Page 2 of 4

It was just another day in the graveyard. My job was simple people die and I’m paid to dig the holes. I was working on my fifth grave of the day, the sun was setting and you could hear the town crier ringing the bell. A sign that shops were closing and the taverns would soon be full of people drinking their hard day’s wage away. Usually I’d be right there with them, but with the plague in full bloom a break wasn’t coming until I had all the bodies buried.
I didn’t work in any graveyard, no I had the high end customers, nobles, lords and ladies alike wanting a private resting place. Not the mass graves that were dug for peasants. The idea of a noble resting beside a peasant made these richie-rich types roll over in their graves. With a quick look over my left shoulder I could see two more bodies wrapped up in tight clean white fabric by the saw bones. I didn’t make enough to be treated this well at death, I’d be tossed in a mass grave with the rags on my back. The rate these nobles were dying I wondered how many could possibly be left?
Wiping my brow of sweat I tossed the shovel out of the hole and climbed out. All I had to do was bury these bodies and I could be on my way to my favorite spot to drink. You’d think getting this close to the plague would make me nervous but I figured if I haven’t caught it by now maybe I was going to be one of the lucky ones and survive this sickness that was sweeping the city.
One of the final two bodies was that of a noble woman. I had no idea how old she was, but her figure was a nice hour glass shape, easily seen under all that linen. I knew their families would be to cheap to bury them with any gold or other valuables, but a wicked thought crossed my mind. I would never get my hands on noble blood, but I could now. I figured I was going to hell anyways so what would one more sin do to my already wicked resume?
Reaching down I cupped the full breast of the dead women. It was hard to tell what I was holding to be honest. But the knowledge of it did arouse me, a commoner like me touching the fun bits of a noble. Fuck yeah. I looked around as my hand lingered. Then some noise from behind me spooked me and I stood up straight and continued doing my job.
By the time I got the ladies body to her grave the clean white wrapping was now covered in green grass stains and dirt. Not that she would care. I pushed her in to her hole and turned to grab the other body. I was shocked to see that it was gone. I stood there stunned…shocked and looked around thinking that someone was playing a trick on me. “Hello?” I spun in a circle expecting one of my drunken friends to jump out at me but there was no one, just silence. Well this is odd I thought to myself.

I started to walk around the graveyard, looking for any sign of the body. It’s not like it could just get up and start walking. Then from behind a rather large tree trunk I spotted a white foot sticking out from behind it. “There you are.” Looked around the tree and no one was there but it was not the body of the man but the body of the woman with a dirty hand print on the linen over her right breast. “How the hell did she get out of the grave?” I turned around. “Okay is that you Joe? Who ever is fucking with me, this is no longer funny.” I didn’t even hear as much as a snicker.
Nearly jumping out of my skin as something kicked my foot. “What the hell!” I turned and looked at the ladies body, her foot had moved the linen was coming lose. Her left foot was now at an odd angle. I gave her a kick, it wobbled but bounced back to the position it had been in before I kicked it. That was not enough for me, I needed to know this lady was dead. I leaned down and poked her in the side of her head, an arm shot up out of the white wrapping and grabbed my shirt. I yelled out and tried to pull away but the black bony hands had a death like grip. Screaming at the top of my lungs as I tried to break free I heard teeth grind and soon the fabric around the mouth split. I could see dark gums with brown teeth and a worse then death stench.
Pulling as hard as I could against the hand I broke free and turned to run, but there behind me was the male body and I bumped right in to it. I fell to my ass and got slapped in the face by the dead ladies arm which was still holding on to my shirt.
I yank and pulled at the arm but I couldn’t get it off my shirt, it was like the thing was apart of my own body. I got to my feet and watched as the dead lady got to hers. She seemed to know where I was even with the fabric around her eyes, she instantly turned in my direction and both of them started walking awkwardly towards me. I got up and ran, but something tripped me up and I fell into one of the freshly dug graves landing right on top of a squiggling body. “Fuck!” I yelled as hands wrapped around me. Suddenly I felt bodies fall upon me. Body after body fell upon me. The weight making it harder and harder to breath as I was slowly being crushed. When I was able to suck a breath in, it smelt like I was breathing in death.
Then a pain so bad light up on my right shoulder, dots of light flashed through my vision, then another pain in my hip came screaming into my brain. It felt like flesh was being torn from my body. My vision started to fade in and out as my vision collapsed inwards. I tried to breath, tried desperately to suck air in to my lungs. But it was to late, I felt something take a hold of me and pull me deep, deep in to myself until their was nothingness. Just a strong desire to eat.

