t know what you’re missing.

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Supernatural/Comdy

The Frightners – Another little gem from Peter Jackson this time attacking the supernatural. It has a great cast (with some great cameos of the best in horror) and I must admit there are some great moments. It has elements of horror, comedy and because it was one of my favourite movies growing up it deserves to be here.

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Supernatural

The Omen – This movie is usually in the lists of best of, but for some reason not a lot of people have actually seen it (at least not the newer generation). In case there is any doubt I’m talking about the original 1976 version. So this is for you, go check this movie out I still remember the first time I saw the glass scene it caught me completely by surprise the first time round, in its brutality.

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Ringu/Ringu 2 – This I added for one specific reason ringu 2. The first many will know or at least know the American version (which is far inferior to the Japanese version. I still don’t get the whole stupid horse scene, why the hell was that in the American version of the movie?!) the second however is not really considered as a good movie, which I beg to differ. I love the second one even more then the first one and I am not afraid to admit it.

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Ju-on – Another great ghost curse movie from the Japanese. It is one of the more well known movies but my list wouldn’t be complete without it. Something about children I guess really is creepy. That and putting long dark hair over your face…

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Pulse/kairo – For some reason this is a little less known but I can assure you that it is just as good as the other entries here if not better.

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Whispering corridors – This south-Korean movie is a great exercise in atmosphere creation and good introduction to Korean film making.

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Extreme French

Inside – One of the best extreme French cinema movies out there. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then here is the short version. The French have made several movies considered to be extremely graphic, violent and disturbing. They are filled with blood, terror and mayhem and it is the sheer quantity of those factors that makes the movie extreme. You could argue that it is similar to hostel and all of those but you would be wrong. While those types of movies are just there to make you grind your teeth in anticipation of the next killing, the French movies make you curl into ball and bite your nail off without realizing that is what you are doing. I mean that they suck you into the story and cause you to actually care about the characters. That makes the punches you receive that much more painful. Plus there is a genuine story which is always a plus. I have included only one of the so called French extreme movies but if you like the one you will like all the others. So try out Martyrs, High tension and They as a start you won’t be disappointed.

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A tale of two sisters – Another South-Korean entry on the list, this time something a little different but as disturbing as ever. This in a way is the some of the best South-Korean horror although there are other movies that pack more of a punch (like I saw the devil) this one is one of the first I saw and it has a great feel to it.

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Slasher/Comedy

Behind the mask: The rise of leslie Vernon – I loved this movie. Truth be told I have had enough of the slasher genre simply because there is only so much running and hiding you can do and let’s face it Jason and Michael will never be replaced with a next best thing. This movie though looks at things from a different perspective (I still smirk thinking about this movie cardio line). Namely the killer. This is a unique twist because here we have everything the killer needs to prepare to become the next Jason or Michael (or for some reason Freddy…) which is a lot!

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Slasher/suspense

Youre next – This is another slasher movie that takes what you know and delivers exactly that until you realize it actually isn’t. It is a smart little movie that has many things going for it. If you missed it by any chance go check it out.

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Japanese extreme

Ichi the killer – I had to add this movie simply because it is the Japanese equivalent to the extreme French genre with one big difference. It has a much more gruesome sexual tint to it that isn’t present in such a way in the French movies. I can’t explain it better then that without giving away some of the key (and let’s face it disgusting) scenes.  

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Science fiction

Event horizon – What would happen if you came back from a black hole? Hell ofcrouse! Event horizon is great and more people should appreciate it. It starts with a bang and never let’s go until the credits role. Action horror suspense and science fiction what else do you want? Oh yea and Sam Neil who is one of the most famous horror movie actors out there. Why do I say that well because he plays in: Omen 3, in the mouth of madness, possession, Snow white: A tale of terror. I know he plays in many other movies but he has this coldness to his manner that just means evil things will happen. Maybe it’s just me.

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The Fly – Jeff Goldblum at his best, a creepy scientist that becomes a fly. What could be more gruesome, disgusting and entertaining?

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Fantasy

Nightbreed – The only clive barker entry in my list (yes I know shame on me, but that is more because the others are so well known that I didn’t see the point of putting those in) and one of the best. Based on his book Cable (which is a terrific read in case you haven’t read it) that recounts a typical barker like world filled with monsters that aren’t the real monsters.

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Pet cemetery – The only Stephen king entry on this list. I nearly put It on this list but to be honest although I love the first part of it the second part to me is just annoying and the ending is so mundane and stupid that I couldn’t in my right mind put it here. Why couldn’t pennywise be the killer?! He was so awesome why bring in a spider? Anyway, Pet cemetery is a great movie and a great book too. It is one of the only Stephen king books I enjoyed the ending of. The mist was a close contender…

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In the mouth of madness – My only john carpenter on the list. It’s a great story though a writer that enters his story or does the story enter him? Either way it leads to a hell of a movie too bad about the ending though.

