Increasingly, the sounds – a stew of screams, screeching tyres, roaring engines and howls – had begun to drift up from the park to Horseshadow Hill, coaxing Victor Denton from his already fitful sleep. And that was usually that. Once awake he would just lay for hours in a wan state before dropping off moments before his alarm clock went off.

He’d phoned the police many times and complained about the noise and once or twice he’d even heard the whine of sirens or spotted flashing blue lights heading towards the park but a night or two later the noise would just  flare up again.
Almost imperceptibly, winter had crept up and smothered the days with darkness, flushing Victor’s memories – good, bad and, yes, ugly – to the forefront of his mind. Night after sleepless night his anger brewed and bubbled to boiling point.
The uniform was tighter than it had been but not much. Victor still kept himself in good condition. The part time job at the printers helped but perhaps it was genetic. Whatever, he was in much better condition than most sixty six year-olds that he knew. He pulled on his boots with a struggle, collected up his kit and headed off into the night.
There were about ten of them. Mostly male but a couple of females and a dog. Maybe a pit bull, thought Victor although he couldn’t be sure. He’s never been a big fan of dogs. Or cats for that matter. Or people.

The gangling rat-faced one with the acne-scarred face had a grin much wider than is vocabulary as Victor walked towards him but it disappeared quickly enough when the bullet pierced his Adam’s apple. The girl kneeling at his groin must have been in her teens and she shrieked as she was pebble dashed with blood. Victor shot her twice in the back of the head without a pause for doubt. He’d always been an equal opportunities killer.

The next few moments were a flash of fireworks and explosions. A couple of fat boys and a bottle blond twice their age managed to struggle into a jeep and start it up but Victor’s aim was as good as ever and it exploded like Vesuvius. Just like the old days, he thought.
Then there was silence except for his heartbeat. And a snarling sound. Victor turned saw the dog ready to pounce. As he went for his revolver the dog was on him, knocking him to the ground.

With two shots it was over and Victor was sprayed with blood. Panting he struggled to move the canine corpse and blinked as as a hand grenade rolled onto the ground. And then he looked into dogs mouth with the grenade’s pin attached to one of its incisors.
The hospital room was antiseptic and depressing as hospitals tended to be but Victor couldn’t complain. He couldn’t do much since the night in the park. He was like an insect trapped in amber. He couldn’t move. But his brain still functioned.

He’s a vegetable, he’d heard one of the nurses say. Look’s more like a mashed-up kebab, another had replied. Then they cackled and switched on the radio. It was going to be another long night.

The end


Paul D. Brazill was born in Hartlepool, England and lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He has had stories in A Twist Of Noir, Powder Burn Flash, Thrillers Killers n Chillers, Beat To A Pulp, and other such classy joints. He can be found stalking ‘you would say that, wouldn’t you?’

16 responses

27 11 2009
Paul D. Brazill

Thanks for posting this. Classy looking joint.

27 11 2009
Frank Bill

Nice one Paul.

27 11 2009
michael j. solender

dark, dank, delicious!

27 11 2009
David Barber

Nice piece, as usual, Paul.

27 11 2009
Alan Griffiths

Nice one Mr Brazill. Full of great lines, as usual.

27 11 2009
Jodi MacArthur

Chilling story, Mr. Brazill.

‘a stew of screams’ is such a great line

27 11 2009
Laura Eno

That didn’t quite work out as planned. Great one, Paul!

27 11 2009
Marisa Birns

“a grin much wider than his vocabulary.”

Very good. Darkly good.

27 11 2009
Carrie Cleaver

Curious as to where the hand grenade came from. I like the feel of this short. Nice dark, and foggy. Like I need a password. 😉

28 11 2009

Wow. Very disturbing. Well written.

28 11 2009

Delightfully sinister, Paul. Superb, as usual!

28 11 2009

Nice one, kidder. Glad to have you aboard.

30 11 2009
Paul D. Brazill

Thanks to everyone for popping over and taking a peek. Ta to Fran and Steve for letting me sleep on their sofa.

30 11 2009

Great stuff, Paul. Thrilled to feature your work here. 🙂

27 02 2010
Jason Michel

Paul D Barnum, I mean Brazill!, always delights his readers with a twist in the tale. A Noir Roald Dahl!

18 04 2010

Another Beauty Paul!

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