Never had grey looked so vibrant. Light and dark battled for centre stage as greyish faces watched the artist from the shelving. Some were finely carved, almost human. Most were still waiting for their features. They had survived the abortion of the carver’s knife.
The artist looked at the shelf above him. Another clay face smiled back knowingly.
“You will just continue to fall downhill.”
The words WASHED UP were carved across it. The shame of this realisation was deeply embedded. The artist ignored it at first. He lifted the carving knife and reached for the clay in front of him, unborn, formless. He wet his hands in the bowl. The cool water did nothing to relieve his intoxicated mind. He reached out and caressed the clay carefully, searching for the curvatures.
“You are nothing.”
Three identical masks observed him, perched high. Each of them bore the word DOUBT. The artist leaned back on his stool but his drug-addled mind was too far-gone to keep his balance. He leaned back too far and as he jerked forward he knocked the water bowl over and cut his finger on the scalpel he used to carve details into his creations.
“Fuck!” he exclaimed as the vibrant red began to gush from the wound, spilling onto the grey. His vision was blurry. He didn’t normally feel this way after a hit. Joe must have gotten purer than usual.
At age twelve the artist had turned to smoke. The calming effects saw him through pre-pubescence. It calmed the storm of his teen years. He tried powder and pills along the way but when he reached his twenties only needles would do. He had come off them for a while as his career as an artist took off. He had it all then but the high of life shook him, gave him unrealistic expectations, sucked him dry then left him with nothing but the needles for comfort. His friends encouraged him but no matter what he did, his work could never reach those heights again.
The needles didn’t think he was washed up. They were always there to make him feel better. They even numbed the pain as he put a deeper cut in his hand as he tried to grasp the scalpel again.
“A pathetic excuse for a human being.”
The artist looked at a clay face that lay discarded on the bench. The word FRAUD was embedded into it.
The artist swung his legs round but it threw off his balance again. This time he tumbled to the floor. He looked up towards the window. A figurine of a slim woman was hanging by it’s feet.
“He’s just a little down on his luck.”
The figurine spun around on the wire that held her captive. Her face was flat. It had no features yet. Only her buttocks had any detail. The words HAS BEEN were written into her.
“Fuck off the lot of you!” the artist cried, climbing to his feet. “What do you know about it?”
He swung his arms in a meaningless gesture but it caused him to fall into his bench. The corner caught his hip painfully.
A hand fell on him. He shrieked. The clay digits clasped his shoulder.
“You had it all. It’s gone now. You are nothing. You had no real talent.”
The artist cried out. Hooks, shelves, walls, more clay faces and figurines watching him, accusing him. Whatever he did have it was gone. His artistic vision was gone and all the needles in the world would never numb that kind of pain.
The faces closed in.
“A talentless junkie that got lucky!”
The artist hated that he had become a tortured cliché. He hated even more that everything he turned his hand to lately fell flat. It wasn’t inspired. It wasn’t bold. He struggled to get even those closest to him to give a second look. He was an artist cliché without the talent. He thought he was giving birth to kings and queens whose reign would be spoken of for centuries. Instead he held still born after still born. So he hung them, scraped away at their skins and occasionally, when provoked, he smashed them to pieces. Paintings, carvings, models, all deserved incineration. Burn them all. Never let those failed experiments see the light of day. They would tell everyone how uninspired their creator was.
The artist turned on his stool. Dizziness overcame him. A large male figure was looking down on him from the shelf. He had no legs and was leaning on muscular arms. The muscles in the arms and abdomen were painstakingly clear and well-defined. As strong as the figure looked, he would never have those legs. Below his waist would remain as absent as the creator’s mind.
“Why bother even trying?”
The question startled the artist. He stood up again and kicked the stool over. The eyes of the legless figure had more life in them than the artist’s own. The last time he dared look in a mirror his face was vacant. He looked dead. He might as well be. The dark roots were showing through greasy, bleached hair. His lips were grey.
“Leave me alone!” he warned them.
He stumbled out of the workshop, falling to his knees on the sodden grass as he missed the last step. He looked back up. The statues would always be there. They would always mock him for the ridiculousness of their existence. David Finn’s career as an artist was all but over.
ADDICT; JUNKIE; LOSER; HAS BEEN.
David’s work speaks for itself. When he meets a new Muse the words change their tone.
When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.
