There were one or two arrests that day and two young eight-year old twins, who appeared to have got separated from each other and their guardian, didn’t stop sobbing as they told a policewoman over and over how Tony had kept fiddling with them and how they’d seen him hitting their mum.
Tony was hospitalised with a policeman outside his hospital room. He protested his innocence, but a later visit to talk to Angela sealed his fate.
Tony wouldn’t be writing much dark, sadistic fiction from prison. In fact, he no longer seemed to have the balls for it.
That was it!. The brute in front whirled, grabbed the toasting fork, turned it and jabbed it straight into Tony’s crotch. The effect was incredible. Tony’s screams were incredible. The blood flow was incredible. But other angry fans above weren’t letting him off the hook either as punches rained on him from above while he was doubled up grasping his bleeding undercarriage. It took half a dozen security men to extract the seriously beaten and bleeding Tony and take him off for urgent treatment.
Tony’s writing plumbed the depths of depravity, but the toasting fork had plumbed his own plumbing.
Tony was distracted as he turned to see who was calling out and who was the object of abuse. On his left, Max saw his chance, grabbed Tony’s left hand in which was the out-turned toasting fork, jabbing it forward into the shoulder of the tattooed monster in front. Then he quickly let go, leaving the fork in Tony’s hand.
Max jumped up and called:
“Come on, let’s get away from him, Mark!” who quickly squeezed away along the row. Max shouted up to the men above. “He’s not our dad. He’s bad. He makes us suck his willie!”
Mark tried to shrug off Tony’s hand from his back. But Tony released Max on his left and pushed Mark forward to enable him to pull up his shirt to retrieve the toasting fork, which he held out in front of him as Mark winced and ducked away to the right.
A man two rows back who could see Tony fiddling under Mark’s shirt called out.
“Oi, you pervert! You with the two kids! You dirty bloody nonce!”
At which the man’s companions, all in ugly moods, joined the call.
“Leave that kid alone, you filthy perv!”
“You fucking paedo!”
The twins were good as gold all throughout the first half, despite the fact that the visitors had ended the half 1:0 up, which made the home crowd around them pretty angry. The angry man sitting directly in front of Tony was a brute of a fellow, with shaved head and most vulgar tattoos covering arms, neck, head... someone clearly not to be messed with.
Tony stretched out his arms behind the two boys and went to give them a friendly hug.
“What the hell’s this on your back?" Tony demanded of Mark. “Take it out! Now!”
Mark did nothing.
On the way into the the stadium, security guards were checking all the youths and adults for knives, given the dramatic increase in knifings and knife murders in London. The twins though, looking small and angelic, were not checked, which was a stroke of luck as Max had taped their mum’s toasting fork to Mark’s back, along his spine.
Max had thought of that and decided that it would have been OK because had Mark been caught, they would have said that Tony had stuck it there and forced them to keep quiet. But the guards didn’t spot it anyway.
The twins worried about Angela and knew it was Tony that was causing her pain. They were now quite scared of him and his power, but they were twins and like other superheroes, they were invincible. They just needed the opportunity to show it. And that was about to come.
It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when Tony arranged to take the boys off to The Emirates Stadium for a Premiership local derby against Spurs, Arsenal’s arch-enemies. The boys were delighted, thanking him profusely.
They sat with Tony in between them, Max on his left, Mark on his right.
Despite any apparent change, Max and Mark were aware of the fact that the things that went on in the bedroom their mother shared with Tony were not nice. The door to their mother’s bedroom that had until then remained unlocked, in case the boys needed comfort in the night, were now locked to keep secret Angela’s nightly discomfort… a discomfort she now believed she richly deserved. And whilst Angela’s cries were muted by the firm application of a long woolly sock as a gag, listening at her bedroom door they could nonetheless hear her muffled outbursts, indicating her pain.
Then one day Angela reminded Tony that he’d promised to take the boys to see Arsenal play. Criteria had been set way back for them to ‘qualify’ for such a trip and they appeared to have more than satisfied them. Tony could easily have bullied Angela out of honouring the trip, but saw it as an opportunity. During such an excursion the twins would surely misbehave, justifying his regime of tough discipline, and of course further measures which would be taken with Angela, who by now was as stripped of any self-respect as she was regularly stripped and whipped.
The twins had changed... just like that. Their hostility towards Tony was replaced by friendliness, cooperation and it almost seemed as if they wanted him to become their new father.
He had won. His regime of harsh discipline had worked… but unfortunately the pleasure he derived from it was waning. Their metamorphosis had robbed him of the pleasure he had enjoyed and the reason that Angela should continue to require his physical and mental punishment. The change in them bothered him, but he would continue his tough regime anyway. And besides, this was all good material for Dan Birch’s output.
