The Girl in the Road

Three hours and seven minutes. That’s how long Cathy had been driving that night. Leaving the protest at around nine o’clock and after setting off at five in the morning to drive the same time across boarders to get there. She was exhausted, her legs ached, and her voice was horse from shouting, but she was happy. She felt she had really achieved something during that time and she was sure that the next protest she would do the same again.

The lights above the motorway glowed a dim orange and the rhythmic flash as they passed overhead was hypnotic and Cathy could feel her eyes trying to close. Shaking her head and reaching blindly for her cup of coffee she tried to force herself awake again. It worked to a degree, she didn’t feel her eyelids fighting their way down again and the coffee gave her a slight jolt, if only because it was cold and pretty unpleasant. Added to the lights in the dark there was the thumping of hundreds of raindrops as they exploded off the cold car exterior. The rain had started towards the end of the protest and slowly built until now it was a fierce downpour playing a drum solo.

After about ten minutes Cathy felt her eyelids trying to do their escaping act again and she reached for her coffee again. This time the base caught on the lip of the cup holder and, in her tired hands, she accidently tipped the coffee into her lap. With a yelp she bounced in her seat, looking down to see what she had done and moaning as she felt the cold coffee soaking into her skirt. Sighing in irritation to herself she reached for a handful of napkins to try and dry herself off, only after that looking up over the wheel for the first time in several seconds.

There was a person stood in the middle of her lane. A girl and Cathy screamed and slammed the wheel to the side. The wheels of her car screeched and skidded in the rain and the car slid sideways and slid towards the girl in the road. Cathy continued to scream as the car slid. Closing her eyes and waiting for the thump and her car flattened the poor girl. But it never came. The car slowly stopped and Cathy was left with the sound of the rain and her own beating heart. Finally daring to open her eyes Cathy saw that she had come to a halt, side on across two lanes of the motorway. It was a small miracle that there was no one else on the road at the time, due to it being so late.

Remembering why she had slammed on her breaks Cathy jumped from her car and staggered out into he road, looking for what she expected to be the flattened body of the girl. At first Cathy didn’t see the girl, thinking that she must have sent her flying or worse, caught her in the bumper of her car. Looking around Cathy was beginning to reach new levels of panic when, looking back to where the girl had been she saw her. The girl was crouched in the road, her hands over her head as if bracing for impact. She was pale, with long blond hair that was plastered to her by the rain which had turned the strappy red dress she was wearing dark. She was bare of foot and as Cathy ran up to her she yelled and fell to the side, trying to escape.

Cathy took her arm carefully and tried to calm her.

‘Shhh, Shhhh. It’s ok, you’re ok.’ She tried to coo but the girl still struggled against her for what felt like minutes, sat in the road but finally the girl gave up and just sat sobbing.

‘Are you OK? what happened to you?’ Cathy tried to ask but the girl didn’t reply. Just sobbed.

‘Why were you in the road?’ Cathy asked all to aware of how soaking wet she was getting crouched there in the rain.

‘He…he…he jus…’ started the girl but then she was reduced to sobbing again.

‘Come on, come with me, I’ll take you to the police.’ Cathy said, taking the girl by the arm and leading her, without objection, to the passenger side of her car where the girl slid into the sat and sat with her head in her hands.

Cathy sat down behind the wheel again and careful turned the car back onto the road, driving cautiously now after her close encounter. And very aware of just how wet the inside of her car was getting which in any other circumstance would have infuriated her but at that moment she could ignore that. As she drove Cathy tried her best to talk to the girl but she got very little out of her beyond stifled sobs and quiet weeping. All that she managed to find out was they the He the girl had been talking to was her boyfriend. Upon learning this Cathy very quickly started to put the story together, or at least put a story together in her head. She could imagine the kind of swaggering jock that this poor girls boyfriend was. The kind of meathead that thought he was the gift that god gave the world and thinking he could to whatever he wanted to whoever.

Well he wasn’t going top get away with it on Cathy’s watch. She was going to take this poor girl to the police and make sure that they nailed this sick bastard to the wall. Looking over at the girl again Cathy thought she couldn’t be much older than eighteen and even they it may have been pushing it. Despite her makeup having run down her face in the rain she was still exceptionally beautiful, with exceptionally smooth skin and gorgeous blue eyes which looked so doe like and innocent despite the red whites. Her body was slender and the soaking wet dress clung to it, accentuating her figure for anyone to see. Her pale skin shimmered with the rain water and seemed to almost sparkle in the dazzling lights as they passed overhead.

Cathy pulled her attention away from the girl and back to the road. The street lights were still a dull orange. Why had they seemed to be so bright and sparkling? Risking a glance back at the girl she saw her in the dull light. Sitting there quietly snuffling to herself. She was still tired Cathy thought, the adrenalin rush was wearing off. There were still only a few miles back to town and Cathy wanted to stay alert. It was going to be a long night yet.

‘So what’s your name?’ Cathy asked, hoping to distract herself.

The girl didn’t answer.

‘Where do you live?’ Cathy asked now

‘London’ the girl said in a quiet voice.

‘That’s not exactly close.’ Cathy replied. Glad that maybe there was a conversation she could develop.

‘No’ the girl replied

‘How did you end up all the way out here?’

‘I was staying with my boyfri…’ started the girl before she started to cry again, softly.

‘Oh it’s ok, It’s ok. I’m going to make sure all this gets fixed.’ Said Cathy. Anything to try and calm her.

The girl didn’t stop crying, but she quietened.

Cathy turned back to the road again. Her eyes had been lingering on the girl’s long legs, her skin smooth as silk even here and how her delicate feet were covered in scrapes and bruises from walking barefoot down the road. Cathy’s wanted to just pull over and hug and comfort the poor girl but there would not be prudent at the moment. What she needed to do was get the pair of them to a police station where they could report what happened. But Cathy looked over again and saw the girl was looking at her, their eyes met and she was drawn into her beautiful eyes. Just staring at her, full of tears still and engulfing like a hole had opened up and swallowed Cathy. It almost pained her to look away but she managed to fix her eyes o the road again.

‘Thank you…’ the girl said in her gentle voice. There wasn’t a crack in it.

‘You don’t need to…’ started Cathy

‘Thank you for stopping and helping me. Not many people would have.’ The girl continued.

‘That may be right, but I always look out for a woman.’ Cathy replied.

The girl sobbed again quietly but didn’t start crying. There was an almost irresistible force trying to pull Cathy’s head around to look at the girl again but she fought against it, trying not to think about her soft, round lips. Her cold skin. It was insane. She was a happily married woman and had plans to adopt maybe someday and yet the appearance of this girl was rapidly driving her insane. What was wrong with her? Keeping her eyes glued to the road she tried to keep her eyes fixed to the whiter lines flickering in the headlights. Counting them as she was acutely aware of the sweet-smelling perfume the girl was wearing. Surely that should have been washed off in the. Then the girls hand closed gently around her hand on the gear stick.

Cathy’s heart beat quickened as she felt the girls soft skin on hers and her breath seemed harder to pull back. She glanced across at the girl who was staring longingly at her, her perfume was filling her nostrils to such a degree that Cathy thought she would smell this girl when she was in her grave. Slowly the girl leaned in and Cathy felt herself doing the same. But then she pulled herself away. She was probably twenty years older than this girl who had just been through something truly horrific and was not in her right mind. Cathy tried to open her mouth to say something to that effect, to try and be gentle with this girl but all she could manage was

‘What are you…doing?’

The girl didn’t need top reply, her hand was still on the gearstick and Cathy felt, almost against her will, the wheel of the car turning over and the vehicle slowing as they entered the hard shoulder. Cathy wanted to object but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything. That perfume was so strong and even as the car slowly drifted to a stop she knew she had nothing to say. Somewhere inside she knew she didn’t want to be doing this but wherever that part of her was it was far away. Tucked up and being supressed by the desire that she felt, the smothering need to touch this girl’s skin and feel it against hers. The car stopped and Cathy heard the flick of the hazard warning lights.

The girl didn’t need to say anything either. Almost as soon as they had stopped her hand was on Cathy’s face and Cathy felt she would have her rest it there forever. But there was no forever as the girl leaned in to no resistance from Cathy. The girl whispered something briefly in Cathy’s ear, so quiet that even with straining her hearing it was too quiet. Then heir lips locked. The kiss felt like an explosion in Cathy’s brain as thousands of pleasure receptors exploded to life and she felt her head spinning in the clouds. It was the best she had ever felt and she suddenly felt like this was the only thing in the whole world that was right, this one glorious moment that had brought the two together through tragedy. Her hands were on the girls legs and her skin was as soft as she had imagined, without out any blemish and as smooth as she had ever felt. Almost too smooth. Like running her hand over a glass pain.

Something wasn’t as right as she had thought. Her tongue felt strangely warm and there was a wetness between her chin and the girls. Like she was drooling. Cathy tried to pull away but the girl resisted, pulling her back with surprising strength. Cathy tried to pull away again, struggling this time and she felt a sharp pain in her tongue. She yelped and pulled back harder, leaving the girl to finally let go. Only the girl didn’t leg to entirely. As Cathy pulled back the girl’s tongue stretched comically out in front of her like a piece of gun a child would pull out from their mouth, the end still plunged into Cathy’s mouth and as Cathy tried to scream she realised that their tongues were connected. More precisely, the girls tongue had latched onto hers.

Then Cathy tried again to scream when she took on the full effect of the girl’s face. the girl’s chin was cleft in two by a huge tear in her skin, the bone revealed beneath it and when Cathy screamed the girl’s head rolled backwards and the rip split open. The girls lower jaw split clean in two in a shower of blood as the thing let out a harsh, croaking screech. It’s eyes had rolled around in it’s head and were pure white while it’s teeth popped from it’s jaws like popcorn from a machine and were replaced by yellow razors. Cathy tried to pull away bodily but the things legs kicked forward, it’s feet folding like claws to a chorus of snapping bones and seized hold of Cathy, pulling her forward with horrendous strength. Blood was now filling Cathy’s mouth as her tongue was mauled by  the things own tongue and her scream became a gurgle.

The things arms shrived like a balloon with all the air released from it and the thing’s dress fell gently down to it’s waist, revealing it’s pale body, alabaster white and from it’s belly button exploded a plume of blood, drenching Cathy, as four fleshy claws burst from inside. Between them was a membrane, making it appear like some horrific flower with gnashing teeth in the centre. More tongue like appendages sprouted from the mouth at the centre of the flower and even more from between the things legs, all wrapping around Cathy and pulling her towards the creature. Cathy’s flailing became weaker and weaker as she felt herself sliding across her seat and towards the thing. The whole interior of the car was red with blood and there was a thick, cloying scent of it everywhere. Somehow despite this, as Cathy was relentlessly drawn to the centre of the flower, she could still smell the perfume that had intoxicated her so just moments earlier. Then her face was mere inched from the horrific mouth.

A car sat at the side of the motorway, the hazard lights flashing and the interior blocked by red. There was no sign of movement from it until the passenger door opened and a young girl emerged. She was soaked in blood from her hair to her bare feet. When she stepped out of the car the closed the door with a small snap before looking up to the heavens. The downpour was as heavy as it had ever been and thunder rattled in the distance. The girl stood in the rain for a moment, arms outstretched and a huge smile on her face as she let the blood run on her body, mixing with the rain before the happily skipped off down the road, splashing in the water that had filled the drains.


