The Randomness Of Selina : Year 2 Day 12 : Fell8 – The Problem With Corpses

If there had been time then Veronica most certainly would have asked Lorna why she was giving a handjob to a headless corpse.

No doubt if time allowed Lorna may have tried to explain her actions. To have argued that she was not in fact engaged in some dubious sexual act with a dead person. Indeed, she may even have had the opportunity to clarify that all she was doing was wiping her DNA of his cock before intending to dump the body.

However there was no such time for any of this. No sooner had Veronica approached the car and screamed and within an instant of Lorna responding with a scream of her own, Veronica found herself being wrestled to the ground by the man who had so relentlessly pursued her through the woods.

Lorna stared at where the screaming woman in a wedding dress once stood. It had been a strange night already and judging by what had just happened it was going to get a lot stranger.

Lorna released her grip from the penis she had been so fervently cleaning and with some reluctance opened the car door to investigate the welfare of the screaming Bride.

As Lorna walked round to the front of the car she could hear desperate screams, followed by the sight of the woman in a wedding dress straddling the head of a guy, his hands clawed away at her legs and behind.

“Is everything okay” Lorna enquired, probably a little too politely for what the situation required.

Veronica turned and screamed “He’s trying to fucking eat me.”

“Oh in that case I’ll leave you two alone.” Lorna replied ready to walk away.

“Where the fuck are you going? Come here!” Veronica shouted, desperately trying to avoid being dragged down onto the gnashing teeth of her assailant.

Lorna turned back, her attention was drawn to the rather large black cock that protruded angrily from the guy’s trousers.

“Look if this is some kinky sex game you guys are playing I really am not in the mood for this” Lorna replied “I’m having a really bad evening.”

Veronica shot Lorna a look designed to indicate that this was no game. Frustrated that the blonde lady clearly wasn’t getting it she followed up with the more direct “Fucking help me! He’s trying to kill me.”

Much to Veronica’s annoyance there was still some reluctance on Lorna’s part to actually assist, she seemed distracted with the sight of the large black penis. A further scream shook Lorna from her transfixed gaze of the throbbing member.

“What should I do?” Lorna asked

Veronica raised her eyes “I dunno ask him nicely to stop” she said before shouting “Hit him!”

Ignoring the sarcasm Lorna stalked around the guy who was still flailing and gnashing at Veronica. She was unsure exactly where to hit him and the impatient cries for assistance were more a hindrance than a help. Panicking she spied the cock once more and opted that this was the best place to attack. With a large swing of her leg Lorna’s foot connected perfectly with the thick meat.

AAARRRGGGGH!

Lorna hopped around, confused as to how it ended up hurting her more than it did him. She stared back at the penis which showed no sign of damage.

“Yeh, that don’t work…I’ve tried” Veronica said, bouncing up and down to avoid the guy being able to get a firm hold and drag her to her demise.

“You could have said.” Lorna replied, rubbing her foot.

She looked to Veronica for some further guidance as to what to do but she was a little preoccupied trying not to be killed. Scanning the dark car park Lorna spied a discarded metal pole. This has to work. Returning to the guy’s exposed penis she held the pole high above her head and with all her strength brought it crashing down on to the shaft.

Nothing.

Lorna inspected the pole which had bent slightly before gazing back at the unscathed penis which still stood proud with no sign of the assault that had just been carried out upon it.

More confused than angry she begun hitting the seemingly invincible cock repeatedly with the pole.

“Why”

Thwack!

“Won’t”

Thwack!

“You”

Thwack!

“Fucking”

Thwack!

“Work!!!”

Then it broke….

Not the penis as Lorna had hoped but instead the metal pole. Veronica turned around looking for a positive sign that her ordeal would soon be over but all she saw was Lorna gesturing to the damaged weapon with a shrug.

With her panic rising and her strength failing Veronica knew that it was only matter of time before her death would come. She couldn’t really blame the blonde, she had tried her best albeit probably not with the initial enthusiasm she would have expected. But if repeatedly hitting this guy between the legs with a metal pole is not going to stop him then what possibly could? She could feel her muscles relax as her body began to shut down and her mind accepting her fate.

Lorna stared helplessly as the strong arms of the guy began to get a firmer hold on the bride. She had tried to save her but now could do nothing but watch the gruesome conclusion which she had failed to prevent. There must be something else she can do? But what?

It was unclear why Lorna chose to do what she did next. Maybe, at the moment of desperation she hoped that she did possess some odd super power. Perhaps, she just opted to revert to her go-to talent. Or it could be that she just really wanted to suck on that desirable black cock and felt the best time to do it was why he was distracted.

But that is what she did. Lorna lowered to her knees and gripped the thick shaft with both hands. Her lips wrapped round the dark, pulsating head as she fed his length into her mouth.

It was at this point that Veronica looked round, perhaps her intention was to take one last mournful look back before she died. She probably expected to see Lorna’s tearful face, a final look between them to recognise she was grateful for the attempts to save her. What she had not expected was to see Lorna sucking on her soon-to-be killer’s cock.

