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There’s always lemonade for sale in Doolemay Street, whether it be rain, hail, or shine.
We’ve advanced far from the time of lemonade stands, but if you look hard at the home printed sign, you’ll find that you can buy four cups of lemonade and three homemade choc-chip cookies for only 50 cents. It’s a bargain nowadays, but no one stops to buy any.
No one in the right mind – particularly locals – venture up Doolemay Street. It is a cul-de-sac, but the "No through" sign has been missing for twenty years or so. Some folks think it was a dare, others think it just magically disappeared. Even so, the locals call this place Dead End road. No one really speaks of it, even after the fifty or so years that have passed since the Big Event. According to my friend Alfie Coombes - who’s been working for the council for over ten years - the place has been on the condemned list for more than four decades... but no one’s been game to get a wrecking ball near the place.
On a fine day, you can see about three excuses of a house up there, though the street goes a fair way up. No one can ever see the houses properly without actually driving up there, and the walking option hasn’t been taken in over thirty years. No criminals are game enough to go there. Hell, even pot growers don’t. Mostly, it’s covered in a thick patch of dead guinea grass and even deader trees - even after a solid rain, and after monsoon. There is a bit of an odd air about it, and an even odder history. I’m going to tell you a story, a legend, I guess, that goes around. I don’t know when it started - only that it’s been around longer than I’ve been around.
The summer of 1960, somewhere in December...
Back when the rotting skeletons of houses still had flesh on their aching frames, the summers were bright and happy up in Doolemay. Back then, it was still called Doole Street, and it had about twenty families living up there. It was the happiest street in the suburb, and there was always little Fiona Fischer and her little brother Sammy selling lemonade after school. With fifty cents, you could buy yourself four cups of lemonade and three homemade choc-chip cookies. But little Fi and Sammy had rivals just up the street at ’15, and they had to keep adjusting their prices. The fraternal twins, Andreas and Eleanor Erlandsson, ran the show up there. They were cruel, mean, and they were teenagers. Today, they were nowhere to be seen. Today, they were probably hitting the bitumen; probably in their packs, ready to haunt the primary schoolers on their return from school.
Eleanor and Andreas were gutless, and it seemed to be a bit of a pastime; a hobby. Rumour had it that Andreas and Eleanor were sick "up there." Fi and Sammy and most of the other primary schoolers hadn’t an idea what ‘sick up there’ meant, but they all had a feeling that it wasn’t like a tummy ache. At school, most of the primary schoolers spent the day formulating plans to outrun who they called the "Twinschoolers," also known as "the high schoolers." The twins preferred a sinister name: The burning angels.
Well, on that particular afternoon, on that particular day, Eleanor was nowhere to be seen when Sammy and his sister were going home. They had a little plan already- they were sick of being beat up. Sammy had a funny feeling that Eleanor was toying.
“Fiona... I think they’re watching...”
Fi looked at her younger brother, his eyes wide and innocent. “Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t.”
“I don’t like their version of business, Fi.”
“Nobody does. Sally said that they put cooties in their cookies.”
Little Sammy’s brown eyes got wider. “Cooties? They are mean to their customers as well?”
“Oh, apparently they are. I heard mummy say that Andreas killed a wabbit with his .22 yesterday. He’s gonna be grounded for the rest of the year.”
“That’s right,” said a sneering voice from behind them.
Sammy turned around, his eyes bulging in the sockets. His sister grabbed his hand, ready to hurl him to safety.
“Oh, it the Fischers… the Fischers… God, don’t they smell like rotting fish today? Probably been fishing in their cess pools. How disgusting.” Andreas said, from somewhere in front of them.
Sammy looked around him, to see if the other primary schoolers were near.
“No, Sammy boy. It’s just you two and us.”
Fiona leaned in towards her brother, trying not to take her eyes of either Erlandsson. “Remember the plan, Sam.”
Sam exchanged a worried look with his older sister.
Andreas walked forward and slowly flicked Sam in the face. “You have soft cheeks. You’re a little softy. Your mum’s been looking after you too well. You better not tell your parents about us. Or we’ll burn you two up.”
