Tale Three – Chapter Three

We’re back! Hope everyone had a great Christmas yadda, yadda, yadda. Have some fiction!

“Welcome everyone. I trust you all, as responsible 16 year-olds, had good, productive weekends. No partying? Plenty of studying? Your blank yet derisory faces I shall take as my confirmation. Since you must, therefore, be very prepared and the year is coming to a close it’s time for you to begin your end of year project. This will be the basis of your final grade for your sophomore year. Now I know that prom is in a few weeks but quite frankly 2000 year-old books are more important. So, ‘what’s the project?’ I hear you ask. Good question, your task is to read The Epic of Gilgamesh and create a modern-day parallel. To explore Mesopotamian teachings and apply their knowledge to today. I’m not expecting you to write a novel although, if you did I’d probably give you an A, what I’m looking for is anything that demonstrates a clear understanding. It could be a performance, an essay, a presentation, a deft display of abstract miming. Anything! I want you to do this assignment in pairs, pairs that I have already decided and no, you can’t ask to switch partners. Ashley, you are to work with-”

Ancient Literature. Age old stories romanticizing the path humanity took to get to here. How sad. I wonder if their writings would be the same if they knew this was where they were heading. I doubt it. I can only imagine their disappointment at how great kings and heroes have given way to the Kardashians. Will humans 2000 years in the future be sitting in Ancient Literature classes studying E! articles about Taylor Swift’s procession of boyfriends? Maybe she’ll be their Henry VIII. At least the Professor seems to share my disdain for the present – and prom, that puts me at ease in this class, takes a slight edge off my cynicism. And with no reason to go to prom, the exception being mass murder (I know what you’re thinking, just wait), I won’t be rushed with this project.
“Hades, you are paired with-”
Let me guess, Dionysus, or someone else who can’t carry their own wei-
“Persephone.”
Shit. So this is fear. I’m split between the desire to thank the Professor and to see his spine removed from his body. What do I do? I’ve been handed this opportunity on a silver platter but I’m yet to develop the means to take it. Do I allow myself to squander it? No, I must take it. I mu-

“Hey partner.”

“H…… I….. P….”

“”Hi Persephone, I can’t to wait to start this project with you. How should we begin?”” Is that what you wanted to say?

“Yes?”

“Good. Meet me at the Starbucks on fifth at eight. See ya then.”

I think that went rather well.

*******

I’ve got just under three hours. Should be enough time to get myself together.

“Hey! Hades? Is that you? Can you bring me a bottle of water?”

“Fine.”

It’s as if he doesn’t get enough water spending half the day in the pool.

“Here.”

“Cheers Bro.”

I hate him.

“Hey, hold up. Got any plans for tonight?”

“I’m meeting with Persephone to start our Ancient Literature project.”

“Ahh nice, she’s cute.”

“She is pleasant, yes.”

“Ask her out.”

“What? Why?”

“Because you’re a loner and I’m starting to worry that without some happiness you’re gunna shoot up a school or something.”

Shoot up a school? I would never lower myself to such undignified methods.

“What would I even say?”

“When are you leaving?”

“Around seven.”

“Ok, I’ve got three hours to work with. I think I can do that. You ready?”

“Ready for what?”

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Christmas! 

As all 3 of our readers will know, Christmas is a particularly busy time. Consequently we shall be taking a short break whilst the festivities are underway. I’m sorry if this rather dour news ruins your Christmas but if you replace our words with alcohol then the pain won’t be so bad (or it could be worse, I don’t know). Happy Christmas:)

Tale Three – Chapter One

Here we go. The start of our third story. Enjoy! (Yes I know it’s short)

Slowly she walks, frail and unsuspecting. Each step draws her closer. Closer to me. Further into my domain. My underworld. Such insignificance deluded into self-importance. Just a few more steps. She’ll never realize the spec she is, they never do. I prefer it that way. Let them lean into their ignorance. Let them indulge in their tunnelled view of the world. Let them know life. Then, take it awa-

“Hi. My husband bought me this sweater for my birthday last week but silly Dan, he still thinks of me as that 22 year-old he married. He’s so sweet, there’s no way I’d fit into an 8 now but you know, at least it shows that he hasn’t notice me aging… does that mean he doesn’t notice my looks at all now? Oh God. . Stop it Lillian, Dan loves me just as much as he did on our wedding day. The trip to Saint Tropez proves that.”

