Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Thirteen Tales – Cycles

Cycles

(Originally published in Thirteen Tales)

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Featured Image -- 7657

Orange light tried to sparkle off the wet tarmac. Otherwise all was still, even the three figures that lay in the road.

Two were face down by the kerb, the other was splayed out in the middle of the street. Their faces were hidden by motorcycle helmets. Leather jackets and jeans completed their ensemble.

Houses watched over them, silent witnesses. The life behind the pastel curtains was at rest and undisturbed.

A bedraggled wreath sagged at the foot of a lamppost, close by one of the figures. Notes were scattered around it, most of the writing now had run away into the gutter, the thoughts washed away.

The silence intensified, remained heavy over the scene even as the three figures stirred and slowly rose.

They pulled off their crash helmets and shook out the confusion in their heads. As they walked towards the centre point questions rode in their eyes with fear a close pillion.

Their footsteps were silent.

When they met they stared at each other, each looking for answers in the others faces.

Finally one of them broke the silence.

“What happened?”

“We crashed.”

“I know that you pillock! But…” he hesitated, “then what?

The third man spoke, rapping his helmet.

“I knew we shouldn’t have brought these knock off helmets!”

“Oh, shut up! Gary’s had loads of crashes with his!”

“Yeah,” agreed Gary, hesitantly, “but off road.”

“So we probably just bumped our heads and have lost our memories or something.”

“Well my head don’t feel like it’s got any lumps on it.”

“Tony, you wouldn’t notice if I hit you over the head with a sledge hammer.”

“Not after the amount we drunk at the party!” said Gary. The two of them laughed and clapped each other on the shoulders.

“So?” persisted Tony.

“So, what?”

“So what happened?”

Gary shook his head and wandered over to the pile of soggy wreaths. He bent down and read one of the labels.

“Shit!”

“What?” asked Tony.

“Look at this! This wreath is for the ‘Lads from the Horses’”.

“Some of our gang died!” Ray whispered.

Then Gary shook his head again and pointed a trembling finger at another card, the words almost washed away.

But still readable. Ray read it aloud.

“In loving memory of my Son, Anthony White. Died on his bike, doing what he loved and with his friends. Ride on!”

None of them moved. They stared at the flowers, at the words draining from the cards.

Then a gust of wind caught one of the cards, flicked it in the air and blew it through Tony.

They all screamed and stepped back from one another.

Then they resumed their still, shocked silence. They stared in horror at each other as the chill seeped into their minds.

“Us,” Ray’s voice trembled, “we’re dead.”

“We’re ghosts?” Gary’s voice was as frail as his expression. There was another long silence.

Then suddenly Tony stood up and straightened his shoulders.

“Cool,” he said. “We’re ghosts!”

The other two stared at him with surprise. Then they looked at each other. They seemed to be trying to make a decision. Then, at some subtle signal, they made it. They went along with his bravado.

They punched the air in defiance.

“We’re dead!”

“Right!” said Gary. “Who are we going to haunt first?”

“Hey,” said Tony, “I wonder if we can walk through walls?” He had a sly look on his
face.

“Why?” said Ray, scenting a plan.

“We can head over to Julia Davis’ house and slip inside her bedroom.”

“Yes,” said Gary, making obscene gestures with his arm, “while she slips into something more comfortable!”

“Like nothing,” grinned Ray.

They arrived. It was as simple as that. They had not travelled, they just appeared there. In that almost sacred place that many in their college had secretly wanted to visit. In some cases not so secretly.

She was there! They could hardly believe it. Before their very eyes their wildest and most perverted dreams were coming true. She began to undress.

It wasn’t a strip or erotic,she did it in a matter of fact way, but they didn’t care. They stood slack jawed as when, finally naked, she stretched her body before them and flexed her toned limbs.

“Bloody hell!” said Gary.

“Shh!” Tony silenced him, while keeping his eyes on Julia as she slipped beneath the sheets.

“Why?” said Gary, “she can’t hear us. Look, watch!”

He bent down close to her ear.

“Julia,” he whispered, “you have got a lovely pair of knockers!” He giggled and tried to stroke her hair.

His hand went straight through her head.

He yelled in fright and jumped back.

“Bloody hell!”

The other two laughed. He looked indignantly at them.

“It caught me by surprise, that’s all.”

He looked down sadly at Julia.

“Pity we can’t touch though.”

“Gary, you really are a pervert aren’t you?” sniggered Ray.

“Hey, look at this,” said Tony. He was peering at patches of ice on the window.

“So,” shrugged Gary. “It’s cold outside. So what?”

“There’s no heating in here,” he nodded back inside the room. “But we don’t feel
cold.”

They considered this.

“So, we don’t feel the cold. Or hot when it’s hot,” said Ray. He shrugged. “That’s
cool.”

“It also means,” added Gary with a leer in his eye, “that when she gets out of bed she
will be cold.”

The other two laughed, getting his implication. They huddled down next to Julia’s bed waiting.

Half an hour later they realised just how boring watching somebody sleep could be.

“Sod this!” Ray finally snapped. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Where?” shrugged Gary.

“I know!” said Tony, “let’s spirit ourselves over to the Headmaster’s house and see
if the rumours about him and Mrs. King are true.”

They appeared in the front room of Mr. Waller, the headmaster of their old school, where he was having dinner with the aforementioned Mrs. King, also one of their old teachers.

The three friends fell into fits of laughter and clapped each other on the backs in
congratulations.

“Wait until we spread this about!” laughed Tony.

