Killing The Male

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Part 2 The Male: Garden Shed

Part 2 The Male

1 The Garden Shed
2 Acceptance
3 Nailing the Bitch
4 Face Recognition
5 Hacking the Hacker

6 Physics and Phones
7 The Oak Tree
8 Rubbish Mouser

9) Poles and Trees

The Garden Shed


Only early August but the light was a dark menacing light of a thunderstorm. The teenage girl ran across the waste land, down the terrace street, in which most of the houses were
derelict, desperately searching for a hiding place. At a house that looked occupied with a clean front door she had wasted precious seconds for she had hammered on the door
screaming “let me in”, all to no effect.

Now, lungs hurting with the effort of sprinting, she passed the entrance to the allotment
and noticed a light in one of the sheds. The gate normally locked was wide open so she sped through it, the only thought in her head was to reach the light.

The shed itself appeared larger then the others and was situated near the centre of the
allotments. There was a door on the right hand side and a small window, heavily barred on the left. Frantically, her limbs worked to move her body through space, space that appeared immense, space that was an ocean to cross. Rain drops began to fall, huge things that meant business. She did not pause to look behind for her pursuers but pressed on for in her mind this hut dominated all other thoughts; it was now her sole and only goal.

Within feet of the door she screamed , “Help, let me in” with the rain now a constant stream as if dispensed from a garden hose her cries were being dowsed by mother nature.

The light immediately died in the window. Launching herself at the door, the girl
hammered on it with both fists, screaming “For God’s sake let me in”
Inside the shed an old man was sitting on a wicker chair looking at a very old black and white television. On it was displayed the grainy image of a girl running towards the hut.
He made no effort to move as she screamed at the door. Slowly he flicked a nearby switch
and the weak light inside the shed died all the time his eyes remained fixed on the grey flickering image on the television.

“What the hell?” he asked himself not even trying to hazard a guess at the answer.
It was the sound of her banging on the door that caused him to move.
Raising himself he closed on the door and shouted back, “Go away.”
His resolve not to open the door was half melted by the look of terror and anguish on her young face when he peered back at the television. It caught her looking over her shoulder then she shouted, “Shit” and ran out of view.

In the distance the little screen showed four dark characters running towards the hut at
great speed like a pride of lions closing in on their prey. At first he could not make out what they had in their hands, until they were closer.
“Hell,” he cursed to himself realising he had possibly made a serious mistake. In an instance he rose and pressed buttons so that now four small screens surveyed the
allotment .

They had the girl cornered by the water butt of Mr Grimes not far away. He hesitated a moment before unbolting the door and stepping outside. Turning the
corner he could see the girl on the ground the youths running towards the Gladstone Park exit.

Now the old man was no longer an old man. He straightened his body and ran with speed towards the victim, having realised she was in dire trouble. He estimated two deep knife wounds, one to the lower abdomen the other deep in the thigh near the groin. A lesser wound was on her arm where she had obviously tried to shield herself.

Blood was everywhere meaning at least one major artery was lacerated and meaning he
had minutes to save her. Calling an ambulance was out of the question.

Her eyes were huge, beautiful and terrified.
With incredible ease the man raised her in one flowing movement , turned and fled with
her in his arms to his shed.
“Don’t worry he said, softly All is not what it seems.”

When she awoke she was in small enclosed space of pure white. Looking down she saw
the old man asleep in a chair surrounded by scientific apparatus the nature of which she had no idea. At first she felt no pain, but as a buzzer sounded the pain came from her right
side and leg. It was a burning kind of pain.
“Do not move” the man commanded, his voice clear and strong.
He was standing tall, awake and very much in control.
“You are on trestles, they are rickety and liable to collapse, so please do not move.
Nodding slightly she signalled her comprehension.

“You need to sleep a bit more, ” he said “so smell the roses.”
A sweet lovely smell filled her senses as the man waved a bottle not far from her face.
Again she awoke to see the old man sitting in a chair near her side.
This time she was in a garden shed and she was lying on the floor looking up at a brown roof with cobwebs.

“Who are you ?” she asked but the man did not respond.
She saw he was fast asleep. The pain was in the same place yet now quite bearable.
How long she lay there she had no idea for her instinct was to stay still, say nothing and wait to see what would happen. Eventually the old man, stirred.

His eyes fell on her face, so she smiled a weak sort of smile that said ‘I am here and alive.’
“Take it easy, you are fine.” he said in a slow weary voice..
She said nothing, merely looked at him with a face that showed gratitude.
He continued, “It has been two days since your accident. I found a phone nearby so I text all the numbers saying you were fine and not to worry.”
“How bad was my ′ accident?’” she asked.
“Pretty bad. Listen , I have patched you up with some novel techniques, so please don’t go
to any hospital or doctor for while. Promise me?”

