Jellied Geniuses – Dead Deer

Jellied Geniuses

This should be the last time, he thought to himself as he reached deep into his coat pocket, pulling out the wrinkled paper bag. Striding purposefully he opened it up, selected a green jelly baby, popped it in his mouth, and returned the bag. His only weakness, he chuckled to himself. Jelly babies. Always he enjoyed these little treats, except after a ‘job’. Then he bought, instead, the large luxury juice filled fruit jellies, that came in lavish boxes of a dozen, at exorbitant prices.

He had her in the boot of the car, and would just need to drive up to the forest to finish it off, and then dump her. As usual he was wholly unconcerned about being observed. That unobtrusive and secluded location where he picked her up, why did so many young hitchhikers like it there?

He tapped on the boot a couple of times as he unlocked the car – shakes them up a bit that does  – and switched the radio on, to cover the noise of the banging from the back, which always annoys him. It is only an hour or so to drive, but then about the same amount of time afterwards, walking. It would not do to leave her too close to the road after all, and besides he prefers to be undisturbed whilst he, now, how shall we put this? Whilst he ‘works’.

He let his mind wander as he drove, it was a beautiful day, in this beautiful countryside, and he thought once again – as he once again reached for a jelly baby – that she should be his last victim. The thrill was getting less now, it was almost a chore! Thus it was he had only half a mind on the job as he opened the boot to be confronted with the meek, young victim pointing a handgun right at him.

The shock was compounded as he was grabbed from behind. Soon he was shackled and enduring a long, painful end at the hands of these people. Most of his brain was preoccupied with pain and fear, but he had a little space to wonder where he had seen them before. It was when they started to force-feed him kilos and kilos of jelly babies he recalled their faces.

The owners of the sweetshop knew him well, of course. They kept a good stock of his favourite jelly babies. It took them a few years, but eventually they noticed how they sold an expensive box of fruit jellies every time a young woman went missing – and always to the same individual.

Today I wrote from 15:05 to 15:22. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Feb 20th – Jellied geniuses

February 20th – Jellied geniuses

11.55-12.05

When she made Einstein, she broke the mould.

Literally.

Nothing would ever be so perfect again: the jelly was just the right consistency, flawless, the perfect shade of red. She looked at Einstein’s head, quivering on the pure-white plate, and made her decision. It was not a hard decision. She took the plastic mould, sourced from eBay for an insignificant sum, in the grand scheme of things, and hit it. Hard. Twice, with the wooden rolling-pin from the kitchen drawer. It cracked across the middle with the first hit, then shattered into pieces with the second. She smiled to herself as she swept up the pieces and brushed them into the kitchen bin, the lid hinging up with a satisfied sigh.

She did this once a week, on a Tuesday, the same time. Her children were at school, her husband at work. They had no idea.

Evidence removed, she sat at the table and polished her best dessert spoon with a fresh cloth. She held the spoon up, breathed on it, rubbed it again and, discarding the cloth, plunged the spoon into Einstein’s eye. She loved the sucking sound as the spoon pierced the semi-solid face and withdrew, a chunk of genius eye sucked up and shaking.

She liked to suck the genius pieces off the spoon, rather than opening her mouth wide and welcoming it in. She liked the sound, the slabber of cold sweetness opening her lips and filling her mouth. She would push her tongue into the gelatinous mass, piercing it, splitting it in two with the pressure, letting her taste buds dance to what they found. Einstein tasted of strawberry, and Einstein tasted good.

Last week it had been Marie Curie, in lime; the week before a blue raspberry Darwin, beard quaking as she worked her way through. Again, their moulds had been dispatched, in the same manner, with two sharp blows from the kitchen rolling-pin.

She was careful to take out the rubbish each Tuesday, before anyone put anything else inside the aluminium cylinder beside the back door, and asked questions that she didn’t want to answer.

Because there were no answers. Why did she make a genius out of jelly each Tuesday, once only, and then smash the mould? Why did she give up almost an hour of her day to slowly devouring the faces of the most notable men and women from human history? She wouldn’t have been able to answer you, even if you had asked. It was just what she did.

She had just put the pure-white plate in the dishwasher when the doorbell rang. She walked down the hall, opened the door and signed for the brown cardboard box in the delivery driver’s hands. Her own hands trembling, but only slightly, she opened it and lifted out the face of Shakespeare.

