Monday, 12 July 2010
DOG DAY DELIVERY By Lily Childs
Did you see him watching? Do you have any idea what he did as he waited for me to come home everyday?
He planned. He recorded all my movements; the time I went out in the morning, the hour I returned at night. He knew when I caught the bus, its number and the route it took; where I got on and where I got off.
Mike Walters wrote down everything about my life in his sordid little book. His spidery scribble filled every inch of paper, peppered with diagrams of what he wanted to do to me. Meticulously organised, Walters described the equipment he planned to use, with a full explanation of how each pluck and stab would break me, destroy me.
I got home from work early that afternoon in the blistering heat. All I wanted was to get away from the stuffy office and swelter in my little garden instead. I put a bottle of wine in the fridge to chill for half-an-hour - I was expecting a parcel around four.
Mike Walters knew all about the package, because Mike Walters was the delivery man. I opened the front door to the persistent ringing of the bell, my smile ready to greet the usual guy whose scrawny outline I could see refracted through the glass. Walters delivered the parcel into my waiting hands. I roared in agony. The underside of the wrapping was studded with spikes. Pins? Nails? I didn’t know or care - they tore at my palms, shredding my flesh. Walters was through the door before I could work out what he’d done. He grabbed my hair and slammed my head against the hall wall, punching me in the gut. I fell to the carpet. The delivery man screamed at me, his voice soared in pitch as he ranted faster and harder. My choice in furnishings were a disgrace, the clothes I ordered showed me up as the slut he’d always known me to be, my house was full of tasteless plastic fad fucking fashion that exposed me as the obscene, you pissing little bitch, capitalist that I was.
I caught my breath between kicks to my gut.
‘But I’m not those things’ I shouted. Blood spilled from my lips. I spat it onto the cream floor. ‘I’m like everyone else. I get it all from your store ’cos you sell everything I need. It’s easy.’ God knows why I felt the need to defend my purchasing habits.
‘You fucking disgust me.’
He rammed his foot into my ear. Christ that hurt. I howled, the pain a clanging metal throb.
‘Shut your filthy fat mouth.’
He stamped on my chest. It did the trick, as requested. Instead of speaking I rolled over and vomited over his boots. He walked away and picked the discarded parcel off the floor.
‘What’s in it today?’
I choked on stinging bile.
‘I thought you knew it all. You tell me.’
Mike Walters ripped at the grey plastic bag. I couldn’t even remember what it was. I ordered stuff all the time. Walters dug at my ribs with puke-splattered toecaps. I gagged at the bitter reek so close to my face as a lacquered photo frame, some silky pyjamas and a six-pack of panties fell to the ground.
‘Look at it. It’s crap.’
He bent and snatched at my hair, shoving my nose into the items scattered on the carpet. He raged on.
‘You bitches. You sit there in your flashy houses, in your high heels. You’ve all got your special jobs with your important careers. You make me sick.’
He pulled my hair even harder. I felt it tear at the roots.
‘Why aren’t you at home making babies? That’s your job. Why haven’t you got husbands to look after? That’s what you here for, for us. You stupid, selfish…’
I grabbed his ankle. He tried to kick me but I yanked and knocked him off balance. His spindly carcass slammed against the wall. As he tried to recover himself I spidered my other hand across the carpet until I reached the photo frame. It slipped into my crippled fingers. Walters twisted around and threw himself at me. Before he landed I whacked the sharp corner of the frame hard between his legs, plunging it again and again into his fleshy groin until the wood splintered and Walters lay squealing like a pig.
I shifted back just an inch and he was at me again. The knife he drew from one of a million delivery-man uniform pockets completely threw me. Stupidly I scuttled backwards down the hallway, away from my front door. I hit the kitchen door instead. It was shut. Mike Walters cornered me. His whisper was worse than the screams.
‘Every week, every pissing month you order this shit. It supplements your fake, useless life. It makes me so… mad. You make me so angry.’
Something broke. Mike Walters knew about me. I mean, he knew everything about me, about my lifestyle. I realised that somehow he’d been inside my house; had gotten in further than the front step where I always signed for that week’s delivery. I looked hard at his face for the first time since the attack began.
I remembered - something. Then it was gone.
‘Do I know you?’
He leant in, panting in my face, his breath vile. The knife turned over and over in his fingers.
‘Michael Walters - at your fucking service.’ His hand slipped up to my breast. He rested his brow against mine. ‘At your constant beck and bloody call. Morning, afternoons… whenever you want me.’
‘Want you?' I was livid. 'I pay for you. What do you want - a fucking tip?
He laughed softly. I couldn’t believe it - I could feel him hard against my leg. How could that be after what I’d done to him not moments before?
‘Nah, you don‘t get it. I’ve always been there for you. Always.’ He moved back, only very slightly. The spark of a memory hit me again. I still couldn’t grasp it. I looked him up and down… surely not?
‘I do know you, not from the store - somewhere else. Did we ever…?’
He lunged at me. I dropped to the ground just missing the blade. Crawling away, it hit me. A funny little boy - Mickey Walters, always late to school. Hair crawling with lice, shiny trousers too short and scuffed at the knees. He would trap me in the girls’ toilets, used to whisper at me - unintelligible, guttural little words that sounded like a growling dog - the kids called him Hound, Flea Bag, Mutt. He’d spit at me under the door and I’d cry until the teacher came to find me crouched up on the bowl, by which time he was long gone. Mickey ‘Dog’ Walters. Shit. Mickey bloody Walters.
On hands and knees I turned to look up. He grinned, knowing I recognised him. He raised the knife over his head.
The doorbell rang.
‘Sorry - it was open. Just doing some window-cleaning in your street and wondered if… Jesus!‘
The interruption was enough to stop Walters in his tracks. The window-cleaner stormed into my hallway and threw his not-inconsiderable bulk at my attacker, knocking the blade from Walters’ hand. I dragged myself out from beneath them and with hands that stung like hell I called the cops.
Mickey Walters got nine years. As if what he’d done to me wasn’t enough evidence, the police found his grubby notebook slung casually on the passenger seat of his delivery van.
Under the Victim Reconciliation Scheme I get to visit my attacker once a month for the rest of his sentence. He can’t turn me away. I can’t wait. The first visit’s tomorrow.
I want to make him my friend.
When he comes out I’ll offer him a room.
When he come out I’ll have a knife.
When he comes out I’ll slit pieces off him bit by bit until he bleeds to death.
I’ve got the jars all ready. I put a label on the first one today. It reads ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’.
Lily Childs is a writer of dark fiction, horror and chilling mysteries. Some of her little nasties have crept their way into TKnC and print anthologies. She is the author of forthcoming urban fantasy series ‘Magenta Shaman’ and has a novel or three on the way. Lily lives in the south of England, a stone’s throw from the sea. She blogs at
http://lilychildsfeardom.blogspot.com/ where you can read some of her work, reviews and interviews.