A free story for you. You can't really complain can you?
Jason looked bored. He didn’t just look bored, he was bored. Bored of the tame and lame, bored of Becky being clothed, and bored of his condition being somewhere between slightly drunk and mildly stoned.
The evening was a fucking wash out.
John continued his boring, bullshit story about some fucking werewolf while Becky pushed herself further and further into his coat, invading his space, making matters worse. He was never in the mood to cuddle. He wanted to fuck or for her to get the fuck out of his space.
‘John? Shut the fuck up,’ Jason muttered loudly enough for everyone to hear but not loud enough to be considered a real challenge on John’s storytelling skills. It could have been passed off as a reaction to something terrifying he’d said.
Of course, it wasn’t.
John continued and Jason shifted in place, the log he was leaning against was biting into his back and Becky wasn’t helping with her constant, needy shifting.
‘Yo? John? Shut the fuck up,’ Jason was at the end of his patience. He had no time for this childish bullshit.
‘What? You got a better story Jas?’ John kicked a stray stick into the fire and sat back. He reached for a beer from the cool bag and tossed another one to his grumbling friend.
‘No,’ Jason replied, ‘but that doesn’t mean your lame-assed dogman crap was something I had to make time for.’ Becky shifted away from her muscular jock boyfriend, recognising the surly mood he was in and knew better than to challenge him. Jason wasn’t the nicest boyfriend when he’d had a few drinks.
‘Okay,’ Jason continued, ‘well this is a fine Halloween game to play. Let’s sit and listen to the woods and see who can stay quiet the longest while listening to the deadfalls creak.’ Jason looked around at the group of friends and knew he was impacting on the mood, turning it from a light-hearted night into an awkward silence. He didn’t care, he liked the power he had to crush conversation and he was well known for his ruthless need for dominance over his minions.
Being the quarterback of the football team gave him that kind of power.
They sat, Becky was pissed off that the story had ended but lit up when Liz passed her the joint. She sucked in the smoke and giggled. Suddenly she wasn’t giggling anymore but instead was sitting bolt upright, pointing out into the darkness, ‘There’s someone fucking out there!’
John stood up and looked into the woods, his nightvision shot to shit as he’d been staring at the fire. Jas was too cool to stand but instead mocked Becky and pulled faces at her. Searching the darkness John’s eyes adjusted and there, right there, in the woods, coming down the path was a torchlight.
‘Liz, hide the weed, some fuckers coming...’ John whispered over his shoulder as he watched the torchlight reach the turning on the path and then head towards them. Jason stood up and watched the path intently, ‘It’s probably Morris. I told him we’d be up here and he said his dad wanted him to clean out the garage. I figured the pussy was too scared for the woods but...’
Jason and John stared into the darkness and then both jumped as a jet black Labrador ran straight at them out of the darkness and started barking wildly. The two teenagers jumped backwards and drew closer to their fire while swearing at the dog.
Out of the darkness the figure carrying the torch stepped into the light and stood before the group of four kids. Their terror turned to relief and then minor panic as they recognised their history teacher; Ms Barnes.
‘Holy shit Ms Barnes, you scared John.’ Jason said loudly while still looking slightly nervously at the barking dog. Ms Barnes clicked her fingers and the dog stopped its noise and moved back to stay by her side.
‘Out here enjoying Halloween night kids?’ She asked and the teens still looked nervous, apprehension in the air. ‘Chill, I know you’re drinking and probably smoking out here, right? That’s what set Roger off, he knows when you’ve been on it, he can smell it like a fart in a car.’
Lucy and Becky exchanged glances and shook their heads. ‘We aren’t doing nothing like that Ms Barnes, we’re just having a quiet party.’
‘Relax, you’re kids, live a little, you think I give a shit if you teens are out here drinking till dawn, or until your boy gets the horn? It’s none of my business, and I have no intention of telling your folks. Live and let live, that’s what I say.’
Ms Barnes stepped further into the circle of light the fire cast. She was dressed in jeans and walking boots, a heavy jacket kept out the cold and her long dark hair was tied tight in a ponytail. She had a slender figure that grabbed the attention of many of her male students and colleges alike and her pretty, serious, face was framed by a light pair of glasses. The fires light flickered off the frames and glass as the teens stared at her.
‘Pretty late for you to be out walking Ms Barnes?’ John stepped to the side and offered her more space by the fire. She took another step forward and switched off her torch, placing it in her pocket before stepping even closer and warming her hands by the fire.
‘I like walking Roger in the evening, the nights have closed in quickly now but this is still his favourite place to come so I indulge him.’
Jason sat down next too Becky who was still trying to hide the join under her butt. Jason pulled the joint out and stuck it between his lips. Ms Barnes watched him light it and take a deep breath before she walked around and took it off him. Becky watched her, expecting the joint to go in the fire, but instead Ms Barnes took a long toke and held the smoke in. She let it escape from the sides of her mouth as she smiled.
