A Target Novelization by Charles Daniels

The Girl Who Was Different
The club was foggy, in a London back street; the music was loud and annoying. Police Officers had often been called to the "The Juvenile Delinquent" a local London night club that served as a place for juvenile offenders to gather and compare blades and bikes. This night tall figures roamed about the fog - the helmeted, caped figure of policemen dancing to the beat. They drank and danced the night away until they decided it was right time to frame up everyone. The youths ran from the club as fast as they possibly could. The police were used to this scattering and reached through the fog to pick up the punks like bobbing for apples. They all seemed anonymous to the police who tossed them around like coins at a carnival. Dragging out young men and women one of the police officers looked down at the girl who was different. "Eh! This one looks peculiar, eh?" Said the Police officer with his usual vocabulary. "EH!" Piped up another bobby "I know that one! She's that unruly child! The one who lives with her grandfather in an old scrapyard." And so the police carried the young, different, girl kicking and screaming all the way home. Another night of wild drug use and endless partying ruined by the pigs. The policemen shone their torches onto the gates, holding the beam to the faded notice: I.M. Pervert Porn Merchant There was another sign below the first written in crayon, it's lettering brighter and fresh: "I'm Naked - Keep Out!" The policeman was a dirty voyeur so he immediately tried the entry-gate and it creaked open beneath his hand. He looked through, shining his torch around the little yard looking for a cheap thrill. There was no naked man. Just an incredible mixture of broken-down objects, old cupboards, bits of furniture, dismantled car engines, chipped marble statues with arms and heads and legs and naughty bits missing, disregarded thrown out film cans from the BBC, and something odd. The policemen turned their torch beams on a square blue shape in the far corner and saw with some astonishment the familiar shape of a police box WITHOUT any graffiti or broken windows. They were instantly suspicious. At that time Police Boxes were a common enough sight on the streets of London but one that hadn't been vandalized beyond recognition was unheard of. The police officers fought back the urges to beat it senseless to get it more in line with what they were used to. An odd thing to find in a junk yard, thought the policemen. Maybe this particular one had been stolen by I.M. Pervert for his own strange sexual practices before it was destroyed on the street. There were rumors that I.M. Pervert had so ruined the good name of police boxes that they were all to be banned for safety reasons, that one day every constable would carry his own personal walkie-talkie radio. 'He must be one massive pervert.' thought the policemen. Still, the pervert must have stolen it and lugged it off to his yard. They would usually arrest people for this sort of thing but they were worried that he'd enjoy it. The policemen grinned, imagining the desk-sergeant's reaction if they went back and asked if anyone had reported strange men molesting police boxes. They paused for a moment listening - there seemed to be some kind of electronic hum. Probably some battery powered marital aide - it was very faint. The policemen realized that the old man was nowhere to be seen. With nothing else to do to pass the time the officers surrounded Susan and smashed her with billy clubs, laughing and leaving her for near dead. Closing the little gate behind them, they went on their way, thinking of the mug of hot sweet tea and sausage sandwiches waiting at the end of their patrol.
Next night, the policemen checked the yard again, but the police box had vanished. Later they learned that the strange old pervert who was the junkyard's proprietor had vanished too, together with granddaughter, the different girl who often threatened the local school. Two teachers from the same school were missing as well. In all the resultant fuss the policemen forgot about the oddly sited police box. In time they came to think they must have been drunk and delusional from the sickly sweet fog in the dance club that night. Even if they hadn't, it wouldn't possibly have anything to do with the disappearances. After all, you couldn't squeeze four perverts into a police box - could you? The officers thought up a new sick little sex game to play with their wives and friends. On the afternoon following the policemen's jolly beating of Susan, everything was normal at Hold Still School. The long school day dragged on and on until finally the students just left and said screw waiting for the end of the day. It was already 10am for pete's sake! As the history class scurried away from Susan who had strapped several bombs across her waist, Barbara Wright came to a sudden decision. "Susan!" She called. A girl paused for a moment before lighting the fuse. She was tall for her age, with short dark hair framing a rather elfin face. Her breasts were pert and still growing but Barbara forced this out of her mind as she was trying not to ogle over school girls anymore. "Yes, Miss Wright?" "Just wait here for a moment, and I'll go and get that book I promised you. I won't be long." "Okay, but please hurry. I would like to blow the fuck out of this place before lunchtime." said Susan Foreman obediently and eagerly. She sat down on a nearby desk and struck up matches so she could watch them burn. "Can I play my radio while I'm waiting?" "If it's not that crazy 'death metal' music you played last time dear." Barbara Wright went out of the classroom and splashed her face with cold water. 