Sunday, 7 September 2014


--"The city is piling up at her feet and she's laughing.

A hefty matron in shredded summer dress and a black-pearl noose of a necklace folds at the waist, empties green-grey intestines across the rotting remains of toes.  Disemboweled, the edge of the fireman's axe flipping in a grotesque thumbs-up.  She shoulder-checks the ravager aside and down.  Adds to the collection oozing in twenty-four inches of broken bones and burst tumours.

Empties clatter, wind chimes fit for a firing range.

A slick-haired pizza boy shambles neurotically, slips alongside the blood-encrusted pedestrian bridge.  Bony fingers grasp for handholds.  An index finger is missing.  The rest are worked to the bone, through it.  She swings, a textbook decapitation.  Steel-toed boots grip the gratings underfoot as a still-snarling head flies a dozen feet out and fifty down to an artificial current, still tugging trash and starvation victims along.  The turbines died eleven months ago.

The city is piling up at her feet and she's holding

She stares down Elysium.  A public park atop an urban island, ringed by an artificial river system in downtown Hades.  The names only ever clicked in February.  Or when bleak winter accented the droves of ravager-dead trampling designer gardens and memorial benches to feed on the warm proles from uptown.

Oh, the irony.

Gibbering, the wrecked remains of a riot cop drags itself along thirty yards of dripping bridge.  Uniform pants are violently hemmed at the knees.  Hacked carcasses draped around the suspension couplings provide purchase.  It shuddered and slurped at the carnage and her ankles.  She takes her time.  Two kicks; one to splinter the nose and wrench the neck, another to drive her heel through the brainstem and end the ravager's spree. 

The city is piling up at her feet and the grind isn't enough.

"No," she snaps to the overweight sharpshooter Samaritan with 'Hades Defense Force' stenciled across his jacket.  Beady eyes squint over a badly-gripped Bernelli shotgun, fingers throttling a hair trigger.  Pieter.  Idiotic enough to pay her nine clanking blade brutes as muscle.  Didn't understand the points system, the mentality, the guns they'd all refuse.  Or didn't care.  Bottling out came up for all the wrong reasons.  

Sounds wrong, anyways.  Bottling in's more accurate for the Paragons.

The AK-47's dead.  Pieter's twelve-year old son tears out a spent mag and hollers for more. 

A grey-toned construction foreman hefting a wrench and killer halitosis gets a hit in.  Smashes her shield up and aside, pain sinking teeth along multiple lines of bruising.  At least two fractures.  She howls, lashes a backhand into a knot of raised veins along the collar.  Bites deep, centres the hexagonal fused-sign shield as blood and worse splatters in a seven-foot cone to fade in among chipped red paint and the occasional white block letter. 

It stumbled, caught itself on the dead tide surging forward.  Mangled comrades draped and rolled over the edge.  Lineups formed on the opposite shore as the ravagers locked rotting limbs and leering teeth, setting.  The infectious skeletal pile-driver stubs out her adrenaline crash, doubles her vision as she hefts her ax and makes--


--->  Chuck Wendig's blog holds flash fiction contests every week or so.  The point this week is to leave your piece on a cliffhanger for someone else wandering the comments bar to finish.  The above is a character sketch-turned-story on the thrill-seekers unsatisfied with surviving the zombie apocalypse the conventional way.  I'll post my ending next Friday if nobody bites.  

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