Arsenic on the Rocks

Here is just a short scrips i wrote back in uni, didn’t have a whole lot of use for it but i guess I’ll post it here where someone might read it…

A surly looking man stands outside the pub on his own, he
looks at the pub then back up the street before entering.
The lights in the pub are dark leaving the patrons in the
shadows, the man sits down at the bar, here the lights are
brighter giving the impression that the man is sitting in a
spotlight. The barman turns round to the man with a smile on
his face.
Penny for your thoughts?

Hmm, maybe just a stiff drink then?
I’ll take the strongest thing
you’ve got, and lots of it
The Barman’s smile grows wider
A man enters with a stern look and
plans to drink heavily, I think I’d
pay a fortune for his disaster
Trevor glares at the barman but says nothing
And that’s a look that could kill,
now I’m really interested
Trevor continues to glare and remains silent
So what is it that motivated you
into this fine drinking
establishment today/
The Barman chuckles, not put off by Trevor’s reluctance to
That much is obvious but everyone
has a reason to drink.
You’re alone so I doubt you’re here
just to drink socially, maybe
you’re in need for some liquid

Now what would a strong young man
like you be looking for courage
Trevor’s face darkens and he looks down at the bar
A simple motivation is ever there
was one, but not always the easiest
to accomplish
Trevor remains silent and the bar man pulls out three shot
glasses, turning away from Trevor he begins pouring drinks.
you know what they say, he who
seeks revenge must dig two graves
Two graves? Yea, one for him and
one for…
The Barman stops pouring drinks and turns back to Trevor, the
smile on his face growing larger but containing no warmth,
more of a smirk that complimented the dark atmosphere of the
rest of the Pub, he cuts Trevor off before he can finish
There is a long pause
Now I know where I recognized that
look on your face before, I have
seen many people wearing it
Trevor glares at the barman with renewed vigor
And what the fuck would you know
about it? Just give me my god
damned drink!
As you wish, for a man scorned to
drink by his love…
The barman turns around and then back wit three shot glasses
which he lays out in a line in front of Trevor
Arsenic on the rocks
Trevor is silent again
You know if people who set out
looking to get revenge rarely get
what they want and I see it even
less likely to happen in your
Why the fuck should I listen to
you? Just leave me with my drink
Trevor reaches for his first shot but just before he can pick
it up the barman snatches it up from the bar and examines the
I always found there were three
steps to self destruction, that
being the more likely outcome of
looking for revenge. The first is
to become obsessed with something
you cant change
Will you just shut up and leave me
But we’re having such a riveting
discussion. Now tell me, this girl
who has destroyed you so, what was
she like?
Trevor looks down at the bar again and grips his head in his
Was she beautiful? Smart? Kind? Did
she make you feel like this world
wasn’t such a dark, unforgiving
Was she good in bed? Did she moan
in pleasure at your very touch? Or
did she scream?
The barman’s smile grows even colder
She was everything to me OK? She
was perfect, she was all I wanted
in the entire fucking world and she
Trevor’s voice breaks a little
Why the fuck do you care?
So she left you and now you feel
like there is nothing left in the
world for you. You let one person
take everything you had.
She was my everything, she…
The barman cuts Trevor off again
So before her you had nothing?
Nothing at all? She gave you
clothes and a house and everything?
Why are you being so fucking
I’m not, you’re the one who
believes one woman took everything
from him
Not fucking literally
Then what did you have before she
came along?
I had some shitty little job with
no potential, earning just enough
money to pay the rent and my social
circle included me and my brother.
So you had your brother then, and
you have a place where you live, I
wouldn’t consider that nothing
I don’t want that, I want her
But she’s gone and if you keep
living in the past like that your
just waiting for the grave
I might as well be dead
Your wishing yourself dead over one
person? What would that achieve?
Trevor grabs the first shot in the line and downs it
Nothing, that’s why I want revenge
Now that’s something else that I’ve
been wondering about, you want
revenge on her, I assume that she
ran off with someone else
Trevor ignores the question
Oh your not going to give me the
silent treatment again
Trevor looks around the pub and then back down at the bar,
anywhere but at the barman
I’ll take that as a yes, well OK
then, now if obsessing over
something is the first step to self
destruction then this is the second
Trevor looks up at the barman again with a look of strain on
his face
I told you, three steps to self
destruction, obsessing over
something and now hate towards
others because of something
Trevor shakes his head
And what’s the third?
The barman chuckles again
That come later
Whatever, but if you knew my story
you wouldn’t say I was hating him
without reason
I don’t think I said that to start
… Whatever, you’d hate this guy
if you met him anyway.
That’s quite possible, so what
I still don’t know why you care
And I don’t know why you are so
bitter at this guy. So you show me
yours and I’ll show you mine
There is no winning with you is
The Barman just smiles and waits for Trevor to continue
This guy that she left me for… he
is just such an asshole, some
muscle bound moron who was given
everything in life and earned
nothing. The same type of dick we
all know and hate.
An old school friend of yours then?
No. Why would you think that?
Well you seem to know so much about
him, I assumed that you must have
known him a while so that you
weren’t just talking out of
… No I don’t know him like that
Well if you don’t know him that
well then how can you assume all
this about him
We all know the type and that’s
just how they are
So he is a, what was your phrasing?
Asshole, just because other people
like him are like that
You never met him, he was the cocky
type who look down on everyone and
only acted for himself
The barman chuckles again and shakes his head before talking
OK then, we’ll assume that this guy
is how you describe him. You sound
like you’ve met many people like
this, do you hate all of them this
No I don’t hate all of them like
this, but not all of them stole her
from me
Stole her? Well then surely you
should report this as a kidnapping,
grab your sword sir knight and
chase off after her
Trevor clearly getting angry now
You know what I mean, she dropped
him for me because of him, in my
opinion that’s his fault
So what exactly happened when she
left you then?
What happened? I’ll tell you
Trevor is sat at his desk doing work when a woman walks into
his cubicle
Hey Trevor, can we talk for a
Trevor looks up from his work and smiles when he see Stacy
Sure we can talk, what’s up?
Well, this isn’t easy to tell you
but I’ve got to do it
Trevor starts to look worried
What’s up Stacy? What do you need
to tell me?
Look I’ve been feeling foe a few
weeks that this relationship isn’t
working out for me and I think we
should just be friends
… What do you mean this isn’t
working out? I don’t understand
Well I just think that this isn’t
going to work out, I just don’t
think we go together that well
But how can you say that?
Everything has been going great,
what brought this on?
I told you, I’ve been feeling for
weeks that this isn’t working, and
that’s partly why, you don’t listen
to me
Don’t listen? I listen to
everything you tell me, how can you
say that?
It’s not just that, you just…
don’t excite me like you used to
and I feel that this isn’t going to
So… you’re just bored of me?
That’s why your ending this?
Its not like that, its just…
Another man walks up behind Stacy and puts his arms round her
and kisses her on the neck.
Hey Babe, how are you doing today?
Chris, this isn’t the time
Chris talks in a childish manner with a massive smile on his
What do you mean? You don’t wanna
be together at work?
There is a pause and Stacy gestures towards Trevor with her
Oh… is this the guy? Oh right…
Stacy shakes her head and looks apologetic
Trevor, I’m sorry but, at least I
told you
Stacy walks of and Chris stands there looking awkward for a
few moments
I guess you weren’t meant to see
that… sorry man, but chin up,
worse things happen.
Chris gives a fake smile and walks off, leaving Trevor sat
there looking as if he is about to cry
Trevor sits at the bar with his head in his hands after
telling his story, after a moments pause he picks up his
second shot and downs it.
He does sound like a quite
unpleasant character
Trevor looks up at the barman, rubbing his now red eyes
This mean you actually agree with
The Barman smiles again
Not at all, I don’t believe you at
all that he ‘stole’ anything from
you at all, it just sounds like
this, Stacy, was seeing this guy
behind your back and decided to
finish it with you
But she was seeing me first, and he
probably told her to do that
And you know that for sure?
No but…
So he stole nothing, its her fault,
not his, she’s the one you should
Yea but she made me happy, and he
ruined it
But she could have been carrying on
like this for a long time, you
would have preferred to have lived
in ignorance of that?
It would have been better than
feeling like this
The smile finally leaves the face of the barman as he shakes
his head
That may be the stupidest thing you
have said since entering this bar.
Trevor finally snaps, standing up he pulls out a revolver
from inside his jacket and points it at the barman
I’ve had enough of this, who the
fuck are you to talk to me about
this and call me stupid?
The smile returns to the face of the barman and he stands
there unfazed by being threatened with a gun
I was wondering when you were going
to get that out, you’ve been
fingering it since you entered
SHUT UP! I swear I will put a
bullet through your fucking head
And what will that do? Will killing
me make you feel better will it
take back all the mean words?
No but it’ll shut you up at last
And then where do you go? Over to
Stacy’s house where she is probably
lying with Chris right now?
What will you do? You’ll shoot them
both? Will seeing him lying there
make her yours again?
No but…
And will you sit there then,
holding her body happy that she is
finally back with you?
Stop it…
You don’t like that do you? No, so
just put the gun down on the bar
and you can walk out.
Trevor stands there, uncertain of himself he lowers the gun
but continues to hold it.
I just…
You want her back, but violence
doesn’t make that happen, if you
turn to violence then all you do is
destroy yourself
Is that the last step? Violence?
The final step of self destruction?
Yea its something like that
Trevor stands there for a few moments in silence, looking at
the ground before turning back to the barman
… I think your right, I think I
just need to go and think this
Trevor looks at the bar and at the last shot, he reaches for
it for a second but then holds himself back
Just before I leave… why do you
care? Why keep talking to me?
The barman’s smile once again turns dark, almost to a sneer.
Why do I care? I don’t really, it
was a slow day and I was bored
You were bored?
Trevor starts to glare at the barman again
You were bored! I was sat here
baring my soul to you and you were
fucking with me? What the fuck is
wrong with you?
Trevor points the gun at the barman again
All you wanted to do was fuck with
my feelings, you’ve been playing
with me the entire time.
The barman continues to smile and again is unfazed by the gun
as Trevor snatches up the last shot off the bar and downs it
You know what I’m going to do, I’m
going to go to her house and I’m
going to put this gun in her mouth
and make her beg for forgiveness
from me
She’s going to beg with a gun in
her mouth?
Trevor starts to sway on the spot slightly
And then I’m going to find him and
I’m going to make him do the same
I don’t think you get that its hard
to beg with…
AND THEN I’m going to come back
here and I’m going to show you the
blood on this gun and you will know
that I did it
Trevor drops the shot glass which smashes on the floor
I hope your going to clean that up
And before I kill you, do you know
what I’m going to make you do?
I really don’t care to be honest, I
guess I’ll just find out when you
get back
The Barman turns his back on Trevor and starts to busy
himself with the bottle behind the bar
Trevor turns to storm out of the bar, he stumbles a few steps
before falling to the ground dead. The barman turns around
and leans on the bar, looking at Trevor’s body
I guess I was wrong about him
destroying himself then…

Phantom Limbs XVII

Friday 14th September 2116

James Dylan’s Audio Diary

What have I done? The last thing I remember is seeing the bar as I walked down the street. The bar and the bang. What have I done? Where did I get the gun? I was just. I wanted to try and…why did I go in? Why did I order that drink? And now…Phil. The poor man didn’t deserve any of this. His house. It was so sparse. There were bottles strewn about the place. He was as drunk as I was. But he had more sense than I did. He tried to run. Cried for help. He didn’t listed to me. To my mad, drunken ramblings and I go angry. Why couldn’t he just listen? No…I can’t blame him. This is all my fault. What have I done? Now I’m just sat in this house. Alone again. With blood on  my hands. What happened to me? This is a new nightmare. My child is gone. My wife. Phil…they’re all gone. And it’s all my fault. I pushed them away. I pulled the trigger. The police will be after me now. It’s only a matter of time.