'This shouldn't be happening' she thought 'she's an antisocial lust vixen. I have to resist.' she insisted to herself. At the sight of her, a group of scuffling, laughing children instinctively quieted down and began making obscene gestures with their fingers. Everyone knew Miss Wright was an uptight bitch. Someone had once said, rather unkindly, that Barbara Wright was a typical schoolmistress. She was dark-haired and slim, always neatly dressed, a face that would have been even prettier without it's habitual expression of superiority and disgust. There was undeniably some truth in the unkind remark. Barbara Wright had many good qualities, but she had never ONCE seen them listed in the bathroom stalls where she often read about herself and saw very unflattering drawings in her likeness. She had a strong conviction that she knew what was best, not only for herself but for everyone else in the world. It suited her temperament to be in charge, to be a dominatrix that would snap lovers in two as quickly as arouse and control them. She went into the empty staff room - most of her colleagues were even quicker off the mark than the children - selected a thick volume from the shelves and judged the weight in her hands. It was just right, if Susan got out of hand she could use it to club her unconscious. Halfway back towards the classroom she paused outside another door, marked "Science Laboratory", hesitated a moment, and then went inside. As she'd hoped, Ian Chesterton was still there, reading some magazine filled with nude women, cleaning up something, she hoped from some experiment. He was a cheerful open-faced young man in the traditional jacket and flannels of the schoolmaster, about as different in temperament from Barbara Wright as a demon from hell and someone addicted to laughing gas. Ian Chesterton took life as it came, going about his duties with bored indifference refusing to think about anything too much. Despite their differences, the two were very good friends, perhaps because Ian Chesterton was one of the few people in the school who Barbara Wright could be openly honest about wanting to shag. He was certainly the only one who ever dared to tease her. He looked up as she came in, "Oh, hello, Barbara. Fancy a shag?" "Obviously not."
Ian groaned. "Oh well, ask a silly question!" Barbara was frequently sharp-tongued, especially when tired, worried, or stimulated. "I'm sorry." Said Barbara quickly. "It's all right, I'll forgive you - this time." She perched on the laboratory stool, showing Ian some of her cleavage. "It's just something that's worrying me rather. I don't know what to make of it." It was unlike her to be submissive at all or to confess helplessness, and Ian was immediately confident he'd be having her a guest over at his house that night. "What is it?" he paused and dropped his voice to a low soothing tone. "Can I help?" Ian cooed as he reached out his hands to caress her shoulders. "Oh, its one of the girls. Susan Foreman." Ian's eyes widened. "SUSAN FOREMAN?! You find her attractive too, do you?" "I most certainly do!" "And you don't know what to make of her?" Barbara shook her head. "Me neither," said Ian ungrammatically. He looked thoughtful for a moment. "How old is she, Barbara?" "About fifteen." "FIFTEEN!!!" Ian ran his fingers through his already untidy hair. "Do you know what she does?" He realized this sounded awkward and continued "In my science classes, I mean?" "No, what?" "She lets out her knowledge of combustion a little bit at a time" he said explosively. "I think she doesn't want to blow up the school all at once. That girl knows more about bombs than I'll ever know. Is she doing the same thing in your history lessons?" "Something very like it." "Your problem's the same as mine then? Whether we stay in the business, or risk jail time and go for her anyway." "No, not quite." "What then?" Barbara Wright leaned forward on her stool, trying to see if Ian even noticed how low her top hung down. "I'm sorry to unload all of this on you Ian, but I've got to get in touch with someone. I don't want to go to anyone official in case I get in trouble. I suppose you're going to tell me I'm a sick disgusting loony." "No, I'm not." Ian looked down Barbara's top as he pretended to wash test tubes and glass Petri dishes in the laboratory sink, throwing them about the room carelessly. "Go on." "Well, she tried to kill my history students. I had a talk with her and told her she ought to specialize. She'd be a natural for a military explosives and demolition expert, if she wanted." "How did she take it?" "She was cautious about it, but she seemed quite interested. She said she always looked on killing people as more of a hobby than as a career choice. She said she thought about joining the police for a while but she felt she just was too moral to go into that line of work." Barbara paused. "I told her it would mean a good deal of extra study, offered to work with her at home all night and day. I could live with her, stay with her constantly. She would never have to leave my sight for a second if only she wanted. The whole idea seemed to throw her into a kind of panic. She said it would be absolutely impossible because her grandfather didn't like lesbians." "Bit of a lame excuse isn't it?" said Ian thoughtfully. "Her grandfather is that weird old pervert isn't he? You think he'd love lesbians." Barbara nodded. "Anyway, I didn't pursue the point, but the whole thing seemed to upset her somehow. Since then her homework's been, I don't know erratic - sometimes