Sunday, 17 July 2011

So excited about this!

Hello world. Here’s an extract from my new novel. I’m so excited about it, just because…well, I think it might be good (if I say so myself). I have that scared, tingly feeling when I work on it. Like I’m creating a monster…anyway, here’s that start:

Richard Peterson-Fife was the head of a vast, powerful retail empire. Dominating the UK and Europe, he ran a chain of small holistic shops, specialising in alternative remedies. He named them, Apothecary. Each one sold a huge plethora of herbal pills, candles, essential oils, and spiritual health paraphernalia. Richard, or ‘Dickie’, to his immediates, fancied himself as a new-age, self-made ‘King of Quirky’ hippie. A saviour for the alternative. He strolled around dressed in garish coloured suits and flares, claiming to be lord and master and icon of all things good, and noble. Fair-trade this, and hand-made that, the truth, was disturbingly different. His hair grew past the shoulders, was purest white, and scattered with dirty plaits and beading. He stood at a towering six-foot seven inches, and, had a grotesque pot-belly which he thrust forward proudly. A signature of his ill-earned wealth. Yes. Richard Peterson-Fife was truly a despicable and dishonourable man. Externally, he was repulsive, sleazy, lecherous, but inside, he was much much worse. And yet, bafflingly, they loved him. The people that worked for him, amazingly, loved him. But that’s because they didn’t know. Were unaware of how he had built his vast money-making machine. And that was because he made them believe.
There would be no doubt to the soulless demons of business, that Dickie had truly discovered a genius way to make millions. A way to get people to work with their souls, and dedicate their lives for very little in return. The message he preached from the very beginning, was that if they worked within this industry, they did good for the people. Provided a service. In a western word eternally struggling with spiritual beliefs, feeling ever suppressed by the standard nine-to-five work place, he saw that in giving an escape from this would attract staff who would take lesser pay. If he made them believe that they were really doing good, that they would help their customers by selling them products that would make them feel happier, make them lose weight, have better sex, a good night’s sleep, then they, would be warriors in a new age spiritual war against ‘The Suits’. Yes. They could be as crazy and eccentric as they wished. They could sport any hairstyle they liked, show off their tattoos, be as outlandish and visually weird and wonderful as they wanted, and all for minimum wage.
                “Be who you are!” he preached at his annual conventions, in which all management were invited, “Take your business and mould and shape it as you please! Add you own personal stint into your very own ‘Apothecary’ and inject your personality!”
                They applauded furiously. A sea of wild hair styles, heavily tattooed females and thrash punks; all felt they fitted. All felt they had found, finally, a work place in which they could be themselves. For this they felt privileged, so happy they were accepted. A place fitting for the misfits. And for this, they asked for no pension, no benefits, and no wage increase. By the time their dire financial situation became apparent, they were trapped. Felt unable to wear a suit again, dye their hair brown, and go back amongst the grey faces of the office.
                The fact that that Dickie let them run the shops how they pleased also meant that loyalty was strict, and thus he had a low staff turnover. This meant he saved a lot of money. But the way that he truly made a profit was far more disgusting and unethical than any of them could ever have known, or imagined. His main factory was situated in the UK. No one, bizarrely, ever questioned its size. So blinded by the colours of each other, the bohemian tribe that were the workforce never took time out to wonder, just for a few moments, how a factory of the capacity it was managed to accommodate all two hundred and forty-nine shops nationally. The truth was, he had a factory elsewhere. A top secret, high production facility that produced sixty-two per cent of all the goods sold in Apothecary. And the location, and workers of this factory? Taiwan, and orphans. Yes. Richard Peterson-Fife, due any day for a knighthood, the ultimate good-guy, the nice, down to earth, billionaire with his cheeky quirky smile, was in reality a slave driving, money laundering scumbag. And none of them knew.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Three Golden Rules of Rock n’ Roll

To an outsider looking in, it would have been obvious that in this unique, mixed sexed environment, with hardly anyone to control them, that they would naturally begin to sort themselves in to some kind of hierarchal order. However there were already two very strong leaders indeed. Tension was inevitable. Therefore, in this bohemian and creative environment, a situation began to develop.
Slowly, so subtly at first, frustration and isolation began to envelop Maria. Like a goldfish in a tank, she stared wide-eyed at passing buildings lit up in the night. She felt lonely, and agitated. It was not the way she’d imagined it to be.