What can I do? Or is it too late for everything? Is there anything I can do to make up for the evil I have done? The computer. The automated bank. Maybe one last thing I can do…for Mily…thank god Joanna always insisted on separate bank accounts. There isn’t enough money there to buy Mily that present she wanted. Maybe her grandmother  and mother can scrape the rest together between them. Maybe after everything I can still afford to give her that little house she wanted. Got to move fast. I can hear something moving outside the door. Am I still drunk? No. It’s got to be one of those police hounds. Those mechanical hounds, more machine than I am. But less cold… there. My last deed done. They are definitely outside the house. I can hear it snuffling beneath he door. I guess this is it. Joanna.. Oh Mily. I am so sorry…

James Dylan logged out.

Cyber Punk City part III

Ah, finally finished the third part of this trilogy. as always it is vastyl unedited as for the moment I don’t even wanna look at these stories but i will go back and edit and re upload them before i start a new project. Enjoy.

Night time had fallen in Indus. That was to say that the shield around the city was now projecting the image of a night sky, the artificial light had been dimmed and the civilised society of the city had retreated to their homes. In The Sty bars and seedier businesses had opened their doors and the whores and low lifes had started to fill the streets. Music could be heard drifting across the still air, accompanied by the ambiance that accompanied the consumption of alcohol, starting of fights and commencing of crimes ranging from petty theft and vandalism to full on gang violence and any smart man would have put their money on there being a few more bodies on the street in the morning.

Alistair Kyte relaxed in the back seat of his car and smiled to himself as he was slowly driven to a small construction site just on the outskirts of The Sty. It was his meeting point for the assassin he had hired only that morning to take out a small time corporate salary man. The man himself was mostly irrelevant but his death increased strain on the medical supply routes he managed, the increased strain would make it much easier for Kyte to bring in and distribute his own medical supplied from the neighbouring city of Aster. It was simple corporate sabotage but it had been effective in the past and Kyte was pleasantly surprised at how efficient the assassin had been, much faster than any in Aster had ever been.

Pulling up at the construction site Kyte looked up at the empty shell of a seven story building never finished, still surrounded by scaffolding and still as it had been when it was abandoned years ago after the cave in of the original districts of the city. Kyte had moved his operations from Aster to Indus when he realised that the competition between companies had been too fierce and that he would never be able to build it big with so many fighting for the top spot. Indus was much simpler; despite the numerous corporate players in the city they were all fairly small time except Apex which had a controlling stock in almost every industry in the city. All Kyte had to do, he reasoned, was to take advantage of the assets he had brought with him from Aster, employ some more underhanded tactics and in a few years he reasoned he would be a major player. He wasn’t stupid of course, he knew he had to cover his tracks and a significant amount of money had been spent to hire someone to make sure he was completely untraceable on the net, as far as the city was aware he didn’t exist and he could afford it to stay that way until he was ready to make waves.

He told his driver to wait for him in the car and then headed towards the construction site. Kyte had bought the site before he had even arrived under his old company name, a name he had already shed and was planning on finishing the building and making it his small time headquarters until he could afford somewhere nice in the centre of the city. Slowly he climbed the stairs to the seventh floor, idly feeling the butt of his personal pistol with his left hand as he climbed. It was small and inoffensive looking but he had tried it out at the range and it packed plenty of punch and he had become quite the quick draw with it if he did say so himself.

Kyte took his time on the stairs, pausing occasionally to enjoy the view of the city from each story. The city proper was lit up in all the different colours of neon as adverts danced and flickered, trying to entice customers into restaurants and cinemas while The Sty was mostly just illuminated in the dim yellow glow of failing streetlights and the occasional orange glow of a fire. The stark contrast was something, Kyte thought, that any artist could paint and make beautiful, but would never scratch the true essence of being there and seeing it.

Despite taking his time Kyte was still surprised when he arrived at the seventh floor and discovered someone else was already there, facing away from the stairs.  Gripping his pistol tightly he walked up the last few steps and said cautiously

‘Are you the assassin?’

The figure didn’t reply, just simply raised its hand as a gesture to show it had heard. Kyte took a few moments to take the figure in. it was wearing dirty combat trousers and boots with what seemed to be a black tarpauling as a cloak over its upper body, with a hood over its head. with increased care Kyte approached.

‘That’s not an answer’ he said

‘I am an assassin’ came a deep male voice in reply.

‘You’re the man hired?’

‘No other reason I would be here’ came the voice again

Kyte relinquished the grip on his pistol but kept his hand by his side.

‘You’re not quite what I expected’ he said, attempting to take on a lighter, faux friendly tone

‘You’re not from this city; I wonder what you did expect’ replied the figure, still not turning to face Kyte.

‘No I’m not, where I am from people like you tend to look a bit more…professional.’

Now the man turned to look at Kyte, his face still shrouded in his hood and making it difficult for Kyte to make out his features other than pale skin with heavy stubble and glowing yellow eyes, the man was clearly heavily augmented.

‘Oh? You’ll have to forgive my appearance; I tend to take more pride in my work than my appearance.’

Kyte wasn’t sure if the man was joking or not, his voice was all but monotone and the only change of expression that could be seen was the brief increase in the glow from his yellow eyes.

‘Well pride in our work is a trait we share, you have killed my man then’ said Kyte, continuing the façade of friendliness

‘No’ said the man in the same, flat voice.

Kyte paused, stumped for a moment by the unexpected response.

‘No…you haven’t killed him?’

‘That is what most would have understood by that answer.’

‘If he is not dead then may I ask why you are here?’ asked Kyte, unable to stop a degree of frustration slipping into his voice

‘He is dead, it just wasn’t me that killed him, I am here because I have the data you requested.’

‘Maybe it’s those differences in culture we were discussing earlier, but where I’m from, it’s the person that did the job that gets paid for it’

‘I did the job, I have the data, the man’s killer doesn’t have it and I believe the data is maybe even more important than the death of the man himself.

‘I do wonder how the other assassin would feel about you trying to get paid for doing half their job’

‘Why don’t you ask them?’ said the man, his tone had not changes the whole conversation

‘I…they’re here?’

‘She’s above us’

‘…she?’ managed Kyte before something dropped down lightly behind him.

Kyte didn’t so much as hear the person drop down behind him as he felt something moving. Trying to turn around and back away at the same time Kyte almost tripped, falling into a stagger that almost saw him dropping onto his arse. The woman who now stood behind where he had just been was wearing a dark skin suit that seemed designed to accentuate her figure as for any other purpose. Her figure was slightly too thin, though it was bolstered by the combat rig that ran along her arms and the backs of her legs connecting to low altitude drop boots. Kyte remembered similar technology being tested back in Aster, designed to help the wearer land safely should they need to drop from moderate heights such as buildings, but at the time he had paid it no attention.

The woman was beautiful with her pale skin and light blonde hair, though she wore a look on her face that was almost condescending as she looked down on the almost fallen Kyte.

‘Aww Kurt, you ruined the surprise’ she said sarcastically, not looking across at the man, who had not moved since he had turned around.

‘What surprise? I knew you were there’ the man, Kurt, replied.

The woman looked at him and tilted her head in an almost pitying way before turning back to Kyte.

‘I’m her to collect my money Mr Kyte, I am the one who killed your corporate friend’

‘Collect your money Lynx? You have the data then’ said Kurt. In his flat and unchanging tone it didn’t even sound like a rhetorical question.

The woman bristled slightly, perhaps annoyed that Kurt had used her name but she rebuilt her composure quickly.

‘As Mr Kyte was just saying to your Kurt, you can’t get paid for doing the lesser half of the job; it was an assassination contract after all’

‘I believe you are mistaken Lynx, we were just saying how the data was the important part of the deal, without it how will Mr Kyte track the medical shipments that our target was organising and have them intercepted?’

‘What?!’ spluttered Kyte upon hearing this last part ‘That’s not what I was planning’

Lynx gave him another pitying look and even Kurt turned his head slightly to observe him for a second before turning back to Lynx.

‘Like I said, the man’s life was secondary’

‘That was not what was said Kurt, don’t try and screw me on this one!’ said Lynx, a temper starting to flare

‘Screw you? I was the one in perfect position to strike until you interfered’ replied Kurt, cool and emotionless as ever

‘You…? I had the data before you stole it from me! I had everything!’

‘If you had everything then why aren’t you paid already?’ said Kurt.

‘Because you…’ started Lynx before Kyte, annoyed at being ignored in his own meeting, interjected

‘Excuse me but as the man with the money I think I am the one who should be deciding who gets paid and who gets…’

‘Someone else is coming’ interrupted Kurt, his hand bursting from his poncho, brandishing a pistol

Lynx also had a pistol in her hand, it was as if it had materialised and Kyte found himself staring down the barrels of two guns and doubting how fast a draw he was after all. His hand moved to the butt of his own pistol while his other waved stupidly in the air in front of him as if he hoped he could somehow ward away bullets.

‘Look it’s no one with me…It’s impossible for anyone else to be here, who else knows we were…’

But he was interrupted by a sudden high pitched wailing sound that filled the small open room they were in and exploded out into the night air through the unfinished walls. All three people instinctively flinched, their hands going to their ears and Kyte, the closest to the stairs, felt something slam into his back and he went sprawling to the floor, his face slamming off the concrete busting his nose open and sending his gun sliding across the floor.

Three more figures had burst into the room from the stairs, dressed in the old, worn and personalised combat gear befitting rogues from The Sty they had guns trained on the two assassins who were returning aim but were clearly at a disadvantage. One of the rogues, a woman with pale skin and her face half concealed by a fabric mask and the sides of her head shaved to leave only a long ponytail down to her lower back, had a pistol trained on Kurt, while the rogue next to her a tall man had a short mohawk and a black stripe painted across his eyes had a smug, almost twisted look on his face while he aimed a revolver at Kurt’s head. The last rogue, another man was dark skinned with thin braids in his hair and a pair of pistols, one trained on each assassin.

The female rogue leaned over to the tall male beside her and appeared to shout something over the noise while not taking her eyes or aim off Kurt. There was a brief discussion in which Kyte could hear nothing before finally the woman shouted loudly enough for everyone to hear

‘Will you turn that shit off!’

The man, finally understanding what she wanted quickly dropped his aim and fiddled with a small silver cylinder on his belt. A few seconds later the group were plunged into sweet silence.

