Stone The Crows


Tom Bishop knows something is happening. But when The Horror begins, it will be too late for everyone else.

The crows outside Bishop’s flat have destroyed the morning birdsong. A vicious, aggressive black cloud of razor-sharp beaks and talons begin to taunt then attack him, a stark warning that the delicate fabric of daily life in the commonsense world is about to be altered forever.

The woman, the Japanese assassin, is pursuing him through the snaking dark streets of London. No matter how hard he tries to shake her off, she is always there waiting for him like a spectre. Is she some kind of shape-shifter morphing into familiar surroundings, lulling him into some false sense of security before she attacks him again? What does she want? Why him? But she is only a small fragment of this apocalyptic puzzle.

He knew they existed. The Inorganics. Flickering around him, as if on the extreme border of his consciousness, corporeally invisible, Bishop felt their presence as strongly as any worldly creature. It was as if energy had seeped into his existence and acquired a predatory soul. He knew some Inorganics could be harmful, but through his training he could defend himself  so far.

Roulla Mavromati, the enigmatic woman he meets one day on the train, craves his knowledge. But these will not be the lessons found in any university surrounded by the leafy comfort of academia. She will be pushed to the very edge of pleasure and pain to discover they spring from the same source. As her thirst for Heaven and Hell intensifies, Bishop has to find new extremes where the boundaries of flesh and consciousness dissolve. Roulla possesses a power Bishop has never encountered in any woman he has known. Unleashed, the potential could be devastating. As Roulla excels in her studies, Tom Bishop realises this is the woman he was always destined to meet and that these are not merely games of master and slave but a frightening prelude of what is to come.

Then it begins

It is during one of the many conversations with another resident of the house, his philosophical sparring partner, the Red Yank, an out-of-work actor with a passion for classical music, pipes and women. His flat is cluttered with chaotic displays of his theatre and film work, and he shares it with the love of his life, a politically incorrect parrot called Louie.

At first it seems like a simple car accident in the street outside with the two drivers in an angry stand off  maybe an exchange of blame, then insurance details? An axe swings, bullets spray from a gun and a man lies dying on the floor. A hate-fuelled mob floods the neighbourhood charged with insanity and chaos as Bishop and the Red Yank unbelievingly crane their heads out of the window to watch as the police, outnumbered and helpless, disappear beneath a tidal wave of blood and anarchy. It could be the beginnings of a long overdue revolution. But this is what Bishop has always known. The Horror had begun.

The landscape has dramatically changed overnight. Dismembered corpses hang from trees, the dead litter the streets as the crows and rats feast on the banquet. At first it seems that the only living creatures are the crows. Patrolled by armed guards, huge razor wire pens have been constructed. Inside, a new breed of animal is being broken in and conditioned to obey their new masters. Naked and dehumanised, the filthy rich, the ex-rulers of the people and the upper echelon, have become the primary fuel as they pull the new order around in makeshift chariots. Whipped into a pulverising subservience, these scarred and tattered people scream out for a system that has crumbled into the bloody filth and human detritus of stinking London streets.

Animals with reborn primal savagery hunt in packs, tearing apart anything in their path and adding to the growing carnage. The Horror is engulfing everything, not just people. The earth is in revolt.

Tom Bishop and the Red Yank find to their amazement they can walk around without drawing attention to themselves while watching the blasphemy of deconstructed humanity at their leisure. But the crows see them. The crows always see them, and the crows haven’t forgotten.

Then Bishop hears The Voice and learns why things are the way they are. Why they always will be. Why The Horror has to exist.


11. Chapter Eleven




Roulla Mavromati hung upside down on Tom Bishop’s landing, and he ignored her as he carefully rolled a joint in the kitchen, one booted foot propped on the table.  Her eyes were rolling back into her head.  She had been hanging there for over ten minutes in his gravity boots.  Intricate and artistic ropework held her hands behind her back and her arms to her sides.  And, most interestingly, there was a spectacular rope trick on both breasts.  Coils were made at the base of them, then tightened so the breasts bulged like nearly-splitting ripe fruit.  The nipples were rigid, rosy stems over half an inch long.  They looked like little pink model penises, and the tiny cocks were gripped by tightened clamps connected with a little chrome chain.  Her gag was held in place by straps around the back, under the chin and over the top of her head.  A catheter had been inserted into a small opening in the hard rubber gag.  The other end of the catheter passed through her urethra into her bladder.  This ensured a steady recycling of her urine.


