Lost Souls

What I Saw

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What I Saw

by Drue Fairlie

"I tell you, I saw it," shouted Mark angrily.

"Course you did," sniggered Dave, one of the friends Mark had told his story too.

"You calling me a liar," asked Mark, violence ringing his voice.

Before the other boy could answer, Andy the second of Mark’s friends said.

"Hang on I don’t want to end up in the middle of another fight, so just calm down".

"Come on Andy," laughed Dave. "You have to admit, this is a wild tale, even for one of Mark’s stories."

"It’s not a story," shouted Mark, going red in the face.

"Ok Mark," said Andy soothingly, as he gave Dave a, shut up stare. "Calm down, but you have to admit it is a bit hard to swallow."

"Don’t you believe me ether," asked Mark.

"I never said that, and you know it," said Andy defensively.

"No you didn’t," sighed Mark, all the anger suddenly leaving him.

"If one of you had told me this, then I guess I would have laughed at you. But it’s true. I swear it, all of it".

"So it’s true," said Andy. "I’m just not really sure what you want us to do about it".

Mark stood there for a moment looking at his two friends before he answered.

"Come back with me, come back and see for yourselves."

"And see what," asked Dave.

"And see that I’m telling the truth. He was doing everything I said," answered Mark

Andy broke the silence that blossomed between the two other boys after Mark had spoken.

"Tell us again then we’ll decide."

What’s the point, why should I waste my breath?"

"Come on, Andy’s right," said Dave smiling. "Tell us again, I could do with another laugh."

"Fuck you," snarled Mark, as he turned his back on them and started to walk away.

"Nice one dick-head," said Andy as he ran after Mark.

"What did I say," asked Dave.

"The wrong thing as usual Dave, the wrong thing".

"I was only joking". Dave mumbled, as he too ran after Mark.

It only took the two boys a few minutes to catch up with Mark.

"Come on," shouted Dave, as he ran up to his friend. "I was only joking."

"Whatever. Just leave me alone."

"Come on," said Andy. "Stop acting like a pair of little girls, and look at this for what it is."

The other two looked at Andy.

"What," they said together.

Andy sighed. "It’s simple really. If what Mark says is true we might be able to use it to our advantage."

"And if it’s not," asked David.

"If it’s not, then we teach Mark not to lie buy kicking the shit out of him."

"Sounds good," smiled David. "Ok by you Mark."

"Yes, just remember when you see it’s true who you have to apologize to."

"That will be the day."

"Don’t get him started again David," said Andrew stepping between the other two before anything could start.

"Ok then, tell us it again just like before. But God help you if you’re lying."

"It’s like I told you before, it was late last night, and I was taking a shortcut through the church grounds, you know the one."

His friends nodded, they both used the shortcut Mark had mentioned, even though the vicar had expressly forbidden it.

"I was creeping along, trying to make as little noise as possible. I didn’t want that mad vicar going nuts again.

Once again the other two nodded. They’d both at sometime fallen foul of Mr. Greening, the aging and slightly mad vicar.

"I was just climbing over the back church wall when I saw strange lights coming from the basement. You know those small windows that are right on the ground."

Mark didn’t wait for the other two to reply, he just ploughed on with his story.

"I think if it had just been a normal kind of light, I wouldn’t have even noticed it. But this was weird; it flickered and seemed to get bright then dim, like it was kind of pulsing."

"Come on, drop the dramatics and get on with it." Said Dave sarcastically

"Take the piss all you want, but you weren’t there, you didn’t see what that mad old sod was doing."

"You don’t really believe what you’re saying, do you," asked Dave a smile spreading across his face.

"Don’t start again Dave," said Andy, once more stepping in between his friends. "Don’t worry about him Mark, just finish your story."

"Ok Andy, like I said, I was kneeling down trying to look through the basement windows. At first all I could see was candles, there seemed to be hundreds of them all over the place. And in the middle of the floor there was a large circle drawn in chalk".

Mark paused for a moment and looked at his friends. He’d already told them this once today, and they had almost choked themselves laughing. So taking a deep breath he started to tell them the last part of his story again.

"That’s when the vicar walked in. He was dressed in this black robe; it had weird drawings all over it. He walked to the middle of the room and stepped inside the circle, and then he drew on the floor with a piece of chalk, like he was sealing himself inside it."

