Hello again dear readers, recently I posted the first chapter (tentatively entitled Fall from Grace) from my next novel and I received a wonderful response to it, thank you for that. Well, here I have as I promised, another chapter from that upcoming tome. Again, as with the first piece, I feel it can stand alone as a short story in its own right. It is after all just a taster of what is to come and although the names & characters are new to you, I think that reading this later chapter will not spoil the upcoming storyline or give away any of the plot. I sincerely hope that you will all enjoy this latest piece and yet more new characters, I hope it will slake any thirst you have for my work yet still leave you wanting more. By the way, I feel the best way to ‘enjoy’ this chapter is just before you go to bed……………….
C. William Giles
First General of Grue & War of the Four Horsemen
It was almost midnight yet he waited. The driver of the black car had seen Professor Ketch waiting there, which prompted him to stay where he was and observe, unnoticed. So wrapped up in his own thoughts was Ketch that he hadn’t even noticed the black car pull up and park. After the professor had built himself up enough to get out of his own car and actually call on Abigail, though he had tried twice and failed already, the man in the black car had no real alternative but to wait it out or leave, he evidently chose to wait.
He sat there in silence save for the mumbling to himself, he was dressed entirely in black, even down to the black leather gloves which creaked as he aggressively squeezed the steering wheel in front of him repeatedly. He was anxious, he was angry, he was bitter and twisted, he had so many delusions and strange thoughts and they all collided in his mind, fragmenting into his sickened objective for the evening, his prey.
On the same side of the road as the black car was a second man, he was altogether an entirely different beast. He stood out of sight, though not purposefully, by the side of a tree in a neighbour’s garden. He too watched Abigails’ house, though he closed his eyes at times and felt as if he could see better that way, as if his mind focused in on the property and what was going on behind that locked door.
He was dressed in ill-fitting clothes and was bare footed, the clothes he did wear were ripped and hanging loosely about his person. He watched and waited as did the first man in the car. The driver of the black car had no idea that the badly dressed man was there too, he thought he was alone and undetected in his vehicle, away from prying eyes in the early hours of the morning, the street lights were on but almost everyone’s house lights were off as the residents slept away their hard working day, it was a darkened street save for Abigails’ house.
The barefoot man knew that someone else watched the house though, he had seen the sinister man pull up and wait, he had also seen Professor Jack Ketch pull up and wait before going to Abigail. The barefoot man had been waiting there for the entire night, skulking in the bushes before night came down, he had seen Abigail arrive home yet still he waited, still he watched the house, as long as it took, he would wait.
It was 2am before Abigails’ front door opened again, as the two separate men still watched from their vantage points, more words of apology and acceptance passed between Abbey and Ketch until finally a hug goodbye and the professor reluctantly walked to his car. Jack started the engine and pulled from the kerb, he looked up to wave again to Abbey but she had already gone back inside, turning the porch light off as she went. Ketch felt a little better as he pulled away from her house but devastated by various revelations and facts that he simply couldn’t have known, he was disappointed that she had gone back inside but he roared away hoping that at least the lines of communication were now open.
Another hour of quiet and stillness passed, in which time Abigail had turned off the lights downstairs, seconds later her bedroom light came on, then a couple of minutes later that too went out as she curled up in her bed, begging for sleep. Abigail had decided to take a couple of sleeping pills; hence the few minutes of delay of her getting upstairs before switching the light off. Not that she really needed the medication, she was practically asleep as soon as her head hit her pillow, despite the multitude of things swimming around her mind, Jack, David Sweeney and what had happened to him, her head was a mess but sleep mercifully wrapped comfortably around her rapidly.
After an hour had passed, the man in the black car reached into his glove compartment, though no gloves were to be found, just a battered old rubber clown mask.
The man toyed with the mask and mumbled words, he could have been talking to himself or maybe the voices inside his head, his own personal darkness, then again he could’ve been talking to the rubber, sadistically smiling face that he held in his hands as it leered back at him. Either way, after a minute or two he stretched the mask and put it on, it was a full head mask and a little small for him but that just made the now twisted smile all the more unnerving.