Bishop lit his joint on one of the candles and inhaled deeply.  As he exhaled, he leaned over to check his elixir in a beaker on the table.  He used a long glass spoon to stir the mixture of his own urine, some semen he had saved in the fridge from an ejaculation a few weeks ago and half a glass of sweet wine.  Into this he had tried to dissolve a pellet of very high grade Pakistani black.  The hashish refused to liquefy properly.  He hoisted it up to the light, and the little crumbs held in suspension looked a bit like coffee grounds.  It didn’t matter.  Probably better that way.  He replaced the beaker on the table and leaned back in his chair.  The curtains were drawn, and it was past three o’clock in the morning.  The Terrace was graveyard quiet.  No street lighting and cloud cover insured Stygian darkness outside.

He was enjoying his session with Mavromati.  Her face told him she was only a few paces from ecstasy – paces which needed to be made slowly and deliberately with equal amounts of anticipation and frustration.  Halfway through his joint, he put it aside for later.  Good hash was hard to come by these days, and he felt lovely.  Really chilled.  He got up and walked right past the Greek woman to his sitting room – which was directly above the Red Yank’s bedroom – to fetch a hardback chair and leg spreader.  When he returned to the landing, he stood on the chair and pushed the gravity boots well apart on the chrome pole between the two walls.  Reaching down, he picked up the leg spreader and attached a cuff to one ankle and one to the other.  This would ensure that she could not physically close her legs while he was giving her the medicine.


He had not told her what he was going to do.  Everything was an enforced surprise, but at every stage he monitored her reaction.  She was falling in the classic masochistic spiral of submission, lost in a world of yielding her will to his strong hands.  He wanted to keep her going downwards into herself and towards the magic portals of human existence where everything that was fluid achieved solidity and where everything physical merged with the spiritual.  He would be emperor in that world, and she would be an externalisation of his will.  It was a fairy landscape where anything was possible.

On the hardback chair he placed a rubber glove, a tube of water-based lubricant, a dish of water, a funnel, the beaker holding the elixir and a butt plug.  The body of the plug was about three inches in diameter – not his largest by any means, but a good size.


He put on the glove and made sure she heard it snap at his wrist.  He could sense the vibration of her body.  Her arse was chest-high, a convenient height for him.  He put plenty of lubricant on the first two fingers of his glove and a bit more on the tips.  He rubbed this round the rosebud of her arse and felt it tense and quiver.  Slowly – almost lovingly – he pushed inside her with the two fingers.  With his other hand he picked up the funnel and worked it in the lubricant before pushing the end carefully inside her as he eased his fingers out.  She gripped the end of the funnel, and he knew she could not really guess what he was doing – or what was going in or out of her.  That was the kind of control they both sought.

He picked up the beaker and held it between his hands, warming it for a few moments.  Then, with one hand, he tilted the funnel mouth up a little.  With the other hand he slowly poured the elixir into her rectum.  Her body reacted to the introduction of the liquid as she involuntarily jerked her hips.  But there was nothing she could do, and she luxuriated in her total helplessness.  Something had been poured into her via her anus, and there was no way she could reject it.  There was no choice.


After removing the funnel, Bishop put more lubricant on the rubber glove and added a little water to make it especially slippery.  Holding all four fingers together he worked them slowly into her.  She was making loud noises now through her nose.  He pulled his gloved hand out and put on yet more lubricant, more water.  On insertion this time he went right up to his knuckles.  He pushed more, pushing and turning his hand.  He wasn’t going to fist her, not this time.  It was necessary that she be opened up more.  The plug was big.

He pulled his hand out and reached for the plug.  He thoroughly coated it with lubricant and water and held it in his ungloved hand as he used four fingers of his other hand to open her up as wide as he could.  Then the plug was introduced – slowly but firmly.  Her body twitched as she reacted to the amount of stretching necessary to accommodate it.  She was moaning, trying to cry.


“Be careful,” he said firmly, “or the piss will come out through your nose, and you’ll be in trouble.”

