Isabel ran. Again. I could see the terror in her eyes as she left the room. I was screaming inside my mind. Rue Harris was on the floor. I was left to do the rest myself. His eyes and mouth were gone already, and his bones were sticking out in odd places, so I took one of his ears and began to cut. It was agonizing.
After I’d finished, I was sick into a bin, the room spun. What was I going to do with his body? I couldn’t just leave it there. Someone would call the police.
I found a rusty Zippo lighter on the table top in the kitchen, and started a fire. I put the frying pan I had used to knock him out on the kitchen stove and put some pieces of bacon from the fridge into the pan. It could’ve been an accident. A freak fire. Not anyone’s fault.
I left the room with the roaring inferno behind me and hurried outside. As I walked out onto the street, I suddenly hoped to God there was no Mrs. Harris who would come home to this mess.
Walking home, clutching a rusty lighter in my hand; I occasionally sobbed as the rain fell down heavily. Approaching home, I heard the booming noise of music from a mile away. Mum was having another party. On a Tuesday? What a douche bag of a mother I have.
As I entered, kicking a half empty bottle of Vodka over into the dining room, and I heard Blaze crying in his room, so I ran upstairs to tend to him. Mum was passed out on the staircase with some guy wrapped around her. Good job Dad was on a business trip for the next few days, or my Mum would be sat on the doorstep outside like a dog in that position.
Blaze was screaming. Again. I picked him up and cradled him, singing a sweet lullaby until he calmed down.
Thank God, I thought to myself, that I never have to burn someone’s eyes out again.
It didn’t go exactly as I had planned today, anyway.
Blaze fell sound asleep in my arms and I couldn’t sit still. I had to take a walk. I put Blaze in his pushchair and went for a stroll around the block, to calm myself down.
As I was burrowed in my own depressing thoughts, I heard an ambulance siren approaching; it whizzed past me leaving me on the pavement, to cry.
I fell down into a heap and sobbed, and I didn’t even know why. I couldn’t bring myself to get back up until Blaze himself joined in my sadness by wailing his little heart out. He didn’t know what life was going to be like. He was just a baby. A very cute baby at that.
Blaze is the only person I love. I don’t love anyone, except Blaze. Maybe Dylan, but I have to keep telling myself he was just a boy. Blaze is my brother, and I love him. He listens to me and I’m sure he’d answer if he could speak.
Sometimes I’m glad I have my Mum. She’s a bitch and doesn’t care about anyone else but herself, but there are some people’s Mums who care about them so much, they ask them stuff all the time and don’t have room to be themselves, and to breathe.
Tonight I was glad to have my Mum. She would leave me alone all night and I really didn’t care.
Tonight I had to be alone.
Tonight I needed to be alone.
I woke up at 5am. Scared shitless.
I dreamt that I had to kill Blaze. The same way we’d killed Mr. Harris. I could never, ever do that. Isabel would have to do that for me.
I went downstairs and had breakfast.
Okay, I had an orange, anyway.
Mum wasn’t on the staircase anymore. I decided to go into her room and have an early morning snuggle. I needed a hug now, more than anything.
I opened her door and heard giggling.
Holy shit, I didnotneed this now.
“Mum!” I exclaimed as she stuck her head out of the duvet where John was still ‘hiding.’
She stared at me with pleading eyes and pushed John away, “Don’t tell your father, please, Mads.”
“Mum, you’ve got to stop this.”
“It’s only once…”
“No! It’s not Mum! I know about the yoga teacher, about my headmaster, about all the people at your drunken rave parties. Please juststop.”
Blaze started to cry.
I ran out of the room. She called after me, but I was too sad to care. I grabbed Blaze and hugged him so tightly I wasn’t sure if he was still breathing or not.
“Help me.” I whispered in his tiny ear.
At school, Maegan, Taegan and Brittany were the same annoying people they always were.
School just seemed to pass me by today, thinking of Mr. Harris, it made me less communicant by the second. I couldn’t stop thinking about what we had done to him until the thought of my Mum and John in bed entered my mind…that sure got rid of the guilt, I couldn’t get the ugly picture of them together out of my head.
