Toxic Bandwidth


Suggested Audio Candy

[1] LL Cool J “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”

[2] Lostprophets “The Fake Sound of Progress”

[3] John 5 & Griffin Boice “The Lords Theme”

[4] 45 Grave “Party Time”

[5] John 5 & Griffin Boice “The Lords Theme (Reprise)”

[6] Fear Factory “Linchpin”

[7] John 5 & Griffin Boice “The Lords Theme (Reprise)”


There’s music to suit all occasions in life; music for when you’re feeling melancholic (Radiohead), music for when you’re getting ready to go out on the town (James Brown), music for the eventuality that you strike it lucky whilst lining up in the Technicolor identity parade or “luuurve” music as it is more commonly known (Barry White), even music to masturbate to (Theme From Black Beauty). But what music would you use to accompany the vile act of ending another’s existence? Slayer perhaps?


Lesley Jobe Henkleman was sixteen, gangly framed, littered with acne scars, had eyes like bleak button holes and thin lips which hung round his oral cavity like elastic bands. No girl in their right mind was interested in getting close with this hapless dude and even if they attempted to, they’d face the potential risk of any one of his primed pimples exploding in their direction at any given time. It wasn’t all downbeat, he was hung like a Shetland pony; not that it mattered as his thoroughbred remained in the paddock at all times.


He was tormented daily, taunted constantly for his unsightly appearance, and had developed a speech impediment through the sheer social awkwardness he faced on an hourly basis. His parents spent too much time bickering over who drank the last of the malt whiskey to even acknowledge his existence for the most part and never offered him any words of even the vaguest encouragement. Life as Lesley sucked hard.


One day, whilst rummaging around in the attic, he came across an old carton of audio tapes labelled ‘Uncle Clive’. Clive had died in mysterious circumstances several years back and nobody had spoken of him since. He had been the only person to really give a flying fuck about Lesley and, when he passed, Lesley had felt lonelier than ever and retracted even further into his shell.


He locked himself in his poky chamber which was adorned with posters of Pantera, Sepultura and the like. Calling it poky is not fully doing it justice, it was small enough to give a guinea-pig muscle spasms and was constantly filled with the aroma of his own persistent gingivitis which hung in the air. Oh I’m sorry; had I negated to mention he had the breath of an over-worked camel? When it rains it pours it would appear.


He also suffered from club foot but, thanks to the gnarly goth metal boots he mail ordered last year, he managed to keep this affliction concealed for the most part. You can imagine the scenario; Lesley finally finds a young lady just about courageous enough to overlook his vast array of primed pelt pimples and consent to coitus with him. Last thing off are the socks, and as he slides it off his misshapen left hoof, well, that ladies and gentleman is what we call the clincher!


Les would sit in his vault listening to Uncle Clive’s box of cassettes every day after school. Normally by that point he’d endured at least two knuckle-sandwiches, a dozen or so cases of underwear hoisting (one for each lap of the hallways) and enough verbal abuse to make a fully botoxed Joan Rivers appear alarmed. This ranged from “spotty little plum” to “vagina-basket” and each callous word cut frittered away a little more of his self-confidence. Until he was back in the safe confines of his tiny little room where he was the kingpin.


Here, they couldn’t touch him and Clive’s stashed audio inheritance gave him the wafer-thin wisp of contentment which otherwise eluded him habitually. It took him nigh on a fortnight to wade through the tightly packed roster of ax-grinding metal left by his uncle. When he reached the very bottom of the booty, only a singular object remained. It was wrapped in notebook paper which appeared scribbled-upon so he unraveled it excitedly and put on his thick-rimmed prescription glasses (10-10 vision; had I forgot to mention that Les was short-sighted in one eye and long in the other?) His beady peepers instantly widened the moment he started reading. It was a scrawled note from Uncle Clive which read:


Ma Boy Les,

I’m sorry pardner, doesn’t look like I’m gonna get to see ya graduate. Sorry son, your Uncle got involved with some bad sorts and very soon they gone come looking for me. You’re a good kid, remember what I always taught ya boy. Don’t take nobody’s bullshit, stand up for yourself, get noticed, be somebody. I’m leavin’ ya some of my most prized possessions. Among them wares you’ll find some rare fucking music man, some of which never made it out of the studio. I love that shit more than anything else in the world, but I want ya to have it. Ain’t like I’m gone need it where I’m headin’.

