Liam

Nick Lachmund

Deakin University

No sign of the Evil Overlord tonight. It might be my night tonight. The Dwarf Princess is missing as well. She’s probably hiding in the Enchanted Woods again. She has always been better at hiding than me. It looks like it’s just the Wicked Enchantress and me tonight. Definitely my kind of night!

She almost traps me in the Underworld Gardens, the Mooreland Maze to be exact. I narrowly escape her clutches and flee to my private lair. She wouldn’t dare enter my lair! Or so I thought.

She enters without warning; but I’m ready. My hit-points are free and I take her onslaught before dishing out my own. She has no answer. She is defeated. I am the victor of the night. Without the Evil Overlord I am the strongest. Soon I will be strongest of all.

 

The first day of the school year is a bit stressful for all students. But no group feels the pressure of the first day more than the school transferee.

The Year 9 class went silent as the unfamiliar face entered the room. Liam had a frown for all to see. It was as if he was trying to tell all and sundry that he was not one to be messed with. His eyes were fixed on the ground about two metres in front of him. The teacher, a kind middle aged woman with grey hair named Ms Winterborn greeted him warmly. He barely looked up.

She motioned to an empty seat in the second row. Liam’s eyes left the floor and quickly surveyed the room. He saw no competition as the biggest kid in the room. He was probably the tallest by a few centimetres and certainly the heaviest. He wasn’t all fat mind you. He was built like a rugby player. Big, thick neck above a strong body. He believed he would come to dominate this class.

The Overlord is definitely present tonight. I can sense him, even if I can’t see him. The Princess is nowhere to be seen again. I don’t know if she’s hiding or the Overlord has already found her. I try to hide. I use the Princess’ favourite hideout in the Enchanted Woods. I know it won’t last. The Overlord is too wise for it.

I eventually make a move. I try to enter my lair. I pass the Enchantress, already slain. As I get near I see him. He still has hit-points that dominate mine. I stand no chance. I am left with two options. Submit completely or fight pointlessly. The end result will be the same.

Just two weeks in and Liam had already made a bad name for himself with the teachers. That is, all teachers except for Miss Jenkins. Liam would sit still in her class. Listen in her class. Be polite in her class. Try and answer questions in her class. In fact, he would do everything in her class that he refused to do in the others. Miss Jenkins was young, only 24. She was a single, attractive young woman with dark auburn hair and an athletic body. It made sense that many a young schoolboy would listen in her class.

In the school yard Liam was always alone. He would eat alone. He would play alone. He would attack other kids alone. He liked attacking other kids. Especially the girls. He would hold them up against a wall and tell them that if they told anyone about what he did, he would come to their house and kill their mums. They didn’t know him, so they didn’t know what he was capable of. He would then touch the girls. Not under the clothes, just over the top. He would then make his way to a toilet stall to relieve his tension.

Usually my hit points come back stronger after each attack from the Overlord. By the next night I am ahead of where I started. But this time my points didn’t quite come back. His attack was ruthless, the worst one yet. I haven’t seen him yet tonight and I hope this continues. I’m even more vulnerable than usual. I now know that the Princess also felt the fury of the Overlord last night.

But for tonight I’m seeking my revenge on the Enchantress. She made no effort to join my resistance from the Overlord. She never has. I have gone from being hunted by her, to hunting her. The feeling makes me smile. I find her in her lair. I don’t think she believed I would enter her lair but I am strong enough now. I do my worst (or best) to her. The pleasure of the experience is unlike any I have felt before. I don’t think the Enchantress can believe I am this strong.

Liam’s attendance had always been an issue. The principal had written letters and made phone calls with no result. It seemed as if Liam’s parents weren’t interested in his education. The principal, a balding man in his late 60s named Paul Rogers asked Miss Jenkins to talk to Liam. It was no secret that Liam had taken a shining to Miss ‘J’.

Miss Jenkins asked Liam to stay after class. When the other kids left the room she shut the door. She asked if everything was okay at home. Liam said it was. She told Liam that he could talk to her about anything at all that was troubling him. He said there was nothing to talk about. They spent an uncomfortably long time in silence. The Liam asked if he could go. Miss Jenkins nodded.

Tonight is the night. The conquering of the Enchantress has filled me with strength and confidence. Tonight is the night I take on the Overlord. The Overlord never seems to have realised that eventually, my hit-points will outmatch his. Tonight is the night I prove myself.

I lie in wait for the Overlord to enter my lair. I know that if I stay quiet he’ll come looking for me in here eventually. He enters. I’m on him in a flash. He didn’t anticipate my surprise attack. A sign of his arrogance. I win the battle easily. I could end it quickly. But that’s not his style, so I don’t think it can be mine. I end the battle in a brutal manner, similar to the way he ended many a battle with me. I take it one step further, to finally prove my position. I am the new Overlord. Now I will find the Enchantress and the Princess and show them.

Liam didn’t come to school one day in term two. This was no shock. He missed a lot of school. Then he missed another. Still no battered eye lids. A third, fourth, fifth and sixth day followed. By this point Mr Rogers was becoming worried. He tried the home phone. No answer. He tried the mobiles. Both disconnected. Eventually, he called the Police. A short time later, the police arrived.  A short time after that, Mr Rogers asked for Miss Jenkins to be pulled out of class and sent to his office.

Mr Rogers had told the police that Miss Jenkins was the closest thing to a friend that Liam had had at school. They knew it was a long shot, but maybe having someone who knew Liam look at the house might answer some questions. Miss Jenkins told them she would do anything she could to help. The shock of what they told her previously had left her numb. The house reminded Miss Jenkins of the house in ‘Mr Messy’, a book she would read to her niece sometimes. The lawn was overgrown. Cardboard boxes covered the broken front window. The letterbox was on its side.

The crime scene was almost as it had been before the police arrived. Only the bodies had been removed. They took Miss Jenkins through two of the bedrooms. The officers uttered the name of one of the parents as they went into each room. Then they walked through the lounge room and into the back yard. Miss Jenkins was surprised at the size of the yard. It didn’t look that big from the street. A thick bush lead to a line of trees. One of the officers pointed to a tree and said that they think the sister was hiding behind the tree when he found her.

Miss Jenkins had to excuse herself so she could quietly vomit in a corner of the yard. When she rejoined the officers they lead her back inside. They took her into the basement. The basement was unusual. It was filled with plastic plants. But the plants did not capture Miss Jenkins’ eyes. It was the blood splatter over the whitegoods. The officers didn’t have to tell her who died here. Deductive logic made it clear. She moved closer to the blood. An officer reached out to stop her but she waved him away. About a metre away she fell to her knees and began to sob. She was being helped up when she looked back at the splatter. For no apparent reason she noticed the brand of the appliances. It was one she’d never heard of, Mooreland. She continued to sob.

***

Nick Lachmund is a 29-year-old Arts student who lives in Geelong with his wife, Kate and his two children, Michael and Hannah (aged 5 and 3). He has been studying part-time, off-campus for the last two years. Nick has always had a strong interest in writing and has consistently been writing since high school but this is his first attempt at entering a story in a competition.