“Is this really necessary? I mean I’m not exactly much of a threat. I don’t even do cardio, my blood is ninety percent mountain dew! I get out of breath going to the bathroom, come on!” Murray cried as Carpenter tied him to the mison mast of the giant pirate ship in the whitefish mall.
He was whistling passing ropes back and forth wrapping him snuggly around his whole body. Murray’s soggy floppy hair hanging down with sweat.
“And why upside down? That’s just cruel and unusual, I’m getting dizzy already.” Murray continued to whine.
Carpenter bent down when he was satisfied Murray was tied tight enough. He got right up in Murray’s face with that harsh oniony breath making his eyes water. Murray tried to get away from that acidic breath burning his eyes but there wasn’t much room for his head to move. Carpenter smiled and said “I don’t want you to get in the way” He laughed and flicked his nose “Landlubber”. He stood up tall with his hands on the hips of his new red coat and pirate hat he stole off the captain of the skeleton crew.
He looked out on at the mall. All the stores, down at the fake concrete pool floor painted to look like a sea and licked his lips.
“Yoho a pirates life for me!” The little girl’s voice said.
He looked up at her, she was in the crows nest dressed as a pirate with a spyglass. “Land ho!” She said grabbing a rope and sliding down to the deck like Errol Flyn.
He put his foot up on one of the cannons and took the spyglass from her looking out at the entrance of the mall. Thousands of zombie furries were slowly pouring in. Muffled gunfire as the far off mercs tried to quell them in vain falling back to the second floor.
“First mate Cecilia”
“Cecilli.” He corrected as he came out of the captain cabin wearing a really tight stripey first mate shirt. His belly comically poking out of it. An eyepatch shifted up onto his beanie and a pair of tight leather pants completed the ensemble. “Why do I have to wear this?” He asked pulling the tight shirt away from his manboobs, giving them some air to breath.
Carpenter grinned like an evil pirate skeleton and said “Because this is your grave”.
“Sir, should we move? The choppers waiting on the roof.” Rigby said to Evergreen’s back. Evergreen watched the furries flood into the mall beneath him, surrounding the ice rink. He breathed and thought about it for a moment. His men on the far side were holding behind their makeshift barricades for the moment. They were quelling the horde with intermittent automatic fire stopping them from reaching the second floor.
“We can hold a little longer.” Evergreen said without looking back.
Rigby made an incredulous face behind his back and said “Yes sir”.
Evergreens hands tightened on the rail of the second floor balcony as he breathed deeply watching. “How will you get out of this one Sunday girl?” He said under his breathe.
“We have to keep moving!” She screamed in TJ’s sweaty ear as she yanked his flabby arm trying to keep him on his feet.
The eviscergrator was rolling back and forth and around the giant icerink. It was watching and waiting trying to run over and mulch them like an old fashioned push lawnmower. It made crunching biting noises as it ran over the ice. If they watched it and waited and were quick and nimble they could dodge roll out of it’s path like a dark souls boss.
But TJ was getting tired of that. He was drenched in sweat and it was making him heavy and cold and his legs felt numb and shaky. He could barely stand up on the ice and Sunday knew it. A chill ran up her spine as she stared into his desperate sweaty face, she sniffed as she could feel it coming on. Tears welling up in her eyes, tired defeated tears on their way in buckets.
If she ever had a chance to live.
He had to die.
The Frenchman let out a mirthless chuckle and said “So you knew the whole time, I’m impressed”.
Carpenter grinned and walked the deck up and down. He plucked a sword out of the hand of one of the skeleton crew and said “Knew what?”
The Frenchman was incredulous, “That I was here to kill you this whole time, you knew?” He pleaded.
Carpenter scratched his beard with the tip of the sword and said “Nah, not until you just said so.” He dropped the sword away from his face and said “Why would anyone want to kill me?” He said without a hint of irony in his voice.
The Frenchman walked up to now naked skeleton captain and took the rapier from his cold dead hand. “You have no idea what I’m talking about do you?”
Carpenter smiled and shrugged like he didn’t care.
“In the last game you killed a very important man’s only son and he- why am I telling you this?” He said cutting himself off. He stumbling forward into an angry thrust of the rapier as if pulled forward by a magnetic rage. The two sword clanking together. Their faces coming close as they locked blades. Carpenter smiling with his stinking breathe.
The walls of the icerink rattled as the windows filled with the many faces of the zombie furries like some fucked up aquarium. A static hungry audience not interested in the show as much as they were here for the food.
