Creative Column: An Unspectacular Event by Caitlin Taylor

790

It began to snow. Flake by flake, minute by minute. Gathering. Growing. The minutes passed and the snow continued to spread like icing on a cake. Outside appearances matter more than the inside, The Woman always said. The snow stopped. Red seeped through the white; a grotesque image now laid bare.

A child screamed when he saw the buxom figure. She was spread across the pavement, bathed in a pool of blood. Her brown hair was stained; her coat was smeared. No one would remember who she was: no one really knew. She was to be only a footnote in history.

(E V I L  E V I L  T O M   E V I L  E V I L  T O M)

(EViL eVIl tOM)

(evil evil tom)

Tom first saw her in summer. She was bold and beautiful. Her eyes were like sapphires, which dazzled beholders, capturing love and loss in one stare. He wanted her to see past his limp and the laughter surrounding him. The laughter of men. But she didn’t. Women didn’t laugh, but looked away, disgusted. Tom called these women the ‘sterile people’. The ‘sterile people’ were only interested in their immaculate houses and beautiful appearances. They shopped only for their pretty things, believing them to be grateful for their good stewardship. Tom was not a pretty thing, like the figure with sapphire eyes, but a monster. The Woman said, ‘monsters belong in the wild, far away’.

Tom had lived in the wild for years. His home was the willow trees and the holly bushes, which coddled him, like the gentle mother he never knew. The place was all his, until her sapphire eyes met his gaze. Unlike the laughter of men, or the disdain of ‘sterile people’, she continued to stare with an expression of curiosity and intrigue. She encouraged pursuit and then Tom realised she was just another pretty thing. Her elegant frame was in sharp focus: her stick legs looked like they were about to snap and her sapphire eyes turned into ice, stabbing his heart in half.

He had learnt that cruelty was the best form of kindness. Strength conquers all and the weak must fall; the lion kills the zebra and the vultures feed off the carcass. He wouldn’t let her be their victim, she would be his.

(ugly ugly tom)

He eyed up the pretty thing – staring, calculating, getting ready for the kill. The buxom beauty was sitting by a tree. He was behind her. In his hands were knives. He crept up, then jumped at her, slowly opened her throat. The cut was deep and red. She would’ve screamed; he might have been seen. Cutting the throat brought silence, he laughed, cutting anywhere else brought attention. All the life had dripped out of her, into the puddle where she lay.

(UGlY uGLy tOM)

Pleasure burned inside him for a moment; the memory of The Woman was extinguished. The Woman with short, curly bleached hair and icy water. The raw water which moulded him into a monster. The runt of the litter would never amount to much, she said, whilst submerging his head into the expanse of bitterness. During that moment, he felt like no one – like all the other pretty things that flocked before who left without a trace. Living brought pain, death brought peace. Tom had always been living. He was an egg that never hatched, turning rotten and remaining flightless. Everyone flew above whilst he stayed, silently walking in the shadows. To The Woman he resembled the devil but like most things she was wrong. He was the devil.

(UGLY UGLY TOM,  U G L Y  U G L Y  T O M)

Tom looked at the masterpiece he had created. The backdrop of red against the innocence of the brunette in the foreground. It was an unpleasant image and the death of another pretty thing. As he cracked apart his former shell, he felt nothing. The moment was gone. Gone like The Woman. Swimming away like swans as they left the ugly duckling behind. The pretty things never lasted. All he had to do now was wait. Wait for those vultures.

Worms coiled around her stick eyes and ants scuttled from the ground. Her eyes were closed, her sapphires had been stolen and her ice had melted, unaware of Mother Nature claiming her. A solemn look spread across his slight face. His emerald eyes lost their shine, now only two stones. He was one of them. One of the ‘sterile people’. He felt miserable and far away. Still, he was no one; a black figure in a white world.

It seemed as if the sky had ripped apart as three paws walked away from a pile of red feathers. It was two days before Christmas.