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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 4

Father Enrico Santiago made the sign of the cross and hurried across the courtyard of his small mission. His threadbare brown robes rustled in the stiff desert wind and his free hand caressed the rosary beads at his waist. His deeply browned face was reddened and covered with sweat, and he was having trouble catching his breath. There has been terrible reports from the neighboring village this morning, reports he had dismissed as superstition despite the strangeness of the weather. He offered another prayer, biting off an old curse he had once used in a former life and hurried into the parish, running his hand through his thinning hair. He had dismissed the wild claims, until he had seen them with his own eyes.

Father Santiago had saddled his small donkey and left with two of his order to place the panicking villages, whose tales of the dead risen from the grave had seen preposterous. He wasn't prepared for what he had seen, hordes of vicious blood thirsty monsters surging through the small village. If he closed his eyes he could still see their distended faces. Skin turned a sickly yellow with engorged mouths, stretched impossibly wide to house rows of blackened fangs. The creatures fingers turned to yellow black sharpened points. The sight of blood and entrails as the creatures feasted on the living.

He stifled another shudder and bolted the door, calling the rest of his small order together, consisting of two other monks along with a stable boy and a washerwoman. They peppered him with questions about what he had seen. About why the sun had suddenly turned to a darkened orb. Santiago ignored the questions and simply directed each of them to a job, fortifying the windows and barricading the doors, all the while trying to keep the grinning face of the undead out of his mind.

He had barely escaped alive, his companions were not so lucky. The creatures had swarmed them before they could even register what they were witnessing. The beasts weren't fast, but what they lost in speed they made up in numbers. Enrico could still hear the screams of Brother Alvarez and Brother Cervantes as they were pulled from their donkeys. Enrico had reacted faster, urging his small donkey into a spin and kicking him to show some speed. He hadn't been fast enough though, and he heard the donkey cry out as one of the monsters bit into its leg. Enrico fell forward and landed in a pile. He could feel them at his back and he jumped up and ran towards the mission as fast as his sandeled feet could carry him never looking back, still hearing the screams of the living behind him.

End of Line.