I decided to reupload Maclean’s Work Week as the other one was incomplete. Now I will upload the complete 1400 word draft for my Creative Writing Assessment. Since a first chapter ‘excerpt’ was not acceptable for the assessment, I had to round up the story to an incident at the Warehouse – soon, I’ll upload the proper first chapter of my horror novel. Look forward to it! 🙂
The first week at Warton Warehouse was a seemingly quiet week for Peter as he had been trained how to count the stock and he had been able to learn the basics. Firstly, he had been a little sloppy at it, and had given an incorrect sum to the supervisor. He knew that it would not go down well and his boss was already annoyed with him; Peter remained silent. He knew staying silent was better.
Already something wrong had to happen. Always wrong.
Peter had no choice but to stay in this job as it was the only way for him to earn some money on his own. Asking his parents money was something he believed to be pathetic and the easy choice. Only a choice for adults who are actually juveniles inside. Pathetic. He would always get pains in his chest when he used to live in America with his step-father and his mother was not very supportive of him either. He knew the pains would come from his nervousness.
He had never understood why he got these pains.
When the boss was scolding him, Peter answered “yeh…” and the pains in his chest grew more unbearable. The boss did not notice the subtle twisting of Peter’s body and that Peter’s eyes grew paler. The boss however appeared dismissive, cold to the wellbeing of his employers. That’s what Peter thought anyway.
Every night, he would come home to the flat he and his mum shared. He would walk through the darkened streets of an icy Edinburgh, the amber glow flooding all his sights, and once he entered the apartment block, he came home to the unpredictable and strangely hostile air. He always knocked on the door, his mum never gave him any keys. She would open the door, and quietly let him in. “How was your first week, Stanley?” she had asked him on the first night he was off.
Stanely. That was his first name. He did not like that name. It did not sound like it came from Scotland. His mother had given him the name of Stanely Peter Maclean, and she and his step-father—who they had left behind America—always called him Stanely. “Peter…or Pete, mum,” he mumbled. “Stop calling me Stanley.”
“What a great week it was then?” she remarked, with a false smile. “I’m going to have dinner. Go to bed.” “I want to play the piano,” he said, but he knew her answer. “Play when it when I’m not home. And play it when you’re good,” she hissed. Peter again remained silent—his forehead creased and his mouth grimaced slightly. He had eaten a wrap with ham and lettuce on the way back home. He went to his room and locked the door, and lied on the bed in his work clothes.
He eyed the piano in his room. It had photographs of when he was living in America, when his mum and stepfather took him to the park, when he ate a picnic with them and when he was educated at home by his stepfather. He had brought home a small bunch of orchids and decorated the piano. The only natural looking thing in their flat. He wanted to be a pianist. He hoped he could find some people with the same interest. People who could also appreciate him.
He closed his eyes, the pain in his chest clutching his organs. He whispered to himself, “if I could grow fangs and claws, I could sort out these people who want to give me the cold shoulder and want me to look stupid.”
After his second week at work, he had been happy that he started to get the hang of things at the Warehouse. He did not talk much with his colleagues, who seemingly were all male. He started to find it frustrating: as if it were a boys’ school, but they were given a generous sense of responsibility. He believed that none of them could appreciate his real goal: to be a musician.
At the end of the week, to Peter’s surprise, one of these male colleagues approached him and had asked him to play football with them, to which he found himself accepting, almost urgently. It was six in the afternoon. All of them drove to a football pitch which they had booked yesterday. It was an enclosed football pitch. He never played football; he knew what it was, his stepfather watched it and Peter remembered that intimidating passion and could hear his shouts.
The men’s match began, with Peter assisting someone apparently named Sam at being one of the defenders. Peter stood mostly by the side as Sam knew what he was doing as he usually received the ball. Then, when the ball came to Peter, he missed and was not sure what to do. The shouts concentrated on him, coming from his fellow teammates. Peter was too distracted to say anything to anyone. “What fuckin’ are ye? Deaf?” growled the coal keeper. Peter closed his eyes, his fingers clawing. He grimaced. That accent…
Once the match was over, the team dispersed and they all went to get changed. Peter went away to a distant locker and waited for the others to leave. “Are ye comin’?” asked a voice that sounded like it belonged to the goalkeeper.
Peter poked his head out of the locker. “Go without me,” he said and watched them all go outside into the twilight. He sat on the bench of his locker and changed his shirt.
Then he noticed. His chest started to rise and fall uncontrollably and he clawed at his chest. Digging his uncut fingernails into his pale flesh. His voice came out in a deep snarl. The only consciousness within him could hear deep enraged screams echoing in the corridor. That Scottish shit face. I could eat his skin and drink his blood. He fully changed himself. He left the building with a croaking voice filled with shame and frustration. He returned home and said nothing to his mother about this.
On Tuesday, he went to his shift and he felt eyes on him. “Be careful Stanley. You may miss one item,” said one of his colleagues, making another colleague nearby snicker. That deliberate voice mocking of his American accent remained in Peter’s head. Peter smiled to himself and thought: Well let’s who will be laughing once I unravel my real self. Peter excluded himself even further from his colleagues for the rest of the day.
After hours, it was finally dusk. Peter remained, the lights above him flickering. For the whole day, his chest did not hurt. He was surprised by his own body. His mind had been somewhere else all day…and had a thought that awoke a desire within his heart. It made him smile. His blood started to pump faster around his body, an intoxicating gush. He was going to find the goal keeper. Apparently he was called Tim.
Tim was finishing his work, and after he put his things away, he called someone who Peter assumed to be his girlfriend. Peter saw a crate sitting right above him. His blood pumping made his heart beat with ecstasy. He got a ladder and made no sound at all as he placed it next to the shelf where the lone crate sat. He was behind Tim.
He pushed the crate a little. He was surprised that it made no sound. The gentle sound of wood on metal was nothing compared to how Tim spoke on his phone – louder and irritating. He waited and let the lights around them flicker more. They flickered more.
Peter pushed the crate and next came a loud crunching explosion. It echoed through the long towering halls of other crates and giant boxes. Tim’s voice was immediately cut off. After several minutes, Peter went to inspect him. There was a bloody arm with chips of wood stuck in it and an oozing puddle of blood was powdered with sawdust. “Tim?” he asked, approaching the body that was once the goalkeeper. Peter reached out to the lifeless arm with caution – he would not want it to grab him in return. The dead arm gave him a strange sensation and he took his hand away. He gazed at the blood on his fingers. He licked the blood.
He hurried to get his jacket and immediately left. He went home and never to spoke about it to his mother.