Monday, October 10, 2005

The Doors

by Jamie Wilson

Jamie Wilson is a 20-year-old Communication and Media student at Bournemouth University, and a friend of mine, one I am proud to have, because he is multi-talented and fun. I am proud to present this story on my blog, and should anyone attempt to steal it, be assured that I will hunt you down, rip off your balls/boobies and shove them down your neck... not without sending a big fat turd down it first, needless to say!

I HAVE BEEN in a state of permanent mental anxiety for the past week or more, but nothing has bothered me so much as this infernal letter, which you presently study. My fear is that you will judge me harshly for what I have done -- so I have struggled to make everything as clear as possible in the hope that you may better understand my plight.

You may think me the devil, but I beseech you, I am as much the victim in this tragic story as your poor Johnny. You see, my brain is not naturally geared towards violence, but I was driven to the sheer dark cliffs of madness by the promise of fame and all that goes with it. Alas, it was a chance encounter with two strangers that instigated the whole affair, and on reflection I fail to see why I trusted them so implicitly. I am blind. Yet there was something about the way they dressed, the way they talked -- it was all very, very beguiling. They said they could open doors, doors that would eventually lead to stardom (for I was a fledgling actor), if I did one small thing in return… “Kill Johnny. Kill your best friend.”

Now, I’d love to say that their proposition had no effect on me, truly I would. But in all honesty, I can’t. Every time I saw the dear old boy my eyes turned to daggers, and all I could think about was those doors, the doors to stardom, opening up before me like so many adoring smiles.

Sometimes it took all my skills as an actor to disguise these feelings, I’d wrap them up in false smiles and gentlemanly graces. Johnny knew nothing. And every day, after supper, Johnny would fall asleep in his armchair, and I would stand by the fire warming myself, thinking of how to kill him. And then, when I was certain he was fast asleep, I would creep up to him inch by inch until I could see the tiny movements of his eyelids, and I would reach my hands around his neck so softly, softly -- until I could feel his pulse. Then, each time, at the critical moment, I got the feeling that a thousand tiny invisible insects were crawling on my skin, and I would start to cry, so I removed my hands ever so gently and withdrew to the comforting embrace of the fire.

Johnny, the poor unsuspecting fool, would wake up and wipe the tears from his face without even noticing. I knew it couldn’t go on like this. Something had to happen that would put an end to this dreadful business. And on a night like any other -- it did.

I was standing by the fire as usual, warming my hands (lest I wake the poor boy with a cold touch); my brutal instincts were rising up inside me. I could feel the waves of power emanating from the fire, fuelling me for what I was about to do. But still, I loathed myself more profusely and more strongly than ever. Johnny was sleeping peacefully, and it struck me how much he resembled a child, all cosy and snug in his armchair. God forgive me, I leaned over him and slid my hands around his throat like a slippery python encircling its prey. There was a long moment when nothing happened. It was just me and Johnny locked in some hideous mockery of intimacy. I began to cry. My heart just wasn’t in it, I could feel it weakening, and then, just as I was about to release my grip, Johnny’s eyes popped open.

All my resolve seeped away as sand from a loose fist when I looked into his eyes. It was a look that made me doubt my very worth as a human being. What cruel and twisted monster was I that I could be driven thus far by empty promises? And then I remembered those doors opening up before me, and how I would revel in the light they cast upon me.

‘O dear and humble reader, what was I to do? The shame of it, the complete and absolute shame of it. This very hand, the hand I use to write this note, used in such a gross and ignoble fashion.

I tightened my grip on his neck. The tears began to flow harder and faster. Johnny suddenly understood the reality of the situation and flung his arms at my face, clawing and flailing at my eyes. I felt spurred on by his bewildered fumblings and squeezed so hard that I had to scream. Blood vessels began to sprout all over his red, red face, and I saw his eyes glaze over. He was dying. All I had to do was finish it. I screamed again, a long and pitiful scream, and this time when I came back to my senses Johnny was dead.

What ugly devil had I become? My hands still clenched around the neck of my oldest and dearest friend, my screams curdling to laughter, my black heart revealing its darkest hew. I was truly at my most hideous.

I took the body of my good friend and buried it in a nearby cemetery. I had the good fortune to find a freshly dug grave, I knew that if I buried it a metre or so below the grave then no one would ever find it, because some poor old sod would be buried on top of him. Of course, I had the cover of darkness to hide my ghoulish actions, but I took the extra precaution of wearing entirely black. Nobody would notice me if I was quiet and took care with my spade. I began to dig, but I took frequent breaks to check that no one was lurking. I had such a terrible fear of being spotted that I was in a state of mild delirium. I had to calm myself with a song, but soon I started to fear that my hushed tones would arouse attention so I had to stop.

With Johnny nearly buried I took one extra long look around the cemetery. Even though my field of vision was limited by the incredible dark, I could sense that someone was watching me. Indeed, my fears were confirmed when out of the shadows two impossibly ghost-like figures emerged. None of the great gothic writers could describe the sinister aura that they possessed. This was Mary Shelley’s worst nightmare. They approached like a pair of tigers, slow and steady, only they made no attempt to conceal themselves. There was no escape, no light at the end of the tunnel, whatever they wanted I was at their complete mercy. When the fear reached its zenith I was forced to shut my eyes, I felt helpless, utterly vulnerable. I felt like a sheep that had strayed to far from the flock and all I wanted to do was fall down and die. So imagine my surprise when one of the daemons addressed me in a familiar tone.
“Be a good gentleman and stop trembling, open your eyes so that we may talk.”
Blessed relief! It was the two strangers that had promised me fame and success. Perhaps I had reached the light at the end of the tunnel after all.
“Speak then, or shall we assume that you are now a mute.”
“Excuse me, I am just a little shocked.” I said.
“An understatement if ever I heard one. You look whiter than white.”
“Can you blame me? I have done it. I have killed Johnny. My end of the bargain has been well and truly met. Now you must complete the deal. Give me what is mine.” I tried to hide the sick desperation in my voice but I couldn’t help myself. “How do you plan to repay me?”
“Repay you?” A mocking smile spread across his face. “Repay you? Poor child we never intended to repay you. You mean to say that you actually did it. You actually killed your best friend.” His smile turned to sardonic laughter. “He actually did it.” The pair began to laugh as if they shared some particularly poisonous joke, and then they turned and left, still chuckling as they dissolved into the darkness. And in that moment I saw the doors to stardom close in front of me like an insanely devious grin.

(c) Jamie Wilson

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