Leo Pierpont Nelson accompanied by his good lady wife, Natalia Stuart-Lane Nelson, sped their way home to Virginia Water, Surrey.
The Porsche blurred its way through country lanes as it put more distance between them and the party they’d attended in Kensington. Leo had drunk a fair amount, but he was fine to drive, if anything he drove a lot better when inebriated. At least that was his view.
The shackles were bloody well off and he could fly in this wonder machine of his.
“Fucking killing it,” he drawled.
Natalia didn’t mind his break-neck speed, asleep in the passenger seat, her head rolling as the car burst around tight corners.
Leo smiled at her momentarily, Natalia looked good. She had his blazer over her shoulders, a little piece of him to keep her warm. He’d want to fuck her when they got in. He stepped on the accelerator at the thought, half in a bid to wake her up, but to no avail...yet.
Leo reflected on the night’s events. A pile of faceless influential people with huge teeth and high hair, guffawing their way through parodies of conversations. It had been the works Christmas party. London’s finest, or at least half of its finest had gathered, including the new Prime Minister whose presence had caused quite a stir. Natalia’s summary of him was perfectly accurate, ‘Totes a prick but he’ll be a good little prick for us darling. Don’t we just always come out on top?’
Natalia was right of course, he was a buffoon, an idiotic shambling mess of a man whose privilege outweighed dramatically his intellect or ability, but he was welcomed into the fold and had much in common with all of those around him.
Mainly, lethal ambition and the wealth to back it up.
Leo worked in finance and property. This newly formed government promised a great deal more unregulated success for Leo and friends. Which was just as well, as Leo had big plans. These last two years he’d managed to invest in a few private firms who were taking over some aspects of healthcare. It was proving to be most profitable.
There had been complaints, apparently, on the negative impacts on patient care and some basic services. But Leo was far, far removed from such petty grumbles.
The smell of sheer money was everywhere and that is what dominated conversation in Kensington that evening. In amidst the tweed, the ‘top bants’ and nods of unearned respect, money and influence seeped and stank its way through every callous pore.
Natalia had spent the evening working through her list of contacts at the party and those she wished to add to her network.
Natalia had been successful, as always, and had confirmed many a social plan for the new year, including various horse racing events and boutique musical festivals, royal gathering’s and old boys and girl’s meetings. It was important to not only network but also to be viewed as a main driver in such liaisons.
Natalia had done exceedingly well and with Leo’s plans in tow, next year was going to be another big cluster fuck of profit induced delight.
The car swung around a bend a little too fast and for a moment, Leo thought he’d lost control, as it tipped briefly onto two wheels before bumping back down onto all four. “Whoa fuck! Close!”
Natalia opened her eyes, at last.
“Ah darling. You are awake. We nearly died there but hey, at least your sleep wasn’t disturbed.”
Natalia looked at him through listless eyes, “Fuck off Leo. Are we nearly home yet?”
Leo gently squeezed her thigh, “Nearly there darling, just a few minutes. I’ll slow it down a tad, I need you in one piece.”
Natalia raised her eyebrow, “Oh, for what exactly?” Ugh, you mean?”
Leo moved his hand up her thigh, “Darling, for God’s sake. It is fucking Christmas. Darling?”
Natalia smiled but said nothing.
Leo turned off the ignition and leapt out of the car. He had a serious hard on. Leo always got the horn after nights like this.
He raced around to the passenger side, practically lifting Natalia out of the seat before propping her up. Natalia hung on his shoulder as they swayed then stared vacantly through their four million-pound home.
The house itself, could be approached via electrically operated wrought iron gates which opened onto a sizeable circular driveway that in turn led to an attached triple garage, bordered by trees. There was access on both sides leading to the rear garden, which was comprised of a large raised sun terrace, complete with outside lighting. It contained six bedrooms and five reception rooms while the master suite had its own balcony.
Leo had rapidly become one of the City’s top property developers. All it took was a little hard work, really, just a little, and a lot of contacts in all the right places along with an ever shifting, personal moral compass. Leo had arguably lost his compass altogether.
