Party at the End of the Universe

Two teens who realise that a billboard at bus stops in north London for adverts have been going up for a widow service they say for the one that left us .co .uk. if you go on the website it directs you to two emails, it is not what it seems and so they investigate.

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3. Chapter 3

The relationship had splintered, fractures and breaks running along it’s surface. Activities became incomplete and homework was done in silence. Affection was met with withdrawn fingers and nights were peppered with terrors, hyperventilation and nightmares. While Thorvald spent a week in shock and panic and was often privy to stress and fear induced vomiting,  Damien had become quiet and withdrawn, shutting down more and more until hearing his coarse voice became a misnomer and all he did was work and sit by Thorvald in one of his many sessions of panic. He hadn’t been home in a week either, and his only way to tell his parents it wasn’t his body they had found, contorted in that horrible way, was a text message once a day along the lines of ‘good night’, ‘inte hemma’ or ‘hos Damien’. Damien’s mother called every night, assuring his parent’s that he was fine. 

 

Neither of them felt fine, or even were fine. While Thorvald spiralled into a stress induced paranoia, seeking comfort in the mundane, Damien withdrew and became quiet, engrossing himself in all the information about the murders he could find. Deep web forums, newspaper articles, the met police website, he tried phoning a few times, but they told him that he should stop looking into it, someone was dead and this wasn’t the time for a sick hobby.

 

It had been week of little communication or homework. Of sleepless nights and caffeine fuelled days where they tried to keep up the appearance of normalcy, clinging onto it. 

 

“This is ridiculous and we need to stop.” Thorvald walked through the doorway of Damien’s room holding a prescription box of anti-depressants. “This is what the stress has brought me too.”

 

Damien looked up from his work, he had a wall dedicated to the crime, red thread drawn across it and wound around pins buried deep within the wall. There were newspaper articles from the shetlands to the the pacific northwest and photographs of evidence was neatly in piles. Somehow, he had maintained cleanliness and tidiness despite the chaos that seemed to surround him.

 

“I agree, I liked it better when we could actually be near each other.” Damien muttered getting up from his seat and walking towards Thorvald.

 

Thorvald was aghast at the room in front of him, it was an investigation into the boy with the antlers and the surrounding murders and he could feel himself getting dizzy. He steadied himself and shook the feeling of nausea as best he could.

 

“I was gone for one day.” Thorvald smirked as Damien walked towards him, hands in pockets, with a sheepish gaze. They lingered near each other for a moment before they embraced, fingers digging tightly into flesh so that it hurt, but it didn’t matter. Damien’s tears were soaking into Thorvald’s shirt. He could feel his eyes watering as well, but he looked up, blinking a few times. trying to stop them from running down his cheeks. 

 

“How did you manage this?” Thorvald laughed again, trying to disguise his crying. 

 

Damien pulled away for a moment to wipe his eyes, before pressing a kiss into Thorvald’s lips, breathing into it, desperate not to pull away from him. He could feel his hot tears on his cheeks and the desperation in Thorvald’s hands. They had missed each other, longed for the company, the feeling go their fingers darted across skin and the pressure of embraces. 

 

“I missed you.” Damien mumbled into Thorvald’s lips as they broke the kiss. “I missed you so much.”

 

“Mhmm.” Thorvald mumbles as a reply, pressing Damien’s head into his shoulder, running his figures through his hair. He kissed the top of his head, curls, soft and delicate, tickling his face. “I am so sorry that I left you like this and I did not talk to you.”

 

He could feel tears running hot on his cheeks and he could feel Damien quivering with sobs beneath him. They withdrew, looking to each other, tear streaked faces and red eyes. Damien looked more tired and disheveled than Thorvald had ever seen them. Finally both of them smiled to each other, laughing between staggered breaths because the relief they felt could not be expressed in words and the joy that burnt in the pit of their stomach could only be exchanged by the look in their eyes and the gesture of their laughter. They were together and finally everything was right, at least to some degree. It was like they were standing together in a glass dome as everything outside crumbles around them.

 

“I may have gone a bit overboard.” Damien mumbles, gesturing to the wall of investigation Thorvald was still impressed was exceptionally neat. There was a radio at one side of the table that  Damien had constructed of disassembles ikea furniture: like an ikea frankenstein’s monster. It was tuned into a frequency that was being used for this case. Every now and again static would erupt for a few second and then it would go silent again. 

 

“Perhaps.” Thorvald chuckled. “I do not know how you have managed this though, how you have been able to stomach it. It is so awful.”

 

Damien shook his head, “I don’t know. I just, do. I guess?”

