Monday 27 May 2013

Lolita's Return

Because you took advantage of a sinner
because you took advantage
because you took
because you took advantage of my disadvantage ...
...when I stood Adam-naked
before a federal law and all its stinging stars... 

~ Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 

Yo, I'm off to the races, laces 
Leather on my waist is 
Tight and I am falling down 
I can see your face is shameless 
Cipriani's basement 
Love you but I'm going down 
God, I'm so crazy, baby 
I'm sorry that I'm misbehaving 
I'm your little harlot, starlet 
Queen of Coney Island 
Raisin' hell all over town 
Sorry 'bout it 

~ Off To The Races by Lana Del Rey 


Brave New World

Lia Jennings was haunting the life she once possessed.

Her life felt like it was being lived by someone else.

She was just the silent partner.

Days stretched into weeks.

Weeks stretched into months.

Like shadows against a wall.

Time had no meaning.

It had become obsolete.

From the moment Lia Jennings arrived in her new apartment she had entered a twilight world.

She spent much of the day sleeping.

Lia Jennings felt as if she was living in suspended animation.

She only rose to eat a little and to admit questioning people.

Lia was unable to escape her past because she was constantly being made to recount it to cops who scribbled on notebooks.

Over and over again she revisited that fateful night.

Then Lia Jennings would spend interminable hours sitting in a chair wrapped in a blanket, just staring into space.

Or lying in her bed with the curtains drawn.

She was locked away in purgatory.

As life continued outside her window without her.

Lia Jennings was stuck in limbo.

Between the living and the dead.

Whilst others decided her fate.

Lia's mind had stopped like a clock on the wall.

It had stopped at the events of a cool summer night when she had killed her lover.

Lia Jennings had been frozen in time.

The icy cold hand of her sadistic lover had reached out of the grave to take her down with him.

Steven Jessop.

Lia's violent former lover.

Now when the wind blew through her window - it blew right through her soul too.

let go (by youreuglykbie
There was a yawning gap where her heart should have been.

Thoughts spun obsessively around Lia's head.

They plagued her by day and taunted her by night

Steven Jessop.

He was dead.

But he lived on in her nightmares.

In her dark dreams Lia saw his scowling face looking down on her as he forced himself into her.

The memory of his abuse hurt like a physical wound.

Forever opened and never healing.

Then she pictured the grinning face of her father as he raped her on the floor of his shed.

"You're daddy's little angel"

Her father had been sexually abusing her since the age of thirteen.

The stain he left behind had cast a shadow over her life.

Lia Jennings was damaged goods.

A vampire living off one man after another.

Shunned by polite society.

She was Lolita.

Then her father died.

And Lia Jennings danced on his grave.

But she was still in hell.

Then there were the nightmares.

Always the nightmares.

Lia would wake up screaming.

She would be drenched in sweat as tears streamed down her face.

In her tortured mind she recounted endlessly how she had run over Jessop and then reversed several times over his body.

"Fuck you! Fuck you Fuck!"

Lia Jennings remembered how coldly and unemotionally she had behaved.

How she stood over his crushed body of Steven Jessop and spat on it.

"Fuck you to hell!" Lia Jennings screamed at the corpse.

Then she burst into harsh sobs.

She was free at last.

Lia showered several times to wash his smell out of her.

To wash her shame away.

Then she coolly called the cops.

"I just murdered Steven Jessop ..." Lia Jennings said simply before dropping the phone.

She was devoid of all emotion.

All the life had been sucked out of her bones.

Occasionally strangers came and went.

They passed in and out of her apartment. 

They spoke to her but she couldn't understand what they were saying.

Their voices were barely audible.

Their mouths moved but Lia Jennings was unable to focus on what they were saying.

Because she gone into shock.

Lia Jennings was locked away in the prison of her own mind.

And nobody she had lost the key let herself out.

Lia Jennings resisted and put up a spirited defence at her first medical examination.

She was still recovering from her mental and emotional scars.

And eventually she surrendered to the inevitable prying eyes and prying hands.

Her left arm was badly broken.

There was an angry gash on one side of her face from where Steven Jessop had repeatedly bashed her head against the bedroom wall.

Her right eye was black and swollen and her lip was badly cut from where he had punched her.

Lia's flesh was sore from where Jessop had forced numerous objects into her vagina.

And her body was riddled with large blue and purple bruises from where he violently abused her that final night.

Every part of her was sore.

But the soreness in her heart would not subside now.

There was a black thing living inside her.

And it was the dark ghost of her dead lover.

Invasive hands.

Invasive questioning.

Emotional expressions of empathy from rape professionals.

"We are here to help you!" The woman informed her gently.

But the kindness did not register with her.

Because she was already in hell.

Lia Jennings sat staring dead eyed through one questioning after another.

Strangers were kind to her and she stared back in disbelief at them.

The milk of human kindness was a new thing to her.

Her childhood friend had suddenly emerged and flown over from New York to be with her.

She jettisoned her baby and husband to be with Lia Jennings in her hour of need.

Abbey Wright.

She was a pretty blonde girl with bright blue eyes who had often been mistaken for Lia.

The two had been inseparable since they were toddlers and it was to Abbey that Lia ran when things at home got too much.

They smoked and lived their lives together.

But they resembled each other in more than just looks.

They were soul sisters.

The couple stood hugging in the rain.

Abbey Wright was sobbing loudly.

But Lia Jennings couldn't cry.

She had no more tears left

"The son of a bitch is dead!" Abbey Wright kept saying as they clung to each other in the lashing rain.

Lia Jennings stared blankly ahead.

Unable to feel anything.

"I'm here now" Abbey Wright cried as she held Lia tightly in her arms "I won't let anyone hurt you again!"

They slept in the same bed.