“Hello? What the fuck are you doing?” Veronica shouted rather indignantly.

She would have continued. Gladly in her final moments to have unleashed a tirade of abuse at the blonde who had chosen now to be an opportune moment to perform oral sex. But just as Veronica went to spend her final breath swearing at Lorna she was interrupted by a wet popping sound. The relief she felt of her attacker’s grip loosening was quickly replaced by a sticky feeling between her legs and a reminder she was not wearing panties.

She fell back on top of her attacker and saw the bloody mess where his head should have been.

“What did you do?” Veronica asked turning to Lorna who was in the process of dry-retching onto the floor.

Lorna crawled and sat against the front of the car. All she could do was shrug. She had no clue what she did or indeed what was going on. She looked up and saw Veronica standing over her, her confused expression illuminated by the headlights of the car. Such was Veronica’s preoccupation of the strange turn of events she did not notice a piece of the guy’s brain drop from between her legs. Lorna did and continued with her dry-retching.

Veronica waited until Lorna had stopped throwing up before she declared what she wished to do next.

“I need to go to the hotel” she said “I need to make sure everyone is okay.”

Lorna had other ideas, still reeling from the events that had occurred she replied “Hun, I think we need to go find help.”

“Where? Who? Look there are loads of people back at the hotel. You know…safety in numbers” Veronica said, casting an eye back towards the woodlands “Plus my evening guests will be arriving soon.”

Lorna run her hands through her hair as her gaze fell upon the headless body of the attacker. She was attracted to Veronica’s suggestion of safety but remained troubled by what was happening.

“I dunno maybe go to a Police station. Tell them what happened…If anyone can believe this shit.” Lorna concluded with a laugh, she was back to the same problem that had preoccupied her just before Veronica arrived. Her thoughts returned to the other headless corpse which still remained in the car. One guy’s head exploding after a blowjob was strange enough but two? Something was going on but without the slightest clue what that something was how could she decide what was best to do. How could she explain it to anyone?

“But town is miles away.” Veronica said, interrupting Lorna’s contemplation of events “The hotel is just up the road. Look, we can go there. It’ll be safe and we can work out what happened.”

Veronica had a point. Whatever, was going on trying to make sense of it all in a deserted dark car park was hardly the place. Plus, Lorna’s stomach was rumbling and she presumed that Veronica would have put on a nice buffet for her guests. Maybe there would be chicken nuggets.

Lorna got to her feet and nodded her agreement to accompany Veronica to the hotel “However, we do have one thing to deal with before we go.”

“What?”

Lorna opened the driver’s door and indicated the headless corpse that occupied the seat. “What are we going to do with him?” she asked.

Whilst the temptation was just to leave both of the dead bodies in the car park it was agreed albeit with some reluctance that they needed to take them on their journey. Admittedly, neither Lorna nor Veronica were thinking entirely clearly but if they were to go to the hotel and tell all what had happened it would probably be best to have some proof.

Although, Veronica’s nearest and dearest would be present, even they might find it difficult to believe that a guy’s head just simply exploded. They did discuss whether they should mention the reason why the deceased guys no longer had heads and it was agreed to only mention it if anyone asks. They hoped that the assembled guests would just simply accept they are headless without pushing for further information as to how that came to be.

Having decided that the two corpses would be coming along with them the next issue was where to put them. The obvious place was in the trunk of the car but actually getting them in there proved to be quite difficult.

Firstly, removing the guy from the front seat was far more troublesome and time consuming than it ought to have been. To be fair neither had ever removed a headless corpse seated in an upright position from a car before. It would have been quicker if Lorna and Veronica had not spent minutes arguing who was going to unhook the seat belt. Veronica argued that as Lorna killed him she should be the one to unhook him. Lorna’s only retort was that she didn’t want to do it.

Therefore she leaned over to unclip him, the button dripped with blood and other matter. She gagged as she reached round to release him, his penis still stood proud and Lorna whacked her face on it several times during the task. Eventually, after much fumbling and gagging she heard the satisfying click and the sight of the belt retracting. Returning to Veronica she expected some praise but was just met with the belated suggestion of “Wouldn’t it have been easier if you had reached in from the passenger’s side?”

With the dead body unrestrained the next step was to get him out of the car. This was relatively simple albeit a little bit messy. Lorna grabbed the bloody shoulder and just pulled on him, he flopped out landing on the floor with a squelch. They had to pause moving onto the next phase whilst both women threw up a little.

The final part of actually getting the cadavers into trunk was the most difficult. It started slowly with Veronica protesting that she could not possibly lift a dead body as it would ruin her dress. Lorna pointed out the bottom of her dress which was stained in the blood of her attacker; a good ten minutes was then spent with Lorna comforting a distraught Veronica and telling her she still looked beautiful.