 

“Can I help?” Thorvald has paused for a moment before he had said this, as if to contemplate how terrible of a decision this would be for him. “What have you found out so far?”

 

They sat down on Damien’s bed, leaning on each other like they used to do and it was as though a sense of calm defended upon them. They took a moment to pause and just survey the wall, Damien was scripting his speech, he needed to get it right, he didn’t want to trip or stutter over the words like he often did. 

 

He ran his hands through his curly hair and stood up so he could gesture to his wall. “Okay.” He sighed. He inhaled and began. 

 

“So apparently there have been a lot of deaths like this, they are confined to pretty specific geographic parameters. So, here, it’s only North West London, when it was in America, the group of killings never crossed state lines. I think this is a counter measure, to stop police departments working together. Further the ritual is always the same, but the method of murder isn’t. It varies hugely from person to person and there is no apparent cause for this, but that is how it is. They have been all over the world, they move around a lot and don’t stay anywhere for more than six months. Once they’ve been in a country, the next group of murders usually occur in an area that has high levels of political tension with the first country. This is also to stop investigators working together. It’s quite smart really. There is no profile for the victims other than ambiguously religious family members and the victim will have recently come out or be going through a rebellious patch or simply not believe as much as the other family member. The killings are always unsatisfactorily blamed on recently released schizophrenics with religious delusions and a history of aggressive behaviour. Almost all of them were getting better, taking their medication and the institutions that were caring for them said that their release was due to the fact that multiple professionals through that they could live with limited care. Regard visits by a disability counsellor, reminders to take medication and some form of benefit and housing service, like a half way house. It’s completely unreasonable, but it’s usually good enough for people and local police departments, so they are often found guilt and incarcerated. “

 

Damien had finished, he cracked his knuckles and stood still for a moment before sitting back down on the bed. He leaned on Thorvald again and looked up to admire his wall. He was very proud. 

 

“I understand.” Thorvald said. “You think this not to be the case.”

 

“Mhmm.” They paused for a moment, the silence broken by the sound of the Facebook alert on Damien’s laptop. They both looked at it, and walked towards his laptop, crouching around it as Damien opened Facebook.

 

It was a message from Stacy Smith, she had posted it to her wall, a smiling photo of Anne Gray and a caption filled the screen. 

    hey guys! i just wanted to post a message to say that i can’t find anne anywhere, i haven’t seen her for two days and no one else has heard from her either. she was meant to be going to a party at prim but last minute got invited to another on the heath up by parli hill. that was saturday night n i’m so worried. as you know, she and her mother fell out approx. six months ago over religious stuff n that anne was bi n even she is worried right now which means a lot given annes mum is a fucking bitch. if anyone sees her or knows where she is please call me or like the police or bring her home.

thanks 

 

“Is this the kind of thing that goes into your victim profile?” Thorvald asked and Damien only nodded, still shocked by what he had just read. Thorvald watched his eyes scan the text again and again until he walked away and sat down on the bed, still not speaking.

 

Then Thorvald remembered: she and Damien used to be close. Anne used to be Damien’s only friend. She was by no means a good friend, she manipulated him, and was awful generally. However, she was still a friend. Damien had told her first that he was trans, and her first that he was gay and her first that he was ace. Damien had told her so much and then one day after a holiday she stopped talking to him. She had gotten popular and suddenly all of these rumours started circulating about him and Damien went from ostracised to harassed.

 

“Damien, I am going to sit down next to you.” Thorvald began, walking towards Damien slowly, avoiding eye contact. “Damien, once I have sat down I am going to hold your hand and I am going to put my arm around your shoulder.”

 

Thorvald did, sitting next to Damien slack and disassociating. They never spoke of Anne Gray for this exact reason and her vanishing could not have chosen a worse occasion. They sat for fifteen minutes, Thorvald squeezing Damien’s hand to ground him to reality. It took a while and the sky began to darken as clouds moved above them, dark and imposing. Damien finally returned when rain started pattering on the window panes much to Thorvald’s relief. They sat there for a while just watching droplets of water slither down the window’s, leaning on each other. 

 

“Will you still help me, because now I have to.” Damien cleared his throat, “I’m really curious.”

 

He paused to look at Thorvald, who was visibly horrified by the realisation that this girl Anne Grey was the target of some murderer. Thorvald looked to Damien and was shocked to see how come he was. After this initial reaction it was as though a flip had been switched and while he cared that she was not hurt, he had no extra feelings for her. He was cold. Thorvald inhaled deeply, shaking the feeling. That is just how Damien is, he reminded himself before offering a weak smile.

 

“Of course I will help you.” Thorvald nodded, “Although, I am unsure as to where one would start in this situation.”

 

“We’ll add her to the board.”

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