Written by Magnificent Mayhem
It’s almost funny. You could almost say I’d been preparing for this my whole life. I had seen every movie. Read every book, every comic. I had video games. I even recorded mini-series. My costume was a staple at every Halloween party and Comic Con event. People expected to see me in my best gaping wounds and shuffle step, they talked about it afterwards. Who could blame them? I really committed when I was in character. So when I came home to find one in my kitchen, I suppose I wasn’t entirely surprised, not really. I suppose I’d been waiting for it for a long time.
What did shock me was to see my wife sprawled on the floor, hands pushing feebly against its back, mouth gaping noiselessly as it ate at her. Her eyes met mine for a moment and there I saw the fear, the panic. The floor was wet, sticky, slick. The smell was grotesque. I found her eyes again. Silent, pleading, tears streaming.
I never questioned my next move. Most days I still don’t.
I reached for a knife from the counter and lurched unsteadily towards the grotesque pair. I could not take my eyes from her. She made a sound then, I think she was trying to scream, maybe call out to me. But fear caught the noise in her throat and it trailed off helplessly. It – whatever that thing was – never even noticed me. It just kept eating at her, its teeth and jaws working away as she struggled to push it from her. My arm seemed to move on its own accord, plunging again and again into the base of its skull. And for the first time, it turned its attention on me, arms flailing as I hacked indiscriminately. My wife screamed then, harsh and hard in my ear as I brought myself close to finish it.
Once it lay still on the ground beside us, I took her hand in mine. I wiped tears, snot and blood from my face, in an effort to make myself a little more presentable. I even tried to smooth my hair down. I pulled her in close to me, so as to calm her harried breathing. Many of my haphazard strokes had cut her as well. Across her face, arms, hands, neck. But the damage had been done long before I arrived.
She blinked at me. She tried to speak but only managed to spill blood from her lips and mauled throat. Her hair was plastered to her skin, red and wet, clinging to her face. It hurt me more than it hurt her, I am sure of it.
I think I whispered something to her, there at the end, but all I could concentrate on was what had to be done. Continue reading →