The End.

I looked down at what was left of the body and there wasn’t much. The upper torso looked to be in once piece, but it got worse the lower you looked. Flesh hung from exposed ribs, a lung had been torn in half. Intestines missing like something had ripped them out completely. The right leg was missing at the knee and the left leg had been ripped from the hip. Flesh hung in shreds off the empty joint. It was an utter mess.
“What did you say happened to him again?”
“We were off world exploring a new planet and he was attacked by an unknown animal. This is what was left after we tracked the animal and found Dean laying there.”
“How did you manage to track it?”
“Easy doc, we followed flesh, bone, and blood.”
I nodded. “I’m not going to lie he is pretty mess up. One of the worst cases I have ever had come through my doors.”
“Well…just do what you can. His brain is intact so neuro links should be stable.”
“Should, I can’t guarantee that he will wake up from this. But I will inject the Nano-bytes to repair the brain damage that has taken place. How long has he gone without oxygen to the brain?”
“A day, maybe two.”
I nodded, it wasn’t to bad. The Nano-bytes should be able to repair the brain can’t grantee his memory but I doubt he would want to remember this anyways.”
“Alright Doc, just do what you can.”
I nodded.

The door hissed as Dean’s friend left and I reached for the Nano-byte injection. Once Dean’s body was injected I gave him a quick scan to find out how badly he was damaged and what sort of mods I would need to print in order to get him back in to form.
I sat at a work station and waited for the scan to finish. Once complete the screen populated with options to get him working and there were many things to look at. This was going to be a complicated build. It took me the better part of an hour to select the gear that would be needed. His innards would need to be repaired first. Creating new lungs, intestines, and everything else that had been ripped out and consumed.
I walked over to Dean’s corpse that had been cleaned and stripped of all clothing. Dean laid there nude as a printer rotated around him. Slowly the missing organs were rebuilt in white polymer. Even after renovating hundreds of bodies, from simple fingers missing to full body reconstructions with just a head to work with. I still found it interesting seeing a body take shape from metal polymer. Even though Dean met a rather gruesome end he should make a full recovery.

The scanned beeped and I gave the new organ a quick look over, everything looked fine and seconds after that the work station chimed in a signal that the Nano-bytes had done their job and electric signals were firing in Dean’s brain. This was an excellent sign it meant that I could jump start his organs, if they responded then the limbs would be the easy part.
I sat back down at the workstation and started to select programs to run on the nanobots to restart Dean’s system. Everything working perfectly, even with all internal damage he responded like he had suffered no trauma. I got a good ping back from the organs and began to select the next programs to run, rebuilding his limbs one by one until he functioned as normal.

I woke up in my small quarters not far from Med-bay. Looking out the window I watched the stars in the distance and rubbed my eyes. I gave the view screen on the wall a look and it appeared that all of Dean’s reconstructive surgery had been a success. Everything was in the green. I got dressed quickly and with excitement I ran to Med-bay and instantly my attention turned to Dean. He looked in perfect condition besides the metal limbs that would be matched and covered in syn-skin, once that was done he would look perfectly normal. It appeared my 300th renovation was complete. I double checked his neuro networks, they were pinging in the normal rang. I just had to reboot the brain and he would be good as new, probably better.
“Welcome back to the land of the living.”