Goddammit why is my Mum such a nasty slut?
I’m going to tell my Dad. I decided.
I’m going to tell him when he gets back. It’s her fault, anyway. It’s not my fault. It’s hers.
But will I just get thrown onto the streets with her? It’s obvious my Dad doesn’t love me too much.
Should I tell him?
Should I not.
I’ll have to toss a coin for this one.
I got home that day, and Dad was sat at the table, eating toast. Mum was perched on his lap. She’d obviously just got out of the shower and was wearing her best pyjamas, because she looked sober and happy. It was sickening.
I stormed in, and threw my bag into the corridor.
“Dad!” I shouted, he didn’t move. “Dad!” I screamed, and pushed Mum out of my way as she came to greet me. “Dad I need to tell you something.”
“Please, Maddy, don’t!” Mum squealed whilst Dad looked at me sternly.
“What is it Madeleine, love?” he said in a monotone,
“Dad.” I said calmly this time, “This!” I pointed at Mum in disgust, “’Wife’ of yours has been, let me put this bluntly, she’s fucking everyone in town!”
“Maddy…” Mum whispered from my side, she put her hand on my shoulder but I shrugged it off.
“No. She isn’t. Why would she be?” he looked angry, “Howdareyou accuse your mother of such a thing! She loves me.” He shouted, his voice was getting louder and scarier by the minute. “Get out.”
I stared at him, he looked back at me, aggressively, “Get the fuck out.” He screamed. I ran. Mum was sobbing into her hands, mascara and eyeliner running down her face.
I wasn’t quite sure what had happened but I ran. I didn’t want to think anymore, so I just kept running. I sprinted down dark alleys, careered round corners and flung myself a cross roads, not bothering to check for traffic. I heard several cars honk their horns as I hurled myself in front of them. Why should I care if I died? I had no idea where I was now and tears were streaming down my face, obscuring my view. I crashed into a lamppost. Touching the throbbing lump appearing on my forehead, I was suddenly aware it had started to rain. At least that would cover up the tears. No-one would know.
I found a close alley and sat down, my face between my knees, replaying what I had said again, and again in my head. Something was wrong. I was trying to stop crying, but I couldn’t. Everything was turning bad before my very own eyes. It was all getting worse by the minute, I couldn’t take it.
I fumbled around in my jacket pocket and found the knife I’d used on Mr. Harris.
This ought to do it, I thought to myself. I could die here and now, no one would care.
No one would miss me.
I took the knife and held it poised over my arm. It gleamed in the night sky, I had started to have second thoughts before I plunged the razor into my arm and slit both my wrists. The blood oozed out rapidly and the pain overwhelmed me, my dingy surroundings were spinning in rapid circles around me and I couldn’t tell which way was up. Sliding down onto the wet pavement I willed death to take me away from the cruel world.
A bright light was in my eyes, I could hardly see.
So this was death, eh? A bright light and blindness. Maybe that’s what I get for killing that Harris guy.
I heard someone speaking; but I couldn’t make out the words. So I’m partially deaf as well as blind. This is going well.
Someone shook me hard, and I entered the real world again. It was Isabel.
She was staring into my eyes, I rolled them, about to say something sarcastic, before she shoved a piece of cream paper in my face.
Am I alive? Or is this all a dream?
Hello there, girls.
You did not disappoint me on the Harris mission. Well done. I had my doubts.
He is the first of my 13 victims. He is number one ticked off your list. It’s going to get harder as well, don’t you worry! It’s all going to get a lot, lot worse.
A bad stunt, you pulled, Madeleine. I can’t have you dying at the start of all of our fun! If you attempt anything as stupid as this again I suppose I’ll have to kill Blaze. Just because of what you did, this person is especially for you.
Charlotte Grant – Address : 24 Royds Street. This time you’re going to have a bit of fun. Why don’t we play a bit of baseball? She won’t be running too far after this game is over. I’m sure you’ll deliver. And if you don’t, then I’m afraid one of you will die. You have until next Saturday.
Good luck. You’ll need it.
A tear escaped my eye.
I didn’t let Isabel see of course.
