Thursday, 21 January 2016

A snippet of something on going

  We trust people everyday with our lives, with keeping us safe, and with being decent upstanding people. We trust that bus drivers and taxi drivers will get us to our destination alive, we believe that the tablets pharmacists give us are the correct dosage. we put our lives into other people's hands everyday but this was the first time that Pandora had done it with someone who didn’t have a badge or any type of authority in any sort of field. She followed him intently until he dipped into a cornucopia of trees and bushes that seemed to have been made into some sort of den, camouflaged to look like nothing more than a pile of fallen foresty foliage. she ducked in after Boo and was quickly enveloped by the darkness with-in. Panic filled her heart; it was so dark that she couldn't even pick out the white of Boos coat, her breathing began to quicken as her heart beat raced,
“please can you..” before she could finish light chased the darkness away, light in the form of a small fire contained in an old iron pan. Instantly as her panic began to subside it returned at the thought of someone seeing them, seeing the light,
As though he read her mind “it’s okay no one can see, I made sure” he said pulling a make shift door across the exposed entrance of their hideaway. She smiled weakly feeling the lightheadedness of her near panic attack,
“you want to know what happened, sit” he took at seat on one side of the fire, Boo sat next to him nuzzling his hand, he seemed to brighten at this simple act of kindness on the dogs part, like the simplicity and the familiarity of it made him feel a normalcy return to his life,
“what happened?” Pandora asked as she sat opposite him, sighing at the feel of the heat bathing her cooling skin.
“okay i'll tell you the story, though I don't know how you missed it, you must have slept through the whole thing; no one was expecting it when it happened but...
it  started the same everywhere, with a disaster, a multi-car pile-up, a building shattering, trains colliding, planes falling from the sky, people, naturally panicked and those in authority  told them it would be okay, their friends and those they loved, they looked to for comfort they told them it would all be fine and then those people, the ones they loved, their friends, neighbours, dog walkers, shop keepers, the people they passed by on the street every morning on the way to work, their children’s teachers, their council members, police, every type of person from soldiers to crossing guards they all turned on the ones they loved, the society they were a part of, the world they live in; they changed. Suddenly war became unavoidable, billions of people stood up and took over, and they bombarded the world with pain and terror and anger...
That was how it all happened so quickly” a tear rolled down over his cheek as though he were remembering the people he lost, the people who turned on him “it had been going on forever or so that what he said...
These people had been secretly forming, coming together for years and now they had started a full blown war, a war that the ‘others’ those who were not a part of ‘the surge’, believed they were not going to win. They stood and the world fell to their knees...
It all started with one man, just like the Second World War but in comparison to this man Hitler looked like nothing more than a saint having a bad day” he smirked than at his cleaver comparison but Pandora only felt sickened by it.
“Nobody had ever seen him in the flesh only ever on the screens when he was preaching to the world, nobody it was believed until I had taken refuge in an empty home, only it wasn't empty…
The child he had met there in the comfort of someone elses home had told his story, a story of being in Paris with his mother when the up-Surge began; they were being evacuated because then it was not known that there was no safe place. He had lost his mother’s hand in the crowd and it was then that he saw him, he took the boy’s hand; his skin was cold to touch, clammy and pale and his eyes were black and mesmerising, the child described eyes as looking like the duck pond on his park that he used to go too, they had no end and they shimmered like when the sun ‘danced’ on the water. He said the man’s voice moved like music, like when the radio sang, all he said was that he would take care of him now but then before the boy knew he was back in his mother’s arms.