Abbey refused to let Lia out of her sight.

"I'm not gonna let you go!" Abbey Wright informed her.

Days passed quickly as Abbey helped Lia Jennings to learn to live her life again.

Lia was like a new born baby.

And Abbey Wright was helping her to put the shattered fragments of her life back together again.

When the court summons finally arrived Lia's terrifying burden of suspense was finally lifted.

But she had had to endure an intense cross examination.

No stone was left unturned.

Lia Jennings gave a blow by blow account of life with Steven Jessop and of the fateful night she murdered him.

And every piece of information was taken apart and deliberated.

Finally her ordeal was over and Lia had wept for days after her court appearance.

Several months passed slowly and the final hearing had arrived.

It was written in stone.

And Lia's fate was hanging in the balance.

Lia Jennings dressed carefully that fateful morning in a smart grey suit.

Abbey Wright brushed her blonde hair into a tidy pony tail.

"You looking beautiful!" She informed Lia.

But when she stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror it was Lolita who stared back at her.


The young woman in the mirror was a beautiful stranger with haunted blue eyes.

And Lia Jennings barely recognised the face that looked back at her in the mirror.

She was a little girl again.

he called to say goodnight (by youreuglykbie
Lia Jennings pulled out a little black velvet box from a drawer in her bedroom.

Then she took out a little angel pendant from the box and paused for a moment.

It had belonged to her beloved mother who had died of cancer when she was just a teenager.

Joanna Jennings.

An attractive brunette with large brown eyes and a gentle voice.

Lia Jennings had never fully recovered from her loss.

"You're daddy's little angel"

The memory of her father's words stung her.

"I'm doing this for you mama!" Lia murmured as she clasped the trinket about her neck.

Abbey Wright was watching her quietly from the bedroom door.

She had chosen never to cry in Lia's presence.

But the poignancy of the moment was too much for her and she fled in tears.

"If you're up there big fella" Abbey Wright prayed "then please save my friend today"

It was suddenly very quiet in the shrouded house.

An hour later and Lia Jennings was clinging onto Abbey Wright for dear life.

They were making their way through the maddening assembled throng outside the court room.

People were pushing and shoving.

People were firing questions at her from every angle.

Lia's Jewish lawyer was striding ahead.

Jeffrey Lane was a stocky and bombastic man.

He had a round open face, hazel eyes and short curly black hair.

And he was not afraid of anyone.

Jeffrey Lane was ably dispersing the jostling crowd with a commanding voice.

"No questions!" He bellowed "My client has nothing to say at this point!"

But it was a media circus.

Lia Jennings had acquired a dubious celebrity.

Camera's kept flashing as she and Abbey fought to make their way through the maddening throng.

Reporters were firing questions from every angle.

Through the corner of her eye Lia could see the mother and father of Steven Jessop standing on the court steps.

They cast accusatory eyes at her.

They were both dressed in black and Lia supposed that they had come to witness her funeral.

For a brief moment she swore she saw Steven Jessop standing beside his parents like a dark shadow.

Terror gripped Lia's soul.

Then the vision vanished and she was struggling up the court steps with her best friend again.

Time had stopped.

Moments later Lia felt that she was having an out of body experience as she sat in the crowded court room.

Abbey Wright squeezed her hand and smiled at her.

She was her rock.

Lia Jennings would be spared the horror of being cross examined again.

One witness after another gave their testimony.

Including Miranda Jennings.

The stepmother.

She painted Lia as an unstable young woman who had lied about her own father and gotten exactly what she deserved.

Miranda Jennings stared malevolently at her step daughter as blackened her character.

But Jeffrey Lane picked holes in her statements and blew them out of the water.

Miranda Jennings was just a bitter woman who had always hated her step daughter and regarded her as an imposition to her lavish lifestyle.

Jeffrey Lane held court like the principal actor in a Shakespeare play.

A hush had descended upon the assembly.

Evidence was passed around the courtroom amid stifled gasps.

There were numerous images of Lia's broken body after the abuse.

Joshua Jennings stared with intense emotion at his sister as she sat looking wan and fragile beside Abbey Wright.

Lia's face was as white as a sheet.

She looked like a ghost.

Or a frightened little bird caught in a snare.

Joshua's feelings towards Lia had thawed.

And he at last begun to accept her version of life their father.

"My sister was systematically abused by our father ... she told me when we were little ... but I could never accept it ... but now I believe her ... I'm sorry Lia "

Lia Jennings stared dumbly at her brother.

At last he had finally accepted her truth.

Joshua Jennings was free to go now.

The stepmother glared from the front row.

Miranda Jennings was dressed entirely in black.

She was the black widow.

Her cold blue eyes were rimmed with black kohl and she wore the customary slick of bright red lipstick.

She was dressed in a black satin Valentino dress with a slit down the side.

A burly man in a stetson sat beside her.

Her latest man.

Miranda Jennings glowered at her convicted step daughter.

"You filthy little whore and murderer"

Time blurred in this twilight zone of testimonies and tension .

Lia Jennings felt as if she had fallen into a deep slumber.

And she did not know if she would ever wake up.

During recess Lia sat with Abbey Wright outside the court room drinking coffee.

Her hand was shaking so much that she could barely hold the plastic cup.

"Everything is gonna be just fine!" Abbey soothed.

But Lia Jennings was lost in her own thoughts.

Her hand shot up to her angel pendant and for a moment Lia felt peaceful.

She felt as if her mother were close.

Presently she was back in the courtroom.

And the tension was mounting.

The jury had decided upon a verdict at last.

Abbey Wright squeezed Lia's hand and smiled encouragingly at her.

"What ever it is ... we'll get through it together"

Joshua Jennings and his wife were looking at Lia with concern.