Eleanor felt something snap within her, and was suddenly consumed by a wish to hurt Fi more. She approached, relishing in the sight of fear, and slapped Fi hard. “And why don’t you two brats stop selling your stupid glasses of rubbish lemonade? Our little biz is just gonna wipe you out slowly… and painfully…”
“Yeah,” Andreas agreed, “How many times do you have to be asked?”
“Well that depends, dipshit.” Fi shot back. She felt the oddness of such an adult word suddenly power her. Somehow, it was fuelling her hate and frustration. Today was the last day. She was only eleven, but they deserved it. She had a plan, and they’d had it coming.
Andreas looked stunned for a moment, but it dissolved within two seconds. “Dipshit? Are you sure you know what that means?”
“I don’t need to know what it means to insult you two. You only know how to swearlanguage. So, I’ll drop to your level for a decent conversation. You have an IQ of zero and can’t make lemonade. And to answer your last question, no. I don’t know how many times it will take for us to stop. Obviously you find it hard to process the word, stop, as well. You’re stupid.”
Eleanor’s eyes widened. “You wanna play debates? Sorry though, I don’t have time for that fucking bullshit."
Fiona tugged her brother and darted around Andreas. They were only fifty metres away from home. Their parents wouldn’t be back until 5.00, but they could lock the house. Hell, they would lock the house. Eleanor spun on the spot, her icy blue eyes registering every movement with a scary accuracy. She produced a pocket knife from her pocket, as Andreas produced a long piece of wire and grinned.
Fiona didn’t want to know what he’d do with it.
Sammy ran as fast as his little legs would carry him. Fiona gave up halfway and dropped her backpack. Eleanor, who was not far behind, tripped. Andreas was running close by, and she heard him trip over Eleanor. Sammy risked a glance behind them and smiled softly. They were almost out of the woods, and only ten metres from the house.
Fi smiled back at her brother. “Drop your bag, Sam. We’ve gotta make sure we get there faster.” Sam gave a slight nod and tried to shoulder it off. His breaths were quick and sharp. Fi slowed down, ready to grasp it and sling it at the twins. They just had to run for another few metres and unlock the door.
“Ok Sammy, when you get your bag off, throw it at them while I open the door.”
Fi turned and ran for the door. She dug into her pocket, produced a key and shakily tried to slot it in. For some reason, she kept missing. She he heard a sharp cry of pain and the sound of backpack on concrete. Suddenly her brother was beside her, screaming. “Open the door!” Fi slotted it in and twisted it, but it was too late. She felt two hard hands squeeze into her shoulders like claws. They hauled her along the pavement, and she vaguely felt the abrasive texture of sand against her legs. She peered up and saw a pocket knife.
Fiona screamed, before her vision dissolved to black.
Fi woke to the sound of a high pitched wail. She was somewhere in the bush, and her arms were tied behind her back. Andreas was standing in front of her brother, and Eleanor was holding him down.
“Oh, little Sammy… little privileged Sammy…” Andreas was saying, a wicked grin on his face.
Sammy’s eyes were wide, and he was screaming. “What? Lemme 'lone!”
Eleanor turned and looked at Fi. “Oh!” she squealed in delight. Her dark hair was pushed from her face in a ponytail while her icy eyes bored into her. “Our little patient is awake!”
Andreas grinned, his appearance much the same. Both had scraped knees. “You know what, Fiona? I hate scraped knees. I hate getting… violated, by a little kid even more. And you know what happens to bad kids?”
Andreas waited for a response. Fiona only shook her head.
“They… get… punished!” Eleanor said, savouring each word as her eyes radiated an electrical blue. She looked like a kid at Christmas.
“Now that you’re finally awake, I can do a live demonstration. And I'll even have an audience! Don’t worry, I’ve got enough experience…” he gestured to a small heap of bones near a rotting tree stump. He grinned while Eleanor made her way to a screaming Sammy.
She fished out her pocket knife and pulled out all of the tools slowly while she spoke, “You know the funny thing, Fiona? We’re actually not far from the street. People just don’t like getting involved, you know… It’s quite a shame.”