This sounded strange to her but hell she had no alternative to say, “sure.”
“Will I be OK?”
The old man smiled, “of course the worst is over, a few days of discomfort , perhaps a little
pain if you do too much, otherwise you will be fine.”
He continued, “I am going to arrange for a taxi to pick you up just outside the allotments, OK?
“Sure, ..and thanks” she said again peering round the shed.
It was large by shed standards and although there were garden equipment most of the items she did not recognize.
“This is no ordinary shed.” she said making her thoughts verbal.

They had not believed her at first that she had been stabbed and some stranger had
’patched her up.” Only upon examination did they agree there was evidence of fresh wounds. Now , after several scans it was the doctors who wanted answers.
“Well, young lady ” said the boss man, “you say this old man patch you up after a knife
attack.”
“Correct” she answered smartly, “Did he make a hash of it?”
“Who was he?” asked another doctor eagerly as if he wanted to meet him.
“No idea”
“This is very strange.” the big white chief said.
“So the pain I have is the result of a mess up?”
“You say this attack was 3 days ago.”
“Yes, will you need to operate to put things right?” she asked desperate for some answers.
All three doctors and two nurses laughed, then looked at each other in communal
amazement.

“The truth is, ” started the consultant, ” the scan shows clearly the extent of your injuries
for it shows new tissue has formed and is still forming around the wounds. ”
He leaned over the bed so his face was very close to hers.
“Whoever did this has access to technology and procedure for more advanced than we have. Whoever operated on you was very skilled indeed. We would like to meet him, this
old man.”
“So would I” said the girl,” but I have no idea where he is nor his name.”
“He did leave a small device inside you that appears to be dissolving which we would like
to remove before it disappears. We think it is releasing a growth hormone or something controlling the rate of rejuvenation of the damaged tissue. Would that be ok, it may also be the cause of some pain, some discomfort?”

The young girl knew she had made a terrible mistake in not trusting the old man, and by coming to the hospital had put herself and him in some possible serious trouble. After all
posing as a doctor is a serious offence.
” I will think about that.“, she said “but I need some rest.”

When she next knocked on the shed door there was clearly no one inside. The sound
echoed a nothingness if not a total void. On her third visit she met a sun burnt man about
60 and asked when the old man normally visited his shed.
“Sunday evening is your best time but that ain’t regular. He’s not a social type.”
“I see ” she said

“He is some gardener though.” volunteered the man with a great tan.
“How’s that?”
“Well he only grows brassica, leeks and strawberries., That’ all except nothing eats them,
no birds eat them, no snails or slugs eat them, no insects eat them , yet never see him spray them or cover them.”
“Is that unusual?”
The man gave a big laugh.
“I would say you know nowt about gardening.”

It was two Sunday’s later that she finally caught sight of him, cutting cabbages from his
crop.
“Any chance of a cuppa” she said holding up a pack of biscuits, “brought these as a gift. I wanted to bring cakes but you are hard to catch.”
He lifted a cabbage and placed it a sack with at least 3 others. Since he neither spoke nor
acknowledged her in anyway she took this as a bad sign.

He walked slowly back to his shed, she following at a distance.
“Come in” he muttered at last, as he opened the wooden door and threw the sack down on the floor.
“I guess you have come to say sorry, for the hospital.”
This took the young woman by surprise,
“Yes.. err, yes” she stammered not knowing what to say.
“I asked you not to consult the medical profession”
Now she felt really guilty,
“I am so sorry, you saved my life and I repaid you by doing that...errr. I am a shit. I did use a false identity and address”
“I know, I expected you to do precisely that, so I wiped all the medical records concerning your visit. But that does not mean you are welcome here.”
“Please, please, ” she pleaded, ” I screwed up and I am here to grovel.”
Her voice portrayed a juvenile emotion, the raw emotion of the young meaning what they say.

He turned and looked at her , studied her up and down, noting make-up, earrings so cheap
and tacky, and perhaps her best dress under a very unfashionable jacket. He guessed the
latter from a charity shop.

“Can I ask you something?” she said watching him lift a kettle onto a gas ring in the corner and sensing she was being allowed to stay.
“About how I wiped your records.”
“No, ” she said slowly, “about your strawberries.”
Peering at her over his shoulder he broke into a grin, “Are you serious ?”
“Yes why does nothing eat them?”

Clever he thought, throw me off guard and change the subject
Going along with her he replied, “Because they are not real strawberries, or cabbages, or
leeks.”
Now it was the female that had been thrown off guard.
“How come” she asked sounding reassured, confident yet casual.
She removed her jacket, put it on an old battered wooden chair and sat down in front of a plastic crate that served as a table.

