This is the third time you have been sent to my office this week, Miss Campbell,” said the head mistress – a grey haired old crone with a chin so pointed it could cut ice.
She wasn’t wrong though. It was the third time that week I had been in her office.
“Martin Burrows stole my glasses,” I explained. “I told him to leave me alone.”
“You cut him pretty deeply,” the headmistress scorned.
When I dragged the knife across his arm I must have hit an artery because there was a fountain of blood.
“Where did you get the knife?”
“The cafeteria. I was cutting my meat and he attacked me,” said I.
The head mistress surveyed me. I don’t know how much of my story she believed, if any. It was lucky for me though that I wasn’t the only one to complain about Martin lately.
“I’ve been trying to contact your parents but there has been no answer.”
My parents weren’t speaking much to anyone lately. Not they way I had left them.
“They’ve been busy,” I told the teacher.
The head mistress sighed.
“You are a bright girl, Tracey. Perhaps a little too bright sometimes. You have ambition and if you focus on that you will achieve great things.” She paused for a moment and looked down at her desk. “After the incident with Martin his mother may wish to get the police involved.”
That was fine by me. I expected that anyway. Who are they likely to believe anyway? That cheeky no user who gave the teachers nothing but grief or the little girl in pigtails and spectacles who aced most of her classes, kept herself to herself and did charity work. The head mistress was right about another thing. I did have ambition. I had ambition by the bucket loads. One day I would be a doctor and nothing was going to stand in the way of that. Not even bullies like Martin with his nasty, sneering face. I would open his throat before I allowed that to happen. My parents could attest to that.
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For more of Tracey’s murderous adventures check out the Confessions of an Anatomist short story as part of the Myths and Tales collection!
September 14, 2017 | Categories: My Silly Little Confessions, Thrill Reads | Tags: author, confessions, confessions of an anatomist, humour, murder, My Silly Little Confessions, Myths and Tales, thriller, tracey campbell, vivika widow | Leave a comment
‘We weren’t like that’ is something I’m sure every generation grumbles about the one coming after them. I hear my fellow generation Xers despair about the millennials and how disconnected they are from the world. If it is true what we read we can assume them to be whiny, incapable of looking after themselves and completely unprepared for the harsh realities of life. If could be just that I’m on the wrong side of thirty and my fellows like to have something to moan about. The fashions, the television shows and the obsession with Ed Sheeran (as good a musician as I’m sure he is) are all strange to the genX. Then again, the Spice Girls, gladiators and skousers (skirt trousers) certainly raised a few eyebrows in the 90s and early noughties so who are we to judge?
Is it just a generational thing or is there a lack of understanding in the millennials? I don’t think so.
The millennials get a lot of stick in the media but I for one can see the amazing changes they are bringing to the world. My eldest niece (a millennial) defies what the media has to say about her generation. She is a confident, well educated and independent young woman who has just started her own business and is thriving. Like many of her peers she is ready to take the world on.
Despite the man buns and snap chat second life our millennials are up and coming and sure to do great things for our world. They will always fight for social justice. They work hard despite educations costs rising and getting on the property ladder is more difficult. So to you millennials, your ways seem strange to us but you will change the world for the better. Your contributions are invaluable.
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Granny was one hundred and four years old. She wasn’t actually my gran. She was my mother’s, mother’s mother and Granny agreed that that made her pretty great.
“I’ll live forever!” she quipped on her ninety eight birthday. When she reached one hundred and two people started to agree with her.
When she turned one hundred and four she thought enough was enough. It was high time she had a funeral.
“Give me my favourite blanket though. It will get cold in the winter.”
We all thought Granny was crazy but she insisted. When this particular matriarch had made up her mind there was simply no changing it.
It wasn’t the most orthodox of ceremonies. Granny waved from her casket with a great big smile on her face.
“Granny, you aren’t going to have them screw that casket down are you?” I had pleaded before hand.
“Now that wouldn’t make much sense now would it?” she returned with a wry smile. “How am I supposed to get up and walk about? An eternity locked down would get a little tedious.”
And so the funeral service went ahead. No one shed tears. It wasn’t what Granny wanted. Truthfully, I don’t think people quite knew how to feel, especially when Granny climbed from her casket to give a few words on her own behalf.
At ninety eight she had claimed she would live forever. She is now one hundred and twenty four and still going strong. She will fight for her rights as an otherwise deceased. She had a nice funeral and she chose a beautiful spot for her final resting place where I can visit her anytime I please. She still gives me tea and biscuits.
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These days we have so much at our hands.
We even have devices that make all of our plans.
