A HEART DARKER THAN THE ECLIPSE
His name was Sue Davidson and as he sat in his broken chair surrounded by the filth of fifteen years of hoarding and takeaways he cried to himself quietly. Not the tears of joy or even sorrow, no an emotion far deeper, one that tore at his blackened soul, the tears of silent rage.
And the pain that tore at his soul most was his name, no not Davidson he could live with that, no the fact that his parents had hated him so much they called him Sue. His whole life had been one mercilus taunt, that song that vicious song had been the cross he had to bare, but now he had a plan, now he was going to get even.
Of course his parents whom he had never met were hardly to be blamed, Sue was conceived during a drug fulled orgy, not your swap your keys with the neighbour over a few wines and a naughty joint, oh no this was a very different kind of event.
Sue’s mother had been a stripper and prostitute at a club out west called aptly “The Joint” and it was frequented mostly by the local chapter of The Devils Riders, a ” Bikie gang renown for its ability to consume huge amounts speed and propensity to commit heinous violence” , a quote from the local paper The Daily Sun.
Sues mother had never mentioned to anyone about the child she had simply left town and when the child was born she just walked out of the Hospital never to be seen again.
The name Sue had come around due to a mix up of the sex of the baby, someone had accidently typed in female and as there was no mother the staff had named her Sue. Forget the song life is sometimes just a list of coincidences.
The Eclipse was all people were talking about, even the President had taken a back seat as the whole country waited for the event, everything from T shirts to Eclipse viewing Glasses were flooding the online stores, and that endless drivel that passes for news on the TV could talk about nothing else.
Later the local sheriff Keith Lightfoot would say “If only I had” but the rest of his sentence was cut off as the Channel switched to “Breaking news” which was of course simply what they had just been playing. But if they had just stayed with the sheriff a while longer they might have heard about some real breaking news, about a school bus being driven by a crazy looking hobo with wild eyes and yellow teeth.
But they didn’t and that is chance and chance leads to opportunity and opportunity was all Sue needed to disappear.
Now the first mistake people often make when judging someone’s character is on how they look, you know crazy equals stupid or dirty equals poor (add your own prejudice here) but Sue was neither poor nor stupid, in fact in his college yearbook he had been voted the student most likely to start an international crime syndicate a honour he held highest among his academic achievements.
And the bus he was driving filled with school children wasn’t a chance thing, oh no Sue had thought about this day long and hard, from all angles. Sue was a student of the great Chinese Philosopher Sun Tzu, he kept The art of war beside his bed and understood its many contradictions, this move had been years in the planning.
And although he had seventeen students this was for distraction there were really only four he was interested in, the rest he would use as collateral should things change, best to be prepared. And as he drove through the streets and out of the city he smiled as no one saw him driving by. For all stared upwards to the darkening sky pointing to each other wearing bizarre eyewear and all focused on that awesome sight .
An Eclipse has a strange effect on humans we are drawn to it in such a primitive way and it engages us totally both with awe and a strange sense of unease as if we fear the sun might never appear again. But to Sue it fulfilled one of the most challenging contradictions , how to hide in plain sight. He might not have got away with it as he was seen picking up some children but right at the time Sheriff Keith Lightfoot was about to go and talk to him he was accosted by the local news crew and by the time he looked up the bus was gone.
A HEINOUS ACT
Most of the children on the bus knew Sue as he had been a janitor at one of the local schools for the past couple of years, a part of his carefully constructed plan. They had also at times taunted him about his name, and as they looked around the bus they realised with mounting horror they were being taken somewhere other than home, and a ripple of fear spread out there was no taunting now.
The other thing an observer would have noticed was all the students were girls, this was also no accident Sue didn’t need the hassle of some young testosterone’d hero trying to overpower him Sue need compliance for his plan to work.
It was nightfall when they reached the woods and the students had gone from shock to fear to begging for their lives and even the brave ones had offered themselves as some sort of exchange, all without Sue having said one word.
The first words he uttered were “who wants to be the videographer and put this up on YouTube” for a moment there was a stunned silence then bedlam broke out as all the girls begged for it to be them. But this was just a bit of play acting, just Sue getting a bit of his own back he had already got the girl in mind, “you” he said pointing at one of them “you got the job”.
THE YOUTUBE CLIP
They were chained to trees in the forest all with black hoods on so you couldn’t see their faces, then the camera turned and there sat Sue lit from underneath like some demonic satyr which was also part of this elaborate drama.
Sue knew that just this setting, the helplessness of the girls the implied devil worship especially at the time of an Eclipse would rivet peoples attention, 20 million views and trending, now for the demands.
When you hate something with such total commitment, when your plan comes together flawlessly, when the end is just in sight sometimes then, doubt and hesitation creep in. Not in any catastrophic way but rather like a niggle in the back of your mind, you know like “what have I forgotten this has been way to easy” and right at his moment of triumph Sue had one of those flashes a psychologist might call a conscience, but then it was gone.