In your hand right now you hold an old radio. Looks like nothing right? Well, it ain’t. If you get into any trouble at all in school, and that place will fuckin’ break ya if you let it, then that radio will, shall we say, get ya outta a fix. Don’t be lettin’ anyone else see that shit, keep it for when you need it most. I mean when ya really need it! There’s a frequency, don’t go to it now, which when tuned in ta, will deal with any punk giving ya a hard time. I’ma leave this little consignment with ya pops and I’ve instructed his lame drunken ass to give it ya the moment I’m outta the picture. Don’t overuse it whatever you do, that thing will mess with your head if ya let it.

Rock on little dude


Oh shit, almost forgot, frequency is 66.6. I know, I know, not the most original.


Lesley wiped away the tears with the cuff of his Deftones hoodie, rupturing at least half a dozen pustules along the way, and looked at the old radio. To anyone else this was just a piece of junk crap but not Les. To him it was the greatest gift ever bestowed. It offered hope when times were testing and a promise of protection should things turn awry as they invariably did.


He pondered long and hard about tuning it to 66.6, just out of morbid curiosity, but each time he could hear his disapproving Uncle Clive in his mind protesting “don’t ya fuckin do it!” So he left it for months aware that one day, one fateful day, he may just be needing it. To be fair, everyday was akin to wading through pig feces in espadrilles, but Lesley had learned to take a lot over his scholarship years. Then one day, young Lesley suffered a day befitting of its assistance.


It was a Friday afternoon, last day of school, and there was hysteria as emotional teens all clambered to say their goodbyes to one another and take that first step into young adulthood. It would be a transition which many of the cool clique would make rather uncomfortably as invariably prom queens would end up obese single mothers working in drive-thrus while bullies generally never grew up and ended up as abusive manchildren. Among all this commotion it is often the ugly duckling who undergoes the most beautiful transmogrification into the writers, poets and auteurs of this world and Lesley had grand designs of becoming one such swan although he was still unaware which.


He had to get through the last wave of turbulent waters first and, initially at least, it appeared he had flown gracefully under the radar. The last bell chimed and he exhaled a massive sigh of relief as things appeared relatively serene. Only once had he endured the discomfort of having his underwear yanked into his balloon knot and the Chinese burns littering his wrists from recess were now fully recovered.


Lesley normally took the less populated back gate out of the premises as that provided his escape capsule from most of the meaner kids but, on this day, Lesley considered that his final walk home would be with head held aloft. He wished to look back at his five-year penitentiary, bid it adieu and scuttle off home to fire up some Rammstein and bite the head off a fruit bat. This proved to be a poorly considered plan as he ran straight into trouble the moment his presence was flagged up.


A number of the most villainous offenders were congregated at the gate and one of their sentinels picked him up instantly. No sooner had he taken a step from the hallowed grounds than he was set upon. “Look guys, it’s vagina basket!” Lesley’s heart sank and hindsight began to kick in but, alas, too late. “We haven’t had a chance to say our goodbyes” one taunted as a group of four regular thorns in his side began to circle around him like famished coyotes.


The usual suspects were present and correct. Dale Goodwin, Charlie Tavistock, Billy ‘Bulldozer’ Botherton-McGee and Stephen Cooper were four particularly repugnant assailants. They had made Lesley’s life a living hell led by their monarch, the infamous Daryl Fellini. He was their ringleader and the only face not visible within the swirling crowd. That’s not to say he wasn’t there, the sudden jabbing pain in Lesley’s kidney signaled Daryl’s presence.


