Zedlist – Part Fifteen
Colin was standing on a pebbled beach looking out to sea, wearing only a pair of skimpy swimming trunks, his pot belly exposed and sun burnt nose resembling an overcooked cocktail sausage. The warm pebbles pressed into his feet as he walked, making each limb movement rigid and unbalanced, resembling a defective plus sized C3PO. He had no idea of how he had got there, the beach was vast and desolate, with cliffs behind him dominating the landscape. Staring out at the horizon he could see a large wave coming towards him. As it came closer he noticed that there were cloaked figures riding it, as if perched on invisible surfboards. He felt exposed and fixed to the spot in terror.
The wave couldn’t have been any less than thirty feet tall and the figures themselves were three times the size of any human being Colin had ever seen. The breaker came crashing down on the stones, scraping them back out to sea with a gut wrenching sound. The savage tide knocked Colin off of his feet, pulling him out to sea. Each time he came inches away from reaching the surface another watery dervish came and sucked him back under.
A skeletal hand reached down and hooked a gnarled finger under the fabric of his trunks, pulling him out and dropping him like a rag doll onto the stony ground. Colin coughed up water and gasped for air.
Looking up he could see one of the giant figures towering over him, pointing a bony finger directly at his heart. As the monster leaned closer Colin could see hollow eyes and blood dripping from its teeth. He could feel the power being drained from his body. He called out for help, but the cries were consumed by the demon, adding to its stature and ferocity. Just as Colin could feel the last vestiges of life leaving his body he heard a voice coming from the sky.
“Wake up! Dad, wake up!”
Colin opened his eyes with a start and saw Amy standing over with a worried expression on her face.
“The demon had me, he had me!” Colin shouted.
“Don’t worry dad, it was just a dream, you are safe now” Amy said, comfortingly.
She had never seen him like this before. He looked so white that his head almost merged into the pillowcase. Diminished in size, he lay there, vulnerable and frightened. Mad was still fast asleep next to him as if nothing had happened. “I’ll go and make you some tea” Amy said, leaving the room. Amy made breakfast for her parents and then sat down to her computer.
I am the daughter of the radio DJ Colin Reed. I believe that my father might be in danger. I have been reading your accounts online of the demon that is possessing celebrities. I think you might be able to help.
Kevin was sitting at his desk when he received the e-mail alert. He read Amy’s message and then did some background research on her and her father. He went into Amy’s Facebook account, which was open for anyone to view, and read her conversations. He contacted her back and asked her some details to verify that she was indeed Amy Reed and not an impostor. Pleased with her answers, he gave her his mobile number as further point of contact.
Kevin liked Amy’s voice, it was soft and self-assured. They had been speaking for over twenty minutes and Kevin was telling her of his findings so far. Amy told Kevin about her father’s dream and what he had said about the demon. Kevin had plugged a headset into his phone to free his hands for taking notes.
“So”, Kevin said, “What is your father like?”
“He’s a bully”, Amy responded without hesitation, “He is probably one of the most strong-headed and arrogant people I know. He hasn’t always been that way though, he used to be very kind.”
“Has he got any particular interests”, Kevin asked.
“He used to have loads of interests”, Amy said, “Mum told me that he used to be a fantastic actor. He was in an improvisational group that are now very famous. He dropped out in the end. I think it was his father’s influence. My grand-dad has never really been a fan of my Dad’s choice of career. He seemed to think that any form of creative expression in a man was a sign of homosexuality.”
Kevin chuckled at this, covering the mouthpiece momentarily with his hand.
“When my brother died”, Amy continued, “my father changed a lot. It was like a whole side of his personality got amputated. I have an old picture in my room of him in the seventies with long hair and making a peace sign, it’s like a completely different person. Mum said he had a massive record collection that he just threw out. He didn’t even bother selling them. He is just like grand-dad now, bitter and bigoted. He seems to have given up on people. I can’t remember the last time he actually told me how he was feeling.”
“Does he have any interests now?” Kevin asked.
“Yes”, Amy responded, “His work, watching football, and hunting on the weekends. That’s pretty much it.”
“I thought hunting was banned?” Kevin said, showing his ignorance on the subject.
“Fox Hunting is banned, but game shooting and deer stalking is still very popular. He says that shooting a gun makes him feel powerful.”
“From what I can gather your father is a big deal.”
“Yes”, Amy said, “and he never gets tired of hearing it.”
Photograph by Zacarias da Mata