We live in a world of electronic coffee pots,
video chatting doodaas and face calling what nots.
On the computer, information at your fingertips,
paying your bills and giving weight loss tips.
But what happens when the technology doesn’t play nice?
Your old friend ‘the freezer’ could just as easily make ice.
When the computer fails, cutting you from the rest of us,
and you actually have to go to the station to book a train or bus,
remember there was a time before social media,
when libraries held more than the wikipedia.
When the intel powered lap top is smashed on the floor,
and the smart phone has been launched out of the door,
when none of the devices talk to you in the kitchen,
when an urgent message is needed – you can always send a pigeon.
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Click HERE to read Vivika Widow’s Myths and Tales
I was just a little kid when I first realised I had the power to bring things back from the dead. It’s not a skill that I would put on a job application or anything but it is definitely something not many people can do.
My beloved gerbil, Flower Pot, died and like most kids losing a pet I was distraught.
“We’ll put him in a nice box and bury him,” mum had said softly.
“Just put him in the bin.” My elder brother was not so sensitive.
I hadn’t been able to bring myself to move Flower Pot. When he started to stink we all agreed the time had come.
I lifted Flower Pot from his cage.
“He was a good gerbil,” I muttered ceremoniously. Then I felt his little foot twitch.
“Don’t be silly,” said dad. “That gerbil is long gone.”
I was almost at the point of agreeing when Flower Pot twitched again. I almost dropped him when he flicked his little ears, opened his beady eyes and turned over.
“He’s alive! He’s alive!”
Mum, dad and my brother all shared a shocked expression that could only have been heightened if it had been me who had come back from the dead.
I grinned. My pet was safe and sound. His furry little body was warm again. He gave a squeak. I gushed. Then he sank his teeth into my finger. I had to shake him off. It took dad and my brother’s strength combined to pull the blood thirsty rodent from me. Flower Pot fell to the ground. He ran across the room. In the commotion the chair was knocked over, landing on the gerbil. Flower Pot still ended up in a box in the yard that day.
When word got out that I could bring pets back to life I was inundated with requests. I tried to explain that Fluffy and Snowball wouldn’t be the same but people were so attached to their animals who was I to stop them?
When Mrs Albot at number twenty four asked me to bring back her boa constrictor George, I had to call it quits. There was already a monster rabbit terrorising the local kids and a vicious goldfish in the pond in the park. We really didn’t need a 7ft reptile with a taste for flesh slithering around.
I hung up my walking dead pet business and life carried on as normal. That was until I met Harry.
Walking home, clutching the straps of my backpack and whistling to myself I passed the church. There was a teenaged boy sat on the steps. He was weeping behind a mop of black hair. His arms were tucked inside the sleeves of his hooded jacket.
“Are you okay?” I asked. I loathed to see a stranger in trouble.
He looked up at me teary eyed. His eye liner had smudged.
“It’s my girlfriend Zoe. She’s gone!”
He removed a photograph from his pocket. It was of a girl who would have been very pretty if it weren’t for the black curtains of hair almost concealing her entire face. Two blackened eyes peered out and black painted lips pouted.
“She was so young. There was so much ahead of her.”
I felt sorry for him. My aunt said my ability was a gift. I wasn’t so sure. She hadn’t seen Flower Pot almost rip my finger off. Then again, I hadn’t tried it on humans before. Maybe this time it would be different.
The boy led me to the open casket that Zoe lay in. She looked peaceful. Her face was as pale as it always had been. She wore her signature black. Judging by the photo the girl had been preparing for her funeral her entire life.
I touched her forehead. Harry gave a gasp that echoed through the church as her eyes opened. She sat up like a villain in a vampire movie. Zoe reached her hands out and Harry helped her out of her satin bed.
It was quite a romantic scene really until she lunged forward and tried to chow down on his neck.
“Yeah, she may get a little bitey,” I warned.
“Are you feeling okay?” he asked her.
“Urrggh,” she replied.
Harry turned to me. “What is wrong with her?”
“Considering she was dead not a few moments ago I think she looks great,”
“Urrrrgghh!” she agreed.
“She won’t make much of a conversationalist and you will have to stop her biting people, but all in all you have her back. She looks zombielicious!”
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After finding our home ransacked, Theresa decided to stay with her mother. She begged me to join her but I remained behind alone. In desperate times, my new job at the newspaper was important. It was a restless night. I watched the quiet streets from my window until my eyes burned. After falling asleep on the sofa for a few hours I left to meet Madeline for breakfast at the local diner. She was waiting for me at a table at the ffarthest end, a coffee in hand a poor excuse for a plate of eggs and bacon in front of her.
