Them or Me
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Leonard Patrick Boylan, or Lenny for short, was born on the 18th of August 1990. He was the type of man who could fit in anywhere, he had various ways to make sure he was invisible in society. He knew how not to make himself stand out in a crowd; to an onlooker he was a no body.
When he was eight years old, he was in a horrific car crash where his parents died in front of his eyes. They had been part of a ten-car pileup. On the opposite side of the road a black Audi was going so fast that its drunk driver lost control of the car and went headfirst into an oncoming lorry. The HGV was carrying five brand new Mercedes Benz. The lorry jack knifed, and the vehicles toppled off it. Lenny was in one of the cars that had been following the lorry.
Lenny’s father slammed on the breaks like there was no tomorrow when he saw the accident unfold but couldn’t stop in time. Their car crashed into the lorry becoming embedded under the trailer; the car was sliced in half. Lenny’s father was decapitated, and his mother eviscerated by the flying metal. Amazingly his mother was still alive; Lenny can still hear her scream as she held her own intestines whilst they awaited help. Lenny’s legs were pinned under his mother’s seat. He was helpless. He was screaming, not only from the pain he was experiencing, but also because he was petrified; his father’s head was in the seat beside him, his deep blue dead eyes staring up at him.
Due to the injuries Lenny obtained in the crash he needed multiple extensive surgeries to make his legs functional again. He used a walker after his bones healed and then graduated to crutches. Fortunately, all he was left with was a slight limp from it all.
Lenny had six-month-old sister who, thankfully, was at home being looked after by a babysitter. They had no other relatives so social services needed to step in. His sister was lucky because she got adopted but poor Lenny was moved from foster home to foster home.
There were some homes he went to where he was believed to capture and torture small animals. Lenny’s father had taught him how to gut a fish when they went on one of their many fishing trips; Lenny had been fascinated by the fish guts. When it was mackerel season and there were four or five being reeled in at a time, it was Lenny's job to take them off the hooks and put them into a bucket where they flailed about until they died. He had been known smashed one or two of them against the wall of the pier over and over rendering them unfit to eat.
Lenny’s parents were aware of his behaviours and that was why they were going to a child psychologist on the day of the crash. Lenny blamed himself for the death of his parents.
The homes Lenny was sent to were run-down old country houses which were always overcrowded. Lenny liked to keep himself to himself. He missed his family and wished for nothing more than to have them back. He didn’t know how to express this longing, so he dealt with it the only thing he knew how, he made a sling shot. He fashioned it out of some wood and elastic bands. When it was confiscated, he made more.
His favourite thing to do was knocking birds’ nests down from trees and cooking the eggs, no matter how far along they were developed, on a fire he had put together and lit with his father’s lighter. He found the proceeds to this vulgar act to be alarming at times; he would either get an omelette or the world’s smallest roasted bird.
There was a problem with mice in one of the homes one spring. His foster parents lay traps. When Lenny went to bed he listened out for the snap of victory. When it came to finding the dead mouse, he found a rat instead with a trap attached to its tail that was obviously broken. He wanted to open it up because he was curious, he had seen his own mother’s intestines and just wanted to see if the anatomy was the same in a rat.
He raided the shed and got four nails which he tacked into each of the four of the rat’s extremities, pulling its arms and legs open wide. Then he got a box cutter and gently cut the screaming rat down the middle getting sexually aroused at its pain. He saw its heart beating fast and its lungs expand and contract. He saw her uterus full of wriggling little jellybeans. He took them out one by one with a tweezers and beheaded them with his father’s pen knife, which he made sure was sharp at all times. In the end the rat died from shock.
When he was sixteen, Lenny was sent to Paddy and Marie Spencer’s. Their house was on a wheat farm in the countryside. It hadn’t been used as a farm since Paddy’s father died twenty years beforehand. Paddy and Marie inherited the farm but the both of them were alcoholics and heroin users.
Those who entered Paddy and Marie’s, Lenny knew, had nowhere else to go, this home was a last resort. When Lenny himself had arrived, there were four of them. One ended up pregnant, another went to a juvenile detention centre and the other turned eighteen. Lenny was secretly glad of the silence.
Paddy and Marie provided the basics for Lenny. They were so scared of him that they stayed out of his way. They gave him a roof over his head purely for the money. The house was cold, and the food was basic, mostly baked beans.
In winter and the old house which was in disrepair meant it was always freezing. There were two sitting rooms one opposite the other and they both had fireplaces. The one on the left had a brown leather suite of furniture and the fire was roaring but it was locked so Lenny wasn’t allowed to go in there, he dubbed it the ‘warm room’.
He was however allowed to go into the other room which had ashes in the fireplace and the window was broken leaving a constant breeze. It had a dilapidated old couch that sagged in the middle and a wobbly table with three legs that was held up by a four-by-four piece of wood. There was a bucket in the corner with dripping water coming from a cracked pipe in the ceiling.
