The ball falls awkwardly from his hand and hits the ground with several loud, unmissable clangs and bangs, bringing all eyes upon the small group. At first they all stare without recognition of what they are staring at, but as they slowly process the sounds made by the falling ball, things form, things that fumble and tingle within their decaying minds, minds that start to build a shape of recognition, a recognition that explodes into fact as they surge forward as one towards them.
Corey casts a final fleeting glance towards Sally and Paul as he is swallowed whole by the horde. Without thought or focus, without care or comprehension, Sally lets out a stuttered cry of terror as the horde tear Corey limb from limb, feasting on him like a pack of wild animals. Then once more they stop in their very tracks, and all eyes shoot across the school ground, across the overgrown and unpopulated car park towards where she crouches. As their silence cuts the air like a butcher’s knife would a carcass, tears cascade down her cheeks as the sea of dead eyes stare at the petrified Sally while their diluted, watery brains try to comprehend what she is.
She screams in fright as Paul grips her by her jacket collar and tosses her behind him as he proudly steps forward, taking the stance of a rock and roll god who is in the mists of playing a powerful solo, raising his gatling gun towards the frozen field of decaying humanoids like it was his guitar. Then with a smarmy smile he gives Sally a wink and tightens his finger around the trigger, only to find nothing happening. He squeezes the trigger again and again without a result, as the horde begin to charge forward.
“LEAVE IT!” Sally screams as she grabs him by the arm, and tries to drag him away, but he twists and turns in all manner of direction, eventually freeing himself of her grip.
“Go, we don’t both have to die!” he says with a clumsily displayed smile.
“P-Please,” she sobs softly.
“GO!” he screams, desperation written over every square inch of his face as he shakes the gun around violently, hoping to somehow knock some semblance of sense into the idled weapon. He lets out a primeval scream, as he stares at the weapon with a panicked disbelief, as the horde draw ever closer. Suddenly his brow rises and the smile that had left his lips some moments ago, returns as he flips a switch.
“It was the fucking safety,” he says jovially as he turns towards the sea of crazed faces as they finally descend upon him, just as he tightens his fingers around the trigger once more. Like Moses parting the red sea, the gatling gun rips through the horde, but it is all too late, as he is engulfed by a thousand hands or more ripping at his flesh.
Sally clutches herself tightly as she looks down the hill, watching as the scavengers that have inherited this world we once called our home, fight over pieces of those she called family.
Follow the below link to purchase A Twistedly Jolly Christmas 2021 and read all 31 five minute short stories from smashwords, or look up A Twisterdly Jolly Christmas 2021 or Matthew Tonks on Amazon to purchase there.
Before you lies a piece of a puzzle far grander than you could ever know or imagine. For scrawled in blood upon the pages hidden within the above tome is stories twisted thirty-one in all, soaked in the embers of my insanity. Five minutes to glimpse inside the eyes of someone new, five minutes to answer, five minutes to sin, five minutes to do almost anything. A god, a demon, a harlot, a whore. A fascist, a killer, a sinner, a door. Death and division, humanity askew. A belfry of bats, a sea of black cats, so many moments out there to see, so many things you could see with me. So take a seat beside me and call it voodoo, because now you ride with me too…
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