Monday, March 14, 2011

The Book of Green - Number 8

          The splintered stake fell from the sky like lightning from Thor’s fingers.  Everything in the world slowed and Cole’s vision reached a point of righteous clarity. The beast’s stench was alive and his rage was confined in an unmovable corpus.  Islands of the beast’s hide momentarily became visible as the shadowy cloud that orbited its master dissipated and surged. Blood and sweat fell from Cole’s body in equal proportions, as his muscular hands knotted convulsively when the ebony point passed into the shadow. The beast’s lids flared as Cole’s red-dripping hands lowered behind its apex that quickly reached the beast’s skin. The stake went true into the beast’s side behind his colossal front arm.
Slowed for only a moment, the piercing of the stake began to shred the flesh of the creature and sink deeper into the dark cavernous carcass. Harder and harder Cole pushed and further and further the stick burrowed into the beast, until at last, the point of the stake shattered into a million pieces against the iron like green spine of the beast.  The beast did not move, nor did it make a sound. 

Cole inhaled, surveyed the dead being, and fell next to its head. For a satisfactory second the room was still, and Cole relished in his ability to keep his heart beating. Cole’s left hand reached to his chest and without thinking he turned and looked into the face of the bounteous thing beside him.  Its great dark magnetic eyes were silent and almost seemed happy. Cole strained to look beyond the blackness. And when his vision reached its destination, he found that this mighty deviled thing seemed to be at peace.  Round were its warm, warm eyes. They were so round and they only moved just the smallest amount toward Cole.  They were nice and tranquil.  Cole tried to smile, but his lips never reached their crescendo, as the demon’s eyes continued to turn toward his face. And then they were on him—starring deep into his soul.  He was scarred.
Then as if the gates of hell were opened and all of the evils known and unknown to man were simultaneously released, so was the screaming of the beast. The room began to shake. Plaster fell from the walls. People blocks away held onto the nearest object to stabilize their conditions. The fiend raised itself to a standing position; then it fell back, trying to grab at the stake or to bite it. The beast was a whirling dervish rolling through the room. Then, a door to the bureau that Cole had previously climbed caught the splintered stake, and for a split second the beast was stuck. Black eyes turned red and violently, the demon spun away from the piece of furniture as the stake was ripped it from its body. Like setting charge to dynamite, the removal of the stake caused the wound to explode.
Dark blood shot everywhere. Then a black-red tar substance began to ejaculate from the beast.  It was like the thick lava from deep inside the earth’s core as it collided against the walls. As the beast spun and the wound was focused toward Cole, the ooze spewing in his direction.  He attempted to shield his face, but he was not fast enough.
The blood landed on his face and it burned like hell's own fire. More landed as the beast's turn reverted and Cole was quickly blinded by the fluid. Crying out in pain, the coagulation was able to seep into Cole’s mouth. And in no time, his mouth was painfully full of the beast’s substance.  Its taste was painfully salty.  Cole could not respire. It was too sticky to spit out. So, Cole began to swallow the substance. Over and over he swallowed. And more and more of the slime seemed to crawl down his throat. Cole reached for the air in front of him as he asphyxiated, his body curled, and he fell to his death.
Awkwardly hitting the ground jarred the substance loose from Cole’s throat, and as quickly as he'd died, he lived again, able to draw air into his lungs. He panted and puffed until he could feel his right hand, which climbed his face and began to remove the goo from his eyes.
Across the room and choking, the beast was attempting to gain its symmetry in an effort to find the little man in the room and kill him.  But its speed was weakening. Cole watched as it dropped back onto its haunches and began to gaze into the air.
Thinking the beast was finished and paralysis was setting in, Cole moved to a standing left. Immediately, the deadly claws swung through the room to try and break his neck like a rotten twig. Cole flew back against the wall. The animal swung wildly. Cole did not realize that beast had been too far away for its blows to matter, he simply ground his body into the plaster trying to get away from his adversary.
After a minute or two of failed swinging, the beast let out a grunting roar. Then it fell back, struggled to rise, and finally lay still.
Blood began to pool around the beast and the shadow began to disperse above the body. Cole looked down at the crimson which had burned into his hands. They were so very red. Had his hands ever been this red?
After some time Cole stood and walked toward the demon. He kicked it with the side of his leg. There was no reaction. He looked carefully around. The room had been disemboweled just like its owner that lay sprawled across the floor. The environment was bleak and harsh. A small stream of wind blew into the room and felt like iced fingers crawling up Cole’s spine. What he wouldn’t have given for a decent cup of coffee. 
A silent sun appeared in the window and pushed Cole’s head toward the ground. The beast was half gone and the beauty was half returned. On her right hand, remained one saw-edged crescent claw which lay next to the remaining four fingers.  Her perfect breasts had returned and, even though they were drenched in blood and Cole was slowly dying from his injuries, he longed to embrace them. As he forced his eyes away, he noticed that her legs were still very much beast but above them, her hind quarters were all woman.  At the top of the mass, the shadow seemed to be concentrating its devilish orbit.  Cole couldn’t decide what he was seeing through its walls and with an inarticulate grunt he kicked into the darkness to expose its contents.  This was a mistake.   

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"The Book of Green"
Written and Illustrated by Fuller Bumpers

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