“Bellsipoops, what is this? Some kind of sick joke?” she looked stricken,
“No! The postman put it through my letterbox this morning. Who’s Charlotte Grant?” she looked at me as if I knew the answer. I did.
“I don’t know.” I lied, “Has my Mum been to visit?”
“No.” hesitating, she looked down at her shoes, “Nor your Dad…” there was an awkward silence for a few moments, “But the letter says it was specially dedicated to you. You must know her!” she exclaimed,
“No, I seriously don’t.” I scowled at her, “I’ve got a headache. Can you leave now please?” I closed my eyes. “What day is it today?”
“Wednesday.” She paused, “As in Wednesday, next week. We’ve got 2 days to do it, before one of us dies.” She sighed and made to leave but changed her mind:
“Oh, and this is for you too.” She shoved another envelope in my face, it was about my dress. Poo.
“Ok. You can leave now.” I said, a bit meanly but what the hell.
Isabel left the ward, leaving the door open behind her. I thought I heard her crying as she walked away down the corridor.
Why does she always cry? Such a baby.
But a nice baby.
I looked at the floor. There was a small bouquet of flowers with a note. I picked it up and saw it had the same handwriting as the letter.
Don’t even think about doing something like that again Maddy. P.S. These are for Charlotte. Give her my love…
I really hate this guy, I thought to myself.
Why not my little cousin, Shannon or her sister Rhiannon?
Why Charlotte Grant?
Charlotte was one of the nicest people I ever knew.
Just sitting in my hospital bed reminded me of her.
I met her about 6 months ago.
We were both in the same ward in the psychiatric unit I’d been taken to for my bulimia and other various mental problems.
She was so nice.
Now I had to kill her.
Now, don’t be hasty. I don’t have to kill her. Merely batter her legs.
Same thing. I’m going to ruin her life, end of story.
She was so nice to me, sitting in the bed next to me. She turned anorexic after her parents split up and tore her life apart, but she was recovering, and we helped each other through. (Well obviously I wasn’t completely cured, stupid awkward, fat, ugly me.)
She told me, one day, “If you tell yourself everyday that you’re beautiful, you are.”
Charlotte helped me live. I owe my life to her. I never saw her again after I’d left the unit, about 4 or 5 months ago. The people in the unit wouldn’t give out email addresses or addresses of the people inside, so we were left alone. I haven’t spoken to her since.
But now… I’m going to see her again.
Only this, I don’t believe, will be a touching reunion like the ones you see in movies.
Hang on! A sneaky though entered my head and I clung to it eagerly.
I’m in hospital.
I’m not going to be out within 2 days. Isabel will have to do this without me. She’ll have to go and break this girl’s legs without me there.
Oh! I’m free! That’s a very large weight lifted from my shoulders, I thought, before I drifted asleep.
I was awoken the next morning by the squeaking of wheels on the lino floor. I peeked up through the sheet and saw a crazy looking woman wheeling me out of the hospital.
“Where are you taking that patient?” I heard a receptionist call out to my right.
“Err…Dr…Jones asked for her to be taken down to the ambulances, he said it’s urgent!” The ‘nurse’ lied smoothly.
“Okay, be quick! I think one is about to leave.” The automatic doors opened and the cart shuddered to a stop. I was dumped behind a shiny silver Volvo.
“Where are you taking me, nurse?”
“I’m breaking you out!”
“Put me back! I don’t like it out here.” I was still unaware who the nurse was.
“Get up for Christ’s sakes, Maddy.” It was Bellsy.
“Bellsipoops! What are you doing? I don’t want to kill anyone… Take me back inside!” I stood up, getting up off the hospital bed and walking back to the ward swiftly.
“You idiot we’ve got to attack Charlotte, whoever she is!”
“No, I’m not. I’m ‘ill’ remember? I’m going to be tucked up in my nice hospital bed watching crappy morning TV and playing dead, while nurses spoon horrible jelly into my mouth and tell me everything is going to be all right.”
“So you know what it’s like in hospital then?” Isabel queried,
“No I don’t. Shut up.”
There was a silence.
“Well if this is all the intelligent conversation I’m going to have, I’m going back to playing dead. Go away.”
