Altered state

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Eddie wasn’t happy. She had fought for the last piece of cornbread and it had turned out to be dry, hard and mouldy all at the same time. It was black mould and she had a vague memory of being told that it was the dangerous type – but what was more dangerous than dying? She sighed, sitting in the ground, still shocked at how they could all have fallen so far.

A few weeks ago she had been safe in her house, even though there had been holes in the roof, none of the doors would shut properly and most of the windows were broken. It had still been hers, her haven. Now it was buried under an avalanche of scree, the detritus of the mountain above dumped on them all. She was now homeless and the sheer horror of it, the death, the destruction, was incongruous with the looming monstrosity that now reared above them, Pythagorean in its order, for the mountain was now glass-like, a pyramid, perfect in its horrific proportions. No houses, trees, people or animals blotted its smooth features. The weather had also turned, the water that had destroyed the mountain in torrents a mere memory these days. The sun burned down on them incessantly, relentless in its ferocity.

Where would she find water now? At the very least, she needed to moisten the cornbread in order to be able to chew and swallow it. The stream had dried up, the puddles had hardened to smooth, oily, sunken eyes. There was nothing for it. She lifted up her skirts and released the bright yellow stream of piss. She stared at the soggy bread lying limp on the ground and just as she was about to pick it up and force it into her mouth, she heard a twig snap behind her.

“Whatchoo got there?”

“Gemini'” sighed Eddie, trying to conceal the fear in her voice. “Where’s your sister?”

He waved nonchalantly, loose-limbed as ever. “Oh, back there.”

Eddie assumed that he was referring to beyond the shadowy trees, back to where the mercy truck had deposited its spoils. “But there’s nothing left, all the food has gone.”

“Well, not quite all. Driver’s dead,” said Gemini, his eyes cutting into her like blades. He grinned, menacing.

“Oh.” What else could she say? All she knew was that she needed to keep him talking, otherwise he would start thinking. Thinking was bad these days, but even more so for Gemini, he who constantly whittled away at pieces of wood with a wicked, curved blade.

“So why aren’t you with them?” she asked.

“S’boring there. They’re still hoovering the ground with their eyes, fighting over the last scraps.” Gemini tossed a pebble up and down, eyeing up Eddie meditatively. Sex was on his mind, even now, even in this world. He was terrifyingly calm, nonchalant.

His hand reached out like a striking serpent. He gripped Eddie’s wrist, yanked her towards him. She could smell his rancid breath, wanted to recoil, knew she shouldn’t.

“We need to repopulate the village. You and me, we are the ones,” he said. Strands of livid flesh shivered wetly between his incisors as he spoke. An image flashed before her eyes, of him sinking his teeth into the dead mercy truck driver’s leg, tearing, glorying in the horror of it all. He grasped her between the legs, pinching hard. “Let’s do it.”

Or maybe the driver hadn’t been dead, screaming for his own mercy as Gemini wrought his mad version of justice. Maybe, he hadn’t been dead.

“Yes, Gemini. We are the ones.”

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Hollow – Five Sentence Fiction

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They could not bring themselves to look at his chair, to speak of him, to barely eat the food that had, as always, been laid out so beautifully in front of them.

It was as if the carefully crafted rhythm of their days had been but a fallacy, for he had tricked them all into believing that he was present, that he was there, with them, rather than anywhere else but here, swallowed up by his demons as they chewed and swallowed their food.

“Where is he, Mom, where is Jack?”

She looked down at her youngest, suppressed tears that threatened to burn her with their salt, so strong was the urge to keen, to wail, to shout out the unanswerable question: “Why?”

“I don’t know, honey; hopefully, to a better place for him than here.”

—–

Here is my latest entry into the lovely Lillie’s Five Sentence Fiction, where she has provided this photo for our inspiration.

Please do visit here to read the entries from other writers who love to keep it short too.

Cover-up – Five Sentence Fiction

Female applying red lipstick, close up

Female applying red lipstick, close up

They only see what they want to see; I don’t blame them really, it’s the way of the world, fast-paced, overwhelming, images of beauty everywhere – or at least what society tells us passes for beauty.

I look perfect, I make no bones about that, I’ve spent years and thousands of pounds adding, removing, refining, sculpting, enlarging, reducing and enhancing to become who, or what, I am now.

They get the shock of their lives when the truth sinks in, when they reach down below and find something extra that they didn’t expect, and to be honest, I get a perverse sort of pleasure out of that.

Sorry, you wanted my name for the interview didn’t you?

Yeah, it’s Steve.

—–

Here is my latest entry into the lovely Lillie’s Five Sentence Fiction, where she has provided this photo for our inspiration.

Please do visit here to read the entries from other writers who love to keep it short too.