Her whole bottom was slimy with water and lubricant before the large plug began to slide home to its narrow collar at the other end which would be gripped by the anus, holding the thing up her with the involuntarily grip of the sphincter muscle.  Bishop knew the effect of a plug like this because he had tried them all himself.  It was indeed a mysterious event.  Resistance hissed from the soul like air from a puncture.  Invasion up the rectum was an outrage normally, but this outrage translated itself into massive physical and mental docility.  The message was this:  if that could be done to you, then anything could happen.  There was no option but to give in completely to the one in charge.


Before leaving her again, he cleaned her up with a few paper towels.  The end of the butt plug made a perfect black circle on her bottom.  She was still moaning, but it was more sporadic now.  With a grin he decided to give her a treat.  Pulling off the rubber glove, he felt in the front of her vagina for the clitoris.  It was engorged with blood but hiding underneath its hood like a little wild mushroom.  She trembled immediately when he touched it, and the moaning instantly grew louder.  With a light touch he moved his finger back and forth, peering at it as he breathed in the musty odours of her juices.  The leg spreader was still holding her wide open to him.  No resistance was possible.  Her body was jerking now, jerking and twisting, threatening to jack-knife as her abdominal muscles went into spasm.  He knew she was getting close to orgasm, so he stopped suddenly.

“That’s enough for you right now,” he chuckled.  “Maybe a little more later on.  If you’re very, very good.”


He stood in the chair and released the leg spreader cuffs on each ankle, glad and confident he had all the tools at hand to do the job.  The hash made him feel a little like a car mechanic.  Emptying the oil, adjusting the fan belt, checking the tyre pressures, putting in a new exhaust.  It made him giggle as he dragged the hardback chair into the back room.  He’d always fantasised having a much larger place with an interconnecting meat runner going from room to room.  Women could be hung upside down like sides of pork and moved by rail from one station to another.  The shower room, for instance.  Built like a car wash with jet sprays cleansing every pore and every hole, washing away all the cheap scents and soaps and ointments and lipsticks they used when nothing needed to be used on the natural fragrance of feminine skin.

He shook out of his reverie and went to the back window, pushing the curtain aside.  Looking across at the terrace on Junction Road, he wondered what had happened to Frenchie, the wonderful blonde he flirted with for so long.  He hadn’t seen her since the Horror began.  Probably dead.  Or raped until she wished she was dead, like so many of the pretty ones.


The Horror.  That’s what they were calling it.  On what was left of the intermittent service of the BBC.  Even the Buxtons were referring to it as the Horror.  Well.  They had children, and no doubt that would eventually create a big problem for them.  He wouldn’t call it the Horror, though.  The word he would use?  Retribution.

He thought about the rest of his joint in the kitchen and redrew the curtains.


+There was pounding on the front door, and the whole house was alert in an instant.  Even though it was after midnight.  It was the second day of the Horror, and events were still cascading.  Chaos rumbled and grew like a tsunami, a giant tidal wave.  It occurred to everyone in the house that the knocking could only be evil.  Tom Bishop opened his window and looked out carefully.  Actually he spotted the clue as he was opening the window.  The American Jeep was outside – or the remains of the Jeep.  All the doors – including the rear one - were torn off, and it looked like it had been attacked with baseball bats, iron bars and maybe a grenade launcher.  A wreck.  A complete wreck.  The two back tyres were flat, and she had been running on the rims.

He called quietly down into the darkness.  “Roulla?”


“Tom!” she sobbed softly below.  “Let me in.  Please.  Let me in.”

It was beyond belief how she managed to cross London in the vehicle.  With the mounting violence Bishop was convinced he would never see her again.  He met the Red Yank and the Buxtons in the hall downstairs.  They agreed quickly among themselves that they would let her in.  It was unthinkable not to.


Her clothes were torn, her hair had been singed somehow by fire, and apparently her suitcases were stolen from the vehicle as she struggled across the city.  Everything she had was now gone.  Because it was deemed a “rich place”, her block of flats was attacked.  In terror she managed to crawl into a central heating flue leading to the hallway and stayed there until they finished sacking the building and dragging the remaining occupants out.  The drive across the city was much too horrible for her to recount to her listeners.  Anyway the evidence of the Jeep was enough.  He and the Red Yank supported her as they staggered into the Buxton’s flat for tea.  She was amazed their house was still intact – even their windows.  They told her they didn’t understand fully, but the continually raging mob seemed to leave them all alone.”