“We’ve got one day to get this stupid girl. And you’re going to help me whether you like it or not.” Isabel grabbed my arm and passed me a bag of clothes. “They’re my Mum’s. They should fit you.”
I picked up the blouse. “It looks like my Nan’s carpet.”
“Would you rather wear your backless hospital gown?” She giggled
I shot her a look but did notice that it was feeling rather drafty back there. I backed up against the car self consciously. “What are these?!” I picked up the trousers. “Are you sure someone didn’t sneeze on these trousers?”
“What do you mean?” She was still giggling
“Comeon! They’re bright green! The colour of those fluorescent jackets builders wear. I’m not putting this on.” I scowled at the hideous trousers before me.
“Come on Maddy. Pretty please?” Her big eyes started to go all teary and she pouted her bottom lip in an annoying fashion.
“Oh no you do not!” I stared at her, “You look like a cat that’s been run over.”
“Thanks for the compliment.” She sobbed,
“Don’t you run away!” I shouted. She started running. Big surprise. Luckily I had a lime green pair of trousers in my hand. I threw them expertly and they landed on her head. She kept running like a headless chicken before crashing into a car and going splat on the floor.
“Oops.” I whistled nonchalantly and went over to pick her up. “You are an absolute tosser, you know that?”
“Ssh, and help me! We have to go to the sports shop in town.” She whispered, passing me the trousers. “Put these on!”
“Ugh, fine.” I consented.
We left the wheelie bed behind the Volvo and started on the long trek into town. We had no idea of bus times so we were left with no choice but to walk all the way. I looked like a traffic light on acid. Fabulous.
It was quite a nice day, spots of sunshine and no rain. Good for England, really. We finally got to the centre of the town, and saw the sports shop. Thankfully, it was open.
After we had got lost between swimwear and sports bras, we made it to the part of the store namedEquipment, and started arguing about something stupid. Again.
This was something that should be on Jeremy Kyle, not in my life.
Two messed up teenagers arguing in a department store.
Yes, not very cool.
I saw Brittany with her Mum across the store, looking at inappropriate bikinis, and holding them up against each other. “Get down!” I whispered harshly, yanking Isabel down underneath the vast selection of tennis rackets.
“What?” Isabel stared at me,
“Nothing, we just need to talk in, um, private. Who’s going to ask about the baseball bat?” I untangled a shuttlecock that had fallen into my mess of hair.
“Well, not me.” Isabel said firmly,
“Look! I can’t go! I’m mentally unstable!” I showed her my hospital wristband. It said exactly that.
“But I’m too shy!” she hissed furiously,
“I can’t go! You have to. Please? I chopped that guys ears off for you!” I insisted. She finally gave in and stood up, attempting to look casual. Ha. Yeah, right.
I could see her shaking as she poked the tall, handsome shop assistant on the arm.
“Can I help you?” he said in a matter-of-fact way.
“Yes…” she hesitated momentarily, before carrying on, stuttering slightly, “W-where are your b-baseball…baseball…” she paused, “Baseball bats?”
“What type do you want?”
She stared at him and got confused, “A t-type good for breaking p-people’s legs.” She laughed nervously, trying to giggle off the embarrassment. I was shuddering with humiliation in my lime green trousers.
“Breaking people’s legs?” he frowned, but thought she was joking, and showed her to the small selection of baseball bats.
I was so glad she was far away so I couldn’t hear what she said next.
All I know it was bad. The shopkeeper looked taken aback and just sold her the bat without saying another word. She scurried towards me.
“I did it!”
“Yes, but you looked like a total twat.”
“Did I deliver, or did I not?” she smiled triumphantly,
“Yes you delivered like a prat.” I sighed and stood up. Brittany was over at the counter, paying for a hideous leopard print bikini with a thong, taking out her purse and a large wad of notes, as the shop assistant happily placed it into a bag with the store logo on.
I shivered before running downstairs after Isabel.
“Where are we going?” I looked around, “24 Royds Street is that way.” I indicated over to my left.
“We have to make a little stop first.” Isabel began running with baseball bat in hand, looking slightly like a delusional retard, towards her house.
