Eye of a Boy: Blood Wars

Robert Cousins was an ordinary, adolescent pupil at St. Joseph's High School until he encountered a malevolent Hell-hound on a mission to slaughter two innocent men. Or so he thought. With him and his friend's gaining powers by the day, will he be able to scrape a victory at the eleventh hour?

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5. Barred

 

          Intoxicating smoke billowed against his limp body, testing his resolve. It was times like these that he considered giving in to the despair. Times when there is no hope. Before his eyes, he saw fragments of his Mother’s face before… the incident. Trickling down her serene face was ruby strands of hair. Chrome eyes danced in the sunlight.  She managed to look mature yet juvenile at the same time.

          Then she went to war.

***

          Sweat oozed out of Robert Cousins’ pores as he leapt out of his creaking bed. Never had his dreams been so vivid. Occasionally, he would manage to see a glimpse of long lost memories but none compared to what he had just witnessed – even felt. Life without his Mother had been close to unbearable.

          That was when Robert remembered the events of the previous day. In a few hours he had gone from cowering wimp to school tyrant to inquisitive detective. If it wasn’t for his allies, he doubted he would have made it through the day without throwing himself off the nearest bridge.

          But an opportunity had presented itself for him to discover more about the hunched Man, the Officer and their peculiar teacher. During the detention that would occur that night, Robert and Ben would be able to corner Mr. Droner and question him on the events in the Lab.

          Groggily, Robert stumbled down the rickety stairs, trying desperately to forget his mind-boggling dream. Already he could hear the blare of the television as a confounded reported in the rubble of the Liverpool Police Station reported on a disaster that had ensued during the course of the previous night. Shocked by the revelation, Robert staggered into the room and took his place upon the dishevelled recliner.

“…was around eight o’clock when an inside force caused the structure of this building to crumble. Some believe it was the result of poor workmanship and are suing Cement R Us. There is already a conspiracy theory that the Government are planning to blame this event on the Iraqi Government. There will be a press conference tonight to dictate what shall happen in the near future.”

          While Robert was enthralled by the incident, he had not managed to notice his Dad working thoroughly at the back table on his report on Mutant Rabbits being held captive in an unknown island on the coast of Portugal. Of course the story was a load of rubbish but it was what the Public wanted. If it is what the Public demanded, it is what Jeremy Cousins would have to supply.

          For a good three years, Robert had been pestering his Father to abandon his mediocre job and expand his area of expertise to things not utterly humiliating. Even working as a stricken slave would be a better occupation.

“Good morning son,” Jeremy uttered to startle his son. “What are ya watchin’?”

“Oh come on, Dad!” huffed Robert. “You must have heard of it by now. Big boom boom at Copper’s work scares nation! No? I give up.”

“Oooh,” mocked Jeremy childishly. “Someone’s got up on the wrong side of bed. What is it now? Forgot your homework?”

          For a moment Robert remained silent. Then he plucked the courage to reveal the truth.

“I have an detention after school with Mr. Droner,” murmured Robert in shame. “For getting into a fight with the resident Bully.” 

          After this, there were a few moments of uneasy hush. The only audible noise was the seven chimes emitting from the hereditary Grandfather Clock. Jeremy rubbed his head repeatedly as he tried to solve his dilemma over what to say to his cowering son. As Jeremy opened his thin mouth, Robert expected to be berated heavily.

“Did you get a good throw?” sniggered Jeremy to Robert’s relief.

“Nah,” chuckled Robert jubilantly. “But you should have seen Droner’s face when he saw it all!”0

          For a few moments, the pair was lost in a utopia of laughter. If there was one thing that connected Robert and his Father, it was their ability to laugh off any puzzling predicaments. After all, hysterics was the only thing that had seen them through the troubling years.

“Just make sure that you’re home in time for tonight!” commanded Jeremy after the giggling had came to an abrupt close. “I’ve got to submit my paper on the mutilated Rabbits tonight and I can’t leave you alone in the house.”

“Oh come on Dad!” protested Robert feebly. “You’ve been working on that for months. Try something different for God’s sake – this conference about the Police incident could make you thousands. What do you say?”

“I say N-O!” Jeremy put his foot down at the suggestion. “I will not throw out a unique story just so I can get a story that fifty reporters will be covering. It makes no sense!”

          To break up the family feud came the ditty that alerted that the doorbell had been rung. Reluctantly, Jeremy heaved himself off his seat to see who would be ringing at the early hours of Friday morning. Robert knew that it would not be long before the verbal conflict resumed. With nothing else to do, he followed his Father to the doorway.  

          It came as a surprise to the Cousins family when they found their lanky Landlord, Mr. Baker, waiting upon their doorstep. He had only ventured out of the comfort of his house upon two occasions - once to welcome them to the neighbourhood and another time to borrow a pint of sour milk. The lazy man even hired a twenty-year-old drug addict to collect the rent. Frequently, the money would not make it back to Mr. Baker.

“Hello, Sir,” began Mr. Baker pompously. “As I am sure that your incompetent brain has already comprehended…”

“Fancy a cuppa?” offered Jeremy Cousins to aggravate Mr. Baker for his own amusement.

“Pardon?” Mr. Baker retorted, caught off guard by the act of generosity.

“Brew?” Jeremy adapted his speech to suit the Landlord.

“I understood your offering the first time!” Mr. Baker sneered. “Do not try to divert my attention laddie! You know of your sins.”

“Firstly,” explained Jeremy in an impatient tone. “I have not been called ‘laddie’ for a good twenty years and I intend for it to stay that way. Secondly, I am a devote Atheist so ‘sins’ is a foreign word to me. Goodbye!”

          With that, Jeremy went to slam the door in the man’s spindly face. But Mr. Baker adapted the Salesman’s technique of wedging his foot in the waning gap between the door and the frame. Begrudgingly, Jeremy eased open the door once more to let the man complete his condescending speech. Robert was intrigued about the reason that the Landlord had dragged himself out of his bed to see them. 

“You are behind on four months rent!” announced Mr. Baker with a wry grin upon his normally placid face. “This is above average even for my residents so it is with great pleasu…I mean regret that I have to evict you from this property. Any questions?”

          Jeremy Cousins bellowed a few words that are too foul to put down on paper. Mr. Baker was startled by the reaction but savoured it, as he knew that once again he had disposed of a pair of obnoxious neighbours. He always got a kick out of that.

“When do we have to leave by?” questioned Robert as he tried to maintain a calm demeanour. “What are the limitations?”

“You cough up the cash or I’ll have you out within three days,” Mr. Baker threatened as he paraded away from the scene. “Merry Christmas!”

          Distraught, Jeremy closed the door behind the skipping Landlord. It dawned on him that they would be living on the street within a matter of days.

“Let’s get our facts straight,” Robert was attempting to hold back tears. “We have three days before we are living rough unless we get four thousand pound within that time. But we have a salvation – one meagre bit of work on Radioactive Bunnies. Yippee for us!”

“I see where this is going,” sighed Jeremy. “This is where I have to go to this stupid conference tonight to save our family. What is this – a rom-com?”

“Well, I wish it is a film based on a Zombie Apocalypse!” grinned Robert optimistically as he departed the room to get dressed for yet another day at school. “Then, come Christmas time, we might be gorging on Mr. Baker’s brain!” 

 

     

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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