“Are you okay?” she asked as I sat at the booth bench across from her. She hadn’t seen me since the house breaking. She was filled with genuine concern. She had actually spent an hour on the telephone with Theresa the night before, calling from her mother’s.
The décor of the diner was a mix of bright red and clinical white. It was harsh on my tired eyes.
“I’m fine,” I said, probably unconvincingly. “I don’t think they will be back.”
Madeline shook her head sympathetically. A large middle aged, grey haired waitress with thick rimmed spectacles approached. “Just some coffee please,” I told her. She grunted and disappeared back to the kitchen.
“She’s a charmer,” I commented.
“Are you sure you are okay?” Madeline asked again.
“I told you I’m fine,” I insisted. “These kind of things happen all the time these days.”
“Nothing was stolen though. If it was a robbery surely they would have taken something. Theresa told me about your visit to the ‘Knock, Knock’ club. You were threatened!”
“It was just a bunch of crazies. The girl I spoke to seemed to think she knew who my grandfather was.”
“You should be careful Sam,” Madeline warned.
“Do you know the club?”
“I’ve been there once or twice,” she stated. “Its a strange place I was trying to get a story on it but the manager would give me nothing.”
“Well my mother left my father when I was small so I have no idea what he could have gotten involved in but now that I know Theresa is safe I’m going to have a talk with the performer, Tabitha. Maybe I will get you your story after all.”
“Don’t do anything stupid Sam.”
As if I would…
That evening I returned to the ‘Knock, Knock’ club. Perhaps my journalistic instinct was getting the better of me or perhaps I wanted to avoid the confinement of my empty home. Either way, there I was knocking on the door as suggested. The man who had greeted Theresa and I on our first visit was at the door again.
“Table for one?” he asked with an ironic smile. “Sometimes it is more hassle than its worth to bring the missus isn’t it?”
“I’m not staying,” I explained to him. “I just want to speak to Tabitha.”
“I shouldn’t let you in at all after the stunt you pulled the other night. Didn’t your mother teach you that it is rude to barge your way into a ladies dressing room? Luckily for you I hate to lose a customer and T isn’t here tonight.” I made to walk away but the man pulled me back. His long fingers wrapped around my forearm. “I’m Dennis. I manage the club. Perhaps I can help.”
I pulled my arm free. “No you can’t.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure. You are Samuel Crusow, right?”
I blurted, “Why does everyone keep saying that like it is something sinister? What is all this nonsense about? You people – whoever you are – have been the bane of my life for the past few days. My wife won’t come home because she is so terrified. Is this about the mayor?”
Dennis raised his dark eyebrows. “The mayor? This is nothing to do with him. It is all about you. Let’s not stand here in the cold discussing it. Come inside.”
I followed Dennis across the club. His lean frame was much taller than mine. He strode confidently with long legs. A girl stopped him. She was dressed in a sequinned leotard. She had a large black bow in her blonde hair. Her face was so thick with make up it almost looked like a mud mask.
“Why can’t I have the headline spot? I am so much better than Meldra is,” she whined.
Dennis shook her off. “Not now Bette. Can’t you see I’m busy?”
Bette was relentless. She continued to follow him, pleading her case. “You are showing clear favouritism to that no talent whore!”
Finally, Dennis stopped. He gripped both of her shoulders. He was clearly frustrated but he still spoke with a calm tone. “Listen kid, why don’t you and Meldra fight it out back stage. I will even throw in some knives and you can tear at each other’s throats. Whoever wins can replace T until she returns. It will give me one less whining woman to worry about.”
The girl huffed and pursed her lips severely before marching backstage. Dennis showed me to an office where he gestured for me to take a seat.
“It would be dangerous to tell you everything now. Besides, T knows more than I do,” Dennis began, pouring himself a glass of whiskey from the bottle that had been left on the table. “Your grandfather, Samuel Crusow Sr, was the founder of a group of elite members of society. It began just after the last great depression. It was a way of preserving certain statuses so that the members wouldn’t have to suffer the indignity of poverty.”
“I never really knew my grandfather why should I care about any of this?” I asked.
Dennis swallowed the whiskey. “Because, Samuel is no longer with us which makes you the next to take his spot in the club.”
“So I get a birthday card, the odd invitation to a game of golf, that sort of thing?”
Dennis laughed. “Not quite.”
“Well if that’s the case then I’m really not interested,” I stated quite conclusively.
“Don’t let the ‘Knock, Knock’ club fool you. I mean I love the old girl like my own but she is an ugly old hag. Our base may not be much to look at but the power of this group stretches far and wide.”
