Monday, April 10, 2006

Sara's Horrible Night of Ruptured Innocence and Ducklings

The twisted soul known as Vaspith Keel sat cross-legged on the floor of a barn, surrounded by scores of dead ducklings. He adjusted the heat lamp, bringing it closer to his lap and the stack of eggs he held cradled there.

"Don't be afraid." Vaspith cooed. "It's time to hatch into a beautiful world."

Vaspith cocked his head, listening intently to peeps. His eyes crept guiltily to the nearby lumps that once were their downy siblings.
"No, no. It's okay." He whispered. "I don't do that sort of thing anymore."

Behind him, the barn's giant doors opened and moonlight streamed through the maw. In snuck two stealthy figures, their shadows stretching up the slatted wall. Vaspith waited until the shadows crouched to leap--then he slammed shotguns backwards on top of his shoulders and emptied all four barrels. The shadows erupted in a chunky spray, wilted and then were gone.

A cry rang out above the rumbling echo. Vaspith turned and called out into the gloom.
"Those nasty shadows meant us harm you know!"

The only response was the muffled clank of a pitchfork being lifted from its wall mount. Vaspith eyed his empty box of shells.

"I'm not reloading!" He noted. "I'm not reloading because I love you."

Footsteps crunched on straw. Vaspith shinned the lamp down the narrow row of stables that ran a hundred feet to the side of the barn. The light only reached halfway, and for twenty seconds he sat still, listening to the approaching strides.

"Did you hear me?" Vaspith demanded. "I said I love you girl."

Sara became visible, first as slender patch of darkness that wasn't quite as dark as the rest, and then as a fuzzy, nightgowned form with dangerous eyes and a pitchfork.

"You made an orphan of me tonight." She snarled, continuing to stride toward Vaspith. "And those 'nasty shadows' were my brothers, come to save me from the ducklings' fate."

She didn't look fourteen--certainly not in the half-light of an incubation lamp--and with murder in her eyes and the way she held that pitchfork, it's unlikely she'd ever look it again.

"I'd like the chance," Vaspith whispered, stroking the eggs. "To prove I can be around ducklings without twisting their necks 'till they snap. And then you and I can be married and have so many children that the ducks on our farm will think that it's a race."

"Oh yeah?" Sara asked. She'd aged a decade in minutes. Less than an hour ago she'd been a child--innocent going on fifteen. Then Vaspith showed up and massacred her parents, and as she stood there screaming, he'd dropped to his knees in their spreading blood and asked for her hand in marriage. When she fainted, he'd run to the barn, where he giggled and started strangling ducklings.

"Yeah." Vaspith replied. He pointed at the downy lumps at his feet. "And I want you to know I don't do that sort of thing anymore." He gazed at the eggs between his legs. "I assure you, these ducklings won't be harmed when they hatch."

"Yes they will." Sara replied and rammed the prongs of her pitchfork through his chest. "They'll bare the eternal scar of having sat for a time in your lap."

Vaspith Keel tried to scream but his soggy lungs betrayed him. All he could muster was a phlegmy red foam that bubbled then oozed down his chin.

Sara stood over him and raised her pitchfork.
"Some would claim you're an opportunity." She spat. "A chance to decipher the madness of man."

"You know, that is so true." Vaspith wheezed, raising a thoughtful finger. "You really should hear about how--"

Sara plunged her pitchfork into his throat.
"There's nothing to learn from a mind such as yours and I gladly, gladly waste you."

(The eggs hatched in a puddle of blood and Sara worried that it'd derange them. But she raised them as ducks and showed them nothing but love, and if they'd imprinted evil it didn’t change them.)


At 7:08 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Yay Sara, he was a sick son of a bitch and you did right when you forked him.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Ethan Greer said...

Sheesh. Golly. Whew. Wow. (I couldn't decide which one to use.) This episode was pretty powerful. Bravo.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

Latigo has taken a bold step into the world of duck-murder literature. Perhaps it will lead to a spot writing for the new CBS series "Law and Order: Agricultural Law Center".

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Ghost Dog said...

But the ducks were in fact imprinted by evil, and later turned on Sara and then the entire town, no longer just ducks, but a marauding band of Zombie-ducks. The rest of the story will be told in an upcoming made-for-the-Internet miniseries titled Month of the Mallard, to be followed up by Month of the Mallard II: The Reckoning

Or not. It's hard to tell what'll get picked up these days.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Teaspoon said...

that was eff'd up LF, I mean seriously eff'd up.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger ThePaula said...

"I gladly, gladly waste you" has got to be one of the best lines in the history of forever

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Francis Marion Tarwater said...

I have nothing witty to say, but wow this was a good one.

(Magazine is at the printers. It won't be long now.)

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

That's works on several levels Peter--you sly dog you.

Thank you very much Ethan Greer.
(When in doubt, go with "Yikes!" That's what I always say.)

I truly didn't mean to Trevor Record. When I awoke that's what the monitor displayed.
(I'll take CBS's checks though--sure a damn 'nuff.)

Magnificent Ghost Dog. There can be no terror purer than ducks imprinted by evil. And they that scoff haven't seen it.

Damn it Teaspoon, I'm the Grin in the Dark! How many times must I remind you?
(Though I doubt even I could stand up to Sara's pitchfork.)

Thank you Paula. "The history of forever." ain't too bad either.

I'll take wow over witty any day Solace Layfield.
And do you know that will be my first publication beyond these tan and navy pages? (And that goes for Kid Relish too.)

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Noir Muse said...

Back up the bus!

You're going to be published?? Do tell which mag because I want to order a copy!


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