We skidded to a stop at her door, and she flung it open, hiding the baseball bat behind her back. Her mother stood there in her dressing gown holding a cup of coffee. “Where have you been, Bells, darling?”
“This is my new friend, Maddy.”
“A friend! Wow! Hi there, Isabel’s friendsy-Wendy!” her Mum bellowed for the whole house to hear. It was somewhat disconcerting if you ask me.
“Err, hi, Mrs. Sykes.” I stammered, “How are you?”
“Enough with that!” Isabel demanded, “Mummy have you got any costumes for Georgina’s dress-up party that I told you about?”
Bellsipoops’s Mum lead us into the living room where there was a bag waiting on the sofa.
“Funnily enough darling, I bought them today. I was in the store not looking for anything in particular and there the adorable things were. Half price!”
“Oh, Mummy! You must stop buying so many costumes!” Isabel giggled,
“Oh, hosh tosh!” Mrs. Sykes chortled, I wanted to leave. Immediately. These people were starting to scare me. I stood up and indicated to Isabel that we were going to leave. Now.
“Thanks Mrs. Sykes.” I took up the bag and we headed for the door without looking inside.
We were running. And I was hungry. “Bellsipoops, darling, can’t you let us stop for a quick bite to eat. I’m ravenous.” I held my stomach in anguish.
She paused, and sighed, “Fine!”
We stopped at a small shop that hadONLY 2 SCHOOLCHILDREN AT ONCE!Written on the front door in pen. I went inside, browsing the sweets counter.
I was hungry, but everything here… I wouldn’t be able to eat. It was too… fattening and horrible. I couldn’t face it.
After half an hour, and a kick from Isabel, I settled on a chocolate bar. Chocolate or crisps, that was the selection I had to choose from. Chocolate is much easier to purge anyway.
We sat at a greasy corner table as far away from the window as possible and Isabel drummed her fingers impatiently on the table while I ate. The baseball bat, to my utter amusement, was wedged up her skirt, the disguises still in the bag under the table.
“I’m going to need to go to the bathroom before we leave.” I said, finishing the chocolate bar and feeling sick already.
“Great idea! We can change into our disguises there.” She picked up the bag and headed for the loos but I caught up with her.
“Actually I kind of wanted to go…alone? I don’t like people watching me. You know?” I hesitated, and she looked at me,
“No!” she sighed, “ComeonI’m not as stupid as I look.”
“What do you mean?” I asked innocently. I knew exactly what she was talking about.
“You paid for that chocolate bar! There’s no point wasting it!” she smiled, ‘Think of all the poor kids in Africa.”
“I seriously have more things on my mind right now than kids in Africa.” I ran to the toilets before she could stop me.
I came out of the toilets to an angry Isabel. I still had some mints on me, so I quickly popped one into my mouth and grinned guiltily.Shut up, why should you feel guilty? It’s not your fault your life isn’t as perfect as hers…
“I feel a bit ill. Nothing’s wrong with me, obviously.”
She stared at me in disappointment, and tutted, shaking her head as she took one of the disguises out of the bag. I almost screamed. A mutant furry monster was emerging from the plastic Sainsbury’s bag. It was a cuddly bear costume. Yes. You heard me.
“What the actualfuck!” I shouted, causing the shop keeper to look angrily in my direction. “I’m not dressing up as a fucking teddy bear!”
“Oh, come on!” she looked embarrassed, her cheeks flamed the colour of blood. How ironic, eh?
I took the stupid costume and changed in the tiny, smelly, bathroom. Thankfully, this costume had a mask, well a teddy bear head, so not a single person could recognise me behind all this material. I looked in the mirror, and a furry monster stared back at me in disgust.
I just laughed when Isabel came out. I was obviously the male teddy bear; she was the female teddy bear wearing a spotty red ‘bikini’. Thank God for my bear waistcoat.
“Div.” I sniggered. We left the shop as quickly as possible, trying not to draw attention to ourselves. The shop keeper looked up from his book, sniggered, and then carried on reading. Isabel passed me the baseball bat after leaving the cafe. I was reluctant to take it, knowing where it had been, but we had a job to do...
