Monday, October 10, 2011

FICTION: She by Michael Kelso

She staggered awkwardly down the empty street, not really knowing where she was going. With one arm, she clutched the wound in her side, the other arm was outstretched in front of her, as though searching for something. Never looking back, always moving slowly forward. On and on she trudged, tireless, relentlessly looking for something but not knowing what. She only knew it was out there. It had been there before, but when? Where? The empty streets were slowly disappearing through darkness and late evening mist.

Nothing moved except for her, even the air seemed still.

Deserted cars, half destroyed buildings, and rubble were her only companions, and still she kept on going. ‘Reason’ and ‘blame’ were the furthest things from her mind. The beginning didn’t matter, ‘now’ was all that mattered. The few street lights that still worked, started to flicker to life. They gave her a dim, somewhat eerie view of her surroundings, but there was nothing she wanted to see. ’It’ wasn’t there. So on she went with her endless search. All around her was evidence of chaos and destruction, yet she wasn’t afraid. How many days, or maybe weeks, had she been silently walking, yet she didn’t feel tired. All that mattered was the search. Whatever it was, she knew, somehow, that she had to have it. Was that movement that caught her eye, or had her fevered brain began to hallucinate? She scanned the ruined landscape. There it was again, movement. Her pace quickened slightly. The silhouette of a moving human form stirred a feeling she hadn’t felt in a long time.

But what was this feeling? Joy, at finding another living person?

Fear of what they might do to her?

No, those weren’t it. The feeling grew stronger with every step she took. Finally she recognized it…

She steadily approached, mere steps away, when the man turned toward her with a look of shock etched into his face.
She realized that her search was over. Not remembering the last time she had spoke, the sound coming from her throat was more like a feral growl. Struggling, as though the line from her brain to her mouth had been damaged, the word she had waited so long to say, attempted to escape her lips.

She looked him in the eyes and said, with a raspy voice, “Brains!” She lunged at him before his shock wore off. He reached for the gun on his side, but her inhuman strength was too much. She ripped his arm off and cast it aside like a candy wrapper, then pulled his skull apart, and started eating while he was still screaming.

The body laid lifeless on the ground, she rose from gorging herself, and started walking. Never once did she look back at the shell of a man she had just torn to shreds. She staggered awkwardly down the street, not really knowing where she was going.

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