Friday, 11 July 2014
On the ledge (Part 3)
On the ledge (Part 1)
On the ledge (Part 2)
ON THE LEDGE (Part 3)
I shouted up at the guys at the top of the cliff. After a few moments the faces reappeared.
“Ah... look guys, this might sound crazy, but I can't leave the ledge yet, I have to stay here until morning.”
“What? We have to get you out of there man. There's blood all over everything up here, and whatever did it might come back.”
“No worries, the killer's all broke up at the bottom of the cliff, but I think I got an infection from him, a real nasty one, and if I have I don't intend to let it leave this ledge.”
“But we need to get to the cops, man.”
“I know, but trust me on this, if this virus gets out there'll be even more deaths, best to play it safe.”
The pair looked at me dubiously. I knew their phones and internet wouldn't work out here, so they couldn't call for help, and it would take them several hours to make it to the nearest town.
“Well okay man, it's your call. We're camped a couple of miles north of here, we'll come back in the morning, but after that, whether you come up or not we're gonna go find the cops. Is there anything you need down there to see you through?”
I reeled off a list. Food, water, toilet paper, clean jeans, tee shirt, boxers, and my kindle.
Before long the gear was lowered down to me in a rucksack. The rope slithered back up again once I had untied it.
“Sorry about the blood stains on the jeans.” One of them said. “They were the cleanest pair we could find.”
“That's okay, blood stains are better than the ones I'm sporting right now.”
After ensuring that I would be okay until morning, the two left me alone. Understandable really, no-one in their right mind would want to spend any more time among the mess at the top of the cliff than they had to, and I was pretty sure they weren't convinced that the gore-spreader wouldn't return.
I stripped, washed using up one of the three bottles of water, and put on the clean clothes. I then ate a whole packet of chocolate digestive biscuits washed down with luke warm water. I eyed the tins of corned beef, beans and peaches hungrily, but since I stupidly didn't include a tin opener in my list, and they stupidly thought I must already have one with me, they were off the menu.
I pulled the kindle from the bag, flicked it on, and settled myself down to read while I waited for the sun to go down.
The kindle turned out to belong to one of the other guys, not mine. So I resigned myself to not finding out if the butler had, or indeed had not done it in my current book, and feasted my eyes on the available titles.
Dark side of the moon
The joys of camping
Wuthering heights... Wuthering heights? Sheesh!
I tossed the kindle to one side, closed my eyes and leant back against the rock face.
Kate Bush dancing in that ghostly, flowing white dress swam into my mind's eye..
“Heeeethcleeefff... it's meee Catheee I've come ho-ome I'm so co-o-o-old...”
She stared straight into my eyes as she danced her way closer.
“Let me in at yo-our windo-o-o-ow”
The dress slipped from her shoulders.
“Oooh it gets dark... it gets loneleee...”
It hit the floor.
“On the other side from you...”
She leaned right over me.
“I pine a lot... I find a lot...”
I was mesmerised by her naked beauty.
“Falls through without yoooou...”
Her fingers touched my cheek, caressed, tickled... annoyingly so...
I jolted awake, slapping at her hand, and dislodged a massive spider from my face. The creature fell to the ledge and disappeared down an impossibly small crack. Ugh!
The sun was almost down into the sea now, spreading its red skirts through the sparse cloud cover. Beautiful, I just love sunsets.
I stared at the horizon until the red faded, and was replaced by a darkening grey.
Although I couldn't see it, I knew that on the opposite horizon, the one behind me, the moon was on the rise. A gloriously full, beautiful, bad moon rising.
I knew it because I could feel it in my bones. The very bones that seemed to be growing, pushing my hands and feet further away from me.
I could feel it in my lengthening fingernails and protruding jaw. I could feel it in the very hair that was rapidly covering the whole of my body.
But most of all, I could feel it in the primal howl that was building up inside me, like a massive dam on the verge of rupture.
I stepped to the lip of the ledge and snarled down at the rocks hidden below in the dark.
My tee shirt and jeans ripped open as they succumbed to the growing pressure of expanding muscles.
As I stepped off into space, I was still human enough to feel the annoyance at the unfairness of it all.
But then again, no-one ever said that life was supposed to be fair.
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Many thanks to Kate Bush for the words, and the images in Wuthering heights.