“You think you can leave through our gate parasite?” came the voice from behind as another low blow landed in his midriff. “We can’t let you leave without a little final initiation” Surely five years of habitual dismay was initiation enough for entry into whatever distinguished club they were allowing access? No such luck, the third blow winded Lesley and he dropped to the ground gasping for breath but this wasn’t over by a long chalk.


Daryl crouched and whispered into his ear “you know how fucking sick I am of seeing your spotty face gawking at me day after day?” Lesley hardly had a moment to conjure up a response as he was pushed down onto his face in the gravel and pinned from both sides. His persecutors were still vocalizing their intent but, at this juncture, Lesley had replaced their audio with a mixture of white noise and Killswitch Engage as he was used to blanking out their treatment the only way he saw fit.


This day they had a festival of inhospitality forecast and began to remove his pants and shirt callously to heighten his anguish further. Ordinarily he would resist struggling as it hastened his ordeal but this was a hefty advancement on any of their harsh pranks thus far so he summoned up every ounce of inner resolve and lashed out with both his legs, knocking back both Dale and Charley who both received imprints of his steel toe-capped shoes (rebelliously worn for the last day) in their stupid faces. Dale came off worse as he received the business end to his right cheek providing him an instant shiner, and Lesley saw a fleeting opportunity for escape as the others were temporarily stunned by his sudden surge.


He rose to his feet, trousers hanging off one leg and shirt torn crudely, and bolted as fast as his remaining fatigue allowed. Not once did he look back and eventually the sound of his pursuers subsided. By this time he was a block away from his house and had only one intention: uncle Clive’s radio. He had to prepare his rearguard as the ramifications of his actions were likely to be most severe and inhospitable. The posse knew of his coordinates, indeed he had played happily with Charlie in the school yard before secondary school diminished any flimsy social status.


His parents could offer him no protection as they were virtually passed out in front of the telly in a drunken stupor as per every day. He bypassed them both and shot straight to his tiny chamber, pulled his ropy blinds shut and delved straight into Pandora’s box. He located the radio and dusted it off ready. These fucks were about to discover the error in their actions and, for the first time in his sixteen years, Lesley felt like “the shit.”


66.6, that was the frequency he was required to tune into, hardly a chore to remember for a lad whose poky crawlspace was adorned with pentagrams and anti-religious paraphernalia. The moment he hit that dial and the most vile audio spilled out there was an almost ungodly scream from directly outside the house. Naturally Lesley had to investigate as the shriek had been sufficient to curdle his own blood. He parted the blinds and was greeted with an image which instantly caused him to wretch.


Stephen Cooper was down there but it appeared his body parts were covering a wide radius. Appendages and entrails had been separated from his twitching cadaver and his exposed windpipe jettisoned dark red sludge towards his disembodied head which was still rolling lopsidedly along his front lawn. He had been somehow obliterated, torn limb from limb but with no indication of what had caused such an outright bloodbath. Lesley rapidly turned off the radio but kept it on his person as my made his way back downstairs.

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His parents still weren’t even shaken from their slumber so he headed straight for the front door and was instantly greeted with a most foul aroma. It was like charred flesh, with a dash of feces as Stephen had evidently excavated his bowl at the precise moment the shit hit the fan, so to speak. Lesley had a stomach of wrought iron but the acidic sting of half-digested slop in his palette testified that even his mighty resolve was being severely tested.


As the realization began to sink in that Uncle Clive’s words were holding some weight right now, Lesley decided that it was high time that the hunters became the hunted and set off through the settling spray of sanguine fluids with his radio clutched tight by his side.


