It was early morning and much to Neil's displeasure the bathroom door was firmly locked. He knocked at it impatiently.
"Hey I think it's really selfish of you to take up the bathroom, cause I specifically told you guys yesterday that I had to go to my sister's wedding today. But then no-one listens to me, do they, my only purpose here in this house is to cook and clean but then no-one ever appreciates all the work I do anyway and you all hate me and…" The hippy paused in mid-rant as a muffled whimper of pain drifted out from the bathroom. It sounded a bit like Rick.
"Hey Rick is that you, man? What are you doing in there?" Neil asked, pounding at the door again.
"Nothing! It's nothing Neil, why would anything wrong? What are you doing hanging around the bathroom anyway you bloody pervy! Leave me alone!" The panic-stricken voice shrieked. The hippy blinked. It sounded like Rick had hurt himself or something like that. Maybe he should tell Mike or Vyvyan?
Climbing up the stairs he went and knocked at Mike's door.
"Hey Mike, I don't mean to hassle you so early in the morning, but, like, I'm a bit worried about…"
"Yeah yeah Neil, that's very interesting but unfortunately I can't help you. See I'm very busy with a bird here and I don't mean the ones that fly and lay eggs if you know what I mean. So why don't you come and tell me a bit later when I'm done?"
Neil paused to consider this. Then he turned around and walked back down to the landing.
"OwwWWWwwwWWWOWOWOWowwchhhh!" An agonized wail echoed from the bathroom, making the hippy jump. He was going to have to wake up Vyvyan. The thought was very unpleasant and might end in Neil being chucked out the window. He hesitated a few moments then drew closer to the door as if it was a savage dog.
"Err…Vyv? Vyv could you wake up cause I've got some heavy news to lay on you, right? Vyvyan?" Against his better judgement he slowly opened the door and poked his head around it. Vyvyan had his bed covers over his head and was snoring loudly. Going in there to wake him up was pretty much the same as storming into a lion's den and poking the lion in the eye.
Neil tiptoed through the filthy room, jumping over the empty beer bottles and dirty clothes. When he reached the bed he leant over to prod the punk hard where he thought his head was.
"Wake up, Vyv!" He demanded and got an annoyed grunt in reply.
"No seriously man, WAKE UP!" The hippy said and prodded him again.
"Oh no, heavy man…"
"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU DOIN' IN MY BEDROOM!"
"No you don't understand I have to tell you some…"
Vyvyan, still blinking blearily, picked up a pick-axe lying on the floor and threw it at the hippy's head. Neil ducked just in time and ran, screaming out of the room, closely pursued by the furious punk.
"Stop it Vyv, I gotta tell you something! Listen! It's really importa…"
He was interrupted by a piercing yowl from the bathroom. Vyvyan turned from trying to put the pick-axe through Neil's head and looked at the bathroom door with a confused look on his face.
"What's happening in there?" He asked, throwing the pick-axe to the side, much to Neil's relief.
"That's what I've been trying to tell you, Vyvyan! I think Rick's hurt himself…"
The bloodthirsty look on the punk's face changed quick as a flash into a gleeful one.
"Why didn't yer tell me sooner, Neil? This is bloody great!" He pushed the hippy roughly to the side and stomped over to the bathroom door and smashed through it. Neil quickly trotted after him.
"VYVYAN YOU BASTARD! GET OUT, GET OUT RIGHT NOW AND STOP INVADING MY PRIVACY!"
"Blimey, look at that! You've gotta big rusty knife stickin' outta yer stomach, Rick!"
Neil looked into the bathroom and saw that the punk was right. Rick was standing in front of the mirror, even more sallow and sweaty looking than usual. The front of his dungarees was stained bright red and he was trying to tug a knife out of his stomach.
"What the heck a-are you talking about? I don't have a knife in my stomach you complete bloody spasmo!" He half shouted, half whimpered his face twitching with fear.
"Aw, look at all that blood man. Aw heavy, heavy! You know I'm vegetarian Rick…I think I'm going to throw up," Neil said, putting his hand over his mouth and running off. Vyvyan took a step closer until he was so close to Rick he can hear his frantic breathing. He stared with child-like fascination at the slowly spreading stain of crimson. He reached over to prod it and Rick flinched away.