‘I won’t tell on you, if you don’t tell on me.’
Ms Barnes laughed at the gathered seventeen year olds and their stunned faces. She imagined their faces could be contorted in even greater shock, but that wasn’t why she was there that night.
‘It’s very late Ms Barnes,’ Lucy said quickly, ‘Aren’t you worried, walking in the woods in the dark?’
‘No. I have my Barracuda .357 revolver on me. Anyone screws with me they get dead really very quickly, Lucy.’
Jason laughed. ‘What if you get jumped and they overpower your skinny ass?’
Ms Barnes looked Jason up and down and smiled. ‘Nothing sneaks up on me out here. I know these woods like the back of my hand.’
‘Can I see your piece?’ John extended his hand and smiled broadly at his history teacher. He couldn’t help but feel slightly embarrassed when she laughed at him.
‘Oh yes John! I’ll just hand over my gun to a male teenager in the middle of the darkened woods!’ She laughed at him and Jason joined her. He was struck by how cool this teacher was. How could he have found her so dull in classes, bar the times he was staring at her ass of course.
‘John’s been boring us with a shitty werewolf story. Bet you got a better one.’ He waggled his eyebrows at her but caught a darkening in her look. There was a shift in her attitude, one that confused him. That look reminded him of uncle Daryl who went quiet when he’d drunk more than a few beers. He’d be fine and then someone would say the wrong thing and suddenly he’d be quiet and you could feel the danger of riling him when that happened, Jas had learned to leave well alone.
Ms Barnes stood, dropped the joint and trod it into the dirt. ‘I best be going.’
‘Wait,’ Becky suddenly didn’t like the idea of being left out in the woods, she wanted to keep the teacher near them. Was she suddenly aware of the dark and the surroundings or was it the way Jason was shifting his feet as he sat on his ass, one of the many little signs he had that warned her of an unwanted or rough encounter with him.
‘Ms Barnes, you must of been around when them kids were killed in the woods years ago,’ Becky didn’t want to sound worried or desperate but she felt the continued presence of Ms Barnes was probably wise. ‘Jason said this is the spot where they died. That’s why we’re out here tonight.’
She watched the teacher look as though she was about to say something, but then thought better of it. She stared at them all and then laughed. At first it was a laugh that Becky found strange, almost intimidating, but Ms Barnes continued on and soon they were all chuckling together, surrounded by the dark and the woods as they creaked and breathed.
Ms Barnes walked across the clearing and sat down next to Becky, still chuckling. She snapped her fingers at Lucy and rubbed her right thumb and fore finger together, indicating that she wanted the pot. Lucy pulled the pack out and passed it to her and Ms Barnes continued to snigger quietly as Jason sat down on the other side of the clearing with John. He watched as this authority figure pulled out a pack of long rips from her pocket as well as a pouch of tobacco and another green pouch. She made a swift joint, first putting their grass in, then adding tobacco from her pouch and then she added more grass from her own private pouch.
Lucy watched her work. Ms Barnes saw her screwed up features and snorted slightly. ‘This is how they roll in England. They don’t smoke it straight. It means it goes further and you can control your high more accurately. Pot is harder to get there.’
‘How do you know that Ms?’ Lucy asked and felt immediately stupid when Ms Barnes looked at her irritably.
‘I studied there for years, how else do you think I know Dumbass? I thought you were the smart one out of this group.’ Ms Barnes replied sternly.
The teens looked at each other as she sparked the joint and took a deep puff. She held the smoke smiling.
‘Okay you fuckers,’ she said passing the joint to Becky as she started building another one instantly. ‘This is what you want right? The real Halloween experience? Sitting in the woods at...’ she checked her watch and then looked up,’ ten o clock on October the 31st. Dark surrounding you, the real feeling of fear? The genuine. Fucking. Article. That’s what you’re looking for, right?’
Jason laughed and shoved John so he shifted about in his place. ‘Listen to this dude! Teacher’s gonna scare us? What’s she going to do? Show us her aged pussy?’
John laughed more from shock than anything. Jason tried to gage Ms Barnes’s reaction but to his surprise he found her completely un-phased by his outrageous comment. She looked over at him and smiled.
‘What’s the matter Jason, you scared?’
‘Not by anything you could do, or say.’
Ms Barnes nodded. ‘Good,’ her reply was so assured, so confident that he felt slightly worried all of a sudden, as though she knew something about him and was about to tell everyone. Something he had kept secret. John passed him the joint and Jas took several puffs and felt himself become slightly fuzzier.
‘So, over twenty years ago there was this bunch of kids, and they decided to go up into the woods for Halloween,’ Ms Barnes passed Becky another joint and then started making another one straight away.