“Would you like an exchange or a refund?”

“Hmm well I don’t want Dan to think I don’t like the sweater so I better exchange it for a different size.”

“All the sizes we have are hung up by the shoe wall.”

Sweaters. Marriage. Such trivial matters. If only the world was filled with meaning. But then, I suppose, there’d but no fun in taking it. I shall not dwell beneath humanity for ever. I will ri-

“Is this 10 too tight? I feel it clinging to my hips. It does make me look slimmer though. I’ll go try on the 12. See which one I prefer.”

She’ll be the first. Then onto my bro-

“Hadeees! Little brother! How are you? How’s the shift?”

Then onto my brother. Zeus.

“This shift is but an opening chapter in the rise of the underworld.”

“That’s great but have there been any customers?”

“That lady over there is exchanging a sweater…”

“And you know what to do? Put it through as a refund and a new purchase?”

“Yes brother.”

“Awesome, you’ll go far here. I can see it now. Hades, assistant store manager.”

Ok my brother will be first. The apple of my father’s eye. Store manager at just 17, head boy at school and just offered a place at Yale. All things that will be null when I recreate this world. And his precious Hera. Almost as cherished by my parents as my two older sisters. Zeus shall watch as I-

“So the 12 doesn’t sit right, it’s too baggy. I’ll have to go with the 10 and change potatoes for quinoa. Maybe I’ll even go back to the gym.. I’ll call Gabby and tell her we’re gunna start spinning again. I wonder if José is still there. Anyway, thanks for the help. You’ve been great.”

“Thank you for shopping at Olympus Department Store. Please come back soon.”

Things Worthy of Discussion But People Might Get Offended So We Probably Shouldn’t Talk About Them: Volume 1

Hello esteemed readers,

Today I’m going to take a break from our usual schedule and introduce the first, and quite feasibly last, entry of a blog that will accompany the stories that you’re slowly beginning to love. Writing a blog has always been something I wanted to do and has absolutely nothing to do with yesterday’s realisation that the chapter I’d prepared for today was even worse than usual. We keep our standards low here at When Scribes Collide but sometimes we (I) defy the impossible and fail to meet them anyway. Having said that we’ve managed hit our posting schedule every week since we started which way harder than expected (this is evidenced by my previous attempt at a blog which was awesome and you should totally check it out, here’s the link https://funtimeswithsam.wordpress.com/ ). But as I said, the driving force behind this post has nothing to do with any of that so let’s move on.

Obviously the first challenge when writing a blog is figuring out what the blog should be about. I thought about to sticking to stuff I like but there’s a million different gaming/film/music blogs out there and quite frankly they’re probably better than mine would be. So with all that stuff (and subsequently nearly everything else) off the table I decided I’m just gunna wait until an idea comes to me. This was a terrible decision to make on a Friday afternoon hours before my post was due. That’s not to say that the beginnings of ideas didn’t cross my path, for example I had a detailed debate at work about whether a baby or a fully grown adult would be juicier to eat (the answer is clearly a baby, the fact that it made it to a debate is staggering) which led me to the topic of ‘things worthy of discussion but people might get offended so we probably shouldn’t talk about them’. Unfortunately with a blog such as that one, it would require more than just my input because otherwise it wouldn’t so much be a discussion as it would be just one man blogging about eating babies and I’ve seen our metrics, we’re not getting any input. Though to be fair, I’d read a blog about eating babies so maybe I won’t throw away this idea quite so quickly.

My second idea, which I must add was greatly encouraged by my writing partner, was to publish a list of my favourite celebrity sex tapes. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Do it!”, but again, there are downfalls. Firstly, I haven’t actually seen that many celebrity sex tapes so my opinion is somewhat lacking on the subject and secondly, celebrities aren’t quite keen enough on exhibitionism these days to make it a worthwhile venture. Truthfully, ‘baby eating and similar topics’ is a much better idea and the more I write about it the more I find my self leaning towards the idea. I must also mention that I considered “The Similarities In the Mating Rituals of Giant Otters and Aardvarks” as a topic but after quick research it appeared that the similarities are limited to the fact that they both have mating rituals and thus that dream was ended.

