We both stood, motionless staring deep into each others eyes for what seemed like an eternity. Time slowed, I was acutely aware of everything around me. No movement, my heart slowed, my sweat stopped, my breath ceased. I could feel the hair growing on my face, I could feel age passing through me. All I could do was - nothing.
Neither of us moved, I could hear the tick of the Coca-Cola clock on the wall, the lonely fly that buzzed about this beast was the most strikingly bright green I had ever seen. Was that new or had it always been sharing this moment with us? I could make out the veins on its wings, the hairs on its legs. The sight of this bug comforted me, finally something that made me think the world was still real.
He was the first to move. Ever so slowly I watched as a long slimy blue tongue slipped between his pursed lips and quickly flick the air as if he was a serpent smelling, looking for the next meal. He moved toward me, I was still frozen in time. My mind said fight, run, breath - just do something, anything but still no action came from within. His tongue moving wildly now as he moved into the light. It appeared to hurt as the light bounced off his ugly bruised looking skin, all purple and yellow. Covered in cuts and gashes, some still oozing whatever it was that pumped through his veins. Some cuts so deep I could peer inside his broken bones, exposing his rotten marrow.
Something had changed, this was not the mindless carcass of a friend or neighbor that I had seen before. This was all beast, the only semblance of humanity was the fact it stood mostly upright. No more clothes, no more hair or nails. This was a beast unlike anything I had ever seen, even in my darkest nightmares I could not have concocted something like this. The beast emerged into the room, standing mere inches from my face. His tongue flicked around me, actually touching my ear. It seemed to recoil in disgust at the taste of me. He licked the air some more all around me, as if trying to figure out if I was dinner or if I was something all together different. To my surprise he lunged past me, closing the curtain and shutting out the light. I had never seen something move so fast, it was like acrobatics of Olympic caliber as he bounded across the room shutting out the light, or shutting in the dark. On his last bound his foot caught a lamp by the door and knocked it to the floor.
All of a sudden we were locked into stillness again, for eons he stood motionless staring in the direction of the crashed light. Slowly his tongue started again and then he moved to the lamp and examined the area. That's when I knew what the problem was, the beast was blind or at least almost blind. The sound of the clock still echoed in my head, I moved my eyes to look at it. It was not moving, all the hands were still. Puzzled I could not figure it out, until he stood right next to me again. Tasting at the air around me, his mouth right next to my ear - the smell almost more then I could bare luckily the weed had made my stomach a rock. The sound was now deafening in my head of the the tick toking of an unseen clock. Only it was not a clock, it was the beast.
My mind raced, I had to fight, had to kill. It was him or me, but did I want it to be me? Life without anything else, was this living. There must have been something, someone else. I had seen this scenario to many times in to many movies to believe I was it. Everything had played out like a movie, the only problem - movies never show what happens 2 months later, 2 years later, hell not even two weeks later.
The beast began bounding around the room again, it seemed he was searching for something. Food, water, life?? Who knows what he was looking for, but his rapid movement made my mind up, I wanted to leave this room alive - I WAS GOING TO LEAVE THIS HOUSE ALIVE. My eyes searched everything that I could see without moving a muscle. Looking for anything I could use as a weapon, all my guns were locked up, my bow's were in the basement along with my knives.
Why the hell do I have so many weapons, had I been preparing for the war to come without ever knowing about it?? My mind drifted along my life as I tried to recall all the lessons I had learned from my father, my mother, my friends. What a barbaric life I had lived, I had killed, I had fought all in the name of food and fun. All these lessons had been working up to this the final battle I was to face.
The beast crashed into the wall, shaking the curtain off its hook. The sun blazed into the room filling every nook and cranny with its warmth and glow. The beast recoiled in horror as it tried to cover itself, tried to hid from the light that was so obviously paining it.
This was my moment, the beast lunged towards the place it had called home before I stumbled in. I grabbed for the broom that leaned against the wall just inside of the door frame. Turning and holding it like a shield in front of me. I caught the beast just under what should have been a rib cage. All I felt was a mass of soft rotten flesh wrap around the shaft of the broom, swallowing my hands into its mid section. The blast of putrid air hit me in the face like a brick as I forced the rotten air out of this creature.
I started to run at the patio door, just as the full weight of this creature was bearing down on my outstretched arms. I knew if only I could make it outside I had a chance. At full tilt we hit the door, glass smashing behind the beast as I pushed through. Glass shards ripping into everything. I could feel my skin part just over my ear, I felt flesh tearing away from muscle on my shoulder. No pain, the cuts were deep - the glass sharp, the adrenalin pumped but mostly the will to live pushed through. I was no more of a man then I was before but at that moment I was strong, stronger then I had ever been.
We tumbled onto the porch in a heap of blood, glass and flesh. The sun felt so warm covering me, making at ease. The beast began to move violently not knowing which way to go. I could see some of my blood on its face, starting to run down and fall into his gaping mouth. His eyes instantly fixed on me again, locked into a death stare. He know knew I was food, as if the sun no longer bothered him he lunged at me like a drunken fool out defending his honor.
He was fast, faster then I had seen inside. I did not have a chance as he was on top of my, his fingers digging into my chest. Slicing through my shirt and getting stuck in the bone. He turned and picked my body up like a feather turning my back to the sun, using me as a shield. He pulled me in close and looked into my eyes as he seemed to smile up at me before ripping into my throat with his razor sharp teeth, my blood poured out of my neck into his gaping hole.
With my last move I took that broom handle and lunged it into his neck, skewering him like a shishkabob. He dropped me like a heap of lead on the deck in front of him. He put his foot onto my chest and as the life started to fade out of me I could see him crumpling. He tilted his head back and laughed, a gargled forced sound that let me know I had won.
He fell to the deck beside me, his body sliding down the length of the broom. His eyes came to rest staring into me, piercing my brain. I trickle of my blood escaping his motionless lips. As I lay there dying, I was a peace with myself - knowing what waited for me on the other side.
His hollow eyes began to cloud over and the glint disappeared, he was dead - I HAD WON. I smiled to myself as I pushed myself onto my back to stare into the sun sucking in the warmth I smiled as it started to get dark.
The sweetest song floated through the air as I heard the distant sound of a song bird....