Burning Nostrils by Cory Bennet.....

Shot, strangled and stabbed. Disemboweled and decapitated. Hanging from trees, eyes bulging out of blue skin and stretched too thin. Face down in the dirt, the fear of death frozen in the eyes. Ravens squawking while pecking the corpses, stealing eyes and flying away, wings beating against the gray sky, feathers sticky with blood. Gnarled steel slouching toward the past. Smoke stacks that once pumped shit clouds into the atmosphere were now silent. Jagged peaks of metal and asphalt.

And the Scum. That shit really got me down. Usually, I still had something that resembled hope in my heart. Somewhere in a shadowy corner it lurks, no doubt. Obscured by the terror. I can feel them though. Stalking through the gloom with boils seeping off their mutated heads shaped like a pumpkin beaten brutally. Creatures! Still human, but not quite. And that is all it takes, just a little modification. They walked on two feet and all that other scientific mumbo jumbo that makes something a human, but there was something missing. Something in the eyes. I tried not to look into those eyes for too long. It can turn the soul of a man. And no matter how deep you burrowed into yourself, those damn eyes, those demon eyes, could still find you and break you. Crush your already delicate spirit. But once in a while, when we got our hands on one of those hu-mans, we’d bring our anger and terror with us. I guess you could say we weren’t human for what we did to those sons of bitches but I couldn't give a damn about what you think. Nothing lives here but the skeleton remains of a time we’d much rather forget. Yet there they were, forcing us to see what a human really is. A disgusting rotting corpse from the day of birth.

So make it count. I’d tell myself that while enduring a scum storm or after a raid on the hu-man encampment, I said it aloud, so nobody misses out. No one else got the irony or maybe they did and it was just too morbid to acknowledge the humor of our situation and laugh. But fuck all that, says I. This is hell; we are in the inferno, man. Get hip to that and you’ll live longer. Everyday we see dozens of ripe human bodies, the terror of that moment stuck in the one eye that hasn’t been plucked clean from their skull. So I tried to make jokes, but thats all we had.

The others kept going, but I stayed behind in a house we came upon a few months ago. It’s a beautiful Victorian way out in the country, so beautiful it could only be a hallucination, and I’ve taken enough drugs to be onto the brink of madness.

Cory Bennet lives here and there, but mostly in Northern California where he attends school and lays around with his Rottweiler. This is his second publication on Flash Faction Offensive.

61 comments:

Paul D. Brazill said...

Wow! This vivid and intense. Very well done!

Chris Allinotte said...

This is the start of something big.

You've laid out a magnificent and captivating world and situation. Hope to see more of this in the future.

I thought the balance of desolation with grim resolve, followed by the drug-induced surrender at the end to be very well done.

cb said...

thanks fellas.

Bill Baber said...

And the Scum... maybe the best sentence to ever start with the word And... nicely done flash!!

David Barber said...

Apologies for my lateness, Cory. You know I really enjoyed this story. Great imagery throughout and really well written. And as Chris said, this could certainly be the start of something bigger.

Very well done!

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Can't add much more than what the other's have already mentioned. Liked it very much, especially this:

"Ravens squawking while pecking the corpses, stealing eyes and flying away, wings beating against the gray sky, feathers sticky with blood."

David Cranmer said...

Paul Brazill beat me to the comment I was going to leave. Fantastic title as well.

cb said...

I've got a tone of stories in this world. So hopefully I can get them out there! Thanks again for reading.

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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