So as I approach the end of this inaugural blog post it seems as though I’ve managed to both convince myself that this blog shall be renamed “Things Worthy of Discussion But People Might Get Offended So We Probably Shouldn’t Talk About Them: Volume 1” and successfully distract you from the fact that I failed to write a competent chapter this week. Maybe they’ll be a “Volume 2”. Who knows? Maybe I’ll instead become an organised and functioning human being. Either way, next Friday something will be posted (at the very least you’ll get a meme, if you’re lucky it might even be a gif) and I hope it’s the start to our new story so make sure you come back then and have a read or I’ll eat you baby.

Manslaughterer – Chapter Six

Britain to leave the EU. Trump to be President. Will the concluding chapter to this story bring an even bigger surprise? Find out below….

With notable lethargy Rick fumbled through the front door of Russell’s house and sat at the bottom of the stairs a few feet from the door. His body gave way to a slight tilt and his head rested with weight on the oak bannister. He’d been awake most of the last forty-eight hours but it was the anxiety that pushed his head to the wood. Russell followed him in shortly after, his step immeasurably lighter, unburdened by the considerations of the future that plagued Rick. Upon closing the door Russell bent down and gathered the day’s mail from the haphazard pile on the floor. The usual collection of bills and pamphlets with one exception. A letter in a pink envelope, scented with something faint and alluring. It was absent of an address or stamp, evidence of its delivery by hand. With the vigour of a small child at Christmas, Russell tore through the envelope to reveal what was hidden inside. A single A4 piece of paper, folded twice, sat blank in Russell’s hand. Blank except for a single line of text handwritten at the top and a faded paw print, pressed in ink at the bottom. The text read:

We got your message. Meet us at the abandoned Nexaco warehouse. If you don’t know where it is, find it.

As Russell read the message aloud Rick’s head parted from the bannister, a worried yet curious frown began to show on his face.

“Who sent you that?”

“I have no idea…”

“You’ve never got anything like it before?”

“I get letters everyday Rick, just like mo-“

“I meant letters like that! Have you ever got a letter like that one?”

“No.” Rick stood up from the foot of the stairs and leant with one hand on the adjacent wall. The silence that accompanied this moment was broken when Rick turned from the wall and returned his gaze to Russell.

“It has to be about Jeff.”

“Why?”

“Because coincidences like this don’t happen. But I don’t understand about the message, when and to who did we send a message?”

“Maybe it was by trying to kill Jeff?”

“That does seem the most likely but it’s not really a message. Unless the message they took from it is that we want Jeff dead.”

“Yeah. That.”

“Does the message have a time on it?”

“Not that I can see.”

“Let’s go now then.”

“Ok but do we want Jeff dead?”

“Do you really think he’ll stay quiet for the rest of his life? I’m not taking that chance.”

The roads out this side of town were worn and neglected. The erratic effect this had on the suspension of Rick’s aged Acura TSX mirrored perfectly the panicked nature of his and Russell’s heartbeat. Their journey was filled with a back and forth of questions all of which led to no destination. A single line in a single letter had led them here. A faint hope that this was the solution and the end to their ordeal. They pulled into the industrial estate that housed the abandoned Nexaco warehouse. Not much else stood here. Three unattached trailers missing their trucks lay to the east and a rust-laden water tank dwelled in the west. Sitting indecisively between them was the warehouse. Windows boarded, branding smeared. All but one entrance was dressed in chains and padlocked. The west side door remained ajar, its dressing of chains slumped on the floor alongside a pair of bolt cutters. Rick eased the car to a stop behind the water tank, out of sight of the road. He then ushered his gaze from the steering wheel over to Russell, who was holding ‘MC Hammer’ with a tightness of grip they both wished they had on the currently unfolding events, and said “shall we?” They both exited the car with feigned confidence, their surroundings firmly harboured in their awareness. It was a quiet part of town, if it could even be consider part of town, with the only sound being the drone of a nearby highway. Only the occasional pickup truck bearing a family’s supply of firewood would disturb the peace of the immediate vicinity. In spite of this the two of them moved with haste towards west side door. Arriving at it they carefully slid the fallen chains out of the path of door and opened it fully. They went inside.