Andreas produced a piece of thick wire. “You know what, Sammy boy? You don’t actually need sharp blades or guns to have fun.” They started to laugh hysterically, as if it was an extremely amusing joke.
“Leave my brother alone!” Fiona screamed, observing disappointedly as the twins laughed harder.
Andreas grinned and wiped away a tear. “You wait... I have something you will really enjoy. It’s called a live demonstration!”
Eleanor’s eyes sparkled at that, and she fished out the scissor tool. “I wonder what this does?”
She snicked to herself and drove it deep into Sammy’s nostril and snipped, like she was just cutting a piece of paper. Sammy screeched and tears sprung to his eyes. Blood dripped down his cut nose, and formed a little pool on the grass.
Andreas shook his head, and looked at Fiona accusingly. “I don’t think that’s quite enough. We need to fix him up. This is going to be quite a complicated procedure. You see, he’s a brat, and I don’t think he’s going to make it through.”
Fiona screamed one last time before Eleanor slapped her again and taper her mouth up. Eleanor smiled and brought out a polaroid camera. “I got this just in case you miss out on anything.”
Andreas got his wire and lightly scratched Sammy’s leg. His thin lips started quivering as he gradually drove it deep into Sammy’s leg. He eventually twisted it to make sure Sammy screamed to new heights. Eleanor got to work on Sammy’s finger nails with a pair of pliers. All the while, Sammy screamed helplessly.
Within half an hour, Sammy’s right leg was unrecognisable. Blood had formed a large pool around his frail body. He was losing consciousness in five minute intervals. All the while, Eleanor was taking polaroids and helping out. Andreas was grinning in wicked glee.
Within an hour, both legs were roughly hacked off at the knees. Andreas had used an old pruning saw. Now, he was running his fingers up the limb as if it were a precious nugget of gold. He peered closely at the ragged flesh, paused, and licked. Blood coated the sides of his mouth.
Within two hours, he was dead. They had dug the wire into his stomach and had dissected him alive with whatever they could find. Halfway through dissecting his intestine, Andreas had gouged out both eyes with his bare hands. Then he had thrown the squishy remnants of them at Fiona, his eyes ablaze with curiosity and excitement.
After he was done with that, he hacked off the head and sawed at the skull, eventually producing Sammy’s warm, greyish brain. He brought the top of Sammy’s skull and placed it on his sister’s head. Eleanor looked delighted, and paused to capture a self portrait on a polaroid. Andreas dug into the skull, levering the brain out with his bare hands.
"Do you like some A la carte brat brains?" Andreas offered, as he ripped the tape from Fiona’s mouth. He shoved pieces of it onto Fiona’s lips, succeeding to get some of it down her throat. By 8:00 PM, she had eaten his heart, some of his arm tissue and parts of his leg and cheek. All the while her parents and neighbours were in the distance somewhere, probably shouting. Hopefully, Fiona thought to herself, they would find her.
By 9:00 a swarm of people were searching with torches in the bush. The police had arrived. They were behind a ridge, and were unable to see the torches of Andreas and Eleanor. The twins didn’t seem too worried. Andreas produced a knife and slit Fiona free from her bonds. He took hold of both arms as soon as her arms were free and dragged her behind him. She was at their house by 9:30, and their parents were nowhere to be found.
By 10:30 PM, Fiona was dead. They had decided to hack off both arms with a rusty old saw and test the "death of a thousand cuts" theory on her. She died with hate, despair, and anger. Mostly, she was frustrated. But she was not afraid of them anymore.
No one ever found out what really happened. Everyone in the town thought it was a grown man, a grown sadist who was responsible for the deaths of two children. Nobody really knows why they can still hear the sound of screaming from that street at about 10:30 every night. Nobody knows why there is always lemonade for sale, and never anyone to serve it.
Nobody knows why the entire Erlandsson family disappeared out of thin air on that day. They haven’t been seen since, and were presumed dead by the police. Nobody knows why every time anyone ever walks down that street, they feel fear, sadness and torment around every corner.
Since that event, stories go around at night, and every young kid of around ages five to eleven knows best. Check under your bed, look in your closet, and bloody hell make sure you don’t have a monster waiting for you in there.
Who knows? You might meet them one day.