David didn’t have an easy childhood. Coming from the poorest part of the city, an abusive mother and facing a childhood trauma he would never get over gave him a difficult journey into adulthood. The odds were stacked against him but with the help of his friends and a steely determination David defied those odds to become one of Coldford’s most promising young talents.
One thing that could never be taken from his was his natural artistic ability. to cope with his past he lost himself in his vision. His reputation spread but his focus became lost. The art was still speaking to him but the words started to echo the negativity he was trying to bury. The words were lies he had tried to ignore but it was no use.
Like so many fallen before him drugs – heroin or needles as they are known on the streets of the Shady City – brought him relief when the art couldn’t. When the thrill of being at the top faded the needles were always there to distract.
David is the product of his rough neck upbringing but wrapped in a hardened outer shell is a genuinely sweet disposition. He has a fondness for helping others but lacks the execution. In short he tries hard but without the right support he is destined to fail.
David finds his vision again with the help of a coy, farm girl. With his new MUSE he is making shades in the city again.
When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.
#amreading @VivikaWidow and I’m ready for rehab! #harbourhouse2020 😏
Located in the heart of City Main, across the street from BECKINGRIDGE TOWER the Weir chain of hotels is the first point of contact for those looking for an escape.
Owned by hotelier Rodney Weir the hotel is a luxury stay on the surface but an old rot runs deep within the building. It makes headlines often with the goings on of its guests but most recently it hit the tabloids because because of an explosion on the fifth floor where a conference was being held in on of the meeting rooms for OWEN INC.
The hotel has seen many unusual guests over the years but when you check in – as long as the bill is in order – there will be no questions. It isn’t uncommon for guests to check in under an assumed name. Honey moon suites available – no marriage certificate required.
Adult films, unusual delicacies, even special in room entertainment can be made available as part of the unique room service experience. Don’t worry about money exchanging hands. It can all be easily charged to the room. We
So if you want to escape the city check in, insert your key card and prepare for a night you will want to relive over and over again. We even have special rates for return guests. Don’t fancy a city break? You’re welcome to the Verde Beach Weir in LUEN. Headed by brother, Eddy Weir. A bit of a glamour and sophistication to add to your trip.
No matter which one you choose you can be rest assured the Weir Hotel is the place to be whether you are looking for wild, quiet or a discrete time. It all goes at the Weir because at Coldford’s premier hotel the guest is top priority.
Rodney Weir has dodged a lot of bullets over the years regarding his hotel. He owes thanks to his brothers at KAPPA SO who promise life long protection if you make the pledge. He wanted his son, Daniel, to have that same protection but does the mild mannered photography student have what it takes?
An three part series exclusive to Vivika Widow Online. Take the pledge:
This post will contain some spoilers so if you are not up to speed on volume 1 click HERE to get yourself caught up.
Now that that’s out of the way let’s take a look at ten things you (probably) missed when reading Knock, Knock Volume 1.
1 – Amber’s Journey:
The seventeen year old daughter of the city’s mayor didn’t really have a great start in our opener EP 1 WELCOME TO THE CLUB did she?
We all know what happens next (#prayforamber) but what you may have missed is what brought her to that point in the first place. She is an impulsive girl and despite being warned against it by her more sensible elder sister, Amber just couldn’t stay away from the Knock, Knock Club.
Click HERE to follow Amber’s journey in the exclusive mini story MEMBERS EAT FOR FREE.
2 – Chloe’s Cameo:
In EP 3 SLEEP TIGHT SAM our reporter returns to the Knock, Knock club. Before he can get any information from our delightful club manager, Dennis is distracted by a call from a young woman. It is revealed that the girl calls often and she seems a little distraught about something (more details later).
Later in EP 10 CALLING LAST ORDERS we meet the cute but ill Chloe as Dennis tries to make a break for it. What you probably didn’t realise is that Chloe was the young girl who had been frantically calling Dennis. Her sordid relationship with Dennis was revealed in the mini story NO TOYS IN THE ATTIC which you can read by clicking HERE.
3 – City Stadium:
There are a lot of landmarks around the Shady City. Few of them stand out as much as the stadium of Coldford City Football Club (or soccer to people from certain parts of the world).
We met star striker, Andre Luis, in the mini story PLAY THE GAME which you can read by clicking HERE. What eagle eyed readers may have spotted is that Coldford City Stadium sits behind BOBBY’S LUNCH BOX where our reporter met his colleague and friend Madeline to discuss his findings in EP 3 SLEEP TIGHT SAM.