The darkness of the warehouse, of which the light switch placed beside the entrance provided no sanctuary, was overwhelming. It masked a large majority of the inside, only subsiding in the few places where rays of sunshine fought through the boarded windows. The air was dank and thick, the rancid smell belied the emptiness of the warehouse. “Hello?” Rick called out. The echo to which was the only response. “Go over there and try to find a working light switch, I’ll check over here. If there’s no one here we’ll just have wait.” They headed off in different directions and it was not long before the dark obscured them from each other’s vision. Starting at one end of the north wall, Rick scoured his eyes over every steel shelf, every work bench, every wall cabinet. All that populated them were a mass of rusty tools, empty paint cans and other things that would be at home, unused in a garden shed. Getting to the other end of the wall took Rick time and it bore no fruit as his hope for any source of light dwindled away to the point where it had almost vanished. It was at that point he reached a large lever-style switch with a thick wire climbing up from it towards the ceiling. “I’ve found a switch!” Rick shouted out into the darkness yet from the darkness, no reply came. “Russell?!” This time a reply came but in the sound of a metal object falling to the floor. The sound rang throughout the warehouse making its already immense size seem infinite. Immediately after, one of the beams of light from the boarded windows was broken by a shape that disappeared as soon as it was seen. One final call “Russell?! What are you doing?!” was the last thing Rick remembered.

His return to consciousness was accompanied by the touch of something light and coarse brushing across his face. This was sharply contrasted by the blunt force of the fist that followed. His head rocked back and vacantly gazed at the now present light coming from the ceiling. As his head returned to its natural position, thick blood dripped from his mouth. The blood’s destination was an object perched on Rick’s lap. A ball of string. Formerly white, it now resembled a globe with countries marked in red. More disturbingly, however, were his fellow occupants of the warehouse. In front of him stood a group of cats or, more accurately, a group of people dressed as cats. An assortment of vibrant pastel and fluorescent costumes juxtapositioned with the industrial weapons hanging by their side.

“Wake up.” The evident leader of the group’s voice was cleared of any diction by the mask he wore. The angled length of pipe that rest atop his shoulder swung down to his side as he approached Rick. He grabbed Rick’s chin, checked his eyes for cognisance and then grabbed the ball of string before heading back to his position at the front of his group. “Why do you challenge us?”

“Challenge wha- What the fuck are you?!?” Rick finally managed to break silence but the words were yet to flow with the same ease as the blood.
The leader laughed a slow laugh.

“You cannot rescind a challenge just because you have been caught.”

“I seriously don’t know what you’re talking abo-“

“DO NOT PLAY COY WITH ME!” His voice was a sudden eruption that echoed around the room.

“Two nights ago, you were seen leaving THIS ball of string on our turf, therefore challenging us for that turf.”

“This is crazy, you’ve got it all wrong.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah, yeah. Just let me explain.” The leader swung the pipe around, testing its weight.

“We are not known for our mercy. For good reason. However, I would like the entertainment of watching you try and talk you way out of this. So, Rick, please, tell us how you mistakenly challenged a gang of Furries.”

“Furries?! That’s what you are?! I thought Furries just fucked in costumes?”

“We’re aware of the public perception of us. It only describes the surface. Do you no longer wish to explain yourself?”

“Sorry, I’ll start.” Rick recounted the events of that night, not a single detail amiss. It drained him, both of energy and hope. For the first time the precariousness of the situation hit him. He’d escaped one sentence into the jaws of one far worse. During the course of Rick’s story, the leader had been brought a chair in which he now sat. One hand sat on the angled pipe and the other supported his head.

“I liked it” he said, rising from the chair, the pip returning to its origin on his shoulder. “But I did say earlier that we are not known for our mercy. Regardless of whether you intended the challenge, the fact is the challenge was made and we must respond.”