She sat by a small table, watching the world go by. Her ears rang from the noise of the show earlier. Her throat ached terribly. Sipping her warm brandy helped. She always felt deeply reflective after performing, constantly analysing herself and how she could improve.
Aron abruptly interrupted her thoughts by plonking himself in front of her. They were in his trailer tonight and, apart from Maria, he was the only one still awake. Indeed, she had never seen him sleep. The others were draped about snoozing, wrapped in warm woollen blankets. He took a large mouthful from a beer bottle and lit a cigarette. Blowing smoke towards her, the dim light cast shadows across his face and he looked tired. He was. Their knees almost touched and Maria moved one seat over to avoid contact. After a difficult silence, her eyes eventually rested upon his.
“What time is it?” she asked indifferently. Silence in his presence was like none she’d ever experienced. It was uneasy, threatening almost.
He blew out another cloud of smoke and replied just as blandly. “Dunno, about four I think.”
His accent still made her want to giggle, it didn’t seem real. His was the strongest out of all the boys. It was sharp, with husky undertones. It sounded false but she knew, of course, it wasn’t. The two again sat in silence.
Aron suddenly smirked as a thought struck him. The more she looked at his face, the odder she thought his appearance. It was almost as if he were too handsome, and too sculpted. She couldn’t decide if he was sexy, quirky, or sometimes, even ugly.
He leaned in and whispered to her. “If you’re not tired we should make-out to pass the time.”
She flushed, embarrassed. He didn’t speak very much at all, but when he did, it always seemed to be something crude. Or a complaint. She never knew how to react to either. The others talked about anything, everything, but Aron seemed to be permanently on the prowl. She wondered if he really was that basic and if so, how had he got where he was? He remained a puzzle to her, an enigma. She had read all his lyrics, they were thought provoking and intelligent. She observed the way he was when being filmed for television. She saw the characters he played to get the most he could from those around him. This in itself made him rare and skilled.
She smiled back innocently. “Whatever do you mean?” she asked.
Aron replied matter of factly. “Well I’m feeling a little stressed,” he explained. He raised his eyebrows suggestively and added, “You know what I mean?” He held his hand out to her in offering. “Go on Maria, just one kiss. The others are sleeping so they’ll never know.”
She scowled across at him. She decided to be blunt and tell him what she was thinking. “You know, you really are a disappointment to me,” she said quietly.
He leaned back and chewed his bottom lip. “Why?”
“Well, I thought you’d be more…well, nicer I suppose…” she trailed off. She was annoyed she couldn’t think of a better word. She wasn’t sure how to describe what she’d thought he was going to be. A mentor maybe? A friend?
He stumped out his cigarette and sniggered to himself. “I can be very nice Maria. Very nice indeed. You mightn’t think I’m disappointing if you let me go to first base.”
Her eyes fell down. He unsettled her, his gaze made her feel vulnerable, exposed.
     “You see!” she said, “That’s what I mean. I thought you’d have other things to say. I thought you could, well, teach me things I suppose.”
By his flirtatious smirk, she could tell he was about to say something crude. She had led him to the proverbial water. And so far in her experience, he would lap furiously.
He opened his mouth to speak but she held her hand up to stop him. “I mean things about music.”
He looked at her blankly for a few moments before breaking into a large crooked smile. “Oh. That again,” he said, playing along. “You mean you want me to give you some advice. Help you along, so to speak.”
She glared at him, hating his sarcastic tone.
“Well,” he continued, “there are rules you know. Three in fact. Rules that only we should know, and we must keep them amongst ones like us.”
She eyed him suspiciously. “Go on then,” she asked cautiously. “What are they?”
He leaned in further, as if what he was about to say was top secret and sought after information. “I can’t tell you. You’re not one of ‘us’ yet.”
She smacked his arm. “Oh, fuck off I’m not!” she said, her voice becoming more playful.
“Okay,” he said. His eyes became serious. He motioned to her with his finger that she should lean in towards him, so he could whisper. It was the closest they had ever been, and Maria could see that he hadn’t shaved. He smelt of cigarettes.
“So,” he grinned, his eyes dazzling with mischief. “The Three Golden Rules of Rock n’ Roll.” She grinned back at him, his face was so deliciously naughty it was hard not to.
