The moon is just a sliver. Just a sliver. Is it waxing or waning? And I? No, I don’t want to broach the topic. Let’s remember something, escape the now… hmm… “oh, yes,” I thought, “I was… uh… I was going somewhere.” I stole my vision away from the gadget held in my palm and stowed it away into my pocket. Poor sap. I wonder if he will mind that I took his… box thing?
I looked about me. A forest? I hadn’t… ah, yes, branches and brambles, a crisscross of scattered light; are those crepuscular as well? So…?
A forest road, an automobile crumpled into a tree, some dead man crushed within the wreckage, the smell of gasoline, dragged feet marks—oh! An arm; it’s rather decayed. So much blood; a foot stepped, shuffled through it here, see? The dead man with a gaping gnash in his back. A super sleuth am I? No, what happened here eludes me, but perhaps I can just decide what had.
The automobile belched as it skidded around the bend of the forest road; a spinning flurry of rubber grabbed at the asphalt.
“Shit! Fuck man, fuck!”
“Shit, what the hell is going on?”
“She’s… she’s g…”
“What? What?! Shit!”
The man driving looks bewilderingly over at his passenger, his blood soaked hands shaking uncontrollably mere centimeters from his face.
“Hey! Snap out of it!”
“She’s gone, yeah, I know that...”
“We just left her. We killed her.”
“W… we killed her.”
“Those things killed her, not us. Those things. I don’t remember biting her to death; I don’t remember gnawing on her flesh as she screamed for help. I can’t taste her in my mouth, can you? Can you? Shit.”
Can you see the driver’s eyes as he stares at his accomplice? Wide with terror, with rage, tears welt at the brims of his eyes before streaming down his cheeks to drip off his chin. This woman is dead, he knows there is no rereading the chapter, yet his heart beats heavy with remorse, and his mind reels in a frenzy of what-ifs: what if he hadn’t run when she fell, what if he had returned to help her, would he have lived? Would she still have died? Had she already been bitten? Perhaps, but she wouldn’t have died alone and in the clutches of desperate fear and abandonment. She would have had her friend to comfort her before she ceased. And had they both been overcome by the horde of living dead? He would have shared in her fear and pain as bit by bit they were chewed to pieces while alive. Would he have thought of her as his life was so violently rent from him? No amount of questions would ever bring him solace, and no matter how fast he drove from her death, she was still dead, she wa--
“Shit! Look out—”
The driver’s head flips back forward to see someone (or was it something?), lurching across the road. He slams the wheel of the car to the left, his foot still on the accelerator. The rubber loses its grip on the asphalt. Spin (here the arm is lost?), reel, violence, a butterfly flits past a spider-webbed windshield stained with blood, let’s put a dandelion here, peeking up from a crack just millimeters from the skid marks. The passenger regains consciousness. His mind wants to take a bit to reorient himself, but he sees his companion, skull firmly planted in the windshield, his body mangled by sheet metal and plastic.
He retches upon his lap. His hands instinctively move over his body in search of damage. His leg seems… well, unwell, but he can’t just stay in the automobile, can he? Yes, yes, open the door my friend, stumble out and feel the pain of a broken leg shoot through your body, but wait, say it now, say it…
“oh, god, no…”
But the truth lumbers toward you, moaning as it approaches. Spy over there that serendipitously placed shack-like building? He goes for it, and the corpses go for him. Ignore the pain, claim the death you want, or perhaps survive, but don’t succumb to being food.
I glance down at this passenger’s corpse.
“Forgive me, but I was afraid they would have eaten me too,” I think.