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Charlie Clouser Dead Silence
Locked. The fire exit at the far side of the school gymnasium was heavily chained and padlocked from the outside, removing any hopes of a back-door escape and, instead, leaving the five teens well and truly penned in. “What are we supposed to do now?..” pleaded Cameron “…I mean we’re trapped in here and easy pickings”. Tyler and Rory were quick on their feet and immediately returned to the entrance way, commencing to push rows of benched seating in front, to barricade it before their pursuer returned.
“We wait. It’s a school, somebody’s bound to be along soon” Melissa reminded him. “Summer break hon…” Lily was the bearer of bad news on this occasion “…this place is deserted for six weeks”. Sensing that Cam was likely to implode with panic, Rory offered an alternative. “Listen. We stay here until morning, tool up on weapons and make a dash for it first thing. Right?” This did little to encourage the neurotic teen but Melissa was one step ahead of the game and had already grabbed a handful of hockey sticks and a rounders bat. “Will these do?” she asked.
Rory was most pleased with her resourcefulness “You absolute legend. Ship them in”. He had first dibs on the bat and passed a hockey stick to Tyler, who had piled the entrance way ceiling-high with obstructions. “Don’t like his chances of getting in here now” he proudly stated. Melissa returned to the others and donated the remaining weaponry, before dropping to her knees, on account of her wound reopening. Cam leapt straight to her assistance “You okay baby?” She reassured him she was fine even though the acute bleed was beginning to concern her. “I’ll get you out of this…you know that right?” She smiled, partially comforted but similarly amused by her boyfriend’s attempt at bravado.
Things remained quiet for the following hour and the group were huddled in the corner, attempting to grab some rest. Lily and Tyler were the only two awake and were locking horns over his plan for escape. “You know Cam couldn’t swing one of those things if his life depended on it?” she reminded him, using hushed tones so as not to disturb the others. “The perfect sacrifice” Tyler joked, rubbing his hands together akin to an evil mastermind. This comforted his sibling, indeed, he always knew what to say in a fix and some of his tutors had gone as far as nicknaming him ‘silver tongue’. Behind her smile, she had a nagging feeling that everything was not going to be alright but she covered this up well.
“What do you think is out there Ty…and why us?” Tyler shrugged “I dunno Lils, could be someone having as sick joke for all I know”. She looked at the three-inch track around her bicep which had healed notably better than the others’. “You don’t think it’s something to do with our blood pact do you?..” she continued “…this all started after we cut ourselves”. Her sibling simply laughed it off “If you’re asking whether that douche messing with us is a Pagan God then I’d have to say no sis”. Lily knew how preposterous her suggestion sounded but, admittedly, their drop in fortunes had coincided rather neatly with their pursuer’s appearance.
Rory had now woken up and was listening intently to their conversation. “I’m Catholic so I guess that means I’m fucked” he remarked, attempting to light his last cigarette but to no avail. “Don’t suppose any of you have got a match?” Suddenly all three of them jolted around as they heard rattling outside the fire exit door. “Do you think that’s him?” Lily whispered. “It could be old Jenkins. Maybe he got away” Tyler suggested. Rory was on his feet now and grasping his wooden bat as he began making his way over to the door to investigate. Meanwhile, both Cameron and Melissa had been woken by the disturbance.
“What now?” groaned Cam, rubbing his eyes. “I don’t know…” Rory replied “…but I’m up to bat next”. Tyler went over to join his friend at the door, weapon aloft and ready to lay the smackdown on the Pagan nightmare the moment it swung open. “Get ready bro” he warned as it sounded distinctly like the chains were almost removed. Cam and the girls continued to observe from the sidelines. “Aren’t you going to help them Cam?” Lily asked, to which Cam gave the convenient response that he wasn’t about to leave Melissa’s side as she was still weak. Truth is, he was touching the cloth of his cotton jockeys at the very thought.
Finally the final links of the chain fell to the floor and the metal door handle began to raise. Both boys took half a step back, bludgeoning tools readied, for the grand opening. As the doors parted, they both lowered their weapons instantly. “Jenkins!” Rory was somewhat relieved at the news and Tyler turned to the others, giving them the thumb up. Before he could return his attentions to the janitor, he had commenced to step forward and jam his pocket blade into Rory’s larynx, deep enough to puncture his esophagus.
The youngster stumbled back, wide-eyed in bemusement, as he began gargling on his own spewing blood. Jenkins tugged the blade free and a jet of warm red shot from the newly formed cavity, masking his wildly grinning face. The girls and Cam screamed as they watched this vile act play out in what seemed like a rather lengthy few seconds. Tyler was quick to react, lunging at the janitor but Jenkins was out of the blocks before he could deliver any kind of strike. He sank the knife straight into his side abdomen and twisted it around in the wound aggressively. Lily felt a pain in her own gut at that very moment, knowing her sibling was mortally wounded.
