Friday, 11 July 2014

On the ledge (Part 3)

On the ledge (Part 1)
On the ledge (Part 2)


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.

Wolf creek
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.


  1. Now if you'd quoted the lyrics to Bad Moon Rising... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6iRNVwslM4 Funny how he requested a kindle to help him pass the time. The choice of reading material for Desert Island Discs must have been expanded by the invention of the Kindle, not that radio 4 would have heard of the Kindle just yet...

    1. That is a real rock classic Marc, I was actually wondering whether to use that, but it was done in "An American werewolf in London" so I just left a small reference to it at the end of one of the lines.

  2. Owoooo was all that could be heard as he disappeared into the night........ so sad ^___^ I loved that he ate whole packet of chocolate digestive biscuits and I laughed out loud at the end of the Wuthering Heights sequence with the spider - loved this three parter - or is there more?

    1. Heheh!! Yeah, Awooooooooooooo... crunch!
      Glad it gave you a chuckle or two Helen. Sadly, our character is now beside the other guy spread across the rocks at the cliff face, so I think that's the last we'll be hearing about him.

      I really liked writing that bit, where his dozing mind made the mental leap from Wuthering heights-the book, to Wuthering heights-the song, and on from there to fantasize about Kate Bush. I was tempted to write more into that sequence but was running out of word space.

  3. Must be a particularly virulent strain of lycanthropy, most of the poor buggers only change at the full moon.

    You could have made him a cockney, and if he escaped home.... Awooooooooooooo werewolves of London.... on holiday.... he's a hairy handed gent, who ran amuck in Kent....

    (I have a whole list of Werewolf songs, I could do this all day)

    1. Hiya Darling. I googled the full moon thingy, and it said that although in reality a full moon only lasts for a few minutes, to the naked eye it seems to last for about three nights, so I reckoned on the first night of the full moon our monster shows up and does the nasty on everyone, and on night two it's our character's turn to err... turn. LOL.
      I did actually state "A gloriously full, beautiful, bad moon rising."

      Werewolves of London, eh? I wonder if they all live near Waterlooooooooooooo? Heheh!

    2. He was walking through the streets of Soho in the rain, a chinese menu in his hand, lately he's been seen in Mayfair....

    3. haha! Yeah.

      Sticking his snarling, whiskered nose
      Into places where god never goes
      hunting walking, talking steaks
      Pigging out before dawn breaks
      Then home again with waning moon
      And back to dog day afternoons

  4. A satisfying end to this story, Steve. At least he had the presence of mind to make sure he wouldn't further infect anyone else. The question is, though: Who infected the first guy, and why should I not worry about the next full moon? Which is tonight, I think.

    Good stuff, my friend.

    1. Thanks Stephen, glad you enjoyed it.
      I don't know who infected the first guy, but I'll bet he's still on the loose somewhere, hopefully nowhere near here. Heheh!

  5. eating a package of cookies sounds like an awful tummy ache. As a last meal though, I can't argue.

    1. Hi David, I think maybe the infection fueled his hunger a bit, or maybe he was just a greedy so-and-so, when I was younger I could polish off a packet of biscuits between meals. :-)

  6. I usually do not read serials, but I think I might just found me one I will have to read every week!

    1. Hi Claudia, I don't write serials all that often, it's just when I have an idea that turns what started out as a stand-alone piece into a two, or three parter.

      I hope this three parter gave you a smile or two, but sadly for our MC, his story is now over.

  7. Awesome Steve. I loved the Kindle book choices and the spider on face revelry. The ending was right up my alley too, sad but felt kind of light hearted because of the general tone of the story.

    1. Thanks Casey, my tongue was all the way into my cheek when I wrote this one. I'm not sure a werewolf would howl with laughter at it though. LOL

  8. Come to think of it, it's full moon tonight, in fact it's pretty damn close too. Howl, howl, howl...
    I laughed at the Kindle book choices, very suitable for the time, and all through the read I kept hearing Creedence Clearwater Revival. Such a nice tune to fit into this whole story. And if I view it like that, very bad ass ending, him just jumping off the edge half the monster. Very poetic and rock'n' roll. I loved it, the whole of it, Steve, thanks for a fun, fresh story with blood.

    1. A full moon tonight? Oh no, you be careful now..ow..owoooooooooo. LOL

      That "Bad moon rising" is just so fitting, isn't it? A brilliant old classic.
      Thanks for the kind words Cindy, the fact that people read, and are entertained by these stories make them well worth the writing, they are such fun to work with too.

  9. Excellent mixture of humour and horror! (And Kate Bush certainly is beautiful!)

    1. Thanks Li, I hope that it gave you a giggle or two. :)

      I was in my mid twenties when Kate Bush brought Wuthering Heights out, and I thought she was gorgeous, and loved her quirky songs and her dancing.

  10. Wow, that was fantastic! Love the ending.

    1. Thanks Catherine, them campers are always getting into problems, aren't they? :-)

  11. Nice to know being transformed hasn't hindered his other, uh, physical processes.

    He's going to have to come up with a Bruce Banner-level excuse to explain why his clothes have been shredded, though!

    This continues to be a lot of fun -- sort of a Samuel Beckett version of a werewolf story.

    1. Glad the humour worked for you Katherine.
      He won't be needing any excuses though, I'm afraid he's all busted up on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. :-)

  12. I love that he asked for his kindle and the bit at the end about life being unfair. Poor guy, he was a good character.

    1. Thanks Richard. It's a shame there was nothing on his mate's Kindle that suited his reading tastes, or his reading mood. :-)

  13. What an imaginative feast for the senses to be had on the ledge this time! I adored the Wuthering Heights visitation, the ghostleeee wooorrrds, and the titillation turned arachnoid. There’s even a particularly luscious phrase involving fiery Lady Sun dolling up for the evening in her red skirts. Oh, but just like finishing a good book, I’m left pensive. I’d grown fond of the ledge and of our noble narrator, so clever and humorous, so courageous of heart. He did the right thing, twice, and I’ll miss him.
    Miss A

    1. Ah, Miss Alister, your comments always bring me a smile, eloquent and humourous, and always very kind, thank you. :-)

      Alas, the end is here for our poor protag, and I'm sure he would have been very pleased to know of the pleasure his predicament has brought to others (LOL).
      But fear not, there will be more protags along the twisted route of the quill, and who knows, maybe more ledges too. :-)

  14. I think it's very good of him to die so others won't but he's right, it's very unfair!

    1. It is Icy, all the guy wanted to do was chill out with a beer and a few friends beneath the stars, who the hell expects a werewolf to turn up to the party?