The twins had grown up to be almost moronic. Andrew reckoned that if he bunked off school a bit more each month, in a couple of years’ time, nobody would miss him and he could stay at home playing his games. After failing, for the umpteenth time, to reach level two of the video he stopped playing and sat, staring accusingly at the screen.

       A pet owl, perched in a huge golden cage in the corner, blinked, as if wondering whether the boy had become petrified. The owl was fed once a day. Sometimes it ignored the offering, but on other occasions it pounced and gulped the creature down. If the meal was a mouse, it paused and tilted its head back. The tail would slither down it’s gullet like a strand of spaghetti. Then it would jump back on its perch and spend the next twenty-three hours and fifty-eight minutes excreting the remains of its meal.

       Andrew’s attitude to girls changed just after his twelfth birthday when his body released massive amounts of testosterone into his bloodstream. Spots erupted on his face, along with the first signs of bristle, and painful erections of his penis. Andrew did not understand what was happening to him and was embarrassed. This alone might have set him back emotionally for a year or so, but then he woke one morning to find his underpants wet with semen. He crept down the hall to the bathroom. He could hear the shower, but decided he had enough time to clean himself and get out before whoever was in the cubicle finished. It was the urge to see who was inside that led to his shame.

       From that day on Andrew loved Esther in a different way. His admiration for her knew no bounds. Soon after she left, he read reports of her success in Hollywood. His imagination ran riot with erotic thoughts, and when he thought his brain would explode he trawled through soft-porn sites on the Internet. Becoming ever more deranged in adulthood, and needing to purge himself of his shame, he resorted to bloody revenge…

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