Corson stood there looking up at the giant beast as it towered over him. The fur that covered the creature’s entire body stood on end. Both surprised to have run in to another being. The stare down ended when the beast lashed out.
Diving out of the way Corson could feel a blast of air against his cheek as the clawed paw missed popping his head off by millimeters. Corson tried to roll gracefully but ended up sliding on the slick grass of the swamp and landed hard on his side. His face half covered in the slimy mud he turned to see the great beast rear around in his direction. Scrambling to his feet Corson reached for the hilt of his sword but found it missing. Patting his side in panic, never had his sword fallen out from his sheath or his hand. Looking around he spotted it not far from where he stood. But there was one problem, the swamp creature stood between him and his sword. Reaching to his belt on the opposite side he pulled a small thin bladed dagger meant for stabbing between the openings in armor, not for slaying a giant beast.
Snarling the beast’s sickly yellow eyes locked in on him. Drool ran from between the beast’s teeth dripping like an hourglass counting down how much time Corson had to live.

Driving forward the beast used his front paws to boost himself up in to the air, his powerful rear legs giving that final burst of power and before Corson could react the beast had closed all the distance between them. The beast slammed in to Corson. He could feel the claws drawing shallow lines of red along his chest as it pierced his armor. The weight of the beast was slowly crushing the metal of his breastplate and forcing him to sink in to the soft mud of the swamp floor.
The soft ground rose up around him, water started to seep up from the ground filling the crevices. He knew he only had seconds before the water would slowly start to drown him. Probably a nicer death then what the creature would offer him. Corson could feel the sharp claws digging deeper in to his chest. His breastplate collapsed painfully on to his chest. Ribs cracked and broke under the weight of the beast. Reaching up with his hands in a last chance struggle Corson found one of the yellow eyes and dug his thumb as deep as he could in to the socket.
The beast roared in pain and reared up and off Corson. Not wasting a second of his freedom from the beast’s grasp he pushed up and out of the soggy hole and rolled away from the beast. Not looking to see the damage he did to it, his attention was full on getting his sword back in to his hand.

Ripping what was left of his armor off his chest he let it drop to the ground. With a run that was more like quick limp he made his way towards his sword. Hearing the beast roar behind him Corson dove for the blade that sent lightening bolts of pain through his body.
Rolling on to his back he thrust the blade up and away from him. The beast that was already in flight could only look on hopelessly as the blade sunk in to its chest until it was buried to the hilt under its own weight.
Corson lay there his chest heaving, the stink of the beast over powering his senses. As it lay on top of him he can hear the deep shallow breaths it took. The beating of its giant heart was slowing. Using all his might Corson rolled the beast over and sat on top of the creature.
Looking around making sure no other creature decided to show up he hung his head and took a deep breath. “Never a shred of doubt.” Corson said before taking the silhouette dagger and stabbing the beasts between its eyes making sure it was dead.

The End

Kids “next Monday is the field trip to Earth Orbit. Where we will watch the humans in their natural habitat. Upon returning from the field trip you will be expected to write a report on what you witnessed and what you have learned. Now be sure that tomorrow you will bring back the permission slips signed by your parents. If you don’t have them in by tomorrow you will not be able to join your class mates on the trip.”
Glog turned and looked to his friend and whispered quietly. “Are you parents going to let you go?”
I think so Glog, my Da went when he was our age so I don’t think he is worried. But my mom is concerned. You know with what has been going on there in the last decade.”
Glog sat back in his seat and smiled at Flob. His parents were not sold on the idea of observing the people from Earth. With their new technology and ability to look out in to space visiting Earth is becoming harder to do.
The sound of chimes echoed through the school and the kids all jumped from their desk excited that another school day had come to an end. “Remember kids!” The teacher yelled after them. “Get your permission slips signed.” She wondered if any of the kids had even heard her over the excitement of the chimes signaling the weekend was here.

Glog was not so excited as the other kids rushed for the exit looking forward to the weekend. He knew that as soon as he got home he would have to convince his parents to let him go and he wasn’t so sure that he was going to be able to do that. He stared out the window of the airship as it raced through the sky. Glog looked at the clouds and imagined what they looked like. Some looked like the six legged hanker, a huge furry creature that lived in the purple forest of Ven. Others looked like fish in the aqua oceans and well some just didn’t look like anything.
A ladies voice came over the P.A system. “Next stop Yelt Street.” With a heavy sigh Glog got his backpack on and got ready to get off. The bus stopped and hovered over the road. Glog walked up to a circular symbol on the buses floor. The driver looked at Glog and nodded, he nodded back and in a shimmer of purple light Glog disappeared and shortly reappeared on the street below. A few friends still on the air shuttle waved as it zoomed off disappearing in the clouds.