Her fate was hanging in the balance.

And all throughout the case Joshua had been reliving things he had blocked out.

Things he had fought to forget.

Their father had been a sadistic abuser who had beaten and raped his own daughter.

And now Joshua Jennings was filled with guilt and shame.

He had let his sister down when she had needed him the most.

Joshua had never credited her rape stories even though his witnessed and experienced his father's brutality first hand.

The pain was too much for him to face.

But now he was determined to make amends.

Joshua Jennings would always be there for his sister now.

The stepmother stared coldly from the back of the courtroom.

Her thin white face was a mask of malice.

"Not guilty!" The smart man in a black pin-stripe suit declared firmly as his voice rang throughout the courtroom.

"Not guilty!"

There was an audible sigh throughout the court.

Justice had been served.

"Not guilty!"

Lia Jennings could barely hear what the officious judge was saying.

But the warm tone in his voice indicated to Lia that she was no longer a pariah.

She was just a young woman who had been brutally raped and been driven to commit the ultimate crime.

Abbey Wright was holding Lia Jennings now and kissing.

"You're free baby!" Abbey cried in jubilation "Do you hear me are free!"

Joshua Jennings strode over to his sister and embraced her.

Tears were streaming down his cheeks.

He had been reunited with the sister he had never understood or accepted.

But all that was going to change now.

And he would never let her go again.

"I'm so sorry sis .... I'm so sorry sis ...  " Joshua repeated over and over.

Finally Lia Jennings was weeping.

She let out a primal flood of grief

Her emotions had thawed at last.

And she was a flesh and blood woman again.

The storm had passed.

Abbey Wright, Joshua Jennings and his wife embraced Lia in a sheltering hug.

As the mother and father of Steven Jessop quietly slipped out of the courtroom in a blaze of flashing cameras.

They had lost their son long before Lia Jennings had mowed him down.

"You dirty murdering bitch!" Miranda Jennings exclaimed loudly.

All eyes were upon her.

And Miranda Jennings was fighting the urge to retch at the touching reunion before her.

The man beside her attempted to comfort her but the spiky woman shoved him away.

Miranda Jennings had lost.

She flounced out of the courtroom as cameras began flashing in her face.

Leaving her bewildered lover and one time family behind.

Miranda Jennings was a dark spidery figure disappearing into a waiting taxi cab.

That night she took an overdose of sleeping pills.

And never woke up.

Only a few people bothered to show up at her funeral several days later.

Lia Jennings was carried out of the courtroom on a tidal wave of love.

Well known faces and admiring strangers called out rallying remarks to her.

Countless cameras were flashing as Lia Jennings came out onto the courtroom steps with Abbey Wright and her family.

The afternoon sun greeted her.

It was a good to be alive.

And Lia Jennings had at last been released from the prison of her mind.

Then she noticed the sad expressions on the faces of Steven Jessop's parents.

There was an unmistakable look of desolation in their faces.

Then they sombrely entered a waiting taxi cab and drove out of Lia's life forever.

Jeffrey Lane ordered the throng to be quiet so Lia Jennings could address.

"I just want to thank everyone who has stood by me and believed in me ... I have been a victim of horrific psychological, emotional and sexual abuse for much of my life ... firstly by my own father and then by the man who I believed had loved me ... I was driven to commit a terrible crime and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life ... today is the beginning of the rest of my life ..."

Loud cheers rose from the throng.

Everyone appeared to be laughing and smiling around her.

Abbey Wright was clapping and sobbing.

"I love you baby!" She cried.

Joshua Jennings and his wife were looking affectionately on.

They were poised to take Lia back to their elegant townhouse with them.

I just want to be wonderful (by youreuglykbie
Jeffrey Lane was talking animatedly to several reporters.

He was enjoying all the attention and handing out his business cards.

So many well known faces from her past and many new ones were admiring Lia Jennings.

It was as if all the dark experiences of the past had converged into one powerful moment and been extinguished.

There was not longer any need to exhume the dead.

The sight of a pretty little girl standing near her mother suddenly caught Lia's eye.

She was very familiar to her.

And Lia's heart jumped.

The child had blonde pig tails and was wearing a pink summer dress.

Suddenly Lia Jennings was eight years old again and chasing butterflies in the garden.

She was laughing and carefree.

Those were the halcyon days before the nightmares began.

Tears filled Lia's eyes.

She was eleven years old again and dancing to the radio in her bedroom imagining that she was a film star walking down a Hollywood red carpet.

Lia Jennings wiped away her tears with a hand.

She was a teenager again holding onto her brother as the coffin containing their mother was slowly lowered into the ground.

Lia Jennings was weeping uncontrollably on that sad and mournful day.

Suddenly a large black crow screeched loudly from a tree.

And Lia was back on the courtroom steps surrounded by admirers.

She unclasped her angel pendant and handed it to the little girl.

"This is for you!" Lia Jennings informed the little girl "Because you're a little angel"

The child smiled with delight.

"Look after her" Lia advised her mother.

Then she opened up her arms like an eagle spreading its wings.

Lia Jennings was free at last.

And she was ready to fly.

It was a brave knew world.

And Lia Jennings swore she could hear angels singing

Lolita had been reborn again.

fading like the day (by youreuglykbie


Sunday 12 May 2013

One Good Turn Deserves Another

Silk-thin silver strings woven cleverly into a lair, 
An intricate entwining of divinest thread...
Like strands of magic worked upon the air, 
The spider spins his enchanted web -
His home so eerily, spiralling spreads.

~ A Spider's Web by Jonathon Platt

premade bg fountain (by e-dina

We've Been Waiting For You

Mike Wilcox opens his eyes.

His head is heavy and he feels disorientated - as if he is awakening from a deep slumber. He struggles to focus on his surroundings.

