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© 2010 MyKindaBook.All Rights Reserved.
Designed by Chameleon
You’re dead meat, pretty boy. I’m gonna mess you up good.
You’re dead meat, pretty boy.
I’m gonna mess you up good.
Greetings and salutations.
I know you missed me.
I missed me too.
What can I say? I’ve been around. I’ve been seeing
everything. Slinking through the streets. Crawling
through the train tunnels. Walking across water with
my eyes alight with fire. Licking the crud off spoons
and picking at the chewing gum on my shoes.
None of it really matters. They’ve left me alone for
now but I know those days are ending. The Baggers
want me back. They dropped their apron strings for a
split second and the naughty child bolted into the
wilderness. They won’t make the same mistake again. I
hear them calling me. Now they’re starting to look. I’m
on their radar. Eventually they will find me and drag
me back by my heels.
And things will change.
In a blink of an eye, history will repeat itself.
Remember, we’ve been through this before. From the
moment mankind stepped out of the primordial ooze,
they’ve been here to keep us in our places. Obviously a
select few lived to tell the tale otherwise we wouldn’t be
here now. But how many of us are going to survive this
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
Time is running out.
If a tree falls in the middle of the city, does anyone
notice? Do they hear the creaking of the wood? Do they
witness the leaves shaking above them? Do they sense
the desperation or feel the sudden gush of wind against
That one great second before gravity takes over, and
what was once magnificent becomes nothing but
Or do they just go about their daily chores, continue
on to work with their lattes in hand, iPods blaring,
BlackBerries ringing, ignoring everything they’ve
There were warnings. There are always warnings. But
we missed them. We chose not to see. We didn’t believe.
And now we are finished.
The Baggers are gathering their armies around the
world. They are taking back the cities, rebuilding
civilization on their terms. They have ideas. You
wouldn’t like them.
Now humans are considered a virus. A mutation. A
disease. They need to be removed from this world. The
Baggers will control those who are left to make sure
humans don’t go back to their nasty ways.
I wake up sometimes in the dead of night. A panic I
can’t explain from a dream I can’t remember. Is this my life? Am I destined to spend the remaining days
wondering what is real and what is a nightmare?
Who am I?
I am Nothing.
Or am I the one they’ve grown to trust?
I want to be the one she wakes up to when the
morning sun nuzzles her pillow. I want to walk along
the sea wall with her, holding hands and exchanging
gentle glances. I want to hide her away in a castle or a
log cabin where she’ll be safe and nothing can ever make
her cry again.
But I’m more likely to be the one who holds the
knife against her skin.
What happens next? Your guess is as good as mine.
Three weeks before
before the world ends,
before the Baggers awaken.
He liked the basement. It was quiet down there. So
It made the voices that much easier to hear.
When they first started speaking to him, he tried to
ignore them. He’d seen stuff on the television
about people who went plumb crazy. It wasn’t a good
sign. He tried silencing them. Drinking heavily and
popping sleeping pills. But the voices wouldn’t go
away. If anything, the drinking made them that
much worse. They said terrible things. They whispered
in his head about what was coming. They talked about
the future. Earthquakes. Death. Chaos. They talked
about how important he was. He didn’t want to believe
But, as time went on, the voices started to make
His role was explained to him in great detail. He
grew excited when they told him what he needed to do.
He would play a part in this new world. He was
The basement had always been his space. Unfinished,
it was cold and dark, and his wife didn’t like to go down
there because she thought the place was ugly. Ugly. Her
word. She much preferred her lacy curtains and bed filled with dozens of pillows that he wasn’t allowed to
sleep on unless he showered first.
He kept most of his tools down here. There was a
shelf at the back that was covered with all sorts of
wonderful things. A power drill. A chainsaw. Dozens of
plastic boxes filled with nails, screws and other bits and
pieces he’d convinced her he needed. He liked to do all
the handiwork and she couldn’t complain because he
often did a good job. He enjoyed working with his
In the middle was his work table, and he sat at it
now. In front of him was a device, a wonderful
contraption he’d built all by himself. He found most of
the information on the internet; it was amazing what
sort of stuff people could find on websites these days.
Before the voices came, he mostly just checked his email
and the occasional dirty site of which his wife would
never have approved.
None of that mattered any more.
She’d been dead since the morning.
He was vaguely disappointed about this. He knew
he’d be the one to kill her but he’d hoped to do it when
he wasn’t so pressed for time. He’d wanted to savour the
kill, enjoy the moment, making her pay for all the
annoying things she’d done over the years. But she’d
surprised him earlier. Come downstairs into his work
haven for some odd reason or another. Her eyes had
widened when she’d seen his handiwork. She couldn’t
stop looking at the dynamite.