“School’s out you little bitches”. Jenkins licked the tip of his blade and gestured towards them. Cam and Melissa were on their feet, leaving the distraught Lily inconsolable by their feet. “What have we done to you?” Melissa pleaded, to which Jenkins replied calm and utterly collected. “Kids are such little bastards. Such cruel mean-spirited little bastards. I know as I had to endure their shit all the way through school. Five years of absolute hell, pissing my pants every day because my gut was so twisted up over the thought of going back there”. He slowly advanced towards them as he continued his bitter monologue.
“So what did I do? I became school caretaker in an attempt at revisiting my childhood and working through my painful memories and do you know what happened?..” his arm was now outstretched as he teased the blade at them “…same shit, different day. That’s what happened. You little fuckwits all had plenty of jollies at my expense, I heard the names. Y’all think it’s funny laughing at someone with a disability”. In truth, none of them had exactly ring led any cruelty but it was more a case of wrong time, wrong place.
“The blood pact, I can’t believe you actually fell for that shit. That’s something me and my pal Garret conjured up in a weekend. Have you met him yet kids?” With that, the Pagan masked assailant from earlier stepped up behind him, hack saw glimmering in the moonlight filtering through the exit way. “He was a very promising Orthopedic Surgeon, a registrar, but had to leave his job because of bullying. Luckily it’s a little like riding a bike, once you’ve sawn off one limb you’ve sawn off a thousand. Wanna see?”
Garret kneeled down at Tyler’s body which was still twitching wildly and placed the hacksaw blade on his right wrist. “Which one is your wanking hand?” he teased before running the serrated edge along his tendons and beginning to carve. As he did so he reconvened that sickening scream they had all heard earlier and the more unhinged it became, the more he sped up the action. After nearly twenty seconds the appendage was freed from its marrow and he held it up to the horrified onlookers. “Lucky guess. Judging by these callouses he definitely wasn’t a lefty”.
Cam and Melissa were hysterical now, sliding along the back wall with the only available exit obscured by the two madmen. “I’ve had two, your turn buddy” Jenkins politely stepped aside as his associate climbed back to his feet nonchalantly, advancing on the couple. Meanwhile Jenkins returned his attentions to Lily, who still hadn’t moved from the sheer paralysis of watching her twin’s demise. “Lily, get up…NOW!” Melissa shrieked but she didn’t even register the audio.
Having never been a fighter, Cameron was contented with his first swing of the hockey stick which clattered into Garret’s shoulder, sending him recoiling backwards. Sensing his chance he lunged forward for a follow-up blow but this time his pursuer was ready, driving the jagged teeth of the saw into the boy’s thigh and sliding it back and forth with great vigor. Melissa lashed out but he reciprocated with an elbow to her temple, knocking her momentarily senseless. Cameron was on his belly now and clutching at the wound as he attempted to drag himself away. No such luck, Garrett was astride him in a rush and repositioned the blade, this time placing it on the skin at the back of his throat.
“I’ve just thought, I didn’t scrub beforehand…” he badgered his victim before chiseling Cam’s neck and working the blade in deeper…then deeper still. By the time Melissa had come to, he had completed the amputation and held her boyfriend’s bloody skullcap in front of her. “Look at the bright side, at least you got to date the Head Boy” he retorted before flinging it at the petrified teen. She tried to flee around his flank but he was faster off the mark once more and embedded the saw into her cranium. Her gargled screams echoed around the gymnasium but Lily’s eyes still didn’t so much as flicker.
Jenkins was fascinated by the young girl’s refusal to exit her involuntary coma and hadn’t laid a hand on her, instead viewing his buddy’s hot streak while he finished his surgery. Melissa had now bled out, her cranial injuries just too severe and Garret rejoined his associate by the grief-stricken teen. On arrival he pinned her down, at which point she resurfaced and began kicking furiously. “Feisty one this” he joked, easily riding the bronco. “You fucking cunts!..” Lily hollered with venom “…You sick evil bastards”, to which Jenkins calmly retorted with “Sssh”.
“Don’t be bitter dear. It’s nothing personal I assure you. Simply a case of bad luck on your part. You know, they have ‘no talking’ rules in the library for good reason. We didn’t expect anyone to actually take our bait but you know what they say about loose lips don’t ya?” Lily had stopped struggling now. “That’s it? That’s the reason why you’ve killed my friends, because of that?” “Yes, because of that. If it hadn’t been you it would have been someone else so don’t worry…you’re not special”. Lily made one final attempt at screaming.
“Sssh” Jenkins repeated but this time he did so while plundering both of her eye sockets with his blade, pushing both orbs back into her hemorrhaging brain. After a few seconds her body was limber and the pair stood up to assess their handiwork. “I’ve got work in the morning, you alright cleaning this lot up?” Garret asked. “Yeah, yeah. It’s my job, I know” Jenkins replied, knowing his friend had just landed a Registrar role at the largest University Hospital in the country, and walked off to retrieve his trusty mop and bucket.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014