Crash

“Are you sure this is ok?”

“Sure we’re sure.” Mike assured.

“Would we risk your life like this if we weren’t?” Michael asked.

“Yes, yes you would.” Shirley answered.

“Maybe, but all for the sake of science and glory!” Mike exclaimed as he applied more duck tape.

The three boys, ages 10, 11, and 12 respectively, known collectively as “The…”, only because the three couldn’t come to an agreement on a name (“Yet”, Michael would be quick to add) were young entrepreneurs looking to make their fortune in aviation. They were hoping to retire early and live on an island you see, and the best way for them to accomplish that was to invent a new form of transportation. Unfortunately, none had the funds to support a proper jet pack investigation, so they settled on attachable wings instead.

“But I don’t think—” Shirley started.

“We’re not paying you to think.”

“You aren’t paying me at all!”

“Hold still,” Michael adjusted the right wing, made from some random cardboard pieces and the occasional streamer. For looks.       

“Ok!” Mike took two steps back to admire his work. “I think we’re ready.”

“I’m not,” Shirley looked below. The trio stood atop a small drop off near the edge of town. The fall was only a few dozen yards really….

“Oh come on,” Michael shoved him playfully. “You volunteered, remember? Think of all that publicity you’re gonna get!”

“For dying?” Shirley panicked.   

“There is absolutely no way you could die from this height.” Mike chided. “We figured it.”

“You did?”

“Of course.” Michael dusted Shirley’s shoulders. “Now off you go.”

Tenderly, Shirley inched his way to the edge of the cliff and took one last, long look ever. “If I die,” He said, looking back. “I’m coming back and haunting you.”

“Yeah, ok, now get on with it already!” Mike said. Michael folded his arms. Both were ready to see some action.

Shirley breathed in and out, spread his arms just like Mike and Michael had shown him, and jumped. He had a strong, overwhelming sensation of falling.

Falling

F A L L I N G

F  A  L  L  I  N  G

F    A    L    L    I    N    G

Mike and Michael heard a loud THUMP! below. Glancing at each other, they quickly ran down the hill. At the very very bottom they found a pile of rubble, smoking slightly. Where the smoke came from, neither to this day could guess. They heard a low moan and rushed forward, piling a bit away here and a bit away there until they unveiled their friend.

Dazed and confused, Shirley focused his eyes on the two figures standing above him. “Am I dead?”

“I don’t think so.” Michael said.

“Oh… Let’s never do that again.” He croaked.

“Only if you don’t tell your mom.” Mike piped up. Michael elbowed him and shook his head.

Pulling their relatively uninjured friend from the crash site, the three left their invention where it lay and walked home peacefully, already discussing plans for the next weekend. 

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Mortician

Lately, the world had been in quiet the commotion because of some very peculiar news. From somewhere deep in the south it came, and sent chills down the spines of anyone who heard it.

 

“Have you heard about the incident? Has is really begun?”

 

The incident in question was rather a strange thing. A man had been murdered, but not in any typical sense. Hardly even in an atypical sense was this man’s end. He had been eaten. Partially. Though I find it hard to believe he cared either way. The man who had done the eating was found and shot on sight by a local neighborhood watch. Illegal, maybe, but I don’t find it hard to believe no one bid for his case.    

 

What could cause a perfectly fine human being to turn towards cannibalism? While the world reeled in their fantasies and horror flicks, this possible future held little appeal to the man who dealt with the supposed “zombie”. 

 

The victim’s body was completely repulsive to behold, resulting in his family wanting a cremation. That was that. The attacker, however, apparently had no family, so was instead destined for an unmarked plot on the edge of town. But first, of course, had to come the autopsy. The Police Department was interested in what the man had “been on” when he perpetrated the act.

 

This is where our main character comes in. Daniel is his name, but from hence forth shall be referred to as Mortician, for that was after all his occupation, and the most relevant piece of information about him you will ever need to know. Put in charge of the autopsy, the Mortician felt little interest in the dead man’s case.

 

His body, dirty and riddled with bullet holes, felt like every other body to his expert hands. He operated out of sheer ritual, slicing the man clean straight up the middle. This is where things start to become interesting. The man’s internal organs had begun to decompose. But the body had only been dead a day, hadn’t it? The smell was overwhelming. Backing away the Mortician took off his mask and breathed deeply. It puzzled him. Grabbing another scalpel, he turned to face an empty examination table.

 

He blinked as his mind went blank. Next thing he was hit upside the head with a ton of bricks. Inhuman snarls filled his ears as he struggled to glimpse his attacker. It was the man, but he wasn’t a man at all.

