"Who watches the watchmen?"
What's Killing Eric?
They say the human brain can survive for three seconds after decapitation. Full-blown, cognizant thought, where you can move your mouth and blink your eyes. It makes you wonder what would go through a person's head at this point, especially when they're able to see their body lying on the road beside them. And hopefully it's not one of those situations where your head goes rolling across the floor, because then your final moments would be nothing but dizziness, trying to puke from a stomach no longer attached to your mouth.
But seriously, what kind of thoughts would be going through a person's mind? What would be going through your mind? Fear? Regret? I want you to stop right here and think for a moment, putting yourself in that situation and wondering what you'd do. The last person you'd think about before darkness swallows you. Your final string of curse words as your head rolls across the asphalt. Me? I have a list of obscenities armed and ready on my tongue for when my final moment arrives. Do you?
I gotta wonder: do those few seconds last an eternity, like the clichéd light flashing before your eyes, or is it just enough time for you to think, "Oh sh—" after your neck is sliced in half by whatever unfortunate circumstance you found yourself in?
I had this very conversation with my psychiatrist a week ago. She asked me what I think about while I have nothing else on my mind, most notably when driving to and from work, somehow believing my inner musings might be to blame for my tipping sanity.
She said, "Maybe we'll finally figure out why you're a total nutjob, Eric." And proceeded to pat me on the knee, laughing.
She's such a nice lady.
There I was again behind the wheel, Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" playing on the radio. You probably assume this is the part where I go off on another tangent, telling you this time I was wondering how long it would take for the cops to gun me down if I went on a murderous rampage through the retail store where I work.
Actually, I was thinking about the weather. Wondering why it was so dark when there was supposed to be a full moon tonight. But hey, I guess that's what clouds are for—making our lives a living Hell, especially when it's raining.
But, lucky for me, it wasn't raining. It was snowing. Pretty hard, too.
If there's one thing you should know about me, it's not that I'm afraid of the dark. I'm afraid of what's out there hiding in the dark.
So there I was, driving down a two-lane road in the middle of a snowstorm, wondering what porn I should watch when I got home. I had two downloads going the night before, but I won't go into that. No, it's okay, I'm sure you'd love to hear how I'm a two-pump chump, but I'm going to keep the personal stuff to myself.
Anyway, I was driving around the bend of a mountain, my nose so close to the windshield that the fog from my breath made it as hard to see as the ice coating the other side. The song on the radio reached that awesome guitar solo I love so much, when, in the midst of trying to clean the windshield with the cuff of my leather jacket, I saw movement.
My headlights fell onto a dark blob in the middle of the road.
Glowing, yellow eyes drilling into my soul.
Jesus Christ, it's the fucking Devil!
A rash statement, you might think, but if you saw the shit I see on a daily basis, trust me, you wouldn't blame me for jumping to conclusions.
It ended up being a deer, by the way.
So this was where I paused and panicked, and my brain, in the span of a second, performed millions of calculations on how this situation could turn into a complete cluster-fuck.
Do I take my chances stopping when the asphalt is covered in ice? Do I keep going and hope there'll be enough deer meat stuck in my car's front grill so I can actually have a good dinner tonight?
I'll tell you one thing, I sure didn't pick the rational option.
I hit the brakes. I'm not a monster, you know. I might not cringe when seeing a human body ripped apart and mangled, but that doesn't mean I hate nature.
I love all of God's fluffy, little animals.
I closed my eyes.
My piece-of-shit Honda skidded across the ice.
That's the sound of me hitting a deer and spinning out into a tree. No really, it is. Sounded just like that.
Holy fuck! I killed Bambi!
If I had thought to wonder what the Hell a deer was doing out in the middle of the night during a snowstorm, I wouldn't have gotten out of my car. I would've sped off, probably ran the thing over a second time to make sure it was dead. But what did I do?
I got out of the car and kept the lights on with the engine running, you know, just in case something weird happened.
Weird. Right. I think my middle name is Weird—no, seriously. Eric Weird Lynch, right on my birth certificate.
My boots settled on the iced road, and I glanced over my shoulder. I could've sworn I heard laughing back there in the woods, even a hint of more glowing eyes. You'd think that would be the first sign of my logic screaming, "Get back in the car, Eric, you retard!"
But instead I decided to cross the street and try to find the dark blob that was bleeding all over the asphalt. I stepped over what looked like finger-paints out of a Freddy Krueger movie. I shuddered. Hunks of fur. Half an antler. This was getting more like Satan's treasure hunt by the second.
By this point my hands were shaking. Sweat ran down my face despite the snow. I swallowed over a lump.
Following the trail of entrails led me close enough to the deer to poke it. I couldn't find a stick, though, so I nudged it with a boot instead.