‘Thank you, for fuck sake’ said the woman

‘Little device seems to work quite well though’ said the dark skinned rogue with a smile.

‘It could come in handy’ said the mohawked rogue, aiming again at Kyte before nodding one in turn to the two assassins.

‘Kurt, Lynx, fancy seeing you guys here.’

‘Where there’s bounty there’s business’ replied Kurt

‘It’s more of a surprise to see your little troupe here Markus. To what do we owe this interruption?’ asked Lynx, her voice silky but with a concealed edge as if she already knew she wouldn’t like the answer.

‘Well the process of elimination plus the clearly drawn firearms would make someone assume we’re here for the same reason you are Lynx…’ replied the female rogue, not even trying to conceal her own distaste.

‘You’re rogues; you don’t collect bounties Tris’

Kyte shifted slightly on the floor. The blood from his nose was starting to run down into his mouth and his head was throbbing. He was confused and terrified but he was already wracking his brain, he could come up with some way out of this, there had to be a way if he could just stall these newcomers perhaps he could signal to Kurt or Lynx somehow…

‘Bounties…’ he stammered ‘How many people in this city tried to kill one…’

‘Shut the fuck up!’ Lynx, the female rogue Tris and the mohawked rogue, Markus, all at the same time.

‘Oh we’re all here for the same reason…’ said the dark skinned rogue ‘it’s just that you’re here to kill this poor fucker for money, we’re doing it because he fucked with us’

Kyte’s blood ran cold as ice through his veins

‘Kill me? What have I done to you? I haven’t done anything! And who put a bounty on me! Who even knows I’m…’

There was a crack as Kurt’s boot collided with the back of Kyte’s head and the world seemed to spin from the blow.

‘The ladies asked you to stop talking, it would be rude not to do so’ came Kurt’s calm and cold voice.

‘Surprisingly, that man you had us kill, his employers weren’t too happy to have their schedule disrupted. Your bounty is for the inconvenience.’ Said Lynx.

The groups were still all stood with their guns raised and aimed at each other but even Kyte could tell that the threatening intent that they had all started with was starting to fade away, being replaced more with an air of keeping up appearances. Markus was starting to throw sideways glances between Lynx and Tris while the dark skinned rogue would occasionally spin one of his own guns around in his hand.

‘And I assume you knew that guy who you had killed, he was involved in the shipment of medical supplies to a few different pharmacies…’ he said between tricks.

‘One of those shipments, we were gonna rob. Literally hours of planning gone to waste because of your little power play’ continued Markus with a twisted smile

‘In short, you die as a message to people not to fuck with our plans’ finished Tris.

‘But he is my kill’ said Lynx ‘you three blundering in here has ruined one payday for me already, I am not losing another because you arse holes want to send a message that people won’t even notice.’

‘You’re not in a position to bargain Lynx, walk away and make this easy for all of us.’ Said Markus

‘How is it easy for me to walk away from my money?!’ shouted Lynx her gun aimed square between Markus’ eyes.

‘Why is it that I am left out of this conversation?’ jumped in Kurt

‘Kurt all you have is information, information which will be worthless when this guy is dead. You have no stake in this anymore.’ Replied Lynx, glowering at Kurt before returning her scowl to Markus.

There was a brief pause where Kurt seemed to take in this information and process it before lowering his weapon and quietly cursing to himself under his breath.

‘No…NO! Kurt, please, I’ll pay you for that data! I’ll pay you double just don’t let me die, you can’t let me die!’ screamed Kyte, crawling across the floor towards Kurt, a pitiful sight as a grown man with tears in his eyes blubbing like a child. Kurt raised his gun and a single shot rang out like a thunderclap. Kyte’s kneecap burst like a balloon as blood was spattered across the concrete floor. Lynx’s gun jumped from Markus’ head to Kurts as she screamed in shock and frustration

‘What the fuck Kurt!’

‘What? He’s wanted dead, not taxidermied’ Replied Kurt, his expression blank and his voice seeming even more lifeless than before, he slowly turned to Markus before speaking again. ‘Just don’t let her get the bounty.’

Kyte was a crumpled heap, the pool of blood spilling from his leg rapidly expanding and Markus took a small step back to avoid it running under his boot.

‘Look…’ he started cautiously ‘How about this, first a show of good intent between us’ and he lowered his weapon from where it had been pointed at Lynx.

‘We don’t need the money, just the kill, but we need to leave a message. If we do that, you don’t get paid, so how about this, you take this guy’s computer, Kurt I have no doubt you could rinse all the funds he has from that, then you two can split that whatever way you want, that’s between you, and we all just walk away happily having done our jobs.’

Another short pause in which the wind was the only sound to mix with the quiet groans from Kyte as he passed into shock. Finally Lynx sighed angrily and lowered her gun, followed by the dark skinned rogue and then, very reluctantly, by Tris. The tension seemed to seep away from all of them and the dark skinned rogue smiled.

‘Thought we were never gonna end that stand off shit…’ he said addressing the room at large.

‘Hey Garrett, there is some chain over there on that box, go grab it will you?’ said Markus before turning to the bloody pile that was Kyte with another twisted smile.

‘He’s Garrett by the way, not that it matters but you seemed to have been introduced to everyone else already.’

Kyte tried to say something which was likely more pleading but was too quiet to be made out. With a smirk to match Markus’ Lynx took two steps forward before pressing her heel down into Kyte’s shattered kneecap. The man screamed, the pain snapping him back to reality instantly.

‘What was that last bit? My friend seems not to have heard you’ she said in a mockingly sweet tone

Tris stepped forward, a glare focused on Lynx but Markus stood up turning and wrapping and arm, across Tris’ chest to stop her getting within arm’s reach of Lynx who laughed at the display.

‘Oh relax sweetheart, I’ll keep my distance from Markie here, heaven knows I’ve had enough fun with him.’

Tris tried again to get to Lynx, who took a quick step back with concern etched on her face as Markus continued to restrain the furious rogue. Lynx was athletically built but slender whereas Tris was lithe but muscled and there was little doubt between anyone who would have come off better had it come to blows. Clearly all parties involved had either forgotten or didn’t care that they were still holding fire arms.

There was a clinking of metal and Markus turned around to see Garrett walking over with a length of chains in his hands. Stooping again Markus searched inside Kyte’s expensive suit jacket and plucked out a small computer pad which he examined for a second before throwing it to Lynx who caught it nimbly.

‘There, now you two can fuck off and kill each other for it.’

Lynx turned to face Tris even as she addressed Markus, an evil smile on her face.

‘You’re still so sweet to me after so many years, careful or people will get ideas.’

‘Let’s leave Lynx, would hate to see you get yourself killed before we can split this pay’ came Kurt’s icy voice.

‘I do hope you don’t think you’re getting more than a few measly credits for this Kurt, you have done nothing to deserve it’ started Lynx as she started descending the stairs, Kurt following behind. Their argument could be heard even as they wandered off into the night.

‘One of these days I am going to murder that bitch’ said Tris, her voice filled with anger.

Markus stepped over to her and gave her a quick kiss whilst running his hand over the shaved side of her head.

‘And I hope I am there to see it, but not tonight. They still have value to the cause and a fed dog is more obedient.’ He said

Tris smiled at this and leaned her head against his chest for a moment before they were broken from their moment by the rattling of chains and the panicked objections from Kyte. Turning they saw Garrett with the chain wrapped around Kyte’s neck and using it to try and pull him back to his feet with little success.

‘I am sorry about the archaic nature of this execution method…’ he was saying with a complete lack of sincerity ‘But you see we’ve been doing this for a while and it has kinda become a rogue calling card, if we didn’t do this then people wouldn’t know that you were killed by rogues.’

Markus joined Garrett and helped take Kyte’s dead weight  as they steered him over to one of the open sides of the building where there was an exposed chunk of steel girder sticking out into the night air. Markus held Kyte as Garrett pulled himself up to the girder and managed to secure the loose end of the chain to it before jumping back down to join them.

‘By the way…’ said Tris as the two men positioned Kyte so that his back was to the air, facing inwards so that he could see Tris. ‘It was your business partner who sold you out. You weren’t even in the city before he had sold your real identity to Apex.’

‘Lot of hackers and computer experts in this city Mr Kyte, not many good ones either and even less loyal ones. You should have come to me, I could have done the job for you and kept my mouth shut, not that it matters now but…just saying’ said Markus, shrugging.

‘Any last words from the departing?’ aske Garrett.

Kyte muttered something hard to understand with the chain around his neck and Tris shrugged before kicking his square in the chest, sending him backwards out the building where eh dropped out of sight. The chain went taught and there was a crunching sound, the chain shuddered a few times before starting to swing lazily back and forth.

‘I guess not’ said Tris, smiling at Markus who returned it while Garrett chuckled.

The trio leaned over the edge to spy their handiwork and Markus raised his gun, using the barrel to scratch a burn scar that ran across his temple before Tris pulled his hand back down.

‘You keep doing that man you’re gonna burn yourself again.’ said Garrett

‘Can’t help it, it’s become a force of habit’ replied Markus with a sigh

‘Then unforce it or I will’ said Tris flashing Markus a devious smile

‘That doesn’t even make sense love’ retorted markus before pulling Tris in close and embracing her again.

Garrett rolled his eyes and looked down at Kyte’s body as the two kissed again.

‘That car we torched went up really good’ he said idly as he watched the blazing remains of Kyte’s car, the windshield shattered from where Markus had put two rounds through it and into the driver.

‘You know this part of the city is kinda secluded. Said Tris breaking away from Markus, ‘you think it’ll take him long to be found?’

‘Who knows? Could be days’ Said Garrett

‘Come on, let’s go’ replied Markus, leading the trio away.

‘This was fun guys, we should do it again sometime.’ Said Garrett, bringing up the rear.

‘I’m sure we will, but for now, drinking’ said Markus.

Cyberpunk City Part II

So this is a sort of companion piece that goes along with thefirst part of this story. the stories are set at the same time so that anyone who reads both will be able to compare the events and see where they meet up. I know it isn’t original as an idea but it came to me after i had started writing this one so i will be going back to the first part and making as few changes to make them sync up better. there will also be a third part to this that i would like to say is coming soon but my motivation is still rather dead right now so…enjoy?

The Sty. A run down and god forsaken hole where even the most desperate people fear to go, a haven to criminals and a home to only those who can find nowhere else to go. The streets were piled with scrap and junk that kids would dig through for anything of value. The shops were run down, offering what little they had at extortionate prices. The rats ran free and only the tops of the tallest buildings escaped the filth. The faint neon lights that list up the alleys flickered and died and the only buildings that seemed to prosper in the lowest regard where the bars where the desperate inhabitants would drink away their woes. The food supplies that the main city shipped in never spread far enough and people would go hungry more often than not. Every corner was a danger as people lay in wait for anyone who they could pilfer for money or even just food. The sty was the only place in Indus where physical money was still widely traded, the rest of the city having progressed to non-physical forms of currency such as fingertip scanners. The three districts of the city were a blight on Indus’ clean and ordered image, an unsightly disease that they had tried repeatedly to cut out to no success.

