A Present Day Fairy Tale of Terror for New Years Day 2019
by Russell Liney.
I rarely use the C word. Only under exceptional circumstances, and my stepmother is the exception here. Where she’s concerned, any number of C words are appropriate; many of which, I have used with regularity … and she’s deserving of them, believe me!
Credible, calculatingly cruel cow, springs to mind. Crooked: crafty: criminally crazy capitalist: and yes … she’s a complete cunt!
After my father’s untimely death, in what I considered to be suspicious circumstances, she became one of the most powerful business women in Europe: the acting head of the multi-billion euro chocolate empire which my great, great, great, grandfather founded in a small shop in Munich in the early 1800s. Until I come of age and inherit the business as the legal heir, the family fortune is currently in the hands of the greediest, most self-centred, untrustworthy, dangerous bitch, that ever walked the Bavarian landscape.
I’ve no idea where I presently am: I seem to be in a state of limbo. I can hear people coming and going; muffled concerned voices; am aware of strange surgical odours that indicate I might be in a hospital, but I’m not able to open my eyes: neither can I move or detect any sense of touch or feeling in the whole of my body. I can only think: quite clearly at times, which means my brain is functioning, but then, a cloudiness descends and my thoughts become vague and mixed up. Nightmarish! I want to wake up completely, to get up and move, my brain is willing my body to do so but I can’t, and I know now that this is no dream, but an immobile state I’m in, that I have absolutely no control over.
If I’m unable to communicate, then the only option is to think back to events that led up to me being in my present state.
I’d been kept practically under lock-and-key for months with no money or means of contact with the outside world. My lover, the son of a friendly ‘rival’ chocolate firm, had been denied access to me and my home by my stepmother for some time and God only know what false excuses she had given as to why I was refusing to see him.
Eventually, I gathered from one of the servants faithful to me, the false news that has been spread far and wide, confirming that I had gone missing. ‘Playboy heir steals away in the night with half the family fortune illegally signed in his name’, the news headlines screamed around the world. Distrait stepmother states, “It is beyond belief. He has wanted for nothing and will very soon be the billionaire head of his father’s chocolate empire. Return home stepson, all will be forgiven”
With the help of the servant I did eventually steal away in fear of my life, disguised in the clothing of a vagrant. Once my absence was noted, my stepmother would likely send a hit-man to do her dirty work and have me killed; something I suspected she’d been planning to do for some time, regardless. I was luckier than the servant, who was found floating in the Danube with his throat cut. I could sense I was being stalked as I tramped for many days, always under the cloak of night, through woods and across mountains, until I reached Munich, where, starving and exhausted I collapsed in an alley.
I awoke in darkness to find myself lying in a shop doorway covered and surrounded by what seemed to be heavy plaid overcoats and ragged articles of clothing. It was apparent by dawn that they were actually, homeless people all huddling together for warmth. I was befriended and given some of the little food they had between them and was astounded at the charity of these seven destitute strangers.
A day later, a ninth stranger arrived. A female who fell under suspicion immediately, as it was obvious to all that this newcomer was not your typical vagrant but an impostor like myself. Having told them of my plight and flight from danger, my newfound friends and protectors took it upon themselves to take this woman hostage. When dis-robed of her sham garments she was revealed indeed to be my evil stepmother in disguise, the possessor of the bloodied knife with which she had slain the servant and was given over to the authorities to be legally dealt with. But, they were too late to save me from her murderous wrath. She had taken my hand in hers and before they had had a chance to act, she had injected me with something potentially lethal. My breath stilled. It was as though my blood had congealed and I was sensible only of thought. I was caught in a sleeping death. And so, dear reader, you are back to the point at which I began my tale.
The thought that, perhaps, I’m on a mortician’s slab and he’s about to open me up and cut out my internal organs, produces a wild but silent, internal shriek. Fearing the cold steel of the scalpel penetrating my chest I feel my heart leap and there is but a single beat.
A recognisable voice shrieks an alarm cry. Then, silence. Absolute!
The warmth and softness of the fullest blood-filled masculine lips brush mine and I am awake. Not in a mortuary, but a private room in a hospital bed, with my lover bending over me, smiling; whose tears of joy splash onto my face.
I am safe and alive and vindicated. Restored to life by my lovers kiss and my innocence, authenticity and respectability confirmed by my seven homeless friends, all of whom are to be rewarded with the same kindness and protection they gave to me.
Copyright © Russell Liney 1/1/19