The demands were exactly as you would have imagined, he wanted people, the people that had made his life the living hell that it was, starting with his mother. Now Sue had found out who his mother was years ago, it hadn’t been difficult after all he knew where he was born the rest was just a little digital legwork and an article in the Daily Sun questioning the towns favorite Sheriff’s motives for publicly associating with one of the towns least favourite women had certainly helped.
If the reporter had dug a little deeper he would have found the connection with the Sheriff and the Joint went a little bit deeper than his association with Sue’s mother, not only did he own it but the Devils Riders worked for him as well.
It would appear that the happy couple had produced their own child the very popular and some would call spoilt Mary Lightfoot who, right at that moment was terrified, hooded and chained to a tree.
The next person on Sues list was his teacher Marty Cartwright, a bully and sadist to boot who had on so many occasions beaten Sue while on detention after school, other teachers had seen the bruises but who pays attention to the claims of a troubled kid right?.
Marty had not been well for a number of years and Sue had waited for the moment of greatest impact. And just this week Marty’s daughter the dux of the school was due to receive its highest award, a moment Marty had been dreaming of, one could say the one thing that had kept him alive. Her name was Penny and right at that moment Penny was hooded and also chained to a tree.
Third was his Foster father Dan who had sexually assaulted Sue for so many years Sue had lost count, a person who installed so much fear and dread that Sue would become violently sick merely at the thought, and as those thoughts came back every night Sue had literally never slept a full night in his whole life, at times he became so fearful he could smell his fear.
You guessed it Dan and Ulanda’s daughter Monica also found herself hooded and chained to a tree in the middle of the night in a freezing dark forest.
And now for the final player, Paula Edmontain the daughter of Pastor Edmontain the local preacher and last person to turn his back on the terrified, lonely troubled boy who had turned to him for comfort and help. The only help he had received was in exiting the building, no Christian charity here, unless you could pay. Pastor Edmontain had his own dream, the dream of a TV evangelist and just this week his dream had come true, he had been on such a high.
Paula tried to scream but the hood muffled the noise, right at that moment she doubted the Lords existence as fear robbed her of her faith.
Who were the thirteen others? were they just collateral damage, just in the wrong place at the wrong time just a bit of padding for the drama.
If you were a follower of Sun Tzu you would know that nothing is as it seems and Sue had wanted to inflict maximum damage and there is nothing more damaging to the spirit than being hated.
Sue knew that the pain of his four antagonists would haunt them forever, but that still that wasn’t enough for him, the icing on the cake so to speak was the hate of the families who’s innocent daughters had been caught up in this horrific event.
Or so it would seem but then the followers of Sun Tzu would also know that the best battles to win are the ones you don’t fight.
Her name was Toni, and she had not been noted for anything in her year book, she was to most simply invisible, not destined to become anything other than a “What was her name?”. Toni’s life had not mirrored Sue’s life in any way, she had parents who loved her, a father that doted on her and six other siblings who just left her alone and no external trauma that really stood out .
But as you know pain and rage are born from within and to Toni the hate she felt for her peers, the feeling of being judged and mocked had forced her to retreat further and deeper inside herself until she had made herself invisible. And it was from this cloak of invisibility she had hatched a plan, a plan to get back at those hateful girls around her.
Toni had meet Sue while she was briefly at the school he worked at, it had always been her plan, carefully planted in the brain of another wounded soul to be nurtured until it had, in his mind become his. Toni had been there at every moment of Sue’s hesitation carefully encouraging, deepening the wounds.
And now here she stood in a wood in the chilling night with the girls she hated, hooded and tied to trees at her mercy, she pulled off their hoods so they could all see who was really the reason behind their fate, ah the girl with the video.
But this is where her plan started to come unstuck for try as she might Sue wouldn’t budge. The real plan was to have killed them all, live on YouTube but her partner in crime had right at the final moment refused to go through with it. The fact he never was going to he had kept from Toni as he actually liked the idea and realised it was a phenomenal way to get back at those who had wounded him.
But it was the last bit, the taking of lives that he couldn’t do, terror was one thing, murder another and Sue for all his darkness wasn’t a murderer , oh he knew the point had been made and he had destroyed the standing of the four in the community they would forever be blamed for the terror , Sue on the other hand would become a very unlikely hero.
The real victims here were Toni’s loving family, another piece of collateral damage unavoidable really not that Toni had thought this one through.
They heard the sirens from way off in the distance, sound travels along way on a still night, for all her planning Toni should have payed more attention in class when the person was talking about “the dangers of your cell phone” it was there under co-ordinates on photos, right down to the meter they said.
Sue knew they would find them, scared but alive and they did, but they didn’t find Toni or Sue, that part of the plan he wasn’t going to alter.
The Daily Sun headline simply read “A boy named Sue”