As Pandora sat and listened to the words she zoned out and though of the facts that she now knew; she knew that there were approximately 7 billion people on the earth, growing every day, and now she also knew that the one day, one sunny and beautiful day the majority of those people had stood and decided to turn on the others. Pandora shivered she was not convinced that good was going to prevail.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Alfred and the Heart monitor

Beep..Beep..Beep..Beep..Beep..It was all he heard, all day long and all night and it was only occasionally that he was aloud off the lead to use the bathroom or to get some fresh air that he got some relative peace and quiet from the intrepid machine. He was 86 years old and had spent nearly 10 years stuffed away in an old peoples care home and it was not all it had cracked up to be in the brochure. He had only agreed to move into Autumn acres care home because the brochure that his daughter Wendy had brought home for him to look over had made the place seem so welcoming and warm with its stain glass windows, large deep green grass, rose bushes of every color imaginable flourishing, he could almost smell their scent float from the paper. When they had visited at his reluctance, the sickly cheery woman who had greeted them at the front door had actually not irritated Alfred too much and the rooms had been large with double beds and big windows that let the sun flood in and even the roses in the pretty blue vases had not put him off. Still he had not really wanted to leave his home, the home he had shared with his beloved wife for nearly 53 years, she had died only a few years previous to this trip and had this had begun his spiral down the yellow brick road that lead him to the Autumn acres care home.
    She had left him on a sunny day, the bright transcendent rays had flowed in gently through their bedroom window, they had illuminated her pale skin and brought a bright, twinkle back to her glassy blue eyes; a twinkle that had not been there for a long time. Cancer had stolen her from him; it had been slow and thought this had meant that he had been able to spend time with her and that she had been able to do the things she had always wanted and most importantly Alfred had been able to say goodbye it had also meant that it had been painful for her, agonising in the end and he resented the heavens for doing this to them. After she had passed Alfred had fallen into a black depression, he had held it together until he had planned her funeral, Alfred had insisted that it be he who made all of the arrangements that was the way she had wanted it and he had kept it together to attend the funeral but once the wake had ended and all of the people most of whom he had not seen in years and a few he had never even met before, had all gone and the food which was starting to make him feel sick had all been cleared, the pots piled into the sink and his three children bundled out, reluctantly out of the door; only then did Alfred give up.
     It wasn’t a gradual thing, a slow float down the river of the blackest waters he simply plunged in to the deep end and he didn’t think twice about it; he had just lost the woman he had spent most of his life devoted to, his heart was in shards and those shards were piercing through his chest wall. He sat in his wife’s arm chair the twin of his favourite chair and smiled warmly when he felt how much more it was cushioned and less threadbare then his own. He cradled his bottle of scotch, pulled a blanket over his knees and set a photograph of his beautiful wife by his side and then he drank himself into oblivion, one where his wife was still alive. For the next year he spent his days drinking, sleeping fitfully his dreams plagued by images of his dead wife begging him to join her, and eating the odd cold lovingly prepared pot roast, lasagne or casserole that his daughters  had made for him. Other than the odd grunt through the door he barely spoke to any one even his daughters, especially his daughters; Arthur was desperate to eliminate any trace of his wife and the both of them painfully resembled her.
     Toward the end of that year Alfred had made a decision, he had decided that taking his own life and finally joining his wife was the only option he had left; he began his preparations for his journey on a Monday morning. It too was an unusually sunny day and the sun held a luminescence like Alfred had never seen before, he felt as though the sun’s rays were reaching down ready to take his soul into its warm arms and deliver Alfred into Heaven.  He started by tidying, the house had fallen into disarray and his wife would not have been happy with him if he left it in such a state of disrepair, next he tidied himself for he too had fallen into disrepair; he showered, something he hadn’t done properly in weeks, he shaved something else he hadn’t done since his wife had left and he dressed in his finest suit and tie, combing his hair the way his wife had liked it as opposed to the way he liked it and then Alfred was ready, nearly. He had just one thing left to do and that was to write letters to the people he loved, the people he had been shutting out for nearly a year. In the letters he explained why he did what he was about to do though he could find no words to convey the heartbreak he was feeling, that he had felt since he had lost his beloved wife.
     Once he had finished writing the letters Alfred tucked them away into a side-board draw to keep them safe just until his daughters had dealt with what he had done, had stopped being angry with him and then they would find them whilst cleaning out his house. When he had done this he settled down into his favourite arm chair it was only then did he realise that he had forgotten a few very important ingredients for his plan to go smoothly. He stood again muttering something relating to dementia; it was then, during his rant that he felt the shooting pain charging up his left arm and straight to his heart, instantly he knew what was happening; his body was finally experiencing what his soul had been feeling for the past year, it was literally breaking.
