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It just hurt, the bass played its last returning my mind to silence. “Tell me then Mr. Impatient, Mr. All powerful, all knowing all seeing. Tell me. Are you happy now?” "No," Mother follows the story of a teenage boy Markus, the introverted defeatist who with seemingly lost ability to observe is dissatisfied with the world. This gift to see becomes a curse that grows along side the horrors of His mind and the unseen realities that lurk in his shadows as He fights against the grips of madness that are branded as His birth right. As He confides to the formless mouths that seem to follow him everywhere He goes relationships with friends, students and family warp and shift around him and the voices he hears become more sinister and reflective of his inner demons. Time will tell if gazing into the abyss turns Him into a monster as well. Will He be saved or be left to perish? We all want to be saved from our demons but would you help an outcast?

Horror / Mystery
Age Rating:

Chapter 1: Dendrophilia

I spent too much time staring out of windows and letting studious diligence run free among winding branches and playful wind without the slightest slither of care, when I was meant to be working though scraps of school work assigned almost superfluously and crafted with as much care as I treated them.
I diverted my attention from the silence for a second to remember what it was I was avoiding, for there was no point procrastinating if I did not have the motivation to procrastinate or the drive to keep up the facade. I glanced pitifully at folded bent around the cornered sheets radiated in dim white hues which reflected the suns joyous gaze in to my mundane tamed eyes.
Eyes which over years of training and vigorous nights staring blank into the vertices of the darkness no longer held a shred of imagination and care. Once upon a time I worked through everything the day I got it and handed it in when needed a trained subservient dog to the legion, how the piles of outdated checklists and scheduled tests grew into skyscrapers around the cluttered desk of tea cups and folders, standing firm as historic monuments to my apparent slothfulness.

It was not that I was acting in defiance, I did the work and set myself tasks to go through, it was just that I never handed it in when it was asked to be, weather this was due to forgetfulness or errors in organisation was to be debated.

I have gone through until the late hours of the evening believing full heartedly that it was Monday when In fact it was Thursday and that important assignment for History was due in. Things had been strange recently. The nights seemed to last an eternity and the slow path of the sun seemed fixed in place as though the hands of time had forgotten to move it.
Despite this days flew by and the weeks disappeared, months came marching in like solders on a battlefield.
Times arrow is never still as they said, but now it seemed loose and twisted its trajectory curled in the wind winding and spinning out of control.
Perhaps it was all in my head.

The mugs on the other hand were another topic altogether. The surfaces stained from overfilling the container with sugar that kept my mind at bay when I worked. A sweet glucose solution surged through my arteries and capillaries bathing my cells with all the solutes it needed to keep my structure intact and functioning.
If one had the dignity to clean the surfaces the display would be far more appreciated but I choose not to, instead I used another glass leaving the others empty.
They say that the room you live in is a representation of your inner thoughts. Sounds like a way to sell more furniture.

This was not a problem for every Christmas and Birthday I was ornate with various chalices and mugs in which to drink.
Such a gift was not needed nor welcomed but every year I humbly accepted the rushed ill-advised present, making sure to appear warm and affectionate to the brittle empty, hollowed out lump of porcelain that would be used to the fullest of course as a decoration on my windowsill.
Right next to last year’s collection.

You see the windows were far more thought provoking compared to the plain sheets of uniform writing that swept from side to side dominating the page of potential with an army of bland tasteless font that marched from pole to pole destroying the liberation of freedom with an regime of concentration, row after row of questions and explanations on things I had already gotten to grips with and yet each day lost a piece of motivation and appreciation for.
To condemn a student to such a cycle of work day in and day out was seen as quite ridiculous to many, of course there were people who jumped on the pseudo intellectual bandwagon as an excuse for their lack of work ethic.

In fact I thought the idea of school was appreciated and needed. However its execution was handled without much grace. Akin to a blunt hammer lodged in the bloody gushing neck of a prisoner chopped and sliced through, vessels and bones hacked tendons and muscles that resisted with violent contractions as the half conscious victim flailed in desperation and panic at its upcoming demise.

