Just One Of Those Days (1353 words)

(Warning: very bad language, violence)

 

The old man’s flat already smells like someone has died there. The stench of rotting flesh comes mostly from the overflowing kitchen waste bin, Mylo can see from the doorway, although he thinks the white pus oozing from the ulcers on the old codgers skinny white legs play their part.

“Not seen you before,” the old bastard says, wearing nothing but a knee high dressing pink gown.  “Where’s Jeanette? I thought it was Jeanette’s day. I like Jeanette,” he peers into Mylo’s face. “You’re not foriegn are you?”

Mylo smiles his best reassuring I’m-not-here-to-rob-and-murder-you smile. “No mate, British, through and through, me.”

“You speak funny,” the old man says. Clearly he is unconvinced.

“I’m from the Midlands,” Mylo says, pushing past the old twat, with his leather bag and his smile still fixed to his face.

“That’ll be it.”

Mylo had canceled the real nurse, of course.  He had phoned up and pretended to be the old git’s nephew: his only living relative, or at least the only one that gave half a crap about the old sack of bones. Research and planning is key to not getting caught – that and moving about, changing your M.O. and not leaving D.N.A. lying about (Mylo watches a lot of crime series on the telly). After the early afternoon nurse visit, there are no other visits planned for the day, not until teatime when his nephew will pop around for half an hour.  Plenty of time to kick the crap out of this duffer, rob the place and leave.

Mylo doesn’t always resort to violence, and has only killed a handful of his previous victims, although he admits that the urge to finish the job is stronger, each time. He never hurts women, of course. That’s wrong. It is against Mylo’s Code. Apart from that one time, but that wasn’t his fault. That dirty old bastard in Crewe had a bird, from the care home round the corner, in bed upstairs, he didn’t know about. It was unforeseen. It wasn’t Mylo’s fault. After he’d finished with the old boy he’d found her in bed, clutching her duvet to her neck, like it was some kind of fucking magic shield. He could smell that she had shat herself –  a common enough occurrence in Mylo’s line of work. He’d had to smother her with a pillow when she started screaming. It was just one of those days.

No, Mylo doesn’t alway hurt them, the old fellas. Sometimes he just scared them witless. But this one has it coming. He reminds Mylo of his grandad. Has the same sneer-for-a-smile. The same mean glint in his eye.

Mylo waits in the hallway, by the kitchenette with it’s vile stinking bin, for the old man to lock the front door. He notes the keys are left in the lock. He lets the old man lead him into what might be called the living room. Dying room, more like. Mylo stifles a giggle. It’s like any one of the fifty or more other places he’s robbed, up and down the country. A TV stands pride of place, next to the heavily curtained window. Even though it’s lunchtime, and the sun is shining brightly outside, the curtains are drawn. The room is brightly lit from a single bulb suspended from a cord in the ceiling. Facing the telly is one brown chair abused with the stains of TV dinners, and next to it a sofa, that might once have been cream-coloured. On the mantlepiece are three photos: one, Mylo recognises from his research, is of his nephew with a girl, not bad looking, but not a stunner, neither; another is an old picture of some woman, presumably his dead wife,  and the third is of the old geezer, younger though, much younger, with some other bloke. They look like old time East End gangsters. Next to the photos are three urns. So, there are at least three dead people in the room. Well, let’s make it four.

Mylo is wearing gloves – part of the uniform of a community nurse – so he doesn’t have to worry about leaving prints anywhere. Not that he has any desire to touch the filthy surfaces. Mylo can’t believe how some people live, although he is no longer surprised that people who live like dirty pigs have large amounts of cash hidden about their stys.

Mylo lets the old fucker sit down, as he’ll be more vulnerable (most of these old twats take five minutes to get out of their chairs at the best times) before opening his bag. Inside are the tools of his trade. Not the usual tools you’d expect to see in a nurses bag, of course. Obviously, there’s Nelly – his favourite knuckle duster – sitting on top of an old sock with a pool ball in it (his lucky number eight). There is also a crow bar and bolt cutters.  He lets his fingers walk over the various objects – eeny meeny miny moe – and then settles on the sock eightball combo, which he swings out of the bag and smacks the old bastard in the side of the mouth. Blood sprays over the already filthy furniture and something falls out of the old man’s head. Dentures. They glisten with red-tinged saliva.

“Right you old cunt,” Mylo says, pushing his face as close as he can get to the old bastard’s without actually touching the fucker. He tries not to breath in the old man’s stench. His voice is soft and clear. “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way.” It’s a cliché, but Mylo likes it. It gives them the illusion that there will be an easy way.