Although it was only a couple of feet from where the bodies lay to the trunk it may as well have been miles for the effort it took to move them. No sooner had they gone a few inches but Veronica would drop the body screaming “It touched me! It touched me”. When they got moving again Lorna would have to pause why she dry-retched again.

Eventually, they managed to get both inside which had required some rearrangement, clearly hatchbacks were not designed to fit two dead bodies in the trunk. Any pride they felt over their macabre achievement quickly diminished when they attempted to shut the lid. A quick slam of saw the indentation of the head of the attacker’s penis form in the top before the trunk popped open again. Lorna slammed the lid down several times upon the firm meat until it eventually burst through the metal.

Eager to be away from the eeriness of the deserted car park they decided to leave the trunk open and just make their way to the hotel. As they pulled away they heard the sickening squelch as the attacker’s body as it rolled out onto the ground. Exhausted and reluctant to go through the effort of getting him back in the trunk again Lorna just drove off without him. One body would be enough proof.

The route to the hotel took them up a small dirt path sandwiched between woodland either side. Veronica played with the radio on the way there desperate to see if there was any news that could explain the strange phenomenon they had experienced. All she kept getting was static. That sound combined with the gloominess of the straight dirt road made Lorna feel uneasy. They had chosen to go to the hotel for safety, she really hoped it would be there. She could see through the dimness the outline of the hotel. What she really wanted to see when they arrived would be a party in full swing, that those present being perfectly oblivious to the events that had occurred.

As she drove to the spacious grounds of the hotel Lorna’s heart sunk. Illuminated by the headlights was a scene of carnage. Adorning the front of the hotel was this beautiful water feature. Yet the beauty was marred by decapitated bodies that filled the spacious bowl. The water now run thick with blood. The hotel was not to be their sanctuary.

“Oh my God! No! Please no!”. whimpered Veronica, tears streaming down her eyes.

Lorna put the car in reverse her instincts told her to get out of this place right now. She had no idea where to go but at that moment it was anywhere else. But before she could turn the car around Veronica rushed out and ran towards the entrance, ignoring Lorna’s cries of “Get back in the fucking car!”

Lorna listened to the car engine hum and cursed loudly as she whacked the steering wheel “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”

She reluctantly got out of the vehicle in pursuit of Veronica. She had joined her here with thoughts of safety and chicken nuggets. Now her only thought was to save Veronica because if the sounds of screams was any indication she had ran into a whole lot of trouble.

Fates Avow: The Arbiter : Part Three

< Part Two

Any hope that the tired and worn out exterior of the pub would not be replicated inside faded as Connie entered.

Although spacious there was a perpetual gloominess about the place. A few lights hung casually from the ceiling, the cracked glass coverings revealed dull yellowing bulbs. Black specks marked the final resting place of curious insects.

The murkiness of the bulb betrayed its main purpose and all that it could muster was to illuminate a constant stream of dust that seemed on an infinite loop round the mouldy yellow light.

To the right were a row of cubicles, three wooden benches adorned in tatty red leather enveloped tired looking tables. The gloom would not allow Connie to see as far as the furthest benches.

Further down the room a number of tables were haphazardly laid out and the chairs that surrounded them were not arranged in any particular order.

Towards the back were two doors side by side, Connie presumed these led to the toilets but there were no signs indicating which one was intended for Gentleman and which for Ladies. Connie doubted, given the decor, that this particular Pub was trailblazing with Gender Neutral facilities.

In the furthest corner was a pool table. The green velvet covering was scratched and it was unlikely a competitive game could be had with just three balls and one cue.

Connie followed the dark green carpet which in places was so worn away she could see the floorboards beneath. Stains sporadically embellished the carpet, some appeared of dubious nature but no doubt the origin of each stain was, in itself, an interesting tale.

There was a musky smell that immediately had filled Connie’s nostrils as she entered. It was as if she could smell every pint of beer ever supped in this establishment. The aroma was so heavy she had to swallow it down to allow herself to breathe normally.

To her left was the bar and there framed by the optics and beer taps stood the woman. She was illuminated by a neon branded sign advertising a beer that Connie was sure did not exist anymore.

The woman smiled and Connie made her way over to the bar and sat down on one of only two tall bar stools at the front of the expansive wooden bar.

The oak panel was deeply scored and down the entire length were dark rings from the many drinks that would have been placed upon the bar by careless customers and staff alike. They occurred all the way down the bar leading to what appeared to be a wooden box.

Connie squinted in the gloominess to see what that box was because it looked out of place. She was shaken by her surveillance of her surroundings by the woman slamming a glass onto the bar.

“So you’ve had a bad day?” asked the woman, pouring some amber liquid into the glass.

“Terrible” replied Connie

“Well this will make you feel better” said the woman sliding the half filled glass over to Connie.

Connie picked up the drink and took a tentative swig. There was a surprising potency to the liquid and she coughed a frisky ‘Wow!’

