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Rick Wakeman The Burning
If there’s one thing I despise it’s teenagers. More than anything else in the world, it is they who incite my innermost wrath. That may seem a touch harsh as it wasn’t too long ago that I was one myself but the difference with me is that I respected my elders and was taught to be kind to those of advanced years whereas kids today are a mean-spirited bunch. If I sound like a cranky old man then you’re damn right I am; although it isn’t without good cause. Many would consider me a victim of circumstance but it’s easy to say that when you’re on the outside looking in. I prefer to refer to myself as the butt of the cruelest joke imaginable; one which ended my career in a split second and very nearly my life. For those of you who believe I should consider myself fortunate after escaping certain death; think again. Luck played no part that night as I would rather have perished in the fire than been left with over 90% burns.
Trained professionals considered it a miracle of sorts; the injuries I sustained were so extensive, so all-encompassing, that the likelihood was that I wouldn’t be alive by dawn. However, there is one thing they didn’t learn during their internship; revenge offers rather a large incentive to recover from one’s agonizing ailments. I may as well be dead; after all I have nothing left to live for other than the retribution which currently fires my engine. No school will think twice about turning me down for work now; my days as a caretaker are well and truly over. What’s more that had been my life for as far back as I remember. At school, other kids taunted me constantly about my looks. Creepy Cropsy was the nickname presented me; just because I was a little different from most. While the others were attending prom, making friends, and influencing people; I was banished to my quarters by my harsh alcoholic father and awaiting the sting of his belt strap. That bastard robbed me of my adolescence and thus, when the groundsman’s position became available at the academy where I failed to gain acceptance, I considered it a second bite of the cherry.
Returning to the scene of the numerous crimes committed against me appeared the best way of laying the past to rest. I kept myself to myself; shut myself away in my on-grounds shack at the end of every day, and worked like a war-horse for my paltry wage. It wasn’t about the money; I had no aspirations of being rich or getting ahead in business. My ultimate ambition was to possess my very own plot of ground; somewhere where nobody would bother me and I could feel truly contented. I had learned to become self-sufficient through many years of being labeled a freak of nature and hadn’t even ever been kissed. Once you reach your forties it becomes increasingly unlikely that you will ever meet the woman of your dreams thus I spent much of my salary on hookers just to relieve almost thirty years of pent-up sexual frustration. Kissing was never part of the deal; my features were deemed far too hideous to warrant those bitches planting one on me, indeed, some of them wouldn’t even take my money. Consequently I have never felt wanted; even when a legitimate paying customer.
I’ll never forget that evening. It was July if I recall correctly; summer camp was underway at Camp Blackfoot and the teens were getting up to the customary mischief much to my intense disgust. When you feel so utterly devoid of happiness; it can be excruciating being forced to watch others taking it for granted. I decided to retire to my cabin at the end of a particularly demanding shift cutting back the conifers and getting the place ready for them to abuse and destroy. I was in an especially deep slumber; ordinarily I sleep incredibly light but the past three weeks had really taken it out of me. A group of these sick fucking assholes decided it would be amusing to play a prank on good old Cropsy. It was a fresh crop of teens and all of them wee looking to make an impression on one another and prove themselves worthy of being considered cool. They fashioned a prop from one of the skulls from the biology lab and decorated it with maggots and other grubs. After positioning it in my line of sight and lighting candles in both eye sockets; they retreated to a safe distance, where they proceeded to tap on the window and taunt. It didn’t take much to wake me and, as I did and was presented with a flaming skull at the foot of my bed roll, I panicked as any man would after being gifted such a horrendous surprise. I’m sure that you can guess the rest; the burning ensued and left me looking like this.