Glog walked down the street, his head hung low looking at the sidewalk. The green cement passed beneath his feet. When he looked up he had walked two homes past his and backtracked. Standing at the path that lead to the front door Glog just stared at it. Wondering how he was going to convenience his parents to let him go on this trip. The door swung open.
“Glog what are you doing just standing there?”
Glog looked at his mom and gave her a half smile.
What’s the matter son?” His father peaked out from behind his mother.
“Nothing .” Glog shook his head as he walked towards the door.
“I know my son and I know when something is wrong? Is Blok bulling you again?”
“No Mum!” Glog looked up at his Mum, angered that she would bring up that issue in front of his father. “If you must know it’s the trip…I want to go. My friends are going.” Glog walked past his parents and in to the home. Dropping his school bag on the bench he went in to the living room and plopped down on the couch. He heard his mother and father come in behind him.
“Son it is a dangerous trip.” His mother said taking a seat next to him, putting a gentle hand on his shoulder. “More so now son then when we had the opportunity to take the trip. The humans have become violent. Worse then when I visited the planet.”
“We just don’t want anything to happen to you. They have technology that lets them put junk into space. Like missiles and all these things can hurt and even kill everyone on board. We want to see you have a long happy life. That is all.”
“I get it, but all my friends already have their permission slips signed.”
“Son…” Glog’s father said. “You give me three reasons why you think you should go and I will consider them.”
Glog looked up at his dad. “One, I get to see another planet and learn about it. Two I get to watch another people, how amazing is that Dad to see another species of life? Three, it’s a right of passage, it is a sign that we are moving on to the next lesson, the next step in my life.” Sighed Glog.
Glog’s father looked at his mother. Their eyes met and his lips thinned. He didn’t think his song would have come up with reasons that had so much thought behind them in such little time. He was expecting reasons like his friends were going, or it was cool. The surprise his son gave him was pleasant.
“Is this something that you believe you need to do?”
“Yes“ Da it is.”
“Okay we will sign the permission slip but you must do something for your Mum and I.”
“Anything Da, I’ll do the dishes for…forever. I’ll keep my room clean…anything Da.”
“Well all those reason are good and you should be doing them to begin with. But what I was thinking is this weekend I will take you to Buy Best and we will pick up a planetary phone that you will carry with you on the trip. You must call us when you arrive and check in through out the trip. That is my only stipulation.”
Glog nodded. “Of course I’ll even take pictures and sent them to you.” Glog jumped from the couch and hugged his Mum and Da. “Thank you so much.”
Glog’s Da rubbed the top of his sons head. “Well get your jacket, lets get this phone now and get it set up.”
Glog grabbed his jacket and was at the door before his Da had even put his shoes on.

The End.

From the shadows I stalked, watching, waiting, and baiting unsuspecting souls in to the inky blackness of what would be their last breath.   I loved the night and how things changed.  How behind every corner could be the end of your story.  It sickens me that during the day everyone walked around with a sense of power and control.  Even the most timid soul could be a mighty king in the mid of day.
But when that sun faded over the horizon and the silver moon was high above.  That was when monsters like me came out.  Where the mighty kings of day would turn in to cowards.  Where shivers of the cold could leave you breathless and scared.  This was my home, the deep dark black of night.
After all this is why children were often afraid of the dark, being told ghost stories from the beginning of time.  Where monsters hide under their beds and grotesque creatures would stalk the forests.  Hundreds, thousands, a millennia later on the silver screen these monsters turned in to high school lovers, it was joke, an insult to us night dwellers.  Sparkling in the sunlight, a love triangle with a werewolf.  I’d shake my head if I currently weren’t latched on to a half drunk woman love struck on my bite.  But what did they know anyways?  They knew the stores, but not what truly hide in the darkness.