"You do have one, Rick. Look its right there, sticking outta yer bloody poofy dungarees. It's right there…"
"NO IT'S NOT! IT'S NOT, IT'S NOT! LEAVE ME ALONE, GO AWAY! I CAN HANDLE THIS MYSELF! I HATE YOU VYVYAN, I HATE, HATE, HATE YOU!" Rick shrieked, becoming more and more hysterical by the minute. He looked down at the scarlet blood dripping onto the white bathroom tiles and went as pale as paper. His eyes rolled up to his skull and before Vyvyan could think twice, the anarchist had collapsed into his arms in a dead-faint.
"Err…MICHAEL! WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM HERE!" The punk yelled at the top of his lungs as he dragged the boy out of the bathroom.
"What is it Vyvyan, I'm very busy here," came the usual, calm voice from upstairs.
"Rick's bleedin' all over the floor," the punk replied. The door opened and Mike came walking down the stairs. He nodded and waved at the audience, straightened his checkered tie and raised his eyebrows at the unconscious boy that Vyvyan was carrying.
"Got a bit too enthusiastic, did we Vyv?"
"Huh?" The punk looked confused as Rick let out a little wail of misery and started to pound his fists against Vyvyan's back.
"Well it's obvious our young Rick here is in a lot of pain and I'm not talking about windows. As usual Mike the Cool Person keeps calm in a dangerous situation. Now Vyv, I think we should take him down to the kitchen table, which we'll use as an operating table, alright?"
Vyvyan saluted him and turned around to walk down the stairs.
"Oh, and Vyv?"
"This is your time to shine, do you understand?"
The punk gave him another befuddled stare.
"No," he replied and walked into the kitchen, Mike hot on his heels. Neil was standing by the sink and he shuddered when he saw the half-unconscious Rick, bleeding all over the floor.
"That's disgusting. There's blood everywhere. Like that movie, right…erm, I think it's called There's Blood Everywhere. You do know who's going to hafta clean this mess up right, well I do, it's me…"
"Shut up Neil," Mike said and walked to the table, pushing all the rubbish and cutlery to the floor. Vyvyan heaved Rick on the table and grinned at Mike who gave him the thumbs up.
"Good job, Vyv. Now we could get a doctor, but why do that when we've got a medical student right here?" He looked to the audience. "That's a rhetorical question by the way."
Rick now fully awake tried desperately to escape and this earnt him a whack over the head by Vyvyan.
"No I refuse to let HIM near me with his bloody medical kit! He'll kill me Mike, so he can get rid of the most popular person in the house! Sneaky bastard! You're all conspiring against me, aren't you! Trying to get rid of the competition! Well it won't work, got it…"
"That shut 'im up."
Mike grinned and the three students went up to examine the heavily bleeding anarchist. Neil reached over to pull the knife out but Vyvyan quickly slapped his hand away.
"No don't do that you stupid hippie. The knife mighta hit a vein or an artery and if we pull it out he'll die."
The other two stared at this very unusual spurt of wisdom. Vyvyan looked at the two dumbfounded faces and shrugged.
"Now, listen very carefully lads. I want you Neil to go get my medical kit outta my bedroom and you Mike to go get some towels." Vyvyan commanded, taking charge.
Neil ran off up the stairs. Mike followed suit but right before he left he gave the punk a toothy grin.
"Doing a great job Vyv."
"Thank you Michael."
After the two had gone, Vyvyan bent over to examine Rick more closely. He prodded his stomach and the anarchist whimpered. He went to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of beer, ignoring the Eskimo who jumped out and whacked the wall with a frozen fish and ran off to the cellar.
"VYYVVyyaAANNNNNnnn-h! VYvYAAAAAAAAAAAAAnnnnn! MikkEEee? NeEeeeil? MUuuuuUUUmMmy?"
"Yer Mum's dead Rick."
Rick made a sound like a hungry cat and pawed desperately at his stomach.
