Arrant Powers Short Story: Burnt Meat

RottedCapes_postIt’s been months since I’ve felt it. That twinge. That mental call leading me to him. It flares for a bit, then ends just as quickly. Like a stopper on a lantern. Each time, I head in his general direction, hoping another pulse will suddenly flare. It’s happening much more often now. He must be under a lot of stress.

It gets harder when I try not to get noticed by the super powered fucks looking for fresh meat in the area. Meeting one of them would probably not go well for me. I’m no pushover, but I am nowhere near what I was in my heyday.

Then, I hear it. A yell, quickly stifled. Very close. I follow the sound slowly, crawling over rubble like a goddamn insect. Far from the bird I use to be. Still, it gave me results. Popping my head up above a pile of concrete, I see a woman and a little girl trying to hide in in some rubble staring at what, to them, would be a grey terror.

The Grey stood there and I wondered how that whiny little jackass survived the apocalypse.  Grey essentially looked like one of those 50’s aliens from Roswell. He tried to convince everyone that he was part of a vast alien empire and the conspiracy nuts ate it up. It was only later that the truth came out. He was simply a mutant who got unlucky. Grew up small, weak, and had a huge head with a normal human intelligence. Hell, he didn’t even have any genitals. Although his tabloid exploits tend to show he tried his best with what he had. Even becoming a zombie hadn’t made him any more menacing. He looked more like a broken grey ken doll.

He came at them slowly. Trying to look intimidating. Raising his arms almost comically and yelling and screaming like he was trying to look bigger than he was. The mother was having none of it. She grabbed a steel bar and got ready to use it. All 3 foot nothing of him tried to lunge and the bar met his skull. Rotted brain matter and silver blood flew to the floor and the now desiccated body almost floated to the ground.

The mother’s moment of triumph ended quickly when she heard me walking up behind her. Perhaps it was the high from beating down a powered zombie but she held up her weapon and began to inhale to scream at me. Which was what I was waiting for.

The fire from my palm scorched her face and she staggered back. The burnt flesh on her face wouldn’t kill her, but the fire going down into her body was a different matter. She coughed up blood as her throat and possibly her lungs were burnt to a crisp. The shock would get her down quickly, and she would take at least a minute to die. Keeping her fresh as I went for her…

BLAM

The shot went into my shoulder, and I was sure I heard the crack of bone. The last thing I needed was a injury that would hamper me. Undead or not, can’t do anything without functioning body parts. I looked behind me and saw the frightened girl, maybe 8 or 9, holding her gun and looking terrified. Trying to save her mother.

All I saw after that was red and fire.

I always lose my temper like this. And, like always, I’m suffering because of it. By the time I came to my senses, they were burnt to a crisp. There was hardly any good meat on their bones.

I salvaged what I could, working around the burnt flesh of a small hand, when I felt it. The twinge again. It’s been a while but it was definitely coming from the northeast and it felt much stronger. Good.

Brother, we will be together soon. It’s time for the Torchlight Twins to set the world on fire.


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About the Author
Jesus “Arvandus” Rodriguez is the founder and website tweaker of the Fandible podcast. When he isn't out creating imaginary worlds for his players, he also runs a youtube channel where he writes short fiction in various fictional worlds. https://www.youtube.com/c/ArvandusTheStoryteller

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