Lenny decided to go outside into the wilderness on the farm and make a fire. He figured it would be warmer. He had some rats that they kept in a hole in the ground that was covered by a piece of sheet metal that he found in one of the fields. It looked as though it came off the roof of one of buildings that was situated in the back of the farm. He collected sticks and put them in a tepee type of arrangement.
He lit his masterpiece by first lighting a bit of dried grass and then you placed it into the middle of the tepee. It took a few minutes, but it worked, and he had a fire.
It turned out that it was actually warmer outside than it was inside with the fire. It was comforting. Lenny put some of the rat pieces on a stick and roasted them over the fire. They took a while to cook.
When his belly was full, he smiled and lay down on the ground beside the fire. He was immensely proud of himself. He looked up at the clear sky and saw that it was a full moon. He fell asleep to the crackling of the flames as they hit the wooden sticks.
The next day he looked in the shed for some sort of shelter. He found a tent. It was dilapidated and there were pieces missing but he was able to fix it up nicely with the help of a lot of duct tape.
Lenny had a collection of dried animal skins. It wasn’t all rats; it was rabbits and birds as well. He hung the skins up on tiny branches with clothes pegs to dry them out. He sewed them together into a patchwork quilt to keep warm.
Lenny was about to turn eighteen which meant that Marie and Paddy wouldn’t get any money for him anymore. They were planning on getting Lenny off the farm as soon as the money stopped. Lenny overheard them talking about it one night.
‘He has to go!’ said Paddy pacing the ‘warm room’, his hands on his head. Not realizing Lenny could see him through a peep hole he had drilled when Paddy and Marie were wasted the previous year.
‘I know. But how are we going to get him to leave?’ asked Marie letting out a sigh as she slouched down into one of the brown leather recliners.
‘I’ll get my gun and scare him off’ Paddy half joked.
‘He isn’t going to go without a fight!’ exclaimed Marie.
‘They won’t miss him if we killed him. Would they?’ Paddy asked serious now.
They heard a creek outside from where Lenny was standing. He had shifted his weight from one leg to the other making one of the floorboards squeaks. Marie got up and made sure the door was locked. Lenny repositioned himself not caring what that bitch Marie thought.
‘Why would they? He’s just a waste of space!’ Marie shouted knowing Lenny could possibly be listening in.
‘He scares me!’ said Paddy quietly, scratching his beard.
‘I know. There’s something about him’ Marie shivered. She felt as though a ghost has just walked through her body.
‘I’ve a feeling he’s torturing and killing animals out there.’ Paddy winced at the thought.
‘Me too!’ Marie agreed.
Marie thought aloud, her hand rubbing her hairy chin. ‘We could burn him on his own little fire. Cheeky git! How dare he think he could live outside this house!’
Paddy was getting agitated. ‘Who gives a shit as long as we get paid’ he stated.
‘Yeah, but Paddy you have to get your head out of your arse now. The funding stops in six weeks. Marie was getting angry.
‘Exactly Marie. At least we still have six weeks to claim for him’ Paddy smiled.
‘Yeah’ Marie sat down and took a hit of cocaine. ‘Whhhoooooeeee’ she shouted.
Lenny listened intently outside the ‘warm room’ as they called it. He now knew their plan. He didn’t want to die. He would rather kill than be killed. He planned to retaliate by force.
Lenny waited until it was a cold night when Paddy and Marie were wasted in front of the fire. They had just gotten paid and had been with their dealer all afternoon, so they had a lot of drugs in their possession.
‘It’s happening tonight,’ he smiled to himself.
As Lenny sporadically looked through the peep hole waiting for Paddy and Marie to get so high that they passed out. When, finally, they did, he went out to the shed to retrieve a crowbar and ran into the house prying the locked door open.
‘Here’s Lenny!’ he smiled, disappointed that his big entrance didn’t have an audience. They were out of it. Lenny quickly tore the lanyard from around Paddy’s neck that held the keys to the gun cabinet in the corner of the room. He selected a revolver and put as much ammunition into it as it could carry. After he tucked it into his waist, he took the rope, also from the shed, and bound their hands and feet together.
Lenny couldn’t see a world where he could kill Paddy and Marie without them noticing their fear so he sat in wait of them to sober up.
It was Marie who became lucid first. She started to scream for her husband as she saw the barrel of the gun pointed at her face. Lenny had the urge to pull the trigger there and then, but decided he needed an audience.
After a couple of hours and a lot of grovelling on Paddy and Maries side it was time. Lenny decided Paddy to go first…...BANG! he shot him in the temple. With brain matter splattered onto the walls Marie screamed. Lenny enjoyed the feel of the gun going off in his hand. He didn’t expect as much kick back but enjoyed it, nonetheless.
Maries screaming was giving Lenny a headache, so he then pointed the gun at her…. BANG!
The thrill he got by taking their lives was inexplicable. He smiled to himself. He’d found his calling.
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