From the Archives: Kilroy’s Angel

There was a text file titled “Mythos”, and inside was a list of titles and short descriptions of stories I was going to write. It was going to be an anthology. All of the stories were tied in with my Lovecraft-style mythos. “Sign of the Usurper” was part of it, although that idea and story fragment was several years old by that time. Along with the list of story ideas, there was a complete outline for a longer work that may have turned into a novella, and the beginning of the text for one of the short stories. I’m posting the story fragment here, because, unlike the other stuff I’ve posted, I think this one would have turned out to be really good. I honestly don’t know why I stopped working on it. It’s too bad that the Book of Dark Places was a bust; this would have been a great story for that project.



Kilroy’s Angel

The chunk of half-frozen sludge made a lovely crunching sound under Kilroy’s Cooper’s boot. Ignoring the resulting splatter of grime that dotted his good pants, Kilroy gleefully searched out another chunk of ice to stomp. The warm snap hadn’t quite done away with the leavings of the past weekend’s winter storm, and while the streets were clear, the grass and sidewalks surrounding Elkwin Middle School still looked like a winter wonderland. In a few places hidden from the sun’s direct rays, most of the four feet of snow that had fallen just days ago still remained. A thin dusting of sand and the passing of many feet had worn down the ice on the sidewalks, leaving only a sandy sludge and a few occasional chunks of dirty ice.

*crunch*

“Hee hee!”

Kilroy watched the front of the school where the other students were just getting out and making their way toward the busses. His bus had left minutes ago, with all the other special children on it. They always got out early so they wouldn’t be in the way, but today, Kilroy’s father was coming to pick him up. That meant he’d get a chance to see her.

A crowd of boisterous boys erupted from the hallway. Just in front of them was a lone girl, with short blond hair and a tiny little nose just like Kilroy’s mother. Kilroy abandoned his ice-crunching and walked over to her.

“H-Hi. Sa-Sa-Sa-Sarah.” he said. “You- You- You remem-member me?”

“eewwww,” Sarah squealed in disgust and backed away from the retarded boy who’s facial features more than gave away his mental state. “Get away from me!”

“I pi- I picked up your- your- your b-book in the- the- the hallway. I gave- I gave it b-back. re-remem-member?”

“Yeah, thanks. Now go away, you’re gross.”

“O-okay.” Kilroy lowered his head as Sarah passed by. Then something occured to him. “H-hey. I got- I got- I got something neat. You- you wanna see it. It’s- it’s- it’s an an-angel. I found- I found it- I fou-”

“Hey RETARD!” Billy Logan’s shrill voice obliterated Kilroy’s train of though. Kilroy looked up just as Billy shoved away from Sarah. Billy, his brother Roy, and their group of thugs surrounded Kilroy.

“Hey look everybody, it’s retard boy!” yelled Roy.

“Hi- Hi- Hi- Roy.”

“Watcha hangin’ around the NORMAL kids for, retard-boy? You tryin’ ta make us retarded like you?”

“I- I- I- I- was just- just- just- talking- talking- to S-S-Sarah.”

“Hey SARAH!!” Billy called after Sarah, who was walking briskly toward the bus stop. She looked back at Billy, then looked away.

“Guess she didn’t wanna listen to a retard.”

“My daddy says- says- says you’re not- not s-supposed to call- call- call me that.”

“What? ‘Retard?’ How ’bout just ‘ugly’ and ‘stupid’ then.”

“I’m- I’m not stu-stupid. I’m spe-spe-spe-special.”

All the boys burst out laughing.

“Yeah, special. Like all the other little special kids that ride the little special bus. But THEY leave us alone, so you must be stupid AND special, retard-boy.”

“I’m not- I’m not- I’m not-”

One of the boys thrust his leg between Kilroy’s feet while another one pushed him. Kilroy fell backwards and hit the ground. The dirty sludge soaked through his corduroy pants instantly. He raised his hands… not to defend himself or so someone could help him up… but to show submission to the cruel children that towered over him.

“Leemee alo- alo- alone!” Kilroy started to cry. Tears streamed from his small, misshapen eyes. “I didn’t- I didn’t- I didn’t DO any- any- any- anything to you!”

“Sure you did retard-boy. You came over here and made us look at ya. Your ugly retard-face pisses us off!”

“I- I-”

“Oh, shut up!”

Billy Logan kicked Kilroy hard on his thigh. The rest of the kids joined in, showering him with blows from their heavy, booted feet. Like he had done many times before, Kilroy curled up into a ball and let it happen. He knew they’d get bored and go away in a few minutes. As they stomped on his legs and buttocks, Kilroy thought about home and how happy he was going to be when he got there.

“I g-got an angel… I-I got an an-angel… I got an angel,” he whispered over and over again. “I go-got an angel…”

“Hey, what’s he saying?”

“Some retarded shit. Hey, look… the buses are coming!”

“Shit. Let’s go!”

The crowd scattered, except for Billy.

“You know the deal, retard-boy,” he said. “You tell, and I’m gonna come over to your house one night and REALLY whip your ass. You won’t like that.” Billy joined the others as they ran for the bus stop, where the six busses were lining up to take the students back home. Just behind them was a pickup truck. It swung around the busses, and pulled up to the sidewalk a few yards in front of them.