She was taken out of her trance by his rasping breathing. The sounds of their rhythmic banging had sent her reeling inside herself. The cold of the ice, the hot air burning in her lungs, the bruises and grazes on her knees and arms. Her breath laboured, she could feel her ribcage going up and down. The noises blending together cancelling eachother out and becoming an echoey silence in her head.
The pocket of silence burst, her ears popped and she looked back at him.
The Eviscergrator was spinning and getting hot after making a few fruitless passes. The open space gave them the advantage but it didn’t tire. But it was overheating, the scraping and the constant motion, steam was rising. It’s breathing heaving like a giant ironlung. It dug it’s claws into the ice and started grinding and grating with the blades of it’s body. It was churning up the ice like a giant snowcone machine. It spun around like it was break dancing tossing ice and snow and hail in every direction. It was grated so finely it become a mist of snowflakes or falling ash.
A dream world, a cool thick mist taking away all sight and sound, the furries disappeared. She felt light and empty and alone, like she was going to float off through the hole in the ceiling. Maybe it was just the chemicals they used in the ice she was breathing in.
Their blades clanked as they were locked together. The two swords biting as they pushed against eachother.
They separated fast slashing widely at eachother.
The fat Frenchman with the quicker blade sliced Carpenter’s cheek with a quick flick of his wrist. Blood dripped down his face.
He smiled and licked the blood and said “Real swords on a fake pirate ship”
The Frenchman looked almost surprised as he glanced down at the guard of the decorative rapier he was holding. “It says they’re on loan from a museum”.
Carpenter launched a slash at the fatman with his thick cutlass. Slashing through the air where his head was. The Fatman retracted his head backwards making a face and scrunching up his double chins. His twinkle toes floating backwards like a ballet dancer.
Carpenter smiled and wiped the blood on his cheek and said “Not bad”.
“I was fencing champion at school” He said as he smiled and went into an en guard pose.
“I meant the footwork”
“You ever have hep c?” Carpenter asked not looking at him.
“Pardon moi?” The Frenchman said confused as Carpenter flicked his blood in his eyes. The Frenchman reeled backwards blinded trying to wipe the viscous blood from his eyes.
Carpenter flew forwards slashing widely with the pirate cutlass.
No sound, not even a heartbeat, no sight, no smell, no light, just grey tasteless mist, thick, impenetrable.
TJ’s voice ringing out in a dull wave “Sunday”.
“TJ?” She screamed but couldn’t hear her own voice, it was a silent rasp, a silent scream.
She could barely see her hand in front of her face, then a dark figures outline in the mist appeared before her.
A boy, a man, it was TJ on his knees his shirt lifted. His belly exposed, the blade of his sword in his hand, the point getting closer to the soft flesh of his belly.
“Let me do this” He said. “So you can live”.
“No, no, no no, no, no,no, no, no!”
“It’s the only way” He said as the point got closer to his flesh.
“No, it can’t be like this, I swore” Tears leaked out of her clenched tear ducts. “I swore no one would die for me ever again!”
“Sianora” He said before plunging the blade into his gut.
“Nooooo! I swore!” She screamed as she ran to him. She ran through the mist to his side, the mist engulfing her, his visage disappeared like it was never there.
“Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!” A dull echoey voice said as it began to become clearer like her ears were popping for good.
“Sunday snap out of it, I can’t do this without you!” TJ said tugging at her arm, just like before, had any time passed at all.
Sunday breathed and swallowed as she looked at him. The thing was gearing up for another attack. The threshing of the furry bought them some time. That suit had clogged up a lot of its moving parts causing it to overheat but it was cool now.
She looked at it and back down at TJ, she touched his sweaty fat face and brushed the hair off his brow and sighed. “Wait here for me ok” She said as she stood.
She walked away from him, leaving him collapsed on the ice fighting for breath.
“Wait, where are you going?” He said with the desperation of an abandoned child.
“Gonna get my bat back” She shouted back at him.
“Wait!” He shouted, unable to move. The lactic acid was riding him hard and he could barely breathe, everything hurt. “I need to do some cardio” He said as he sighed laying his feet out flat like a baby on the ice.
She walked alone, steady on the ice, never taking her eyes of it as she moved around it in the distance. Her bat glistened in the light from the broken dome, stuck in the ice.
The thing watched, reading the challenge in her eyes. Smirking somewhere deep in it’s steely coffinlike body. The puffing of the ironlung noise grew deep and more laboured as the sound of blades whirred. It rose up on its barbed tail and spun it’s claw like hands like they were blender blades.
She scoffed at it as she continued to circle towards the bat.