Rick, seeing no reprieve, bowed his head in acceptance. His thoughts raced back to the moment he accepted Russell’s request for help. Jolted to speech he asked “where’s Russell?” his question was met by silent staring. “At least let him go, he’s just an idiot.”

“It’s a little late for that.” The words held the leader’s hidden command as two others moved forwards to either side of Rick. With ease they lifted his chair and turned him one-hundred-and-eighty degrees. Now he stared directly into what used to be Russell’s face, the dripping remnants of his childhood friend. His body slumped and tied to a chair. Rick cried softly as a hand squeezed his shoulder, then progressed up his neck, nestling in his hair, pulling his head back, hard. At the moment Rick expected the knife, he was instead deafened by explosions. The room now appeared infinite, blinding white light stretched out omnidirectionally. As the room came back into view Rick could only see what was transpiring due to his chair lying flush on the floor, his head tilted back, viewing the scene upside down. Half the Furries lay bloody and dead, the others scurrying in disarray, being picked off one by one, bullets passing through their skulls meeting no resistance. They all fell. The bodies strewn across the warehouse floor. Men in tactical gear then converged on Rick. The first to arrive above him looked down with a wry smile, he peeled off his goggles and removed his helmet, the policeman from the hospital wiped the beads of sweat off his head and spoke.

“I think it’s time to discuss ongoing investigations.”

Rick sat dirty and despondent in the police interrogation room as a procession of officers interchanged in a blur. The end of this procession was marked by the return of the policeman from the hospital. He started talking at Rick.

“Who’d have thought months of tracking that gang would’ve led to you. We saw them post that letter at Russell’s home and needless to say, we read it. Then we had to move quick. We got to the warehouse before anyone else and bugged it. I’ll get to the point. We have your whole confession on tape so feel free to sit there in silence because this investigation is over. You’re done.”

Manslaughterer – Chapter Four

Here is Chapter Four! Remember to come back next week as the story continues!

“Russell?” The man in the bed’s eyes stared at Russell narrowly avoiding eye contact. Not an intentional avoidance, more a forgivable result of being shot in the head. “You shot me.” Russell looked at Rick, then back at Jeff. He moved a few steps towards Jeff and sized up the blood stained bandage occupying the space above his left eye. Russell reached out his hand and started to poke the bandage. “What are you doing?” Jeff asked, his eyes becoming more crossed with each dab of the finger.

“How are you still alive?” Russell’s question carried the same naive wonder as a child asking how a plane flies.

“The bullet missed the brain ventricles and was confined to the left side limiting damage to minor language and speech functions.” Said Rick in dismay to room filled with disbelief. “His medical chart is on the end of his bed.”

The following silence was broken by Jeff “Can you get the policeman at the door, I need to tell him that Russell shot me.” There was no threatening overtone to the question, just a genuine request and it was at this point that Rick realised Jeff was thicker than pig shit. Russell seemed, by comparison, a scholar. Along with this revelation came an idea.

“You’re not going to tell the police anything Jeff.”

“Wh..”

“You’re a drug dealer.”

“Scum.” Russell chimed in.

“You’ll do life in prison if they find out.”

“I was only selling prescription Valium from Thailand.”

“The law doesn’t care Jeff.”

“Shit.” Right on the cue the policeman strolled back into the room.

“Who the hell are you two?”

Rick took the lead in responding to the questions. “We’re Jeff’s friends, as soon as we saw the news report we rushed straight over.”

“Then why are you holding a hammer?”

Rick took a look down at the hammer in his hand and without think answered. “We found. In the car park.”

“And you just picked it up and carried it into the hospital room of a man at the centre of an ongoing police investigation?”

“It was Jeff’s, it’s his favourite hammer. He never goes anywhere without it.” Said Russell.

“I call him MC Hammer.” Added Jeff.