Dave stopped him before he could go.

"So you’re still sticking with your story that mad rev. Greenling is in fact a devil worshipper."

"I don’t know what he is all I know is what I saw. I know this all sounds nuts, but it real, I saw it all."

Dave turned and looked at Andy.

"Well what do you think?"

"It’s pretty heard to swallow, but think if it’s true. We could blackmail that old git forever."

"Easy money," whispered Dave greedily.

"Ok Mark, we’ll go with you, but if your lying," Andy left the threat hanging in the air.

"I’m not Andy, you wait and see."

"Is there anything else, anything you’ve forgotten to tell us?"

"No, that was the whole story. Once I saw him walk in like that, I took off home as fast as I could."

"Ok we’ll go and have a look tonight."

"What time," asked Dave.

"Mark saw him at about midnight, so let’s meet at mine at about 11:30, then we can go from there," answered Andy.

"Right see you then," said Dave

"And Mark," said Andrew turning to his friend and punching him hard on the shoulder.

"Ouch, what was that for."

"It’s a reminder of what will happen if this is all just a wind up."

"Good one." laughed Dave, as the two boys walked away.

"You wait," said Mark to himself as he rubbed his shoulder. "You’ll see I’m not joking."

Mark and Dave were outside Andy’s house at 11:30, waiting for him to escape.

Andy’s parents were strict church-goers, who made their son go to bed by seven each evening. Which was fine for a boy six, but not for one of sixteen.

"Where is he," whispered Mark.

"Don’t worry, he’ll be here," said Dave. "You know he has to sneak out. Anyway what’s your rush I thought you were scared to go back?"

Before Mark could answer, Andy walked out of the shadows

"Let’s go," he said to the other two. "And like I said this afternoon Mark, if this is a wind up you’ll get the hiding of your life."

"It’s all true, I promise," said Mark defensively.

"I hope so, that old bastard has made my life hell, with all his sermons and rules," said Andy grimly

"What you going to do," Asked Dave, doubt creeping into his voice.

"I’m going to get some pictures. Then its playtime" smiled Andy.

"Hang on a minute," broke in Mark, "I’m not up for this."

Andrew walked over to Mark and casually slapped him across the face.

"You’re in this now, understand."

"Ok, I understand," said Mark, rubbing his reddening cheek.

"Good, that’s what I like to hear, now let’s get moving, I don’t want to miss anything," said Andy, a smile breaking out on his young face.

The three of them arrived at the church a little before midnight. The over grown bushes and smashed streetlights, gave them all the darkness they needed to hide in. Anyone looking from the road would have seen nothing more than midnight shadows dancing in the breeze.

"Right Mark," whispered Andy. "It’s down to you now, where did you see him."

"It was round the back, those basement windows just before you get to the old scout hut," answered Mark.

"Let’s get going, we don’t want to miss anything," said Andy,

"Hang on a minute Andy," said Dave softy. "Are you sure about this."

"You going soft on me too Dave," asked Andy, stepping menacingly towards his friend.

"No, I just don’t want to end up in a cell again."

"That’s the beauty of this, once we have a picture there’s nothing he can do, if he rats on us we rat on him. And we’ll have this over him, we can get him to do anything, buy us booze, fags, anything."

Andy knew he had convinced Dave when he saw the greedy smile reappear on his face.

"Good boy, I knew you’d come round, ok Mark lead the way."

The three of them made their way round to the back of the church. And there in the darkness they lay in wait for the reverend to start his show.

"How long do we have to lay here, I’m freezing," complained Dave.

"As long as it takes, now shut up, hissed Andy

"How long were you here for last time Mark," asked Dave, unwilling to stop moaning.

"I guess fifteen minutes, or so," answered Mark.

"If nothing happens in twenty minutes I’m going home, and I don’t care what you say Andy," grumbled Mark.

"Just shut up ok or I’ll," Andy started to say.

"Hang on, look," butted in Mark.

The other two stopped arguing and looked though the grim covered basement window.

"Look Andy, Mark was right all along," said Dave in a whispered whisper.

But Andrew was too engrossed in the spectacle that was unfolding in front of him too answer.

