Another Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction challenge. "The dead body". This week just one stipulation. The story must start with... yes you've guessed it... a dead body. So, I thought I'd try something a bit different!
Donnie was dead. And navigating. Riding on Ocean - those little blue pils we’re all warned about from when we’re young. You remember the ads – that blonde girl from the films “Throw yourself in the Ocean and you’re gonna Drown”. Anyway, back to Donnie. He was gone. No breath. No pulse. Cemetery Central. He’d left this world. But he wasn’t quite in the next world yet. He was riding the blue waves which connect us all. The swell of fate which ebbs and flows beneath everything. Surfing the tide of life. In fact we were all hooked up on Ocean that night, heightening our awareness, our intuition, our sense of things. Tapping into the almightly’s flow. But while we felt it, Crazy Donnie was deep out there - flowing along with it.
Carly was reading him. Hands over Donnie’s face, sensitive to the slight twitches and involuntary spasms of the dead man’s nerve endings. Even a dead body wants the best for itself. Even a dead man doesn’t want to die.
“Left”… “Left again”… “Right here”. Carly reeling out the instructions, eyes closed, focused on her friend’s blue-tinged skull. Ish threw the van from side to side down the narrow streets of Redcliff on her shouts. Half singing, half whistling that tune I can never place. Monsta’ and the Kid were up back alongside dead Donnie and Carly holding on to the side of the van for support. Tyzedale Street, Clearbrook Street, Grange Road. All came and went in a flash of petrol and light. The engine blended in to the screams, sirens and alarms. On a night like tonight there were no pedestrians to worry about running down, only other Hoolies and the Dibble trying to run us in.
“Here!” Carly shouted from the back and Ish slammed on the brakes. We all piled out in front of Xenolavic Jewellers. I seemed to remember a story about a man called Xenolavic saving the city once - a watchmaker, I think he was. Fables get handed down mouth to mouth same as white lies round this city now. Never that much truth in either, and truth or no truth, history was no concern of our’s tonight. We got to work on those security bars, me with the flame thrower softening the metal a little, Monsta’ with his huge hands working those huge bolt cutters, snipping those iron bars as if they were autumn twigs. Ish sauntered over still going at his whistle singing, and shattered the glass behind with a combination of bat and gloved fist. Another alarm to add to the night’s own song. The Kid squeezed through the gap with his holdall and set to work filling it.
Only about a minute later Carly shouts reached us. “Gotta Move”. Mouth still full of his indecipherable song Ish strolled casually back round to the driver’s seat. “Kid. Now!!” I shouted and legged it back to the passenger seat myself. Monsta’ piled in the back. As the Kid squeezed his way back out with a full bag we all got it, same as dead Donnie had a few moments before - the Ocean wave hit us. Something bad was coming.
Ish slammed on the accelerator and the kid managed to get the loot and one arm in the van. We sped away just as the sirens screamed through the air. The kid’s left leg trailing out the back.
Along with the warning shots the Dibble must have got lucky. As Monsta’ pulled him in, a bullet tore through the Kid’s calf and he screamed. Poor kid. It was his first time riding on Ocean and maybe that ol’ blonde movie star got it right – maybe he felt like he was drowning in it. He went straight into his jacket and started hacking at his leg with his blade. God knows what he was trying to get out.
I saw it in the rear view in flashes, lit by the Dibble’s blue strobe from behind. The kid in the van. The kid - blade in hand. The van splattered with the kid’s blood. Monsta’, smoke between his fingers, tryin to hold the Kid steady before he did himself any more damage. That knife, dripping red and grinding off the metal roof. Carly trying to hold the kid’s leg to stop it pumping out more out of the kid’s severed veins. All this time Ish just kept up his half whistlin’, half singin’ veering the van
Down streets left and right, trying to lose the Dib. It was all sending me under. We were approaching Northbolt and Ish swung a left, hard and late into it’s narrow alleys. The van jolted and the Monsta lost his grip on the Kid who seized his opportunity and turned his attention back to his self. You’d think it’d be impossible to turn on yourself like he did, but he went for it slashing and stabbin’. Took his neck apart. Slaughterhouse Joe. Pissing blood from his leg and his neck. Sliced and diced. The back of the van looked like a slaughterhouse.
The Dibble missed the turn into Northbolt and we were as good as away. It was only then I realised Carly was screaming. She must have been screaming back there for a while. Not sure if it was the fact she was now sitting next to two dead bodies or the fact that she was covered in bits of the Kid. Donnie was slipping away too, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth and from both eyes. I guess he’d seen enough. And all the while Ish kept up with his whistle song. Something clicked, the words came to me, and with Carly still screaming her lungs out in the back, I started to sing along… “Somewhere beyond the sea… somewhere waiting for me…”