He cleared his throat and began. “Rule number one. Always say that the place you are playing is the craziest and wildest you’ve ever seen.”
Maria clapped her hand to her mouth to hold in the laughter as, he had done this, very theatrically, in each and every show so far.
“The reason you must do this,” he continued, “is simple. The people in the audience want to feel special. They want to feel that they are different. As if the boring drab town from which they can’t escape is the coolest, wildest place on earth and, guess what, it’s all down to the crazy people who are here at the concert tonight! The totally bad-ass mother-fuckers who rock-out down the front. The ones who bleed with us. The ones who truly understand and feel our pain. They are just as crazy as us, and we must confirm it to them. Therefore, in saying this, you’re giving them some kind of affirmation that they are just as special as they’ve always suspected. This also applies when in different countries. For example, as you are in America, remind us Yanks just how snobbish you Brits really are, and that you’d much rather be here than in the UK drinking tea. If you do this, they will buy your record.”
He paused to light another cigarette. “Okay, rule number two. Always claim that you were an outcast in high-school, or, make out like you always felt different and special as a youngster. That no one really understood you. And that’s why you turned to music.”
She stopped smiling. “But that’s actually how I did feel. Didn’t you?”
He nodded sharply in agreement. “Sure I did. But don’t we all? However, if you make it known that you felt that way, you become living breathing proof that you can achieve your dreams. That it can be done. People universally will relate to this. And because they do, they will buy your record.”
She folded her arms defensively as he seemed to be getting closer. It made her nervous. “And the third rule?” she asked.
“My personal favourite,” he said with an obscene grin. “Never, ever, under any circumstances, confirm your sexuality. Start a few rumours about it if you can. In fact, try to latch on to another female celebrity to provoke questions about your relationship. You’ve already begun talk because of you and Jude. That’s good, keep it up.” he smiled.
She moved back even further. “But why should I do that? Why would people care?”
She knew, of course, but she wanted to see what his view of it was.
He chuckled. “Because then you appeal to all. Some sad, overweight closet dyke will suddenly realise that it’s okay to be that way, and, she will buy your record. Plus you will also have all the spotty teenage boys jerking off over you, because they think that you fuck women. They’ll imagine that scenario. And because of that, they will buy your record.”
He leaned back, proud of his knowledge. “It all about clever marketing Maria,” he added.
She shook her head, his twisted logic rattling round within it. “But you’ve confirmed your sexuality,” she said, embarrassed she was discussing such a subject with him.
“No I haven’t,” he ginned, enjoying her obvious discomfort. “Not publicly,” he added.
“But everyone knows you’re bisexual. I even saw you with a man,” she said.
Aron smiled a sideways, teasing smile. “So? What exactly was it that you thought you saw?” he asked.
Maria’s cheeks flushed, she couldn’t give an answer. In truth, she had only seen him bite a man, and that wasn’t really enough to confirm anything.
“See?” he said. “That’s exactly the point I’m making. You don’t truly know. Most people don’t ever see what you saw, and still, you don’t know. Yet the thought intrigues you. Doesn’t it? You want to know don’t you? Would I rather fuck a guy? Or would I rather fuck you?” She jumped at his bluntness. “The fact is, if you buy my record, you may just find out. And that’s what it’s all about,” he concluded triumphantly.
Maria snarled up a lip in disgust. “Well I think if you are bisexual then that’s just selfish.” She paused for a moment, thinking for an explanation as to why, but couldn’t, as she knew what she’d just said was ridiculous. Instead, she challenged the longevities, and realism of such a lifestyle. “You’ve got to choose eventually,” she said firmly.
Aron pulled a hand through his hair. “Why? It hasn’t been a problem so far.”
“Ha!” Maria laughed, “You’ve just confirmed it to me. That means I won’t have to buy your record, as if I care,” she added quickly.
His smile faded, hating that she’d tripped him up. “Anyway,” she continued, ignoring his cross face, “it will be a problem eventually. I think that bisexuality truly doesn’t exist. Either you’re gay or you’re not.”
She took another mouthful of brandy, and thought of something else. “Also, the fact that you do both suggests very strongly that you’re gay. If you were straight, you wouldn’t create the opportunity to sleep with men. So there.”