4 – Help Along:
It wouldn’t have been easy for our reporter to navigate his way around Knock, Knock without some help. Thanks to some assistance he was able to retrieve some pretty damnable evidence in EP 6: PICKING UP STRANGE WOMEN
It isn’t until EP 10: CALLING LAST ORDERS that it is finally revealed who has been helping and their reasons. It seems some thunder was brought after all!
5 – Knock, Knock Attacks:
In EP 7 NO KIDS ALLOWED and EP 8 KIDS THESE DAYS we are introduced to the origin of the Knock, Knock club. There is of course plenty more of this to come in Volume 2 but what you may have missed is that the club has been subject to attacks. It has been burnt out by a gang of youths (more on that later) and most of the members died or disappeared. Take note of this folks because there is a war brewing and it is going to escalate.
6 – Judge Not Lest The Be Judged:
In brief references the name Judge Karyn Doyle crept up in the following episodes:
It seems our Knock, Knock boss lady, Tabitha, has a personal resentment towards the elusive Judge but it has not yet been revealed what that is. It is suffice to say though beware of the judge lurking in the background. When the gavel falls it will fall hard.
Prepare yourself and check out our profile on Judge Doyle’s Law Makers by clicking HERE.
7 – Look A Likes:
In EP 9 SHOOTING THE BREEZE we meet sweet little Sarah. She is on the way to the park with her father, it is a beautiful day in the Shady City but like most things it won’t stay that way. Yes I know, #prayforsarah. Anyway, before she is taken towards the end of her part in the story those who are paying close attention may have realised that she has a remarkable resemblance to someone. We met bubbly Knock, Knock barmaid, Lisa, in EP 2 DON’T COME KNOCKIN’ and her connection to little Sarah is revealed in EP 10 CALLING LAST ORDERS.
8 – Olivia’s Whereabouts:
In EP 8: KIDS THESE DAYS in a flashback we have the pleasure of meeting Dennis’ wife, Olivia. She is kind, considerate and honest which seems a rare thing to find in the Shady City. However, by the end of the episode Olivia has left and taken Dennis’ baby son Milo with her.
Olivia still has a lot to say and a part to play in events so we won’t discount her just yet. Her whereabouts are sketchy at best but if you read between the lines it will become clear where she is and why she left in the first place.
9 – Maestro Reference:
The opening events in the series take place at the old building of the Beckingridge Financial firm. The Beckingridge family are the employers or our music teacher, VINCENT. It is through them the events of Maestro take place.
If a suspenseful psychological thriller sounds like your cup of tea then click HERE to read MAESTRO. It is free to download for kindle unlimited users!
10 – This Guy:
The Kappa So banner flies high.
He’s our gunman from EP 9 SHOOTING THE BREEZE but his appearance is so brief you may have glossed over him. Although we can’t confirm his persona just yet (all will be revealed in Volume 2 promise!) we can tell you that he is a member of the elite fraternity KAPPA SO. No one brings anarchy quite like the boys of KSO so we are sure of a blood bath. You can learn more about Kappa SO by clicking HERE. Oh and those youths who burned out the Knock, Knock club? Could they be frat bros? Find out in Volume 2.
So there you have it folks. If you enjoyed the Knock, Knock series please leave your comments. Let us know what you are looking forward to in Volume 2.
Volume 2 is coming soon. In the meantime Volume 1 is free to read on Vivika Widow Online or download for Kindle by clicking HERE.
It was my thirteenth birthday and I was spending it with my Aunt Lola. She was a quirky old lady who had known me since I was born. She wasn’t really my aunt at all but she had been such a close family friend she earned herself the title. I had come to live with her after an unfortunate accident with a moose and a very high cliff claimed the lives of my parents.
“Well Loopy,” she said. (This was just a nickname she had for me. My real name is Lucy) “I can’t believe you are thirteen years old already.”
Given that I was so accident prone, having broken several bones several times, I was pretty mesmerised that I had reached teenage years too. Aunt Lola always made a big fuss of me on my birthday. She had no children of her own so all of her affection was aimed towards me. She gave the most random and strange gifts each year so now that I was a little older and a little more ready for her antics I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. She put an envelope into my hand and kissed my forehead. “I hope you like this one.”