     Alfred did not clutch his chest in shock or anger or pain like you would see someone do in movies or on television shows, he did not stagger or try to reach for the phone nor did he call out for help like someone who was suffering a life threatening heart attack might. No, Alfred did not want help and so he simply allowed himself to fall to the floor with a thick thud that resounded in his ears like ripples in a lake. He floated away on the sea of pain that was throbbing in his head as numbness took over his body and here he remained, on the floor, with a happy smile upon his face awaiting the reaper. However the reaper never arrived, unbeknownst to Alfred the postman had been running late, he had been walking down the pathway toward Alfred’s door, trying to avoid the weeds and over grown nettle patch that had become his front garden when he had caught a glimpse of Alfred falling to the floor, he had run to the window whilst dialling 999 and this had been the reason for The grim reapers retreat from Alfred’s house.
       It hadn’t been during the first year or even the second year after Alfred had suffered his heart attack that his daughter, Laurie suggested he move into a retirement home it had been during the first few months. Alfred had not been happy, he had yet again been snubbed by the ‘great and powerful’ and that had made his bitter, now his daughters didn’t want him either, he had become a burden. Of course he considered trying to shuffle off the mortal coil again but after his angry outburst in relation to the suggested retirement home his daughter Laurie had apologised and moved in with him to help him recover and he seldom had time to himself; the matter had been dropped after that at least for a while. His daughters had never found the letters he had left for them, the letters detailing his love for them and his anguish for life, Alfred had managed to bundle them from their hiding place and throw them to the raging flames of the kitchen fire, he did not want them to know that he had been so weak, so full of cowardice to take his own life, that he could not face living any longer.  However before he had had surrendered the words to the flames Alfred had held onto them, he had pondered for months whether to keep them for a later date, to save himself the need to re-write them and then one night, late in the twilight hours he had read them and the words he had written brought salty tears to his eyes, that stung as they traced paths down over his cheeks. It had been after the burning he had changed his mind in regards to the retirement home, Laurie had cared for him wonderfully however as he read his words to her, telling her how proud he was, how bright her; life would be, he realised that he was stunting that life, keeping her there was selfish of him and so one day he thanked her and informed her she was ‘fired’ from her job of his care giver. A month later he moved into Autumn Acres care home for the elderly and decrepit.
      A sparse box of his most treasured belongings was all Alfred took with him when he moved into Autumn Acres Janet the other daughter, the less caring one had moved into his home and the remainder of his life had been packed away and tossed into the dusty forgotten attic however this had not bothered him much, his things were merely that, just things, material they didn’t matter, what mattered had already been taken from him. What really made him angry was that once he had been stuffed away in the care home Alfred had been slowly forgotten and to top it off the care home was not entirely what it promised to be. When he had first been shown around Autumn acres it had appeared to be the perfect place to live out ones final years however those who were not going to dwindle away there could not see the truth behind the mask, they did not see what happened when the lights went out. It was the darkness of night that really revealed what Autumn Acres really was; as the clock struck 10:00 pm all occupants not on the payroll at Autumn acres, were, regardless of age or health levels, or level of protest were sent, taken or forced into bed, their doors were locked and the lights remained on for no longer than 15 minutes to allow for bathroom trips and changing into night clothes, after that they were out and they remained out; anyone with lights on longer were reprimanded. Alfred felt as though he were locked away in a prison cell. The home only grew worse the more the night wore on, the air turned cold even in the height of summer the home somehow turned bitterly cold. The first time this occurred Alfred had moved from the luke warmth of his bed to the radiator only to find out that it was not turned on and was stone cold, he had returned to bed seething with anger and grumbling to himself. He had brought this up with the staff the next day however nothing ever came of his complaints other than an extra blanket which was so thin that it barely made much of a difference. He had then alerted his daughters to this fact and a few of the other ‘rules’ that the home had however once again nothing came from this complaint and Alfred simply gave up trying to get justice and simply sat quietly, played redundant card games and did as he was told. His visits with his daughters diminished from twice a week to twice a month and son on until he felt as though he were in a vegetative state, this was what led him to suffer his second heart attack.
