The summer of 2016 was un seasonally warm in northern England and eight year old Alistair Craddick is outside playing in a creek behind the house his mother bought after his father passed away last winter.
Around midday when his stomach tells him that it needs food Alistair grabs a jar full of tadpoles that he spent all morning collecting.
Running excitedly inside to show his mummy the little wrigglers Alistair doesn’t notice the mud clinging to his shoes.
Mud that is now smeared all over the living room carpet.
Beatrice Craddick is a 38 year old human wrecking ball, as solid as a brick outhouse and meaner than a rattlesnake and on seeing the mess her son has made goes completely ballistic and orders her son to crawl into a small space beneath the stairwell ‘Please mummy you know I don’t like it in there’
Alistair can barely talk through his tears ‘Mummy the stairwell is full of cob webs and spiders please don’t make me go in there’
‘I wont tell you again you little turd now get in there before I get the wooden spoon and give you something to cry about’
Hanging his head Alistair carries his jar of tadpoles over to the stairwell and crawls inside,
Beatrice and her new boyfriend have been getting hot and heavy for months and Joe has been pestering her into letting him move into her home.
But Alistair and Joe don’t get along at all so now Beatrice has a decision to make and after drinking a full bottle of wine she comes to a life shattering decision.
She crushes ten sleeping tablets and dissolves them in a glass of water unlocks the cupboard beneath the stairwell and after a moment hands the water to her son who gulps it down.
Alistair soon began to drift away but before he left this world he uttered ‘Why mummy why? All I wanted was for you to love me’
Three months later.
Beatrice is home alone making herself a sandwich for lunch when she hears a strange scratching sound coming from the stairwell.
She had the space sealed forever more with a solid brick wall a month after she entombed her son alive.
Thinking that maybe a hedgehog or cat has found its way in Beatrice leans in places her ear and listens ‘Why did you kill me mummy? I always tried to be a good little boy so why mummy why’
Beatrice bleats a strangled yelp before her eyes flutter and she faints landing with a heavy thud.
In the stairwell Alistair’s torn twisted soul twirls around his skeleton moving between ribs and decayed sinew until the soul with the aid of a heavenly presence lifts a bony finger that resumes rubbing against the brickwork creating an eerie human voice ‘Why mummy why?’
When she regains her senses Beatrice scampers away from the stairwell in fright making incoherent noises as her mind snaps and madness settles in.
Joe arrives home drunk as a skunk and falls over Beatrice who’s bulk is blocking the entranceway ‘What are you doing on the floor you stupid woman , now get the fuck up and go make me some dinner before I turn you black and blue.
Beatrice doesn’t even notice Joe as he stands threatening above her shaking a fist but the sound of his angry voice hasn’t gone unnoticed in the stairwell.
The soul as been busy while Beatrice slowly lost her mind and now it whips up an army of dead flies ,cockroaches, and tadpoles that have littered the stairwell floor for months.
The animal husks funnel together spinning counter clockwise under the command of Alistair’s soul than they fly out of a small opening made by the bony finger tip the entombed boys skeletal finger and enter joe’s mouth before he has the sense to close it silencing him for eternity.
Beatrice who is now living in the land of the pixies glances at the stairwell as a small jumble of bones leave the confinement and jingle and jangle toward her ‘Hello mummy did you miss me?’
Beatrice’s damaged brain somehow registers the sound of her should be dead son’s voice.
Her remaining semblance of self try to comprehend how Alistair who she personally entombed behind a brick wall is somehow alive and standing before her in a tangle of bones.’Hello mummy did you miss me’.
Beatrice stumbles outside to escape her son who doesn’t seem to know that he is dead and disappears into the night while inside the house Alistair who is in no fit condition to chase after his mother retreats to the confines of the stairwell ,his home away from home where he spent months decaying and decomposing.
The recently reborn eight year old takes a seat in his usual spot ,he is soon joined by his tortured soul that refused to die.
The apparition twists and twirls between Alistair’s bleached bones giving new life and vitality to his skeletal frame.
As his soul floats around the confined space Alistair’s nasal cavity picks up a nasty smell and he remembers that Joe the arsehole boyfriend is laying dead out on the living room floor.