Last night I was finally discharged after years of intense physiotherapy; the hospital staff at St Catherine’s seemed to have no clue as to what to do for a man almost entirely covered in third-degree burn tissue. The school weren’t likely to offer me my old job back now; what institution wants its kids exposed to such a sickeningly grotesque creature? I had no family to speak of, at least, none who would offer me a roof over my head and, besides, I had no intention of attempting to put the fragmented pieces of my sorry life back together anyhow. Only one thing drove me now; that being murder most inhospitable. Every last one of these shameless bullies would pay a princely sum for their insolence, moreover, I would slay anybody foolhardy enough to show their face in my personal space. I would need to prepare for the expedition; get a kill under my belt. It seemed somewhat poetic that I make this somebody whom I held in great contempt and I wasn’t fussy about which whore I disemboweled.
I gut her like a fucking pig; sniveling cunt had it coming if you ask me. She was screaming before I even advanced; the moment my face was revealed from behind the comfort of shadow. I plunged the business end of a pair of scissors right into her gut and twisted. After a few revolutions I could feel her insides beginning to loosen and it was taking a while for her to bleed out so I carried on turning. You probably think I’m beyond reprehensible right? Well fuck you; you try feeling like the oddest one out for your entire life then being burned alive as the final kick in the teeth. How dare you judge me; you should be ashamed of yourselves. If I have my way, exact my revenge on the orchestrators of my eternal torment, make them suffer slowly for the injustices I was forced to endure, then I shall return for you next. This time I will revel a little longer in my masterwork.
Speaking of which, every artist needs a brush to paint their canvas and, despite those sharp scissors handling reasonably well and getting the job done nicely, I felt as though my jaunt to Camp Stonewater would require a weapon with a little more heft; something packing more bite shall we say. I had always been a keen gardener and it was possibly the only thing which gave me the vaguest pleasure in life. My garden shears went everywhere I did; thus it seemed like the obvious choice to dust them off and include them in my admittedly scant itinerary. I’d seen a few horror movies; currently the world seemed fixated with this new craze for slasher films and I fancied myself as a bit of a Jason Voorhees although I consider him a pussy wimp if truth be known. Getting his mother to do his dirty work for him; that’s just copping out. While I empathize with him as I too have felt the sharpest ends of kids’ tongues over the years and he’s also one of life’s ugly ducklings, I find his method less final. These blades of mine were six inches long and could do plenty of damage if commanded with conviction. I planned on leaving an almighty bloody mess.
I spent the first couple of days on reconnaissance; gathering Intel, learning the lay of the land, and getting to know the clientele from a secure vantage. There was little about the current crop of co-eds and freshmen that surprised me; some were obnoxious, others actually rather more reserved and appreciative for the opportunity presented them. It mattered not any more; any possibility of me granting a reprieve was vanquished the moment that sick prank was played on me. Nevertheless it was useful finding out any ring-leaders. There was a campus bully Glazer; the one kid nobody wants to get on the wrong side of. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but brawn evidently outweighed brain and the other kids seemed to give him a wide berth more than any other. One person found it harder than most to resist his advances and that was Sally. She was the girl whose bones everyone desired to jump and, admittedly, she was put together by the Gods. I watched her in the outdoor shower cubicle lathering down and she had wonderful perky breasts; like two dainty pyramids embroidered with flesh most supple. I would enjoy killing Sally, not as much as that dick-stand Glazer, but we were talking a whole different kind of gratification.
Alfred was the obligatory creeper; there’s always one awkward teen who hasn’t quite found his place yet. He was still growing into his skin and overcome with curiosity fueled by his tardy advancement into puberty. Alfred was caught by the camp counselors spying on Sally as she showered and reprimanded accordingly. The instance afforded me the only smile I had extended for as far back as my memory served; the reason for this was the philandering Eddy. I watched this sex pest observing as Alfred had the riot act read to him and he was grinning like a fool throughout the entire chastisement. While he clearly found it all absolutely delightful and probably would have done the same himself at that age; he was not prepared to spring to the young boy’s defense and instead not-so-secretly reveled in his own sick amusement. He was also culpable of harassing Karen; your typical girl next door type, and one far too easily influenced. She wanted to believe that Eddy’s intentions were honorable but I knew better. It was all going to end in tears for Karen.