‘They were cocky fuckers that didn’t scare easy,’ she nodded over at Jason, ’especially the big fucker among them that happened to play for the local football team.’ Jason leaned forward and passed her the joint. She took it, took two puffs and passed it to Becky again.
‘Now there were seven of them; an ubber jock, his two best buddies, their girlfriends and one of the girls new friends. She wasn’t a cheer leader, just a normal, but she’d become close friends with the cheer leaders in the weeks running up to the trip and so she’d been invited along.’
Jason yawned pointedly, John passed him a joint and he took some more pot in his system.
‘They were telling stories in the woods, you know, to scare each other, when they hear something in the darkness,’ out in the woods a deadfall creaked and Ms Barnes nodded. ‘Something like that.’
‘Now they didn’t know but they were being watched, watched by someone who had planned to come up into the woods and kill himself some teens, and the teens he was watching had been drinking and they were pretty far gone... But then they realised they were farther gone than they’d meant to be, because they started passing out, one by one.’
Jason shifted nervously and looked at the others around him. He was feeling weird.
‘The teens passed out, just the jocks and the bitches, not the new girl, and when they woke up they couldn’t move, it was like they were paralyzed. See the new girl had slipped something in their beers, something she shouldn’t have, and so when they opened their eyes and found themselves to be all sitting around in a circle, they were scared.
They were scared and they couldn’t move and then one by one a figure moved behind them and pulled a plastic bag over their heads and started to choke them, nearly to the point of death, and then, just as their eyes were bulging... the bag would come off and they’d breath again.’
Becky pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. ‘This isn’t the way I heard the story, I heard they were all slashed and cut up and stuff.’
‘SHUT THE FUCK UP!’ Ms Barnes yelled at her and Becky and her friends jumped and cowered slightly. Jason tried to stand but he found he didn’t have the strength. He’d been hit hard by the drugs.
Ms Barnes puffed on her joint and when Jason tried to pass the joint he had in his hand to her she took it off him and passed it to Becky instead. Becky took it hesitantly and Ms Barnes watched her until she took a puff.
‘So, anyway, this guy goes around the group, bagging them repeatedly, at least three times each right? They are all exhausted and their senses are heightened and then he brings out a straight razor. He runs it across the cheek of the jock, and then his friends and then their girlfriends, and then he takes the jocks beautiful, perfect fucking girlfriend... And he cuts her nose off while she sits there sobbing, tears running into the gapping hole in her face. Then he goes to the Jock and she pulls out his cock, all limp in his hand and he cuts off his balls, and he stuffs them in this bitches nose hole.’
Lucy sobs and John tries to comfort her, but as he reaches out for her he can’t move his arms and he mumbles something at her.
‘Oh, don’t worry, that’s just the drug kicking in,’ Ms Barnes leaned forward and showed them her green pouch, opening it widely to show them it held two compartments inside.
‘I have the antidote in this joint I’m smoking, you guys don’t, just sit tight and let it happen... Shhhh. Just Listen.’ Ms Barnes sat back and hugged Becky, who was now crying silently. The teens arms flopped down by her sides and her legs slumped down in front of her. Ms Barnes sat back down and smiled at them all.
‘So anyway, he cuts off their noses and their fingers, their cocks and their toes. He pops some in the fire and then takes them out when they’re all burnt and pops them in each others mouths and they can feel most of it, slightly numbed but not enough to avoid all the discomfort, right? Then he sits back and their friend walks into the light, only she’s dressed differently. In another school uniform, one they all recognise.’
Ms Barnes shook her wrists out and moved her fingers in the air to get the blood moving through them. Then she rolled another joint. Silence consumed them as they all sat waiting for her continue, unable to escape, to turn, to hide from their predicament and run.
‘Turns out this school uniform is one they recognise really well, mainly because they, the hideous fucking monsters that they were, had picked up a girl the year before, walking home in another town and they’d taken her to the woods and attacked her.
These evil fuckers made her do anything and everything they wanted her too and the girls held her wrists and took pictures and laughed and she screamed in pain as they removed her dignity, her innocence and her future.
They were there for hours and then... when they were done... they hit her on the head with a rock and left her there, covered in blood and savaged by their hatred and cruelty and lust.
She died in those woods. She just didn’t know she was dead yet.
But she came to, and walked home, and hid.’
Ms Barnes smiled at them.
‘She was a completely different person by then though, of course she was, and she didn’t last long. Just weeks. She told her father what had happened and she told him what they looked like and then she committed suicide.
Her sister found her in the bath tub, her veins open, her skin as white as an office workers shirt, the water the colour of passion.’
Ms Barnes took a hit from her joint and breathed it out slowly.