Tonight was prom night; the most important evening of any self-respecting senior’s scholarship. Stephen Cooper certainly wouldn’t be in attendance, although it would take paramedics a week to identify his body judging by the way it had literally exploded on Lesley’s front lawn. He could still hear his neighbors screaming as he vacated the block and set off for Charlie’s house. Back when they were younger, Lesley had been a regular there and the pair were inseparable before his buddy’s popularity soared. Now, Charlie made his life a living misery for shits and grins and Lesley planned to return the favor in kind by paying him a visit with his transistor radio and leveling the playing field out some.


Charlie’s abode was commonly regarded as an open house of sorts and his parent’s allowed his friends to pretty much come and go as they pleased; this gave Lesley the opportunity to make it past the sentries unnoticed and he still remembered the floor plan, thus made his way straight to Charlie’s room with minimal fuss. As he arrived at the door, Lesley overheard a conversation coming from the other side and quickly deduced that it was Dale. He was nursing his black eye and describing to his friend the planned manner of his swift retribution. Lesley decided to listen in for a moment as he geared himself up for the next phase of his retribution.


“I’m gonna kick the fucking shit out of him” Dale stated furiously, fully aware that his reputation had received a hefty blow in front of his entire graduating class. “Your eye’s fucked dude. You look like Admiral Ackbar” Charlie joked, much to Dale’s displeasure. “By the time I’m finished with that cretin, he’ll look like Rocky Dennis” Dale revealed, teeth grinding in anticipation. Charlie continued ribbing “yeah you can’t let him beat you again” to which Dale took great umbrage. “Fuck you. He got lucky. I’m gonna mess him up so bad. Anyway, you’ve got nothing to be chipper about, you two used to be best pals. How did that feel, holding hands with vagina basket and sharing apples?” There was no way that Charlie was going to lose the upper hand on this occasion “That was years ago son. You just got your ass kicked like an hour ago. Picture the scene tonight. You think Maggie Cullen is actually gonna want her picture taken with you now looking like that?”


“He’s so dead. I’m actually going to kill him” Dale announced, attempting to hold onto his last thread of dignity. “Well you’d better be quick. We’re getting picked up in two hours” Charlie reminded him. “Well, what we waiting for then? You know where he lives, take me there. Time to even the score” said Dale. Lesley continued to listen in as the pair began to get their act together. Charlie’s parents were not present but he could hear his twin sister Trudy lathering down in the bathroom as she prepared for the big night. Lesley had always had a thing for Trudy; despite sharing the same gene pool as her sibling, she was far easier on the eye and he contemplated a quick peek as he knew full well they had no lock on the bathroom door. However, he promptly thought better of it as he discerned both boys were primed for departure and the window of opportunity was slight. He gathered any forward momentum and reminded himself that he was the one holding the motherfucking radio. Fuck Charlie for selling him out and fuck Dale for…well…being Dale.


One of Lesley’s favorite movies was Predator so he decided to make an entrance with his gargantuan size eleven just like Dutch would; kicking the door straight off its hinges and into the advancing Dale’s one remaining good eye. As he hit the floor clutching his face, Charlie could do little more than stand comatose; soundly bamboozled by the sudden forced entry. “Hi Chas” Lesley used to call him that, back when social standing didn’t matter. Finally Charlie managed to break free from his temporary paralysis. “You don’t EVER call me that” he spat fiercely. “What’s wrong Chas? I thought we were buddies. Weren’t we buddies? I could’ve sworn we were Chas.” Charlie formed a fist and Lesley decided to seize the initiative before any subsequent attack. He flicked the switch and the radio sprang back into life, already tuned directly to 66.6. It took a couple of moments for that deathly hum to reconvene and, the very second it did, both Dale’s swollen eye sockets excavated in a sickening spray of optical fluids and brain matter.


