I’d perched breathlessly upon the fortress wall, my oversized, crimson coat billowing behind me like the wings of Satan. The bullet cut through the air like a knife. His blood trickled to the floor, narrowly missing my feet. He collapsed in my arms; he breathed his very last breath on my cheek. Cold, clammy fingertips dug into my flesh-scraping the surface of my skin. I dared not scream, or I’d endanger myself. The night was dark. The murky browns and cold greys of the collapsed buildings sprawled out before me; with the faint glow and safety of home barely visible on the horizon.
I was alone. The embankment behind was a sheer vertical drop. Below, a stagnant river reflected the bleak, industrial structures that bordered it. Electricity pylons loomed among the buildings and network cables formed a black web which draped overhead. That previous night, I sat unaccompanied in the lounge, oblivious to the trauma I’d suffer the following evening. This room-my favourite in particular-was furnished elegantly with: a granite fireplace, solid oak flooring, tan leather couches and a large display case with pictures, books, and numerous memories of my family and friends.
Several years ago I had a feud with my mother; I was only an infant at the time. We were flicking through old photographs when I swiftly snatched one from her grasp. I saw a man, holding a newly born child. He was a peculiar looking man, with long mousy brown hair, thick bushy eyebrows and dark, penetrating eyes. I only caught a glimpsed of the photo, though I undoubtedly read ‘Frederick, holding beautiful daughter Lydia’ imprinted on the back. My name was Brown, first name, Lydia! I glanced at my mother, who appeared to be both as shocked and stunned as I was, then pondered for a while.
I enquired ‘Who is this man? ‘-despite the fact I already knew. I had never known my father, my mother exclaimed that he didn’t deserve me; she did everything within her power to prevent me from knowing him. Nightfall was approaching. The dizzying heights and steep embankment didn’t faze me. This is where I came to escape. This was the only place I could be myself; yet now I was perched on the wall with a limp, lifeless body slumped before me. Thankfully, the air was thick and misty. Condensation from my breath had steamed my glasses, like the early morning dew on a car windscreen.
Initially, I could barely distinguish whether the corpse was male or female! My eyes became fixed upon the stars-which dominated the skyline. Though my expressions remained contemplative as I edged further along the fortress wall-peering at my reflection in the depths of the murky river water below. The stench of his decaying corpse was unbearable; tears filled my eyes like the joyous sensation of chopping onions. It was a full moon. My silky dark hair- not quite black- hung loosely below my shoulder.
Most of it was tucked behind one ear, exposing my soft youthful features to the twilight. Shivering, I nervously scrutinized my surroundings, trying to overlook the prospect of spending the night in this desolate place. I had no choice. His body was contaminated with my Deoxyribonucleic acid-DNA for short. Therefore the odds of me escaping a prison sentence were one in a million! Panic began to set in. I had a troubled youth, had been admitted to young offender’s institutes on countless occasions, and had no goals or ambitions.
It was certain I’d be wrongly convicted of this unthinkable crime! Panting heavily, my body screamed inside, I had no escape. Behind me, lay a moribund railroad, lined with derelict carriages. One in particular, perhaps once black but now tainted grey with dust and grime, swayed frantically in the gale force winds. It was roughly fifty feet from where I was sitting. My eyes were no longer fixed upon the stars but had turned their attention the carriage-it was motionless. Despite the thick misty darkness, I observed the outline of an open door, which hung on by one rusted hinge.
It did not have a handle (it had broken off many years ago) and all but one of the carriage windows were intact. Fortunately I stumbled upon a way to pass the time… I began to silently reminisce about my childhood. Since my father had left us, I and my mother had lived alone. Ironically, she was a preacher and travelled the globe lecturing about how to live a life without sin, though that would soon change. I came from an upper-class background, though still suffered from behaviour problems. Predictability, mum held Frederick liable, but I blame her!
Throughout my infancy I was left alone in a travel cot 24/7, with: trousers six centimetres above my ankles; a diaper that hadn’t been changed for days on end and socks so small that they literally became imbedded in my skin. Most of my memories as a youngster involve sifting through her makeup bag, whilst she showered herself with perfume and devoured the remains from the kitchen cupboards. That woman was so vain! Once, I actually caught her complimenting her own reflection in the mirror-she never complimented me once in her entire lifetime.
Though I must admit, she was an attractive woman! I was envious of her gorgeous, bouncy brunette locks and bright blue eyes that shone like the ocean. Time stood still. Six hours had passed and the winds began to die down; however, the temperature had fallen rapidly and hypothermia was beginning to immerse every vain, bone and muscle in my body. It was 4:47pm exactly, when I heard the gravely sound of a vehicle pulling up somewhere behind me, shortly followed by the slamming of a door.
A dark figure emerged from the passenger seat-clutching a large metal object which reflected of the moon light-then stealthily paced up the steep embankment in my direction. The hairs on my arms and legs instantaneously stood on end. I was petrified. The blood rushed to my head; my heart began beating frantically-as though it’d burst from my chest There was a peculiar smell in the air-a smell I recognised-a smell from my childhood woes. A bizarre combination of: honey, mint, rose petals and blueberry. I remained absolutely still.
At least playing all those games of musical statues alone in my room was worthwhile! However, I’d made the fatal mistake of overlooking the security light which pointed directly at the embankment. Holding my breath deeply-I almost passed out in the process. My mind began to wander back and forth between memories of my lifetime. A tear rolled down my cheek-followed by another-until my tear ducts became flood plains. It’s true what they say y’know!? Your life DOES flash before your eyes! The figure grew closer and closer to where I was sat; my worst fears were confirmed.
It was him. With a sudden beam of light, the entire area lit up and for the first time, I witnessed the horrors that had been hidden from my vision. I wasn’t alone. Slumped before me was a man, with long mousy brown hair, thick bushy eyebrows and dark, penetrating eyes. He wore a tag, his name was Brown, first name Frederick. I felt my brain swell inside my skull, as my jaw dropped to the floor. Behind him, stood the figure of a woman, with gorgeous bouncy brunette locks and bright blue eyes that shone like the ocean. She was drenched in blood.