“It must have fallen out of Jeff’s jacket when they brought him in from the Ambulance.” Rick now felt oddly smug, especially considering everything needed to convict him and Russell of murder was standing in that room. The door opened once again, this time at the arrival of the doctor. He glanced at Rick and Russell, then at the policeman, then at the hammer and finally at Jeff, whose eyes were now simultaneously pointing towards the opposite sides of the room and a delicate dribble of saliva glistened on his chin. The doctor, admirably, managed to carry on his duties despite the unusual circumstances in the room.

“How are you feeling Jeff?”

“Excuse me doctor, do you mind if we have to room alone with Jeff for a few minutes?”

“Not right no… I’m sorry who are you?”

“I’m Rick, this is Russell, we’re Jeff’s closest friends.”

“Well Rick and Russell, Jeff’s health is paramount at the moment. Whatever you need to say to him will have to wait.” The current situation was a far cry from the stealthy ‘convincing’ Rick had anticipated. The only saving grace was that they’d somehow managed to coerce Jeff into withholding the incriminating information. Luckily it had been easy. If ever a person were needed as evidence of the effects of drugs on intelligence then Jeff was that person. Although it could be argued a bullet lodged in the brain wouldn’t have helped either. Despite Jeff’s coercion Rick was filled with an overwhelming desire to get out of the hospital. The policeman was far from convinced of their story and the Doctor would surely probe them further after he finished his checks.

“Ok then. Me and Russell will probably head home to get some rest then.” The policeman opened his mouth to object but before sound could get out the door swung open.

“I hope you’re hungry Jeff.” The words rang out melodically as a nurse who looked the type to invest as much time into OK! magazine as her career ushered in a tray consisting largely of bread and jelly. She was followed in by a second, clearly less senior nurse. “You’ve got quite the crowd going on here. Can I get anyone a coffee?”

“No thank you, we’re just heading off actua…”

“Nonsense! I’ll be quick. We just got this new machine installed down the hall. It’s rather good.” Without giving them a chance to respond she rushed back out the room leaving her timid follower behind.

Russell whispered to Rick “Rick, I wanna go.”

“Yeah, me too.” In an instant the nurse reappeared, a coffee in each hand. She handed them to Rick and Russell. The relief filled Rick’s body the same way the warmth from the coffee did. All they needed to do was finish their coffee and they could escape. Or at least they thought they could. Yet again the door opened and this time a group of people walked in. Their expressions showed a battle between worry and relief. A 50-plus woman broke from the group and ran over to Jeff, tears in here eyes. It was Jeff’s Mum. It was Jeff’s family.

Manslaughterer – Chapter Two

So here’s the next chapter. Hope you enjoy it. Come back next week for part 3!

“It should be just up here on the left.” Rick’s eyes were fixed firmly on the road ahead whilst Russell’s were equally fixed on the loose end of the ball of string sitting in his lap.

“How do you know about this place?” Russell questioned.

“When I was young I always wanted to come here. I saw it on a map when we were planning a camping trip, the lake was huge. It seemed like a great place to take some friends.”

“Surely others would’ve had that thought…. There might be people there.”

“It’s unlikely. The reason we never went was that the lake was too heavily polluted to swim in. No one goes there.”

They pulled into a dirt track leading down about a mile into the thick forest surrounding the area. Once they reached the end of the track Rick turned to Russell and handed him a torch.

“Walk for five minutes in that direction and then you’ll see it. Make sure everything’s clear. We don’t want to drag the body all the way there and then have to bring it back.”

“Why do I have to go?”

“You’re right. It’s completely unreasonable for me to suggest that you, the murderer, be the one to do this little task.”

“Hey come on…. Manslaughterer.” Rick answered Russell with a look that questioned which body he was wanting to dump in the lake.

He sat in silence awaiting Russell’s return. It was more than once that the thought of just getting out and walking away crossed his mind. All that stopped him was the certainty that, left to Russell, this was only going to spiral even further out of control and now he was implicated. A light shone briefly through the passenger window before the door swung open and Russell climbed in.

“Is it safe?”

“We’ll it’s safe if you’re looking for a reasonably priced, luxury getaway suitable for all the family, less so if you wanting to dump a corpse in a lake.”

“What??”

“It’s been converted into a glamping resort. You know? Where people pay money to be sheltered from nature in a natural setting.”

“Fuck.. Did anyone see you?”