Meanwhile, Charlie wasn’t faring much better as his rib cage concaved to such a degree that the heart burst within his chest. Lesley couldn’t resist cranking the volume a little higher out of sick amusement although he grabbed Charlie’s duvet cover as a splash sheet as he knew things were about to get very messy indeed. Good call on the duvet as both boys first imploded, then exploded, leaving his room resembling a condemned slaughterhouse. This radio was some gnarled piece of equipment; uncle Clive was bang on the money when announcing it would “get ya out of a fix.” Three of his five antagonists had fallen foul of his filthy frequency and that just left two: Billy ‘Bulldozer’ Botherton-McGee and ringleader Daryl Fellini. Lesley had been on the receiving end of one of Billy’s legendary flurries before and had a chipped tooth as constant reminder of their one-sided skirmish. As for Fellini, he was nothing without his henchmen and Lesley fancied himself in a one-on-one and relished the chance of finally getting even for all the cruelty he had commissioned over the past five years.


As he was exiting, the bathroom door swung open in the hallway behind him and there stood a bemused Trudy, sopping wet and wrapped in a bath towel hardly large enough to wash your face with. Lesley was torn; on one hand, Trudy looked absolutely stunning glistening under the light with one of her breasts peeking out from the side of her linen. On the other, she had just become privy to the redecoration of her brother’s room and wasn’t best pleased with the color choice. “What have you done?” she cried and Lesley was pressurized into a hasty response. With a conflicted flick of the switch, the air waves became filled with that merciless audio and Lesley’s curiosity was finally quenched as she dropped her towel to her pedicured feet and he copped an appreciative eyeful of her wares.


Before he could focus his mental snapshot, she burst like a plump piñata and this time there was no splash sheet to save him from a downright dousing. He turned away in disgust and wracked with guilt as it had not been his intention to spoil Trudy’s prom night too. It was spoiled now, fucked beyond all comprehension more like, and Lesley decided to remember her the way he had seen her last rather than poke around her spilled giblets. As he stepped away from the scene, he slipped on Trudy’s large intestine and desperately fumbled the radio as he steadied himself against the wall. That was close; if he lost that then his warpath would be cut short and he wouldn’t be satisfied until Billy and especially Daryl had paid for their harsh treatment earlier. It was a shame about Trudy but he considered that, in order to make an omelet, a few eggs would invariably need to be broken. It was a simple case of wrong place, wrong time. Besides, she looked more than vaguely similar to her sibling and, in Lesley’s book, that meant death by association.


What would he do about the blood though? If he wasn’t already conspicuous painted from head-to-toe in entrails, then the fact that local constabulary were likely sweeping Stephen Cooper’s remains into the nearest drain at that very moment just blocks away, made a change of outfit imperative. He spun around on the top step and returned to Charlie’s room where his unnecessitated rental tuxedo hung tidily in the closet. Lesley figured that his “friend” would no longer be needing it and, to his distinct pleasure, it was a perfect fit. It was funny, until now he had hadn’t the faintest interest in visiting prom and was happy to give it the widest available berth. Now, the prospect of rubbing shoulders with his associates had taken on an altogether different meaning. Carrie White had shown Lesley exactly how to turn the tables on your aggressors and he too had now gotten a taste of power which was too delicious to deny. Prom night at Adler Academy was promising to offer one hell of a party.


Should somebody have informed Lesley Jobe Henkleman a week ago that he would be attending prom donning a carnation, then he would likely have replied with “go suck a bag of dick veins.” It just didn’t interest him in the slightest; merely an overblown popularity contest to remind him how far down the social pecking order he truly was. However, the butterflies currently line dancing in his abdomen were rather an excitable bunch and the evening had taken on an altogether different set of robes since he discovered a cunning way to get his own back on those who had wronged him. The list was more extensive than he had considered; sure there were five main puppet masters but there were also droves who thought nothing of whispering vials of hate to one another as he passed through the school halls. The power of his trusty radio had begun to go to Lesley’s head and his uncle’s words “keep it for when ya need it most” were ringing in his ears. Right now the need was strong; prom afforded Lesley the ideal opportunity for closure of a period which had been anything but joyous.