“It’s good stuff!” laughed the woman “I’m Heze by the way” (she pronounced it Haze).

“Connie” replied Connie still choking slightly on her drink.

Heze leaned on the bar and rested her chin on her hand “Well Connie tell me about this bad day you are having”

As Connie begun to tell Heze of all the annoyances she had to endure something peculiar happened.

A low hissing sound began to fill the room, then,faintly at first, the soft hum of music. This melodic interruption caused Connie to stop talking and seek out the source of the tune. She presumed that it was from a jukebox but a quick scan of the gloomy interior did not reveal one.

Listening intently she followed the tinny notes to the box at the end of the bar, the box that appeared so out of place when Connie had first seen it.

The music became louder and it was a familiar song to Connie, one that her parents used to listen to. She believed it was by The Beatles although she couldn’t remember the precise name of the song, John Lennon was singing about a Guru called Dave or something.

Heze who had been resting against the bar stood up straight and glanced towards the box then out at the cubicles opposite the bar.

From the gloomy shadows a man emerged and he walked slowly towards the musical cube as if he were in a trance. The presence of someone else being here had initially surprised Connie.

Both her and Heze watched as he took the box between his hands and started to examine it, lifting it up to study all four sides. He glanced up from the box and looked at Heze before his head snapped round to intently stare at Connie.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“Connie” she replied nervously, the intensity to which he studied her made her feel uncomfortable.

“Connie? Do I know you?” he returned his attention to the box, looking it over once more before returning to Connie “Who are you?”

This man seemed confused and Connie presumed he was a regular in the pub that had just woken up after sleeping off a particular heavy night.

Connie was unsure how to respond to this individual. Indeed her only thought was how best to leave the pub. Her day was bad enough as it was and she could do without an altercation with some random drunk guy.

She watched nervously as his attention returned to the box. With the song still playing he wandered back to the cubicle, his apparent interest in Connie over. She followed him until he was consumed by the gloom, the only indication of his presence was the tinny tune that still played.

Connie spun back round to look at Heze who gave a forced smile “That’s the boss” she said with an embarrassed shrug.

Connie thought it was best she left and took one final swig of her drink and coughed her goodbyes.

“How much do I owe you?” she enquired.

Heze threw up her hands “On the house” she replied.

Connie expressed her gratitude once more and then walked towards the large wooden door.

“You can’t leave”

Connie spun round to witness the man emerge once more from the darkness, still cradling the musical box.

“I’m sorry?” replied Connie, trying to hide the anxiety that was building up inside her.

“You can’t leave. It’s not safe ” said the man.

Connie’s heart begun to pound as the realisation that her exit from this pub may not be an easy one. She shot a look over at Heze who was trying to get her bosses attention “Ryan. Ryan” she kept repeating.

“What do you mean it’s not safe?” asked Connie taking a step backwards further near the door.

“It’s not safe. You leave here. Bad things will happen.” continued Ryan.

Connie reached behind her, blindly grabbing at the handle. She stepped further back as Ryan approached.

“What bad things?” she asked , hoping that engaging him in conversation may distract him enough so she can make her exit.

“Terrible things. Horrid things. You are only safe here. You cannot leave” he said, there was a confused mania in the pattern of his voice which did little to calm the rising panic that Connie was feeling.

Her heart was racing and she inwardly gave a small sigh of relief when her she finally found the handle to the door. Although the music was still playing the sweetest sound Connie heard was of the door unlocking as she twisted the handle.

With her back still to the door she tugged at the handle and a comforting ray of light from the low afternoon sun shone through.

Her eyes were fixed on Ryan as she stepped back. She could feel the warmth of the sun on her leg. The unexpected breeze challenged the musky smell for dominance in the air. The dust that had dutifully followed its same infinite path now swirled around on a new chaotic route.

Ryan walked towards her still clutching the box muttering all manner of warnings about impending danger as Heze continued to try and attract his attention. All the while the song continued to provide the soundtrack to this weird encounter that left Connie feeling confused, frightened and clear she had to leave.

She spun round and completed her escape from the building, slamming the door behind her. The street was rather busy but rather seek comfort in a crowd her instincts told her to run. She turned and sprinted up the alleyway that ran alongside the pub.

She could hear the blood pumping in her ears as she sprinted along the alley. She looked back to see if either Ryan or Heze were pursuing her.

Such was her concentration of what might be behind her that she neglected to pay much attention to what was in front of her.

Had she done so she would have noticed two figures standing there. Although it would have been difficult to make out their features in the dullness of the alley she would at the very least had seen the glint of the knife that one held in their hand.

Different path. Same Conclusion.

Fates Avow: The Arbiter: Part Twos

< Part One

Connie was having a bad day….But you know that already. You know her story of how she woke up late, rushed to get ready, had someone steal her money, accidentally burnt down her flat, got fired from her job, found out her boyfriend was cheating and then to cap it all off got murdered.

