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A moment of shared passion two years ago. A secret that must not get out. A secret that it is worth dying for?
George Garson seems to have it all: outrageous good looks. a pretty girlfriend, a gang of boys who obey his every command, a quick and intelligent mind that ensures that he does not have to work hard at school. Life seems perfect. He has worked hard to make it so. However, when George discovers that his best friend Jamie is gay and not only that but in love with George, his perfect world comes tumbling down. He responds by maiking Jamie's life a misery of bullying and pain. But is does nothing to lessen his confusion. Memories of a summer two years earlier begin to haunt George's mind. A secret that he has kept so well he has almost managed to convince himself that it had never happened. Now he feels that he cannot escape the past. All the things that has fought so hard to hide start to reappear. He knows that the most important thing is to ensure that the secret of that summer does not get out. He will go to horrific lengths to ensure that this is the case. As events build to their bloody and violent conclusion, can any boy survive?
The solitary noise was the cold, harsh beep of the life-support machine. Given that it was supposed to signify the continuance of life, it was strangely alien and mechanical. It was slowly, certainly, torturing Alison Lodge, tearing at her nerve endings: shredding them. That was it; she was being shredded: torn apart. Long dramatic fingernails. That was what the noise was like; drawing blood, breaking skin. It would not be happy until her body was broken and bleeding, in perfect correlation with the boy in the bed: dying.
Of course, no wishing for it to stop. Obviously not. However, the sound, and the expectation of its stopping, it hung in the air like a noxious smell. Impossible to ignore, it infiltrated everything. It was in her clothes, her hair, like sitting in a fog, dampness clinging to every single fibre. Impossible to think of anything else. She was alone in the room but even if someone had been there, conversation would have been unachievable.
Of course, not actually alone. Reminded herself of that. A mantra of a sort. Life was present yet. The Boy in the Bed. That was how she thought of it. Capitals representing: this was now his name. Separating him from his former self.
Of course, this was the very reason she was here. Barely human, neither dead nor alive: neither one thing nor the other: in-between realities. It was hard to imagine any life left in him. He looked so empty, no trace of the anger, the energy that had brought him here. She watched his chest rise and fall, slow and regular, mesmerised by the only movement in the desperate stillness. If not for the skin-shredding beep, it might be possible to imagine the normality of sleep. Alison made herself focus on the breathing, the hands at the sides, the shape of his body in the sheets, deliberately did not look at the ruin of his face. She did not allow herself to think of the jagged wounds hidden by the sheets but they existed nonetheless, the cause of blood loss, the cause of sleeping. They shattered any illusion of peace.