It scraped and clacked it’s claw together making sparks as it sharpened the blades.
She was close now but not close enough, a single step on the ice. A crunch like the sound of a glass bottle cracking. It lurched forward at a knee jerk from the noise like it was a starters pistol.
“Shit!” She spat. Her knee buckled and she slipped on the ice as the thing barrelled towards her as straight and true as if it were on rails. Carving a path through the ice.
It was so close, she could feel the wind coming off those rounded gouging blades. The heat it was generating from its core. All that whirring all that death all that energy coming at her like a jet engine covered in barbed wire.
She fell forward and rolled, using her body weight to lever the bat out of the ice. She swung it as fast and as hard as she could but it was too soon and she was too close.
The thing missed her dead on. It swiped her and the bat with its saw blades scraped and clinked along it’s side like the iceberg the titanic hit. Catching on those blades, ripping off chunks of metal flying off like shrapnel.
She held onto the bat somehow and she stood readying herself for the next attack, slow and stoic.
TJ watched with stunned silence as she stood.
The eviscergrator was breathing heavier now. Chunks of metal falling away like chain mail as the whirring blades fell out of alignment or were bent or broken. It pulled away at them so it could move freely. In doing so revealing cables and tubes and something that looked organic on the belly of the monster.
“It’s got a weakspot, Aim for it’s belly!” TJ Shouted “Like a videogame!”
He gasped as she turned, she got too close it seemed and it had hurt her just as badly if not worse. The blades had scraped all along her side, deep cuts oozed dark blood all over one side. She looked like she’d been mauled by a tiger. The cuts were down to the bone, wide and gouging, she was losing so much blood it was amazing she was still conscious.
She stood shakey, the one arm holding the bat had lost all feeling and drooped by her side. Blood pooling and cooling on the ice, spreading out and becoming a pink slick ice.
She stuck the bat into the ice and dropped to her knees using the bat as a cane trying to leverage herself up onto her feet. The bat slipped from under her and she landed face first in the ice and her own blood.
“No!” TJ cried as he got to his feet trying to traverse the ice.
The Eviscergrator started up again, forgetting for a moment TJ was even there. Reminded now and hungry for more meat.
“You fucking pussy!” She shouted into the pink ice as it spread out around her. “You can’t finish what you started, you’re afraid of a little girl?”
It stopped in it’s tracks, its six red eyes glowing, scanning TJ.
“Come on, you already got half, what are you waiting for?” She pushed herself up with her one good hand. Sheer force of will alone, the blood and bone already gave out, the will was the only thing remaining. “They took your balls when they put you in that stupid ‘gay’ armour”.
It made a sound like a growl in it’s throat but deeper as if its throat wasn’t where it’s throat was. It turned away from TJ and came swimming fast towards Sunday. Tearing up the ice like it was trying to dig underneath the thin layer of artificial snow. Churning up the metal and piping, dirt and plastic underneath.
She tried the bat trick again, using it like a crutch to try and stand. Her face straining, deep cuts along her cheek her lip was torn and there was blood, a lot of blood coming out of her mouth. The bat slipped on the ice again and she fell flat and the bat skitted off along the ice just out of her reach. She scrunched her face up folding onto her back. She held back frustrated tears as she clutched at a deep cut on her side that was bleeding quite a bit.
She could hear it coming, feel it vibrating the ice. Her eyes dipped shut and she threw them open again and turned onto her side and rose with her one good arm. She coughed and vomited a lot of blood but wiped it off and kept rising. She got to her feet shakily holding her sides. Keeping her guts from falling out and she looked at it coming, dead in it’s eyes. Those constant six glowing red eyes that never moved as it rolled. They just got longer and became blurred streaks, like it could see everything. It was like the inside was gyroscope and the blades on the outside were tank tracks milling it along like a caterpillar.
TJ watched, because that’s all he could do, frozen like a fucking coward, like a deer in headlights. Helpless, pointless, nothingness. He felt like he was floating outside his body like he wasn’t there. Just a spectator watching on a screen like his friend DP. That could have been him he thought as he watched the thing closing in on his ‘friend’, his Sunday.
She opened her arms up, letting the blood flow, looking up at it like it was a beam of light from a spaceship sucking her up. One eye closed with blood running into it. She stood like a scarecrow waiting for a storm and it came fast and cruel and then slow. The blades were so fast they were invisible. A merciless wind tearing her clothes from her body one streaked brush stroke at a time. Until frozen in a moment in time, naked and bleeding like a newborn. Then cuts, deep gouging, separating cuts and she was gone.