They say doctors bury their mistakes. However, this one came back to bite him…
It was 3:0 a.m. with a very slight drizzle. The Kent November weather had been kind to grave diggers on this Sunday morning. The muddy field, just off the A20, yielded not many stones. Not too soggy either. The added weight of water at the end of a shovel could double the time and be very tiresome.
At nearly two and a half feet deep, the Doctor’s foot rested on the shovel. The panting began to slow down. His perspiration billowed in the headlight beams.
Something rustled behind. He instantly froze. Ears pricked up like a hunted fox. Waiting, then nothing. Must have been some animal, he thought. Calm down. No one can see here. Well covered by the ridge of trees.
He patted the sides of the cubicle then rested, composed himself contemplating a good job. The arm moved into the car beam to check the time. ‘I’m still on schedule,’ came the muttering.
The Wellingtons were heavy and clogged. They laboured their way to the car boot. Now he was wrestling with the huge bundle. Stepping on the plastic sheet. Cursing his mistake¬—his folly—years of research now wasted. It had come to this. He’d been warned but refused to listen. Too heavy to carry. Have to drag.
He turned to the sound in alarm. A scuffle and screeching in the distance. A night-time prey for some carnivore, he thought.
Now pulling the legs. The arms trailing out behind as if being prepared for the last crucifixion. The smell of the late autumn earth clogging his senses.
It was a lonely place to finish up, he thought on reflection.
He smiled at the irony. At that moment, Roy Orbison was singing, ‘Only the Lonely’ on the car radio.
Thwump! It lay face up in its last resting place. The eyes reflecting off the headlights, glassy and staring. A discarded doll at the bottom of a toy box. It had once been somebody’s favourite. Now replaced, up-graded by new research, new grants. No loyalty here!
At the boot again. The legs buckled under the one-hundredweight-bag. Staggering, stumbling and cursing he reached the side of the pit and tossed the parcel on the high piled mud. The spade came down with a slash!-cutting the bag of builders lime. He scooped out shovels full, carefully, gingerly, spreading the grey dust. Like a loving mother tossing icing sugar on her child’s birthday cake.
It was beginning to work already. The fine drizzle reacting. Bubbles forming on the face. The creature’s mouth open with its last fixed grin.
Back in with the mud. Must hurry now. The panting and wheezing quickened. Perspiration steam coming off his thick winter jacket, floating across, caught in the slanted car lights.
The first rim of daylight was appearing as the sky lit up with lightning flashes. A storm brewing.
He ducked and winced as a thunderclap rattled overhead, illuminating his work, flickering for a second like a dying neon sign.
Clearing up now. Paring off the mud. Then back to the car. Ignition on. The motor turned over.
It wasn’t going to fire. He tried again.
‘Shit!’ he whispered. ‘Come on, you mother.’ The damp? The drizzle? Headlights on all this time? Thoughts swam through his mind.
He waited and collected himself. Heavy rain lashed the windscreen. His hand reached for the ignition again.
The explosion was immense. He covered his face in reflex as fork lightning zig-zagged into the mound—his tomb—the final resting place of his creation.
As if on cue, reminiscent of an old horror movie, it opened its eyes for the first time. At that precise moment the headlights died. It was draining the juice. It wanted birth—knowing something else must die—pay for it.
It twitched into life. Moving its arms only to find them smothered—trapped.The implanted brain awakened by the deafening thunder. The Monster trying to free itself. Whining, moaning. Pushing itself upwards, until, a fist punched through the earth.
On its feet now, swaying, unsteady. The mud falling off it with gravity. The lime on the body still hissing its way, silhouetted by steam. Its face lit up with bright lightning, momentarily flickering, showing crude surgical joins of basic stitching around the forehead and neck.
The rain sheeted against the car. Rocking it like a beached whale that had lost its way. He tried the ignition one more time.The noise jerked its head. It began to moan with anger when it saw its master.
Stiff, disjointed, it began to move nearer with heavy-footed plods. Hungry—arms outstretched. Wanting its first touch—to caress—to squeeze—to choke.
Moving to the car, the fingers flexed for the first time since birth. Like worms sprouting from stitched-on hands—hooking themselves into claws and coming nearer and nearer.
The Doctor now trying to get out. Frantic—panicking. Pushing the door with his shoulder. A central locking and electric windows malfunction. The beast grinned at him through the windscreen. It stood in front, silhouetted by lightning.
He sat back, beginning to accept his fate. Now quiet. Motionless. His face a tortured mask. Mouth open like a dead carp. White knuckled hands gripping the steering wheel.
It lunged at him—the windscreen glass disintegrating amongst high-pitched screams.The car rocked violently, back and forth. Then, silence. Only broken by satisfied grunts.
The Doctor’s head was in its hands. It held the decapitation, and tenderly kissed the lips. Then it was tossed away.
It looked up into the early morning sky, to the lights of a distant town, feeling good, feeling alive, wanting to be loved.
It turned in the direction of that sleeping community, then began to walk. Unsteady, clumsy, one lead boot in front of the other—but relentless.
About the Author
He studied engineering at Carshalton College and eventually became a member of the Institute of Quality Assurance. His engineering career took on many roles including tool making and being a technical writer for an artificial limb manufacturer. However, he has always enjoyed putting pen to paper while raising quality manuals and writing reports. He also writes tennis articles for his local county magazine and relaxes reading crime and horror fiction. This, coupled with his technical writing career, partly influenced his transition into creative writing. Wanting to expand his writing knowledge, he obtained a Level 3 / NCFE Certificate / PI410 creative writing diploma. Sow And You Shall Reap – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/145677171Xis his first self- published novel. However, he has submitted numerous short stories for internet competitions including, winning £100 as first prize for his “A Rose Without a Thorn” for the www.spinetinglerspublishing online magazine and winning £50 first prize for his “We’ll Meet Again” in the http://dark-places.co.uk online magazine. Two of his other short stories, “Rupert and My Secret Place”, have also been published in the printed Litro Magazine – Issue 140 – ISBN 978-0-9554245-5-7 http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/02/litro-140-diaries/.