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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 19

Cody Jarrett woke silently, his hand coiling to the nearby Colt revolver. It was dark, almost overcast, but not as cold as it should have been if it was still pre-dawn. Still, the hairs on the back of Cody's neck were standing on end and he had a feeling, a feeling that something wasn't quite right. Cody slowly rolled to his feet, holding the Colt in front of him, finger dancing over the triggers. the starlight had all but faded as last nights fire crackled with its last, lonely dying embers.

Cody knew someone was out there. He heard the subtle movements, the small stirrings of motion. Even along a well known trail, you never could tell who may be out, especially in the early parts of pre-dawn. Plus with as much money as Jarrett was holding, he certainly didn't want to take any chances. Cody walked gingerly to the edge of his small campsite. The horses were nickering nervously, putting Jarrett even more alert. He walked the perimeter of the camp, his eyes detecting nothing in the fading twilight. Jarrett eased his way back towards the campsite, slowly bringing the barrel of his Colt up and easing the trigger down.

Cody came up to the horses first, approaching at the backside of his camp, and ran a hand over the animals, trying to soothe each of the mounts. The horses were pulling at their tethers and getting more and more agitated by the moment. Cody could read the growing fear in their eyes as they danced about skittishly, his calming motions bringing no comfort to the frightened animals. Finally one of the horses reared back, whinnying loudly and pulled loose its tethered stake from the ground. The other two horses bucked and did the same, pulling at the branches and other bits of shrubbery by which they had been tethered.

Cody made a desperate grab for his horse, diving at the animal, trying to snake his free hand into his man. the horse was to fast though, as it bolted through the broken hillside, away from the trail. Cody's dive landed him in a small clearing by his camp and he tucked himself into a roll as he hit the Earth. Cody followed through on the roll and came up quickly, smoothly drawing his second pistol from his belt and cocking the hammers on both. He brought them up, loaded for bear, fingers hovering over each rigger, and finally saw his attackers.

Beau and Buford Johnson were moving towards him. Though the Johnson Brothers he had known just hours ago, were far unlike what he had seen before. Their skin was yellow and sour, and their fingers ended in sharp blackened points. Their mouths were distended parodies, wider and lined with razored yellow and black teeth. The front of Beau's chest was still riddled with the four bullets that Cody himself had filled him with before, the red blood that stained the front of his shirt was now etched in blackened pus and ichor. His brother was worse, the two bullets that Cody had fired had similar effects but the belly wound had festered, the spoiled skin cracking. He shambled towards Cody, a stream of his own entrails spilling from the oozing sore and dragging behind him, leaving a trail of dark blood and bile through the dusty trail.

"Mother fucker...."

Cody half whispered the curse, the guns still poised in each of his hands. How do you kill something you already shot dead? He looked at each brother, slowly backing up. It was then that he noticed the breaking dawn behind the two monsters. The cresting sun turned dark and black. Long Stygian tendrils stretched from the inky orb, casting a pale overcast on the sky. Cody Jarrett looked at the dead sun, then back to the two creatures bearing down on him, and realized how truly fucked he was.

End of Line.

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