 

The End

The elevator chains rattled and the platform slowly lowered into the mine.  Four miners stood on the platform all thinking about the malfunctioned that sent four of their fellow employees tumbling to their deaths only a week ago.  So this morning the four friends were nervous and didn’t have the capacity to hold a conversation as they were to focused on listening for any sound and looking for any sign that it was there turn to take the ride to the hard ending.

Today was particularly dangerous.  Their job was to unearth a new part of the mine that the drill was unable to get through.  They were given a box of expired dynamite and were told to make it happen by the higher ups.   The platform jerked to a stop and they stared at the dynamite waiting for it to explode but it never happened.

“Dynamite, are they nuts!  It’ll bring the whole fucking mine down” Bob wasted no time in getting his opinion out to the fella’s.

“If you don’t like it quit.  Not much we can do about it.”

“We’re sheep to the slaughter, live with it or go in the unemployment line.”

“Hey anyone know where management offices are?  Maybe we should plant the dynamite under the offices and bring management down to our level.”  Snickered Greg.

“Yeah sure, then we’d be buried down here with them.  Rather stick the dynamite up my ass and light it.”

“Shut up guys.  Screw’em let’s get this over with and hope that if the mine does come down we can get a lawyer and we’ll have our lottery ticket outta’ere.”

“With our luck it will come down on our heads and the company wont pay a cent for death benefits because they will say we violated some imaginary procedure.”

“Guys, shut the fuck up.  Lets just get this done.”

They walked through the mine and planted the dynamite as asked, ran the detonation wire back to the elevator and huddled behind a small wooden skid they turned on its side.

“Yeah this is real safe guys.”  Bob said.

George looked at Bob and started counting.  “3…2…1.” George pressed the detonation button.  The vibration from the explosion knocked the men over as dirt fell in streams from the ceiling.  They all looked up waiting for the ceiling to fall in on them but nothing happened.  The loose dirt slowly came to a stop and their ears rang but they had survived the blast.

“Ah shit.  That was fucking crazy!”  Paul patted his body making sure he all the pieces he walked in with.

“The mine fucking survived!”  Greg said with disbelief.

“So did we you moron.  Let’s go check it out the damage.”

They took the same path back down the mine.  Checking the walls for any weaknesses that might have been caused by the blast.

“Hey does this look okay to you?” Bob asked.

“Bob, you need to look at this.”  Greg grabbed his buddy’s head and turned it in the direction they were looking.  “You seeing what I’m seeing?”

“I don’t know what the fuck I’m looking at.”  Greg said quietly.

“Worms, giant bloody worms.”

“Not bloody…green.”

“Umm, why are they glowing green?”

“Who the fuck knows, maybe they tested nuclear bombs down here.”  Paul said giving his pals the usual sarcastic remark.

“Who gives a fuck what color they are!  I think we should make our way back to the elevator and take the rest of the day off.”

“Fuck yeah.  This is definitely above our pay grade.”

They turned and ran back to the elevator, jumped on and hit the panic button.  The chains rattled and the elevator moved up, but not fast enough.  The giant green worms were moving more then an inch at a time and were catching up to them faster then the elevator moved.

The four of them had their heads up, looking at that speck of light that gradually got larger until they reached the top.  None of them dared to look down they didn’t want to see what was coming up the mine shaft after them.  They pushed and shoved their way off the platform and walked directly into a line of managers.

“Where do you think you ‘re going?”  One of the managers asked.

Greg looked at the manager his was name was Kevin.  Everyone thought he was a real asshole.  “Kevin, I’m sick.  I’m going home.”

“Yea me too!” Paul quickly added

“Me to.” Bob responded.

“I think I have the flu.”  George said while coughing.