“I don’t think so, they might have seen the light from the torch but they’d probably just assume I was a pervert sneaking around. Which just to clarify I’m not.”

“No you’re above that, you’re just a murderer.”

“Rick, please. Manslaughterer.”

“So it looks like we’re going to have to bury it.”

“You didn’t let me finish. I checked the other direction while I was out there. There’s a small lake, more of a large pond really, with nothing else around it. We’ll be safe.”

“I appreciate the introduction to glamping but next time lead with that. Now, let’s get this done with.”

They learned quickly that carrying a body any distance farther than that between the front door and the car was no easy task. They were not fit men and they ached. The lake couldn’t have come sooner. Russell was right, it was more of a pond. It sat in a small opening in the trees with slowly declining banks leading to the almost circular body of water in the middle. They lay the body at the edge of the water and tried to stretch their aches away.

“Go that way and find any stones or rocks you can, he’ll float like this.”

Russell returned with two armfuls of rocks, about the same amount that Rick had scavenged whilst waiting. They stuffed each one in between the bed sheet and the former drug dealer. With just a look and no words they each picked up an end of the body.

“Three swings and then throw?”

“Sure.” Russell said with a nod.

“One… Two…. Three!”

The body landed in the water with feeble splash, the water rose barely half way up the shoulder the result resembling someone who had fallen asleep in a puddle. They both stared at the body for close to a minute. Russell stepped into the water and started to roll body over with kicks, only succeeding in make sure the bed sheet was fully soaked through.”Really?” Rick’s frustration dripped off the word. He pushed Russell aside and picked up the head of the body. “Get the feet, we’re going to have to wade it into the centre.” Russell followed the orders and moments later they were chest deep in dirty, freezing water. “This will do, it’s not like he’s going to just wake up and wade out.” Seconds after they let the corpse fall beneath the surface they were lit up but a powerful torch and the words that followed it.

“It’s a bit late for a swim isn’t it?” An old man stood there holding the light, his confusion mirroring Rick and Russell’s shock.

“Uh no, the water’s nice… you should come in.” As the words left Russell’s mouth Rick’s shock was redirected towards him.

“..No thank you. You two shouldn’t stay in there long, you’ll freeze to death.”

“We won’t, don’t worry.”

“I’ll leave you to it then.”

The old man walked off and Rick finally managed to gather some words together. “We’re going to have to kill him.”

“Who’s the murderer now?”

“Shut the fuck up Russell! That was too suspicious a thing to walk in on.”

“Ok, ok. Let’s follow the direction he walked off in. He’ll probably have a lodge where he’s gone back to bed.”

About ten minutes later they arrived at the lodge. The only building around, the light from its window had been visible for a good few hundred metres. Rick turned to Russell and started to detail the plan.

“Ok, so I’ll knock on the door and say our car is broken down, I’ll lead him out of the lodge and then you jump him from behind. Got it?”

“Got it.”

Rick took a moment to breathe and make a grab at the last remnants of normality. Realising that he was as far from normality as the drug dealer was from having a face he gave up and approached the door. He went to knock but just as his fist was about to make contact with the wood a hole exploded just passed his face. His ears rang like a fire alarm but he could just make the old man’s voice.

“Get the fuck away from my property!”

Russell was already running and screaming at the same time. Rick stumbled side to side before he managed to break into a run himself. They ran all the way back to the car without concern for their tiredness. They piled into the front seats, drenched head to toe in sweat. They sat in silence for a short while before Rick’s anger burst out. He shook in his seat and punched the steering wheel over and over again. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” Russell bent down and picked up the ball of string and tried to speak but Rick immediately cut him off, snatched the ball off him and threw it out the window. The look on his face now showed he was certain that he’d dumped the wrong body in the lake.

The next morning Russell woke Rick with a cup of coffee and said “Rick, you need to see this.” Rick reluctantly got up and followed Russell to the kitchen where the TV was showing the news.

** FROM THE TV **

“Breaking news. A man has survived attempted murder after being shot in the face and left in a lake. When questioned by the police on how he managed to survive the man had this to say “I just woke up and waded out.””