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|Wicked (standard:drama, 3362 words)|
|Author: Jamie Cameron||Added: Feb 25 2001||Views/Reads: 2625/1472||Story 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 Click here to read the rest of this story (358 more lines)
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