Sunday, August 31, 2008

Micro Story

The Dangers of Overindulgence

He wakes up in an alley, lying on top of a pile of garbage bags piled next to a dumpster. There’s vomit all over him. His first thought is that he hopes the vomit is his own. His head is pounding; his stomach feels shredded and scorched. The sun is up, but the direct light has not yet made it between the buildings. The alley is dim and cool.

He stands up, slowly, and with a great expenditure of energy. He wobbles a bit, his legs the unsteadiest thing on the planet at this particular moment. His knees buckle and he leans against the dumpster for support. He thinks to himself, why... why do I keep doing this… acting like this… waking up in an alley… fuck me. His stomach clenches and he dry heaves once, twice, and a final, third time. He rolls his neck around to crack it. He rubs his eyes with the backs of his hands. He checks his pockets and finds his wallet missing. Fuck, he thinks, she's going to be pissed. He manages to stand all the way upright, and then he turns towards the mouth of the alley, to figure out where he is, to find the way home.

Then he hears the noise. A noise everyone has come to know well. A low, grumbling… a growl, almost. One of them is in this alley with him. It’s hungry. And he’s weak. There’s a movement down at the end, where the alley meets the sidewalk. The light from beyond the threshold is blotted out by a rough, man-shaped darkness. The noise again. Longer. Louder.

Cold sweat comes on hard and fast. His stomach takes a lazy roll. He looks around for a weapon and, for a panicked few seconds, finds nothing. Then, there, under the dumpster… a long, thick splinter of wood.; part of a broken mop or broom handle, perhaps. But most importantly, sharp and pointed. He drops to one knee, almost dead weight, and scrambles for it, nearly knocking it out of reach in his haste. But he gets one finger on it, then two, then pulls it into his hand. He stands up, mildly triumphant in his small victory and it... the thing... one of them... is right there. They're moving quicker now, he thinks to himself, and then it is on him, knocking him to the ground.

All the breath is expelled from him in a choked, gagging rush. His vision swims. The growling sounds like an old, rusted chainsaw, but it is nearly drowned out by the wet thudding of his pulse. With what little strength he has left, he scurries back wards using his heels and elbows, making sure not to let go of his weapon. It's his only shot. The thing steps forward, a trail of drool and blood greasing the alley floor in it's wake. Growling... growling...

And then it swoops... rather, it falls forward, teeth gnashing... but to the one upon which the thing is falling, it feels very much like a predatory swoop. He thrusts his splinter of wood upwards, hoping for a clean stab through the skull. As his hands are shaking and the thing is coming fast, he misses badly. The impact from the falling thing, coupled with his poor aim, drive the stake through the thing's solar plexus... all the way through, leaving his arm from the bicep to the hand sticking out from the thing's back like an obscene, poorly crafted puppet show gone horribly wrong. The thing is not fazed by this. It begins to bite.

His arm flaps around, useless. His face is slowly eaten away. Blood spills out and pools around them like slowly rising flood waters. Finally, the thing gets to his throat and it's all over. As the thing is stuck to the man, pinned from within, it is unable to get up, to begin again the search for it's next meal. Weeks later, a roving band of vigilantes spot it's flailing, growling form at the back of the alley. They dispatch it quickly with a shotgun blast to the back of the skull. The man underneath it, mostly picked-clean bones from the chest up, is added to the list of names of bodies yet to be identified. Once this is all over, maybe someone will find time to sort them all out.

7 Comments:

Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I didn’t know you could go dark. I mean, obviously, you can, but I’ve never seen it. Sufficiently creepy + violent.

4:04 PM  
Blogger ML said...

OH MAN. fuck yeah, zombies.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

The UB... Violence is ALWAYS the answer, I've found.

ML... My thoughts exactly. I'm thinking of doing more zombie-related fiction. Because, hey, zombies. Fuck yeah.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Ross said...

Creepy.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Todd said...

Zombies = Yummy!

1:19 PM  
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