Meanwhile, Tony continued to undermine Angela, subtly feeding her neuroses and making her feel inadequate as a mother. He ‘comforted’ her while he poisoned her mind and she started beating herself up, metaphorically speaking.
Soon she was ready for what he had in mind. It wasn’t long before he started his regime of control, degrading her in both mental and physical ways. And she welcomed this. She felt she deserved it. He became master of her house and he exploited that position.
But he hadn’t reckoned on the imaginations of Max and Mark. The boys suddenly converted to model children.
The twins were then subjected to a really tough regime of discipline. Any benefits they might expect to enjoy were withdrawn. No TV, no games, no toys, no sweets or treats, no football, no friends round to play or stay. Tony wouldn’t lay a hand on them, that would be asking for trouble, and besides, he wasn’t into kids in any sexual way, he abhorred the little blighters and particularly these two. But he did take considerable pleasure in denying them any pleasure at all. That was the kind of man he was. One way that he got his kicks.
“Nothing… can’t say … not my place!”
But Angela pressed him, as he’d planned, and he fed her growing self-doubt. “I really think you need to discipline them... crack down on them hard before they take their bad habits into the outside world, letting you down and ruining their own futures. It’s for their own good!”
“I can’t!” replied Angela, “They take no notice and run rings around me…. But they’ll listen to a man, they’ll have to. You put them straight, Tony... Please… but don’t involve me.”
“O….kay!” Tony agreed, “but only if you’re absolutely sure?” She was.
Tony had a captive audience, captive victims, and he was the captor. He would have discipline! His first strategy was to go with the twins’ tantrums and bad behaviour, trying to be ever so nice to them and ignoring their insults while he fed Angela with self-doubt about her ability to keep the boys under control.
“You’re such a lovely mother to them”, he said, “but sometimes you let them take advantage of you rather too much. I know twins are usually quite a handful, but the trouble is…” He stopped mid-sentence.
“The trouble is what?” demanded Angela.
Tony would show them what for. And he would give Angela what for too. She was shaping up to be a perfect partner for some of his ‘more interesting’ toys and games. He would work on her.
He was there, in the house. He had a set of keys to the front door… and he made certain he knew exactly how to get back in again in the event that at any time the locks were changed or blocked. It wasn’t his house. Angela wasn’t his wife. Max and Mark weren’t his kids. But none of that would bother him.
But all this time, Tony was as nice as pie to them… and to Angela and so the more the boys accused him of doing bad things to them, the less she believed it, the firmer line she took and the greater determination she developed not to allow these children to dictate who she could and couldn’t be with. Tony was going to move in with them all “And that’s that!” she told the boys.
That was exactly what Tony wanted. Now he had his feet under the table, those ‘little bastards’ would really get what was coming to them.
But the twins were only 8 years old. Tony was a much more experienced, skilful operator, who knew that just like the boy who cried wolf, the little beasts would talk themselves out of credibility pretty soon. Then he would give them a taste of his particular take on discipline.
They told tales to Angela about how Tony had smacked them, taken their toys away, said horrid things about her, sworn at them with the ‘F’word and ‘C’word and they came up with just about anything imaginative eight year olds could invent to poison their mum against her new man.
The twins' silly joke earned them both the punishment of being sent to their room, without computer, phone, video games or dinner This was a punishment that the boys clocked up to Tony. He would pay one day.
Tony tried smarming his way around the twins as he was invited to stay the night with Angela more frequently. He wasn’t stupid though, he knew they were badmouthing him to their mother… rather more frequently than was sensible. If only they'd been old enough they would have realised that poison is best administered in irregular doses to make it less traceable.
“Why don’t you like Tony, boys? He’s very kind,” asked Angela, trying to reason with the boys, “wouldn’t it be good to have another guy around to play football with and take you out on your bikes… or even take you to see Arsenal play at The Emirates?”
The boys were ardent Arsenal fans, they had all the young supporters’ kit, so this might have been a huge carrot, but it didn’t even get a “s’pose so!” response.
“He’s an Arse an all!” replied Max, at which his brother Mark guffawed. By contrast, Angela was livid and blew a fuse.
“We don’t like him!” the boys said in unison to their mother at bedtime when Tony was first invited to stay the night, “He’s yuk!”. Only eight years old they might be, but both were aware that any new man introduced to them might be a potential ‘new dad’. They'd heard Zack in class at school talk about his ‘new dad’ and how this ‘new dad’ bought him sweets and toys and was always hugging and kissing his mum. “Yuk!” he’d said, which said everything... thought the twins.
Downstairs, Tony had overheard those horrid little 'yukkers!'
"I'll give them yuk!"