Glancing around him - Mike Wilcox struggles to gather his thoughts together.

He grasps at his face - he is wearing a mask.

Then he realises that two large men are flanking him on he either side. He swears that they are grinning at him through their masks.

They stand before huge imposing gold doors.

The massive doors slowly open up onto a large chapel.

Hordes of men, woman and children silently stare at Mike Wilcox from either side of the aisle.

Everyone is wearing elaborate gold masks which obscure their faces.

This is a dream. 

The red carpet before him leads all the way up to an elaborate alter where a massive gold crucifix hangs upside down.

The two burly men thrust Wilcox in the back and he slowly walks down the aisle.

"This isn't happening!" Mike Wilcox mutters despairingly as he stares at the odd crowd surrounding him.

Statue 16 (by stock-werk
This is a circus of the absurd.

And he is part of the act.

A small band at the front strike up and begin playing ecstatic music.

Wilcox's memory is returning - he remembers spinning round and round to the intoxicating music.

The audience breaks into excited chatter.

They talk animatedly in a language that Mike has never heard before.

The sparse Grecian feel to the chapel is completed by blank faced statues lining the walls. But this is no chapel.

This is more like a mausoleum.

The enigmatic Aneliya stands at the alter looking triumphantly on.

Imperiously beautiful and unmasked.

She is dressed in a low cut black velvet gown - revealing her ample white bosom.

Wild witches black hair frames her pale face. Her dark eyes sparkle like two diamonds.

Her lips are as red as blood.

Aneliya smiles knowingly at Mike Wilcox.

She is the high priestess of this freak show.

Standing to her left is the short older woman of memory. She appears to be surveying the scene with pleasure.

Standing beside the woman is a hooded monk.  Head bowed. Hands across the chest. The living dead.

Mike's heart skips a beat at the sight of Aneliya.

He vividly recalls how her intriguing face has been his obsession.

Then he notices with mounting unease that a knife and a glass vial are glistening in Aneliya's hand.

She is a vampire.

The music seems to be getting louder and louder. Faster and faster.

Then he sees her.

The monkey woman.

Crook backed and deformed.

She is dressed in a white gown and holds some withered flowers in her wrinkled hands.

Her gnarled face is full of expectation.

She grins at Wilcox showing rotted teeth.

She is the bride.

Suddenly it all comes back to him.

"This is no dream! " Mike Wilcox wails with mounting dread "This is really happening!"

He struggles but the two big men grasp his arms firmly.

He is trapped like a fly in a spiders web.

Someone thrusts a goblet in his hand.

Weak with thirst - Mike Wilcox gulps down the peculiar concoction quickly. It tastes of wine and spices - and something else.

Statue 10 (by stock-werk
Mike swoons on his feet. He falls to his knees.

Aneliya looks down at him - a broad smile on her pale face.

Then Wilcox remembers.

The two large men grab his arms and tug him up.

"You are perfect" Aneliya declares as her intriguing voice sends tremors throughout Wilcox's body.

The monkey woman opens her arms to receive him.

Mike Wilcox feels the primal urge to act.

The strange brew is working its way through his body rendering him bleary eyed and flaccid. He had better act quickly.

Wilcox grabs the knife from Aneliya's hands and turns to face the surly men.

They sneer menacingly.

As they lurch forward - Mike Wilcox slashes them both easily across the throat.

"No!" Aneliya screams.

Mike turns to face her.

Her beautiful face is contorted with rage.

Several members of the unholy congregation lurch at him.

But Mike turns to the short, stout woman and tugs off her mask.

The face beneath the mask is as withered and shrivelled as an old dried apple core.

Mike Wilcox recoils in horror.

"Look at me ..." Aneliya exclaims looking deeply into Mike's eyes "I am like you ... but they ... they need you ...  my father was like you ... but my family ... they have the curse ... we need your blood ... we need you to join with one of us  ... the children will be pure ... like you"

"Never!" Mike answers vehemently "I will never allow it!"

"My sister Galina ..." Aneliya pleads "she needs you ... we need you"

The monkey woman is trying to grasp him. She is mumbling something in that insane language of hers.

She is a monster.

"Never!" Mike Wilcox snarls - just as three men round on him and he loses himself in a furious burst of animal activity.




Aneliya is screaming orders now.

"Don't let him go ... don't let him go ... don't let him go ... don't let him go ... don't let him go ..."

Then everything goes black.

Mike Wilcox remembers being carried by a stretcher into the ambulance.

Then everything becomes hazy after that.

Shadows cast against a wall.

Wilcox can hear the bleep of medical equipment.

Wilcox can feel the oxygen mask on his face.

The mild electrical pulse of the defibrillator on his chest. 

But exhaustion robs of him of awareness and he quickly disappears into fitful slumber.

Time passes.

Drifting in and out of consciousnesses - Mike Wilcox hears the soothing sound of a female voice.

"There, there Mr Wilcox" the woman says "you've had a nasty experience but it's all over now"

He opens his heavy eyes.

At first he struggles to see.

Then the face comes sharply into focus.

A beautiful face like a pale moon.

With brilliant dark eyes.

And a bright red mouth.

"Everything is going to be just fine now" the nurse adds reassuringly - gently patting his hand.

Mike Wilcox struggles to see the name on the badge.

Nurse Aneliya ...

The nurse smiles knowingly at him.

But Mike Wilcox is unable to shout or fight now.

Statue 10 (by stock-werk


Saturday 11 May 2013

Let The Dead Bury Their Dead

Where are the revellers high and low? 
The clashing swords? The lover's call? 
The dancers gleaming row on row? 
Into the night go one and all. 