Still I happily did the work for if someone wanted to use their time to make something for me it was common courtesy to spend that time back I am sure that both I and the teacher felt the duty to serve the other all the while we internally grieved at the strenuous and supercilious network of the education system.

In actuality I did not care for it nor did I wish to change it, for there was no empathy that I shared with the execution of teaching by government officials. After all the core was to teach people the skills they will need to survive in the world of work and compete with others all the while continuing to hone their blades and prove that they can learn and use the information given to them.
It did not matter what they learned and internalised as long as it expanded their horizons and taught them basic skills that they can use in the future.
Those who complained that mathematical theorems where redundant in their fast ever changing life missed the point that it was not just for those pursuing mathematics but to show that you had the intelligence to solve a problem which by the comments that they gave clearly showed that they were not particularly suited to do so.

The window was the doorway to my mind a gate and a key to the untold surplus of potential and change that I could connect to and influence, for beyond its clear surface, world just out of reach the infinite expanse of detail and wonder set in stone in a never ending cycle that shaped the mountains soils and trees.

Today those leaves where a lush green illuminated beautifully by the gentle tender shafts of the sun that trickled through the outstretched hands of the canopy and bathed the ground with warmth and light.
Blades of grass now dulled, rested reaching out and praising the giant eye of the sky with heads pointed high filled with admiration and awe at the scale of the being.

The sun was a cradle of birth for the flowering gardens of the homes of many that were still only place holders for the glory of the proud pillars that held no pride or shame but simply carried out their function far above the heads of every other creature who looked up to them.
For the trees were a home and a food source they were a house of safety and a hunting ground in a stadium.
Yet to me all was tranquil and all was bright. The blissful sharp chirps of birds who had begun to nest in the interlocking branches that paved a complex system of roads and paths that winded and spread out like the fingers on a hand forever reaching towards the sun.

I was surprised by the smell of the wet grass that was watered vigorously earlier that morning soaking the brown soil and dampening the ground, I would have thought it was dry now but that was not the case.

In the corner of my eye I saw a shadow dart across the periphery. Its figure like fingers crawling without an arm.

Begrudgingly my head was twisted away from the call of nature and so I continued with my work.
It was not that it was hard or required intensive thought and reasoning it was just tedious and drawn out ,like rolling a boulder up a hill, with hundreds of ways to answer the same question and write the same thing endless calculations that buzzed in my mind and perplexed me even when I knew what I was doing.
Like branches of a tree splitting off, duplicating and crossing over. There were many opportunities and yet only a few ever reached the top. Such a choice seemed impossible to make when we all stood a mere 5 feet from the floor, as we looked up to clouds that drifted past merrily and lazily carried with the flow of the whispering wailing wind.

Life was like a conveyor belt in that regard, pushing us along with robotic efficiency only to drop us off the end for disassembly. The spare parts used to synthesis a product far greater than yourself. I was just a stepping stone in man kind’s progression.

Such adolescent wisdom was bestowed upon me, but I was sure that there were things that I did not know yet and inner functions of the world and society that only made sense when you were fully integrated and conformed to its standards Maybe I already knew more than the average human and I was on the path of depressive vitriol inspired loathing as I picked apart pointless ideas and structures that we lived and sheltered in.
How I envied the natural world that was free from our limitations our pressures as a species that demanded order and correction.

With that order came steps and guidelines that were made to be climbed and read by those aspiring to get to the top, however high it went. If I was to be forced to live out my time in this societal maze then I will succeed in escaping my labyrinth as the others were left to wonder helplessly.
Eaten by the beast that lurked in the shadows, waiting patiently for its time to devour the hopes and dreams of those who were once determined and intrepid, but now lay as skeletons their flesh stripped and rotting on the damp blood soaked floor.

