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Wicked (standard:drama, 3362 words)
Author: Jamie CameronAdded: Feb 25 2001Views/Reads: 2523/1385Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A youngster begins to discover the nature of wickedness when he slaps his sister and his grandmother. He is then punished by his mother, takes his revenge on his sister, and discovers that wickedness and sin are real.
 



WICKED 

Paul plays with the image of his sister's doll. It is difficult to
remember what Bessie looked like before he sacrificed her to the darker 
gods of his temper. He remembers how the red hot poker seared the thick 
plastic making scars across her cheeks and forehead. Paul had taken his 
inspiration from a drawing in the Wizard; he prefers the Wizard to 
illustrated comics like The Dandy and The Beano; he has always 
considered them juvenile. 

At six years old he had insisted his mother read him the stories from
the Hotspur and the Wizard; he sat on the rug in front of the fire, 
back ensconced between her legs, head laid back on her pinafored lap, 
and he listened, o, how the boy listened, the words flickering as 
brightly as the flames dancing in the glowing coals. 

At seven he read the stories for himself. He read the Hotspur and the
Wizard, and the Courier and the Evening Telegraph, the Sunday Post and 
the People's Friend. He read anything and everything that came into the 
house. He rummaged in dustbins, not for 'luckies', the odds and ends of 
people's lives, but for something, anything to read. His mother had 
come across him up-ended in a dustbin, rummaging. She'd tipped his legs 
so that he fell headfirst into the bin, then jammed on the lid. He'd 
howled not through fear but in protest at the stinking dark that did 
not allow him to read the Woman's Weekly he'd retrieved. 

He broke into his mother's private blackbox, hidden in the wardrobe, and
read every letter his father had written his mother. Much of it he did 
not understand, the fractured English was littered with French words. 
Some of  it embarrassed him: your legs entwined with mine... why would 
his father wrestle with his mother? In the nursery he'd devoured the 
picture books, vaguely irked by  the pictures of spotless boys and 
girls and their spotty dog Spot and their make-believe house with its 
immaculate garden, dancing daffodils, and their shiny mother and their 
beaming father and his stupid car. 

Nobody he knew lived like that; they had to be English, and his granddad
had told him all about the English. But the letters, the words had 
fascinated him. The colour and shape of each letter and word enthralled 
him. He ran his pinkie around each letter as he murmured its sound, and 
when he was sure no nurse was looking he'd run the pink tip of his pink 
tongue around each letter, and given each word its own little kiss. 
Even then Paul knew he was daft. 

It was his turn to set and light the fire. He knew that. And he was
going to set and light it. But he had to finish the Wizard first, not 
the whole comic, just Morgan the Mighty. It was the final episode of a 
six-week serialisation. Morgan, mighty jungle man that he was, had 
decided discretion was the better part of valour. Paul understood and 
accepted that. He knew brawn was all very well, but faced with a pack 
of heathen, yelling savages and a large, black cooking pot, temporary 
retreat made sense. There was a half-page illustration, unusual in a 
comic noted for its tiny typeface and dense text. Each feral face was 
hideously scarred, ran the text, and a glance at the line-drawing 
indicated that was an understatement. Paul lay on the settee and 
shivered in delight, restraining himself from inhaling the text in 
chunky gulps. 

"You'd better set the fire." 

"You set it. Eh'm reading'." 

"I'm not allowed to. I'm only seven." 

"It's no cauld." 

"It's freezing." 

"Shut up. Eh'm readin'." 

There was something about Kathleen's voice that infuriated Paul. At
times she sounded like a miniature version of mum; at times she sounded 
like the little girl in those 'See Spot Run' picture books she adored. 
Not that he'd ever heard the spotless one speak, but he knew perfectly 
well what she would sound like if she did. A wee bampot. With ideas 


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