Dear Scuttles – part 1

Looking down at the same blank sheet he had been looking at for over a week, Phil wanted to snap his pen and swallow the ink inside. That would end it quickly enough, although it might be a little painful. He was no writer, but to be honest he knew that from the start. The only reason he accepted the offer was because of the money. His story. Only a fraction of it was known to the public, but anything can become public information for a price. He was offered a ghost writer, but that would have meant a lower number on the cheque. Phil argued that it needed to be in his words, no one else’s.

Phil’s dead now. Has been for two whole years. The public knows it. They say it was stress from his adventure, that’s what they’re calling it, and adventure, if you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know. That’s not entirely true. Stress did get to him. He drank a lot. It wasn’t just the book, or the adventure, it was me. I was there as he looked over the blank page, his head filled with those disgusting thoughts. I was there when he crashed the plane in the first place. They said it was problems with the weather. They missed out his drinking. I was there when he found the cave on the island. I watched him as he climbed up the hill, thinking for some reason that he was in heaven. Sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself. I killed him. I put the thoughts in his head to punch through the window, slicing his wrists open, and to just let the blood fall. I told him to do it, and he listened. His wife found him later, blamed herself. She had left him a couple of weeks earlier, after the affair. Both the separation and the affair didn’t reach the newspaper. Nor did the death of his mistress. My work as well, just so you know.

Don’t worry. I won’t kill the wife. That would be unfair. I like her anyway, innocent, blind to the world around her, just meandering along until the clock strikes for that final time. That’s what gets us all in the end, time. Not me of course, but you get my drift.

The full account of the story will never be revealed. He went against what I asked, and that is not the wisest thing to do, to be honest. I asked for my island to be left alone. For him to tell the truth and not reveal how he got to it in the first place. Following that blinking light. I do apologise. I keep on skipping things. I will do my best to start at the start with his death and then move to the flight two years before. I wanted everything to be kept secret, but that ate him up. Ate me up too, to be honest. That’s why I’m writing this down, letting you know what I’m thinking. You’re my only friend left Scuttles, they keep on dying. Little Scuttles. Shush. Don’t tell me I’m getting off topic, I know that. He was going to tell people about the island. My island. After all I did for him. I helped him back home. All he had to do was keep me a secret. I followed him though, had to make sure. I can do that, follow people. Listen to their thoughts. They will never know. Well Phil kind of knows. He’s dead, probably watching me. I can hear you. Just because I’m not actually dead doesn’t mean I can’t hear you. Leave me and Scuttles alone. Why did I write that down little Scuttles? It’s okay, he won’t get us. Not yet anyway.

Enough of that. I’m going to tell the story now. The actual story. From the beginning, right through to the end. That’s how stories go you see.

It wasn’t a particularly sunny day, but there was little chance of rain. Phil was round his pilot tutor’s house. He had been taking lessons for years and was actually quire good, but he didn’t want to stop. It was the only thing he was allowed to do. No drinking, no drugs, no late nights. Nothing like that, not after last time. But that’s a completely different story that doesn’t really matter so just be aware that it happened. He had had the same tutor for the whole time he was learning; they got on great. Better than some best friends. Phil preferred to spend time with his tutor than his own wife. That’s just how it was. Anyway. The tutor had to leave to go to the hospital. His wife was about to give birth to their first child. It was a big day in his mind, but that’s something the public never actually heard about. The baby was born a day later and for all intents and purposes his tutor was there when he got into the helicopter. He wasn’t. The tutor was about two miles away, but he had left Phil in the house alone. That’s where I was as well, watching him. I suppose I could sense what he was about to do.

Phil was left to watch the match, on a bigger tv than the one back at home. He had just had an argument with his wife, and was told it was okay for him to stay there for a while. His tutor didn’t know about the no drinking rule and had given him access to everything. So that’s what Phil did. He went into the kitchen and opened the fridge and then took that cool can, opened it and took his first sip in nearly ten years. That wasn’t the end of it, no of course it wasn’t. But you already knew that, or did I already tell you? Something like that. He drank more and more, and then six cans were missing, followed by another two. Phil’s world was spinning and that’s when he decided to get in the helicopter.

