Month: March 2015

Those American Lads

Oh yes, I remember those two lads, American they were, came up this way a few weeks back. Came in here for a hot drink, door flew open, letting all the warmth out and in they came. One in a red padded coat and the other in green, both carrying these huge backpacks on their backs. They saw an empty table in the corner and both sat down.

I went on over to them to see what I could get them. I felt sorry for them as they were both obviously cold and wanted something hot inside them. After playing them up and telling them…

“We sell spirits and beers, if it’s something hot you want then you can have tea…”

“Then you have tea?” was their reply.

“No, but I can make some for you, if you like.”

After a resounding “yes, please” from both of them I went off to get them their order.

Slowly the talking had resumed in the pub and the two lads were getting so many looks from my regulars. Now my regulars are good men but do not like change and really don’t like strangers. There is a reason for this and it has to do with the secret that we all keep.

I could see the two lads quietly talking as I returned to their table with tea in my pretty china teapot and cups and saucers on a tray. They seemed to be entranced by our five-pointed star that we have on our wall over there, we like to light candles for it every night.

“Remember the Alamo,” the first lad mutters (I now know his name was Jack)

“Oh, he was just joking,” said the other lad (this one was called David)

“Joking! I remember the Alamo, I saw it once in London, in Leicester Square!”

The Americans looked bemused at my comment until one of my regulars piped up and explained that I meant I had had seen it at the cinema, that film with John Wayne.

Well this lightens the mood and a joke is shared in the pub…but then Jack asked that question, the one we never like to answer.

“What’s that star on the wall for?”

The pub went deathly silent and our champion dart player even missed the board!

What came after was terrible, the lads were made to feel so unwelcome that they got up and left and on a full moon as well! I tried to get them to stay even put my neck out and told the room that we can’t let them leave. But leave they did and what came next was a tragedy.

I feel this guilt so deep within me, I should have stopped them, tried harder, something but peer pressure is such a difficult thing to stand up to. Time passed and I repeated that we can’t let them leave as we all knew how dangerous it was out there tonight, what with the moon full.

A heated debate then started about how we can’t let the world know our business, it has been our secret to keep for over 100 years and it needs to stay in East Proctor. Then it started to rain, I could hear it pattering the roof of the Slaughtered Lamb Pub. I prayed they would be safe in the rain, we all just sat there waiting for the howling to start, as we all knew it would. Every full moon our tiny village hides away and we all know to keep clear of the moors but those lads were headstrong and I knew didn’t heed our warnings. They probably thought we were old superstitious fools, if only we were!

The howls were getting higher in their intensity, I looked around the pub and implored the,

“We must go to them!”

“I heard nothing.”

“Nor I.”

I pleaded some more that those young lads needed us and it was time to make a stand and not cower and finally it got through. The men grabbed their rifles from their cars, (we all carry them in East Proctor) and out into the night we went.

The men wanted me to stay behind but I promised to stay at the back but no way was I missing this, finally we were going to save those poor unsuspecting Americans. We followed the sound of the howling but sadly we were too late. Jack was on the floor and he had been partially eaten, his jacket was ripped to shreds and his insides were on the outside and steaming in the cold night air. The werewolf was not finished yet though and had gone after David. It knocked him to the floor and bit and slashed at him. That was when we shot it, right through the heart. The creature toppled off David and fell onto it’s back.

I had never seen a transformation before but it was quick and the next thing I knew there was a naked man lying on the ground with a bullet hole through him. I wanted to be sick but I knew we had to act fast as this was not the only creature out there on the moors, so the men picked up David and carried him back to the Slaughtered Lamb and we called the local police.

Now they are obviously in on the village secret and we concocted a story about and escaped lunatic attacking the lads, we cleaned and dressed the wounds so that it wouldn’t look like an animal attack and the boy was shipped off to a posh London hospital.

Now the last I heard was that he had woken up from his coma, learned his friend was dead but was doing well, apart from his vivid dreams that is. Thats part of it you see, he’s going to change. The full moon is coming up in a few days and it’s going to be become a nightmare for that poor lad.

This secret that we all share is unbelievable, I know that. When I say that we have werewolves living in East Proctor and that they change every full moon and prowl the moors you will think I am crazy and that’s okay too. I am asking you to believe a story with absolutely no proof to back it up…but just wait a few more days and keep your eyes on the London news and I think I may make a believer out of you yet…

It’s in the stars

She sat there
Without a care
All alone
Without her phone
Gazing into the sky above
Thinking about her long lost love
Wanting, needing those arms around her
Now her future is just a blur
She needs a goal
Someone to hold
A lover she can ensnare
A person who will care
Who has the same tastes as she
She wonders who it could be
Could it be him?
But is he too slim?
Could he handle the pain?
Before he is slain
Then discarded in water
Maybe he should be shorter?
She must be clever
He will be missed forever
She mustn’t be caught
She’ll never be brought
Before a room of her peers
And sentenced to years
That is not in the stars above
After all she only does it for love

Alicia Darby

The Daily Grind

I sit and stare at the screen, almost daring it to crash on me, anything to make the time go faster so that I can leave this daily grind and go home or anywhere but here. I look up and around me and see everyone else in the same rut as me, casting furtive glances at the clock that hangs above us all, taunting us second by second as the hands slowly click on and on and on…

I twist my wrist around so that I can see my watch, just to make sure that the times are in sync, and unfortunately they are! My fingers start tapping at the keys on the keyboard as I try to finish my work. My mind starts to wonder away, concentration is all but lost to the forbidden dreams swirling around in my brain. I hear that voice, the one that tells me things, to do things and talks about the people around me, people I know, people that I don’t. My fingers continue to type but I begin to listen.

