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Chapter 25: Berserker

April 29, 2013

Fred craned his neck. They were all looking up, looking for Fatima in the bright fog.
The crazy woman had gone toe to toe with like a supernatural life-force or something. It had swallowed her up.

Then there had been that eerie singing, high-pitched, went right through you.
And then the shape of her, like a ghost to begin with but getting solid.

“Quick! Everybody grab her! We’ve got to get her out of it!”
Ian had jumped to his feet and Fred followed suit. They all got hold of whatever they could reach and pulled her down. Pulled her back out of it.

“Helen!” she was shouting. “Helen!”
And she was clutching at something. But there was nothing. Clutching at mist.

“We’ve got you,” said Ian. “You’re alright.”
“We’ve got you,” echoed Lena.
“Helen!” she cried out.

“Helen’s not here,” said Lena.
Ian helped her to sit up.
“She’s not here.”
“I had her…”

She looked dazed. A right old state. Fred felt sorry for her. She was just some old lady. Batty, mind. Mad as a box of frogs.
“I had her right in my arms,” she said.
“No,” said Lena. “There was nobody. No Helen.”

She took some deep breaths. “Then it’s not real.” This time she sounded calmer, saner.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s not real. It takes your fears, and it – does something to you. But it’s not real.”
“It feels pretty damn realistic to me.”

Not to Fred. He was scared alright, but it was nightmare-scared. Zombie-scared.

“I vote we do something to it,” said Pip.
“Seconded.” That was Karen.
She was a bit bonkers and all, that one. Feisty.
“OK, but what?”

The light-monster-thing was hovering, high up out of reach. It was kittenish. Playing. Bloody thing seemed to have an unhealthy liking for cat-shapes.
There was still enough light to see by, a little.
Karen was fumbling with something.

“It’s not real?” said Hazel.
“All lies.”
“Christ.” Hazel panted, once or twice, like when you’re choking something back. I reckon she gave up trying to keep it back because the next thing she said was: “I vote we nuke the bastard.”

Karen was standing back up now. She was holding something above her head. What? Was she going to nuke it with a bobble hat?

“Look here, you bastard,” she shouted. “I spent weeks figuring out this pattern. Weeks. But you’re not bloody real, so watch this you tosser.”
Very deliberately, she pulled out the needles. She threw the knitting down and held the needles up like swords. “See? See this? I’m not scared of you.”

The kitten-blob was still. Fred thought maybe it dropped down a bit closer. He got ready to grab Karen if it went for her. Feisty? Psycho, more like.

“Look at this one, you bastard. Look!” She was holding something else up now. “Lace weight. Mohair. Double pointed needles. Two millimetres. Feathers and fans. How long do you reckon this one took, eh? You can’t even imagine the hours and hours. Watch this you bloody little sod.”

She pulled out the needles. Fred wasn’t even sure how many – lots – he didn’t think you needed more than two. That’s what his mum used, anyway. She dropped the knitting on the ground and brandished all her needles, gleaming like steel. She was shaking.
“I’m not scared of you, you shit! You’re not even real.”

She handed the little needles to Falcon. “Watch what I do,” she said. Gave another couple to Fred.

“Come on then, if you think you’re hard enough,” she screamed up at the kitten-thing. If he hadn’t been so shocked it would have been funny. He’d have pissed his bags laughing. If it hadn’t been so frightening.

It descended. Slowly.

“Not fast enough, you bastard!” screamed Karen.  She took one stride over to the nearest wall and began to stab it with her needles. “Take this and stick it up your arse!” Stab, stab.

Falcon, face lit up like a Halloween mask, watched. The light began to come down faster.
“Come on kids, give it your best,” said Karen. “Show it you’re not afraid.”

Falcon raised a needle and bashed it awkwardly into the fleshy, waxen walls. Fred wasn’t going to join in. He wasn’t. It was bloody mental. But then he was next to Falcon and they were both hammering the needles into the walls. He imagined they were made of cheese. Edam bloody cheese.

“All the walls! You too Pip! Stab wherever you can reach!”

None of them could match Karen’s frenzy. She’d gone demented.

The kitten-monster screamed down to them and Fred could hear it wailing. Caterwauling.
Then he was inside it and all was noise and painful light.

“Yes!” said Karen. “We’re hurting it!”
She turned to the fourth wall – raised her needle – and then…

…And then she woke up.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 29, 2013 10:14 pm

    Wordcount 819.

    I’m beyond prompting now.
    I’m ad-libbing to hell in a handcart.

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