He got it in the air alright. He may have been pissed, but he was still somewhat in control. It was wobbly but it was flying. One of the only times Phil ever flew by himself in his entire life. Maybe, if he wasn’t so drunk he would have appreciated it for what it was. Instead he just flew. He was already close to the coast so it didn’t take long to get over the sea. So far away, he couldn’t even see land. That didn’t take long at all. But that’s where it went wrong. Phil looked in every direction for some kind of land, but couldn’t find it. He spun the helicopter around, pushing it to the edge, but nothing. Then everything went white for a second. Only a second, before Phil was back in control. Looking for somewhere to go. He couldn’t remember which way land was. Sobered up a bit, but not enough. A little light like a pixie appeared before him. He moved the helicopter and aimed for it. It must be a lighthouse he thought. It just must be, and in a way he was right, but I still had to tut at him, not that he could hear me, I made sure of that.

The light took him higher and higher. The little floating orb, just out of reach. At one point he reached forward and tried to grab it with his hands. Missed though. Fool. Eventually the light was all he could look at. It became him. At this point I suppose I should explain that I was flying along side the plane watching with intent. Do not call me a ghost. I am nothing of the sort. He was following this light, watching it buzz from side to side, and then following. He hit something. I don’t know what, I wasn’t watching. Probably just nicked one of those flying things from the old empire. They’re gone now. I’m getting ahead of myself again. Stop asking questions and let me get on with it. Thank you.

The helicopter went down. Down like stone to the bottom of a lake, roaring like a lion at its fate. Phil should have died to be honest. Metal flew everywhere, bent out of shape, snapped right of and tried to escape. It was quite a mess. Very noisy as well.

Anyway. Phil should have died. I got the birds to help him. Their thick skin stopped metal from piercing his body. Why didn’t I do it? Because I couldn’t touch things at that point. Stop questioning me. I won’t tell you the story.

I’m sorry Scuttles. He floated on the water, drifted his way to the nearby beach. Spent a couple hours there. When he awoke, he wasn’t exactly sure what had happened. Maybe it was because he had never seen silver sand before and was now laying in it. Phil sat up, slowly. He looked around thinking he must have died. Cliffs hung over him as if they were watching what he was up to. He could see the random tufts of purple grass that was spotted all over the side of it. He stood up and took a moment or two to get a grip on his balance. He soon realised that he was standing in a tiny secluded area of the beach, the cliff almost made a cave as it stretched out into the sea, leaving either forward or back to the sea as the only options for movement. Forward was the sensible offer. The cliff had a small pathway that ran along the side of it. He climbed up towards it. Higher than he first thought, but not an impossible task.

He kept on thinking the same thing, over and over again. “I’m dead. I’ve got to be dead. This is heaven. I thought it would be nicer. At least there is a cool breeze and a lot of shade. Better than some places. I must be dead, I’ve got to be dead. This is what heaven’s like. What was that bird thing that just flew past? Some kind of extinct thing that lives in heaven. That’s nice. Lots of things I’ve always wanted to do. I must be dead. I’m in no pain, and there is no way I could have survived that crash. That’s if this isn’t some kind of dream.”

Phil walked up the path. Part of him was trying to ignore the height, while another part was telling him to jump and prove he’s already dead. A little way up he found the entrance to a cave. My cave. He walked into the darkness, away from the outside and towards the unknown. For a small second I thought he would turn around and walk away, but I was wrong, he got closer and closer until he saw a small light. Similar to the pixie light. He didn’t need to think about it, he followed it.

The small orbs around my body were brighter at a distance than they were up close. I don’t know why, so don’t ask. There were five of them, position around my body, one near each limb leaving one for my head. Dug into my chest was the cursed knife that kept me there. I could leave my body in a kind of spirity way, but I couldn’t touch anything (See I told you I would get to it), if the knife was out I could move around and interact. I got back inside my frozen carcass and threw my voice out.

“Phil. Come closer.”

“God?”

“Who? It’s me. You can call me Scuttles.” I’m sorry I used your name. I didn’t know if I could trust him. I couldn’t, just so you know.

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5 Responses to Dear Scuttles – part 1

  1. Pingback: New Story, Twitter and Facebook | Ashley Manning

  2. kat5560 says:

    This really good Ashley. I will be really interested to see where you go from here.

  3. Pingback: Scuttles Part 2 incoming | Ashley Manning

  4. Pingback: To The Other | Ashley Manning

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