When she saw his eyes, she screamed. He had to
Now her body was lying in the corner. He didn’t
even think about trying to get rid of it. He wouldn’t be
in this house much longer. The earthquakes were
coming and after that he’d leave to wherever the voices
told him to go. They would have more work for him to
do and he’d have to travel to another city first.
When he was finished here, the entire town would
Upstairs, he could hear his children arriving home
from school. Three children. One boy and two girls.
Twelve, ten and seven. Cursing, he looked at his watch,
wondering how the entire day had got away from him
‘Mom? Dad?’ His oldest son was hollering loud
enough to wake the dead.
‘I’ll be up in a minute,’ he said, pleased at how calm
his voice sounded.
He picked the gun up off the table and doublechecked
to make sure it was loaded. Standing up, he
winced a bit as his knees popped. He turned and headed
for the stairs. The voices whispered away at him, a soft
seduction wrapping around his brain. They knew what
to do and everything they said made so much sense.
There would be no remorse.
Just another job to do.
He didn’t look up. Instead he kept his gaze on the
walls. Someone had washed them recently. He could
see smears of dirt from where they’d tried to wipe it
away. Cracks. Something had smashed up against it.
Black cracks on white wall. Odd. Somehow he’d
expected this place to be spotless but it wasn’t. The tiled
flooring was worn and he could see tracks in the dust
from where someone had moved the desk chair a few
inches closer to the window. There were scuff marks on
the door, and the window blinds were bent and crooked.
The janitorial staff must be slacking off.
The woman in front of him didn’t wear a white lab
jacket with a stethoscope round her neck. She wore a
business suit, beige, and had running shoes on. Her
hair hung loose around her shoulders and she didn’t
She looked very normal.
‘I’m Dr Coats,’ she continued when he didn’t answer
or acknowledge her smiling face. ‘As you know, I’m here
to talk with you for a bit.’
He crossed his arms and then changed his mind.
He’d read about that in psychology. It was considered a
defensive position. It made him look like he had
something to hide. Guilty. Instead he shoved his hands
in his jacket pocket and tapped his foot against the
desk. His shoelaces were dirty.
His eyes flickered over towards her. She was holding
a clipboard and a pen but she hadn’t started writing.
She was waiting for him to talk. To spill his guts. So she
could take notes and make decisions.
He didn’t have anything to say.
‘Daniel, do you know why you’re here?’
Don’t say a word. They can’t do anything anyway. It’ll
be over soon.
But he had to say something. He didn’t want to
spend the next hour just gazing at the scuffed walls.
Why did people always feel they needed to cover
stillness with sound? Even at home his mother had the
television on almost twenty-four/seven. She said it
calmed her nerves but she never paid any attention to
The problem was he didn’t know where to begin. A
lot was riding on this conversation. There were countless
words he could use, too many versions of everything
going around in his head these days. How did he begin
a conversation with such variables, each of which might
lead to a different outcome?
‘He started it.’ There. First words. Not the best
choice. He should have said something else. Inwardly,
Dr Coats’s lips curled upward. ‘So you can talk. I was
beginning to think you were a mute.’
‘Excellent beginning. But, no, we’re not here because
he started it.’ She moved over towards the side of her
desk and sat down on the edge. Daniel could smell the
shampoo in her hair. Or maybe it was her hand lotion.
There was a long silence in the room while Dr Coats
waited for him to speak again. He knew he should say
something, but what? There wasn’t any point in talking
about it as far as he was concerned. It happened. He
couldn’t change the past.
There was no taking it back.
He wanted to take it back.
No, you don’t. You want to do it again. Don’t deny it.
You hated Chuck Steinberg. Hated him. He treated you like
dirt every single day of your life. What about the time he
kicked the stray dog you were feeding? Then he told your
mother you did it. What happened then? No, he deserved it.
‘You told the police you don’t remember doing it.’
She pulled the cap off the pen and waited. ‘So how do
you know he started it?’
‘I remember that much.’
She wrote a few things down before continuing.
‘Would you like to tell me about it? The parts you do
You’re dead meat, pretty boy. I’m gonna mess you up
He’d spent too much of his life being invisible to
most adults. Now everyone knew him. In a few short
minutes he’d gone from average nobody student to the
one everyone talked about in the teachers’ lounge and
PTA meetings. Hell, this had even made the newspaper.
No one came near him any more. Students actually
went out of their way to avoid his locker. The group of
girls who used to giggle when he walked past now
turned and looked the other way. The last part he didn’t
mind so much. He preferred being alone.
Safer that way.
It’ll be over soon.