     The second time it had not occurred on a bright and sunny day, he had been sat in one of the thread bare armchairs in the day room, all day he had felt as though he had a weight resting in the pit of his stomach and as he watched the poker straight rain obliterate the watery sun, Alfred felt the telltale shooting of sharp pain travel up his right left arm. Quickly the pain filled his heart as it began to beat like a jack hammer in his chest, his breathing hastened and he could feel the beads of cold sweat at his temples. Alfred tried to call out but could not form any comprehensible words and so he tried to get up from the chair and it was only when he fell face first into the pea green carpet that anyone noticed that there was something wrong. The world had spun in to blackness around him as people rushed and shouted for an ambulance but Alfred didn’t care he was happy to drift away in to the darkness toward the ever growing bright white light that called him.
     When he woke once more in the hospital bed with his daughters sat by his side Alfred cursed or at least he tried to curse but found that he was unable,
“It’s just a side effect dad, the doctors think you’ll get you’re speech back just fine” Laurie had told him and she had not lied though this had not stopped Alfred from being disappointed; he had once again been lured into the false belief that soon he would be joining his beloved. He also believed that now he would be free of the retirement home however this fact was also a false truth; after his second heart attack Alfred would need constant monitoring, something he didn’t think Autumn acres was equip for however Autumn acres also catered for the morbidly ill this meant that there was a team of nurses and in house Doctors who were qualified to ‘care’ for him. When he heard that he would in fact be returning to autumn acres Alfred did not jump for joy, though he did convince himself that things would be improve, again he was wrong.
     On arrival back to the retirement home Alfred was bundled into a new room, one containing a hospital style bed with railings to prevent him from falling, facilities for a drip, if it were needed and a machine to monitor his heart. Alfred would lie awake at night with the chill wrapped around him listening to the ‘beep, beep’ of his heart monitor, it drove him insane. He very rarely left his room or even ventured far from the confines of his bed, not out of choice; it had been so long that his legs felt as though they had begun to atrophy however when his daughters came to visit, which had become a rarity Alfred did not complain for he knew his words of pain and suffering would fall upon deaf ears. Luckily Alfred had to have at least 2 hours of exercise which usually meant being walked around the building by one of the staff or if he was lucky, on a sunny day he was taken into the garden; more than often though he was dumped in the day room, though he didn’t mind this as it meant he could have an actual conversation and watch the television; this had become particularly interesting to him. Lately Alfred had been noticing something different, a man who had been featured more and more on the TV, a man who was offering something, something new, something better; Freedom.
     Alfred had not fought in the Second World War, he had not been old enough though he had been at the right age by the time it had come to an end to understand the destruction and agony it had caused and to mourn the millions of strangers who had perished, to mourn his father who had been taken, though if Alfred was honest his father had been as much a stranger to him as the millions of others, for he had never really known him. Alfred had seen and felt the tragedy and mass devastation that one man had spurned; he had as a child stared into the dead, black eyes of Adolf Hitler through the safety of a photograph and he did not notice the same evil in the eyes of the man who now commanded his attention. Alfred had watched the world and the people on it change before him and he did not like what he saw, the man on the TV had seen the same; there was no respect in the world, no tolerance and for the first time since he had been put into the home Alfred felt something; a need to fight.
     The day the world exploded into the beginning of something new, Alfred was as usual confined to his bed with the infernal beeping of his heart filling his head, outside the world had already begun to fall to its knees around what some were calling the anti-Christ and what others were hailing as the second coming, a new, better way. When he had heard the cries of terror and fear bounce around the building, Alfred knew what was occurring, it was time to fight and with this new beginning unfolding around him Alfred found a new strength. He listened to the staff and their half arsed attempt to evacuate the building and it was then that he heard something which kick started his heart,
“I’ll just turn the old bastard’s machine off, he won’t last long without it” it was one of the female nurses, one of the sorts who would make a better mortician; Alfred wasn’t a great fan of hers or her of his or in fact of any of the residents and so when she walked into the room she did not find Alfred in his bed. After hearing what the nurse intended on doing to him Alfred harnessed his new found energy and moved with haste from his bed however he had not slipped from the room before the nurse had entered and when she finally did Alfred watched her from his hiding place as she moved over to the bed, confusion criss-crossing her features, only then did he reveal himself. He stepped from his hiding place behind the door, he felt like a cliché horror movie killer as he waited for her to turn and when she did, her eyes meeting his, he brought down the heart monitor that he had been holding above his head.