The murmurs get louder and my fingers type faster. I look around me at the drones, all sitting at their desks like me. Are they listening to their own inner voices too? I glance at Nancy at the next table, her fingers are flying over the keys but I can see her nodding away to some invisible voice and every so often a happy sigh emerges from her lips. I look to my other side and there sits Chris, he too is working away but he seems to be lost as I see tears running down his face and he is slowly shaking his head in denial.

My focus returns to the voice and I finally begin to understand what it wants me to do. I can see it is just and this is what I have wanted to do for years but never found the courage.

“You know the time has come, throw off this oppression and seize the day. Go to the kitchen, as if you just need a drink and go to the first drawer with the knives in it. Open it and you will find what you seek…”

I stand at my desk and stretch my arms above my head, no one is taking any notice of me, they are all stuck in their own worlds of endless boredom and tedious work. I push back my chair with the backs of my legs and walk away from my desk. I go to the kitchen, just as instructed and go to the drawer, the one that holds my salvation. I look inside and see that it is packed full of sharp butcher knives. I look around me and see a bag hanging on the back of the kitchen door, I grab it and unceremoniously dump the contents of it on the floor. I step back to the drawer and grab all the implements in it and fill my bag. I pick it back up and I can hear the musical chimes of all the knives that I have collected. I leave the kitchen and go back to the office.

At the doorway I stop and really look at everyone. I see sadness, despair but no hope on any of the faces. I drop the bag to the floor and everyone in the room turns and looks at me. I bend down and take out one of the kitchen knives. I brandish it above my head and my intention becomes clear to everyone in the room. They all push back their chairs and come to me as I pass out a weapon to each of them. There must be 30 of us all stood silently in the middle of the room and we all want to end this endless torture. It must end today, the voices that we have all been listening to tell us this and I DO believe that soothing voice.

I look at everyone around me and I feel so proud that we are a team, isn’t that what this company wanted us to be anyway, a team? I take a step towards to boardroom where a meeting of all the top directors and managers and even the team leaders is taking place. There have been rumours of the company closing its doors forever, huge payoffs for higher end staff and nothing for us, the backbone of the company, the people that have kept it running and making money for all these years. It was time to make our voices heard, above the corporate greed and uncaring.

As a group, we all silently advanced to that boardroom. All that could be heard was the soft shuffling of our shoes on the thick carpet. We reached the door but it was myself that pushed my hand forward and twisted that door handle. As the door opened we could all hear laughing going on as they ate from the luxury buffet that had been delivered earlier. They hadn’t noticed the intrusion yet and were talking as if their privacy was assured.

“Don’t worry, our own bonuses and redundancy packages are assured, trust me none of us will be hurting after we close this place…”

Finally, as I entered the room, the board members all turned to face us. The puzzlement was evident on the faces all around that huge oak table. Inwardly I was smiling but on the outside all they could see was rage. I was so angry, I wanted to vent my wrath on everyone around that table. How dare they give themselves huge payouts and forget us, the workers. Without us they wouldn’t get any money, didn’t they understand that? Well it was time to make them understand!

I stepped over to the Managing Director of the company and leant forward so I could talk to him face to face.

“Do you know who I am?” he looked at me blankly, with a pathetic dumb look on his face, “well, do you? I repeated.

He shook his head at me as speech seemed to have deserted him as all he could see was the huge knife I was waving in front of his face.

“I am your judgement, I am our salvation,” I waved my blade around me to include all my fellow workers “and it is time to pay the price…”

I slashed forward and sliced him across the face, opening his mouth up into a huge rictus of a smile. His hands shot up to try and keep his face together but it was a loosing battle as blood ran in rivers through his fingers. I thrust my blade forward again and parted the flesh of his neck. His eyes began to roll back into his head and the glorious flow of his lifeblood splashed me across the face. I blinked the blood from my eyes and turned to see what my fellow team were doing. All around me blades glinted as they sliced, slashed and diced the board members. I could hear death rattles and gasping from the fallen upper management. The attack had come so swiftly that most of them had not even been able to rise from their reclining chairs. The walls dripped blood from spurting arteries.

The deed was done, only one thing left now and we all knew our final grisly task. Each of us took a body and separated the head from the rest of it. This was no easy task, let me tell you. I had to saw through tissue and muscle and ligaments, tubes and other unmentionables. The hardest to get through was the bone, I jiggled the knife between the bones and slowly shifted the vertebrae until I could separate the two parts.

I held my trophy aloft and looked around me at my fellow workers, who all held their own trophies. At this moment we were the greatest team, we all had each others backs and would die and kill for each other. I felt pride that I was able to be included in this monumental uprising and I could feel the gore dripping from my body and knew everyone must be feeling the same thing.

As one we all threw our knives to the carpet, threw the severed heads onto the boardroom table and turned and exited the slaughter house.