‘Her dad and her sister knew which school these fuckers were from because they’d talked about it, and they knew their names and they knew which town they were from... and so they waited and they planned and they bided their time. Finally they found the right time and that’s when her sister approached the cheerleaders and gave them all the indications that she would go up into the woods with them, because they were cool.’
Ms Barnes laughed, ’Oh man, they weren’t so fucking cool with their toes in each other’s mouths.’
She laughed and then that laugh died in her throat and fell away as she looked out into the woods.
‘When the cops found the kids in the morning they were all dead. Slashed and choked and tortured, all sitting in a circle; like we are, looking at each other, all having watched the mutilation of their bodies.’
Jason felt his fingertips tingle, as though he could move them and so he did, just a tiny amount, just a touch. Ms Barnes sucked on her joint and then, very slowly she pulled out her gun and aimed it at Jason’s groin.
‘See, when the cops looked into the six kids they found they’d been drugged and attacked over a very long period of time and worked out that no-one does that kind of shit without reason, so they checked their DNA and guess what? Yeah, they found the kids were popping up all over the place, at crime scenes. Some of their DNA at at least ten rapes in the area.
It looked like they could sew up a huge amount of cases, but then the mayor stepped in, because, you see, the mayors son was the jock in question. So he told the cops to do the sensible thing and stop the investigation, so as not to upset anyone else.
So they buried it.’
Jason moved his hand this time. Ms Barnes sat forward and leaned across. She reached into her pouch and pulled out some more of her grass and pushed it into his mouth. He tried to move his head away but it didn’t work, he felt the effects of the drug strike almost immediately. Freezing his limbs once more.
‘Ah, poor Jason, this isn’t fair is it?’ She smiled at him, ‘Only it is. See I talked to Becky a while ago and she told me all about you. You and your dislike for the words ‘no’ or ‘stop’.’
Ms Barnes sat down next to Jason and put her arm around his shoulder and pressed her gun into his groin.
‘So I thought I’d come up here tonight, and see what we could do about that. And realistically I know there is only one thing to do; we have to remove you from the gene pool son... But don’t worry, You’re not going alone.’
She stood up and went to stand in front of John who was slumped against Lucy, both of them in tears.
‘John, John, John,’ she said clearly. ‘You and Lucy have been quite the evil little fuckers too haven’t you? What with you terrorising Mrs Goldsmith down on Main Avenue. Throwing crosses on her lawn and calling her a ‘Yid’? All because daddy is a nazi and he wants you to be too, right?
Oh, and Becky? I know about your on-line bullying. How you plagued Trish Williams till she killed herself?’
Ms Barnes turned and walked back to Becky and crouched behind her.
‘I know all about you evil little fuckers and your evil little fucking ways... And I know just how to stop you. ‘
Ms Barnes was clutching something in her hands now. Jason couldn’t quite see what it was, but then she brought it forward and over Becky’s head and he realised it was a clear plastic bag.
‘Don’t worry kids, this isn’t personal, so I won’t make it last,’ She put the gun back in her pocket and pulled the bag tight over Becky’s face, ‘It’s going to be quick for you.’
Jason watched as Ms Barnes squeezed the bag till it was choking her, but not completely. There was obviously some air coming in as Becky’s eyes were still moving, pleading for Jason to save her.
Ms Barnes moved around the group till all four of them were bagged. All four of them were choking, but still just able to cling on too life. Then she sat down by Becky and rolled another joint.
‘The truth is, all the bullshit monster stories, all the Vampires and Werewolves and burnt killers that attack you in your dreams? It’s all bullshit. The real monsters are lurking amongst us. They hold library cards and drink in our local bars and they vote. They shop and they watch trash tv and they wait, wait for the right time to let the monster out of the box.’
Ms Barnes eased the gun out of her pocket once more and pointed it at them one at a time.
‘You would all prefer a bullet rather than the bag and yet you have no empathy for any of your victims,’ she continued to point the pistol, each time aiming it at the horrified faces of her victims. ‘But the fact is if I let you go now, you’d say you’d be good... But you wouldn’t be. It’s in your blood. It’s in your shadow. It’s right in under your nails and the fact is that we, I classify myself as a monster as well, will never get it out.
But we can’t back out now... After all, you know what they say; ‘Spare the rod and ruin the child.’
Ms Barnes stood and tightened the ends of the bags, cutting off the precious air that had been keeping her audience alive. Their eyes twitched and stared until finally, they stopped, staring out sightlessly into the dark woods.
‘Rest easy though kids, I’ll keep going till they catch me,’ she smiled, picked up the joint butts and placed them in her pocket. ‘After all, this is the only time I really feel alive anymore.’
Ms Barnes stood, whistled for Roger to come back to her and then, as he burst through the darkness and into the circle of light, she continued on her walk through the woods.