A New Start

Gerald looked up at the statues. He had no idea which gods they represented, nor did he understand the language that those around him were praying in, but that hardly mattered. He had only just arrived. In time he would learn everything about this place, starting with the language. This was his home now. After all, it was not as if he could go back.

It had all been Emma’s fault. He had been confronting her over the affair he knew she was having, and she had responded, not with apologies or explanations, but with scorn and contempt. She began telling him, almost lecturing, about how much she had come to secretly despise him, how his physical strength hid an inner weakness and how much more capable of satisfying her someone called Gavin had been.

At this point Gerald had lost control. He had never hit a woman before, but rage had clouded his mind, taking over completely, and he forgot two very important things.
First, that he was strong enough to kill someone with his bare hands, and second, that Emma’s parents were in the next room. When he regained control of himself, Emma’s father, Alan, was stood in the doorway, glowering with rage. He uttered an inhuman scream and launched himself at the hulking figure stood over his daughter’s body.
Unfortunately, Alan had also forgotten how strong Gerald was, and quickly suffered the same fate as his daughter.

Almost immediately there was another scream, this one not in anger but terror. Emma’s mother had come up to see what the shouting, hitting noises and gurgling moans were, and was now looking down at the bodies of the two closest to her.
Gerald moved across the room swiftly. There was no sense in leaving any witnesses. He was just finishing her off when he glanced across the room and made eye contact with the window cleaner.

The cleaner was a young clean-shaven guy in his mid-twenties. He was perched on his ladder, not moving, holding the wet rag in front of him as if it were a talisman to ward off evil. Realising that he was now in danger he started moving, but it took him a couple of seconds to work out where he was and in which direction to move, and in that time Gerald had leapt across the room, smashed the window with his fist, and wrapped both hands around the cleaner’s throat.

The room was a mess. Broken glass, blood (most of it Gerald’s from smashing the window) and dead bodies. This would take some cleaning up, thought Gerald. He was just dragging the window cleaner’s body in through the shattered window when he noticed the postman staring up at him from the street. Leaving the body half in, he climbed over it and down the ladder. By the time he reached the ground the postman was already halfway up the street, his mailbag lying abandoned like a sack of unwanted kittens. Gerald thought about chasing him but decided against it. Out in the street, there would only be more witnesses, and there were already too many bodies to get rid of, and his blood and fingerprints were all over the scene of the crime. There was only one thing for it. Run.

And now here he was, hundreds of miles away. A new start, he thought to himself. And this time everything would be fine. As long as he managed to control his temper.

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David Baillie is a freelance writer and artist. Born almost thirty years ago in Scotland, he now lives and works in the East End of London.

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