For any of you who know a writer, you probably know they are a unique breed that seems to pull inspiration from wherever they can find it. I had a particularly bad day last week. I was cranky and went somewhere I knew I could relax. Someone took that moment to push my buttons. At this point, I was fired up. So I let my creative side loose and wrote this story where I pictured him as I gave a character a very imaginative death. As far as I know, Harley isn’t his real name. I just put it in since it was close enough to be cathartic but different enough to protect him. Without further ado, I present “Harley Must Die!”
Harley Must Die!
Harley kicked a can lightly as he walked down the desolate road. The sky covered the world in a coarse grey blanket. He checked around for signs of life. The street held only a few scraps of paper. He lied back on the grass letting his muscles relax. His muscles screamed, finally releasing. He closed his eyes, feeling the cool grass against his aching body.
Footsteps echoed down the lonely street. Harley jumped up quickly. His heart rammed into his chest as he looked around him for the source of the noise. A hand touched his shoulder. Harley jumped out of his skin. He turned slowly towards the touch. A boy stood there with wide blue eyes. A rat’s nest sat on top of the boy’s head which was smothered in dirt.
“You scared the shit out of me,” Harley said panting between each word. He put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, feeling his lungs burn. Harley watched as the boy held his lips tight, keeping the horrors in his eyes inside. A sweeping noise echoed in the distance behind Harley. The new pair ran down the street trying to get away from the sound that widened their eyes and rushed their hearts. A grumble of growls followed them as they ran.
Harley looked back at the boy, watching him be devoured by the swarm of undead. The undead seemed undeterred in their hunt. Harley pushed himself to keep running despite his burning legs and lungs. He felt a sharp pain in his lower calf bringing him to his knees. Hissing, Harley felt the pavement cut into his hands. He got up on his good knee, scooting himself to a nearby shed. He bit his lip trying to push his pain out of his mind as he dragged himself along the pavement.
Harley eyed the old wooden shed, it’s white paint stained and peeling. Harley pulled himself in, closing the door and turning the lock. The door pounded as a young man’s voice pleaded, “Let me in!”
Harley felt sweat pour down his back as he looked around. He spotted a rifle lying amongst barrels along the wall. Dragging himself over to the rifle, Harley held the door shut with his good foot. He slipped the rifle through the door handle, praying it wouldn’t fall. He heard the shuffling of feet move closer, tasting the rot in the air. The door rattled as the zombies banged on the door. The rifle jiggled in the door sending it crashing to the ground. Harley screamed as a bullet flew through his uninjured leg. The rattling became louder. Harley ripped off a piece of his shirt and tied it on his wound, trying to stop the gushing blood. A sickly feeling bubbled up his throat until it spewed across the floor.
Harley wiped his mouth as he heard the young man’s deathly howl. Harley replaced the rifle in the door handle, pointing it away from himself. He closed his eyes, trying to block out the sights and smells of his reality. The screams grated against his ears. He thrust his hands up to his head trying to protect his ears. A tear shed as the crunching sounds of bones pushed into his brain. He looked around for anything. Blank walls and barrels stared back at him.
The shed rattled louder as the crunching stopped. The walls shook like the earth considered swallowing the shed whole. Harley tried to curl up, protecting his head with his arms. His legs screamed in pain as the ground roared with the zombies outside. The rifle danced with the rhythm of the earth. A shot went off and echoed through the shed. Harley’s face froze in horror, trying to release his screams.
A boom thundered through the air. A black smudge covered where the shed stood. The zombies scavenged around, looking for the sweet rewards of victory, ready to claim their coveted meal.