Black Petals Issue #79 Spring, 2017

Last Leg

Home
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Cellmates-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Drogol the Nosophorous and the Calf of Man-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Feral Rage-Fiction by Dave Anderson
First Bite-Fiction by Jeff Dosser
For Sale-Fiction by Dave Anderson
Get Some Shelter-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Last Leg-Fiction by Dave Anderson
Surviving Montezuma, Ch. 7 & 8-Continuing Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Turbulent Silence-Fiction by George Economou
3 Haiku by William Landis
A Mother's Delight-Poem by Liz McAdams
4 Poems by Brendan McBreen

deathindesert.jpg

Last Leg

 

By Dave Anderson, Featured Author

 

Hot red running

 

 

Todd Hauser’s mind was tilting toward madness. The last clear memory was of his lover’s ex-husband brandishing a gun at him and taunting him that he had “killed the bitch.” At first, when he had turned around to face the familiar voice calling his name, he hadn’t expected to see a gun. It wasn’t revealed until the sun shone through the window of Landers Mall from behind the gunman that he knew what it was. The sun rimmed the silver, which, for a second, took away the severity of the thing. He gulped, feeling an intrusion—invented by his mind—in his throat.

The jilted party had driven him out to the Mojave Desert, leaving him a couple bottles of water and a portable radio transmitter as a joke; he had also poked holes in the bottoms of the water bottles.

Now, six hours in, the sun hung over the desert, skewering his eyeballs like hot pokers—enough that he used his left hand like a visor. He’d be dead from heat stroke in another three hours. He just sat in the sand in his suit, dress shirt open to expose the white, sweat-drenched tee-shirt outlining his hairy chest.

There was no point in moving, just miles and miles of sand. The Mojave was bordered by the Great Basin to its north and the Sonora to its south and east. Even if he had headed west it would take three hours to find a road. He sat there, one leg extended and the other tucked under it. His body had gone from pink through various reds, based on which areas got the most exposure; he was blistering and peeling in the redder areas, which were starting to purple. His chic auburn hair was bleaching.

Hauser knew he was losing his mind when he saw the rotting corpse of Teddy, his infant brother, at his feet. His identical twin’s forehead was split open, revealing green membrane oozing from crevices in his skull. His nose was eroded to red cartilage on top of the yellow holes which used to be his nostrils. His left eye, still intact, stared up at Todd blindly; the right was an empty socket, from which brown spongy material leaked, running down and forming a V on his cheek. His brother’s tiny corpse suddenly opened its mouth and wailed, “You sucked the life out of me, parasite!” The exposed bones and tendons in the translucent neck moved as he spoke.

Hauser screamed, and the apparition faded.

Almost three hours passed. He had plenty of time to reflect on his self-indulgent life, perfect until his present misfortune—Bottega Veneta tuxedos, girlfriends galore, and the best bodyguards money could buy. He missed his murdered lover and plush apartment, its walls embossed with tiny red ensigns.

The radio transmitter crackled to life; he wondered how it could pick up signals outside the desert. Suddenly, he recognized the voice of his best friend, Gomez Mundey. “I’m coming for you, but it’ll take me at least a day.”

Hauser didn’t have a day. Then a ghastly thought came to him—at times like this people resort to drastic measures to survive—and the only way he’d live was by staying hydrated. He had no liquid resource except his blood! He was going to do it: amputate his left leg, or part of it, and drink his own blood. There’d be enough to keep him hydrated until rescue.

He picked up the radio and struck below his left kneecap. It opened a gash about two inches in diameter, running horizontal along the shin and about eight inches deep; he was able to stick his left index finger in, up to where it bent. As he shoved his finger further to enlarge the hole he screamed in gooey globs of lunacy; strands of saliva formed and broke in the back of his mouth. The pain was unbearable. The wet sound of tearing flesh reminded him of ripping open a bologna package. 

He hit the appendage several times more, until there was a thud and part of his leg lay on the ground, leaving behind a bloody stump and a deep-seated itch. The blood that poured out was thick and looked like bent red straws. He sipped, the taste and the sound of the rescue helicopter equally ironic.

 

The End

 

 

David Anderson, davidbriananderson@outlook.com, of Ontario Canada, who wrote BP #79’s featured works, “Feral Rage,” “For Sale,” and “Last Leg,” is an avid writer of horror and gore. With an extensive writing background, he currently works as a freelance reporter for a couple of newspapers.

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