Carrying two thick builder’s mugs he placed them on the blue plastic and took his seat in the wicker chair. Neither spoke, just looked at each other, studying all the non-verbal signals.

The old man spoke first,
“Your accident, I worked on you for 6 perhaps more like 7 hours straight, without a break.
I fought with everything I knew, everything I had, and everything I could summon.”
She went to speak but he raised a hand to request silence.
“One of the things I had to do was analyse your complete genetic makeup. You are there in
your entirety. ” He pointed to a laptop on a nearby shelf.
Again she went to speak and again he raised a hand to silence her.
Both took sips of tea and the girl opened the biscuits.

“I made some artificial blood and artificial tissue that was compatible and also I had to go
into your brain, not physically but virtually, more electronically, to stop any sign of shock.
While in there I measured you synaptic capacity and neuron growth capacity. All brain functions were exceptionally high, which in human terms means you are a very bright girl.
So why the hell are you running around with a bunch of no good, semi wild vermin selling
drugs and misery when you should be in school?” His voice suddenly contained pure
anger like that of a parent.

Taken aback the girl bought some time by breaking a biscuit and eating it slowly, in a provocative way.
“I stopped running with them, that was the problem.”
She flashed her eyes at him to distract him and he picked up on it straight away,
“Are you flirting with me, young lady.”
“Would I do such a thing?”
“I use to turn many a head in my day.”
“You turned mine when you operated on me, for I was sure it was a much younger man
saving me.”
“In what way , my body is old and broken.”
“I am sorry but you are so sexy when you lie?” her smile was as broad as the Severn Estuary.
“Tell a lie, me? I have no reason to lie.” His face held a picture of concern.
“Well, I have been thinking when I was bleeding on the ground, there was no one around yet you carried me effortlessly to this very shed. That I remember.”
“So , ever heard of an adrenalin rush?”
“Also, you said yourself you worked on me for 6 hours straight. I only know a few elderly people and believe me they could not stay awake for 6 hours never mind operate so skilfully.”
“Needs must.”
“Lastly, your honour, your eyes are clear and so blue, with a dreamy look, not blood red
with age.”
“You have studied my eyes with such detail?”
“Yes, I may be uneducated but I , like you said yourself, am smart.”
“Indeed you are, young lady. On that basis I will make you a deal.”
“What kind of deal?”
“You have exams at 18 , let me teach you and if you pass with A+ I will tell you all my
secrets.”
“Starting with the strawberries.?” she asked with a grin.

A wide grin of equal intensity spread across the old man’s face as he said

“Starting with the strawberries.”

She reach out a virtual hand to shake his, a broad wicked smile of pleasure on
her face,
“Faye McFallen” she offered bluntly with decision “while in the gang they called me Burn.”
There, it was a peace offering. A gift offered with a nice bow of ribbon called a smile.
He hesitated before answering, as if he were one of those ancient Jukebox machines that
played forty five singles, the centre wheel rotating slowly, trying to decide which record to pick.
“Clive” he said at last, “yes, call me Clive. I will call you Faye”
“A deal is a deal Clive.”
“So it is, and take those trashy earrings off.”

She looked offended as he rose and retrieved a box from high shelf.
“Put these on.” Muttering as he handed her the earrings, “Burn indeed.”
In the box was a pair of drop tear pearls on a slim gold anchorage.
“Are they real.”
“I hope so they cost a fortune”
“Anything else I have to do, for I sense a negotiation here.”
“You will grow your hair longer, accept a stipend from me and work your butt off , hours of
business being 9 am to 6pm four days per week, no holidays.
“Shit ”
“And no swearing , no f words no s words , such words display a complete lack of
articulation. A deficit of education. A distinct lack of command of your mother tongue.”
“Why do you want to give me an education?”
“Your brain is a blank canvas, in fact a whole series of blank pages which needs to be filled
with knowledge that can be used to satisfy the empty feeling you have inside, that feeling
of being useless, that feeling of the world not caring about you. Knowledge is a blanket
that can be wrapped around your universe making sense out of it all. If anyone I have met needs that it is you.”

“You hardly know me.”
“I have met you a thousand times in every dead beat hostel, over crowded casualty ward, every run down park in every town in the land.”
“So you are going to save me are you?” she laughed
“No you are, I provide the road map, and that map does not come cheap.”
“And what do you get out of this.”
“One stupid human soul saved when that soul can see further and better than all the other souls. That will do me.”
“You sound like a preacher are you religious.”
“My only religion is science. Have we a deal Faye?”
She reached her hand out for him to shake saying,
“I will work my butt off for you Clive, because you saved my life and thought it worth saving, so if you have faith in me?”
He took the hand, a firm grip of acceptance, a confirmation of faith, a contract made which both knew would last. He said nothing just nodded in the most economical way
possible.

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