Which brings me to Todd. Todd had to get it bad as he was one of my arsonist antagonists and directly responsible, at least partially, for inflicting my anguish and effectively ending my life. Now, in no uncertain terms, I would end his. Astonishingly, after instigating my unnecessitated roasting, he was still gifted with a position of responsibility. He was one of two counselors I had my eye on; the other was Michelle and, as an extra sweetener, the pair were obviously sweet on one another. As they were effectively in charge, particularly with the planned downstream kayak expedition the following day, they were expected to act with integrity and they appeared to enjoy towing the line. The sexual tension between them was excruciating to witness; Todd wanted to stick it to Michelle and Michelle was more than happy for Todd to stick it to her but neither one of them had the cojones to do anything about their mutual attraction. This pleased me infinitely; it was my goal to eviscerate both of them before they were afforded time to act upon their impulses. I’d slice open his chest as she watched on in horror then plunge my pruning shears deep into her pretty blue peepers.
After prying for sufficient time; a select few of the kids set off on a three-day canoeing trip to Devil’s Creek and the wheels of my unkind retribution were set in motion. I stayed back from the river side, tracked them every inch of the way, and located the site where they pitched their tents. There I would be required to bide my time once again and wait for the first opportunity to strike and slaughter every last one of them. They told tales around the campfire that dusk and I was horrified to learn that Todd’s version of events had been vastly removed from the truth. It wasn’t his reenactment of the prank which infuriated me; instead it was his insistence that afterwards I fled to the woods where I survived on the raw remains of animals I hunted, that really made my blood boil. I wanted nothing more than to leap from the undergrowth and slit his throat where he kneeled for telling such mistruths but thought better of it. Revenge is a dish best served cold and there was plentiful time ahead to make him pay for his indiscretion. I percolated in silence; furious that even after all he had done to ruin my life I was still made out to be some kind of uncivilized heathen. I was nothing if not the beast that he had a hand in creating.
Karen was finally worn down by Eddy’s constant badgering and agreed to a midnight swim a few clicks away by the lakeside. I tailed them to the secluded spot and decided it would be here that my first strike would be facilitated. They had no need for bathing suits, not with what Eddy had planned, and strode naked into the water where he continued to turn the screw. Eddy came on far too strong for the young girl and she showed the dignity her mother taught her by rebuffing the boy and wading straight out of the swim to reclaim her garments. Like any vicious dispatch artist worth their salt; I had been two steps ahead of their game. After scattering her clothes around the vicinity and dangling underwear from the foliage as an added sweetener; I assumed position behind the oak and waited for my moment to lunge. Poor Karen didn’t have a clue what hit her; as she collected her possessions I grabbed her from the rear and commenced to separate her jugular with my trademark shears. I liked Karen; thus I punctured deep enough to ensure she bled out fairly quickly. Eddy returned to base camp; not fazed in the slightest by the fact that he had acted severely out of turn. He would get his soon enough.
By dawn the rest of the campers had grown rather concerned by Karen’s failure to return from their skinny dip and Todd facilitated a search party of sorts in an attempt to track her down before harm fell her way. Too late kids. They used their raft-building expertise to build a vessel as the canoes were nowhere to be found and a group of five set off to save the day. While cutting their boats free the previous night; I came up with a cunning plan and laid low in one of them, leaving it seemingly discarded tantalizingly close to the river bank a few hundred yards upstream. I waited and waited for what seemed like forever and eventually I could hear the excitable bunch as they advanced on the canoe’s coordinates. Somewhat cruelly for a man with virtually no remaining nerve endings, cramp began to set in in my left calf as they seemed ignorant of the fact that paddling in the same direction would get them there far quicker. By the time they finally dropped anchor and Eddy reached out to climb aboard I was in considerable pain and planned to take my discomfort out on all five of them with exactitude.