     Alfred could never forget the look on the nurse’s face when she turned and saw him, when she saw her fate with-in Alfred’s eyes; her mouth dropped open though she did not attempt to scream or protest. Her deep chestnut eyes widened and her pupils exploded in horror as a single tear fell down over her paled cheek. Alfred did not stop, the terror in her eyes did not appeal to his conscience as he pulled down the heavy monitor, in-fact he put more force into the motion until it connected with her. At first he was afraid it was not going to break but instead bounce from her thick head only knocking the woman unconscious and pulling him back, shocked, in to the wall behind but his fears were unnecessary as the glass front of the monitor cracked and shattered on impact allowing the surrounding body to come down, encasing her head. In his haste to move from the bed and hide Alfred had, upon picking up the monitor, neglected to unplug it from the electrical socket this caused an electrical current to pulse through the nurses body, she began to convulse, shaking violently. Alfred let go allowing the dead weight of her body to drop to the floor with a thick thud, Alfred looked down upon her, she looked like a macabre marionette doll waiting for a puppeteer to bring life to its limbs. Screaming jolted him back to the real world and he began to consider what his next move was, killing the nurse had made much more mess than he had expected; the shards of jagged glass had torn at the soft flesh of her cheeks and ripped at her neck, blood ran in thick streams down over her pale yellow uniform and gushed in a torrent from the ragged gash at her jugular, it had sprayed over Alfred covering him in droplets of scarlet and crimson. He looked once more at her lifeless body wincing with disgust, his hand instinctively moving to cover his mouth and nose as the stench of faeces filled the air, the nurse had voided her bowels, Alfred had heard of this occurring just after death but he had not expected it.
     He retreated from the soiled room colliding with the door frame as he did, he absently  rubbed at the throbbing in his shoulder it was then that he collided with something else; something tall, fleshy and solid yet soft. Alfred turned and it was now his turn to be shocked; behind him stood a wall of a man dressed all in black and carrying an army issue rifle among other weapons and a stone cold stare, as stony cold as steel. However Alfred was not afraid of the man, he did not raise his hands in defeat or look away in fear, he owed the man no respect and so Alfred defiantly returned his cold stone stare and he said only one thing,
“Where do I sign up?” with those words the man lowered the rifle he held, his mouth flickered with a smile, a smirk and he held out a hand,
“Names Regan” he said in a thick American accent

“Alfred” he replied shaking the Americans hand. 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Maude's Story

     Maude rubbed absently at the sores forming on her ankles; the fresh red welts were raw and stinging with each breath of warm summer wind that whipped at her legs, sweat formed under the midday sun ran in light trickles down her pale calves angering the weeping blisters further. Maude thought about what her mother might have done to ease the feeling, she might have rubbed some medicated cream onto her ankles though Maude would have protested at length about the smell that seemed to be able to permeate through any dressing and rise above any perfume. When she was smaller her mother might even have blown over the sores the soft wisps of her cooling breath and a wave of her magic wand working its imaginary powers to make everything feel better. Though that seemed like an age ago and during the passing time so many things had changed; her mother was no longer with her, she had perished just a few months past, Maude had watched her die, she had watched her deteriorate from the strong bright eyed woman that she had been to a sallow eyed shadow, thin and weak. Maude had been helpless though she had been so desperate to do something, to save her mother all she could do was sit back and watch as she wasted away. Since then Maude had had to grow-up much quicker than she had planned to, she now had to care for her younger sister Lilly; Lilly was the only living family Maude had left and Maude she and so it was down to Maude to keep the final remnants of the Walker family together and alive which was proving to be a hard feat; Lilly was currently suffering with a chest infection. On an ordinary day, in an ordinary world this would have taken a simple trip to the doctor though getting the appointment would have been fight it still would have been far easier than anything Maude had to do now that things had changed.