"Stop it yer girl," Vyvyan growled, feeling a headache coming on. Neil bounded back into the room, the medical kit swinging from his arm. Mike came soon after with the towels.
"And by came, the author was not alluding to anything in a sexual manner," Mike informed the audience. "Although it is very important to learn some manners, especially with a lady."
"Er…yeah," Vyvyan sent him another confused look. He walked over to the table and retrieved a knife from his jeans pocket.
"Is it going to get gory now, Vyv, cause I can't handle that. That's too heavy man, you know?" Neil said, covering his eyes.
"Nah I'm just gonna take his dungarees off to see the wound better…"
"NOOO! NO YOU'RE NOT, YOU'RE NOT COMING ANYWHERE NEAR ME! GET AWAY RIGHT NOW! MIIIKKKEEE, VYVYAN'S SAID HE'S GOING TO TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF! MAKE HIM STOP IT! ARRRR!" Rick shrieked flailing his arms around madly. Mike went up to stand next to the punk who had ignored Rick's rant and was now pinning his shoulder down painfully to stop him squirming.
"Need some help there?" Mike asked and pinned the other shoulder down. He beckoned at Neil to do the same and the hippy cautiously went to take Vyvyan's place on the other shoulder. Ignoring Rick's wails of indignation the punk started slicing open his dungarees with his knife.
"I hate every bloody one of you! This is assault and I can call the pigs on you! I can and I will! You're all fascists!"
When the punk was done with the dungarees he quickly did the same with the anarchist's grey shirt. Neil winced and looked away at the heavily bleeding wound which had stained Rick's singlet bright red. There was another faint protest as Vyvyan got rid of the singlet leaving Rick only in his underwear.
"You're a bunch of pervy, sicko, FASCIST, bastards!"
"I'm tryin' to bloody help you, ungrateful twat!"
"Yeah Rick, stop bringing us all down."
"I DON'T NEED HELP!"
From closer examination, it looked like the knife wasn't as deep in as they first thought. It could safely be removed. Holding his legs down with one hand and closing his fist over the knife with the other, Vyvyan bit his lip and focused hard.
"Close yer eyes, Neil."
"DON'T YOU DARE, VYVYAN! DON'T YOU…"
He wrenched hard and tore the knife out of his flesh. Rick screamed at the top of his lungs and started to sob hysterically, causing Mike to cover his ears and Neil to run over to the sink to throw up. Vyvyan immediately stemmed the flow with a towel as Rick covered up his face with his hands and continued to bawl loudly, his sobs hitching in his throat.
"Stop crying Rick, it's not that bad," Mike said in a fatherly way, patting the anarchist on the head.
"It'll hurt even more if you don't stop whinin'." Vyvyan growled which of course, caused Rick to sob even louder. Neil and Mike took a few steps back from the table and watched uneasily as Rick grew more and more hysterical, trying to squirm away from Vyvyan's grip causing blood to splash around on the floor. Vyvyan was starting to get very annoyed, trying to pin the anarchist down on the table. Rick kicked wildly, tears still running down his cheeks, his sweaty forehead causing his hair to stick down.
"I. Haatte. You!"
"Same here, mate."
Mike scratched his head awkwardly and turned to look out of the window as Vyvyan clamped his hand roughly around Rick's pale, sweaty one. He squeezed it so hard, Rick gave a sharp gasp of pain.
"Now yer gonna have to calm down or you'll bloody kill yourself, girlie."
"Take a deep breath…"
"N-n-noooo! NOO!" Rick wailed, his scrawny chest heaving up and down, his voice ending in a pained squeak.
"Rick," Mike said calmly, giving the panic-stricken boy a stern look. "Do what Vyvyan says."
"Yeah Rick, we're trying to help and I bet if it was me with a knife in my stomach no-one would bother to help cause everyone hates me so much. No-one's going to help me clean this mess up either…"
"SHUT UP YOU STUPID HIPPY!"
Mike checked his watch and crossed his arms. "Rick, as the Retired Doctor said as he walked out the door, 'I simply don't have the patience,' and I don't either. Now you're going to have to calm down right now, got it?"