 

His eyes turned milky white, no longer seeing, rolled around as hot moans escaped his throat. His chest, still cut open, poured out all he had to offer in terms of organ donation. Ripping at his coat, the dead man gnashed his teeth with vivaciousness until one fell out and plopped against the Mortician’s cheek.

 

The Mortician yelled and struggled, disbelief clouding his judgment. The zombie fought on however and with surprising strength broke through his victim’s defenses and bit his shoulder. Roaring in pain the Mortician took at better grip on the scalpel he still held and lashed out, planting it deep within the zombie’s jugular.

 

The creature went limp. Seizing moment the Mortician shot out from under the monster. Now, this Mortician just happened to have an axe stashed in a cabinet behind his desk. Flying to it now, he ripped open the cabinet and took the sharpened blade in hand. Behind him, he heard the zombie struggle to its feet. Turning to face his foe, the Mortician steeled himself for the kill.

 

The zombie limped closer, uttering such noises that, I can assure you, a dying moose wouldn’t dream of making. Bursting forth a war cry, the likes of which have never been heard and shall never be matched, the Mortician bravely flew forward, striking out.

 

He hit the zombie square in the face, splitting it clean in two. For good measure he struck again and again until all that was left was a scattered assortment of body parts.

 

“Oh Mr.—” Just then his assistant, a lovely young woman writing notes on a clip board, walked into the room. Before she could finish her sentence she slipped on the blood now effectively covering the majority of the floor and fell flat onto her face. Confused, she glanced up to see her boss.

 

Cover in blood and various other body fluids, the Mortician looked quite the ghastly sight. Feeling a throb in his shoulder, he looked to see it already turning a sickly grey-green around the edges of the very noticeable teeth marks.

 

“Ms. Dill,” He said, looking at his assistant. “I’m going to need you—”

 

“Need me what?” She looked wide eyes as the figure of the Mortician slowly came closer. She glimpsed his face as he shuffled under the light and screamed.      

West

All eyes turned to the man who blew in. Squeaky hinges announcing the arrival of a newcomer walking through the saloon doors without a sound. He headed straight to the bar, careful to keep his hat and eyes pulled down low, lower than the floor.  

 

“Where you from stranger?” The bartender asked, forever polishing a fine glass that hadn’t seen liquid in five years. The man remained silent, instead holding up a finger. Pouring a drink the bartender next asked him where he was heading. Again the man remained silent.

 

During this time the man’s attention had been drawn to a bit of a ruckus. Poker was the game, and a good game at that. Five men sat around a round table near the back of the saloon, as was customary. They’d fallen silent when the man had first entered, watching him with judging hawk eyes like the rest, but had quickly been drawn back in by their addiction.

 

Now the strange man was not a fan of gambling. But at the same time he was. Standing from the bar he invited himself into their game. These men of chance knew each other well and also knew a sucker to be had. They thought it good one had fallen into their laps so willingly.

 

A new game began and quickly ended. The newcomer lost what little money he had. Next he bet his hat. That he lost. Next his gloves. Those went. Then his scarf. That as well. Finally he bet his boots, a nice but worn pair. But alas, those he lost. The other men grew bored. It wasn’t even sport at this rate. But at last the underdog bet it all, his gun; a man’s pride packed into a handful of metal. This the other men were mildly interested in, so they went all in. A difficult battle ensued, making the whole room sweat.

 

Finally, finally, the stranger won. Outraged the others grabbed their own guns, flipping their chairs back. But the gunman was quicker, throwing up his gun into the nearest man’s face.

 

“Listen here boys,” His voice surprisingly coy. “I won fair and square.”

 

“I think not.” The click of a gun froze him. Turning his head and inch and his eyes a mile he found himself had by the sheriff. Reaching up his sleeve, the Sheriff discovered an ace stashed. “Throw down your gun and come along quietly.” The Sheriff ordered.

 

Obeying, the man started to laugh, then cry. “My family…” He spoke.

 

“What about them?” Asked The Sheriff.

 

“I’m trying to find them, but it seems the closer I get, the farther set back I become.” Raising his hands, the gunman slowly turned and bolted for the door. Shouting, the Sheriff cocked his gun and let a bullet fly.

 

The gunman saw light reflected off the sand the streets of the town were made of. It was awfully rough to land on, but by that time he felt little. Struggling to stand, the man promised in his heart that he would experience that ecstasy of a reunion soon regardless of any setbacks he encountered. Regardless of how many times he fell, regardless of the blood choking his throat, regardless of the cloud blocking out his vision. He was so certain he family was just within grasp. Why, they were so near he could smell the soap off his daughter’s head.