Zedlist – Part Twenty Five

“I’m surprised you found the place”, Amy said, “people often get the building confused with the music studios five doors down.” She passed a bag to Kevin.

Kevin peered inside to see that it was full of mobile phones, keys and wallets.

“I think that’s all of them”, Amy said, “Everyone is in the large ground floor conference room, both doors are locked and there is no way they can escape, the windows are too small and high to climb out of. I’ve disabled the surveillance cameras, so you will be fine to walk around the place.”

“It must have been difficult to sort this out on your own”.

“Not really”, Amy said, “once I gave them that liquid you sent me they were very open to suggestion. A few people tried escaping, but not very successfully. They quickly forget what they are doing because they’re very easily distracted.”

Mad had been sitting so quietly that no one had noticed her, she got up and approached Kevin. She looked him up and down and tilted her head back as if smelling the air.

“You have been sliding”, she said.

“I’m sorry?” Kevin said, clearly confused.

“No, I’m sorry”, Amy said, “this is Madeline, my mother. I’m afraid that she is not sure of what she is saying.”

“I know exactly what I am saying”, Mad declared, “and I do not need you to speak for me”. It was as if Mad had been awoken from some kind of trance. She was suddenly very alert and assertive. “You think you are here to save us don’t you?” She said.

“Er… Erm”, Kevin stuttered.

“You cannot save us! No one can save us now! What will happen was set in motion long before you even knew about it. Look at you all, two Man children, a brute and a chaos magician who doesn’t even know he’s a chaos magician”, Mad laughed maniacally. “Once the glass has been smashed the pieces cannot be put back in place. We are all doomed. Doomed!” Kevin couldn’t help being reminded of Grandpa Simpson declaring the presence of evil.

After her dramatic display Mad walked back to her seat and sat down. The life flickered from her eyes. Just as suddenly as she had begun talking, she was silent once more.

Kevin was visibly taken aback.

“What do you mean?” Kevin asked Mad, “How do you know what will happen?”
Mad was staring into space now and did not respond.

“She gets like this when she hasn’t taken her medication”, Amy said to Kevin, lowering her voice so that no one else could hear.

“I see”, Kevin said, “I’m sorry”.

“It’s not your fault”, Amy said.

Kevin turned to Dale, “I need you to stay here”, he said, “don’t let anyone in or out. If there are any problems give me a call.”

Dale nodded.

Amy showed Kevin, Alex and Tim upstairs to where her father was.

She unlocked the door. Colin was standing up in the far corner of the booth, which had a floor space of about eight by six meters. He was staring intently at the patterns in the grey fabric on the wall. Kevin was reminded of the last scene from The Blair Witch Project, where the character Mike stands obediently in the corner awaiting to be slaughtered. Amy went into the next room, turned off the music and then the handed the key to Kevin. “Okay, he’s all yours”, she said.

“Right”, Tim said, suddenly taking the lead. “It shouldn’t take any more than a couple of hours, I’m going to need two of you to stay close by in case I need you.”

“What are you going to do?” Amy asked.

“I am going to attempt to deprogram him”, Tim said, “If I can interrupt his habitual thought patterns then it is going to be very hard for the Demon to gain access. While he’s under the effects of the drug he should be okay. When he returns to normal brain functioning he could be vulnerable again. I will let you know when I am done.”

Tim went inside and closed the door behind him.

“If you two want to stay up here, I’ll go and check on my, er, colleagues”, Amy said.

As Amy disappeared back down the stairs Kevin and Alex sat down on seats in the hallway. The studio that Tim had just entered was sound proofed and so the whole place was eerily quiet apart from the occasional distant ring of a telephone. The place felt institutional to Kevin and there was a distinct smell of new carpet and cheap floral scented air freshener. It reminded him of being kept after school and waiting for the head master to call him in.

“Films with hostage situations set in radio stations,” Alex said.

“Airheads”, Kevin announced after a few seconds, “Brendan Frasier, Steve Brucemi and Alam Sandler – bam!”

“I’ve not seen it”, Alex said, “any good?”

“Yeah, not bad. The cast really makes it. Alam Sandler is in top form. You should watch it. It’s your turn.”

“Alpha Papa.” Alex said.

“Any good?” –

“Nah, it’s proper shit!” –

“Okay, films with hostages in a radio station on acid”, Kevin said.

“I don’t think that’s ever been done”, Alex replied.

“You surprise me”, Kevin said dryly.

“I’m not sure I understand why we had to give them all acid”, Alex said, “Couldn’t we have just given them all sleeping tablets or something.” Alex had the deck of his skateboard propped against his knees and was spinning the wheels absently with his palm.

“Nah”, Kevin said, “According to Tim, the Demon can control us in our sleep, but certain drugs can change brain frequencies, which block the demon out.” –

“You do know that he’s nuts, don’t you?”

“I’m not sure if I view sanity in the same way as I used to”, Kevin said, “I think there are many ways of seeing. A different way of seeing isn’t necessarily wrong. You have to admit that it is more than a bit strange the way minor celebrities are dying everywhere.”

“Yeah it is very weird, but I don’t see how breaking into a radio station and giving everyone drugs is going to help.”

NEXT: Zedlist – Part Twenty Six

PREVIOUS: Zedlist – Part Twenty Four



Photograph by Mr. Aiden Marples


Lucas Howard

When I was seven I started copying poems out of a book and telling people they were mine. When I ran out of good ones to copy, I had to start writing my own. I have been performing and organising nights on the UK spoken word scene now for over seven years and am most of the way through writing the first draft of my first novel 'Zedlist', which is serialised on here. As the story is in fetal form, any critiques or suggestions are most welcome.

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