‘Daniel?’ Dr Coats tapped her fingernails on the
clipboard, staring directly at his face. ‘Remember,
everything you say in here is confidential. But I’ll also
remind you that we’re here to talk. I can’t help you if
you don’t help me.’
He really wished she’d stop repeating his name like
that. No one liked being reminded that they existed.
He sighed. ‘He came up to me after class. Slammed
me into the lockers. Said I’d side-swiped his car with
my bike. I hadn’t been anywhere near his car. I don’t
even know what it looks like. When I denied it, he
punched me twice.’
The room was quiet except for the sound of Dr
Coats’s pen as it scraped the paper. She wrote for a few
minutes before looking back at Daniel. He didn’t
continue. The phone in his pocket began to ring. He’d
forgotten to turn it off. Quickly he pulled it out. The Ryan Adams song grew insanely loud as the guitars
seemed to bounce off the walls. He turned it off.
Suddenly his cheeks flushed and he felt like he’d
done something terribly embarrassing. It was as if he’d
shown up for this appointment wearing nothing but a
raincoat and a pair of wet shoes. He glanced up at the
doctor for a brief second and noticed how she was
studying him intently.
‘What else do you remember, Daniel?’
His mouth was dry and he couldn’t swallow. What
did he remember? They told him that he’d gone crazy.
Grabbed Chuck by the shirt and punched him several
times in the face. Once Chuck had dropped to the floor,
he’d kicked him repeatedly in the head until the maths
and biology teachers managed to drag him away. Chuck
had to go to the hospital and get treated for concussion.
They had to take X-rays because they were afraid Daniel
had cracked the bigger boy’s skull. Afterwards
Daniel discovered the blood soaked through his sneakers
and his white socks were stained red.
But he didn’t remember.
He only knew what they’d told him.
‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘That’s pretty much it.’
The doctor lowered her clipboard. ‘That’s all you can
‘Has this ever happened to you before? Not being
able to recollect certain events?’
He hesitated and then shook his head. Lied. Waited while she made more notes on her clipboard.
‘No. Maybe when I was little. Nothing major
though. Basic kid stuff. I think I fell off the couch once.
Had to go to the emergency room.’
‘So nothing recent then?’
‘Any other fights?’
‘Nope.’ At least none that he’d admit to.
‘What about aggressive tendencies? Have you had
thoughts about hurting people?’
He’d never considered himself violent before. He
was the quiet guy who went to school each day and
hung out with a few good friends. The semi-popular
boy who was always reading during lunch period and
playing guitar on the front lawn when the weather was
good. He was a lover, not a fighter. There were a few
girls who would agree with that. He was the guy
everyone assumed would go on to college, get a liberal
arts degree and end up being some obscenely successful
writer. Even his yearbook picture said he was ‘the guy
most likely to win a Pulitzer Prize in literature’.
But violent? No, that wasn’t his style. At least that’s
what he thought. What he kept telling himself.
Make them suffer. They will all die.
Daniel grabbed his jacket. ‘I’ve got to go.’
Dr Coats looked up at him in surprise. ‘We’ve still
got forty-five minutes. I’ll have to report this if you
leave now. You know this isn’t voluntary.’
It doesn’t matter. None of this matters.
‘I’m sorry,’ Daniel said. ‘I don’t want to talk any
more. I’ve got to go.’
He grabbed the handle and was out of the door
before she had a chance to say anything more.
Outside it was raining and he pulled his hoody up
over his head and stuffed his hands in the pockets.
Turning round, he looked back at the hospital, half
expecting to see big burly orderlies running out of the
door to hunt him down. But no one came after him,
only an older guy in a wheelchair, his pencil-thin legs
sticking out from under his hospital gown as he tried to
open a can of Pepsi.
A cold trickle of water worked its way into his shoes,
soaking his feet. Looking down, he realized he was
standing in the middle of a large puddle. He stared at
the water, mesmerized as the raindrops pelted a steady
beat into the ground.
It made him want to go swimming. Maybe he could
catch a bus out to Buntzen Lake and go for a swim. It
wasn’t that cold yet. It would be nice to float with the
rain tickling his face as the mountains loomed over
him. Maybe he could get a diving mask so he could
hold his breath and watch the fish swim beneath his
The car honking its horn from behind pulled him
out of his trance. Daniel stepped over to the kerb,
shaking his head slightly to try to clear it. Swimming?
Now? Man, he needed to get his priorities straight.
There were far more important things to worry about.
Looking back at the hospital, he knew he was going
to get into trouble for leaving early. Part of his probation
was the weekly visits to work on his anger issues.
But all that seemed so insignificant.
He didn’t know what it was, only that it was coming.
None of this would matter.
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