Rick made a furious noise and bit his lip hard, screwing his eyes shut. He took a deep rattling breath and Vyvyan loosened the vice-grip on his hand.
"Another one," the punk growled through clenched teeth and Rick breathed in deeply again as the medical student wiped the blood onto his jeans.
Neil closed his eyes as Vyvyan carefully treated the wound, stitching it up and wrapping bandages around it tight. Every now and again Rick would muffle a whimper and grip the punk's hand, but Vyvyan didn't seem to mind.
"Alright you're done. Neil, get Rick a drink of water. Mike err…get Rick some clothes…I kinda wrecked his others. Heh," Vyvyan clucked, a bit embarrassed.
"That was ammaaazing, Vyv! Like the shows on the telly!" Neil said excitedly walking over to the sink. Mike smiled and patted the punk on the back. Rick just sniffed unhappily as Vyvyan tucked the bloodied, rusty knife into his pocket.
Neil passed the cup of water to the still shaking anarchist, who gulped it down greedily.
All in all it had been a very exciting way to start the day.
"What the hell were you doin' with a knife in yer stomach anyway?" Vyvyan said later that evening. Rick had been sulking for most of the day, refusing to get up from the couch. Neil looked over from the lentil casserole he was cooking and Mike put down his book.
"Well if you really want to know…" The anarchist said smugly, feeling happy at the sudden attention.
"Yes we do."
"Okay, calm down. Well, do you remember last night when Vyv was whining about how all his alcohol ran out? I got so sick of it I stood up and went to go get some from the shop but, listen to this, it's far out, the bloody fascists closed the shop…"
"Why did they do that?" Neil asked in a confused voice.
"What? Oh it was pretty late at night I guess, and stop interrupting! It's my story and it's very exciting, okay!"
"Go on Rick."
"Thank you, Mike. Well, as I was saying, the shop was closed and all the pubs were as well and I couldn't find any place selling alcohol and I was getting very upset, but then I saw a pub that was open all night…"
"Was it that one called The Alley Cat? Supposed to be really tough, that one…"
"Yeeess, Vyvyan, it was called The Alley Cat and I was tough and brave enough to enter it and no-one here's ever gone in it before. Well I was just asking the guy for a bottle of beer and all of a sudden these other guys got in this huge fight…"
"I bet you freaked out like a girlie…"
"SHUT UP VYVYAN I'M TRYING TO TELL THE STORY! Now, the guys were fighting and one of them pulled out a knife, and I'm not a spasmo or anything so of course I tried to get out of the way but I accidently bumped into him right and he bloody stabbed me in the gut, the fascist bastard!" Rick took a deep breath and grinned.
"So being the tough awesome guy I am right, I dragged myself all the way home with a knife sticking out of my stomach AAANNDD this whole thing is VYVYAN'S fault cause if he wasn't whining about his bloody drinks I wouldn't have gone out in the first place! So HA!" Rick yelled, pointing an accusing finger in the punk's face.
Mike looked at Vyvyan. Vyvyan looked at Mike. Rick looked at Neil. Neil looked at everyone. The punk scratched his head awkwardly and crossed his arms.
"Err…sorry about that, Rick."
"YEAH, I am SO bloody tough and I didn't even need any help and…what did you say?" Rick stared at Vyvyan as if he had just sprouted an extra head. The punk looked away and played with his studded bracelet.
"Um…I said sorry about that…heh."
Rick looked stared at him with his mouth slightly open. He blinked a few times. Neil turned his attention back to the stove and Mike returned to his book with a knowing smile plastered on his face.
"Err...heheh…um…that's alright Vyvyan…" Rick coughed nervously. "Thanks for looking after me...and stuff."
There was a very awkward silence for a few minutes. The anarchist looked at the blank television screen. The punk looked at his shoes.
"No worries mate."
Rick coughed again and straightened his collar. Mike chuckled to himself from behind his book.
"And that's the end of the story, folks," he said to the audience as Neil's lentils exploded all over the stove.
"What story, Mike?"
"Aww no, there are lentils everywhere…"
Mike smiled and waved and as they say, that's the end of that.