     In just four months the whole world had devolved, though some might say it had evolved but to Maude as she looked out upon the fields of burning gold and the sky so blood red that it stained the tops of the trees and dripped from their broken branches like rubies, the world had definitely devolved, it had devolved in time, back into history, back into the worst parts that history had to offer. The reason, singular for this de-evolution? October King.  When she had first laid eyes upon October Maude though him charming, she wasn’t afraid to admit that she found him attractive. Though he was slightly odd or rather the better word might be eccentric, he was commanding and strong and he had eyes that twinkled as though they held the entire sky of stars, housed them while the sun was shining and when the stars came out to brighten the blackest of night skies, his eyes held the sun burning and bright like they could see the deepest fears, dreams and sins of the soul. She had developed a slight crush on the mysterious man who had kept showing up on billboards, in the headers of websites, in adverts and so had millions. October King was hypnotic, he was charismatic and his voiced commanded the attention of the world.
     It had started on a sunny day, Maude remembered seeing his face that morning as she walked to school, that day her socks had been driving her mad they were being defiant, refusing to stay up where they belonged and she had had to continuously stop to pull them back up to where they were supposed to be. She had not made it to school that day and Maude had quickly forgotten all about her unruly socks. Buildings had begun to smoke, to burn fall, explosions rung out in the air casting great plumes of jet black dirty billowing smoke into the sky. Maude had frozen still, unable to move a single step, rubble fell at her feet, dust covered her hair and coated her lungs and nostrils making her cough, making tears stream down over her cheeks. With the explosions came the blood curdling screams, screams that finally jolted Maude free of her frozen stature. When the world began to move again Maude realised that people were running but not just running they were fleeing, women held their screaming babies tightly in their arms, other were shouting down their phones at their loved ones trying to discern if they were okay, if they were alive and finally          
Maude too began to run; she began to run in the direction of her home and her mother and younger sister.  She did not get there.
     Maude had only taken a few fumbled, unsteady, terrified steps when she fell to the floor, she felt the harsh sting of pain flush through her palms and knees and then she felt the tremble first, the vibrate of the earth as it travelled up through her finger tips and then she heard the noise. It began as a din, like a low fog horn sounding across a fog ridden sea and then it grew like the scream of an earth quake shattering glass and hearts; it was the sound of a thousand perfectly polished jack boots marching into the city. Maude did not stand, she felt she didn’t have the time to stand and to run home any more and so she could only scrabbled across the floor like a rodent running from the harsh false torch light of an exterminator in the dead of night. She scurried across the broken road causing the burn of her scraped knees to double in strength, dodging the rubble and abandoned cars, the dropped shopping and forgotten bicycles. She scurried to a large laurel bush, thick and green in the middle of summer and she tucked herself in to it, curling as small as she could, trying to conceal every inch of herself from whatever was causing the rumbling thunder that was rolling across the waste land of London like tumble weeds in the west. As the noise grew in volume Maude clasped her hands over her ears tighter trying in vain to block out the searing terror it produced. She thought about her mother and her sister and she wondered if they were okay, had they perished, had they been taken by whomever was coming, was causing this destruction. Hot, salty tears began rolling down over her dirty cheeks, tears of sadness and fear. As she hid under her bush, her body uncontrollably trembling she sank into a black desperation and Maude tried to convince herself that what she was experiencing was a dream, that soon she would awaken upon hearing her mother’s voice travelling up from the bottom of the stairs. She would then get ready for school choosing not to war the unruly socks and then she would go about her day as normal but this was only a delusion, a wish because with-in the second a pair of sweaty calloused hands wrapped around her ankles and dragged her out from her hiding place.
     Though it had seemed like only a few hours had passed since she had been pulled from the safety of her dark, flora scented hideout but it had actually been months and her life had changed so dramatically that Maude was still half convinced that she was dreaming. The men had worked quickly, they had been thousands in number, an army of thousands and that had just been in London. They built camps though that was not what they called them, they had this air of superiority over everyone who did not turn, over those in history that they were mimicking and it was all down to one man, October King. Maude had realised that it was October when she saw the broadcast that went out across the world, the man whom she had though so beautiful yet slightly odd was behind a world of people turning upon each other and though Maude could not believe that one man could be responsible for such anger and destruction she new deep down that the human race was capable of anything from the most purest of good to the most low down, Dirtiest of evil.