He’d been nicknamed ‘The Butcher,’ for how he hacked up the property market. Buying old property, flats and the like, for next to nothing before selling it on at a massive profit and often in a dangerous state of disrepair once the superficial upgrades had been put to one side.
But Leo was a man in a hurry, so it would be the next guy’s responsibility. Whatever, fuck them.
He never thought about these deals again once the money came in, it was a case of onto the next, but now that he thought about it, some pesky little piffling waiter at the Kensington party had said something.
Leo was alone in that moment and this waiter approached him from the shadows like some spooky oaf. “Drink sir?” he’d enquired. “No…thank you.”
Yet there the boy stood, unmoved.
“I said no thank you.” Leo had looked at the statue impersonating a boy, irritated, “Are you fucking deaf?”
Leo took a step back when the boy eventually looked up.
He was no longer dressed as a waiter. Instead he wore charred clothes, crisped and burnt. The boy’s skin was cracked and pulsing, scabbing over, tearing and bleeding. Leo gagged but could not back away any further, his hands felt wall behind him. The boy turned slightly and pointed out to the party spread across the vast acres of land. “Look, we’re all here this night.”
Leo looked beyond the waxy pointing finger and saw his colleagues and friends, wining, dining, laughing and gorging. It looked glorious in the soft light. All that glitter and pomp. The better people. My people.
But then he saw all the waiters, or what were waiters.
Some were burnt and charred like his new friend. Others emaciated, the picture of pestilence. He saw dead children with hollow eyes staring back at him as the rich plucked appetisers from trays the children were holding. Patients of deceased form from all manner of hideous injuries and diseases, dragged with them broken medical equipment, serving impatient rowdy guests as they toiled away in pain.
Leo gasped and made to scream, to warn everyone, but the vision dropped out of sight.
All was as it should be.
The lethally burnt waiter had gone.
Leo within minutes attacked the alcohol with a rapid lust and scored himself some cocaine. Leo forget all about his encounter, until now.
He pushed it away, out of mind. A nonsense, a result of too much coke and drink.
“Natalia, let’s go fuck.”
Leo and Natalia stumbled into the front porch and finally the door. He rattled his keys in the lock a while with zero success.
“What’s that doing there?” said Natalia as she picked up a small child’s shoe from the doorstep. She turned it over in her hand. It was a little girl’s shoe, pink, the strap and buckle dirtied and torn.
Natalia frowned and recalled as they were entering the grounds to the party, there were protestors outside, screaming about the financial elite and hurling abuse at party goers.
Such petty jealousy of the masses. Natalia didn’t mind the din. It had become increasingly common in recent years, but she was convinced it was all bark with no bite. Peasants trying to blame their unfortunate ills on those who have worked harder in life, despite the admitted head start that wealth can afford. No, it was not all about wealth and privilege. It was about can-do attitude, motivation and proactivity.
As they'd made their way to the gates earlier this night, a mother stepped forward with what was presumably her daughter. The mother’s face was filthy, her clothes mere rags. She was a clamour of skin and bone. The little girl, Natalia noted, wore one buckled shoe. It shone brightest pink as if polished relentlessly, while on her other foot was a plimsole with its sole hanging off. The little girl held out her hand as her mother pleaded.
Natalia felt a moment of anguish, pain even, before revulsion urged her to get away and be with her own people.
“Ah! Success!” bellowed Leo as the front door finally conceded defeat and swung open, snapping Natalia back into the present.
He grabbed the shoe from Natalia and threw it over his shoulder. Natalia looked back just in time to see it land in the hedges.
They rustled briefly as if in response, then stilled.
Before Natalia could comment further, Leo pulled her through the door, “Come on darling. Christmas is nearly upon on us and I want my present ba…baby girl,” he slurred.
Natalia rolled her eyes as she watched him attempt some sort of seductive dance. He looked like he was having a stroke in slow-motion.