Kurt Harron woke up. It wasn’t the slow, waking up that movie characters seem to experience, where they slowly regain consciousness and roll over in their massive beds to see their loved ones beside them. it was more like a switch had been flipped, one second he was asleep, the next his eyes were open and he was wide awake. If Kurt had rolled over he would have seen nothing but a wall a foot away from him in either direction. Kurt was in a small pod in a collection of hundreds of pods that lined the walls of the cubicle hotel in which Kurt had decided to sleep. There was only one feature to the otherwise blanks walls that had yellowed badly in the years since the pod had been installed. A small potted plant stood in the corner of the pod, a few inches from Kurt’s head. It was fake of course and barely more than twelve inches from pot to top most leaf but some strange part of Kurt had taken a liking to it when he had seen it and so he had stolen it.

Sliding down in the pod Kurt managed to slide the curtain aside with his boot and pushed himself from the pod, dropping a few feet to the floor. the was no movement anywhere in the rest of the hotel complex, but that was to be expected being the middle of the night so no one saw Kurt leave, pausing only for a moment to glance at the door to the public showers and pull a handful of change from his pocket only to decide against paying the credit to get in and have a wash. Once out onto the streets Kurt wandered around the side of the building to a crater that was sunk six feet into the wall of the hotel where he sat down to examine his surroundings.

The rest of the alley was littered with small pieces of shrapnel and if Kurt had to guess he would have said the crater was made by some fool getting careless with a grenade he had procured from somewhere, in this city they weren’t very hard to come by if you were set on getting one. Kurt was wearing a pair of dirty black and grey combat trousers and some very old parade boots, all covered with a makeshift poncho that he had fashioned out of a grey plastic tarpauling he had found a few days ago. After surveying the area and deciding that no one else was around the still dark streets Kurt looked down at the computer deck fused into the flesh of the underside of his right arm. The screen glowed a bright orange against the darkness and illuminated the middle aged but rapidly aging face of Kurt.

He was scrolled through the briefing for a target he had picked up on the Black-Net, essentially a bulletin board for people that wanted to employ those of the more unscrupulous nature. The target was a minor Apex Corp employee, just a cog in the machine that has been told it was slightly more important than the rest. The goal was a simple assassination as well as a snatch and grab of some information from his computer. Nothing of much use to anyone but it would almost certainly elicit a response from Apex; the fool who had posted the job was new in the city. Indus didn’t often bring in new entrepreneurs, most people weren’t stupid enough to think they could cut off a slice of the pie the existing corporations were fighting over and those that did often found themselves out in the middle of the nuclear winter without a envirosuit,  but this new guy was beyond a fool. He was trying to take a slice of Apex’s pie, their pharmaceutical pie, maybe the most expensive pie in the whole city. Kurt would have put money on this guy being dead by daylight, but still Kurt wasn’t going to look a dead man in the mouth and one man’s folly was another man’s fortune.

Standing, Kurt wandered into the main street. The imitation moon was just still high in the sky and most people were still sleeping, or trying to sleep in whatever holes they had found. Kurt looked up at the building whose shadow he had been hiding in. The capsule hotel that he had had the misfortune of calling home was one of the few solid and sturdy buildings in this part of town, being as it was made to be one large piece of concrete and metal. Most building in the sty were a strange collection of square prefabricated rooms which could be removed from each other and, in theory attached to any other prefabricated room which made anyone with the equipment to do so a very rich man, and most of the structures resemble huge square modern art pieces rather than actual buildings. Most residents of the slums would be luck to say that they had a single room to themselves, with some ten by ten rooms housing up to five people.

A lot of other buildings in the Sty were hurriedly assembled hotels like the one Kurt had slept, either that or apartment blocks even worse than the prefabricated housing which had been erected after the ground beneath the first three districts to be built in this area had collapsed, dropping all the buildings and people who had lived there into a crevice hundreds of feet down. After the incident the governing body of Indus had decided to cut their losses and covered over the hole with titanium sheets and had intended to build new districts on top. That plan had never come to fruition and all that was ever built were these apartments and hotels, buildings intended to house those misplaced by the catastrophe, from there came the prefabs and finally shacks had been built in the far corner of the city, pressed right up against the wall. In the nine rich districts of the city people would look upon the Sty and say that they wouldn’t wish it upon their worst enemies.

The foul smell of poorly prepared fish rolled up the street and Kurt started moving before any more of the food vendors started to wake and prepare their wares. No food in Indus was fresh, it was all artificially replicated in labs and then sold to the public but the Sty managed to gain a special level of stench every day when the food vendors started pedalling their wares and the smell of lab grown chicken, cooked in grease, was mingled with artificial fish and vats of fake potatoes drenched in vinegar and a thousand other smells to make a sickening cacophony that would almost overpower the usual stench that filled the streets like a burst sewage pipe.

Kurt made no effort to hurry as he passed through the streets. There was no real rush to get on with this mission and he was formulating a plan as he went. If he wanted to try and keep the Apex heat off his own back, ideally, he would have taken the target out in his home or before he got to his office but that would still leave the problem of finding the computer data and his employer had failed to provide many details on his target. It could take hours to find a man on the net. All the employer had specified was the name of the man, a picture, the office he worked in and the floor. Kurt decided that the only place to get at his target would be at his workplace. But how could he gain access?

The idea come to Kurt just as he left the Sty and headed into Indus proper. The difference was staggering as one entered the richer districts of Indus. The small was gone and the filth even in the middle class areas was almost gone with it. The advertising boards were unvandalised and there was no sign of the oil drums that littered the streets of the Sty, full of kindling and ready to be lit up for light when the power went out again were nowhere to be seen. The while city seemed to switch from prefabricated and temporary buildings to tall structures made from polished steel and glass. Even the lowest rent apartments were painted in bright white to in keep with the aesthetic and the glowing signs on buildings advertised theatres, restaurants and medical clinics rather than cheap bars.

The streets were still all but deserted the atmosphere of the city proper came across to Kurt as very fake and forced. The smiling images on the advertisements felt like they were grimacing rather than genuinely smiling and if someone really looked they would notice that everywhere they looked they were being sold something. Apparently nobody in this city was happy with what they had. The sterile feel of the richer districts made Kurt feel like everything was trying so hard to be perfect. At least the Sty felt real and lived in.

Kurt knew he must have stuck out in the clean and tidy city like a sore thumb compared to the few people who had ventured from their homes at this time, dressed in their well kempt matching outfits, their suits and shined shoes. Kurt was covered in dirt, he kept the hood of his makeshift poncho up and his face covered so that no one would see that every now and then his irises would flash yellow as the orbital implants refocused themselves. Several people went out of their way to avoid him and almost all of them turned to watch him over their shoulders.

Kurt didn’t care. He was used to the stares. He was out of place even in the Sty and there were many people there who were worse than he was. Everything in this city was branded by some corporation or another, everywhere he turned Kurt saw logos and advertisements for the various companies that were slowly leaching any life away from the city. People could say anything they wanted about the Sty but at least there was personality to it. All the corporate bullshit served only to slowly make everything the same and worse the wars that the corporations could go to over territory and economic dominance were dividing the city with battle lines of espionage and backstage politics, people died and nobody on the street even knew it was happening. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the poor and misplaced were separated from the rest of the city like they were cattle but now everyone else was being split by where they were in the city and what companies they worked for.

Finally Kurt came to the office block of his target. It was tall, stretching into the sky and towering above almost all the other buildings around it. Compared to other Apex buildings it was small, clearly an older construction and now of little importance. All the newest offices stretched much higher as if all the corporations were in a contest to see who could build a building the highest without it falling down. There was however one problem. There was a wall around the buildings compound. Around twenty foot tall, its smooth white exterior and glowing advertisements did little to hide the fact that it was there to keep people like him out. There seemed to be one gate through with a small road leading off the main one and through it.

Still a block and a half away from it Kurt turned and walked down and alley, his eyes on the flood, looking for something in the darkness. Finally he found it tucked in the corner at the back, a small manhole leading down into the sewers.

Kurt slipped the cover of the manhole back and slowly descended the ladder, making sure to slide the cover back over him as he went. The darkness closed in around him for a second before his orbital implants kicked in and the world seemed to glow with a slight yellow tint as he looked behind him. The sewers were surprisingly large. Wide across from wall to wall, the ceiling was arched above him and the floor was a large grate under which ran a flow of sewage.

There were pipes hanging from the ceiling, held up by thick metal supports that dug deep into the roof. There was about a two foot gap between the brickwork and the pipes and with a deft leap Kurt left the ladder and gripped the closest pipe, pulling himself up and into the gap in a matter of seconds. Here he paused, waiting for the sound of anyone approaching, perhaps drawn by the sound of his leap, though he knew he had been all but silent, or perhaps a maintenance crew who just happened to be passing this section of tunnel. There was no one.

Convinced that his presence was hidden Kurt started crawling. It was easy to mask any noise while he travelled but the progress was slow and were it not for the fact that he had had his nerve systems dulled years ago he would have ached terribly. His head mostly scrapped the ceiling and all too often he found it cracking off a loose handing brick or old bolt from when the pipes had been installed. The layers of filth on the pipe quickly started to cling to his clothing and more than once he had to displace a weevil which had nested atop the pipes, dropping the fist sized insects from the pipe to the grating below where they landed with a dull thunk.

Progress was slow but Kurt knew he had time and he had a plan, though crawling along a pipe was the easy bit. He had to find a manhole close enough to the building he was looking for, from there he could pretty easily gain entry to the building and then it would just be a case of waiting for his target. Admittedly it was not the best of plans but simple and, in fitting with Kurt’s preferred style, could be changed on the fly should the need present itself.

Suddenly Kurt stopped, flattening himself to his cover. There were voiced drifting down the tunnel and they were drawing closer. Carefully Kurt pulled a small screen from under his poncho and rapidly started typing something into the display. Images flashed up of blueprints and circuitry and a few seconds later the sparse lighting in the tunnel flickered and then went dead. A few seconds later three people entered the tunnel. With his optical implants Kurt could see them plain as day even in the darkness and he pressed himself to the pipe again, hoping than none of them had implants of their own.

His fears were averted when none of them even so much as looked up. They were dressed in old and worn combat gear and were clearly members of the cities rebel contingent, essentially the poor people who had banded together and fled the authoritarian rule of the city to live in the sewers. They upheld a token resistance against the city security forces but everyone knew that should their hiding place ever be discovered they would likely be quickly wiped out.

Two of the rebels were male, one tall and pale skinned with a single stripe of dark hair down the centre of his head which hung down the left side of his head. He looked familiar to Kurt but he couldn’t really place him. The other man was just as tall but with dark skin and his hair in long, thin braids that ran down to his arse. The third was a woman, not a lot shorter than the men and almost as pale as the first with her short hair shaved into an undercut. Her hand was in the back pocket of the first man.

Keeping very quiet Kurt let them pass underneath him until they were out of earshot before he continued on his way. It took him another half an hour crawling to reach what he was looking for. A ladder like the one he had leapt off was cut into the wall and leading up into another manhole. Kurt carefully eased himself off the pipes and onto the ladder, quickly ascending.