“…Daddy…”

Kilroy rolled over and stood up slowly. His legs and butt hurt, not only from the beating, but from the ice-cold sludge that was caked onto his pants.

“Kilroy!” Dr. Cooper got out of his truck and looked around. “Kilroy! Kilroy THERE you are. Were you hiding?”

Kilroy limped toward his father’s truck.

“Y-yeah.”

“Kilroy, why are you walking like that? And why are you wet?”

“I fell- I fell- I fell down. Over there-” Kilroy pointed to where the Logan’s had ambushed him. “I f-fell d-down.”

Dr. Cooper looked his son over.

“You hurt?”

“No.”

“You don’t seem hurt, but I’ll take a look at you when we get home.”

“noooo….” Kilroy whined.

“Get in the truck. Come on, son.”

Dr. Cooper opened the passenger door, helped Kilroy in, and fastened the seatbelt around him.

“You sure you okay? Were those kids bothering you again?”

“No.”

Dr. Cooper glanced over at the buses, where Billy and Roy Logan were laughing and playing with their friends before gettin on. Billy looked back at Dr. Cooper, then he nudged his brother and they both quickly hopped onto their bus.

“You’d tell me if they were, right Kilroy?”

“Uh-huh. I wanna- I wanna go home.”

“All right then… home it is.”

Dr. Cooper slid in behind the steering wheel, closed the door, and drove away.

“I think those Logan boys are messing with him again,” said Dr. Cooper. He hung his coat on the rack and sat down at the kitchen table.

“Oh, no,” replied his wife. She was moving from pot to pot on the stove, stirring the steaming contents and having an occasional taste. “What’d you see?”

“Nothing, that’s just it. I pulled up this afternoon and he was laying on the ground. He said he fell down, and I suppose he could have. But I thought I saw those kids running away as I pulled up.”

“Did Kilroy say anything about it?”

“Said he fell down. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.”

“What do you think?”

“I think he’s finally gotten the hang of lying. I’ll talk to him about it again after dinner.”

“Where is he, anyway?”

“Out in the old barn,” Dr. Cooper sighed. “Where he always is.”

“Dale, you know I don’t like him playing out there. There could be snakes-”

“It’s winter, there are no snakes. It’s his little playhouse, and he needs that. Especially after all the stress of moving. And then what happened to the dog.”

“That’s just it, Dale. Instead of learning to deal with things, and talking to us, he’s building some kind of fantasy out there. It’s disturbing. Do you know what he asked me this morning?”

“What?”

“He asked what the angels ate in heaven.”

“huh?”

“Yes. ‘Mommy what do the angels eat when they’re in heaven?'”

“That is odd,” Dale mused. “But he’s a kid… and kids are odd by definition.”

“Odd like the Logan boys?”

“No, THOSE boys have problems. You know, the other week I was out there treating their horse’s leg… some of those animals they got out there have really been mistreated. I think it’s those kids.”

“Do you think they got Roofy when she ran away?”

“God I hope not. I asked their father, but it’s not like HE’S gonna do anything. The sherrif’s kids? Juvenile delinquants? Noooo, never in a million years.”

“So much for paradise,” Mrs. Cooper sighed. “Dale, are you sure you checked that barn out before you let Kilroy play out there?”

“Yes, Myra. There are no snakes, bats, rats, racoons, squirrels, or other vicious boy-eating vermin out there waiting to get our son.”

“What about spiders?”

“No spiders.”

“I still don’t like it.”

Dale shrugged.

“So what’d you tell him?” he asked after a few moments.

“What?”

“His question about angels. What’d you tell him?”

“I told him to ask you.”

“Figures. Wonder why he wanted to know?”

Kilroy skipped over to the barn and stopped long enough to make sure his coat was zipped all the way up. He pulled the furred hood up over his head and tied the strings together in an almost-knot.

“I’m back,” he said as he pushed open the barn door.

The inside was dim and musty, and the light shining through the loose boards made bizarre patterns on the dirt floor. There was a row of animal stalls down each side a few old piles of hay pushed against the back wall. Nothing moved, except for Kilroy. He pulled the barn door closed and started walking down the between the long-abandoned stalls.

“Hello?” Kilroy walked over to the third stall on the left. He looked down and saw something on the ground. He picked it up.

“Hey…”

Kilroy turned to the shape huddling in the corner of the stall and held up the object he’d retrieved from the floor. It was a single feather… two feet long from tip to base, and colored a white so pure that it almost glowed.

“Hey, you d-dropped this.”

“So, whatcha doin’ out in that old barn, son? Got a fort or a castle built in there?”

Dale sat on the edge of his son’s bed and pulled the covers up over Kilroy.

“No,” said Kilroy.

“Well, what then?”

“An a- angel.”

“Ohhhh,” Dale smiled. “Angels, huh?”

“No. Just one. I f-found it.”

[end of file]

You can pretty much guess how the story went on from here. It involves gruesome revenge and a creature that I lead you to believe is actually a REAL angel… feathers, halo and all….until the very end.


3 Comments

  1. udgang99, November 4, 2007:

    Awesome … I liked it a lot !!! Too bad it’ll never get finished. ;)

  2. DarkIcon, November 4, 2007:

    If some enterprising artist wanted to draw it, I could script it up real nice. ;-)

    But as a text story it probably won’t be finished. Probably.

  3. udgang99, November 4, 2007:

    hmmmmmm … ;-)

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