~ Ballade of Dead Actors by William Ernest Henley

But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Matthew 8:22 King James Version

Flamin Skull (by anarkyma

The Company of Fools

Libre Theatre Group.

A shabby theatre based in the heart of London. 

A London that barely knows it exists.

ramshackle company of hungry and pretentious actors all desperate for recognition.

And the big time.

Eduardo Agastin.

The theatre director and ghostly behemoth of Libre Theatre Group.  

A Cuban firebrand and a turgid follower of Dostoevsky and a Che Guevara wannabe - reigns supreme. 

A ludicrous little man replete with floppy beret, curling moustache and barrel belly

Agastin is supremely arrogant and oblivious to his many personal short comings.

He also has a penchant for bullying actors and manipulating them to get what he wants.

Eduardo Agastin expects complete obedience and in return the unfortunate actor has the pleasure of his company and the chance to perform in one of his plays.

The fact that the theatre is almost empty most nights does not appear to faze Eduardo Agastin.

And its "Groundhog Day" at Libre again. 

"Do it again you silly cow!"Agastin yells at a hapless actress in heavily accented English "You are bloody rubbish!" 

His arms spin round like windmills and his face is as red as a ripe tomato. 

Lena Reynolds.

Attractive bright and ambitious. 

Her hazel eyes are always looking for the main chance. 

And she is as false as her carefully manicured nails. Unless you can help her career. 

Reynolds turns her back to Agastin.

She crosses her bony arms across her skeletal chest as if she is about to explode like a stick of dynamite. 

She has been the butt of his tirades all evening. 

Today she could only manage a milkshake and several pieces of toast.

Vic Bhatt 

A sometime actor who is watching the unfolding drama with a smirk on his face. 

He's been trying to look up Reynolds' skirt all evening.

Good looking and Asian with bright black eyes and keen features.

Bhatt is also totally irresponsible,  pathologically lazy and a misguided lover-boy.
He arrived late again to the rehearsal after spending the afternoon smoking weed in daddy's luxury Waterloo apartment. 

Fin Dee.

The leading man.

He is absent mindedly strumming on a guitar and pretending not to care.

Boyishly good looking with large brown eyes,  dark hair and an impish grin. 

Fin Dee is also chronically immature and always desperate to be the centre of attention. 

Every now and then he sidles over to Bhatt and whispers something - conspiratorially - into his ear. 

Both men giggle like a couple of schoolgirls. 

"You are just puppets in my hand!" Agastin spits venomously as Lena forgets her lines again and Vic laughs out loud. 

Mildred Piaf.  

The big earth mother. 

An attractive older woman with small wary blue eyes and a mop of blonde hair.

Short but prepossessing - Piaf has been privately coaching a few of the younger actors from her font of wisdom.

She'll have some timely words of advice to impart later from her fast store of acting experience which includes a recurring role as a mental patient in the medical drama Doctors and Nurses.

"My breasts are like the milk jugs of Lebanon ... and my - my hair is like ..." Lena falters nervously.

"Fucking hell!" Eduardo Agastin explodes in a rage again "Can't you do a simple fucking task? Are you really so thick? Are you fucking actors or fucking  parrots?"

Everyone stares back bemused at the ranting director.

"I feel sick!" Lena finally wails.

Jed Semper.

Rake-like thin with a sharp face and piercing green eyes.

Semper stares at Reynolds with disgust.

He is RADA trained and ostentatiously affected. 

Semper has been waiting for his cue for over half an hour now and he is not amused. 

Inwardly he rages.

"I am a real actor after all and she's just a brainless extra."

"Are you fucking actors or fucking amateurs?" Eduardo Agastin explodes menacingly.

Nobody dares to answer back.

Rory James.

Blond and good looking with clear blue eyes and a ready smile.

He is also painfully shy and self conscious

He is sitting in the stalls and glancing at his watch again as he has periodically since he arrived.

Its been two long hours since rehearsals began.

last song (by *bevzavildirim77
Time is crawling along.

Sitting beside James are two obese twins.

Andrew and Andrea.

Forty stone plus between them.

Both have curly brown hair and small black eyes.

They have jovial happy faces and bright rosy cheeks.

They do everything together.

And they both talk in unison for much of the time.

Both are eagerly hoping for the big break.

But for now they will have to settle for playing water nymphs.

Lena Reynolds struggles to remember her lines again.

And Jed Semper finally walks out - slamming the door behind him.

"Fucking bloody hell!" Agastin explodes again "You are all fucking useless!"

Everyone slowly stares at each other.

Mildred Piaf lets out another long sigh from the sidelines. 

It's going to be a very long night.

But several days pass too quickly for the beleaguered theatre company.

It's Friday night at Libre. 

Show time

Most of the seats in the theatre are empty.

But there are several film students and an agent sitting in the stalls.

The agent has already called his assistant to inform him not to expect any new talent tonight.

A reporter snores loudly in the second row.

A few relatives - including an over eager mother - are also in the audience.

The dramatic lighting has had the effect of enticing the audience to sleep.

Lena Reynolds is on stage alone.

Barely visible through simulated smoke,  she portrays the goddess Aphrodite in a beige body stocking complete with strategically placed felt ivy leaf.

A big black wig which has seen better days,  completes the look.

Reynolds pretends to be washed up on the shore somewhere in England.

She thrashes about melodramatically on the floor as the sound of lapping waves waft across the airwaves.

The two Japanese technicians have had trouble with the equipment and earlier on they played Radio One for twenty minutes by accident.

They think Agastin is a complete idiot - but they are too polite to show or say anything.

Occasional snickers of laughter from the audience cannot faze Lena Reynolds as she feverishly writhes about on the floor.

Lena Reynolds is the classic grasping actress.

And tonight she overacts so much that she actually resembles a mermaid having a seizure.