My hands began to shake. Given my aunt’s fondness for all things odd there was no telling what the envelope contained. Therein could lie the secret to a number of mysteries. It could hold the key to eternal life. It could be a coupon for 10% off at any local clothes store. I tore open the envelope excitedly. A shining slip of paper fell onto my lap. I picked it up allowing the coloured paper to delight the eyes. On that special paper read the words, ‘Special Access to the Museum’. Well it wasn’t the secret to the universe but it was a great idea none the less. I was the strange kid who would rather sit in the corner of the playground reading about battles of old than play with the other children. I would much rather hear what ancient Greek philosophers had to say than my fellow classmates who stood at the edge of the football park picking their noses.
There was no time to lose. I had heard on the radio the week before that the local museum had just opened a new exhibit on Ancient Egypt. I grabbed my shining red rain jacket that was water proof but still light and airy. I pulled on my backpack which had the emblem of several superheroes embroidered on it. Aunt Lola had been complaining of what she called ‘the hardships of older ladies’. I wasn’t sure what exactly this meant but to combat it she had to lie with her feet elevated and a piece of silver on her forehead, counting backwards from one hundred.
I decided to leave the Egypt exhibit to the end. It had been busy when I arrived with business men awing at the new set up and mothers being dragged by their progeny because they thought it looked ‘cool’.
The day began to wind down. The museum emptied itself of the day trippers and quietened. As I walked through the main foyer the rubber soles of my shoes squeaked. I saw the fresh sign that directed the way to Ancient Egypt.
There was a lot of gold around. The walls were covered In hieroglyphs. I couldn’t tell if the curators had actually read the hieroglyphs or if they were merely there to impress the visitors because from what I could read they told of a bathroom disaster somewhere off the banks of the Nile.
As I absorbed all of the knowledge that the exhibit had to offer I heard the doors to the section close. I was the only person around, living at least. The lights dimmed except on the large mummy that was encased at the end of the hall. His face had been preserved all that time in a stern expression. The accompanying information explained that his name was ‘Ahmose’. He had been a fisherman but not a particularly good one. His people saw him as cursed, a jinx if you will. Ahmose was responsible for all the ill fate that befell them. Poor Ahmose. It seems he was accident prone like me. Because he had bumped into a builder, causing him to fall, destroying the temple that was in construction it seems he was now preserved for people of my year to gawk at his stupidity. They took jinxed folk very seriously in those days.
My head was buzzing with all the warmth, knowledge and dusty artefacts that the museum had to offer. I made my way back out to the main hall intent on catching the bus home. I pulled open the door but it was locked. ‘Surely they would check everyone had gone before they locked up,’ I thought. There was a heavy smash. My heart leapt from the steady thud of a tortoise to the gallop of a hare. I could feel a presence looming behind me but I couldn’t bare to look.
‘Argh!’ cried a dusty, throaty voice.
Slowly I did turn. Ahmose was now standing upright for the first time in many years. The paper that gave me special access to the museum slipped from my pocket. Ahmose reached down to pick it up with a crunchy crack of his mid section. He clasped it between the remains of his fingers and held it out to me.
“Leave me alone!” I screamed. “Help!” Surely the museum wasn’t deserted.
“Argh!” Ahmose replied.
With a quiver of my extremities I reached into my pocket and took out my mobile phone which Aunt Lola insisted I carried in case of emergencies. I was pretty sure that being attacked by the undead could very well be considered an emergency.
“Hello?” Aunt Lola answered.
“Help me!” I cried out.
“What’s wrong?” she asked still calmly balancing the silver on her forehead.
“A mummy! Its came to life. I have to get out of here!”
Most people when they tell their aunt something like this they either think they are crazy or attempting a practical joke. Not my aunt. She returned as though it was an everyday occurrence. “Do you like him?” she asked.
“Like him? Its a mummy! He’s going to kill me!”
Aunt Lola groaned. “Oh don’t be so dramatic Loopy. He’s your birthday present. Don’t you like him?”
I stared at Ahomse. He stumbled backwards almost tripping over his own left foot. “Argh!” he groaned again looking at his left leg. “How many people can boast having their own mummy,” continued my aunt.
“Not many,” I agreed.
“Enjoy,” she said and hung up leaving me alone with the dial tone and my mummy.
Ahmose lifted a piece of pottery from the shelving. It slipped from his fingers and smashed on the floor.
My most immediate problem was devising a plan to get out of the museum that looked possibly locked, take my mummy on the bus and get home whilst not getting caught for thieving from the museum.
Next birthday I’ll just ask for clothes?
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