A spare mattress was placed on the floor of the attic for her, and… +  Bishop shook his head vigorously as he reached the kitchen and picked up the half-smoked joint.  Sometimes these flashbacks were overlapping now, and he occasionally wondered if it could be a sign of madness.  He sat down to re-light the joint and glanced at the inverted body of the Greek woman on the landing.  She was almost motionless now.  He knew the contents of the elixir were being absorbed by the lining of her colon, and he was certain it was a potent magic mix.  Of course she wouldn’t know what it was, so the changes would appear to be “natural”, originating within – as if he were orchestrating her internal emotional ensemble by his very presence.  “And,” he chuckled gently to himself, “the swing of his baton.”


At such times it seemed selfish, but Bishop did not want the space of his flat invaded by anyone.  His researches had to continue, and for that he required privacy.  So Roulla was given the loft.  The trapdoor was made of perspex, so there was light during the day.  Bishop ran up a cable for electricity – when electricity was available.  She had to come down to use the toilet and kitchen.  The major services were now intermittent.  So far, however, the water had not stopped.  The pressure dropped, but it kept coming.  Once the water stopped everyone was going to be in real trouble, and the house council was already addressing the problem of what to do when that happened.  He and the Red Yank ventured out early on the morning of the second day, just at dawn.  They knew there was a shop on Holloway Road that dealt in propane gas as well as building supplies.  The shop was already broken into and sacked, but they found two good wheelbarrows and filled them with propane gas cylinders.  It took them four trips sweating up the hill on the return journeys, but they managed to half-fill the hallway with the big bottles and steal a couple of stoves.  Bishop reckoned if they didn’t need them for heating or cooking, they could be used as bombs.  Of course if the house ever caught fire, they’d have to run for their lives.

It was the first sight they had of Holloway Road after the riots exploded.  Sirens, helicopters, jet aircraft, petrol bomb and semtex blasts, constant erratic bursts of gunfire, with automatic weapons becoming more predominant towards the early hours.  Suddenly it all seemed to stop around 5.00am.  When they emerged from the Gardens and peered up and down Holloway Road, it looked like the devastation of a war zone.  In the Gardens they counted only four corpses, but there were plenty on the main artery of Holloway Road.  Many of the bodies were hacked at, and some lay in pieces.  The ferocity was indescribable.  Citizens living together in apparent harmony became savages in little more than an instant.  They turned on each other just to maim and kill, nothing else.  True, the shops had all been sacked and looted, but robbery was never a motive in the slaughter.  It was…the Horror.


The looting was not yet systematic.  Merchandise had been clawed out of the shops onto the pavement amongst the broken glass and dried blood and now rigid corpses.  Street lighting had failed, and there were no lights anywhere.  It was eerie.  After a whole night of excess, there was now no life at all.  No dogs, no cats.  The only living creatures were the crows.  They were out early that first morning.  They were prime scavengers, and this was prime time – before the rats got organised.  Every crow in the area was stalking about on foot, taking to the air only to carry a stinking morsel back to the nest.  The Red Yank pointed agitatedly to one of them hopping along delicately holding a human eye.  The eye didn’t look real scissored in the dirty yellow beak, a beak that had held everything from old chewing gum and liquorice Allsorts to dried dog turds and fat maggots.  As they watched, the eye burst and grey fluid dribbled down the beak.  Then it was gone.  Down the throat of the crow.

From that point onward, he and the Red Yank didn’t stop, didn’t talk much, except to swear, until they got their booty back to the house.  They made other stealthy trips that morning as well.  Up Junction Road they collected barrow loads of flour, sugar, salt, bottled water and as many cans as they could handle.  So far the hardest hit shops had been jewellers, electronics shops, pubs and off-licence sellers of booze and tobacco.  The tinned goods were so far barely touched.  The early risers were the curious and the thoughtful looters.  Then they heard sirens.  So they made that one their last load and staggered back to Ptolemy Terrace.


