Until Death

Free Until Death by Ali Knight

Book: Until Death by Ali Knight Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ali Knight
– take her son to school. Well, it wasn’t happening. ‘This is all very well, but no. Sylvie doesn’t need the distraction from her job. I will deal with it at home and make sure that Yannis doesn’t do something like this again.’
    The headmaster looked unconvinced, but he turned to Yannis. ‘What do you say, young man? Are you going to make sure your mother and father don’t have to come into the school again? Are you going to follow their good example and never hit anyone again?’
    For the first time in the meeting, all eyes were on her son. He looked up at them, his bottom lip jutting forward in a little pout, a frown of confusion on his face. ‘But—’
    ‘Don’t start a sentence with “but”, Yannis,’ interrupted the headmaster.
    Yannis swallowed and Kelly thought he might cry. ‘When Daddy gets angry … When Daddy and Mummy …’
    Kelly stood, reached over and grabbed Yannis’s hand, yanking him to his feet. She saw Mrs Weaver start back and fold her arms over her big breasts. Kelly’s fear at what Yannis might unwittingly reveal about what Christos did, here, in Christos’s old school … it didn’t bear thinking about. She had to cut this conversation dead at all costs. ‘I’ve changed my mind. We’ll try it for a month, if that’s what everyone wants.’
    ‘I think it’s worth a try,’ Mrs Weaver said carefully.
    Kelly was too ashamed to argue or to answer back. She needed to get out of this claustrophobic office as quickly as possible; she was losing the ability to breathe, feared she might have a panic attack.
    She marched Yannis along the vaulted corridors to the exit. The swing doors sucked closed behind them. She bundled him into the car, mute. She sat gripping the steering wheel so hard she felt she would pass out with fury. Her son had seen. At some point, he had watched what Daddy did to Mummy. She had to save him from what he saw. Shame at how she was aiding and abetting what Christos did almost crushed her. Parents shaped their offspring as surely as a modeller shaped clay. Yet Yannis was being moulded into something foreign to her – picking up and absorbing the worst traits of her situation, and she was letting it happen. If she didn’t get him out he would become an image of his father and all that brought with it.
    ‘Mummy? I’m sorry, Mummy.’
    She turned to look at Yannis sitting in the back of the car, saw his attention caught by something on the seat next to him. He picked up one of his favourite toys, a model of a container ship. He began bouncing it along the seat, tossing it as if it were in a storm. ‘Daddy says this ship will be mine when I grow up.’

11
     
    T he Wolf glanced once at the stopwatch and then yanked hard on the chainsaw’s starter cord. The noise of a powerful motor bursting into life assaulted his eardrums and he held firm as the saw juddered to attention in his sinewy arms. He bent low and began a slicing action at the top end of the great mahogany trunk, stripping the one-hundred-foot tree of its branches with firm, aggressive strokes. They thumped dully to the forest floor as he worked his way along the tree to its base. He wasn’t wearing ear muffs, he liked to be surrounded by the noise of the chainsaw and he wanted to be able to hear the man’s screams when they reached a pitch that was higher than the motor.
    The man was tied to the length of the trunk, ten feet away from him now. Out of the corner of his eye the Wolf could see him writhing as the chainsaw’s teeth moved closer.
    Five branches away from the man’s head the Wolf glanced up at the stopwatch, forcing the whirring blade through the thick branches, forcing it back upwards as the yellow dust of the trunk flew around. The resiny smell of freshly cut wood hung in the air. All the branches were off now, lying like felled soldiers at his feet. He started on the massive trunk, pitting the teeth against the densest and heaviest part of the tree. He bent his knees low, the

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