Monday, October 22, 2018

ETHRICK BROWN'S NOVELS

imagination is sparked by an Ethrick Brown Novel. Book with images exploding from it

Read Scottish thrillers with great plots and laugh out loud humour

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The prompt this week was "She heard footsteps".  I was bouyed up regarding some positive discusion about my anti-hero character from a couple of weeks ago so I thought I'd try a bit more work on him.

 First Steps

I hoped that at the very least she heard the footsteps but she claimed to have seen nothing. How? It was like a war zone. Blood, snot and screaming bodies were everywhere. The venomous noise which had cut through the clear, crisp, damp, night air shattered what had been a quiet echo chamber of nature’s murmurs. Of course, nature’s murmurs were slightly different here. Nature could be brutal. Behind every twitter or tweet there was a predator waiting to pounce. From micro-organisms, through insects and up to the large carnivorous beasts everything was part of the food chain and nothing was safe. Death came in many ways and few were clean. From poisoned and cocooned to keep you fresh, to torn limb from limb for a quick meal, nature was horrific but that was the animal kingdom. Here, most of God’s creatures kept quiet because they were no match for the brutality of man.

In this domain, there were many predators and every one was looking for weaker prey. Social injustice had created the lowest of the low but even here in the cesspit of humanity there was still a pecking order. There was still a food chain and everyone was hunting to stave of the inevitability of becoming one of the hapless hunted.

The still air had been quiet. It was a clear, frosty, fresh night where the slightest noise could have been heard for miles. The view illuminated by what street lights still functioned and the bright full moon was unhindered except from the clouds of cigarette smoke and frozen breath which emanated from the windae watchers and close dwellers who were taking advantage of the pleasant night air. Eyes were everywhere but they were the eyes of the blind. Ears listened to the crisp, sharp sounds which carried across the night but those ears were deaf. Their mouths would chatter to each other incessantly about the events of the evening but they would say nothing. It was the evolution of survival. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil in an evil world of dog eat dog where the pack turned on anyone who dared to break their rules. Most of the pack hated their existence but the only choices they had were to run with the hounds or get turned on by them. In private they would complain but in public they were part of the pack and they had to defend it or suffer at the teeth of the more influential dogs.

I had to be stealthy but I needed to ensure that everyone would hear, see and speak of me. It was all part of the plan if I was going to eliminate the top dogs. The mongrels were all gathered in their usual spot. Their territory was clearly marked and they expected only their own or their prey to enter. The end close was where they gathered for their nightly sessions of debauchery and business. The residents of the tenement became prisoners in their own home because they were weak omega trash banished to the side lines by the alpha and beta dogs who fought to retain their places among the pack and delay their decline into omega obscurity. In the end, they believed, there was no escape from the misery of pack life but the desire to hang on to some sort of status was a strong driving force which brought out the absolute worst of humanity and put it up there amongst the most brutal of nature’s creatures.

I could hear the laughing and sneering. The alpha dog was holding court and some bitch was providing his amusement. The beta dogs stood guard and monitored the dichotomous trade of misery and pleasure which provided the blurification of life’s highs and lows in tablet, powder or liquid form which for many provided the only escape from the harsh reality of their existence. That was how they gained their status and power and that was what I wanted. I had to eliminate the alpha dog and destroy his grip on the pack but I needed his drugs to do that. Whilst he was strong, the pack would never turn on him so I would have to be seen to remove him and his beta dogs if I wanted to reduce his grip on the rest of the pack.

The still air had suddenly been disturbed by the howl of sirens and the sky had been illuminated with streaks of red and blue light as the pack sensed danger and the fight or flight response had gripped them. The flight had been instinctive and the fight had been brutal. Blood, teeth and snot were splattered amongst the glue filled crisp pokes, discarded needles and used condoms which lay on the urine stained, cracked, grey, manky, concrete floor of the graffiti defaced close which smelled of human waste. It had been the impregnable den of the local young team but they had fallen for my rouse and fled into my trap. The beta dogs had been felled as I emerged from my hiding spot strategically placed on their expected escape path. They couldn’t pass as I delivered quick, sharp, brutal blows which caught them by surprise, dislodged some teeth and threw the rest of the mutts back into confusion and into the hands of my approaching gang. The Alpha dog had put up a courageous fight to regain his status amongst his bitches who scratched and bit at their assailants but there was only ever going to be one winner when a more organised, stronger pack was motivated to evict them from their den.

It hadn’t been pretty but it had been effective and I now had the drugs that had provided the status, meaning and power which had kept the pack leaders at the top of their food chain. I hoped that this currency would now provide the impetus to ensure the deposed alpha dog was put down. My short brutal footsteps as I emerged from the darkness and struck out with my baton to clear the previously impregnable den were taken to give hope to the omega population who had suffered under the feral pack mentality. They had been heard by many but the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil culture would still prevail. To win the hearts and minds of a subjugated population it was necessary to show the fight could be won. As brutal as it was it was hopefully the first steps to bringing the residents on board in the war against drugs. I knew as I tried to canvas witnesses I was wasting my time. The curler filled, hairnet screened by cigarette smoke peering through the door crack had wanted nothing to do with the police. That was understandable but I hoped she had heard the first footsteps that would herald a new era where the residents would open their eyes and speak up to protect themselves and harness the change they all desired.

Until then I would have to maintain my status as Alpha dog so those first brutal footsteps wouldn’t be wasted.