Yet she valiantly continues with her monologue, intoning drolly

"My face is as full as the moon ...
My lips are as red as the wines of Sparta ...
I open my legs to the dawn ..."

Several snorts of derision are heard.

Somebody yawns loudly.

An attractive group of students are watching Lena's performance from the third row.

"What a load of crap!" Film student James Mathews snorts with derision.

"Keep your voice down!" Fellow film student Sally Crane replies "It might get better!"

But Crane has already come to the conclusion that coming to the performance of this play was a bad idea.

Her mind flashes back a few evenings ago.

She is sitting in the modest living room of her student apartment.

Crane has been avidly reading a theatre advert in the local newspaper.

"What's the play about again?" James Mathews cries from the kitchen where he is preparing dinner.

"It says its ... an "existential play about the bourgeoisie elite and the struggle for humanity" Crane answers with a shrug.

"Sounds really pretentious!" Mathews exclaims with a laugh "Right up our film school street!"

"Sounds like it should be really interesting!" Sally Crane adds enthusiastically - not very convincingly.

Now they all sit gloomily in the dimly lit theatre twiddling their thumbs.

Sitting next to Sally is would-be writer and student Matt Hayes.

He is watching the production through his fingers.

The script to the play is so bad that he can't believe anyone would want to use it.

Lanie Jacobs sits beside Hayes.

She is the lead singer with underground group People Power.

And she is fighting the urge to not to fall asleep for the last fifteen minutes.

But she is fast losing the battle.

Jacobs also laments not spending the evening with her band members working on new tracks

"What the hell is this play about again?'" Hayes enquires miserably to a giggling Sally.

"Its an existential play apparently" Crane answers.

"What a load of shite!" Matt Hayes retorts.

Lena continues to flail violently on the floor.

Vic Bhatt enters dramatically.

He is playing the Greek god Apollo in an ill fitting curly blond wig and Hellenic toga.

Bhatt pretends to catch Reynolds in a big net.

She writhes about before eventually surrendering with a big sigh.

"At last I have found you!" Vic bellows with his hands on his hips.

The couple then proceed to dance to Against All Odds by Phil Collins.

Most of the bemused audience are stunned into shocked awe as the couple twirl around to the classic song.

The couple then disappear into the shadowy wings as the appalling realisation of what they have just seen eventually sinks into the audience.

Barely have they recovered when Andrew and Andrea lurch into view in matching blue gowns.

A crown of plastic laurel leaves are atop their heads.

The obese pair then proceed to simulate swimming through the sea.

James and Sally slowly turn to look at each other.

"Please tell me this is isn't happening ..." James Mathews mutters in disbelief.

"I'm afraid it is!" Matt Hayes cries unable to hide his horror.

Thirty minutes later after a scene in which Mildred Piaf as the goddess Hera eats a fatted calf and Rory James as Hephaestus divorces Aphrodite at the Royal Courts of Justice - and the curtain finally falls down.

It's the end of act one of Feast and Famine.

The atmosphere is tense backstage.

'This is goddamn awful!" Jed Semper wails despairingly slumping back into his chair

Everyone is staring forlornly into space.

Fin Dee grunts sympathetically before burying his head in a newspaper again.

He is playing Zeus,  and half of his beard is now hanging off.

Vic is smoking weed on the balcony - as usual.

His blond wig has finally slipped half way down his head.

Mildred Piaf swoons in and stares in the mirror tugging off her wig and plastic tiara.

She is not amused.

Piaf is dressed in a big diaphanous moth eaten gown and brown curly wig.

"This is the worst experience of my life!" Mildred Piaf announces melodramatically to everyone.

Lola Ramirez.

A pretty Spanish student with large brown eyes and a mane of black hair.

She is the dresser on the play tonight - but her dissatisfaction is evident as she moodily adjusts Piaf's gown before scuttling out.

"What's up with her?" Dee enquires as soon as Ramirez is gone.

"Apparently Eduardo promised her Lena's part" Semper conspiratorially informs him.

A low murmur breaks out among the company but a sense of pervading doom quickly descends upon them.

"And we all know how trustworthy Agastin's promises are!" Jed Semper adds bitterly.

The morose atmosphere possesses the company as they all secretly assess their woe-begotten situation.

This terrible play could finish their careers before they have even started.

"Come to think of it ... has anyone seen Lena?" Mildred Piaf suddenly enquires.

Everyone slowly turns to look at each other.

"Or Eduardo for that matter?" Piaf adds with mounting consternation.

"Maybe they made up and tripped off into the sunset together!" Vic Bhatt cries from the balcony as he takes another drag from his spliff.

Fin Dee and Jed Semper giggle at the jibe.

"I haven't seen either of them for ages" Rory James asserts as he flings his book aside.

"We haven't seen them!" Andrew and Andrea answer at the same time.

Nobody has seen either Lena Reyonlds or Eduardo Agastin for nearly half an hour.

"But Lena did say she wasn't feeling very well" Mildred Piaf remembers.

"She didn't look well at all" Rory James adds in agreement.

An uneasy silence falls upon the room.

"We thought she looked as white as a sheet!" The twins announce together.

"Come to think of it ..." Jed Semper suddenly concedes wretchedly "I don't feel very well either!"

Everybody slowly turns to look at Semper.

"Shut up!" They all exclaim in unison.

Lola Ramirez is knocking softly on the door of the ladies toilet.

"Miss Renods?" Ramirez calls out.

There is no response.

Only a shifting noise suggests the presence of someone on the other side of the toilet door.

"Hallo ... Miss Renods?" Lola persists "Hallo  ... you okay ... Miss Renods?"

Suddenly Lola Ramirez notices that the toilet door is slightly ajar.