In every story there are moments where things could take an alternative route; that each different choice would open up more and more possibilities which in turn lead to even more eventualities.

Yet, inevitably, even if we chose to take a different path, no matter how unique the journey may be it always leads to the same place.

Maybe Connie chose to go home when she missed the train but that would have seen her trapped in her flat when it caught fire.

Or perhaps she did have enough money to get a taxi only to then be involved in a road traffic collision.

Different path, same conclusion. Connie died that day.

However in every story there is always that moment when the different path taken can change the entire narrative.

For Connie that moment was standing outside the dilapidated building that once used to be a Pub.

In its more glorious years this building would have been alive with the sounds of communal revelry. The tired facade now betrayed the once vibrant colours that lured many into its comfy interior.

Connie never went inside on the day she died; she thought it was closed, abandoned. Her curiosity of the building was not sufficient enough to see her try to enter. There was nothing inviting about this strange place.

However there had been something but in her rage and torment she had simply not seen it.

Haphazardly resting against the side of the building was a wooden board, it was the typical one you see outside pubs and restaurants that proudly exclaim ‘Come On In We’re Open’, followed by a list of drinks and written in chalk Today’s Specials (There were none listed).

In the moments before Connie arrived outside the building, the earlier inclement weather had knocked the board over so it rested hidden against the wall.

If Connie had been earlier she may have seen it before it fell and taken the sign up on its welcoming offer to ‘Come On In’. But she didn’t and she died.

Maybe even the presence of the sign would not have enticed her to go in. It was after all as worn out and broken as the building. Plus they didn’t have any Specials on that day.

She may have studied the sign but the revelation of her boyfriend’s infidelity was always going to send her into that rage which would conclude with her death.

Different Path. Same Conclusion.

But what if, rather than arriving earlier, she arrived a little later?

****

“Connie! Wait”

Connie turned to see Ann bounding after her. Connie desperately wanted to just leave and get home. She could not bear anymore humiliation and was fighting so hard to keep even a modicum of dignity.

When Clive had rather abruptly informed her that she was being fired she could feel the tears begin to bubble up, ready to erupt. With it would come the rage and Clive would never know how close he came to having his face smashed in with a stapler.

“I’m fine Ann. Go back to your desk” pleaded Connie as she tried to hide the fact she was very much not fine.

Despite her portly frame Ann surprised Connie with how quickly she was able to catch up.

“Are you sure?” Ann said, placing her thick hand on Connie’s shoulder.

There was a look of genuine sympathy in the eyes of Ann. This was surprising given her propensity to leave passive aggressive post-its warding off anyone who was tempted to swipe her tuna sandwiches.

Connie just wanted to leave the building, go home and cry her heart out. But she no longer had a home she to privately express her anguish in.

That thought was enough to set her off and she wept. Burying her head deep into Ann’s shoulder, all her frustrations as to why life would choose to be so cruel to her leaked onto Ann’s crocheted cardigan.

Each sorrowful recollection of the morning events were punctuated with a sympathetic ‘There. There’ from Ann.

During this outpouring Connie’s phone vibrated, indicating a message. Her hand moved down to retrieve it but was stopped by Ann.

“Leave it. It can wait” she said “You just let it all out.”

And that she did and when Connie had no more tears to spill she sniffled her gratitude for the kindness Ann had shown.

“Do you feel better?” asked Ann

“A little” Connie replied, forcing half a smile “Thank you. Best go see what is left of my flat”.

“Here” Ann said, pulling out a few bank notes and pressing it into Connie’s hand.

“I can’t Ann…This is too much” protested Connie trying to force the money back into Ann’s hand.

Ann stepped back raising her hands “Take it. You need it more than me.”

After one final hug of gratitude Connie left the building and took the same route that would lead to her eventual death.

She passed someone shouting obscenities towards a HGV which was disappearing into the distance.

“Way my luck is going today I’m surprised that weren’t me” thought Connie as she stared at the soaking wet angry pedestrian.

It was then she remembered about her text and paused her journey to retrieve her phone.

As she was about to type in her pin code something out of the corner of her eye caused her to look up from her phone and towards the crumbling old building.

The front of the pub looked as always uninviting and Connie would have returned to her phone were it not for the woman standing to the side adjusting a wooden sign.

It was initially the blue hair that caused Connie’s gaze to linger longer than she might have. The woman squatted down to write something on the board, her black sleeveless t-shirt riding up to reveal an intricate tattoo of a crescent moon on the small of her back.

The woman moved away revealing what she had written under the heading ‘Today’s Specials’.

Trouble Free

It was a curious thing to write but nevertheless for a brief moment that simple phrase caused Connie to smile.

“Gotta write something.” said the woman breaking Connie’s intense focus on the board.

“No specials?” Connie enquired.

“We haven’t done anything special here for quite sometime” the woman replied.

“Are you okay?” she asked noting the rawness in Connie’s eyes from where she had been crying.

“Just having a bad day, that’s all” replied Connie.

