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Never, when the cards are down, go to the park south of Critchdale.
The lights, for one, are always low casting shadow upon shadow onto
the ground, which feels as though with every step you are getting
closer and closer, to the end. The freshly cut grass pushes the aroma
of fertiliser and everything beneath your feet up your nostrils. The
air in the park south of Critchdale is dry like nothing you have ever
experienced before. Your throat goes dry like a barren desert with
just one gulp of air. It will be just one gulp of air. The path is
surrounded with large, dated oak tress. They make you feel as though
you have hundreds of thousands of eyes on you. Following. Following.
Waiting. Waiting. For you to fall. There is a deathly silence all
around. The sound from all around seems to be trapped outside the park
south of Critchdale. Trapped, by an invisible sound barrier like two
bouncers outside a club down a dark, dark alley.

Derek did not care about all these things. He had to do it. He knew
that it was all in his head, but what was worrying him, had nothing to
do with how he was feeling about the park south of Critchdale. He knew
he had to do it. When he was first told, it seemed like an impossible
feat, one that would only be undertaken by men of such mental
instability that they did not know even what planet they were on. He
remembered he was once one of these. He knew he had to do it. As the
crunching of the gravel beneath his feet slowly got louder and louder,
Derek swung around. Nothing. He was sure that level of sound that was
being made could not have just been made by him. He moved a couple of
paces. Stop. He could still hear footsteps about 3 or 4 paces after he
stopped walking. He swung around again, his breathing rising
considerably. His heart started to pound, so much so that he could

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feel the blood moving through every vessel in his brain. He moved two
more steps. Stop. There it was again the same sound emerged from
within the trees, the crunching of gravel. Derek glanced down at the
floor. His laces were undone, so he bent down to tie them up again. As
he was tying them he noticed something that made him blood curdle in
his veins. But, he knew he had to do it. Plucking up the courage to
move on closer, Derek stood up straight, telling himself that there's
nothing to be afraid of and the continuous thought that something was
going to happen was just paranoia. Just to be on the safe side, he
took his torch from his pocket and switched it on,


His scream rang throughout the park south of Critchdale, but of
course, no-one heard. Out of the dark came that familiar laugh,

"Ha ha ha ha, Derek you're such a pansy! I can't believe we actually
got you!" That was the voice of McKinley. McKinley was an interesting
figure. One moment he could say the most random and irrelevant things,
but at times he came up with ideas beyond normal people's wildest
dreams. This of course was one of them. His large figure intimidated
even the bravest of people. His cold, blue eyes were unforgiving like
the sea in a hurricane, his jet black hair made his pasty white skin
appear even whiter as the contrast was so great. His strong cockney
accent made you think of death and destruction with every word
uttered. He was the kind of person that you listen to. You never
question, just listen.

"I thought I'd give some free advice, Derek. Flashlights are not
permitted. So unless you want to be spending the rest of your
miserable days in ICU I suggest you gimmie that, right now."

Derek didn't argue he just handed over the flashlight and attempted to
walk away.

"Oh, and by the way" added McKinley, "you better do it Derek otherwise
you know what'll happen if you fail. Have a nice day."

McKinley walked off into the shadows. Derek knew now more than ever
that it was imperative for him to complete his task, job, mission call
it what you will.

Derek stood on the path in that same place, for what seemed like 3
hours. In actual fact, he had only been there half an hour. Just him
and his thoughts 'I'll get her' and 'you know what will happen if you
fail'. These thoughts and others rushed through his mind. As soon as
he thought these he forgot them. For he remembered the importance that
was placed on his completion. He moved on. The thought of what he was
about to do, repulsed him. However, he knew that his ghastly past had
come back to haunt him as this was one of his specialties. Although he
had not been in this line of work for a good few years now, McKinley
had something that was special to Derek. He carried on moving closer
and closer to what he most feared because you see, Derek was no
average man.

The path turned from gravel to mud. This part of the park south of
Critchdale was rarely used, except for times like this when actions
needed to be carried out inconspicuously. Derek knew what he had to
do. He knew that all the equipment he needed to carry out the job,
would be there waiting for him, at The Death House.

It was, an overcast night and there was no light as the moon was being
covered by a blanket cloud shrouding the night in mystery and evil.
Derek knew where everything would be, this was after all his old
hunting ground. As he moved closer and closer, it finally came into
view. The Death House. Very few knew why it was really called that.
Derek was one of those few. Unlike the rest of the times, there was
one light on in the house. It could be vaguely made out through, the
dust and creeping plants that covered the window. This was odd, Derek
was one hundred percent sure that no lights had ever been turned on in
the house except for the room. The room where everything happened. It
was a room that was neither large nor small, square nor round. It was
neither long nor short, in fact, it was somewhat of a legend. Some
believed that it did not even exist. However, Derek knew differently.
He was the only person that had ever been into the room and walked out
again without a scratch on his body, let alone his life.

