"The Skaggerston Nightmares" drabbles by Peter Muscutt

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The Slut's Backpack

The Skaggerston Nightmares #17

Ten essential items for a good night out on the town:

1. One pack of condoms ("always be prepared")
2. Three sets of crotchless underwear ("men love variety")
3. Roll of strong duct tape ("for taping things")
4. One clawhammer ("nothing else will do")
5. One box of baby wipes ("nothing worse than sticky fingers")
6. One pay-as-you-go mobile ("older the better...")
7. One bottle of chloroform ("enough said")
8. Bus fare home ("sensible")
9. One packet of breath mints ("clean in mouth, clean in soul")
10. One pair of luxury stockings ("a girl should feel special")

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Rose Tinted Specs

The Skaggerston Nightmares #16

There's something missing, Mr. Dennis pondered as he surveyed the scene before him. He'd done this many times before, and yet...and yet it felt different; not as satisfying. He recalled the thrill of the chase, the anticipation, the act itself, but that was years ago.

Perhaps I've lost my touch?

Maybe he was now so desensitised that it held no meaning, no pleasure.
He absent-mindedly wiped off the axe, removing stray pieces of hair and flesh. The dismembered remains before him just looked untidy.

Oh well...

With a sigh, he started placing the bits into a sturdy black sack.

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Duncan Ackersley, Showing Some Rust

The Skaggerston Nightmares #15

You don't meet many hit-men called Duncan. At least you didn't when I got out of the contract killing game ten - no, eleven - years ago. But I'm back for one final shot; vengeance, you might call it.

My so called friend, sleeping with my so-called wife. Cunts, both of them.

Well they'll get theirs.

I can see him now, sat in the beer garden of the Cow & Shotgun, nursing a pint. I centre the cross-hairs on him.

Breathe...calm down.

Pull the trigger. My aim is off. His pint glass shatters. People scream. I should have practiced.

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Library Pictures

The Skaggerston Nightmares #14

The broken pool cue enters the man's side easily, puncturing him like a bag of offal. The assailant steps back, kicks his victim in the face and slouches against a shelf of books, breathing heavily.

The man on the floor spasms occasionally, blood seeping through his pale blue polo-neck, soaking into the grey carpet.

'How did that make you feel?' I ask the attacker, now beginning to catch his breath. He regards the snapped end of the pool cue and turns his head to me.
'I feel..._magnificent' he breathes.

This is Tuesday in the local public library in Skaggerston.

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You'll Never Leave

The Skaggerston Nightmares #13

Morrison crouched in the bushes as the headlights of a passing car flashed by. Shit, that was close he thought. Peering over the brambles, he saw it:


I've done it! I've fucking bloody well done it! he screamed inwardly. Checking over his shoulder for any more traffic, he made a flit towards freedom.

The sniper had kept Morrison in his sights for the past five minutes, toying with him. Just as Morrison reached the town limits, he pulled the trigger. Morrison's head popped, his brains now residing messily on the road-sign.

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The Skaggerston Nightmares #12

Clenching the handlebar of the carousel horse tighter; my other arm clutching a bass reflex speaker from a stolen hi-fi (so heavy so heavy) I’m gonna be sick must not be sick here and cause a mess (a fight I’m gonna lose splatter splatter) I hate myself for the theft of the speaker, only because I forgot to grab the other one I didn’t think about the people in the house and I can’t stop myself now allowing myself to rush around and around (around) gazing at the sky (why is it purple such a lovely purple purple purple)

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And Now For Something Completely Different

The Skaggerston Nightmares #11

‘And so today on my vlog, I thought I’d show you something we’ve never done before’ Dayzie Saunders, creator of the massively popular vlogging series ‘Dayzie Does’, breezed. ‘Now, if you’re anything like me, you have the odd corpse lying around somewhere, fretting about how to get rid of it. Well, today, I’ll show you how.’

Nine-year-old Lucy Force sat in front of her lap-top, agog. Her glass of warm milk lay to the side, untouched.

‘First, equipment. For this project, you will need a hacksaw, some sturdy plastic sheeting, an axe and a spade.

Lucy smiled.

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Off The Peg

The Skaggerston Nightmares #10

Harris kept to the shadows. He viewed the revellers with a mixture of jealousy and excitement. Soon enough he'd be among them - in the pubs, going to the shops. Too long he'd been cooped up in that bloody prison cell, going stir crazy.

As the town square clock neared midnight, he forced the staff entrance to Derringer's, the small men's clothes store. Inside, it didn't take him long to find a suit on a hanger - navy, smart, not too flash. After changing out of his prison garb, he sat down and raised an imaginary toast.

Happy new fucking year, Skaggerston.

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The Follower

The Skaggerston Nightmares #7

Shit...Kerrigan thought as he stumbled along, hands tracing a path along the rough brickwork.
A pissed blind man trying to get home. He hadn't attempted this before.
He giggled involuntarily, his head swaying deliciously.
A sound behind him made him stop. It sounded like someone stepping on a crisp packet or sweet wrapper.
Is someone following me?
Kerrigan swore again and fell, skinning his knee on the ground. Panicked, he took off.
Ironically, he never saw the trench dug by the water board. His head cracked off the exposed pipe.

Behind him, the cat sat down and licked its paws.

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Sunday Bloody Sunday

The Skaggerston Nightmares #6

Sundays at Vampire Night were no fun for a ten-year-old. Not when your mum brought you along and made you sit in the corner with a blood transfusion pack and a rusty old Slinky toy.

Nancy looked over and saw her mother, Crystal, burying her face into the neck of some poor sod who'd been lured in by her. She sighed and set the Slinky up again to unfold itself off the table.

She looked up and saw a boy of a similar age sitting nearby. She smiled sadly. He smiled back, revealing his own tell-tale fangs.

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Wellcome To Skaggerston

The Skaggerston Nightmares #4

'Are we there yet?' came Katie's voice from the back seat.
Gerald was glad to see the sign proclaiming 'Wellcome to Skaggerston'.
'Very nearly, darling' he assured her.
The sea came into view for the first time, and Katie clapped her hands.
'Now when we get to the guesthouse, we'll -'

Gerald slammed on the brakes.
Got out.
Looked at what he'd hit.

The man was gaunt and pale. Blood streamed from his nose and eyes. He thrashed around, trapped under the wheels of the Mondeo, foaming at the mouth.
So much for a quiet holiday, Gerald pondered.

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Patient Zero

The Skaggerston Nightmares #3

The man looked strangely familiar, yet his head rested limply on his chest.
‘What do you want? Speak up, please!’ Tanwar asked, sternly.
No response. Sigh.
‘If you’re not going to buy anything, can you please leave?’ he insisted.
The customer looked gravely ill, his eyes rolling back in his head.
Tanwar gasped aloud when the man’s mouth fell open and a thick streamer of blood dripped down his chin and onto the newsagent’s counter.
Tanwar’s eyes moved along his arm, coming to rest on an intricate gold bracelet.
The type of bracelet he’d had specially made for his brother.

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The Skaggerston Nightmares #2

Galloway slumped back on his pillow. He gasped for air, his throat scratchy. He glanced down from the laptop at his leg that was resting on the chair next to the bed. He couldn’t bear to have the covers on it – the gangrene that had eaten away at it made sleeping normally the worst form of agony. The leprosy he suffered from rendered him housebound.
A reclusive freak.
His skin ruined and decayed.
The onscreen ‘ping’ indicated he had a message. He clicked it open.
‘Hi, wanna webcam?’ read the text.
A weak smile spread over Galloway’s deformed face.