I always started my work with physics, arguably the subject I found the hardest to perform well in, each day I completed a few pages of the textbook to see how questions were asked and how to get the marks they wanted.
Each page was equally as dull as the last and no amount of colour and illustrations could cover up the barren desolation of the pages that did not congratulate or fulfil the worker only bringing forth more challenges until its purpose was done and it too was discarded into a dark corner of the recycling bin. I gave a glance at the trees and wondered how they felt to be cut down and printed on, such magnificent marvels of the Earth reduced to a commodity to be sold and distributed, their ancestors burned for power by the bipedal race that crawled and infested the rock.
Did they care?
Where they aware of what was happening to them or were they just silent decorations that provided the groundwork for habitable life.
Did they think or feel?
Did they need to feel or have cognitive processing and if they did what was it used for?
They didn’t have brains but they had hormones and systems that much I knew from biology they were ageless compared to us, their lives could be snuffed out before it began or they could remain on the Earth for thousands of years silently observing us as we learn to walk as toddlers to the day that our bodies are rested into the soil and consumed into the foliage of roots and worms.

I extended my hand and grabbed a hold of my cup of tea which was still warm and empty much like everything else. Modern life had become rather dull in my eyes and increasingly detrimental on our lives with the environment being twisted and turned into something ugly.

There was a buzzing on the table as my phone lit up with a notification, it was important as a geography student to keep up to date with the reports and new stories on the natural world and what it was doing so I made the conscious decision to have notifications set to inform me about certain topics. The neon blue flash of the device startled my eyes and irritated me so I took the excuse to take a break from work to see what was going on.

Update: Highest recorded weather in London since records began, Public Health Warning issued to everyone working in the city, Police to be given responsibility of managing the population of elderly who are currently in distress.

Since 2016 every year has produced temperatures higher than the year before, now the effect of the environment has become critical with an average reading reaching a blistering 48 degrees Celsius, the highest we have experienced as a nation. Public relations are breaking down in communities as water supplies dry out due to the increased water taxation in the city that was proposed and carried forward 3 years ago. Our environmental correspondent has met with the Minister of the Environment Mr. Steven Brockly who has given a statement to the public following the social media outrage at the record breaking changes.

“We are doing our best to trace down the source of the anomaly and keep the public safe, we have advised families to keep children out of the sun and stay hydrated. We will see what can be done and do our best to reduce the impacts to a minimum.”

Many people are sceptical of the Governments handle on the situation especially after Prime Minister Rodgers questionable dealing of the talks in Russia and the upcoming alliance with the U.S, and fears are rising about the geopolitical standpoint on the issue with some taking radical approach to the problem and protesting outside of power plants.

One such protester is Sarah Redbush who is an activist in the Climate Defence League who gave our ongoing reporter at Sizewell in Suffolk where the latest Nuclear power plant by EDF had been built with the aid of private investors and the French company itself.

She told us “Nuclear power isn’t helping and is causing too much harm to the environment. We have seen 5 species of coastal birds be killed due to rubbish in the sea and this plant will only make this worse and private investment won’t help, it’s out power and the people should be allowed to have it not for it to be owned by the rich again.”

There have been many other groups protesting expressing their dissatisfaction with the increased price of fuel and their wishes to bring back cheap power to the public with many communities burning fuel themselves to rebel. Government officials still have let to make a statement about the acts of these people. With such developments the American Government has been giving additional funding and support to the E.T.S who are redeveloping their new energy solution after the explosive failure of the new hydrogen engine model in early March.

There is hope that the scheme can maintain the climate at a level that can be reversible but many experts say that the damage is irreversible for the current state of the world.

Professor Michael Short has told our reporters “maybe 20 years ago in the early 2000 would such a project be revolutionary but right now it is too little too late, instead of trying to minimise the risks we should be making plans to leave the Earth and carry out the N.A.S.A initiative that was set 2 years ago and is still seeking approval.”

The E.T.S representative Mr. Akiyama has responded to such claims on social media and in a formal speech reassuring us that the situation is under control and the project will deliver. The 24 year old Japanese spokesman stated:

“We have helped the world improve and develop in ways we once thought impossible and with our relations with Russia and the U.K we plan to revolutionise the world. While our tests earlier in February were unfortunate we have taken great strides to redefine our model and we plan to unveil the finished project later this year.”

