Flash of Lightening flash fiction entry.
|The candle canted to the right, sending elongated shadows throughout the cave. I remained unsure if the quivering shadows were due to the crooked candle sitting in the empty eye socket of the zombie’s decapitated skull, or if it was my pain racked body.
My ears could not decipher between possible shuffling gates of approaching monsters or the rustling of my blood inside my head. I leaned against a stalagmite, feeling the cold earth penetrate my thin shirt. The coolness was a blessing. My skin felt fiery and my other senses began to drag.
Odd echoes drifted throughout the cave distorting all aural sensations, my vision blurred and my eyesight in my left eye began to frost over, generating a watery effect on the trembling shadows. My tongue tasted of sun-baked road kill. The stench from the dribbling corpse next to me actually dwindled in the advance of my own sweat reeked self.
My left arm hung curled, snug against my belly. The fingers of my right hand dragged ape like over the worn wooden handle. I dropped my head back and bumped the earthy growth behind me again and struggled against the saliva coursing through my veins. I fisted both of my hands and raged in pain. Guttural snarls grooved my throat and I slammed my teeth together on my tongue in frustration. The pain intensified and overrode the steaming bite on my left shoulder.
Adrenaline fueled pain set my hands to work. I opened my satchel and removed a rope. I secured one end around the stalagmite and formed a noose at the other end. Slipping the noose over my head I staggered up from a crouch. Waves of fetid meat began to permeate my nostrils beating into submission my own funk.
I shuffled one foot in front of the other. Again. And again. A deep pull in the base of my brain faltered my shambling gait. Food! Food was the other way! Even deep in this cave I could smell fresh clean brains, like magnetic north. I dragged the jagged edge of my tongue against the back of my teeth sending those fraying nerve endings into a panic. The pain was less than before but enabled me to take a step back toward the edge of the pit in front of me.
I stared into the abyss and tightened the rope hanging like a dead boa about my neck. My sense of self dripped from my pores like so much used up sweat. It didn’t drip of its own accord. A communal force dragged it kicking and screaming from within. A gentle, collective calling lulled my head around on my neck.
Behind me stood a legion of creatures resembling the headless one on the ground between us. Shadows cast by the candle’s wavering light dwindled in the overriding darkness emanating from the beasts. The shadows crawled up and around the cave walls, creeping toward me, eating the deteriorating light of the candle.
Promises of fresh meat and tasty screams roused a growling hunger within me, replacing the fading sense of my previous self. I now faced the mass of crawling flesh and hollow eyes. I shook my head and clutched at the dribbling remains of my sanity. The roving shadow of the zombie mass snuffed the candle.
The pit behind me thirsted for my body and I quenched the growing desire.