Letting Life Lead
Everyone kept a safe distance from the flames, their faces illuminated in an orange-yellow light. The jet burst ahead fifty feet and set up billows of black and gray smoke in its wake. Yvette Barboza, dressed in her green striped night gown, light blue house slippers, and cold cream still on her face, clicked the trigger with strong fingers. When all quieted and only the half moon lit the night, she stood there still staring at three ruined, and charred bodies and the mangled corpse of Mr. Wells.
We all stood there shivering and in shock, though a few had managed to record the event on their phones. A few more and we could have had a fine block party. “Where the hell did the old lady get a flame thrower?” Len, my neighbor, asked a little to close to my ear. By the stench on his breath, he should have still been enjoying his buzz sitting in front of his TV in his underwear. Len, didn’t own curtains.
The cold reminded me that I was only wearing a bra under my wool cardigan. I tightened it closer to my body and pointed my chin towards the carnage. “Internet. It was a present from Jonas.”
“Mr. Wells. Yellow house with the big camper.”
“Who the hell buys a flamethrower for their neighbor!?”
“They were dating and he’s a prepper.”
“Who was dating?” Janet asked peering from the depths of a blanket, her hair askew. Her bed-friend I could see standing on the farthest side of the group behind his wife.
“Yvette and Jonas. Don’t you people ever talk to each other?”
I had just bought the little blue cape a month ago, and it seemed I knew more about the happenings in the cul-de-sac than anyone now that Mr. Wells had been killed. Not by Yvette though. Those things did. I never expected to hear the frantic, high-pitched screams of someone being eaten alive. I’m not likely to forget it.
“Did someone call the police?” A voice wavered in the night.
“Line’s busy.” I said, “I’ve tried to call a dozen times. Emergency and the direct police line–”
“How can 911 be busy!?”
Yvette stood in a protective stance over Jonas’ body. Her salt and pepper pixie cut still looked neat and tidy somehow. People began to emerge from wherever their minds had taken them, and a hushed, confused murmur passed from one to another. The rising stench caused wrinkled noses, hands to mouths, and dry retches.
“Who are they?” Janet called out first, as if expecting Yvette to know.
“Satanists!” Vincent breathed. He stood now a little taller with his arms out to shield his wife and twelve year old daughter. Sue likely hadn’t noticed he’d come out of Janet’s house and not theirs.
Raquel spoke next — the only one still dressed though her blouse and skirt were soiled from where she’d hidden between bushes. “They aren’t human. I saw them. They had huge mouths on their chests!”
“Well, that’s stupid,” Vincent snapped.
“We all saw them eating him!”
The murmurs turned to bickering and I walked off to join Yvette and put my hand tentatively on her shoulder. “I’m sorry about Jonas.” She nodded, but didn’t look at me. Raquel and her brother Evan weren’t far behind. We shared a simultaneous moment of mourning Jonas and scanning the creatures’ remains. Long, muscular spider-like arms on knobby shoulders, a concave indentation where a head should have been, and a gaping mouth full of razor sharp teeth on the torso. The legs were long and robust, too. Their black, talon-like claws on five-digit fingers were untouched by the fire.
“There’s probably more of them. We should arm ourselves. Jonas has more flamethrowers and other weapons,” I said. I hadn’t seen them, but Jonas was not a man who did things half way.
Yvette finally spoke as Evan covered the face of her lover with the old man’s robe that had been flung aside as he’d been dragged to the middle of the street. “I have a key.” She wiped the tears from her eyes and patted my face. I felt the strength in them. “He liked you. Had you on his keeper list.”
We heard a distant blast of the emergency city siren.
I have no idea why I picked this blog name, but there's no turning back now
"Our subject isn't cool, but [s]he fakes it anyway."- The Offspring
Musings through the journey of writing my first novel
It is what it is and it too shall pass.
Unfolding From the Fog (or What I Think About When I Walk My Dog)
When life hands you lemons, go find some gin and tonic.
"Smile with your teeth." -my Mother
Don't die before your death