Bishop rose from the table to boil some water for coffee.  If the gas was working.  It was.  He was experimenting.  That flashback was completely different.  The memories passed in real time, and the images were the shorthand ones used by consciousness to reinforce thoughts.  There was nothing really strange about conjuring up old memories in the old way.  He was now convinced the time-warp flashbacks were not flashbacks at all but some kind of drunken fishtailing into other universes where events were unfolding in slightly different ways for slightly different actors who may not – in the strict sense – even be human beings.  His own entity might be losing its moorings in the reality he was accustomed to, drawn – perhaps by suction – towards the heaviness of a much stronger reality.  And he was absolutely convinced this had a unique bearing on the savage events taking place outside.

He poured hot water onto the heaped spoonful of instant coffee.  There was no more milk.  Milk was off, love.  Forget about milk.  And he loved milk.  Real milk.  Not genetically modified milk or skimmed or homogenised or evaporated or mucked-up milk.  No.  He loved the old-fashioned stuff that came from cows.  They used to deliver it to doorsteps on little electric carts.  It was in a bottle, and the top of the milk was thick, yellow cream.  It made his mouth water to think about it.

He glanced at the clock.  It was time to get the bitch out of the gravity boots, to see how far down the spiral she had tumbled.

He sat in the hard backed chair and began to untie the ropes holding her arms and hands.  There were only two key ties, and the rest was easy.  Her arms suddenly fell loosely and dangled below her head.  Her hands were touching the floor.  He let the circulation return fully while he detached the catheter from her bladder and gag.  Then he loosened the gag, and it was pushed from her mouth by a low, continuous moan.  It was guttural, primeval.  He stood in the chair and looked down at his victim.


“Use your hands, bitch.  I can’t do it by myself.  I’m taking you down.”

He waited patiently.  His command appeared to be crawling slowly down her spine in the general direction of her higher centres.  Her moaning paused only when she drew breath.


“Put the palms of your hands on the floor and push.  When I lift you off the bar, you’re going to have to help support your weight.  You understand?”

“Yes.”  Her voice was distant, almost remote.


He wrapped his arms around both her thighs and lifted the hooks clear of the chrome bar.  “Are you ready?”


As he lowered her slowly, she drunkenly ducked her head so her shoulders could take her weight.  He let her down as easily as he could, steadying himself so he wouldn’t fall.  He stepped down from the chair and looked at her body.  She was lying on her back with arms spread in the crucifix position.  Her tits were still ballooned like pomegranates by the rope tricks.  Her nipples had purpled from the pressure of the clips.  He stood on one foot and placed the sole of the other boot on her face and pressed down lightly.  Without a word, she began licking the bottom of his boot.  He pulled it away quickly.

“You don’t deserve to lick my boots, you cheap slut.”


She was panting now, but her eyes were open.  “Want me…please want me….”

“No.”  He was quick.  “Why should I want you?  I should let the mob have you.  Use you like a fuckbag…”


One of her hands crawled towards the toe of a boot.  “Make me your fuckbag.”

“Be serious.”  He turned away, remembering he hadn’t touched his coffee.  And there was still a roach from the last joint left in the ashtray.  He sat down in his chair, one boot propped on the table, the coffee mug hooked with two fingers and the thumb of his right hand.  Carefully he placed the roach in his mouth and lit it.  It was good stuff.  He really enjoyed good stuff.


With his other foot he hooked a plastic dog bowl out from underneath the low table.  Both cross slats on the front of the table were loosened on one end and were lying against the floor.  He was careful with the bowl because it was one quarter full of yellow liquid.

“Look here,” he smiled at Mavromati, who was still lying on her back.  “I’ve got a bowl of my piss for you, if you’re thirsty.”

Roulla Mavromati was possessed.  Only in her dreams could she have imagined such a state of being.  She was a slave and wanted to be a slave.  It was a state of being she would die for.  Above her loomed a blond god wearing shiny black leather boots laced up to the knees.  Her place was the floor and the gutter, and she was happy to have her will shadowing his will in complete harmony.  It was a dance, and she was mesmerised – a moth to his flame.