The woman smiled, there was a kindness to her face but Connie was in no doubt that this woman could handle herself if need be.

“Come inside for a drink then” the woman suggested “As the sign says, we are trouble free”

“I didn’t think you were open” said Connie looking up at the building with it’s flaky paint and cracked windows.

The woman followed her gaze and shrugged “This place is never closed to the troubled” she said with a smile and then opened the creaky wooden door to go inside.

Connie paused for a moment, twiddling her phone between her fingers. It had been a rough day already. Maybe just a quick drink to collect her thoughts.

If the mysterious blue haired woman was right maybe it would be a trouble free respite, even if this was unlikely to be the most comfortable place she had ever been in. What harm would one drink do? It’s not as if her day could get any worse.

Putting the phone back in her pocket she opened the door and entered the pub.

That simple act meant she would not die that day; her story would continue. Yet it was now a different story and one that still may not necessarily end well for Connie….Or for anyone for that matter.

Part Three >

Fates Avow: The Arbiter : Part One

<Prologue

Connie was having a bad day. A really bad day.

Indeed by the time the day was out there would not be sufficient superlatives to describe just how staggeringly bad this day would be.

It had started with her waking up already late for work. The commencement of this truly bad day would begin with her phone blatantly lying to her about how long 63% of battery would last. At some point as she slept her phone decided to switch off and not undertake its task of waking her up with an irritating beeping sound incorrectly described as ‘morning sunrise’.

Connie had contemplated charging her phone overnight but on seeing a news report about exploding batteries she had thought it was best not to. Her phone irritated her at the best of times and it would be the height of irritation if it actually caused her to die.

The irony of this thought process is that by the end of this horribly bad day she would, in fact, be dead.

Perhaps if her phone had killed her she would not have to endure all the other bad stuff that would occur before her ultimate demise.

Blissfully ignorant that this would be her last day on earth Connie cursed as she rushed out of bed and into the shower, promptly skipping back naked and wet to put her lying unreliable phone on charge.

She quickly got dressed and hurriedly straightened her hair before rushing out of her cramped flat.

Clip clopping her way to the train station Connie took a bite of a breakfast bar she had grabbed from the cupboard on her way out.

She had hoped that the nutritional information printed on the side of the wrapper was correct and this would provide her with sufficient sustenance. The groan from her belly after she devoured the bar told her otherwise. Eating what was effectively crumbs glued together was hardly a hearty breakfast.

Connie arrived at the train station to witness the train already in the process of departing. She had a futile burst of speed in some strange hope that she would be able to catch up with the train and leap on; alternatively she may have expected that the train driver might spot her and happily stop the train. She hadn’t even reached the gates to the platform before she realised that neither of those things would happen.

Connie cursed again. There wouldn’t be another train for at least an hour. She was going to be very late for work.

Yet in the final moments of her life she’d probably look back and think oversleeping and missing a train was rather pleasant in comparison to being dead. Indeed, such was the suddenness of her demise she would have no time to curse at the unfairness of being killed…..and that is really something that is curse worthy.

Connie’s only chance of getting to work at a time vaguely respectable would be to get a taxi. She saw a row of taxis and smiled that perhaps her fortune maybe changing.

She went to a cashpoint to draw some money out but any hope that good luck was now firmly on her side faded when the screen announced she had no money and then promptly ate her card.

Connie cursed once more. It was payday, the only day of the month she could be confident that there would be money in her account.

Pulling out her phone she tapped on her banking app to enquire about her lack of funds. Her phone chose not to break the news to her gently but instead made the pixelated pronouncement that she had been paid but someone had nefariously then took all her money.

Connie cursed even more, she had no money and had no idea how she would pay for things such as rent or food. Had she known she would be dead by the end of the day this probably would have saved her some unnecessary heartache over these issues.

After several more moments of cursing Connie decided she would simply go home, call the bank then just go back to bed and wake up tomorrow when everything would be better.

She turned to walk back towards her apartment when her phone alerted her to a text message, it was from Ann, a colleague from work.

Where are you? Boss really wants to see you Now!!!!!!

Maybe it was the liberal use of exclamation marks but Connie, cursing again, decided she’d better try and get into work. She rifled though her jacket pocket and found some loose change, it would be enough to get the bus.

Connie found herself on her way to work in a cramped bus sat next to a guy who appeared to have chronic bronchitis. The onset of his spluttering coincided with the bus hitting any divot or pothole, of which there were many.

Through the rare breaks in his coughing Connie listened to the various automated security questions she had to pass to be able to speak to someone at her bank. The irony that she had to provide answers to the most ridiculous questions whilst someone had quite easily just wiped out her bank account was not lost on her.

The bus did not go directly to her work place and Connie alighted to begin the walk. As soon as she stepped off the bus, dark clouds appeared in the sky and it began to rain heavily down upon her. She looked at her phone which proudly displayed a big sun.

“Lying. Bastard. Phone!” she muttered.

