That's The Way I Am

Manfred Angst. No Z/M, Z/A implied, maybe O/M later, if I'm feeling particularily evil.

Chapter 1

"Are you even listening to me, Manfred?"

Yes dad. How can I fail to listen when you're shouting in my ear?


I will not listen to you. I am strong. I think.

"Don't you dare look at me like that!"

Oops. Note to self: Not a good idea to hypnotise dad.


Don't grab my arm like that. Don't. It hurts.

"Where are you going?"

"Out." I grab my coat. White. I would prefer black, maybe dark purple, but mum insisted. Hey, it was white or pink and there is absolutely no way I, Manfred Zeke Bloor will wear pink!

When I'm in town, by the cathedral, I think. I think, and I remember. Emma Tolly. Emilia Moon. Lyell Bone. Julia Ingledew. Emma Tolly. All the people's lives I have destroyed, or tried to. No wonder so many people hate me.

"Hey, watch it!" I walk into one of the many goths that hang around the cathedral. Oh damn.

"Sorry." I mutter quietly. Then I walk again, planning my route.

"Hey, wait up!" It's the goth I just walked into. He's following me.

"What?" Oh yes, the Manfred Bloor everyone at Bloors loves to hate is back.

"I'm Morgan. Morgan Orchid." What a ridiculous name. But I shake the offered hand.

"Manfred Bloor." I begin to walk away, hoping he'll leave me alone. He's still following me.

"Morgy!" Another goth, this time a girl, yells. Thank god. He disappears pretty quick.

I take the route that will lead me past Charlie Bone's house. Maybe some of their happy family life will rub off on me.

Or maybe I'll just walk into Fidelio Gunn. No vivid imagination required, I just have.

"Manfred!" Him and Olivia Vertigo slowly edge away. I walk on, just taking one last look to see Charlie waving to his friends, his mum behind him, wrapping her arms around him.

Tears prick my eyelids. My mum never did anything like that to me. I never cry. I refuse to.

So I lean against a tree, outside a grocers store. Just catching my breath, planning where to go next. Then I realise I'm still wearing my Bloor's uniform. Intelligent.

"Excuse me, are you alright?" I open my eyes slowly, then quickly lower them. It's Charlie Bone's mum.

"Yeah, I think so." She smiles in relief. As long as I don't catch her eye, everything will be fine.

"You go to my son's school, don't you?"

"Yeah, Bloors." I'm still not sure about her. I watch her suspiciously, wondering when she's going to cut and run.

"Be careful around here..."


"Be careful around here, Manfred. It can get a bit dangerous."

"Thanks." I mutter. I'm not used to people actually liking/caring for me.

"It's nothing. I wouldn't like to have my son out here. And I see you've already encountered someone..." She looks pointedly at my arm. I realise. Where dad grabbed me earlier. He must have left bruises.

"Yeah, I guess." It's a bit awkward now.

"If you ever need to talk to someone, Manfred, my door is always open." She said softly, then went into the shop.

Did Amy Bone, whose husband I destroyed and whose son I am terrorising, just give me an open invite into her house? I need to tell her.

"Mrs Bone!" I walk straight up to the counter. She looks up. "Your husband. That was me."

Then I go, leaving a very curious Amy Bone. No doubt she'll tell Charlie about it later and Charlie will explain.

My life is always this hard.