Alistair has plans for him but not quite yet.
Beatrice has somehow managed to drive over 300 miles from the scene from her son’s reincarnation despite slipping into the realms of insanity.
She weaves in between the traffic like a bat out of hell driving to escape her demons when she loses control of her Mazda and slams into a tree just outside of Manchester.
Fortunately she was wearing her seat which saved her life and a passing motorist called the authorities and held her hand until they arrived.
When the police pull up they are confronted by a mad woman screaming of a boy who rose from the dead a boy who will not rest until he is avenged.
Her rambling’s force an officer to restrain her in the back seat of his car and when an ambulance arrives Beatrice is quickly transported to hospital for the mandatory blood tests and a mental health check.
Back in the stairwell Alistair is still prone in the same position as his body and mind continue to rejuvenate from the inside.
But he knows that once he is ready to leave the stairwell and venture outside he will need an outer covering.
This is where Joe the arsehole will finally be good for something.
On the way to hospital a deranged Beatrice attacked the paramedic who was trying to treat her biting his neck leaving a nasty wound.
She was taken to a hospital for the criminally insane where she was placed in a padded cell secured firmly by a straight jacket.
Alistair knows that he will need help if he is to continue to with his rebirth so he channels his thoughts outside where a wasp has been building a nest under the eaves.
The tiny insect flies into the stairwell and lands on Alistair’s shoulder.
Using a mixture of clicks and whispers Alistair and the paper wasp communicate.
With a blur of wings the wasp darts out to the living room where it proceeds to cut a small patch of discoloured skin before returning to the stairwell and pastes the skin to Alistair’s muscles and meat.
For three days and nights the wasp works feverishly cutting and pasting little square patches of Joe’s skin onto his new friends body until Alistair looks like a patchwork Frankenstein monster with a complexion a nasty green grey.
In her padded cell Beatrice in rare moments of lucidity stares out of a small window high in the wall of her confinement.
She knows that her son is out there somewhere on the road to his redemption and want rest until she is destroyed.
But for the moment all she can see is blackness out of the small portal to the world a darkness that could become her new normality if her reborn off spring finds her.
Alistair has begun to walk and roam around the house as he strengthens tendons and ligaments that he hasn’t used since his rebuild.
As he goes from room to room Alistair’s mind drifts back to the day when his own mummy poisoned him with pills then entombed him behind a brick wall to die a slow painful death.
His shoulders shake as he sobs a few lonely tears that slide down his forlorn cheeks.
Before his tears can leave a stain on his already fragmented frame of mind the tiny paper wasp lands on an ear lobe and whispers words of encouragement.
Alistair nods his head in agreement and as the wasp continues to talk the dark clouds that were clouding his mind disappear only to be replaced by even darker thoughts.
Find his evil mummy and what will be will be.
The wasp flutters around the stairwell corralling all of the creepy crawlies that have picked Joe’s bones clean.
The bugs are keen to go on an adventure where they will travel to hell by Alistair’s side with no guarantee that they will return.
Alistair himself is oblivious to the activity around him as he concentrates on the journey ahead.
After a day spent meditating and reflecting on the past Alistair and his collection of midges ,gnats ,beetles and flies plus of course his trusty sidekick the wasp leave the Craddick home for perhaps the last time.
Even though he is only eight years of age Alistair knows that walking around with a shitload of bugs clinging to his body and his patchwork yellow green skin wouldn’t go unnoticed in broad daylight so dusk is the perfect time to travel to God knows where.
After walking only 500 metres down the road Alistair realises that ‘God knows where’ is an apt description of his problem because he has absolutely no idea in which direction his murderous mummy hightailed to.
But lucky for him the wasp is three steps ahead of him has sent out a search party of twenty or so bluebottle and march flies who can smell the stench of moral decay and treason from over 1000 miles away.
Knowing that the wasp has his back Alistair’s spirits lift and he walks forward with a spring in his step but his feeling hit the doldrums when he feels a blister beginning to rub his left heel.
So with little choose Alistair does something that he knows he shouldn’t oughta do.