Her walk to work by the standards already set was relatively uneventful save that as she walked by every puddle a car would splash her.

Connie finally arrived at work, tired, drenched and annoyed. She just wished this day to be over and of course it would be soon albeit with a permanence that perhaps she hadn’t wished for.

As she walked through the vast lobby of the building where she worked she cursed again on seeing that the lift was out of order. After ascending 16 flights of stairs she eventually reached her desk.

“Bad day?” Ann enquired looking at a drenched and exhausted Connie with a mixture of concern and bemusement.

“Horrible ” Connie replied “I don’t think this day can get any worse.”

No sooner had those words left her lips but her phone bleeped, it was a message from Darren, her neighbour and head of the Resident’s Association for her block of flats.

Hey Connie. Look I don’t know how to tell you this but your flat has just burnt down.

Connie stared at her phone in disbelief. She read the message a number of times before she believed what she was being told, even then her primary thought was whether it was appropriate for Darren to sign off with a sad face emoji.

Connie slumped into her chair and raised her hands to her face. She cursed loudly at the culprit of the fire

Fucking hair straighteners!

In her rush to get work she had forgot to turn them off. Her desire to look presentable had now, in effect, left her homeless.

No money. No home.

“Everything okay?” enquired Ann

“My home has just burnt down” replied Connie, tears beginning to form in her eyes.

“Oh dear! You could do without something like that happening”

Connie decided she would have to go home to see whatever was left of the charred remains of her home; she’d also have to make arrangements to find somewhere to stay. Maybe she could stay at her boyfriend’s house, although she remembered he was away on a conference for the next few days.

She had been dating Luke for over a year and things had become quite serious. Secretly she had been hoping he would ask her to move in. Perhaps her burning down the flat would force the issue. Every cloud and all that.

She wished Luke was with her now. To hold her in his large arms, kiss her on the top of the head and tell her everything will be okay.

“I gotta go” Connie announced to Ann

She got up to leave but was immediately faced with Clive, her boss.

“Ah Connie. You’re finally here. I need a word if I may” said Clive, clearly oblivious to the level of distress Connie was experiencing.

“Can it wait Clive. My flat has just burnt down” she replied

Clive thought for a moment then responded “Not really and if it has already burnt down a few minutes more won’t matter’

Connie sighed “I’ve really got to go”

“Okay” Clive said “I’ll be quick about it. We are having to downsize the department and your employment here will be terminated in a week.”

“Seriously?!” replied Connie “You tell me like that!”

“Well you did want me to be quick about it”

Connie just stared at Clive as her brain desperately tried to process yet another bombshell.

“Anyway I’m sorry your flat has burnt down ” said Clive offering a sympathetic pat on her shoulder before he turned and left.

Connie looked around at her co workers who stared back at her in open mouthed silence. Fighting back the tears she grabbed her bag and left the building.

It was only after emerging onto the street, which was now bathed in brilliant sunlight, that she realised she had no money to get home. She then realised she actually did not have a home on account of the fact it had burnt down.

No money. No home. No job.

Her brain offered no ideas on what next to do and so she just walked, her eyes brimming with tears.

Her brain that had failed in offering any solutions could only remind her of the extent of her problems.

No money. No home. No job.

She was momentarily distracted from the magnitude of her problems by her phone bleeping. She stopped to search through her pocket right next to the only remaining puddle left over from the earlier downpour.

As Connie desperately tried to locate her phone in her pocket a HGV drove past and covered her with dirty puddle water. She let out a few expletives at the driver before turning her attention back to retrieving her phone.

As she wiped the grimy water off the screen she became aware that she was in the shadow of a large building. She’d probably had walked past it countless times but never really noticed it. The facade was quite worn and the stain glass windows were dirty and cracked.

Suspended by a rusty iron chain was a sign. The wording was faded and she could not make out precisely what it said but there was a symbol that looked like a star and she could just about read the words ‘Public House’.

She contemplated for a moment going inside to get dried off but there was nothing about this place that looked inviting. Indeed, Connie didn’t even think it was open.

Having dried her phone she clicked on her messages, it was from Luke. Oh sweet Luke. He’ll know what to do.

However any comfort in seeing his name quickly turned to confusion. The message was a picture of him laying on the bed in nothing but tight underwear, below the text read;

Come and get it Tiger! Room 113. Ready when you are! Grrrr!

Why would he send this to her. He was miles away. Was he honestly expecting her to go all that way to meet him? And since when as he ever called her ‘Tiger’?!

Connie replied with a simple question mark, followed by ‘Luke?’ then ‘Luke??’ and finally ‘Luke??!!’

She stared impatiently at her screen but no response came. She tried calling him but there was no answer.

Her brain, reeling from failing to comprehend her other problems gleefully announced that it had solved what was going on here.

He’s cheating on you!

That was it. The final straw. She threw her phone to the floor and began stamping on it whilst screaming every obscenity she knew, including some she had never previously uttered.