Kurt stuck his head up from the manhole ever so slightly and peered around, smiling to himself. He was in the perfect position, the middle of the road right outside the main gate to the office block where his target worked. The artificial sun was imitating Kurt by only slightly rising above the horizon as if scanning the city before it decided to rise. Lowering himself back into the hole Kurt jabbed a few more buttons on his screen and a small picture appeared showing an image of himself and with a few more presses there was a quiet whir and the screen displayed the message ‘magnetic field engaged’.

The roads of Indus all worked via magnetism. The roads had a magnetic current passed through them and the cars other vehicles all produced the opposite magnetic field, essentially repelling themselves from the road and floating a few feet from the ground. Then the magnets in the vehicles could shift to decide which way the vehicle was propelled. At the same time if the ISF needed to lock down the road for any reason they could simply reverse the polarity of the roads and all the vehicles would be pulled to the ground and locked in place until they were released. The only vehicles in the city that didn’t use this technology were the police patrol vehicles, which could employ fusion engines to achieve full fledged flight and large haulage goods that could carry tonnes of supplies throughout the city, usually used by companies for supplies such as medicine and food, and as such were too heavy for magnetic repulsion to be practical.

With his personal field activated Kurt poked his head above the road again and looked away from the gates. Right on time there was a van pulling up with the company logo on the side. Slowly it pulled closer to the gates and as it did so Kurt braced himself, preparing to let go of the ladder and positioning himself so that his back was angled more towards the sky. As the van floated over the manhole Kurt released the ladder and allowed himself to be pulled up through the hole and into the air, hovering between the van and the road. The van never stopped moving but continued forward, through the gates of the compound and seemed to drive around the entire building before finally entering a parking lot and coming to a stop, supported a few feet off the ground by supports that stopped the vehicles propulsion magnets from touching the ground while it was turned off. Kurt deactivated his personal field and dropped the small distance onto his front, quickly rolling away from the car and easily escaping into the shadows of the car park.

The van’s occupant didn’t seem to have noticed anything as he hopped onto the tarmac and walked casually to a door by the entrance of the parking lot, quickly swiping a card across a scanner before heading out of sight through the door. Alone and hidden Kurt carefully undid the small plastic fasten on his makeshift poncho and allowed it to fall to the floor, exposing Kurt’s body. His entire torso was covered in small wires, printed into his skin and seeming to go deep into his muscle mass, emerging from the skin to run for a few inches before disappearing again. The wires ran from his chest down to below his trouser waistline and up to just below his jaw line. On his left pectoral there was a sheet of metal with a small display across embedded into the muscle with a thick wire running from it, down his left arm to another display installed just below the wrist, very similar to the portable screen that Kurt had used earlier.

Kurt ran his fingers across the display on his chest which lit up with a bright, vibrant orange light which sliced through the dark and exposed Kurt’s position to anyone who may have been watching. Kurt hurriedly typed commands into the display in his wrist and his entire skin started to slowly turn more and more silvery and chrome until he resembled a blob of mercury moulded into human form. And then in a matter of seconds his skin, the wires and displays all disappeared from view completely, leaving just a pair of trousers and boots stood alone and a crumpled poncho.

Kurt stood for a moment, adjusting to the electric tingling feeling that flowed through his body, seeming to pass through his very cells almost painful but still slightly enjoyable. Kurt felt powerful, every time he did this he imagined where he could go, what he could do and how know one would ever know. But he always refocused himself. He had a job to do. Bringing himself back to the world he quickly removed his trousers and boots, wrapping them in his poncho and hiding them away in a corner of the parking lot before heading over to the door his driver had disappeared through and examining the scanner, a simple design it would prove no obstacle.

Kurt was invisible even to himself but his eyes could see the electronic impulses passing through the wires embedded in his body, making him appear to himself as a series of glowing orange wires stood on their own like ivy wrapped around an invisible tree. The displays in his chest and arm were the only other part of him that he could see, though they were as invisible to anyone else as the rest of him. From the display on his arm Kurt pulled a long wire with a simple connection jack on the end which he plugged into the side of the scanner. He explored the internal programming, him mind probing around the simple device like a mouse exploring a maze, cutting directly to its goal at the end while still being cautious to avoid any danger, or in this case tripping anything that would set of the alarm. Kurt smirked at how basic the device was. For such a large company Apex clearly didn’t think its physical security a big issue.

Kurt slipped through the doorway and into a small hallway with one door leading off to the left and a set of stairs at the end. He kept low as he moved, often crawling across the floor on all fours like an animal, sliding round the corners and constantly checking behind himself. He was completely silent and, short of walking straight into him, no one could have even known he was there.

The stairwell lead to the first of many offices. The room was large and open, but with huge ten foot dividers separating it into roughly thirty cubicles with one smaller room at the far end with a glass door through which Kurt could see an executive office, one large desk with built in screens and even a potted plant in the corner that made the plain and featureless rest of the office look barren in contrast. The walls were almost entirely floor to ceiling screen, paper thin in order to take up as little room as possible that could be used to cram more people into. Together the screens displayed an image of the Indus skyline in an attempt to simulate the office being higher than street level. The ceiling was a brilliant white in colour and the carpet was deep red and spotless.

The stair case continued upwards and Kurt wasted no more time looking around the office, he had been inside cells before and had resolved to spend as little time as possible in another one. Each floor held another, almost identical office as the first with the only difference to each one being the colour of the carpet and Kurt realised what it meant when his target was on floor red 3. There was no one else on the stairs, in fact there were very few people in the building at all, clearly still being early outside despite the illusion of the bright skyline that the screen lined walls were trying to give. Kurt was silent, his bare feet making no noise against cold concrete floor even as he bounded up the stairs, his enhanced muscles enabling him to leap up a whole flight at one.

Finally he reached the third level with red carpet, he must have been about twenty flights up from ground level and when he emerged from the staircase and felt the soft carpet between his toes the first thing her noticed was how dark it was inside.  The screens with the bright skyline were gone and there were real windows looking out onto the city. here and there in the office there were some lights switched on at desks and the quiet sound of typing could be heard floating around the empty room. At least some of the employees on this level liked to arrive early.

Cautiously Kurt moved around the office, keeping low again and hugging the corners he was startled at one point when just as he rounded a corner he came face to kneecap with a bleary eyes office worker. Kurt rolled just in time, to avoid any impact and landed on the floor with a thump. The office worker looked around for a moment and then continued on his way. Kurt untensed, and allowed himself a second to lie there on the floor before continuing with even more caution, sliding along the floor almost on his belly, coming to the glass door to the executive office at the opposite end of the room and managing to open it hardly any wider than a foot and slip in, easing the door closed behind himself.

Standing upright again Kurt looked around the room, the lack of a potted plant meant it had possibly the single least amount of personality of a room Kurt had ever seen and he smiled to himself, reminded of why he preferred the slums to the city at large, filth gave a place character. Opening one of the computers built into the desk Kurt busied himself with trying to find the files he needed to sell. The security for the computer systems was leaps and bounds above the security for the building itself, comprising of multiple firewalls, anti-viruses and encoded filing systems. Complex for most people but not for Kurt, for him it was almost child’s play, tearing down the fire walls with ease and simply inserting his own programme to run and scan the whole system for the information he needed, it slipped by the anti-viruses and sought out every instance of the keywords he entered on the whole buildings network. Admittedly it would still take some time, but that was something that Kurt had a lot of. All he had to do was sit and await the programmes completion and then the arrival of his target.

Time passed, the sun rose and let light into the office thought the spotless windows and slowly sad looking office workers entered and sat down to their desks. The one downside of Kurt’s stealth systems were that they allowed for nothing external to be worn and not for the first time Kurt regretted paying the extra credits to change the colour of his inbuilt systems from the original, gaudy green, to the much preferred orange that they were now, at the expense of a built in watch. From watching the artificial horizon sink away below the sun and the increase of traffic below him he could make a rough estimate that it was closing on average time for work to begin and, Kurt guessed that his target’s position as an executive gave him leave to be moderately late for the start of the day. Still, the longer he had to wait the more nervous Kurt got. He was a paranoid man from experience but he never liked staying still for too long and he had a feeling that something was wrong.

Suddenly there was a buzz from the systems inbuilt to his arm, he looked down at a new message that had appeared, someone e else was trying to remove the data, his data. A cold flush ran down his spine as he rapidly hammered more commands into his device. Someone else was after this target, information and all. Kurt activated his counter measures just as he heard voices coming from the main room, voices greeting someone. A quick look through the glass door revealed his target. A scowl on his face he was storming past the other workers without so much as a word and making a beeline for the room in which Kurt was hidden. Another buzz from his systems, they had detected the other hacker trying for the data and Kurt recognised the signal, he knew the other hacker and now he was panicking. All he could do was sit and wait for his target to come to him or he would risk exposing himself.

Grabbing his right wrist he peeled off a flap of synthetic skin and pulled a blade from where it had been concealed beneath. It wasn’t a knife as much as it was a sharpened shard of metal, cruel edged and polished to a sheen. Kurt held t in a white knuckled grip as he quickly scanned the surrounding rooftops and then returned his view to his target. He was barely ten feet away now, just a few more seconds and he would be Kurt’s. Every footstep seemed to last an hour as the closed slowly on the office. Kurt adjusted the grip on his weapon. The man’s hand outstretched to open his door. Kurt’s systems buzzed again and but Kurt ignored it.

There was a quiet crunch sound and the target collapsed through the door, his head missing and chunks of bone and claret painting the featureless ceiling, blending into the carpet. The body dropped to the floor in front of Kurt and he instinctively dove into the corner. There were screams in the other room. Kurt had to escape, and he could see only one way. Diving forward he threw the office window, the only feature of the whole room, wide open and threw himself to the air.

Wind screamed in his ears as he fell, the force of the air so severe as he plummeted that even he was forced to shut his eyes against it. As he fell he focused on counting the rough distance that he had fallen, trying to calculate the velocity at which he was traveling, even with a computer for half his brain it was hard to get it exact and as he activated his magnet field he knew he had been slightly too late.

The force of the field bucking against anything metal hit him like a train as he was rapidly slowed, the sudden deceleration knocking the breath from him and when he hit the ground it was so hard that he left dents in the metal road. The skin on the soles of his feet split like it was paper and blood spattered across the ground. it was nothing but instinct that got Kurt moving for cover before he allowed himself to slump down to the ground, hurling himself behind some packing crates piled and ready to be loaded onto trucks. He caught his breath and looked around his surroundings. He had not fallen as far from the building as he had expected, in fact he was still inside the compound, which made things easier. As he picked himself up he was reminded of the old proverb of the apple falling from a tree and smirked despite himself as he carefully picked his was around the building and back to the parking lot, leaving a trail of bloody footprints as he went. That was no worry, his blood wouldn’t be on any records for DNA and was splice with chemicals so that it would rapidly break down when exposed to the elements. Retrieving his clothes he dressed and slipped into the shadows again. There was no alarm sounded though there was a clear increase in activity on the floors above him.

Only then did he check the screen on his arm, deactivating the stealth systems and opening the message he had received. The data had been successfully retrieved onto his own systems and likewise deleted from the systems of the other assassin.

Just then another message popped up on screen. A second job had become available to him. Opening it he smiled to himself as he read the posting. Maybe there was still a chance to salvage the day he thought as he slipped from the parking lot, avoiding the bloody and already dry footprints he had left on the way in.