“What?” the old man says, through his damaged lips. “Speak up, young man, speak up.” His hearing aid has popped out of his ear, probably with the force of the blow.

Mylo tries again. “Tell me where you hide your fucking money!” he yells into the wax encrusted earhole. He stands back and looks at the old man as he pulls Nelly out of his bag of tricks and on to his fist, ripping the glove as he does so. Bollocks. The old git doesn’t seem to be as scared as he should be so Mylo gives him a clout. Nelly makes contact with his nose. There is the satisfying sound of the crunch of cartilage. More blood.

Mylo has to hit the old bastard three more times before he whispers, “Ashes,”. His eyes, surrounded by blue swollen flesh are looking in the direction of the mantelpiece. Mylo stands up and looks at the urns. One of them, the big one in the centre does look a bit different, now he looks at it more closely. Bigger than the other two. Christ, they hide their money in all sorts of places these days. Mylo remembers that old boy, in Margate, who had a roll of fifties stuffed inside a hollowed out dildo). Mylo smiles and peers at the urn. It has a small round hole near the top, something glints within.  Mylo turns around when he hears the old man laughing.

“Smile,” the old tosser says, his mouth a smear of red on his wrinkled face. “You’re on Candid Camera.” He chuckles. “You’ve been framed, arsehole.”

Mylo turns back to the urn and pulls off the top. Sure enough there is a camera and what looks like bits of a phone, including a SIM. An LED flashes until Mylo pulls the cable from the battery. The bottom half is full of ashes. The old bastard has a fucking Granny Cam.

“While you stand there gawping like an arsehole on poppers, my nephew’ll be sending pictures of your ugly face to the coppers, you young twat,” the old man says, from the chair. “So the question is, who’ll find you first? The pigs, or my old mates? ‘Cos you’d better hope it’s not my friends. Now, fuck off out of my house.”

 

The sound of the old man’s crusty laugh follows Mylo, as he fumbles with the keys. Unlocking the door, he leaves.

 

 

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Ten Minutes Later (393 words)

Tick…

Tock.

Tick…

Tock.

Tick…

The sound, regular and clock-like, was comforting: something to focus on, while she tried to work out what the hell had just happened.

Tock.

She blinked.

Tick…

And blinked again in an attempt to clear her eyes of the sticky substance that ran into them.

Tock.

The liquid – her blood, she guessed – began to run out of her eyes, up her forehead, and into her hair (making a mockery of the two and a half hours – and several hundred dollars – she had spent, in the hair salon, this afternoon).

Tick…

Her vision began to clear, along with some confusion. She was upside down.

Tock.

She was in her car, held to her seat by the belt.

Tick…

She blinked again, and was able to focus.

Tock.

The time on the dashboard clock was 00.05

Tick…

Ten minutes had elapsed since they had said their goodbyes.

Tock.

Or, rather, since he had said goodbye – even offering her one last goodbye hug forgodzake – and she had screamed: spitting hate and saliva, into his startled face.

Tick…

She remembered slamming the car door so hard she thought the glass would break.

Tock.

She remembered the squeal of her tires and the smell of rubber. The car driven by her anger, by her hate.

Tick…

She remembered glancing at her phone when it beeped.

Tock.

She remembered seeing he had texted, she remembered throwing the phone against the dash,  she remembered trying to retrieve it from the floor. She remembered looking up to see a transmission tower where it shouldn’t be.

Tick…

She realised she didn’t feel hate anymore. Nor anger, nor pain neither.

Tock.

She didn’t feel anything.

Tick…

No feeling in her legs. Nor arms.

Tock.

What was that noise?

Tick…

It reminded her not so much of a clock, now she was properly listening to it. It was too…

Tock.

… irregular. No. It reminded her of the time she’d had a leak in the basement pipe: that drip-dripperty-drip onto the metal shelf beneath.

Tick…

There was a smell. Familiar.

Tock.

Gasoline, she thought. And what was that other noise?

Tick…

A cracking sound, like a whip.

Tock.

No, it was more electrical.

Tick…

She had just enough time before the explosion to wish she had taken the hug, when it was offered at five minutes to midnight.

 

 

This story was written to the theme of “Five Minutes To Midnight”. An audio version of this story can be found here

 

Magda McFarlin (part three)

The Magda McFarlin posts are written by Bruce Arbuckle, posting as BritInFrance, on the RPG Project Zero on writingforums.org

Click here to read Part One

Made up of several short posts, the quotes in bold are written by other writers. * indicates the end of each individual post.

