Sound effects of children's voices reverberated along the empty wood paneled corridors, the effect was disconcerting. But much of what Dennison had seen he had found troubling-if not in actuality, then in its more subtle aspects.
As master of ceremonies in this unusual world MacGregor seemed altogether too comfortable, he seemed to take a salacious delight in the details that made the island so alarming.
MacGregor stopped abruptly, nodded toward a classroom door. Peering in Dennison was shocked to see a room full of children, of about 8 years of age, facing a blackboard.
"Jesus, Children? You have children here?"
MacGregor pushed open the door, ushered Dennison in. The sound of a times table chant issued from speakers on the wall. Dennison approached the nearest child, a boy; blonde-it was a mannequin, a remarkably detailed mannequin.
Dennison turned to MacGregor, who smiled, eyes that trapped the light like water at the bottom of a well.
"Yes, they are rather good aren't they? They seem to fulfill their function-"
"And what is that?" Most of the colour had drained from Dennison's face.
"Well we are attempting to be pragmatic here; we can no more wish away their predilections than we can wish their victims better."
"So these, these things-" Dennison spat the word out, "-are meant to substitute for real children?" Dennison felt confined, suffocated.
MacGregor nodded. "I told you, we believe them to be incurable, treatment is a waste of resources. Here they can be what they are, without the risk to the rest of us. Did I tell you these models are anatomically correct? They even scream..."
Outside, against a wall, MacGregor discovered Dennison.
"Ah, there you are. Wouldn't you like to see the gymnasium? That's where the more experimental work is done, some of it is rather Bellmer-esque, and as some of the residents have homicidal and sadistic tendencies it seemed that we should take that into account-admittedly the repair bill can be rather high, especially with the animatronic models..."
"I really think I have seen enough..."
5. An Ending
The helicopter dipped momentarily as it lifted from the island, from the window Dennison saw figures watching.
"What do you think of our little project?"
Dennison looked at the sea, speeding past beneath, fragmented waves catching the glow of a sun building up to set.
"I don't know, you say they are incurable, that treatment is pointless, you cannot execute them, I don't know..." Dennison shook his head.
"Maybe we will find that paedophilia is a step to somewhere else, rape may well be part of an evolution, maybe here we will find out where it leads..."
Dennison felt a chill. He didn't know for certain but suspected there might be more to this than protecting society. Maybe a military experiment? Dennison felt icy claws tighten about his insides...MacGregor was whistling 'The world is a circle' from Lost Horizon.
Fiction - The Death and Birth and Death of a Legend By Bob Spence
Goober liked to be busy. Some people could handle doing nothing, not Goober Walton.
Running the tidy but ancient gasoline concession suited. Suited well.
It was orderly and everything clearly had its place.
Some would say it looked almost military in its order and for that it
Fiction - Feller's in Cut By Maurice Fairfield
Well that's her gone. You don't remember me do you?
I'll have a pint while you're thinking about it.
It's me Jack, Harry Fergus's son. Here for the funeral.
Thought I'd see her get put under. Not sure why.
It's always a laugh though, watching a parson doing a
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Nine By Steve Rudd
Life is a race against time, didn't you know? Sometimes I'm worn out by my own energy, but as we four
walked first towards Langtang, right on through the cosy cluster of weather-beaten buildings and
then so far past the village that even the strangely surreal
Fiction - Fishheads By Michelle Dee
Monstrous silver and blue -green severed fish heads emerged at the forefront of her mind.
Open, close, open, close the gaping mouths. She fancied there were others behind it.
Each time the razor sharp teeth were bared she looked into the blacker than
Fiction - Firm but Fair By Mark Pollard
Cry-Baby Jim Breaks. He pioneered it, they say.
And the hushed, almost ecclesiastical tones of Ken Walton had heralded it's
entry into Saturday afternoon folklore: the bright lights of
Blackpool and Great Yarmouth, down to the lesser reputes of Ilfracombe and
Skegness had all borne witness
Fiction - Puzzles By Denis Price
I've got a really nice room, when the door's closed I feel ever so safe and warm. It's quiet as well,
just the swish of the wind in the trees outside. I like the trees; they hide the big tall fence.
My watchers say the fence is there to keep me safe, and that's their job too, they're always there
Fiction - COLD WAR TALES- THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS By Denis Price
The piercing insistent wail of the siren woke him. `For Christ`s sake now what!` Over the tannoy the
smooth expensive voice intoned languidly that this was only a drill and that all personnel
should continue with their normal duties.
He groaned and thought, this is my normal
Fiction - Scrawls Of The Unexpected By Mark Pollard
Professor Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the Beagle II programme, was calm but well pissed off
inside. He had been clinging to the idea that his £35 million Mars Probe was stuck in a crater,
waiting for some narrow rays of sunlight to banish the shade for a few precious hours each day
in order that
Fiction - A Short Story - The Beaver Stalker By The J.E.M. Cult
I stepped out into the cold frosty air.
I pulled my muffler tighter round my hands and crunched across the frozen grass. Today was the first day of the beaver season- and by golly, I was sure gonna get me one.
I love beavers. I can't help it. There's just something about stroking that damp fur that sends me
Fiction - The Art Of Being Alone In A Crowded Bar By Rich Mills
What music are you into, man? The American exchange student who had earlier introduced himself, without any regard for Jean-Paul's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball of a question in his direction.
Well I listen to... What followed was a definitive list of bands from Jean-Paul's wide ranging rare vinyl
Fiction - Old Tired & Completely Rucked By Martin Dale
Of course, I used to be big league me. Right up there with the bigwigs I was. Every game I'd be out there, working my socks off for the club.
I'd be at the bottom of every ruck, in the thick of every maul, I'd cover more of the pitch than anyone else on the team.
Pretty good really, now that I come to think about it,
Fiction - From a Spirited Beginning By Martin Dale
My earliest memory? Isolation.
Being small, vulnerable, completely alone. I was surrounded by seemingly alien life, one with the life, but at the same time different, distinct. I came from this being, but I was no longer completely a part of it. I had a separate consciousness. No. Not yet. That was to come. At that time it was only an instinct.
Fiction - A Man with Two Horses By Lazyswede
I met a man today that had two horses, but he could not get the horses to go the way he wanted them to. The gray mare wanted to take the footpath to the left and the old chestnut mare wanted to take the footpath to the right, while the man wanted to go back the way he came because he knew he would be late for his dinner if he took either of the other two paths.
Fiction - Halloween - One For The Road
by Nicholas Boldock
Jason Travis tip-tapped the steering wheel in time to the music blaring from the car's speakers. He glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard - 16:53. The sky was darkening, even at this early summer hour, not as a result of the setting sun but brought about by the lumbering grey rain clouds overhead.