Number 24 Royds Street was an average house, a potted plant in the window, curtains neatly drawn back and the lawn obviously, freshly cut. The smell of grass was in the air and it was starting to get dark, and cold; but I had my costume, so I was fine.
“A bit cold in your bikini, there, Bellsy?” I laughed, she didn’t respond. All I hoped was that no one else was home apart from Charlotte, so they didn’t find two teddy bears attacking their daughter or sister.
I looked in the window. Charlotte was sat there laughing, watching TV. No one else was in.
I suddenly felt sick again.
“Come on then! Neither of us knows her. Just break her legs, for crying out loud!” Isabel muffled voice was breaking through the material of her bear costume, the head of which was turned toward me. The words she was saying sounded strange coming from the big smiley mouth painted on the bear’s face.
“I do know her.” I whimpered. I had to tell her everything. The bear looked back at me in disbelief after telling her the story of Charlotte and me.
I refused to go into the house and sat on the doorstep in a confused heap instead.
Isabel rung the doorbell repeatedly until Charlotte, herself, opened the door.
“What do you…” she barely had time to look utterly bewildered before Isabel was rugby tackling her down to the floor. This was an odd scene: a teddy bear in a bikini attempting to break an innocent girl’s legs.
It was like something from a Stephen King book.
“Get the bat!” Isabel’s barely audible voice screamed from the mutant costume.
“Fine, fine!” I coughed, and picked up the bat. Jumping up from the doorstep, I approached Charlotte, who was struggling to heave the enormous bear off her chest. I raised the bat above my head before bringing it down with a deafening smack. She screamed in pain and I winced. “I can’t! You do it!”
“At least pin her down for me.” Isabel choked. I grabbed Charlotte by the arms, and the bikini bear stood on both of her legs, and started attacking them.
Scream after scream after scream. It was petrifying. She was in so much pain it was unbearable. I started crying, and Isabel showed no sign of stopping, even though her legs were obviously past broken. You could see some of the bones sticking out from places I knew from biology they weren’t meant to be.
“STOP! “ I screamed, the whole house shook.
“What? Oh sorry I was closing my eyes the whole time.” Isabel stood back and took off her head. Charlotte was unconscious now so between us, we dragged her into a sitting position in an armchair and turned up SpongeBob on the TV.
“There.” Isabel looked down and admired her work. “We could have never been here.”
“Yes, apart from the fact she’s unconscious and her legs have been beaten to a bloody pulp.” Isabel ignored my sarcasm, and got out a list. It was a small folded piece of paper, and it had 13 bullet points on. The first readMr. Rue Harris.There was a tick after his name.
The second readCharlotte Grant. She ticked off her name, as well.
“This is sick.” I croaked and my voice began to falter. That’s when Isabel started crying.
“We’re in this together now. Aren’t we?” She whimpered and took my hand. I didn’t pull away.
“Yes. Only if…” I began
There was a pause.
“If you let me sort out the disguises next time.”
She nodded, and I left. Left her to clean up the mess. I reached into my bear suit pocket, and took out the small bouquet, laying it gently in Charlotte’s hand before I ran out the door. Isabel could easily clean all this up.
After all, she’d left me to clean up Mr. Harris last time.
Our second victim.
We were practically trained assassins now.
I caught the bus to the hospital after changing into my gorgeous lime green trousers and my carpet blouse. The nurses back at the hospital were understandably wondering where I was. School girl who almost kills herself, gone missing? That doesnotlook good, and certainly doesn’t give the hospital a good reputation.
I returned to my ward after half an hour of confused wandering around bleak looking corridors, and sat comfortably on my bed. There was a handsome man sitting on a chair in the corner. He was the kind of man from a film. I like films.
“Hi.” He smiled at me, his voice was like honey.
“Err… hi.” I smiled back.
“Where have you been? The nurses have been searching for you all day.”
“I just went out.” I crossed my legs, and tried to look sexy in my lime green pants. Not happening.
“Well, I guess seeing as you didn’t try and kill yourself we can have you transferred as an outpatient.” He started rambling on about hospitals and how I shouldn’t do that. I really just was listening to his voice; I didn’t care about the words.
“What’s your name, anyway?”
“Dean.” He said, and left me sitting there in a daze.