I raised my shears high above my head and began searching for limbs to sever. After making short work of the first two I turned towards Eddy. He deserved to be made privy to his own undoing after acting so unceremoniously the previous evening. I inserted the open blade into the softest spot of his throat while he laid on his back and prepared a scream which I would never allow to be voiced. One of the kids, Woodstock, made the mistake of raising his hand to cover his face. One snip later and he was a handful of digits lighter; then I finished off any stragglers and took a moment just to bask in my work of art. Voorhees, I hope you were watching; a real man knows exactly how to lessen the odds and cowardice never was something in my repertoire. Karen had deserved a more dignified end, albeit after having her clothes snatched for shits and grins. At least she wasn’t made an example of; these five were to be returned straight to sender as I thought it was high time my work be made public.
Next up was Sally and Glazer. The randy pair took their sleeping bags and made their way to a remote part of the woods to consummate their budding relationship. Seemingly Sally’s estrogen levels got the better of her as she conveniently forgot that Glazer was an absolute Neanderthal and decided it was time to let his dick do the talking on his behalf. Alas, never the most eloquent speaker; he blew his load in what may well represent a district record but Sally took pity on the wounded stallion, where she should have had him shot in the head for such a brief display of ineptitude. In an attempt to regain some degree of credibility; Glazer turned provider and vocalized his intent to return to the campsite and get matches to start their own fire. This would give me a little one-on-one time to snuggle in the sleeping bag with the curvy blonde, although there was no way I would be found wanting between the quilted sheets. Little vixen put up a pretty good fight too and held me off for a good few seconds before I gained the advantage and snuffed out her lights.
To Glazer’s credit, he made it to base camp and back in triple quick time, much as he had ejaculated. I couldn’t resist a final test of his intelligence and dangled the proverbial carrot, in an attempt at guessing how long before he realized his new plaything had been soundly perforated. Once I had had my kicks, it was time to teach him about the rare occasion where two wrongs actually do make a right. He seemed to enjoy bullying the defenseless but my wrong was far meaner and culminated in me stabbing his larynx and forcing both shear-tips through the back of his neck. I then raised him from the ground as my own little way of informing him he wasn’t alpha male here and carried him to a burly tree, where I pinned the little prick and waited for his faint struggles to diminish. Unable to resist ogling one final time at Sally’s jugs; pimpled peeping tom Alfred witnessed the whole thing from the bushes and this foiled my plan to be back at camp by the time the raft drifted back to their coordinates. I had to shut the little weasel up before he threw a spanner in the works.
A chase ensued which led Alfred to an old dilapidated copper mine but, unbeknownst to me, Todd had decided to embark on a one-man search party while Michelle rounded up the distressed survivors. This worked out ideally for me; two birds, one stone. It was Todd that I was really here to see anyway; all the others were mere tertiary fodder as far as I was concerned as obliterating Todd presented the most arousing prospect by far. It seemed like an added bonus that I would get to make Alfred die horribly and, after binding and gagging the boy within the dusty shaft, all appeared to be working out just swimmingly. I had something a little more ironic planned for the camp counselor; a blowtorch modified into a flamethrower to be precise. For his crimes of inhumanity, he too would feel his flesh charred to its very marrow. My trail of breadcrumbs, which included Karen’s lifeless corpse hanging in the dark recesses, led Todd to the workshop and I finally revealed my face. I wanted him to look right into the eyes he left partially blind before I began the blaze on his bones.
I didn’t bank on Alfred being so belligerent. He grabbed my shears and plunged them into my spine, affording Todd the time to plunder a woodsman’s axe into my cranium and end their horrific ordeal. As a final fuck you Cropsy; Todd turned the flamethrower back on me and they strolled off to lick their wounds while I underwent cook out number two. That was just heartless. The thing is that it takes more than a torn spleen, shattered skullcap and extra crispy pelt to put this old dog down. Todd’s story is a lot more accurate now as I live on whatever wildlife I can lay my hands on as I consolidate and prepare to exact yet more revenge on that piece of shit. With a little luck I can interrupt the pair’s primary coitus but whatever happens I will make his death the most agonizing imaginable for the cruel acts he was so instrumental in…on two separate occasions. For now, just know that I’m out here and not fussy either. If you choose to go camping then woe betide you for being so irresponsible. Don’t look…I’ll see you…don’t breathe…I’ll hear you…don’t move…YOU’RE DEAD!
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014