Friday, January 11, 2013

Taken Out

Frank decided to sneak a quick smoke as long as the nagging shrew in the living room had him taking out the garbage anyway. As if his were the only feet able to walk the short distance from the back door to the trash bin? Retrieving the pack of cigarettes and lighter from behind a loose brick, he sucked in a big lungful of the harsh smoke, feeling the tension drain from his body.

He was just finishing his illicit treat when he heard an odd rustling from the direction of the juniper bushes bordering the property. Stubbing out the smoke, he was careful to slip it in with the other garbage before investigating further.  Murphy down the block had said something about raccoons or some other furry vermin digging in his trash and Frank was in no mood to have the damned things in his yard. 

Grabbing the shovel that leaned against the wall, he was almost glad he’d forgotten to put it away over the weekend. He figured he’d derive a lot more satisfaction out of the heavy blade cleaving the skull of some flea-bitten interloper than he had gotten using it to plant the shrew’s latest landscaping purchases.

Had anyone been outside to observe, it would have been almost comical watching Frank. Imagine the image of an overweight, balding man closer to 50 than to 40 trying to move stealthily toward the unkempt shrubbery like some urban Rambo wannabe. The wan light of a crescent moon reflected off of his pale, greasy skin as he reached his objective and leaned cautiously forward.

He barely had time to process the sight of a small, sinuous form moving within the meager cover before the attack happened. First one and then a second and finally a small pack of…creatures sprang up, their razor-sharp mouthfuls of teeth attaching themselves to him with savage ferocity. 

The shovel fell from his hands as he tried to wrestle the hungry things off of him. They were barely the size of toddlers, mottled in shades of green, black and brown but Frank, absently, noted they did appear to be humanoid in nature. Their hands and feet bristled with short jagged claws they used to secure their hold on their prey.

Blood flowed from his corpulent body as they began tearing chunks of flesh from him, harsh gobbling snarls the only noise they made. Frank fell to his knees, hands grabbing at the attackers, sadly unable to dislodge even a single one. He tried to scream for help but found himself unable to do so. With every slash of fang and claw, the creatures had transmitted a neurotoxin into Frank’s body. As a result, the pain of their assault grew less and less intense as he felt himself slipping into an oblivion from which he was most certain he would never awaken.

His last thought was that he hoped the little bastards were still hungry when they finished him off because the shrew really, really deserved to share in this experience as well. Though Frank was beyond knowing or caring, it would have perhaps given him a smile to know his wife and nearly every other living creature in the small town fell to the hunger of the packs of diminutive demons before the sun rose again.

This story was written for the Friday Frights web site where I am a regular contributor for the prompt; killer green kids. 

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