This was what he had been waiting for. Now he could make this old man’s life a misery, and pay him back for all the years of sermons and lectures, for all the beating that his father had given him on the advice of this man. Who had said the only way to bring up a child was to beat the goodness into him.

"Got you now you fucker," whispered Andrew under his breath as he pressed the button on his camera.

Suddenly the Reverent looked up at the window where the three boys lay and said.

"I don’t think you have Andrew, I don’t think you have at all."

The blow came so suddenly that all Andy felt was a sudden shock as fear swept through his body. Then blackness as his mind swam down into the murky waters of unconsciousness.

He was brought back from the void by the sound of someone crying softly off to his left, and calling his name.

"What’s going on," He said groggily, his mind still trying to stand up.

"Andy, for fuck’s sake wake up", called the voice again.

After a moment of uncertainty Andy realized that it was Dave who was speaking to him, he also realized that he was tied up.

"Dave what’s going on, where are we."

"I think I can answer that," said a voice from the darkness.

"Who’s that, who’s there," called Andrew into the shadows.

But deep down Andrew already knew who it was, even before the Reverend stepped out of the darkness.

"Hello," he said cheerfully. "Not quite what you expected is it. I bet you wondering what happened out there. I bet you’re wondering what’s going to happen to you now, Well shall we deal with one question at a time. First what happened outside? Well why don’t I let someone else explain that."

The Reverent beckoned to someone standing behind the boys.

"Why don’t you say hello."

In the seconds before the unknown fourth person in the room spoke. Both boy’s imaginations filled with visions of monsters and deformed henchmen. What they didn’t expect was.

"Hi guys."

"Mark," said Andy his voice chocked to a whisper.

"Yes that’s right."

"What the fuck is going on," shouted Andy. "Let us go."

"I don’t think I could do that," smiled the vicar.

Seeing that smile froze Andy’s blood in his veins. And next to him David began to cry very softly, like a small child having a nightmare.

"Please let us go, we won’t tell anyone honest," said Andy, feeling tears start to form in his own eyes.

"Your right you won’t," agreed Mark smiling.

"What’s wrong with you Mark, why are you doing this to us?"

"Why don’t you show him why you’re doing this," said the Reverent mildly.

"You’re going to love this guys, trust me," laughed Mark.

Mark walked towards the two tied up boys. Both of them pulled at the ropes that bound them tightly.

"Watch this," said Mark, his voice seeming to drop down an octave.

At first nether boys could see anything happen, then with a scream they watch as Mark’s eyes began to change. The whites of his eyes filled with a deep crimson and the pupils split until they looked like the eyes of some nightmarish jungle cat

Then just for a moment there seemed to be another face superimposed over Marks, a hideous face, full of hate and loathing, a face that leered at the boys and reviled in their pain and terror.

Nether Andy or Dave could find the will to scream as they watched what was happening in front of them.

"Isn’t tonight just full of surprises," laughed the Reverend, as he walked up behind Mark and laid his hand on his shoulder.

"Please Reverent," sobbed Andrew.

"That’s just what Mark said, when I caught him snooping outside my window last night.

As you have guessed this isn’t Mark, this is." The reverent hesitated.

"This is a friend, who I called to help me."

"Where’s Mark," asked Andy, afraid of the answer.

"Don’t worry about that dear boy you’ll be seeing him very soon. But first there are things to do. Mark, you’d better go home. You have a busy day tomorrow."

"Yes your right Reverend, there is much still to do."

As Mark walked towards the cellar door, the Reverend called after him.

"And remember bring as many children as you can, the master is very hungry."

The creature that was pretending to be Mark simply nodded as it left the cellar.

"Now then," said Reverend Greenling, as he turned towards the two boys. "Let’s begin."

The midday sun was warm and pleasant as the two girls walked arm in arm down the high street.

"Hi," came a voice from behind them.

"Hi Mark," they said together as they turned to face him.

"What you up to," he asked.

"Well we were meant to be meeting Dave and Andy, have you seen them.

"Not for a few days," said Mark a smile spreading across his face.

"But you’ll never guess what I did see".

Copyright Drue Fairlie 2006

Drue Fairlie is 42 years old and lives in suffolk england he's been writting for about three years now and has just had his first story published in three parts in the magazine twisted tongue.

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