by Bob'n Around
Invisible matters of the mind turned real into the written word.
|Daily SCREAMS!!! win
The pothole wasn’t big. With the rains eroding the edges, washing away the depth, it was just big enough.
The thing with five legs was just the right size, too. It was in the process of growing back a few. The last stump ended in a serrated edge fine for sawing at carrion. The one behind it whipped a tentacle into view, lassoing, probing, stinging and slaying whatever was of interest. At times, dead meat was not enough to quell its hunger. Live, stunned, paralyzed flesh eaten raw tasted best.
It was the first and only one of its kind. Mother Nature had fashioned it out of noxious poisoned earth smashed into the last twitching remains of a roadkill hit by a passing drunken driver. The animal matter fed on itself, grew hungry, learned to kill as it had been almost killed.
The thing learned water attracted other creatures near. An added advantage to hanging around the pothole was the occasional ranch pickup’s offering of roadkill. The dead could either be supped upon or used as bait.
It was with some annoyance when poison tipped rattlers came to call and had to be dealt with. Twice bitten, the venom secreted into the thing’s body was analyzed, studied. The riveting pain had to be dealt with. The appendage where the snakes had struck, gave up its former shape. It molted, transforming into a needle tipped stinger.
Bill Smith, the rancher owning this raw sagebrush spread, would have called the thing a living Swiss Army knife, with folding, unfolding specialized tools and blades. He would have appreciated how the new predator was working its way to the top of the local ecosystem’s food chain. At the moment, Bill Smith was drunk.
What looked like a fly bedecked piece of roadkill waited in disguise for either it or the pooled water to attract attention. The hunter wasn’t hungry. It looked forward to testing a new way to kill. Vibrations felt in the dusty road meant something big was coming.
Fancying himself as lord over all he owned, Bill Smith rode his F150 pickup, half dozing behind its steering wheel. A wink of the moon behind a wisp of dark cloud and the left front wheel hit the pothole. “Damn. Made me bite my tongue. Feels like my front tie rod is sprung.”
He stalled the big four wheel drive and got out to investigate the damage. “Jeez-ba-jeez. They don’t make them like they used to. I’ll eat my hat.” A moonbeam flashed down like a giant searchlight, revealing his front tire was flat.
The hunter stirred into action. When run over by Bill Smith’s truck its hidden armor piercing spikes flared up in attack mode. All senses alert the thing felt a moment of startled amazement. It had disabled the big fast moving monstrosity, only for a smaller one to appear from inside.
“Thought I recognized the feel of that bump. You Bast’d. You broke my truck.” The hunting rifle kept nestled in the side of Smith’s door came easily to hand. He jacked in a round and aimed as the hunter jerked into movement. “Bast’d. You smell like a turd. Never seen anything so ugly.”
“Bump turd Bast’d”, the hunter said, imitating Bill’s battle cry. It’s tentacle lashed out towards the rancher’s leg.
Thunder exploded from the barrel followed by acrid smoke. The armed tentacle whipped itself, snake like along the ground. Green ichor drip dripped from the thing’s damaged and broken torn appendage. Bill pumped in another round.
“I”ll be darned. You talk like my wife’s pet crow. What are you, anyway?” The second bullet spit dust, whined into a ricochet back past Bill Smith’s left ear. “Jehosephat. You’re a mother.”
The hunter was imitating this strange form of prey’s defensive maneuver. It split itself, giving birth to a smaller version, just like the F150 had spit out Bill Smith. “Mother Bast’d.” The thing attacked to the left, the smaller hunter to the right.
Bill Smith, caught off guard, used the stock of his rifle for a club. “Quick learner, ain’t you?”
The smaller thing went sailing into a ball, bouncing down the dirt road. The original hunter scrabbled for purchase on Bill’s thick leather boot, piercing it with a poison tipped needle. Bill’s leg twitched, kicking the attacker off.
The hunter made the echoing sound of Bill’s gun going off as it backed off, trying to formulate how this strange being used such a weapon. Each primary level predator backed off, Bill with his hunting knife flashing from the palm of one hand. “Shouldn’t have drunk that last six pack. I swear this can’t be happening.”
He leaped up into his cab, slamming the door shut, intent on running the thing over or using his pickup as a high speed battering ram. The flat tire made him swerve, raising a smokescreen of dust while backing up. “May Bell ain’t going to believe why I’m running late.”
He felt the satisfying bump-titty-bump as his half ton rode over what felt like a squishing rock. Bill slammed his hands into fists on his steering wheel. He let out a rebel yell. “Nothing messes with me.”
Bill slammed his rig into reverse, arm muscles bulging to keep him following his tracks. Another of his tires gave out a hissing sigh. This time the bumpity ended with the full weight of the pickup in place over the thing’s newly created shallow grave.
“Come get me. I got car trouble. I’m near that big wash next to our road.”
Bill Smith’s cell phone squawked back at him. He let it, enjoying the moment, not having to lie about why he wasn’t home on time. “Oh. Oh. Sorry, hon. Got to go. This is trouble city, tonight.” The glove compartment flipped open. The Colt .45 fell out into one hand.
The smaller piece of roadkill, moving towards him in his rearview mirror called him out, “Turd Bast’d.” It was hungry, felt ready to spit bullets. Bill Smith was the closest possible prey.