Drop 127: Carnage

bruiseA fly lands on my cheek as I push the door open. The stench hits me as I step inside. Denial is reflexive but it soon makes way for raw disgust. Sickened through, I take it in: carnage on a devastating scale.

They are everywhere and not one can be saved; in fact, most already show extensive decay. They lie there, bruised and broken near a dirty knife, covering much of the marble slab. Some are carelessly stacked on top of one another, two, three, four deep. Others have been skinned and cut into bits. A few have ended on the floor

What terrible loss; what tragic waste.

The weather’s been warm. Left to stew, flesh has festered turning nasty shades of purple and black. Skin has bloated and erupted. Through these wounds and other lacerations fluids have seeped, pooling into sticky brown puddles. Flies swarm and maggots writhe. Decay has made a callous mockery of life here.

We have just arrived for the weekend, finding the country house deserted, as expected; but obviously someone has been here. So where did he go, and when will he return? And now I hear footsteps crunching closer along the gravel path: a heedless approach. I step away from the entrance and stand ready.

The door cracks open; it’s Sarah. She’s smiling but her face quickly plummets.

‘Oh my God,’ she says. ‘Oh my fucking God!’

‘I know,’ I answer.

She looks left and right, taking in the totality of the carnage. ‘Who would do such a thing? What kind of monster?’

‘Must have been Phil and his gang. They must have stopped by before going to Reno and left in a rush.’

‘Still,’–Sarah steps in now, swatting away the flies. Her nose crinkles at the thicker smell of rot–‘that’s no excuse for leaving such a mess. It’s disgusting.’

‘True.’ I look over the scene afresh, over the shrunken figs gone fuzzy, the piles of putrid apricots and peaches, the oozing plums and papayas crawling with worms.

‘Nothing worse than good fruit left to waste,’ Sarah says, shaking her head.

‘Yup,’ I say. ‘Nothing sadder in the world.’

By EM Vireo


About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

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