_____________________________

Magda saw the look in the general’s eyes as she approached. He looked enthusiastic.

“Yes, how can i help you?” he said in a rough voice. He had been drinking, she could smell it on his breath.

“General, Magda McFarlin,” she said, saluting him. “I see you’re looking for volunteers, Sir. I was up here on a hunting holiday, and wondered if I could be of assistance? I was due to meet my cousin. But he hasn’t shown up. Maybe, you know him. Joe Kirk: he works up at the military base.” Magda thought she saw something flicker across the general’s face, at the mention of Joe’s name.

*

Summary of others posts: The general has told Magda that Joe has gone missing, that he has been taken alive. Another person has joined the group. The general has shown the group a deep wound from the escaped creature. He has also claimed the government have spent several billion dollars preparing the creature for war. He tells the group the best thing to do is to head for the Military Base.

Magda kept pace with the general as the group headed out of the town. She was confused, and not a little alarmed. Since when did the military start recruiting like this? This general was a little bit free with secrets, too. Like he didn’t expect anyone to be around to give anything away at the end. Was he really organizing a hunt, or was he planning to use this group as bait? She cleared her throat.

“Sir,” she said. “What exactly happened up there? I mean, where are all the soldiers, the reinforcements, helicopters and the like? Why are you recruiting,” she looked around at the others. “No offence to you guys: I’m sure you’re very skilled,” she looked back up at the general. “A bunch of amateurs to do the job of a trained unit?”

*

Magda thought for a moment, the general hadn’t heard her. She was about to repeat her question, when he spoke.

“McFarlin, there are two things that can disable a well-armed unit. And those things are a loss of morality, and a lack of numbers. Every man that has gone out alone to try and catch this thing has vanished. With no one else to try and recruit and the rest of my men scared as rabbits, where do you think that leaves me?”

Jesus, this guy was madder than she thought. Did he have no control over his men? She looked around at the rest of the group, to see if anyone else could see how close to the edge he was. They all avoided eye contact. Perhaps it was better to quit, while she was ahead. Perhaps this guy wasn’t even in charge – perhaps he was an escaped nut-job.

Magda was about to run when the general made a noise. A hiss like a snake being run over by a punctured tire. She followed the general’s eyes. The bloodied carcass of an animal – a deer – hung from the trees. Blood dripped down onto the white snow. Magda saw the creatures head, a few feet away.

“Bloody hell,” she said.

*

Magda checked the two hand guns she had under her jacket in the twin shoulder holder. Looking around her, she swung her rucksack off her back and removed two more clips of ammo, and the thermal imaging scope. She slipped them into concealed pockets, in her specially designed jacket. She put the rucksack on, checking it did not impede access to her weapons.

“Well, General,” she said. “It seems your expensive pet is around here somewhere. Maybe he just has an aversion to Bambi’s head remaining attached to its body, but my guess is that your missing men haven’t been asked round for a cup of tea and a friendly game of Scrabble.” Magda looked around at the others, “Any of you guys good at tracking animals?”

*

“I have tracked animals before.”

Magda turned to see a teenager dressed in a camouflage jacket and a hat. She signaled for him to come over to join her.

“You ever seen an animal that makes tracks like that, kid?” she said. She pointed out the claw marks in the tree and the snow. “I can’t tell which direction it went in, but maybe you can. By the look of that deer, it was here recently.” She looked around at the others and gestured at the youth. “Unless anyone has any better ideas, I suggest we follow this guy.”

*

Magda followed the young man. She couldn’t see any tracks in the snow, but he seemed to know where he was going. She looked behind her. The general had dropped back. He drew his weapon. He muttered something to himself, but she couldn’t hear a word above the noise of snow being crushed under foot. She really didn’t trust this guy.

A roar, snapped Magda’s head around. Something dropped from the trees, in front of her. She gasped and instinctively drew both her handguns. She crouched to the floor, and took aim. What the hell was that thing?

She couldn’t get a clean shot. The boy stood in the way.

“Jump!” she thought, her finger on the trigger, as the creature’s tail swung round towards the youth.

*

Magda was surprised at the boys speed. He jumped out of the way and shot at the beast before she could fire a round.

“It’s imprinted on us damn it -shoulda hit it in the eye like i wanted to. Damn you Doc -why make something like this that can turn against you?”

The dragon-thing took hold of the boy. It steped right over Magda. She thought she saw something in it’s eye when it saw her weapon.