     When people had first been introduced into the ‘camps’  they had been told it was simply a half way point to their new lives that they would soon come around to this new way of thinking but they had lied. Months had passed and nothing had changed, more people had been piled into the camps and the conditions had deteriorated below those that a cockroach might live in; the camps could have been plucked right from Adolf Hitler’s twisted mind. People were starved, tortured as a form of ‘teaching’ they were chained up and put to work building and clearing the broken down rubbish dump that had been Britain’s most beautiful, famous and loved cities. When she had gotten to the camp Maude had experience only one saving grace, she had been reunited with her mother and sister though this had been a short live happiness. In the camps the younger children had been prime for brainwashing, October King wanted everyone to believe in him, he wanted the world to be his and the people to fall at his feet in and worship him and his way of thinking. The psychological torture had been excruciating though Maude had not been young enough to be taken into the ‘school’ she had seen the children as they passed through the ‘playground’ they were fenced in, housed in the building, kept away from their families this had broken Maude’s mother heart. She had fought for her daughter and this had lead to her death, she was tortured for being so insolent and then out to work. Every night when she lay on the floor of the pit that they called a room, shared with 12 others, she would sob. Maude would lay in her bed wishing that there was something she could do but there was nothing and all she could do was to listen to her mother’s heavy breathing it grew weak and laboured, all she could do was wipe her mother’s fevered forehead with dirty, foul smelling water and all she could do was watch as she died, the guards had paid her no attention as she begged for their help, they had ignored her cried of agony as she hugged her mother’s dead body close until all the heat had diminished and her skin had grown sallow and grey. They had taken the stiff, cold body that had once been Maude’s mother and dumped her into a shallow, watery grave filled with the already rotting corpses of others who had perished.
     Maude had mourned her mother in the hours that she had before she had to return to work and to her sister, she did not know what she would tell her, she was only 5 years old and already her whole world had been stripped down to its bare bones. Maude had spent the day desperately trying to form the sentences that would inform Lilly of her mother’s passing but the situation never arrived. In the night after her mother had died Maude had been literally dragged from her sleep by one of the guards and to what they called the ‘infirmary’ but what was known to those who were imprisoned in the camp as the death house. Lilly had been taken ill; she was laid on one of the infested beds, looking smaller than Maude had ever seen her look before; her skin was yellow tinged, feverish and every so often she would cough violently and eventually those coughs began to bring up blood and Lilly quickly  fell into a fitful unconsciousness. Maude was at least allowed to sit with her sister for 15 minutes every day, after she had finished the work that had been given to her however when it only seemed that her baby sister was falling further into her sickness just like Maude’s mother had, Maude lashed out though this only brought her more trouble and pain.
     As she had sat by her sister’s bed, the few minutes she had left with her quickly running away, Maude clutched her hand and begged her to hold on, demanded that she wake up and then began to cry. What happened next unfolded so quickly that Maude wasn’t sure it had happened until after the fact; the guard walked through the open door,
“Tums up, git up un git out” He spat at her in rough words that Maude could barely comprehend, She stood, her fists clenched at her sides Maude turned slowly, if she’d have been in a cartoon steam would have been shooting from her bright, crimson red ears,
“I have 5 more minutes left” she said forcing the words out through her gritted teeth, this had been the first mistake she had made, talking back to the guards or any who had turned was not accepted and the guard quickly made that known. He balled his own fist and with-in a second of that action he had drawn back his arm and put the whole of his strength into the hit. His fist connected with Maude’s face with a crunch that reverberated around her skull, she felt her nose explode spraying blood over her clothes, his clothes and his face. The force twirled Maude around; it forced her backward and sent her sprawling across her sister’s bed. Maude watched the blood drip from her face and soak into the dirty sheets that were covering Lilly and even though Maude knew that her nose was shattered and likely beyond repair or return to normal she could still smell the thick stench of death that was encroaching upon her sister. This lead to her second fatal move; Maude had never been a violent person, she had never lashed out not even at her mother in a teenage fit and she had certainly never let her emotions rule her actions however the world had changed and so had she, seeing her sister laid in the dirty, festering bed made her blood boil beyond the temperatures of hell.  She turned, almost as fast as she had when his fist had connected with her nose, this time it was Maude who had clenched her fist and it was her fist connecting with his face though it did not have even an eight of the effect.