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And there you have it my little list of movies that every horror loving person should watch. I know I have left out many movies that are personal favorites and I skipped through subgenres like zombies, vampires and all of that because let’s face it there are too many of those movies around anyway. Maybe just an honor mention to Shaun of the dead as a zombie movie.

Images of night part IV – The beach

The sand is a soothing yellow, the sun a perfect blend of light and heat. The sea is crystal blue and goes on as far as the eye can see. Behind me a soothing mellow jazz tune is playing it sounds like something by Charlie Haden. I’m lying leisurely on a white foldable plastic bed and relax.

“Should we get something to eat?” asks my beautiful wife.

She is at my side lying just as I am enjoying herself. We hold hands, life is perfect.

“Sure, what do you feel like?” I ask

“How about a large green salad and champagne?” she asks smiling.

“I think I prefer a sandwich and champagne if you don’t mind”

“I knew you’d say that”

I signal for the waiter to come and ask for an omelet sandwich for my self, a green salad for the lady and a bottle of champagne. Shortly after the waiter sets up two tables on either side of us and places on the one the green salad and the omelet sandwich on the other, the champagne he puts on a small stand in front of the two foldable beds. He fills two glasses and leaves them there for us. We casually sip from the champagne and enjoy our day out. The sound of the oceans waves is incredibly soothing and we quickly lose ourselves in the sound and are swept away following the currents of the sea.

A noise stirs me up; I look across the vast water to the horizon where the blue sea blends with the clear blue sky so completely that one cannot see where the one ends and the other begins. Across the waves I notice something moving, but it is blurry and quickly disappears again behind the waves. I focus on the place where I first saw the movement trying to discern if it is real and not just a figment of my imagination. It is then that I see the movement once more it resembles and arm flailing about, waving for help. It is then that I realize that the noise that had awoken me was actually a cry for help from the person drowning. I look around me at the beach around me and realize to my surprise that it is deserted and that there is no one other than me that can jump into the water. The person is far from me and I do not know if I can save him, but I must try. Without a second thought I jump into the water, it is surprisingly cold. I pay no heed to it and swim as fast as I can forward, gulping for breathe and push myself as far as my body will take it.

The ocean surrounds me, and I can see nothing but the dark blue salty water. I struggle to swim against the current that threatens to take me under and in my struggles against the waves that are now significantly larger I swallow large amounts of salt water. I fight to hold on, pushing my neck high above the water to suck in the precious air. I push on, further and further into the deep sea, not knowing if the person is still somewhere out there, or if I am too late.

I stop to look around me, trying to see where the person is, as I must now be closer to him. However, I can see nothing around me but the high waves, the noise of them crashing down drowns out any possible scream from the person. I become desperate and look all around me for any sign of movement. Something catches my eye from the right and I quickly swim towards it. As I get closer and closer I realize I can hear someone shouting, a voice that sounds familiar somehow, a voice I recognize from somewhere. I put it out of my thoughts and put all my strength in swimming onwards. My lungs burn with the need for air and my arms and legs feel heavy, I pray I will be on time.

My lungs are screaming for more air and I can feel my body succumb to the currents and the sea. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep my head above the water. Just as I lose hope to find however it is that is out there; I hear a voice close to me. This rejuvenates me filling me with energy once more and I swim towards the sound. A hand is flailing in front of me and sinking down rapidly, I dive down and manage to grab it. I lift the body up and out of the water, and look at the face. I do not know how it is possible but it is my father. He has lost consciousness but his pulse is strong. I open his mouth and blow air in. I do so again and again, hoping to get him to breathe to spit out the water in his lungs. I start to cry and keep on breathing into his mouth. I scream for him to wake up, to do something but it is useless he is gone. I struggle to hold on to him but his body is heavy and I am too tired. Too tired to hold on, my hands are weak and he is slipping from me, the sea becomes rougher, the waves stronger pushing me under, I scream as my father’s body slips into the deep ocean and the waves flow over me entering my throat preventing me from breathing. I kick with my legs but I have no strength left to keep my head above the water and I start to sink, the sea closing over me as I descend into darkness…

He turns in his sleep; his eyes momentarily open and glisten in the moon light, as though something causes them to reflect the shattered light that reaches them. His irregular breathing however quickly returns to normal and he is once more deep asleep.

15/10/2009

Notes: Images of night… 4 – the beach (2009)

I grew up next to the sea and was diving and swimming even before I could walk properly. My dad, who is an avid diver in his own right, told me after reading the story that it was the only way he would ever want to die. Not because it is a painless death or anything like that but because he feels such a connection with the sea, that he would always like to be a part of it. Even in death.