It’s eye. Perhaps the general wasn’t so useless, after all.

Magda took aim at the reptile-like eyes and pressed the trigger.

*

Please read the whole story here: http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=58906

Magda McFarlin (part two)

The Magda McFarlin posts are written by Bruce Arbuckle, posting as BritInFrance, on the RPG Project Zero on writingforums.org

Click here to read Part One

Magda turned away from the notice and almost collided with someone. A young man, in his early twenties, was standing beside her, reading the notice.

“Excuse me,” she said. He looked up. He had a strange facial expression. Magda had seen something like it once before. In Afghanistan, when visiting one of her colleagues in hospital. The man in the next bed had had the same wild stare as this guy. A mixture of determination, satisfaction, and… hunger. It had scared her. And she wasn’t easily spooked.

The door of the bar, across the road opened, drawing her attention away from the strange young man. The military guy walked out. A General, if she was not mistaken. She saw him remove his weapon as the door closed behind him. There was a flash of something green – a trick of the light? – and then he closed the barrel and the gun was back in his holster.

She weighed up her options: follow him, or introduce herself? Their eyes made contact, as he glanced over to the notice board. Her decision was made. She cleared her throat, and crossed the street, aware of the eyes of the man by the Town Hall burning into her back as she did so.

“Excuse me, Sir?” Magda said.

To read the next instalment click here

Please read the whole story here: http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=58906

Magda McFarlin (part one)

The Magda McFarlin posts are written by Bruce Arbuckle, posting as BritInFrance, on the RPG Project Zero on writingforums.org

Something has escaped from a Military Base in Colorado. The nearby town of SnowPeak has been isolated. Magda (formerly in the British Army, currently employed in a private security firm) has received worrying emails from a former colleague. After loosing contact she makes her way to the town.

Magda McFarlin (posted 9th January 2013)

Magda sat on the edge of the bed, wondering how it could be colder than in the forest. SnowPeak was as she had expected: a small town, covered in snow with locals making her feel as welcome a syphilis in a brothel. There was just one motel in town. She had checked. Twice. It was dirty and uncared on the outside. To the owner’s credit he had tried his hardest to keep the same theme throughout his establishment. And, as she saw, when he eventually came to the desk, he had extended this to his personal appearance.

“You a reporter?” he said, after she had asked for a single room for a week.

“No,” she said. “Why?”

He gestured to the TV on the desk behind him. It was tuned to a local channel, there was a reporter standing in the snow in front of a roadblock. The sound was turned down, but the headline read “Bigfoot on the loose in SnowPeak?”.

“Na, didn’t think so,” the man said scratching his backside, before reaching round and plucking a key from a hook, behind him. “You ain’t pretty enough to be a reporter.”

After fiddling with the radiator, Magda managed to get it lukewarm. She decided to take a look around the town. Not trusting the owner, she took her backpack with her, leaving nothing in the room.

The town was not exactly busy. It was ski season: she had expected a few tourists, even in a place like this. More worryingly was the lack of military personnel, or police. It seemed either nothing was going on, and one of her closest friends was playing a joke on her, or that Joe Kirk was right: the people in charge seriously underestimated the threat.

She went into a store and bought herself a Coke. The man behind the counter, looked her up and down as he dropped the change into her waiting hand.

“You ain’t from round here, are you darling?” he said. “You a reporter?”

“No,” Magda said. “I’m not pretty enough.” The man nodded, sagely. “I’ve just come in for a bit of skiing and hunting.” She gestured to the rifle, hanging from her backpack. “I’m meeting up with my cousin, Joe Kirk. He works up at the military base. You know him?”

The man narrowed his eyes. “Don’t know no one from up there, and don’t care to, neither. Say, where you from? You talk funny.”

“I’m from Dublin,” the lie came easily. No one knew where Belfast was, any way. And everyone loves the Irish.

“You don’t say,” the man said. “You come all the way over on the Greyhound bus?”

Magda looked at him in the eye. He was serious. “That’s right,” she said.

As she left the store, she saw a man in uniform pinning something on the notice board of, what she assumed was, the town hall. She watched him walk away, and saw him enter a bar across the road.

Checking no one was watching her she walked over and read what was written:

…..Looking for Volunteers; Skilled both in Combat and Tracking, or are willing to Learn.

Oh, dear God. What kind of amateur operation are they running here?

*

To read the next instalment click here

Please note: any text written in red, or in bold has been taken from another players posts. Please read the whole story here: http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=58906