He sticks out a thumb and starts to hitch hike for the first time in his short life.
And ten minutes later a beat up Volkswagon pulls up beside him.
Bernie Gillan a thirty three year old diesel mechanic from Bristol is on his way home from church when he spotted a small child on the side of the road but when he gets a closer look he almost drove away ‘Jesus kid you look like you just crawled out of your grave’
‘You shouldn’t be out here on your own and hitch hiking to boot , where are your parents?
‘Thanks for stopping mister I am on my way north to visit my gran before she falls off the perch, huh I mean she is sick so I really need to see her’
‘OK climb in kid and leave the weather outside;
Alistair jumps aboard and immediately the collection of bugs crawl over Bernie deciding whether he is friend or foe and after sniffing his scent settle down for a snooze.
‘Arrrrrggghdrr what in the fuck get these things off before I frive down an embankment’
‘Sorry mister I couldn’t leave my bug collection at home with no food, so just drive me where I want to go before you become their next meal’
Alistair knows that it is cruel to tease the kind driver but he is on a mission and everyone knows that the mission always comes first.
‘OK kid calm down I will take you where you want to go but these crawlies are rally creeping me out;
‘Just drive and when we get there I will let you know’
The wasp enters Alistair’s ear hole and pounds on his ear drum with an urgent message and after listening attentively for a minute Alistair passes the message on ‘Driver just follow the blue lights and soon we will arrive at gran’s and you can be on your way’
‘Thank you kid and please take your bugs with when you leave because they are beginning to make me nervous very nervous indeed’
Twenty metres ahead the blue bottles give off a eerie glow as they fly forward into a strong wind but hopefully they will reach their destination in an hour or two.
20 miles north in her padded cell Beatrice notices a lone fly enter via the small window and annoyingly land on her nose.
She struggles with her straight jacket but to no avail and pretty soon the restraint and the fly and really starting to piss her off big time.
Her madness and ugly disposition give Beatrice extra ordinary strength and one by one the buckles on the straight jacket pop and ten minutes later the battle axe from hell is loose ready to face her demons,
All she has to do now is escape from her cell and find a stairwell in this shit hole because she knows that her son who refuses to die is on his way and she wants to prepare.
As her mind warp bends and twists reality Beatrice slips even further down into the doldrums with no chance of returning to normality any time soon.
As Beatrice paces her cell hundreds and hundreds assorted bugs enter quickly followed by a clever wasp who picks the lock on her cell door and the mummy the devil would refuse is free wander the halls at her leisure.
Bernie steers his car into the driveway out the front of a huge monstrosity called the ‘Hallywell House for the Criminally Insane’ and parks near the front door. ‘There you go you little shit I hope you are proud of yourself for putting me through hell’
‘Now get out of my car and don’t forget to say hello to your gran from me bye’
Alistair approaches the front door anxious and ill at ease but when the goes to open the door it clicks open and he enters and is met by the wasp who guides him on the final steps of his journey.
After rounding a corner Alistair finds himself looking at his mummy sitting in the middle of a dark dank stairwell. Hello Alistair I have been half expecting you, come inside and close the door’
When Alistair enters a tiny patch of skin falls from his body littering the floor like a discarded piece of confetti .
Knowing that he doesn’t have much time left Alistair attempts to confront his mother but he no longer has the strength or the will anymore.
He takes a seat beside the woman who killed him ‘I have travelled many a mile to get my redemption but now all I want to do is close my eyes and die again, goodbye cruel world’
For a few minutes Alistair’s sunken chest rises and falls as he prepares to leave this world for the final time and when he takes his last breath every patch of skin falls from his body providing him a comfy resting place.
Beatrice overcome with grief and guilt puts an arm around her boy and she never moves from his side.
Three days later her tainted heart stops beating and now mother and son are reunited forevermore in an unholy truce.
May their blood mingle and flow down to the gates of hell or up to cleanse the feet of St Peter.
It is now up to the gods to decide their fate.
The wasp begins to build a nest on the melded bodies in preparation for the next generation.
Sometimes the dead die so the living can keep living.