Over all the public support about the E.T.S is growing with many aligning themselves politically in order to further support the company, in fact the upcoming U.S elections are already focusing in on the company with leaks about pay-outs from candidates and parties to the corporation already surfacing.

There are those who take the statements as pushes to agendas by the powerhouse companies and not reasonable solutions or advice to the problem.

With the E.T.S’ rapid rise to the competition in the last 7 years many have been left unsure of the future, and plans to automate many functions is society due to the increased temperature and harsher working conditions has made people unsupported as they fear job loss and repercussions of a mechanical work force.

For now the climate is unsure and only time will tell what is to come.

The report ended there and the following story did not lighten the mood but only cemented the current world into perspective.

Growing support of Transgender singers in the industry to be given prioritised media outlets to spread the message with band “H.A.Q” gaining over 300 million signatures in their rise to fame despite hate comments about the quality of their music.

I was left in a cynical mood revelling in the behaviour of those willing to help. The pride parades and London and Vancouver faced some of the highest densities of litter compared to the everyday volume of trash. So much so that the homeless swooped in after being cleared out of the area. They were deemed as an eye sore and a harassment to the public.
Those bottles and cans were sold and they made money, while the rubbish was recycled and re-purposed.
It seemed that it was far easier to sign a piece of paper or wave energetically at a stand then it was to take responsibility for ones actions.
As long as they left happy with their actions it mattered for naught. Why put in more effort to get the same result?
To think that the common decency to support each other had been commercialised and sold to millions around the globe.

I went back to work and let my thoughts swirl in my head, I knew it wasn’t the best past time but these ideas ran amok in the complex of spiral neural networks in the cramped stationary mausoleum of my brain.

Regardless of the chaos I focused on my work only distracted again by a buzzing.

I checked my phone but found no notifications. Still the buzzing persisted.

Eyes darted across the landscape seeking the source. Expecting a fly I was met with nothing. There was silence, if only for a moment it was experienced for a thousand years the only noise that I heard, the only interference from the quite was the buzzing now resounding in my head.

By the time that it was dinner I was already sleepy; with just a few hours of work had rendering my mind incomprehensible and sluggish, every action had as much resistance as wading through sand, and when I was seated with my food I spent great effort thoughtlessly scooping up food as though it were a chore and a burden to eat anything.

I silently eat spoon full after spoon full of sustenance.
That was all it was to be now, a means to an end.
The food was edible and had a taste to it, Mother preferred to cook using the microwave rather than hand making or starting from scratch, it was efficient. Each mouthful was barely chewed trice before I swallowed it, clumps of rice pushing against my throat as it slid down aided by smooth muscle and gravity, as though it was adamant on suffocating me as a eat.

My limited interest in food was a slow and constant negative gradient and I willingly followed the path down to zero and yet never crossed into the negatives, even when I could not sleep from the bloated sickness that prevailed in my stomach like a fierce and abominable storm raging at the sides of the vessel and crashing with force onto the body of the scared. Instead I kept it in for the feeling would pass and was not a common occurrence.

Instead my displeasure for eating came from the action itself, this constant shovelling of food into a dark wet orifice that dripped with saliva and squelched and groaned with such persistent annoyance and ignorance to its own clicking and pretentious slurping and repulsive guzzling, like some kind of animal struggling to breath at it crammed more and more food into its mouth with such obsession and intensity that its eyes swelled and its mouth distorted into a vile paining that had been disrupted like a reflection in the water, twisted and unrecognisable from the person it imitated, an ironically distasteful display of reverberation and vocalised pleasure in the swallowing of crunched and mulched matter that you could watch be pushed down by force and barbarism, a droning hellish scene with dribble emerging at the sides of the lips and the bobbing of the head as they take mouth after mouth after mouthful of food.

I liked to sit away from my mother while she eats.
I am still unawares as to why I pondered the thought as her cold dead eyes stared blankly from the pale sac of skin, watching me the way a vulture watches a dying baby.

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