All four of the friends left as the line of five managers all out having their smoke break looked at them.  The terminal manger of the mine was about to speak but was cut short as one of the giant green worms exploded from the mineshaft sending dirt and dust in to the air.  The line of managers all turned, their smokes falling from their lips as Kevin was the only one who managed to say anything.  “Oh shit.”  The worm slammed down on to the ground, flattening him and the other managers into puddles of blood, bone, and guts that were dressed in fine suits.

“I hated them all anyways.”  Paul said as he ran as quickly as he could.

“Well they were gonna get it someday, either from a pissed of worker with an AK, or a giant fucking worm.  Who would have guessed it was a giant fucking worm?”

A Chevy Tahoe was parked closest, it was Georges.  He fumbled for his keys and hit the button that unlocked all the doors.  “Guys get the fuck in!”  George said.

They wasted no time, each leaping in.  Before all the doors had closed the engine sparked to life, it was jammed in to gear and the gas pedal was pressed to the floor..

“Hit it George, this is not the time to baby your truck!”

“Go…go…go…go!”

“It’s to the floor boys!”  George yelled.

The worms were getting closer explosions rocked the ground as the three worms flatted everything in their path.

“What are we gonna do?”  Paul asked.

“I’ll tell you want we are gonna do, were going up to my cottage, were gonna go fishing, and wait for the real bad asses to come and take care of this shit.”

“Did you see what happened to management?”  Greg said.  “That was messed up.”

“This whole situation is messed up.”

“That’s why we are going up north, away from this mess.”

The guys didn’t say anything about George’s idea about going up north, probably because they were all looking our the rear window at the chaotic mess that was going on behind them.

Once up at George’s cottage they settled in and were out on the lake fishing before days end.

“Are there any fish in this lake George?”

“Maybe we should have brought some of that expired dynamite with us.  Then we’d be in for a good dinner.”

“Guys this ain’t Crocodile Dundee-“ George was cut off before he could finish.

“Fuck I loved that movie.”

“Yea, me too.  That isn’t a knife.  This is a knife!”

All the men shared in a laugh.

Their was a flash then a bright light that lite the horizon on fire.  The ground shook and a large mushroom cloud could be seen in the sky.

“Oh shit.” Paul said.  “Badasses showed up.”

“More like pressed a button.”  Greg quickly added.

“Would you look at that, ever seen one of those before?”  Bob said watching the blast.

“Do you think we have secret lives Bob?  None of us have seen shit like this before.”  George quickly added.

“Do you think they got the worms?”

“Paul, I don’t know.  If we had…oh I don’t know a radio in that cabin we might be able to find out what’s going on.”

“What do we do?”  Paul asked.  “Should we get inside?

“I think we just stay here and keep fishing.”  The men nodded in agreement with Bob, and cast out their lines enjoying a beautiful nuclear sunset.

 

The End

 

 

It was a long day at work and all I wanted to do was head home, pop open a beer and play some Destiny.  It was the latest triple ‘A’ title released and it was great fun.  I sat in my cubical and spent the last 30 minutes looking up WTF pictures until the clock ticked four and I was a free man.

As my luck would have it the only spot available was at the very end of the parking lot when I arrived earlier in the day.  It was winter, I was cold, and by the time I got to my car I was grumpy.  Unlocking it I got in and let it warm up.  As my windshield slowly defogged I saw a note.  Great had to get out of my warm car, I was not impressed.

Ripping the note from the under the wiper blade I began to read it.  “The World is ending call 843-2632.  We need your help to save the world.”  I looked at the note and laughed. Some asshole co-worker was playing with me because who ever it was found out I liked video games.  I may be 35 but I like gaming so what if I like getting lost in an imaginary world now and then and get to play a hero saving digital worlds.  I tore the note up and tossed it out my window thinking nothing of it.

I arrived home in a pissed off mood and got my beer and went online.  Xbox Live was down.  Great!  I sat there looking at the green and black screen when my apartment building started to shake.  My first thought was I live in Ontario it’s not earthquake central like LA.  I looked out my window and saw a fireball moving though the sky.  “Shit.  I should’ve called that number.”  My cell phone flashed with a text message from 843-2632 it read.  “Asshole”.  I finished my beer with a front row seat to the end of the world.

The End