The experience of hanging from the bar with the gravity boots was beyond the reach of her imagination.  In her fantasies she created little stories of being bound and helpless, her legs wide open and exposed to the eyes of critical men while she was gagged and blindfolded.  There were other rape-type fantasies.  Tied up in the locker room and ravished by the whole cricket team (Oh! Those meaty bottoms in white trousers!).  Or she was a part of a harem forced to await her owner’s attention.  Or a household slave, maybe even married to the man who owned her, forced to work without complaint, as well as provide him with sexual service on demand.  She secretly entertained herself with fantasies of one form or another for as long as she could remember – even before adolescence.


And now she was gripped in the apotheosis of perversity.  Out of doors the world was churning itself to pieces, but Roulla Mavromati was nearing the apex of desire.  Such desire only made her hungry for more.  And more.  And more.  Hanging by her heels had pushed her past all her limits, and she was now in unknown territory.  Her arms and hands were bound before the gag was forced between her teeth.  It took her several minutes of watching him to realise he was going to catheterise her.  Which was shocking enough.  But when the other end of the catheter was forced into her mouth, her mind began to stagger involuntarily towards the dark, empty lift shaft in one of the lower pits of consciousness.  Her own urine was dribbling into her own mouth, and there was nothing she could do to stop him or refuse the operation. 

Even before they started play that evening Bishop told her that he was not going to accept limit warnings.  She must trust him completely.  What he was going to do would neither injure nor damage her.  It was the only way to explore the unknown.  Because of anticipation she agreed almost too quickly – masochists are like that.  She was glad she did.  He took her to the lift shaft and pushed her in!  She fell, head-over-heels in dizzying darkness as she plummeted to levels she never before imagined.  She now understood completely the servility of a dog.  It was not awful.   It was a throbbing attraction.


By the time the butt plug was introduced she had already become his glove puppet.  Instead of rejection, she yearned for the outrage of what he was doing to her.  Because she slowly became less of a human being and more a piece of meat.  Just meat.  That’s how he was treating her.  Once he bound her hands and arms as she hung from the ceiling, she had no power to stop him.  Even before then she couldn’t stop him.  Her legs were pushed apart and her anus opened.  Something was poured into her – she could feel it was a little cold.  Poured into her.  She flooded with wetness at the thought of it.  It was so impersonal.  This was followed by the butt plug and sexual manipulation that drove her into the anteroom of galactic orgasm.  His probing fingers stopped just one tragic moment before she exploded into a new and infinite Milky Way that stretched from the beginning of nothing to the end of everything.  Instead, she was now left in forlorn hope he would complete her orgasm later.   At times he wouldn’t.

Her thoughts were loops that began to travel, then swerved back towards their origins.  And their origin was him.  This was control.  She was lobotomised now.  No higher rational functions took place.  Whatever thoughts she had were tingling tramlines leading in saturnalian circles which orbited his authority.  While hers was not a rational universe, it was highly ordered regimented ranks and rows arranged in order of importance.  And any importance was completely relevant to him.  His persona, his will, his command, his self was hard and impenetrable, unique and irrefutable.  Furthermore that is the way she wanted it to be.  Now and forever?  Could she say that?  Forever?  No!  But for now, oh, god yes!


Her bottom end was measurably heavier as she dragged herself slowly to hands and knees.  She would have liked to crawl on her belly in order to show more respect, but the rope tricks on her tits prevented this.  It was so strange.  The world around her was malleable, pliable, marshmallow-soft.  Everthing but him.  He was the one hard, gleaming, immutable fixture.  It was so strange and natural, as if fixed in the firmament by the power of the thing that created the beginning of things.  But the rest of it was drippy and flexible, animated by a drunken Salvador Dali.  What was happening to her?  Sorcery was at work.

When she got to the bowl on the floor, she dropped her…it was still warm, golden, a little astringent – but the flavour was distinctly different from her own.  In her state, disgust with herself was impossible.  When she finished she settled close to his leg, hoping to nuzzle the soft black leather of his boot.


The boot pulled away from her.  It kicked the unattached slats to one side and motioned to the space underneath the low table.

“Inside, bitch,” he said almost in a whisper.  “Your kennel.”


She crawled inside, and there was just enough space for her body.  It was cramped, but she liked it cramped.  She watched his hands as they re-attached the slats to the table leg.  In theory she could easily push them away again, but in fact the broken slats formed a prison as secure as steel bars set in concrete.

He pushed the toe of a boot underneath the slats.


Wistfully she stared at the toe and thought only of licking it.

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