Next Tuesday, then. In orange.

 

Inspired by a prompt from here.

 

Feb 19th – Matches and marbles

February 19th – Matches and marbles

10.26-10.36

They were always cool to the touch. That was the fascination, to begin with. They way they felt in the hand, or in the pocket as you slid your hand though them, letting the cool glassiness slip between your fingers. It made your pocket go out of shape, and you lost the sharp outline of the blazer, but it didn’t matter. What mattered was the contents of your pockets, the clack of glass against glass, the spread of your fingers through the unforgiving coldness. That was the start.

You loved the way they looked against the light: sunlight, lightbulbs, different lights. The twisted centre you always saw as a shard of peel, caught in the fossilised amber of the perfect sphere. You liked the bubbles, the flaws, the imperfections. Some of the others had single coloured marbles, ugly balls of red and blue and green and white, they were never the same. You allowed yourself a black one, once, for the strangeness, the other, but it was what you could see inside that mattered more, and so the novelty soon wore off.

You played games. A circle drawn on the concrete, a rough chalk line for perfect spheres within. You perfected your technique: a flick of thumb sending the weapon skittering towards its victim, a claiming of prizes. There were two or three, though, that you never played with, that were too perfect. These you kept your inside pocket, one a spoil of war, the other two from an innocuous bag in a Christmas stocking. These were the perfect three.

One had an orange twist, perfectly formed, free of the imperfections that the other two had. These two looked simple enough, plain enough, but it was at night when the three of them came alive. At night when they blazed with momentary flashes of beauty, held close to the eye as a lens to the striking of a match.

You stole the matches. There were always matches: in the kitchen, in the drawer next to the cooker, in the living room, next to the fireplace. The ones from the living room were better: you could strike them anywhere, on anything, not like the safety versions from the kitchen that made you cut off a strip of striking paper when an empty box was thrown out. The matches were the door to the land of dreams, to visions of something extraordinary, something unearthly and uniquely yours.

You would wait until the house was silent, then, white knuckle fist clenched tightly around your three marbles, you would creep down to the kitchen. You didn’t dare do it in your bedroom. In total darkness, marble held between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand close to your eye, you stuck the match, and beheld beauty. Three matches. Three strikes. Three marbles.

This was your secret.

Where are your marbles now?

 

Inspired by a prompt from here

Feb 18th – The order of things unseen

February 18th – The order of things unseen

09.39-09.49

Everything has a place.

He likes everything to have a place: that is how it works. Things are ordered in his house, arranged, kept where they should be kept. The books are alphabetical. The cupboards have a system. There is no space for chaos. Not here.

It is the things that you don’t see, though, that are kept more closely arranged: folded, stacked, tessellated. The things unseen are the things that need the most control. He needs to know where they are. Always.

There is a space for his love, there. The space is usually full. At first. He thought he was going to need an infinite space for this. This was not going to be a problem: he just needed to know where he was going to keep it. But in time he realised that his love was not infinite, that it was just an extension of himself, so that is where he put it.

His hate grew. He tried putting hate next to love, but that disturbed the order: the edges blurred and it became less tidy, so he moved it away, to the other side. Hate needed a smaller space than love. This was a good thing, he decided: It was better to love than to hate, but even though the space was smaller it grew with time, and so he cleared some more space to accommodate it. He could move things in and out of both love and hate, though, and this way he could contain the spaces, and keep things as they should be kept.

Wants and needs, desire, hopes and dreams: these all had their places, too. Sometimes he would rearrange them, place them in different spaces as he would accommodate a new paperback or a pair of shoes. He placed desires fulfilled next to desires unfulfilled, and that way the order was maintained: what he longed for did not litter the floor but was kept in place, casting envious looks at longings achieved.

The things unseen stayed unseen: this was how they were, and how things would always be. People who came to his house, who stayed for minutes or hours or years, passed his fears unaware of the black shape in the corner of the room where he kept his plans: these too remained unacknowledged by anyone other than himself. He was content with this arrangement: this was how things should be.

He liked living like this.

Sometimes it took work. Chaos would invade. That was why he kept the unexpected in the basement. It was there, but it could not be controlled, could not be trusted to stay where it was. But by shutting chaos in the basement it could not upset the order of things unseen too much: it could be managed. He tidied when he needed to. He kept things where they should be.

 

Inspired by a prompt from here