Aron snarled slightly, revealing sharp teeth. “How wrong you are! You’re telling me you never thought about it?” He thought her absurd and naïve. “Why does there have to be any problem? How about I just find men just as beautiful as girls sometimes? And it just so happens I meet, and get to know more boys than girls? Look around at what you’ve seen so far on the road. There’s hardly the opportunity to get to know girls is there? They just come and go with each place. And they scream in my face wherever I meet them. Or cry.”
There was no arrogance at all at that comment, and for a second, she understood. How did he get to talk to girls when most only reacted hysterically in his presence? 
Aron continued, “There are ten guys to each girl you meet.” He raised an eyebrow. “So you’re in luck as you get to take your pick. As for us, it’s like being in jail. We have to make do with each other sometimes.”
Maria grinned at his warped reasoning and replied provocatively, “Aron, I think you’re homosexual. I think that all this talk about pretending to be bisexual is just to cover up the truth. So there.”
“Stop saying ‘so there’!” Aron snapped, “You know nothing about me.”
Maria felt she was winning. “Yes I do,” she smirked at his irritated face. “You may have a very unique job, but I’ve met one hundred of you. You’re not special Aron. So there.”
He stumped out his cigarette angrily, and Maria leaned back, feeling triumphant.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” she added bitchily.
He moved so he now sat opposite. She wore shorts, and the bare skin of her knees itched against the rough fabric of his trousers.
“I’m not ashamed of anything I do. Anything. It seems to me that it’s you that’s hiding. All those pictures of you and Jude.”  He waved a hand down towards where she slept, curled up in a peaceful dozing ball. He leaned back towards Maria, his face nasty. “They don’t exactly show the real you, do they?”
She moved her knees back from his. “What do you mean?” she asked.
“Well,” he continued, “your pictures are very suggestive, surely you know that. So if you believe in just being one way, you shouldn’t have had those taken. Unless you’re a lesbian of course.” A wide, wet smile crossed his lips.
Damn. Maria realised she’d contradicted herself, so she had to get out as she didn’t have an argument.
“I’m not telling you what I am as it’s none of your business, and now I’m going to sleep,” she said, wanting to end the dispute that she knew she was losing.
She stood up, and moved away from the table.
“Does that mean you don’t want to make out?” he asked after her tauntingly.
Maria didn’t answer; in fact, she provoked him further by curling up in front of Jude. Pulling the blanket over them both, Jude sleepily wrapped her arm around her waist. It was cold, and another human body for warmth was just what she’d needed. Maria closed her eyes and swallowed hard. The rest of the boys were exactly as she’d imagined. Wild, colourful and free thinking. But Aron Moretti was a bitter disappointment. She expected to be awestruck, yet she felt bitterly disheartened. He made her nervous and had the air of someone who may pounce viciously at any moment. What a lost chance, she thought, to pick someone’s brain that other people idolised and looked up to, someone who had lasted, had talent beyond most before him, and all he seemed to want in life was to joke, shout, complain and tease.
Aron remained seated. He looked across at the two sleeping females. They looked soft, like kittens. He stared at them until the sun started to rise, and the scenery outside became more rocky, like a desert. The girls rocked together with the movement of the vehicle. Maria’s hair fanned out behind her, mixing with Jude’s, creating twisted vines of red and ashen. Her eyelids flickered as if dreaming. He wondered what about. He wished he could communicate with them like the others. Wished he had something to say that would hold their interest. He stared down at Maria, the vivid green of his eyes reflecting his envy towards her. She had them all. She laughed and they laughed with her. She was jovial and dazzling, like a ray of silver light. She was warm, genuine, and in contrast he felt detached and unfriendly. He hated this persona as he knew he was more but, for some reason, could not be with the females. They affected him, made him behave differently. He hated to admit it but he was intimidated. Maybe she could help him? Perhaps if he touched her, she would pass onto him some of her glow?
Without thinking, he climbed down onto the thin aisle way. Silently, he crawled towards the alcove where the two kittens dozed. He paused in front of them, knelt, and placed his hands on his knees. Long moments passed. Their chests moved up and down together, breathing gently in unison. His eyes travelled along the length of the warm bodies huddled together, starting with small girlish toes. Maria’s were waving gently, as if she were dancing. He reached out, slowly, slowly, his heart thudding. Any second either of them may open their eyes, catch him, and scream, for was it normal for him to behave this way? He leaned down, and smelt Maria’s hair. It smelt of violets and lemon. He couldn’t stop himself. Leaning down further, he gently, so gently, lifted the sheet from her. He sighed lightly at the sight of her breasts moving up and down. Forbidden fruits. She wore a black vest, but her glorious curves were clearly visible. His eyes travelled back to her tiny waist and Jude’s hand, clinging on tightly for warmth. A few inches lower, and she would have been touching Maria ‘there.’