She slowly pushes the door open.

And for several moments Ramirez stands rooted to the spot by the horrific scene before her.

Eduardo Agastin lies on the floor with his arms outstretched with his mouth wide open and his blank eyes staring upwards.

His chest has been split open and blood is seeping all over the floor.

Lena Reynolds is hunched over the recumbent body of Eduardo Agastin.

She is completely covered in blood as she feasts on the corpse of the malicious director.

Lola Ramirez throws back her head and screams a guttural cry of terror.

Reynolds instantly looks up and snarls ferociously at the terrified dresser.

The one-time would be actress shows her sharp white fangs.

Lola Ramirez promptly faints where she stands.

Back in the theatre,  there is a muted sense of expectation in the air as the heavy curtain finally rises.

"Will this part be just as shit as the last?" James Mathews asks pointedly.

"I've observed more enjoyable autopsies than this!" Lanie Jacobs concedes with contempt.

"I'll give it another fifteen minutes!" Matt Hayes announces quickly glancing at his watch "Then I'm outta here!"

empty stage (by high jinxx
"I think I'll join you!" Jacobs shoots back.

This has been one endurance test that they have all failed tonight.

Sally Crane has nodded off in her chair.

The agent and reporter have long gone.

And most of the relatives are fast asleep and snoring in their chairs.

The stage is empty.

Gradually a dark figure shifts into sight.

It quivers and breaths loudly in a raspy drawl.

The bedraggled form of Lena Reynolds takes centre stage and slowly moves into the spotlight.

Both the Japanese technicians are slumped over the control panel in the lighting and sound booth.

Blood is pouring out of open gashes to their necks where their throats have been torn out.

No audience member is aware of anything.

Nobody knows that the attractive woman serving drinks at the bar is now lying in a pool of blood. Her heart has been ripped out of her body and her entrails are lying beside her.

Nobody has noticed that Jed Semper's severed head is floating in the gents toilet.

Or that the dismembered body parts of the rest of the Libre Theatre Group including the hapless Lola Ramirez are strewn all over the dressing room floor.

It took one-time would be actress and zombie Lena Reynolds twenty minutes to finish them all off.

Although admittedly even she (or it) balked at the challenge of the morbidly obese twins Andrew and Andrea.

Now Reynolds' is alone on the stage.

And her bright eyes are flashing wildly.

Her dark wig is thickly matted with blood.

Sharp white fangs are glistening in her undead mouth.

She growls menacingly as she stares into the audience.

The living dead meets the living dead.

"Now this is more like it!" James Mathews exclaims loudly with excitement.

Hold The Front Page

It's just another day at The Daily Chronicle.

A popular well read newspaper.

The tasteful office resides in the expensive business section of New Acres.

Everything gleams in the modern glass headquarters of The Daily Chronicle.

But it is an ivory tower.

And a graveyard which is haunted by the living dead. 

For today you can cut the malice and resentment with a knife.

Janice Towers.

A bird-like red head who is already on her second Dr Karg cracker.

She has spent the last twenty minutes pretending to be busy but cocking her head slightly to the left so she can hear what is being said in the editors office.

The door is slightly ajar.

Narrowing her eyes, Janice manages another sneer through mouthfuls of cracker.

Muriel Stoker.

An attractive older woman with curly brown hair and keen grey eyes.

She shifts her glasses on her nose.

She shuffles some files on her desk.

Stoker pretends - unconvincingly - not to care what is going on around her.

Michael Gavin.

Good-looking and athletic with wavy brown hair and large blue doe eyes.

Nineteen, new and hungry for recognition.

In a minute, he'll ask her if she wants a cup of tea or coffee again.

Milly Sandford.

A sparky Northern brunette.

"Little miss sunshine" Sandford murmurs with disdain under her breath as she vainly pretends to be typing something important.

Jeff Crowley.

The dependable older man with a a salt and pepper moustache and greying hair.

Proud grandfather to twins.

Crowley grunts and looks up quickly from his desk before bowing back down again.

He buries his head in paper work.

He is already on his fifth cup of coffee and its only 10.30am.

The atmosphere in the office is as icy as the weather outside.

The grey sky has a cold eerie glow.

A large crow squawks loudly as it flies past a spidery tree.

Back in the office, even the temp's are whispering animatedly to each other over their computers.

A little blonde intern giggles.

"One minute she's tinkering with the fax machine and the next -" Muriel begins indignantly.

"She's virtually running the whole office" Jeff finishes easily for her as he takes a big gulp of coffee.

"Who does she think she is?" Sally asks sourly, "The Queen of Sheba?"

Phil Keating.

Tall and good looking with two ex-wives and cocaine habit.

Manchester United supporter.

"Comes from nowhere ... and takes it all!" Keating - from sport - mutters bitterly.

He snatches a quick glance before burying his head in his notebook again.

Rebecca Grace.

Pretty blonde and vain.

"Walk across your grave, she would" Grace - from fashion - fairly spits in disdain.

She examines her carefully manicured nails before opening her compact and checking her lipstick.

Max Wield.

Attractive older man of the world with a penchant for fine dining.

"There's no accounting for taste" Wield declares as he searches for his cigarettes.

Phil Keating leans over and offers Wield a cigarette from his own packet.

Chris Steel.

Jocular younger man hungry for success.

Dark haired and good looking.

Steve Riley

High spirited younger reporter.

Blond and good looking - life-long sci-fi aficionado.

"How's it coming along?"  Steel enquires jovially as he hands his friend Steve Riley - from media - a coffee before perching on the edge of the desk in front of him.

"How have you been?!" Steve exclaims jumping out of his chair and vigorously shaking his friends hand

"I'm alright mate" Chris laughs "A little sabbatical, what you up to?"