“Right, lets get this over with then. Upstairs, go on, I’ll be up in a moment,” replied Natalia.
Leo pranced over to her, “Promish?” he asked as he traced his finger over her lips.
“Yes, I promise Leo. Now be a good boy and run along, you’ll get yours. Go on, upstairs and wait for me.”
Leo sprinted upstairs like a floppy eared dog. He really is just a big child, thought Natalia. But with so many benefits.
Natalia padded through to the kitchen. Despite her nap in the car she could feel a headache coming on and she’d never hear the end of it tonight if she pulled that one again. Leo wouldn’t believe her then spend most of the weekend sulking.
Natalia got some painkillers from the kitchen draw and poured herself a glass of water before throwing the tablets back. As she put the glass down, Natalia sensed movement behind her and span around.
Natalia peered through the kitchen and into the wide-open lounge beyond. It was darker than usual. Natalia made for the main lights but before she could turn them on, she felt something brush her arm.
Someone or something giggled. Soft and childish.
Leo lay in bed desperately fighting sleep by clumsily playing with himself. The cocaine in his system had run its course and the alcohol was starting to feel a little rotten.
He knew he’d feel awful come morning, but at least he’d get a shag in to help along a good night’s rest. If Natalia would hurry the fuck up that is, and if he could stay awake enough. More to the point, he needed his cock to join the party and it was showing discouraging signs.
He started to drift near sleep, forcing his eyes open and touching himself from time to time.
Then Leo felt something, far away. Fingertips glancing across his arm, working its way down to his groin.
He could feel her hands now, so cold, tracing around his stomach before gripping his member, squeezing gently and starting to work it in her hand, up and down.
“Yes Natalia, yes. Talk to me, tell me what a bad person I am,” rasped Leo.
He felt her hands quicken but she said nothing. He could feel a far-off irritation rising in him. He didn’t just want a sympathy hand job. He’d waited an eternity and now here she was...ouch.
“Fuck’s sake Natalia, you trying to pull it off?”
He felt her grip loosen then resume its previous pace. Her hands felt different somehow, rough, not so soft or manicured.
“Talk to me Natalia, go on, you know I love it.”
He could hear her lips moving but no words. Just a dry smacking noise followed by strange gulps. Leo opened his eyes and could spy her silhouette kneeling beside him.
“Are you okay, Natalia?”
The shadow nodded before quickening its pace. Harder and faster.
“No...Natalia that hurts. Stop…Stop!!”
Leo stretched for the night light and switched it on.
A version of Natalia stared back at him, smiling, her cracked blood-filled lips muttering soundless words. She gulped and coughed, spraying flecks of crimson onto Leo’s face.
Her eyes were burning silver with alien fury.
Finally, Natalia spoke, thousands of voices entwined in unison, “YOU’VE BEEN A BAD BOY LEO. SO WICKEDLY BAD!”
Leo lay paralysed. His Natalia, what…he felt the abomination grip his member again and pull with furious force as she continued, “YOU DESTROYED LIVES FOR PROFIT. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU SAW US, BUT NOT TRULY.”
Leo’s mind flashed with images of the charred waiter, of all those victims, of deals signed and delivered that he knew, deep down, would cost lives. He saw himself celebrating while drenched in blood.
Leo screamed as his penis was torn free in a bloody haze then thrown across the room. He heard it slap against the window.
“TONIGHT, YOU ALL PAY.”
“BUT FIRST...WE PLAY.”
Leo lacked any strength to scream as he watched Natalia’s death self, open her mouth impossibly wide. He could hear her jaw snapping before seeing small hands emerge, little fingers curled around the corners of her mouth.
Leo felt his heart empty as he started to weep, “I don’t want to play...” he groaned.
What was left of Natalia threw herself on him, her head splitting ever wider from the mouth, her eyes running down what remained of her cheeks, “BUT DARLING, FOR GOD’S SAKE. IT’S FUCKING CHRISTMAS."