There was an eerie feel about the Death house. Some would say,
'obviously' to that, but then they did not really know why it was so.
It was as though the plot of land upon which the house was built those
many years ago, was a place of death even before they arrived. It was
as though something or someone had been there before any of this even
started and he was just carrying on the tradition. This house, was a
place of evil. From the dawn of time, wrong doings had been going on
here. The house stood tall, towering above the ground it was built on.
Even as you approached it you knew that something just wasn't quite
right about it. It was as if something really terrible had happened
there, something so terrible you could almost smell it in the air. The
brickwork of the house was like nothing that could be seen anywhere
else. It was a mixture of greys and blacks with the odd patch off moss
growing here and there. Smoke always billowed out of the towering
chimney, despite the fact that no-one lived there. It was like there
was a continually burning fire, burning through the day and through
the night, it was eerie. Despite the eerie feeling it was calming, if
you are mentally unstable.

He moved towards those familiar oak doors that were so out of place
with the visible parts of the house. They were new and varnished to
perfection so much so you could see your reflection in the wood. Derek
stopped outside the door. He drew his breath and pushed open the door.
It was left open at all times but was never entered by those not of
the kind. He knew what he had to do. Derek walked slowly through the
door frame of the front door and shuffled over to the next door that
was directly in front of him. He pushed it open. There were those
familiar stairs that led down to what can only be described as his
worst nightmare. Give him this job 2 months ago, with these terms and
he would have jumped at it, but not now, not like this. He could not
bottle it now, there was too much at stake. He drew another heavy
breath then started his descent.

"Somewhat of a legend,"

Derek remembered those words that had been uttered to him by his late
mother all those years ago. He had been called a genius before. He did
not think so. He just did what he had to, to survive. He got to the
bottom of the stairs to the metal door. Out came the key from his
pocket. He pushed the key into the lock, turned it, and pushed the
door open. There was that familiar smell. Rotting flesh. There in the
centre of the room, was Robert McKinley, the faithless father of
McKinley. He never trusted that McKinley would keep his promise,
Robert just carried on what he was doing without a second thought to
the threat. Almost five years went by, good old Robert thought he was
home dry, but no McKinley always kept his promises. Derek could not
let him down, this was something that had to be done otherwise it
would be her in the middle of the room with Derek at the side

"I knew it would be you" said Robert "only the best for me eh?"

"Shut it!" Derek snapped "If you talk to me it will only take longer
and you of all people know what that means."

Over in the corner, shrouded in darkness was the table with all the
equipment on. Everything he needed was on the table, the rest was
beneath it covered by a paisley patterned cloth. He picked up the
scalpel and walked slowly over to the tied figure that was Robert. He
did not know why, but Derek turned into a different, bloodthirsty
person as soon as he picked it up.

"I'm going to enjoy this very much!" the evil in his voice was enough
to make Robert gasp.

"Go easy on me D, do it for your mother," pleaded Robert,

"Oh, don't worry I am doing it for my mother except, I won't be going
easy you pulled her through hell and back with all you crap and now
it's time to pay your dues,"

Derek moved over to him and sliced a nice large 'D' into Robert's
chest, as was customary. He moved over to the table, but came back
quickly clutching the bottle of concentrated acid. He waited for the
blood to trickle from the wound. Then he poured some of the acid over
the wound. Robert screamed, but he was not screaming from the pain but
because he knew he was going to die tonight. Derek did this more and
more until all the acid was completely finished and Robert had acid
burns all over his body. Then from under the table he brought out the
caged black mamba snake. He took it out from its captivity and
positioned it right in front of Robert. In one swift motion the mamba
sunk its teeth and its venom deep into the blood stream. The pain was
unbearable. Derek waited for a moment and then administered the
antidote. This however, did not stop the pain just the end product,
death. He continued this practice until he was satisfied that Robert
was at breaking point,

"Do you want to die?" Derek asked Robert,

"Yes, yes, kill me now!"

With that Derek picked up his trusty scalpel and slit his jugular,
letting him slowly bleed to death.

In the instant that he died, in walked McKinley,

"You done well Derek. I have to admit, I didn't fink you would do it.
I thought you were gonna cop out at the last minute, but you didn't.
You proved to me tonight that I can trust you. However, here's the
question, can you trust me?"

Derek contemplated his answer to the question, but as he was about to
reply McKinley said insanely,

"The answer to that question, is of course no, you can't trust me, no
one can trust me. You know why? 'Cos I'm unpredictable no one knows
what I'm thinking!"

Almost instantly Derek felt the pain, and the feeling that he was
slowly loosing something very important to his existence. Which of
course he was: blood. He looked down and saw where the bullet had
penetrated his body. The final words Derek heard were,

"I always knew I was better than you Derek. I never actually told you
to kill him, you think too much! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!"
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