He felt a twinge. He adjusted himself, then reached out again. Cautiously, so softly, he touched were Maria would never have let him, had she been awake. Tenderly he ran the back of his fingers along one large, heavy breast. He bit back a groan when he realised that they were real, a rarity in his world. She moaned quietly, moved weakly and he froze, paused, waiting for her to show him she was still asleep. He closed his eyes, and placed his other hand between his legs.
A sharp male whisper made his heart leap violently. “What the fuck are you doing man?!”
He turned his head sharply and saw Will, stood in only shorts. He glared down at him, horrified. Aron flushed pink and pulled both hands away silently. He’d been caught.
Without saying a word he grabbed Will by the wrist and plonked him back down where he had been sitting with Maria earlier. Will flushed white.
Still whispering, he spoke. “You, you were…well whatever you were doing you can’t do that!” He shook his head incredulously. “These girls trust us and you pull a stunt like that! What the fuck is wrong with you?”
Aron smiled. “They don’t trust me. I never implied they should. Bitches.”
He was not afraid of Will, and was confident he wouldn’t tell. He was more embarrassed than afraid. Embarrassed that someone may think that he’d have to wait for a girl to be asleep before she’d let him, whatever, which certainly wasn’t the case.
His voice was more a hiss than a whisper. “What’s the matter Will? Is it that it wasn’t you? Huh?”
He looked away from Aron’s glinting, scheming eyes. “No!” he spat, a little too loudly.
Aron lifted his hands for quiet. The two men paused and checked that the others were still asleep.
Aron lightened his tone. He reached out, and pulled hair away from Will’s face. “Don’t be mad at me. I only wanted a little look that’s all.” He pouted his lips in a way that said he was sorry; in a way he knew would melt even the hardest of hearts. “Where’s the harm in that? I wasn’t going to do anything. Really.”
Will felt disturbed. There was always a suggestion in the air with Aron, a suggestion of maybe.
Aron cocked his eyebrow. “Anyways, I thought you liked to watch me,” he paused for effect, then added, “‘cause you know I like to watch you.”
Will reeled with emotion. He knew what he’d seen was wrong, but he couldn’t stay angry at him for long. Something about him made him seem capable of anything, even lying. Even keeping the darkest and most sordid of secrets. He twiddled his thumbs. “Well, don’t do it again, okay? If either of them had woke, they’d have screamed their heads off.”
Aron winked at him. “Don’t be so sure,” he replied.
He yawned, Will needed something more. “Mind if I lay my head on you?” he asked, “I’m cold.”
Will nodded mutely. Aron moved, and placed his head onto Will’s lap. He breathed deeply, yawned again, and positioned his hand on his thigh in exactly the right place, knowing it would make him think. Will closed his eyes, and gently reached down to Aron’s head. Lightly brushing his hair, he twisted the black softness around and through his fingers.
Aron sighed and licked his lips. “That’s comforting,” he breathed. “I love it.”
As they sat, Will let his head fall to the side. He stared intently down at his friend. His hair, his skin, everything about him seemed carved. Sculpted into something gothic and beautiful, like a dark macabre doll of no distinguishable sex. A thrilling merge of male and female, containing the best and most alluring characteristics of the two. Aron curled up into a foetal position, oblivious as to how intensely he was being admired. He indulged in the feeling of having his hair and scalp teased, a sensation he adored. His eyes wandered about sleepily.
Abruptly, they met with Maria’s. As she stared silently up at him a slow, thoughtful smile spread across her lips and in the first few seconds of eye contact, he felt fear. His blood turned to ice, as he heard the soundless, secret message she sent across to him. She had been awake.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

A little bit more about me before I start…

Hello to anyone who’s reading, and thank you for taking the time to look at my bloggy blog (yes, a reference to Russell Brand, whom I love and admire).
I wanted to use this space, to place samples of my work, and to chit-chat generally about my silly existence. I’m one of these people who quite dramatic things happen to a lot, and so I do have quite a lot to write about. I’ll not go into that now, but I will as time goes on.
