An Ugly Beauty

15 year old Darren Reynolds has a secret. He's a murderer. A cold blooded murderer. Underneath his tough ego, is a young, vulnerable boy, innocent and without sin. Darren tries desperately to cling onto his dying soul, pull it back, and become the boy he used to be. But, is it too late? Could one fatal encounter cause a life full of suffering, and shatter Darren's world forever?

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1. Crash

An Ugly Beauty

The flash of a blade in the sunlight caught his eye. He was drawn to it, like a moth to a flame. He couldn’t rip his eyes away from its beauty. So sharp, pointed and precise. Resting in the groove of his offender’s palm. His eyes wandered from the tip of the blade, down the smooth edge, towards the rusted handle. The offender’s hand gripped it tight, knuckles white, palm dark, stained with the blood of his previous victim. The boy allowed his eyes to travel further up his attacker’s torso, towards the face which would cause him painful and grisly nightmares. The gravel crunched, the birds sang, the sun shone as the boy took a step backwards, his scuffed Nike’s carrying him one step away from danger, though only for a moment. The blade caught the sunlight again, momentarily blinding the boy.
“You’ve been running for too long. Time’s up.”
Up. Up. Up came the blade, until level with the boy’s chest. Shadows. Blood. Life. Everything flashed before his eyes. The tip of the blade was resting against his chest, piercing his skin. Everything seemed so vibrant, so bright, so beautiful. Like the shining blade scratching down his chest, drawing a perfect line. He didn’t care about the dull pain shooting down his body. All that he could see was beauty. Beauty. Beauty. Beauty.
Blackness.
 
​It was dark. So very dark. And silent. All I could hear was my own heavy breathing. And footsteps. Heavy footsteps coming down the corridor towards me. Towards my cell. They’d found me, in the middle of an alley, hands covered in blood, face covered in dirt, snail tracks made by tears. Next to his body. The body of the boy I’d murdered. We’d been best friends, ‘partners in crime’, quite literally that. We’d been in a crime ring with another boy. I’d killed him too. They had always left me lingering at the crime scene, left me to get caught. This time I’d got myself into it. I’d chosen to kill them. ‘Cold blooded murderer’, that’s what I was. Just like my father had been. The door of my cell was pushed open, the keys jangling in the lock. The skin headed guard pulled me to my feet,
“Come on. Time for your interview.” I pulled my arm from his vice like grip,
“I didn’t do it.” I whimpered, even though I knew it wasn’t true,
“Oh, shut up. Don’t give me that trash talk. We all know it was you. Just like your father. Now, get along. Don’t try that stupid resistance stuff with me, I could beat the living daylights outta you.” He growled, grabbing my by the scruff of my neck. He threw me out of the door and pulled me along the corridor. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a grubby face staring up at me from one of the cells. The breath caught in my throat. It was my brother.
​The guard threw me into one of the chairs at a long, grey table. He stood back in the corner as two officers stepped forward, one placing a recording tape on the table. I glanced up at them,
“You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defense if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?" I nodded weakly, staring down at my hands. Grains of dry mud filled the lines on the palms of my hands. Dots of red. Red and brown. Blood. Mud. Blood and mud. I felt dizzy. My head was spinning as I looked up into the shining beam of light falling across my face from the lamp standing halfway down the table. My eyes were burning, but I kept staring into the light. Dry eyes. I didn’t care. Nothing mattered to me anymore. I was brought hurtling back to reality by the female officer’s voice,
“Excuse me? Darren? We’re going to start the tape now.” She said, pushing down on the start button. I nodded, my eyes fuzzy. I blinked rapidly, attempting to get my eyes back into focus. The male detective stepped forward,
“What’s your name?”
“Darren Reynolds.”
“What age are you?”
“Fifteen.”
“Where were you at 13:43pm on Wednesday 30th May 2012?” I swallowed,
“I was in town.”
“Really?”
“Yes.”
“But you were sighted down Rosebush Lane. Does that name ring any bells?”
“No.”
“You sure?”
“Never heard it before.” The male officer stood up and slammed his hands on the table,
“Look at me Darren. Lying to us isn’t going to make anything better. We have plenty of evidence that we can use against you. Now, I suggest you buck up your ideas and cut the crap and start telling us the truth!” He shouted, spittle flying everywhere. The female officer placed her hand on his shoulder and whispered a few words in his ear. His face gradually turned back to its normal colour,
“Right. Darren, where were you at 13:43pm on Wednesday 30th May 2012?”
“I was-” My voice cracked, “I was down Rosebush Lane.”
“Were you with anyone?”
“I-I was with a friend. Mark Rodgers.”
“What happened to him?”
“I don’t-”
“Darren.”
“I killed him.”
“What about 15:28 on Friday 1st June 2012? Where were you then?”
“I was at Knowglen Park. With Jake McGregor.”
“What happened to him?”
“I killed him too.” My voice was raspy and I looked down at my hands again. The male officer rested his hands on the table,
“Both with the same weapon?”
“Yes.”
“Which was?”
“Knife.” I looked down at the fine line on my palm, the ugly scar made by my own knife. The female officer pressed another button on the recorder,
“We’re done. Alex, take him back to his cell.” The burly security guard stepped forward and grasped my shoulders. I glared up at the detectives, but my heart wasn’t in the threat. I let my muscles relax and go limp as the guard dragged me away. What was there to live for? I’d be kept in jail, taken to trial, proven guilty and sent to a juvenile correctional facility. I should’ve killed myself when I’d had the chance. All it would’ve taken would be a quick slit across the main artery in my arm. Dead. Bled to death. Just like Mark and Jake. I’d been so engrossed in my own deep whirlpool of dark, disturbing thoughts that I hadn’t realised that we’d arrived back at my cell. I tried to rip my arm away, but that only made him tighten his grip. He threw me up against the wall, his arm across my throat,
“Listen to me. Don’t you try anything funny with me, I could crush you. I’d had enough of you and your bloody family.” He growled, spittle showering my face,
“Look, I don’t know what you’re on about.” I choked, trying to move away from the imposing figure towering over me. This only maddened him further and he forced his arm against my throat, crushing my windpipe,
“I’ve had enough of you, Reynolds. You’ve been running for too long. Time’s up.” My own crude words rang in my ears, reminding me of the time in Knowglen Park with-

My thoughts were interrupted by a fist smashing into my nose, and my own blood spurting everywhere.
 
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