He lurked about the undergrowth for a few minutes, watching the lemmings filter into the hall, blissfully unaware of the inhospitable end which awaited them. Of all those attending, there were precious few he would think twice about snuffing out unceremoniously. Most of them were purely sheep and his only true friend was the one clutched by his side as he prepared to crash the party in style. He was already bleeding contempt by the time Billy ‘Bulldozer’ Botherton-McGee strolled around the corner with an airhead hanging from either bicep. Lesley was tempted to charge full-pelt towards him and tune that fearful frequency but decided to hold back, at least until Daryl Fellini showed. He would likely arrive in a stretch limo, clad in designer tux and conspicuous by his depleted entourage. He presented the ultimate prize to Lesley; every low punch to the kidney had been orchestrated by him and his life had turned into a waking nightmare just because it amused Fellini to do so. He was a no-show thus far but would invariably be the last to arrive as he had an audience’s adulation to milk and milk it he would.

Lesley was started to get a little twitchy waiting so decided there would be no harm in venturing inside for a closer inspection of his first subject Billy. He stayed back in the shadows so as not to arouse suspicion; kids like Lesley stuck out like a sore thumb at social gatherings such as this and he wasn’t ready to blow his cover just yet. Billy was being Billy, boasting about how many arms he’d deadened throughout the day and flexing his pectorals to impress the easily impressionable. For the time being, Lesley was more than content to play voyeur as he knew from the showers after gym class that his muscles ceased at the waist. Billy’s wedding tackle was out of keeping with the rest of his physique; for such a formidable athlete it seemed fitting that his dick resembled a quail’s egg. Ordinarily that would have been punishment enough but, given the fact that Billy had had a hand in so much of the misery heaped onto poor Lesley’s shoulders over his tenure at the academy, there seemed like far more inventive ways of making him suffer.


“Has anybody heard from the others?” Billy questioned his equally thick-headed friend Brett “I can’t get hold of Dale, Stephen or Charlie. They’ve all gone AWOL.” Brett shrugged his shoulders “Nothing. I don’t know what’s going on there. Can’t get hold of Trudy either. Told you she wouldn’t show” Brett replied, bummed that his date had decided against honoring their date. Lesley knew there was a reason why he despised Brett also; he had one of those voices which really grated on his fraying nerves, like nails down a blackboard. His first compulsion was to drown out his whiny voice with a quick fix of 66.6 but instead he chose to let the conversation take its course. “Well I say fuck it. You spiked the punch bowl right?” Billy asked. “Does a goldfish shit in its bowl? Course I did. Three liters of Russian vodka and a dash of speed should liven the crowd up some.”

Lesley scoped out the punch bowl in question and, true to form, the queue behind it was extensive and even included members of the faculty, all looking to drown their sorrows. “So tell me Brett. Which lucky lady is getting her barn doors slammed tonight?” Billy asked. “Lucinda Turner” Brett responded confidently. “You sly dog. Lucinda ‘Whippet’ Turner. How the fuck did you manage to pull that one off? I mean, no offense, but you don’t drive a car and your balls haven’t even fully dropped yet. What gives?” Billy quizzed. “Guess I just got lucky” he replied, popping his collar. “Lucky my nut tail. Have you drugged her or something? She’s way out of your league son. Shit, she’s even out of my league” he confessed. “She loves The Walking Dead. Big Norman Reedus fan. Massive! I just lured her in with a signed photo I mocked up. She was putty in my hands Bill. Said yes right away” Bill looked unimpressed. ” Have you given her the photo yet? he asked. “Yeah, when she got here” said Brett. “Bad luck. I’d say that’s the last you’ll be seeing of the whippet this evening.” Brett looked around and, sure enough, there was no sign of his date. “Fuck it, I’ve got some Rohypnol in my pocket. Game’s not over yet”