About this writing lark. I started writing around six years ago. I did this to keep my vivid imagination under control which quite frankly, scares the hell out of me sometimes. Plus, too, I am an avid reader, and was sick of seeing these silly, girly stories about shopping and boys. I wanted to write things about the darker side of being a girl, and so far I think I’ve been doing it quite well.
My first book, Mayhem with Angels, was finished about two years ago, and it’s a story about rock stars. Being an avid music-lover myself, I thought of the idea to do it at a gig, one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to in my life actually. I’ll not say who it was, but there’s three of them, they’re punks, and they certainly don’t wanna be seen as American idiots… I looked around at all the people screaming with excitement and remember thinking that, it was a shame that all this exhilaration couldn’t be packaged in some way. So I thought, well why not write a book about it?
Years and many mosh-pits endured later (for research, of course), I came up with something better than I thought I was capable of ever doing, and thus decided to try and be serious about it. Authoring I mean. And I really am very serious about it.

Anyway, that’s it for now.

Have fun :) 


Boy meets Girl by C H Mills

The man woke with a sickening jolt. He rubbed his eyes, and instantly knew where the noise had come from. He had heard them before, scuffling, struggling and fighting at all hours, for whatever reason. The couple next door.
            He’d often wondered to himself, should he help her? Should he post a note through the letter box of the girl with auburn hair? The one who left the house each morning with a different bruise, pulling up her scarf as she tried to hide the fresh angry purple marks so desperately?
            He’d looked at her carefully. Longingly. Watched her from the window and occasionally said good morning, if he was lucky enough to catch her. Why did she stay? Why scream and cry and be punished in the arms of a man who was cruel, violent, when she could be loved, cherished and needed by someone warm and lonely, like him?
            Instead, she foolishly stayed and was beaten, day in, day out. And he listened. Heard through the wall in his bedroom which he assumed backed onto hers. Sometimes, he heard them together. Muffled, hoarse cries reverberated in his room as they reconciled. Tonight, the noise was different. It was quicker, faster, over, and had ended with the dreadful thud that had torn him from sleep.
            He lay still for a few moments and waited for something else. A reassuring normal noise. The kettle being clicked on. A light switch. The bath being run. But no. Only silence. Cautiously, he crept into his hallway and stood still, frozen in the dark, hands poised out beside him as he listened. Silence. Empty black ominous quiet.
            Suddenly, feet, stomping rushing feminine steps raced round and round through the wall next door and descended down the stairs. They stopped abruptly. He waited, wearing only blue pyjama bottoms from the selection given to him by his mother each Christmas.
            He felt unsure as to what to do. Should he ring the police? The thud had been heavy, solid. It had been thick and lifeless and instinct had told him that it had been human.
            Slowly, he placed his foot on the first step, then crept quickly and silently down the stairs and through his living room. He kicked something solid. His latest painting. A painting of an woman, perhaps from the street, perhaps from his dreams. Clinging onto his toe, his mouth shaped a silent scream as pain thudded up through his bones. The toenail would probably be blue tomorrow.
            He bent, and smoothed the canvas with his palm to check it wasn’t torn. Calmed, he carefully walked towards the glass doors. Fearfully, he pulled back a curtain, creating a crooked glowing crack.
            Harsh blue light spilled into his lounge, highlighting his furniture, his photographs, making his family members in them look grey, haunted.            
            He inhaled sharply when he saw her, and pulled his face away. Taking two solid even breaths, he dared himself to look again.
            She sat cross legged on the grass. She wore a light blue night dress, the delicate lace framed her neck and collarbones. Hands held out before her, the paleness of her skin glowed white with the moon, and she stared, silently down. Red, alarming startling red splattered up across her arms, her hands, her belly. It glinted and glittered in the moonlight, like sparkling garnet gems.
            His eyes widened, shocked. Had he gone two far this time? The one who made her scream in the night? Was she hurt, dreadfully hurt - might she die?
            Thoughts screamed through his horrified mind as he scrambled to his phone. Dialling the police he explained urgently to the toneless voice on the other end what he could see, and where he was located. He slammed down the receiver and frantically fumbled with the lock on his patio doors. He ran through and scrambled over the small fence, into her garden. She sat, motionlessly.                                                
            “Please don’t worry,” he explained breathlessly. He knelt down in front of her.
