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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 31

Morgan had found the young girl on the side of the road leading towards Desperation. The poor thing had looked terrible. Her dress had been reduced to mostly rags and her body was a mess of cuts and scrapes. She had deeply purple bruises across her stomach and ribs as well as welts on her scalp. Her face was slightly swollen and blood still trickled from the fresh split in her lip. She had been shoeless and her feet had been a mess of cuts and burrs. Her hair was still damp from her douse in the river and she still smelled of of smoke. He had gotten off his horse when he had found her and took a knee in front of her, moving slowly. One not to frighten her, but two, well... the second reason was just in case. She had been curled up into a ball, but when she finally looked up, raising her head from between her knees, she had embraced him in a fierce hug, a fresh set of tears shuddering from the poor girl.

He had wrapped her in the blanket from his bedroll and helped her onto his horse, telling her he'd escort her to Desperation. She had nodded and they had rode in silence for a long time. After a while though, she had regained her composure somewhat and at Morgan's gentle insistence had opened up. Her name was Ally Marshall she had said, and told him her story. About the blond man killing her family and attacking her. About waking up in the stables. And about her family rising from the dead and her eventual escape down the river. Morgan hadn't told her about his wife or child, he didn't think she needed to hear it, but he listened intently. He now knew that it wasn't just his farm, that somehow, the dead were walking the earth again. He looked to the dead sun overhead and thought about the old stories of his people.

After Ally finished her story she closed her eyes and rested against Morgan's back. They rode in silence for a while, until the woods gave way to a scrubs, eventually settling into more farmable land. The pair rode quietly, coming up to a sprawling farm, it's house set just beyond the trail. The front of the house had tethers for horses along a small open air stable, an old way station for horses apparently that looked like it saw little use. A length of fence ran alongside the road towards a gate in the center. Morgan eased the horse up towards the gate and slid down, reassuringly patting Ally's leg.

Morgan held up a hand, motioning to Ally to stay with the horse.
"I'll be right back, just stay here. I won't be out of sight."

She had nodded silently, but he could see the fear in her eyes.

Morgan slid free his revolver and thumbed back the hammer, creeping slowly towards the main house. The house was deathly silent and the hairs on the back of Morgan's neck stood up. He crept up the steps to the porch, the front door wide open. He stuck his head in the house and looked around. The foyer was covered in blood, running from the top of the stairs into a pool on the floor in front of the main door. Morgan grimaced and pulled back out, following the porch as it ran around the perimeter of the house. As he turned the corner, he saw a shed behind the house. In front of the shed, he saw two forms laying on the ground.

They didn't move, but Morgan still moved slowly. He crept the gun in front of him, his finger tight on the trigger. He gave Ally a reassuring wave that he didn't quite feel himself and slowly approached the two shapes. He pointed the gun at the first shape until he was close enough to make it out. It was barefoot, wearing only coveralls, but it had been one of them. Despite the gaping hole in it's head, he could still make out the clawed fingers and sallow skin. A few steps later he saw the second one much the same, though obviously this had been the lady of the house. Her dress torn down the front, exposing the festering wound in her chest. Her head too had been split wide open and from the looks of it, by a shotgun. Morgan walked towards the door of the shed, slowly pushing it open with the barrel of his gun. Inside, he found one more body, shot in the head as well. Her dress had been torn off her body, leaving her naked and exposed, bruises and purple blemishes marking her skin. The only difference between this victim and the two outside was that this poor girl had still been alive before she was shot.

End of Line.

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