Hi Ho Silver Lining!

So I have been rather busy recently with other writing I have been doing as well as starting a new job but I did manage to get one piece done. With this I was trying to think of a way i could mess with peoples perceptions of characters by simply witholding details about the characters. i guess we’ll see if it worked or not.


My foot comes down hard in a puddle and I find it to be deeper than I had anticipated. I stagger forward and only just manage to prevent myself from going sprawling in the mud. Urging myself forward I slip again, this time in the mud and again narrowly manage to stay on my feet. I stop and steady myself, the water running freely over me. My insides are still twisted with panic, I keep asking myself where he is and I still have no answer. All I can do is struggle on, the mud clinging to my boots, sucking my feet down and trying to hold me back and trap me. The trees are far from close to each other, hardly a forest at all but in the dark they still prove hard to navigate. More than once I almost crash into a thick trunk or grot myself on a low branch.

I keep thinking to myself, where are the police? Why aren’t they here yet? And my stomach twists tighter again. I can’t think like that, they are on their way. My thoughts quickly rush back to him, where can he be? How fast was he moving? Can he know where I am? I curse my lack of exercise and swear to myself that I will cut all the fast food out of my diet, I’ll never drink again, I’ll be the most athletic person in the county. For now though all I can do is keep running, with every breath tearing at my chest, my legs feeling like shattered glass.

The wind is cold and bites with savage ferocity at my face and hands, my drenched shirt offering me all but no protection against its bitter cold. But then, on the edge of hearing, comes the sound of snapping branches. Something is moving off to my left. I change direction and keep running. The howling wind seems to try and mask the sound of crunching bark, all the elements seeming to conspire against me. I am making no effort to quiet my own footsteps, I can’t, all my mind is telling me to do is to move and move fast.

The sound of his movements is getting louder, getting closer and in my panic I trip over a root. This time there is no saving myself and with a colossal crash I slam into the ground. The sound of movement stops and all seems quiet. There is no sound of movement, the wind has stopped howling, even the rain seems to have silenced itself. I lie there, listening to my own ragged breath, I keep imagining the sound of sirens in the distance but again I banish the thought from my head. Slowly I start to crawl forward, not even daring to raise my belly from the ground. There was still no sound as I cautiously crept forward hoping against hope that I had not been seen by him.

Then I stopped, just ahead of me with his back facing me, he was crouched behind a tree. Clearly he was trying to conceal himself unaware that he was on the wrong side of it. There was still some blood on his shirt where it had stained before the rain could wash it away and I realised I had to act before he turned around. Lurching to me feet I rush forward. He turned and saw me, his face a mask of terror as I quickly crossed the few meters between us, raising the hatchet gripped tightly in my hand I brought it down hard, burying it in his head.

Blood burst everywhere and he fell to the ground without so much as a scream or a cry for mercy. It was not very satisfying but given the situation it had to be done quickly, he had already almost escaped.

I placed my boot on his chest and, grabbing the handle of the hatchet I gave a sharp tug. the man’s neck twisted violently at the force of my pull but the axe head stayed firmly embedded in his skull. Several more attempts yielded the same results and I sank down in the mud and clutched my chest, desperately sucking air. Finally I manage to calm myself and relax slightly. Sure I still had to find a way to drag the body back to the cabin and hide it with the others but the worst of the night was over and for a silver lining, the rain had started to let up.

My Favorite Short Story (of my own)

This is probably the short story that i have done that i am most proud of, not nessesarily because it is the best writen but because it may be the idea the most and it’s one of the few things i have writen that is in no way supernatural. Enjoy


Diane Winters tutted to herself as she turned the page of the day’s paper and saw the headline of the entertainment section. ‘Dawn of Darkness plagued by more setbacks.’

“It doesn’t bode well” said the hairdresser currently running a brush through Diane’s hair.

But Diane ignored her; as long as she managed to apply foundation right her opinion wasn’t needed. Below the headline was a short story with a picture of the films director and Diane’s husband, Harry Winters. The story detailed the series of misfortunes that had hampered the production of Dawn of Darkness, from monetary problems to unfortunate casting decisions that had left but a pitiful number of known names adrift in a sea of junior actors all vying for a chance in the spotlight. Undiscovered talent Harry liked to call them but Diane had seen them all before, the young kids who thought they were going to be the next big name in Hollywood so desperate to climb to the top that they were willing to try and drag down those who had already become towers of the industry. Worst of all was Annabelle, that little bitch who had been brought in second lead female, as if there needed to be. The cow was always trying to talk to Diane, asking for ‘tips for the industry’ and asking if Diane wanted to ‘hang out’ at the end of the day. As if she would ever be seen with the unknown again, Diane had payed her dues and everyone else had to as well.

The Diane’s glance fell on the picture of her husband. Harry had been such a promising director at one point. A smash hit in the cinematic world with his initial works of horror and creature features which were surprising hits of the past two years. The two had first met on the set of Harry’s third film, a werewolf flick that nowadays Diane struggled to remember the name of, and who could blame her? Nobody else did. still, even after a less successful film Harry was still a rising star and the two had already made headlines being seen together so the marriage was only logical, make a name for herself while her husband handed her choice roles and payed the bills. But it had not worked out as planned. Harry’s film making never really evolved like everyone had predicted. Instead of moving on to mature subjects and serious plotlines he instead was determined to remain in the horror genre, making monster films and even refusing even to move on from practical effects to CGI, saying that it didn’t ‘look real.’ Diane remembered shouting at his once that ‘none of it looks real Harry, none of it is!’ but he refused to listen and quickly his films started to fall out of popularity and Diane, far from becoming a household name like she had envisioned, had become some ‘scream queen.’ A punch line to the joke that Harry Winters had become.

Diane sighed. Even Harry’s appearance had fallen out of style. When they had first met he had been the height of fashion, always a talking point on the red carpet. But now he was a poster boy for last years look. Unshaven, skinny and pale with an unkempt hairstyle, it seemed Harry was incapable of moving with the times in any respect. Now Diane’s co-star was a man to be desired. Steven Woodford was an example of muscles that never went out of style. Clean shaven and chiseled features he had quickly risen to become a heartthrob of the nation and at only twenty nine years old he was the fantasy of every woman in the country. If only they knew the half of it.

‘Stand up please Mrs Winters?’ the costuming department were back. Diane rose to her feet and went to stand in front of the full length mirror in the corner of the room where the staff quickly set about perfecting her look. The movie required her to have a certain ‘damsel in distress look’ about her. A character who had been roughing it in the jungle for a few days. Her dress was tactically ripped in a few places and was smeared with dirt. Her shirt open enough to allow some titillation but not so far as to expose anything. And finally dirt across her face to make her look like she had been through the rough and tumble but not so much as to ruin her natural beauty. Considering her characters situation it took a lot of time and care to make things look carefree.

Diane’s phone buzzed loudly on the table.
‘Pass that here please’ Diane snapped, reaching out her hand despite the designer currently trying to work on it. The hairdresser did so obediently, being careful not to look at the screen of the phone whilst she did so, she had been trained well. Diane snatched the device from her hand and slid her fingers across the glass ignoring the quiet objection of the designer. There was a text from Steven.

‘Are you ready for the action my dear? Your husband is waiting’

Diane smiled and sent a quick text back to him.

‘As ready as I was last night, the costume people are still messing about’

Diane passed her phone back to the hairdresser who placed it face down on the table. As the costumer designers tweaked and poked at her Diane thought back to the previous night and smiled a little to herself. Even better, she thought about tonight when she would be doing the same again. Finally the helpers finished and Diane examined herself quickly in the mirror. Satisfied she walked quickly to the door and then finally out onto the darkened film set. Steven was stood by the door waiting for her. He smiled as she exited her room and offered her his arm. She took it with a smile of her own and he led her onto the set itself. Made to look like a light jungle with a rocky outcropping to the side to cover a platform on which the lizard-man leader was going to stand. The Lizard-men themselves were standing in a group by the side of the set, texting on phones, eating the buffet food or idly chatting, Diane’s smile dropped from her face as she saw them. The suits they were wearing, and it wasn’t the fact that they weren’t wearing the heads or hands, were just some of the least convincing things she had ever seen. They seemed to droop loosely off the stuntmen’s bodies and the tails hung limply, no life in them at all.

‘As much as I do admire your husbands desire to stick to traditional styles of movie making and keeping to traditions I can’t help but fear that his results are somewhat…lacking’ said Steven, following Diane’s glance and smirking.

‘Well you know Harry, he refuses to catch up to the modern times, says if he can’t touch something, feel it’s texture then he can’t believe it’s real and if he can’t believe it then why should his audience? Personally I wish he would catch up to the same decade as the rest of us. You don’t make money by making something believable, though I can’t remember the last time he even managed that.’

‘As oppose to yourself’ Steven commented quietly ‘Your performance last night was exceptional’

‘Please darling, I was perfect. Though you were by no means tame yourself.’

‘Well I do always strive to impress, I don’t suppose Harry has notice anything?’

‘Please Steven, you give him too much credit, when he has a film to work on Harry doesn’t notice anything, even when he isn’t working he is hardly the sharpest tool in the shed.’

‘Are you ever anything but harsh to the poor man, he is your husband after all’

‘Not for long’ replied Diane speaking even quieter. ‘Celebrity divorce is all the range nowadays.’ The pair chuckled to themselves as they stood around the set waiting for the director to make his presence known. It didn’t take long.

‘Ah Diane, Steven, glad you could make it, I thought I might have to come get you myself’

‘As if you could Harry, and from the looks of it I would say that you are the late one.’ Steven spoke in a jovial manner but there was a small twist to his lip that betrayed malice. Harry Winters was slowly jogging across the set towards them. His creased shirt was untucked and his jeans seemed reluctant to stay around his waist, the belt he wore hardly seeming to keep them up. As he hurried across the set he tripped on one of the cables stretched across the floor and only just managed to save himself from slamming into the floor.

‘Well I’m sorry for my tardiness’ he joked again as he reached the pair, ‘there was a problem in the boiler room and I had to go and try to help.

‘Oh Harry, I didn’t know the director was also doubling as the janitor, though I guess it does explain your appearance.’ Replied Diane, hardly managing to keep the contempt from her voice.

‘What? Oh yea sorry for that too, I was working all night on some rewrites for today’s scenes. Did you two have fun though; you went out for a meal didn’t you?’

‘Oh yes we had a great night, Steven took me to an amazing restaurant just outside town’

‘That’s great, I’ll have to take you there when we finally wrap this one up’ replied Harry

‘Oh that would be wonderful, a celebration meal.’ Replied Diane, the sarcasm clear for all to hear except for Harry it seemed.

‘Right shall we get on with today’s shoot? I’m dying to see this new scene finished so that I can get on with my new rewrites.’

And with that Harry rushed off over to the Lizard-men who were just wrapping up their meal. Diane turned to Steven and gave him a look of despair which he readily returned; more reshoots could well extend the shoot for another week. Harry was so meticulous about everything being to his vision. The pair didn’t get a chance to return to their conversation however as Harry was already hurrying back over, the Lizard-men I tow with gleeful looks on their young faces. One of Harry’s many talents was his ability to employ the fresh out of collage actor and actress wannabees and convince them that they were signing on for some sort of amazing project when really all he ever gave them was another Harry Winters disaster.