Lesley was appalled by their deluded conversation and growing tired of waiting for Daryl to put in an appearance. He was itching to test out his new toy on a larger audience and had had about as much Jimmy Eats World as he could take for one evening. Just as he stepped out of the shadows he was thrown a most unexpected curve ball. “Lesley Henkleman. I don’t believe it.” It was Clarissa Johns, possibly the only girl in school who had a kind word to say about him and not who he wanted to see right now. “Hey Clarissa” he confirmed sheepishly. “If there was one person I wouldn’t expect to see in a meat market like this then that’d be you Lesley. What possessed you to come here? I mean, it’s nice to see you but have you forgotten what happened at the school gates earlier. They’re gonna beat the shit out of you if they see you.” Lesley felt smug in the knowledge that three of them were already smoothies. “No they won’t. Not tonight. Can I ask you a strange favor please Clarissa?” he asked. “Sure. Shoot” she replied. “Could you leave…please?”


“Oh. Why? I thought we got on okay. Have I said something to upset you or something?” she quizzed, visibly deflated. “No I just…look things are going to get severely fucked up in a minute or so. I’m just saying. I’d rather you weren’t here when it goes off.” Despite Lesley’s best efforts not to offend the girl; she had evidently taken it to heart. “Are you even aware that you’re not the only one who feels less than welcome here already? Do you know what the other girls called me in gym class? Dog ears. They weren’t talking about my ears either Lesley.” Lesley struggled to conceal his faint amusement as he had indeed heard that nickname banded around and was very much aware of the true meaning behind it. “I know. They’re all bastards. Every single one of them. Except for you Clarissa. That’s why I want you to leave. Please. I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important.” She was bemused “What’s so important that you need me gone?” Lesley was mindful that he wasn’t making headway with the tactful approach. “Look. Just FUCK OFF!” That one worked a treat. Clarissa fucked off as requested but his outburst didn’t go unnoticed.


“Well well. If it isn’t vagina basket.” He knew straight away that it was Daryl Fellini’s voice he heard behind him. Even more disconcerting was the fact that Billy had also been alerted and was already cracking his knuckles. Lesley knew there was no more time for procrastination as his addressees were now present and correct. “I’m not looking for any trouble.” That was a blatant lie on Lesley’s part; trouble was exactly what he was here for but he was curious to see how things panned out. He had control at his fingertips should things turn awry and judging by the vein protruding from Billy’s temple right now, he knew he wouldn’t be kept waiting for long. They assumed position; Daryl stayed back and began the obligatory put downs while Billy prepared for his next instruction. “I have to hand it to you. You’ve got some testicles showing your pus-filled face here tonight after the shit you pulled earlier. But do you know what Lesley? Credit where credit’s due, you showed that maybe you’re not such a dickweed after all. Don’t get me wrong, you’re a waste of oxygen, but it was good to finally see a little pluck. Five years it took. Five long years for you to become a man. Truth is, I’m going to college after the summer and I probably won’t ever have to look at your ugly mug ever again so what do you say we let bygones be bygones?”

Could Lesley have heard him correctly? Could Daryl Fellini, the biggest turd in a sweater ever to funk up the halls of Adler’s Academy, have just offered the pipe of peace? “Of course. That does still mean I want your stink out of here right now. If not, Bulldozer’s going to pop some pimples” That was better, Lesley took consolation in this latest statement and felt justified in producing the transistor radio from his side. “What a beauty. Real antiquated Lesley. What you gonna do, kill us with death metal?” Daryl taunted. “Something like that” he replied, finger hovering above the on button and ready to start the party. “It looks like you’re not going to take my kindly advice. Bulldozer, sick balls!” Just like Mungo, the man-mountain prepared to let his knuckles do the talking which at least gave them a break from dragging along the floor. Lesley couldn’t bring himself to press the button; it was as though he was daring himself to deal with the threat man-to-man despite the fact that there could only ever be one outcome…teeth in the punch bowl.