     As soon as her fist collided with his cheek his whole demeanour changed, when he had hit her he had had a smirk upon his face, this smirk had fallen, quickly, he looked as though he were made of stone, not a single twitch, nor flinch crossed his face. He grabbed her arm sharply and pulled her from the room, Maude was terrified she knew that something bad was coming to her.  He dragged her outside which became literal when he feet fell from beneath her and she lost her balance, he dragged her through the mud twisting her arm to such an angle that Maude was sure it was going to snap. He threw her down into the dirt of an old shed and he held her there with his own weight,
“Ima gonna tech you a lessun you ain’t gonna forgut” he hissed into her ear, he was so close that Maude could smell the thick reek of his breath. He pressed down against her ass he tore at her clothes with his dirty, greasy fingernails, they dug into the skin of Maud’s stomach, tore at the flesh on her thighs. She did not scream out or fight for fear that it might bring more of the guards who would only take as much pleasure in raping her as their comrade did. She bit her tongue as he forced himself into her, his fetid breath burning the skin of her neck, she bit her tongue until she tasted blood as his grunts and rotten exhalations filled her head, until he was done, until it was over. The only saving grace Maude found was that it was over quickly, that the fat sweaty beast of a man had stopped, he rolled off of her, she could smell the filthy stink of his sweat all over her skin, could see the droplets of perspiration on her body. Maude did not move, she lay still, frozen until another man appeared in the doorway, he moved into the room eyeing Maude with lust, she clenched her eyes shut and waited for the disabling feeling of his weight upon her but it never came. She opened her eyes and glanced over at the two men, the second was whispering something, something that made the other grin,
“Git up” he said pulling Maude from the floor, she held her torn clothes closed across her body, “yer sisters croaked” he spat and shoved Maude from the shed. When the words hit her Maude felt numb, she did not cry, or scream or wail, her baby sister was dead and he had found the news amusing and so she did not cry, or scream or wail she walked a few step ahead of him in the direction of the infirmary and then she stopped but not long enough for him to react. She bent quickly and retrieved one of the pick axes that they had been set to labour with that morning, when she saw the axe lying on the floor Maude new that it was simply meant to be.  Usually the days working tools had, at the end of zed day, been cleared and locked away to prevent such an event occurring but on that day, the day that her fiver year old sister had died and she had been violently raped, one pick axe had been over looked. She bent, scooped up the axe and quickly turned swinging the pick axe with all of the strength that she had in her body, She screamed every profanity she knew, a vocabulary which had doubled since she had been herded into the camp, as she sank the pick axe into the guards head, the guard who had laughed when he had heard that her sister was dead, the guard who had ravaged her. His skull rang with an audible crack as the iron sank into the soft matter of his pea sized brain, he did not make a sound but fell to the floor in a pile of fat and bone, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open in shock.
     This had been Maude’s third and final fatal action; the guard who had informed them that Lilly had passed away was right next to his friend and now fallen comrade and he too did not stop to grieve, to cry out or scream or wail, he simply pulled the thick bladed, heavy handled knife from his belt, he moved with stealth more than his size should have allowed and he sank the knife into Maude’s stomach. The angle caused the knife to pierce her heart and unlike the guard she had killed Maude had time to react,
“Thank you” she said and spat the blood that had settled on her tongue into his face. In response he twisted the knife and pulled it free from Maude’s body letting her fall to the floor. Before the darkness enveloped her Maude felt his hot breath on her face and though it smelt better the words that it carried were just as rotten,

“Now you can rot in a shit filled grave with your whore mother and you little whiny bitch sister” They were the last words Maude heard before she died.