"Just writing up an interview I did with that actress" Steve answers swallowing a mouthful of warm coffee.

"Okay" Chris cries "What's she called again?"

"Lucretia Bon Bon" Steve replies.

"Never heard of her" Chris shrugs "What's she been in?"

"Stabber" Steve answers.

"Never heard of it" Chris concedes.

"So what's going on here, then?" Steve enquires, sipping his coffee.

Chris nods to the scene ahead.

They both turn to observe the scene ahead.

An uneasy silence has descended upon the tense office floor.

A smartly dressed woman with immaculately coiffed hair is chatting animatedly with a new intern

Dominic Lee.

Dark haired,  urbane and handsome.

He has just moved into the expensive penthouse where Hargreaves resides.

"Melinda Hargreaves?" Chris says in bemusement "What's she up to then?"

Melinda Hargreaves.

A tall and attractive brunette with a penchant for power dressing and LancĂ´me red lips.

She looks like a vampire in a Chanel suit.

Hargreaves glances quickly at her audience and flashes them a bright smile showing white teeth.

"New editor" Janice snarls contemptuously between mouthfuls of Dr Karg cracker.

"What?!" Exclaims Chris Steel in shock "I'm off for a month ... and the whole world ends!"

Everyone seems to shake their heads.

"She bloody stole that job from under Russell's nose ...look at his face!" Mark exclaims.

"Poor bugger!" Jeff  Crowley sneers, slowly shaking his head "One minute he's here and the next ... gone"

"I heard she banged him to death!" Wield says with a sly grin.

Several people giggle.

"I hate that silly cow!" Muriel hisses as she gnaws on her HB pencil like a little squirrel.

"Never trust a woman who wears too much perfume!" Milly Sandford announces "She's either trying too hard or trying to poison you!"

More giggling.

"And I thought she was one of us!" Phil Keating wails in dismay, suddenly feeling betrayed.

"She doesn't deserve that job!" Sandford rages "She only got it because she's attractive and can wrap men around her little finger"


Silence descends upon the disgruntled defectors again.

"Hey ... you're very quiet today!" Jeff Crowley address the woman two tables down.

Blood (by Zoeim
Everyone turns to look at Tracy Peacock who has been quietly typing away at her desk.

Tracy Peacock.

A pretty brunette with a complicated love life.

She is seemingly oblivious to the goings on around her.

"Oh well ... I'm okay ... just working away here ... meeting the deadline" Tracy answers nervously as she shifts uncomfortably in her chair.

She quickly looks up from her computer and then looks back down again.

Everyone stares intently at Melinda Hargreaves.

They watch her every move and gesture.

Like vultures around a carcass.

Hargreaves shakes Lee's hand as everyone stares in disbelief.

Then her hand brushes lightly between his legs as several people gasp.

"Well, wouldn't you know" Wield remarks with a snort.

"Whore" Sandford sneers venomously.

Dominic Lee turns and smiles broadly at his audience and then briskly exits.

Several mouths are hanging open.

Max Wield throws his pen across the table.

Milly Sandford pulls out a stick of gum from her purse and throws it into her mouth with a snort of derision.

Hargreaves bestows her audience with a broad, winning smile.

"Sebastian Gardner sends you all his love" she declares as all eyes fix upon her "I made sure he got a good send off!"

And with that,  Melina Hargreaves sweeps back into her new office leaving a trail of Chanel No.5 behind her.

Another low hush falls upon the office once again.

The only sound is that of muffled voices on telephones and fingers clicking nervously on keyboards.

And the sound of Janice Towers munching on another Dr Karg cracker.

"Wait a minute, somethings wrong here" Muriel Stoker finally announces conspiratorially.

"What do you mean?" Jeff Crowley asks - his interest peaked.

"Tracy!" Muriel exclaims loudly "Is there something we should know?"

"No ... nothing at all ... " Tracy replies anxiously.

"I'm not convinced" Milly Sandford retorts sharply.

She turns to stare intensely at Tracy Peacock.

"Go on!" Steve Riley smiles "Confess Trace!"

The whole office suddenly seems to be staring at Tracey Peacock. With so many eyes upon her - Tracy feels  unable to hide any longer.

"Okay ... okay ... Melinda has made me Assistant Editor ... I start on Monday!" Tracy finally reveals.

A piece of Dr Karg cracker fall's out of Janice's open mouth as Chris nearly chokes on his coffee.

"Are you going to fly out of the window like Supergirl as well?" Muriel responds bitterly.

"No ... but I've got the office with the big money plant in it!" Tracy Peacock exclaims triumphantly.

"Would you like tea or coffee Miss Peacock?" Michael Gavin enquires eagerly.

"I'm going to be sick!" Janice Towers finally wails in despair.

"Any other surprises?" Jeff Crowley enquires.

"There is just one" Tracy answers.

"And what's that?" Jeff asks expectantly - his appetite fully whetted.

"You're sacked" Tracy Peacock finishes smoothly with a smile.

Inside her new office, Melinda Hargreaves settles back into her big leather chair.

She takes a long look around her tasteful surroundings and then she smiles to herself.

It took her several hours to finish off Sebastian Gardner.

His dry skin wasn't to her liking but once she had managed to dice him up and added a sauce - he went down very well.

She and Dominic Lee had a fine supper that night.

It's tough being cannibals.

But things were looking up for herself and her flesh eating lover Dominic Lee.

In fact,  Melinda Hargreaves is feeling rather peckish.

She picks up her phone.

"Tracy!" Hargreaves says with a broad smile "Would you please come to my office?"

Outside her window,  several carian crows have descended upon the branch of a tree and they stare with bright black eyes at Melinda Hargreaves as she waits for her victim to arrive.

stage door (by bulletingun