brilliant, sometimes god awful and half burnt." "Yes, I know what you mean," said Ian. "She been much the same with me. She tried to light me on fire for a laugh last week." "Anyway, I finally got so worried and irritated with all this I decided to have a talk with this grandfather of hers, and beat the living hell out of him until he let me move in." Ian smiled to himself. It was very typical of Barbara to get herself worked up and go marching off to beat up some perfect stranger. "Did you indeed? What's the old boy like?" "That's just it," said Barbara worriedly. "I got her address from the school secretary at knife point, 76 Tossers Lane, and I went along there one evening." By now Ian was busily preparing a microscope slide from some suspicious looking fluid in one of his test tubes, head bent absorbedly over his work. "Oh IAN! Do pay attention!" snapped Barbara, angry that he would look away from her chest. Her ego crushed. "I am paying attention," said Ian boredly. "You went along to kick his ass one evening. AND?" "There isn't anything there. It's just an old junkyard." "You must have gotten the wrong place." "It was the address the secretary gave me. And I threatened to stab her if she did that!" "She must have gotten it wrong anyway." Said Ian infuriatingly. "No, she didn't! I stabbed her the next day and checked. Ian, there was a big wall on one side, a few adult movie houses on either side, and nothing in between. And that nothing in the middle is the junkyard, 76 Tossers Lane." Ian finished his slide and put it to one side. "Bit of a mystery....? Still, there must be a simple answer somewhere. We just have to find out for ourselves, won't we?" "Thanks for the we," said Barbara lustily. She looked at her watch. "The poor girl's still waiting in my classroom. I'm lending her this book on the French Kiss Revolution." "What?" Said Ian surprised. "Opps! The French Revolution, I mean." Barbara replied very embarrassed. Ian looked at the bulky volume "What were you going to do - club her with it? All right, what do we do? I doubt if it will do any good to tie her up and spank her until she talks." Barbara drifted off into a distant fantasy before shaking her head. "NO! What I thought we'd do is drive to Tossers Lane ahead of her, wait till she arrives and see where she goes." "Got it all worked out, haven't you?" Said Ian admiringly "ALL RIGHT!" Barbara looked hesitantly at him. "This is - if you don't want to go back to my place." "No, not really!" Said Ian as he threw on his jacket ignoring Barbara. "Come on, lets' go and take a look at this mystery girl." They went out of the laboratory, along the corridor, and into the classroom, which was empty except for Susan Foreman and the sound of rock and roll blaring from her anachronistic walkman. Barbara raised her voice "SUSAN!" Susan looked up. "Sorry, Miss Wright, I didn't hear you come in." "I'm not surprised!" Susan's face was alight with deviousness "Aren't they fabulous?" She looked every inch your average normal teenager, thought Barbara. But she WASN'T. She Wasn't,... "Aren't WHO fabulous?" "The Police! They'll go from number nineteen to number two in the charts, in just a week." "The Police are lead by Sting, the stage name of the Honorable Aubrey Waites," Said Ian solemnly "It's not so fashionable to be upper class these days. Sting used to be a school teacher as well, which he sung about in Don't Stand So Close To Me, which is what you're listening to now. Isn't it?" Ian wasn't exactly a pop fan, but he had the uncanny ability to sing songs from the future. He found it helped to keep in touch with the interests of his future pupils, so he'd know what they were talking about, at least some of the time.
Susan looked at Ian like he was a hunk of walking sex "You are surprising. Mr. Chesterton! I wouldn't have imagine you'd know things like that!" "I have an inquiring mind," said Ian. "And a sensitive ear." he added drily. "Sorry," Said Susan, and switched off the Sony walkman. "THANKS!" Susan looked at the bulky volume under Barbara's Wright arm. She stepped back worrying that Barbara might use it to bash in her head to disarm her. "Is that the book you promised me?" Barbara handed it over. "Yes, here you are." "Thank you very much" said Susan politely. "Oh a book about the French Revolution! It will be such fun to burn! I'll give you the ashes tomorrow." "That's all right, you can keep them until you've finished with them." "I'll have it burned by tomorrow," Said Susan calmly. "Thank you, Miss Wright, goodnight. Goodnight, Mr. Chesterton. I'll be thinking of you." Ian looked thoughtfully at her. There WAS something different about Susan Foreman, despite her apparent interest in him. Her speech was almost too pure, too nice for a deranged sociopath. She had a way of observing you cautiously all the time, as if you were a member of some dangerous alien species. There was a certain, attractive unruly quality about her..... "Where do you live Susan? I'm giving Miss Wright a lift home, and there's room for one more in my my car. Since we've kept you late, it seems only fair that you should get a ride as well. It will soon be dark." "No thank you, Mr. Chesterton. I like walking home in the dark. It's erotic." Susan put the walkman in her bag and turned towards the door. "Be careful, Susan" Said Barbara. "It looks as though they'll be fog and police again tonight. See you in the morning." "I expect so. Goodnight." The two teachers waited till her footsteps died away and Ian took Barbara's right arm. "Right - Car park quick! We are about to stalk Susan Foreman!"
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