Her phone had done nothing but conspire against her to make this the worse possible day ever.

Dictated by rage she stalked off down the street, each angry step she took a reminder of what her life had now become.

No money. No home. No job. No boyfriend.

In the midst of anger and confusion she found herself down a secluded alley. Had she not been so preoccupied with her problems she may have paid more attention to where she was.

If she hadn’t been replaying every bad thing that happened she might have noticed the two shadowy figures approach from behind her.

She may have been able to run away before they grabbed her and slammed her head against the brick wall.

Had she not smashed her phone it may have aided her in calling for help.

As it were, it was in that alleyway that Connie died.

It was reported in the press but only briefly. Connie simply became another statistic to add to all the other statistics about the rising levels of crime.

She would be mourned by her close family and friends but not really by anyone else. A few who had noted the brief report of her death would comment on social media but merely to reflect upon their own self worth.

‘OMG. So sad. RIP. I visited that place 3 years ago. That could’ve been me’

But for the billions of other people Connie’s death would go unnoticed. As her story came to an end theirs would continue unimpeded by her unfortunate demise.

Yet however tragic this tale may be there are always other stories waiting to be told. Each life carries an infinite amount of possibilities. Inevitably, these stories all conclude in the same way…..with death.

Connie’s story ended as she drew her final breath alone, bleeding in that alley. It marked the final chapter of her tale. A story that to anyone who didn’t know her would seem unremarkable.

However, the story of what happened if Connie did not die in that alley….well that is a far greater story to tell.

Part Two >

The Needy Mule Presents: Excerpts From – The Battle Of The Scribes : A Tale of the Variants

We don’t talk about The Time Of The Scribes anymore.

They are now simply a footnote in our chaotic history; that is if we were allowed to write footnotes or indeed write anything. After the War the written word became virtually obsolete in these lands.

In the beginning there was just one Scribe who would every week produce parchments for the town folk to enjoy. Scriptures to amuse, to educate, to thrill. The people loved the offering from The Scribe.

Soon, there would be more Scribes and now the people of the town had a choice. Inevitably, such a choice would lead to division and subsequently it would end…..Well you know what happened next.

These Scribes became revered, worshipped. Everyone wanted to own those sacred parchments; they became the very symbol of status.

Yet there never were enough to go round. Despite the number of Scribes the demand for these sought after parchments were too great.

Every week on an oak table the offerings of The Scribes were laid out and the huge crowd that had gathered would rush to ensure they were able to get one. Invariably, a large number of the town would leave empty handed.

It hadn’t always been that way. When the First Scribe produced the original parchment it was seen as something of a curiosity. The people were happy to share and enjoy these texts together.

No one knows how these parchments became to be held in such high regard but when that happened, everything changed.

It begun in the local tavern where many folk would discuss the virtue of the latest offering from The Scribes.

Some would be quite vocal in preferring one Scribe over the other. Others would talk for hours about how one particular parchment is the most sacred of them all.

Night after night these heated discussions would occur upsetting the once harmonious balance of the town.

The conversations that took place in the tavern would spread across the town and soon people were on the hunt for the special, prized parchment.

Some would protect their prized parchment by encasing it in impenetrable material. Despite the cries of protest that no one will ever again be able to enjoy the sacred text ever again more and more people began to do it.

Others took a different approach. There were those in the town who did not care too much for The Scribes’ parchments. They would use the status that came with owning one to become rich.

It started with the odd sale at the Tavern but soon this market to buy pre owned parchments grew. Therefore, each week on the day after The Scribes had left their parchments, the people would make their way down to The Bay.

At The Bay, food and other precious commodities were exchanged for ownership of a precious parchment. The people of the town desperate to outbid each other in an attempt to increase their own status.

Whilst some would sell their prized parchment because they were poor and needed to feed their family others were more nefarious.

After The Scribes had been, those wishing to sell their parchment at the highest price possible would go to the Tavern and spread rumours that this week’s offering were the most sacred there had been.

As word spread large crowds would gather at The Bay desperate to own it. This would guarantee the owner a high return.

Indeed, such was the reward that people would scoop up as many parchments as they could to sell at The Bay.

Some argued that they just wanted to read the parchments, like everyone had done in the beginning, but their voices could not be heard over those who clambered to own a parchment with the sole intention of selling it at the highest price possible.

Others aware of the demand for these parchments would horde them away at their home; sometimes waiting for the right price or for that inevitable rainy day.

Attempts were made to resolve this problem. A kindly old gentleman would copy the parchments so that those who missed out could enjoy the text.

Initially, they were seen as a lesser parchment but soon those who now controlled The Bay were suggesting that even those reproductions had value due to being even more scarce. Soon no one could read them without paying a high price.

This continued for many years and every week more people would be unable to read the Scribes’ sacred parchments as initially intended. All the while, those who controlled The Bay got more powerful.

And then The Scribes stopped delivering parchments……….