He checked in his car mirrors and then he turned to get a good view of the quiet street as he got out of his car, there seemed to be no-one around and he gently closed his door behind him so as to make as little noise as possible. His all black clothing gave him a shadow like appearance as he stealthily slipped across the road between two parked cars, furtively looking this way and that but still there was nobody around.
He quickly and quietly made his way onto Abbeys’ front porch, blending into the shadow of her extinct light and taking out a small wallet containing his tools for lock-picking. Again he glanced up and down the street, before setting to work on the locked door. It only took him a few moments before the lock clicked and the door opened, it seemed almost too easy. He took one last look along the street before entering.
He was prepared to disable the alarm, he had taught himself to do that in record time but it proved unnecessary on this occasion, Abbey in her sleep deprived state and with an over-filled mind had forgotten to set the system or bolt her door, this would be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Once inside, he relaxed just a little, instead of being hunched over as he naturally became when he broke into a victims’ home, he stood up to his full height and breathed deeply. His eyes were accustomed to the half light almost immediately, he had done this many times; the darkness was his friend and confidant. He moved through the living room to the coffee table where Abbeys’ wine glass still stood, a small amount of red liquid still sitting in the bottom of it.
He picked up the glass and sniffed gently at it, partly at the wine and partly at the slight mark where Abbeys’ lips had caressed the cool surface. His tongue slipped out from the hole in the clowns’ mask mouth and he licked the rim, savouring the flavour of Abbeys’ lips. He closed his eyes and smiled to himself as a slight shiver ran down his spine, before he lifted the glass to his mouth and finished the last drops of wine, drinking specifically and exactly from where her mouth had been.
He replaced the glass on the table then moved though the room to locate the staircase, moving away from the windows and the streetlights glow, the house became darker still but it made no difference to him as he searched for and found the stairs.
Deftly he moved up the stairs, step by step, treading with his left foot as close to the wall as possible, his right foot as close to the banister as possible, thus avoiding the sound of old and creaking stairs, a trick he’d learned a long time ago.
Once at the top of the flight he paused, he looked around in the darkness, there were four doors. Again he walked with his footsteps spread, as close to either wall of the corridor as possible, to avoid creaking floorboards which may alert his prey to his presence.
He checked the first two doors, both open, as expected they were just spare rooms. One contained a few boxes, maybe clothes to be given to charity, but little else, apart from closets, a store room more than anything else. The second was a guest room, a bed was made up very neatly and homely, Abbey liked the idea of having people to stay but never really got around to actually inviting anyone.
He continued on his twisted journey along the corridor in silence, the third door stood ajar, he assumed correctly that it would be the bathroom. He went in and turned on the fluorescent light, gazing at the spotless and gleaming chrome, glass and white bathroom furniture. He imagined her, Abbey, getting out of her bed half asleep and stumbling naked into her bathroom in the morning, showering and drying herself before continuing on her naked journey to the closets in her spare room to get dressed for the day.
He lost himself in those sordid thoughts for a minute or two as he turned around in the bathroom before glancing himself in the large mirror over the sink. His black clothing and twisted mask suddenly seemed in harsh contrast to the purity and gleam of the room, only then did he realize the noise from the fan which had switched on along with the light, immediately his instincts kicked in and he switched the light off. He stood in total silence, hardly breathing as he waited until eventually the fan switched itself off too.
He stepped out of the room, again walking as close to the wall as possible and to the final door, to his victim. He paused outside the room, he listened for anything untoward but there was nothing, not even a passing car outside, absolute and total silence.
He gently turned the handle and slowly pushed back the door, immediately he felt aroused, the sensations of entering her room almost overwhelmed him. The gentle fragrances wafted to him as the soft draught from the door disturbed the air, he caught lavender and cinnamon, peach and almond. A delicious combination of the products she used on her hair, her body and her linen.