            Slowly she raised her head, her eyes sunken, her irises black in the night. His large eyes stared down at her. They were shocked, but reassuring. His hair was long, fair, and ruffled with sleep.
            He spoke again, his voice shaking, yet soothing. “I’ve rang the police, you’ll be alright, I promise…please, say something. What’s your name?”
            She fell forward and he reeled back as warm fluid ooze covered his chest, his arms. “Laura,” she whispered.
            “I’m Jack.” he said, “and don’t worry, I’ll help you. I hear what he does, every night, and it should stop Laura, it will stop now, now that the police are coming.”
            He pushed her hair away from her face and sighed. She was delicate, slender, like an antique doll. Large frightened eyes stared back at him, the shapely mouth quivered in shock.
            “He wouldn’t stop,” she explained. “He took me and hurt me and nothing would stop him. I don’t know why he-”
            Jack hugged her tightly, “Shh, he won’t hurt you now, I won’t let him. I can keep an eye on you as I live so closely. Even after this is all over I’ll be here, don’t worry, and the police will be here any second.”
            Laura stared up at him. He was large, masculine. His face unusual, but kind.
            A moments silence, then she stood, out of Jack’s grasp, and walked abruptly back to her house.
            “Laura, wait!”
            Jack stood and ran after her, in through her kitchen and up the stairs. He pursued, a second behind, a hand’s grasp away, but slightly too far.
            Poised in the doorway he stood. Hands on the frame he stared, horrified, into the room. A man, in his late thirties, dark and handsome, lay sprawled on the floor. Jack recognised him immediately as the man who Laura lived with. He had seen him groomed immaculately each morning leaving for work, watched with hatred as this animal, this coward had left each day, leaving his battered grazed female behind to recover just in time for his return.
            Laura clambered to the floor by his side. “He deserved it,” she said, voice icy. She look up at Jack, “Don’t you see? He deserved it!”
            He held out his hands, as if to calm her. The truth dawned. The blood had belonged to the man she’d lived with.
            “Laura please, leave him be. Explain to the police what he did, I know - I heard, and, everything will be alright. It was self defence.”
            Laura shook her head, the images of her felony rushing before her eyes in fast macabre flashes. “But he did deserve it,” she whispered.
            She stood, faced Jack, and his heart leapt. Her eyes thinned into thoughtful calculating slits as she continued. “If I’d have left him, he’d have done it again,” she said, aiming it down at him. He didn’t answer.
            She continued, her voice becoming shriller, and cracking with emotion. “He’d have found another girl; some hopeless, needful girl and he would have scratched and clawed and pummelled her, drained her self esteem until she snapped.”       
            She slowly grinned across at him, her smile slightly crooked.
            Jack shook his head, confused, frightened, as he tried to work out why she would say these things, tried to understand why she would think this was the way to help her circumstances.
            Electric blue lights flashed through the window. Round and round lazily, they reflected on her face, and her lover’s dead body.
            Suddenly, Laura leaned down and, before Jack could stop her, could even think, she grabbed hold of the knife in his chest, and pulled it briskly outward. Then, turning on her heel, she ran towards Jack, and before he could cry out, before he even realised what she was doing, she pressed the handle firmly into his open palm. His reflexes caused him, for a moment, to hold it, the slippery sticky handle. The instrument of crime.
            He dropped it abruptly, and Laura dashed back to her lover’s corpse.  “Anybody in there?” A deep authorative voice called out from the doorway. “Yes! In here!” Laura shrieked.
            Jack stared incredulously as Laura knelt and cradled the body in her arms.
            She began weeping and rocking him back and fourth as deep guttural sobs screamed from between her lips.
            Three uniformed gentleman burst though the door and saw the grizzly tableau. Saw Jack’s large powerful frame stood over them, covered in red, a knife at his feet. Laura looked up at them pleadingly. “He’s obsessed with me!” she cried.
            Jack shook his head in amazement, it had all happened so quickly. What had she done? Why had he helped her?
            She continued, her sobs dry, false. “He watches me all the time, stares from his window, and now look!” she screamed, shaking the man as if she could revive him. But his head lolled back, lifelessly.
            Jack felt rough leathered hands on his wrists.
            “No! Wait!” he cried.
            But it was too late, too clear, and so obvious there was no need to question.
            As he was dragged roughly away, Laura clapped her bloodied hand to her mouth, and giggled.