The sun was just disappearing from view, the sky looked fierce as a deep red hue flooded the horizon, filling every inch of blue, as far as the eye could see. I yawned, just briefly, as I looked at the clock on the monitor in front of my face; I had just five minutes left, of a long tiring day. In truth I wasn't looking forward to the trek home, but with payday a week away, a taxi was out of the question.
I ran through the now quiet isles of the shop, heading to the staff quarters at the back; opening my locker I gathered my things, signed out and quickly left. All I could think about was sleep, oh how I needed my soft comfy bed. With another larger, longer yawn, I was outside. The red sky had turned to black and the street lamps were just flickering into view, illuminating my evening walk through the unlit lanes and into the narrow terraced streets beyond. After the warmth of the day, there was a distinct chill in the air, as I entered the graffiti filled footpath, which offered a shortcut home. Normally I was OK with this route, although always had my wits about me. One never knew who might be behind one. The lanes are dark, occasional undesirables loiter in the shadows and small groups of youths ride up and down on their bikes, shouting that urban speak only they understand. Tonight I felt nervous and rightly so!
I was doing that 'power walk' thing that is supposed to help with keeping fit - always trying to lose weight unsuccessfully, when I heard footsteps behind. They were loud and sounded very much like a person wearing heels, clicking faster and faster, racing up behind me - I stopped, they stopped too. Sharply I looked around, there was no one there. Surely I couldn't have imagined it? Maybe I did? Once again, I started to walk, this time slower, gathering my thoughts, so I could hear any noise that followed my steps. Sure enough there were those heals again. Before I could pause once more, I was knocked unconscious to the ground. With a sharp whack to the back of my head, I must have collapsed, falling flat on my face, the bruises of which, I still have today!
"Hello Lovey, I told you I would be back!"
I was laying flat on my back in the middle of what looked like a field. As I looked upwards I could see her menacing face, glaring back at me. Through the muddle and confusion, I shook my head, this had to be a dream. After another shudder, this time more vigorous, I could finally make out her ginger hair, as she leaned ever closer to my face. The alcohol on her breath was unbearable; this was Verruca Almond at her worst, she was very much alive and kicking, angrier than ever. Indignation, vexation, fury and uncontrollable rage written in the expression on her face, that vein at the side of her temple pulsating with every grimace and her claw like nails heading towards my throat.
"Verruca, VERRUCA! Stop, what the hell do you think you are doing?" I yelled!
With all the strength I could muster I jolted upright, headbutting her hard on the forehead, knocking her to the ground. As she fell backwards, so did I, ending up where I started. The both of us, laying there, me shouting expletives, rubbing my head in agony and her laughing madly, hysterically, insane, like the woman I knew she was, must have been a sight for sore eyes, but luckily there was no one else around, just us, sat in the middle of nowhere, me more puzzled than ever!
"Clearly I didn't teach you well enough, you bloody fool. Didn't you learn anything from licking knives?" she screamed at the top of her voice!
"What the f*ck are you waffling about" I replied, still rubbing my brow, smarting from the throbbing pain. "Why don't you just phone like any other normal person, instead of attacking me and beating me up like a rabid dog!" I don't mind telling you, I completely lost the plot. I wouldn't usually dream of talking to her like this. She is a sociopath after all and the consequences could be dire. Biting my tongue, I refrained from saying anything else, waiting for her reply!
'You know me my babes, anything for the drama and anyway, I can't be seen anywhere near your house. I've been on the run for a year now and it's time to get the envelope back' she explained! Confused, I rubbed my eyes!
"What envelope V, what are you talking about?' I asked. Now my memory isn't what it used to be and a lot has happened in the last year, so I had completely forgotten about the paperwork she had given me to keep safe and anyway I hadn't seen it since she was last in my company. As I continued to rack my brain, I suddenly realised what she was talking about, but not before Verruca, sat up and knocked me square in the face with her fist. 'Jesus Christ, what the hell was that for?' I cried, after I hit the deck one more time!
"To teach you a lesson, boyo...Nobody plays games with me!"
"I wasn't playing a game, I genuinely forgot, it's been ages since I saw you last and I do have a life you know,' I shouted. "Touch me again and I'm outta here!" Verruca, just shook her head and repeated her claim!
"I need the envelope, it's the only thing that can save us now, without it, we are both gonners!"
"Both!!!! don't bring me into it. I'll get you the envelope and then that's us over. I am not getting involved in your games anymore!" Verruca looked upwards, her shoulders began to shake up and down, laughter flowed from her mouth, as she slapped the ground with her hand!"
"Oh but you are involved. The day you accepted that little 'gift' was the day you signed your life away. You belong to me now, so don't try any funny business. I know all about you, we are in this until the end and that's coming sooner than you think!"
My heart missed a beat, I gulped deeply, realising I was done for; this was one situation I couldn't get out of. Not knowing what to do, I just nodded my head and got up, brushing off the dirt and debris from my clothes, as I finally stood up straight. Verruca, was still on the floor, a smirk crossed her face, followed by a wink, as she laid back ever so slightly, supported by her hands. Everything seemed 'matter of fact' and 'normal' to V, her demeanor cool, calm and collected; she was truly evil!
"I'll be in touch over the next few days, make sure you keep that file on you at all times, now get out of my sight!" With that she was up on her feet and gone, leaving me standing there aghast, exhausted, not knowing what to do!
The walk home was scary, I looked over my shoulder all the way. The slightest noise made me jump, my heart beating faster and faster as I finally reached home. I eventually opened the door, after dropping my keys trying to insert them into the lock; shaking I was inside. Locking the door tightly behind me, I just fell to the floor, clasping my head in my hands, stamping my feet on the carpet, frustratingly unable to see past the trouble now swirling around me. It was starting all over again and there was nothing I could do to stop it!
I first started writing about Verruca Almond, in my fist blog Bipolarcoaster. Verruca was a parody of my then boss Vera Lynham; the woman responsible for bullying, harassment, homophobia, lies and attacks against myself, my partner and other good members of staff. I created Verruca as a tool to offload my frustration and anger at the time and it worked.