Eyes wide open, staring at the trees.
No nostrils flaring.
A surge of guilt flowed through me. That was, of course, until I turned around to get the shovel out of my trunk. I was walking back to my car, heard hooves scraping across asphalt.
That tricky son-of-a—
It felt like I hit my car's back door so hard I should be able to see an imprint of my face come tomorrow morning. Falling onto my back, heart in my throat, I looked up to see that Bambi was most definitely alive. For a moment I caught myself thinking this would be the perfect Disney sequel.
"The Revenge of Bambi: Alive and Hoofin'!"
Except, you know, Bambi sure as Hell didn't look like Bambi anymore. His brown, glossy eyes were replaced by the fires of Hell. Those hooves now ended in claws. He gnashed at me with drooling fangs, the front half of his body armored in scales, the back half what looked like serrated spines. His cute, little tail was the stinger of a scorpion looming over his shoulder, ready to strike.
Which he did, by the way. And although he had me pinned against my car with his two front hooves, I still managed to move my head. His tail plunged through the metal. With a scream (a manly scream), I pictured what would've happened if that were my head instead.
I pulled out my Smith and Wesson handgun, deciding I'd had enough of Bambi's tirade. I wasn't the one who killed his father, you know. I was just the one who killed…well, him…
Okay, I guess he had some right to be angry.
You're probably wondering why I carry a gun. Well, believe me, if you saw demons every day of your life, you'd be walking around armed, too. I only wish I could fit something larger into my jacket. Like a flamethrower.
Or maybe a rocket launcher.
My first shot missed, went into the trees. Second shot, too.
I guess this is a bad time to mention how piss-poor my aim is.
Thankfully, the third and fourth bullets found themselves in Bambi's chest, knocking him off me and into the middle of the road. I bit my lip, ignored the blood flowing down my cheek where the bastard scratched me with his horns. I aimed at his face, prayed I'd hit somewhere on his body if I kept my hands steady.
Allow me to take this time to pause and answer an important question you're probably wondering by this point.
Yes, we're not alone in the universe.
No, it isn't aliens.
I actually wish it were aliens. Minus the anal probes, of course.
You see, there's really a world behind the world, though not many people notice it. A place where demons and shades try to break through onto our plane. Why? I'm not quite sure. Are they jealous? Hungry? I don't want to find out.
Standing there next to my car, Smith aimed at a monster from Hell, the only question rolling through my mind was, "What's gonna happen next?"
Because normally when I see things like this, it's an omen that something bad is going to happen. Something that forces me into an unfortunate circumstance where I have to become the hero. Something—
—just like that. Only normally it's not my fault.
A new pair of headlights came around the bend, obliterated what was left of poor Bambi, then spun off onto the other side of the road.
Right into the guardrail overlooking a three-hundred foot drop.
My thoughts of Bambi gone, I stood there like a jackass for a good ten seconds while the car teetered back and forth on the ledge.
Go fucking help them, you dipshit!
Oh. Thank you, Conscience. Always there when I need you the most.
Running up to the car, I grabbed fistfuls of my hair and held back another (manly) scream. The front doors were wedged between the guardrails. My only option was opening the back driver's side door. Crawling in, my weight helped level out the car.
A woman's hand reached for me. I grabbed it and tugged her up over the seat. As we spilled out of the car back onto the snow, it wasn't the grinding noise of the car sliding off the ledge that caught my attention.
No, it was her boobs sitting right on my face.
We both sat up, her clinging to my arm. Through the headlights from my car sitting in the distance, I swear, that girl looked like the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. And there she was, no lie, holding on to me like she still might fall off that ledge if I let her go. I was suddenly aware of every flaw on my body. Every inch of fat. Every pimple. How I'm short and my hair is probably a mess.
She said, "Holy shit! You just saved my life!"
"Uh, you're welcome," I said.
"How can I ever repay you?"
I glanced at her boobs. "Well, you could use those huge jugs to help warm me up."
But what I really said was, "Don't worry about it."
"What the Hell were you doing out here?"
I looked over my shoulder, her question reminding me of Bambi. But there he was, and, wouldn't you know it, looking very much like a typical, normal deer. A dead deer, but a deer nonetheless.
Turning back to the woman, I said. "Oh, you know… hangin' out. Want a ride home?"
Yep. Just another typical night in the life of Eric Lynch.
This is for the Review Game's Writing Challenge Contest - March. After finishing reading a book in the horror/comedy genre, I thought I'd try my hand at it. Whether or not I succeeded, I don't know. Let me know what you think. =)
The provided prompt is at the top of the page.
Don't forget to vote for your favorites!