“66.6 bitches!” Upon flicking the kill switch, an all-too-familiar audio bled into the airwaves and the hapless Bulldozer was the first to receive its dark sermon. His face caved in on itself along with the heads of around a dozen others in the vicinity including Brett, which he considered a happy accident. Before Daryl could react Lesley turned to face him but was out of range so began to advance, eyes blackened pits of suffering and a demonic grin spread across both cheeks. “You ready for a little musical enlightenment Fellini?” he asked. “Like fuck I am” Daryl turned and ran towards the door, showing his cowardly true colors to all his stunned subjects. Lesley wasn’t about to let him slip from the net and had become seduced once more by the craving for carnage which spelled bad news for anybody within a ten yard radius. A dozen white gowns become painted crudely in crimson as he commenced his march of death. He was beyond reasoning; slipping into the void that he had fashioned, that he had controlled, which now controlled him.


Unfortunately for Daryl, he reached a bottle neck by the only available exit and this gave Lesley the opportunity to cover the remaining ground. He flicked off the radio as he neared his perp; if there was one thing he desired it was to look into the whites of Daryl’s eyes before cranking the crescendo. “Look at me” he said calmly. “Fuck you. You’re fucking crazy. Stay away from me” Daryl sobbed. Lesley noticed the back of his trousers beginning to darken as Daryl’s bladder had finally succumbed. This wasn’t enough humiliation for Lesley; not for five years of hell endured. “I said look at me!” he reiterated forcefully and this time Daryl reciprocated. “Stay back. I’m warning you” he blubbed. “You’re warning me are you? I think this dog’s had its day don’t you Daryl? I’ve laid awake at night crying because of you. You have single-handedly destroyed any hope I have had of making friends for the past five years. Well guess what, with friends like this lot, I say bring on the enemies. Look at you all, there ain’t a single one of you who thinks their shit stinks. You’re all a bunch of sheep. Flocking around what? This dick with ears. Look at him, take a long hard look at Daryl Fellini. I’ve had dumps with a higher IQ. No I’m sorry folks. You’re all just as bad as him in my books. You all deserve to burn in fucking hell.”


It was time for Lesley’s encore. He activated his box of evil a final time only this time at a far lower volume setting. He wanted to enjoy every last second of this; God knows he’d waited long enough, been put through the paces enough, been slapped around sufficiently. This was closure. Daryl doubled up in agony as his intestines began to bleed. Lesley raised it another notch, fascinated by the more measured approach. He fell to his knees, eyes streaming with blood, still Lesley patiently bided his time and reveled in his opposite number’s steady dismantling. Another notch. Volume was halfway now and Daryl clutched his crown in agony as it began to rupture. “If you couldn’t stand the heat Daryl, then you really should have stayed out of the kitchen.” This was far too princely a line not to wrap things up with and Lesley cranked the volume to its capacity. Daryl Fellini left quite a mess behind him as he exploded where he knelt, along with virtually every other bystander. Lesley proudly glanced across the splash zone at all of the silly little lambs he had slaughtered.

At the back of the room, just out of grim earshot was Mrs Cunningham. Of all the teachers throughout his tenure, she had been the only one who seemed genuinely interested in Lesley’s well-being. He was glad she hadn’t perished. “I’d say that’s closure wouldn’t you?” he said, to which Mrs Cunningham had no response other than utter discombobulation. “The music made me do it Miss. I guess they were onto something when they said rock and roll is evil. Rock on.” He offered her the horn salute and turned the radio against himself; his body opening up in a fountain of blood and sinew immediately as the radio dropped to the floor and ceased communication. Mrs Cunningham, or Angela as her friends knew her, could barely move for sheer terror but managed to pluck up the courage to pour herself another glass of that particularly zingy punch and knocked it back without blinking. Then she poured herself another. And a third. It appeared she would need all the Dutch courage she could get as she was on clean-up duties tonight.

Truly, Clearly, Really, Sincerely,

Keeper of the Crimson Quill

Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013


  1. Hmm. The sound of madness? And I do not mean the song by Shinedown named the same. Don’t know if I could actually end someone else’s life unless it is accidentally caused by self defense.

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