“So what is this group about then?”
“We do whatever it takes to survive,” said Dennis matter of factly. “What we need is granted to us. We have the right to survive, even in such troubled times as these.”
“And what exactly do you want from me?”
“It would be good to have a namesake to take over from where Samuel left off but I will leave that decision up to you. Don’t let the desperation outside take hold of you. There is something here much greater than any of us and it can be yours if only you were to take it.”
“So you are a cult?”
Dennis shrugged his shoulders, unmoved by the term. “Call it what you want but don’t dismiss it until you have seen what we are capable of, what we are willing to do …”
In my head the voices were screaming ‘nutbag!’ but my hands were shaking. My arms were trembling.
The ‘Knock, Knock’ club was a front for the mysterious group. They held meetings at the club and I was invited to the next one. This was going to make one hell of a story.
That night I climbed into bed. My head was conjuring thousands of different ideas of what could possibly be involved at the ‘Knock, Knock’ club. I drifted off to sleep just after midnight because I heard the town clock chime faintly in the distance and before the twelfth stroke I had fallen into a deep sleep.
The next morning I awoke refreshed. Slowly I came back from the land of nod into the land of reality. The questions that plaque us every morning queued up like always. ‘Where am I? What has happened?’ I realised quickly that I was at home. The sun was streaming through the window. It was later than I would have liked to rise. As I turned I felt a heavy object beside me. The haze in my eyes cleared. I saw the wisps of my wife’s hair streaming out from underneath the wine coloured duvet. My initial thought was that she must have arrived home late and didn’t wish to disturb me. I peeled the sheets back. The bed was heavily stained with blood. Theresa stared up at me with vacant eyes. Her pretty and pleasant face that never had a sneer for anyone had been completely mutilated. Her throat had been cut and her mouth gaped open as though she was still trying to hold on to her last breath.
The police were alerted. I was arrested on suspicion of my wife’s murder. My visits to the ‘Knock, Knock’ club were not to be taken lightly. It was only going to get worse…
Enjoy this?Subscribe to this page for more episodes from the Knock, Knock blog series.Episode 4: MURDER 1 will be available exclusively on vivikawidow.com 6pm (UK time) 16th April.Read the story from the beginning!EPISODE 1: WELCOME TO THE CLUBEPISODE 2: DON’T COME A KNOCKIN’
March 26, 2017 | Categories: Knock, Knock, Knock, Knock EP 3: Sleep Tight Sam | Tags: author, blog series, books, episodes, general, humour, inspiration, Knock, Knock, thriller, vivika widow | 14 Comments
My friends and family tell me I’m a clumsy girl.
“Who me?” I reply. “Surely not.”
After today I don’t think I can deny it.
I have a bucket where all my spare change goes. I decided that today would be the day I would take it and deposit it in the bank. I take my coins to the machine, drop them all in and enjoy the rattling sound as they tumble down into places unknown.
“That machine is only for notes!” called the bank teller.
A group of disgruntled patrons behind me groan as the machine is put out of service whilst my coins are pulled out.
You might think that is enough to be considered clumsy but unfortunately for me it didn’t end there.
Most weekday afternoons I spend an hour at the local swimming pool. After walking away red faced from the bank I felt I had to cool off.
All geared up with goggles, swim cap – the whole works – I’m ready. Leap, splash, swim. I’m tearing through the water like an Olympian. (That’s at least what I like to think). I’m concentrating hard on speed, agility… WHAM! I crash head first into an elderly gentleman practising the back stroke. OUCH.
Apologies shared. No harm done but I decide to leave the pool before I pose more threat to myself or others.
Clumsy yes. A little dangerous? Most likely.
I’ll grab a quick lunch. There can be no harm in that right? Wrong!
I have recently become addicted to cheese and pickle sandwiches. My eyes become bulbous when I notice there is only one left. Like Gollum with his precious jewellery I snatch it up.
I find a table in a corner where I can contemplate the day, reply to emails and do all the usual things adulting involves. I take one bite into my sandwich. An eruption of pickle scoots across the table almost hitting the nice lady across from me and the cover of the miraculously clean book she is reading.
“I’ll get you some napkins,” the polite barista offers.
I think a full bib would be more appropriate with this mess. I can’t stop now. I purchased the sandwich. It would almost be a crime not to eat it. A lunch time later and I am covered in so many pickle stains I look like I’m wearing leopard print.
So with a lump on my head, stained clothes and a ban from my local bank for wrecking the machine I think it’s best to head homewards. That would be a great idea, If only I could find my bus pass…
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