Ray gave him a sour look.

“Who the hell we going to tell?”

This dampened their spirits a little but with the determination of youth and ignorance in the face of fear they forged on with their intentions.

They watched as the couple spent the meal in small talk about subjects that were beyond the three of them. Then the teachers retired to the sofa with their drinks.

The boys rubbed their hand in gleeful anticipation.

The Headmaster put on some soft music and the conversation continued. Mrs. King consumed some more spirits.

After about an hour the friends were pacing the room.

“Come on! Snog her!” urged Gary.

“Old farts have probably forgotten what to do!” said Tony.

“Well I am not waiting around to see if they remember,” said Ray. “Let’s go to
Willy’s.”

The others shrugged and nodded.

They appeared in the middle of the dance floor and immediately made their way to their more customary place by the bar.

Out of habit they tried to order drinks, then cursed the loss of another pleasure.

“Hey look! There’s Melissa!” said Gary. He shouted after her but she did not turn. The
music was loud but she would not have heard him anyway. Nobody would have heard him.

They watched the dancing and flirting in brooding silence, observing the fun they could no longer be a part of. Then they quit. They decided to go to the graveyard, after all it was where ghosts were supposed to hang out.

The graveyard was packed! In the pre-dawn air, wispy, screaming figures wandered in misery. The three of them were jostled and bumped but none of the ghosts spoke to them or responded to them in any other way. These spirits were too wrapped in the rags of their own misery to notice anything else. The air was packed with screams.

“To hell with this!” screamed Gary, “let’s go!”

They gathered to try and decide where to go next when they noticed a familiar face. It was Sam Stiles, the owner of the local corner shop that had burned down a few years ago, Both he and the shop had been a huge loss in their lives.

He sat, head in hands on a gravestone. His own gravestone.

“Sam?” The man looked up at Gary. He looked both miserable and confused.

“It’s us! The Horses! Remember?”

The man squinted at them.

“We used to come in your shop all the time, remember?” said Tony, “you did the best
doughnuts!”

“What are you doing here?” he shook his head and hung it again. He didn’t sound like he really wanted to know.

“We crashed our bikes!” said Tony, with a hint of pride. “Now we’re ghosts. Like you.”

That last part was said with less enthusiasm.

“No,” moaned Sam shaking his head more.

“What’s up?” asked Gary, trying to make light of the scene. “Ain’t you glad to see us?”

Sam looked up with fierce despair now.

“Don’t you get it? You’re stuck! In a cycle – forever! Why do you think these poor souls scream so much.” he waved all around him.

The fear finally got to them, wormed it’s way through all their bravado, pride and ignorance. They looked at each other and began to scream.

At that moment the sun rose. If their scream made a sound it was lost in the rise of the hosts own rising wail.

Then all went black

Orange light tried to sparkle off the wet tarmac. Otherwise all was still, even the three figures that lay in the road.

Two were face down by the kerb, the other was splayed out in the middle of the street. Their faces were hidden by motorcycle helmets. Leather jackets and jeans completed their ensemble.

Houses watched over them, silent witnesses. The life behind the pastel curtains was at rest and undisturbed.

A bedraggled wreath sagged at the foot of a lamppost, close by one of the figures. Notes were scattered around it, most of the writing now had run away into the gutter, the thoughts washed away.

The silence intensified, remained heavy over the scene even as the three figures stirred and slowly rose.

They pulled of their crash helmets and shook out the confusion in the heads. As they walked towards the centre point questions rode in their eyes with fear a close pillion.

Their footsteps were silent.

When they met they stared at each other, each looking for answers in the others faces.

Finally one of them broke the silence.

“Why are we here again?” Gary looked scared.

“I don’t know,” said Tony his voice quivering. “But there must be some explanation.”

“Well I don’t know what it is,” said Gary.

“Thought you were the clever one!” said Tony scathingly. This prompted an argument that escalated into a fight until Ray intervened.

“Look you twats – we’re dead right! Bloody dead! Bloody fighting isn’t going to help
anything.”

This simply aggravated the situation and the fight bloomed again between all three of them.

Then they suddenly found themselves in Julia’s bedroom.

“What the fuck?” said Tony.

“What happened?” said Gary sounding scared still, “I didn’t want to come here.”

“Nor did I,” said Ray and Tony shook is head.

“She’s not even here!” said Gary.

“For Christ’s sake, Gary,” said Ray. “Can’t you think of anything else?”

“Yeah, like figuring out what the hell is going on here,” said Tony.

This started more arguments. They argued and fought and stormed – anything to keep the tears of fear at bay, until they appeared in the Headmaster’s front room.

This brought them up short.

“We’re doing the same as last night,” whispered Tony.

“We’re going around in circles,” said Ray, his voice cracking.

In tears, the three visited the nightclub, then the graveyard. There they stayed, wailing in despair until the sun came up.

Orange light tried to sparkle off the wet tarmac. Otherwise all was still, even the three figures that lay in the road.

Two were face down by the kerb, the other was splayed out in the middle of the street. Their faces were hidden by motorcycle helmets. Leather jackets and jeans completed their ensemble.

Houses watched over them, silent witnesses. The life behind the pastel curtains was at rest and undisturbed….

Advertisements

Author:

Scott Bailey is a freelance writer, author and blogger. His works include the dystopian novel “Mankind Limited” and “A Spring of Dreams” collection of poetry. His blogging ranges across family articles, poetry and short stories and even the odd book or movie review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s