‘Places everyone, places!’ Called Harry and the cast of the scene scrambled into position.

The lights were dimmed and the set was filled with quiet ambient sounds. Diane and Steven took their places and fixed their best worried looks as the scene demanded. As contemptuous as they may have been of the film and it’s director they both prided themselves on being professionals of their fallen and they took it extremely seriously.

‘Ready everyone! And…Action!’ called Harry and slammed the clapper board down.

Thought the screen in front of him Harry watched as the empty set for a few seconds before Steven slowly crept onto the set followed by Diane who clung to him like she was afraid that to let go would result in her being blown away in some none existent tornado. The two really were superb actors thought Harry as they advanced onto the set and stopped dead center of the camera. It was times like these that harry loved, seeing his visions slowly unfold before him like some vast carpet. He didn’t care what the papers called his movies or when they reported delays and setbacks, harry enjoyed the business for the art and he felt vindicated every time he met on of his cult following fans. On camera Steven was holding aloft the fake torch he had and peering into the darkness of the none existent jungle.

‘Oh please can’t we stop?’ pleaded Diane ‘My poor feet are aching so badly!’

‘Absolutely not, you’ve seen what those creatures did to the others, do you want them to catch us and do the same to us?’ replied Steven in a grim and determined voice.

‘But I’m so tired, I don’t think I can physically go any further’ continued Diane

‘Then I’ll carry you damn it but if we want to get out of here then we simply can’t stop.’

The pair took a few more steps before Diane turned, pulled a horrified face and let out one of her iconic scream queen yells. From the jungle backdrop came the Lizard-men. In the darkened set and with the proper camera angles the suits looked remarkably lifelike thought Harry, the prop guys had really stepped up. The actors to were doing a great job in moving in an imposing way, keeping low and bobbing from side to side, these kids had really taken on board what Harry had told them about how he wanted them to move. One of them passed the toy ceremonial knife he had from one hand to the other as he advanced, a nice little touch but maybe a bit too human, then again who was harry to say what these creatures would do? He would have to consider it.

On screen Steven had backed away from the creature closest to him and tried his best to usher Diane behind him who, as reluctant as she was to give up any screen time, relented and made a few small side steps in order to look sheltered. In the background one of the Lizard-men hurried quickly to the side so that he wouldn’t look to be too close to Diane.

‘Get behind me’ Steven commanded, somewhat unnecessarily, and pulled the small revolved he had from it’s holster.

One of the Lizard-men advanced a few quick paces towards him and Steven raised the gun and fired there was a puff of smoke and the sound man hit the button for the gun sound effects. The Lizard-man stumbled backwards and threw his arms up, dropping his own dagger. There was another gunshot and he took another step, then a third and he stumbled again, his foot getting wrapped up in the tail of the suit and he fell over backwards in a heap.

‘Cut!’ called Harry and the lights went back on.

Harry quickly got out of his chair and rushed to make sure his actor was OK while Diane and Steven looked on in irritation.

‘He’s fine Harry, he was supposed to fall over, what was the problem with that?’

‘I thought he might have hurt himself Diane, can’t have any of our actors injured, and his foot was clearly caught on his tail, what lizard-man gets caught in his own tail?’

‘I’m OK Mr Winters, I’m just sorry I ruined the shot’ said the Lizard-man, getting to his feet and picking his dagger back up, ‘I’m just real sorry I ruined your shot.’ Harry recognized the boy’s voice to belong to that of a young intern who had volunteered to be an extra, Glen.

‘Not at all Glen, don’t you worry about it, there is always time for re-shoots, isn’t that what I always say Diana?’

‘Thats what you always say Harry’ replied Diane, putting heavy emphasis on the word say.

‘Right everyone, back to your places, we’ll pick up from the scream.’ Said Harry.

The places were set again and the clapper board went down again.

Diane screamed as the Lizard-men advanced on the pair again. Steven raised his pistol and shot at Glen who did the same routine as before, this time managing to dodge the suits tail and fall better than an expert could down to the ground. Steven turned and fired again at the next Lizard-man who did a not so professional job of falling as he toppled backwards but the camera angle managed to cut off the least dignified bits of it. The Lizards got closer to the leading couple and Steven raised his gun again and pulled the trigger. This time there was no puff of smoke, no gun noise and Steven looked at the gun with an excellent look of fear and determination before turning and hurling the prop at the closest Lizard-man. The poor Lizard-man was completely taken aback by this and flailed wildly at the heavy prop, managing to bat it away just in time before it sailed into the mouth of the costume.

‘Cut!’ called Harry again

‘What the fuck was that?!’ shouted the Lizard-man angrily

‘It was improvisation, you think my character would just stand there with an empty gun?’

‘No Steven, you can’t just throw the props at people, they could get hurt and that prop wasn’t cheap.’

‘You almost hit me in the face you Asshole!’ shouted the Lizard-man again.

‘Hey you gotta be ready for this kinda thing if you wanna make it in the business you amateur.’ Replied Steven.

The Lizard-man flipped him the bird.

‘OK Guys calm it down ok, it was an accident, it won’t happen again, can we please get back to the shoot?’ said harry who had gone to pick up Steven’s gun and was now handing it back to him. ‘We’re all friends here after all.’

‘Yes Mr Winters’ said the Lizard-man

‘I think it was a good thought Harry, Steven was right, about his character I mean’ said Diane.

‘Maybe but can we please leave it out from now on Steven?’ asked Harry

‘As you say Harry’ replied Steven like a petulant child. ‘You’re the director.’

‘OK people, back to your places! Bill, I Hate to ask but can you stop doing the toying with the knife thing? I think it takes away from the character a bit. Oh and Lewis, you owe the swear jar two dollars. Seriously you student’s are gonna fix the third world with your foul mouths’ Called Harry

They all returned to their places and harry called out

‘This is it boys and girls, the big final shoot, let’s do it perfect. Action!’

The scene played out once more and the Lizard-men approached the couple. Their weapons gleaming in the low lights. Strange, thought Diane, their weapons look pretty real, maybe Harry finally invested in some decent props. Steven raised and fired his gun again. There was the puff of smoke, the bang and the Lizard-man kept advancing. Steven pulled the trigger again. The puff of smoke, the noise, and Glen completely ignored it.

‘Oh come on now? Really?’ said Steven as he and Diane dropped character in exasperation.

‘Keep going guys, come on!’ called Harry

‘The shot is ruined now, Let’s just close this off, I can’t work with these people’ complained Steven.

But the Lizard-men kept closing on them, still wrapped up in the scene.

‘Come on guys, this is the final scene, act it out!’ called Harry.

‘What is the point harry, they ruined it!’ called Diane, stamping her foot. The Lizard-men were only a few feet away now and still closing.

‘Back off!’ shouted Steven, pushing Glen hard in the chest and forcing him back onto his ass.

As he moved however another Lizard-man lept from the background and grabbed Steven around the neck.

‘What the fuck!’ screamed Diane before another of the lizard-men grabbed her by the hair and pulled her away from Steven. Diane let out the best scream she had even released on screen and another Lizard-man grabbed her legs and the pulled her to the floor.

Steven managed to fight the Lizard-man off his back and turned to help Diane but glen was back on his feet and now he and another Lizard-man grabbed Steven by the shoulders and dragged him backwards.

‘Excellent guys, excellent, this is perfect. Not too far now Glen, Lewis, I still want them both in shot!’

‘What the fuck are you doing Harry!’ shouted Steven as he struggled.

‘Cameramen, a close up on the stab now! Here it comes!’ called harry, still directing the scene like it was all normal.

‘You fucking…’ started Steven but then lewis rounded on him, thrusting the knife he had been holding forward and piercing Steven in the side. Blood ran freely down the ripped shirt Steven had been wearing and started to rapidly pool on the floor. Diane screamed again and started begging, pleading to know what was happening.

‘What is happening? What do you think is happening Diane? I’m changing the script.’ Replied harry in the same calm voice he had had through the entire series of events.

‘Harry…Why? Steven…you …he’ll’ Diane tried to say but she was sobbing too hard now as another blade was pushed up under her chin, the cold steel easily cutting into the skin and making her struggle a little more.

‘Why Diane? Why? I think you both know why. You think I wouldn’t find out what you were doing? Do you think I was born yesterday?’

Steven tried to say something but all then came out were desperate gasps for air.

‘In my own bed Diane? I could maybe have forgiven the motels and the fake dinners. But shaming me in my own bed? Not to mention everything you have been saying about me. I admit I never really thought this marriage was working out but to go and do that to me?’

‘I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!’ begged Diane as she struggled. As she blubbered her dress turned darker and water pooled around her legs.

‘Hey shoot that’ harry said to one of the camera men, ‘someone is bound to pay for shots of the refined Diane Winters pissing herself on set.’

‘I got it Sir’ the camera man replied.

‘Good’ Said Harry, returning his gaze to his wife. Steven, turning ever paler, was all but ignored, hanging in the arms of Glen and Lewis.

‘You know I think in hindsight I could have even forgiven all that. But there was one thing I could not forgive Diane. It was you two, running around like you owned the place and making it look like you were bigger than the business itself. The business I love more than anything. Nothing is bigger than the movies Diane, no thing and no one. Ever!’

‘Sir this one is fading fast, not as mush fight as he made out!’ called Glen.

‘Oh but you two can die now, knowing that you will make history. You are about to be part of the most realistic murder scene of two characters that has ever been put to film. But don’t worry, Annabelle is already all lined up to take the place as the new leading lady, and I’m sure she will do fine. But we must hurry, so if you will kids, make them scream.’

There was no use in struggling and Diane could only watch as more knives were plunged into Steven and then as they closed on her, quickly turning her red dress into a bloody mess.

‘Cut’ yelled Harry when the pair finally stopped twitching. ‘And that is a wrap on that scene! Well done everybody.’

The lights went back up and the Lizard-men removed their heads to take a better look at their handiwork.

‘I think it looks pretty good sir, just like the prop work you did on Abomination a few years ago’ said Glen

‘More like Sunset Maelstrom if you ask me’ said Lisa, one of the other Lizard-men.

‘Thank you, you’re too kind. Now lets take a break guys so the prop men can get in here and get to work on the remains, there are still some shots to be filled with the rest of the cast before we can dispose of the remains.’

‘Are you sure everyone else is OK with this Sir?’ asked Lisa as she left the set.

‘Don’t worry Lisa, they’re all on board. Annabelle is a little nervous but thats just because she doesn’t want to see the bodies. And Lewis, don’t forget the swear jar.’

‘You either sir’ replied Lewis

‘What?’ said Harry, stopping in his tracks and giving Lewis a stern look.

‘Well…you did say pissing, isn’t piss a swear word?’ said lewis, a look of sudden fear on his face.

There was a brief pause.

‘Of course I did! Well spotted Lewis. I had forgotten. Guess I ought to put in for Diana as well.’ Replied harry at last, pulling out his wallet to a relieved look on lewis’s face.

‘Now come on guys, you all go get changed and I’ll see you down the bar tonight, first round is on me!’ shouted Harry and the crowd cheered.