He moved in to the room and walked around the bed, ever so quietly, he could see her body under the sheets, her head resting peacefully on her pillows. He was in no rush; he wanted to take his time with this one, he felt she deserved his full and complete attention. He breathed in deeply through his nostrils, absorbing all the scents and sensations he was feeling as she slept heavily, the combination of the wine and sleeping pills, along with his stealth, making her oblivious to his presence, this would be her undoing.
He moved closer and right up to the bed, she slept with her back to the window and facing the door, facing him, he walked around the bed. As he moved, he traced his fingertips along the soft cotton sheets beneath which she lay, as he reached the bottom of the bed he lightly grazed over her feet, she reacted in her sleep which thrilled him even more. He continued, smiling beneath his mask, trailing his fingers on the sheets until he stood behind her.
Once in position he lifted the sheets as she lay still, he whispered her name to no response, causing him to smile to himself again. He looked down under the sheets at her, seeing that she did indeed sleep naked as he’d hoped and imagined, thrilled him even more. He gazed at her back longingly, slowly working his eyes down to her firm smooth buttocks, he paused as he took in the sight which inflamed him so, before gently climbing into the bed behind her.
Abbey moaned softly at the mild disruption to her sleep but sadly failed to wake. She moaned again as his courage rose along with his erection as he moved closer until he was right up behind her. His hands moved along her arms, delicately gliding along her flesh while simultaneously inhaling the fragrance from her hair. Still she slept heavily though she moaned a little more at her unknown would-be ‘lover’.
Suddenly an almighty crash broke the spell as the window behind them shattered completely, as did most of the frame, as a huge body smashed through it. The predator in the bed yelped at the intrusion as he turned around and tried to clamber to his feet. Abbey finally woke with shock and fright though still heavily dazed and disorientated. In the darkness and confusion she saw a man in black clothing and strange facial expression climbing out of her bed, her immediate reaction was to draw her knees to her chest and scream loudly, which she did.
A massive shadow of a man stood to his full height and towered over her intruder, the clown gasped in his own shock and confusion but his natural reaction was to run. As he tried to flee the huge shadow picked him up by the scruff of his neck and hurled him all the way across the room at the wall with a monstrous grunt equaled only by the crunch of the clown hitting the wall and then the floor in a heap.
Abbey was almost hysterical by that stage but had the presence of mind to switch on her bedside lamp, as the room was at least partially illuminated she saw the expression on the darkly clothed man was no expression at all, just a bad rubber clown mask. As the light hit him, the clown panicked, the shadow was almost upon him as it made its’ way across the room, this was the clowns only chance to escape and he took it. He bolted for the bedroom door as Abbey screamed again and he leapt through it, quickly turning back to shut it behind him, in a vain bid to slow his assailant down.
He wasn’t looking back though, he ran as best he could in pain, straight down the stairs, as much as he knew the darkness so well, his confusion and fear still caused him to run into the couch as he made his way to the front door, even the door itself seemed to resist him as he struggled to open it with his suddenly jelly-like fingers. Eventually he prized the door open and made his escape to his car, before roaring off into the night.
Meanwhile, back in the bedroom, Abbey sat rigid with fear in the lamplight, her knees pulled tight to her chest, her arms wrapped even tighter around her shins, tears streaked down her face, like a terrified child after a horrendous nightmare. She stared at the other intruder, she wanted to scream again but her voice deserted her.
The man stood there in his ill-fitting clothes, barefoot and bleeding from the broken glass, he breathed heavily from his exertions but was gaining control rapidly. He stared down at the floor, his long black hair covering most of his face and hanging onto his shoulders, outside, they both heard the squeal of tyres as a car bulleted off into the night and he looked up at Abbey, she stared in disbelief as she looked at him.
“You are safe now Abigail, I promise” he whispered
Abbey couldn’t reply, trans-fixed as she was, staring deeply into his purple eyes.