beetles and batmen

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
a short post-apocalyptic tale about a man, some beetles and bat-men.

Submitted: May 09, 2016

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Submitted: May 09, 2016

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The man stood atop the steel structure, his sword in his hand. The rain pattered off his dirty brown coat and splashed around him. He could hear them coming. Could hear the beating of leathery wings over the ruined buildings.

 

Below him the beetles had started devouring the thing he stood on again. Commencing where they had left off on the disintegrated front end. There was only one wheel left there now. Raised off the ground as the vehicle was on it’s side. The entire driver side of the number 64 bus had been devoured, including the remains of the driver. It wouldn’t be long now before the entire construction overbalanced and tipped over.

 

The man surveyed his surroundings. He was in the middle of a large square, the shops around having been long derelict and looted. It was night and he could see the stars clearly in the sky. The moon shone, but not enough to light the square, this light was provided by the fires the man had lit earlier in the evening. A foresight for which he was grateful now that his torch had been destroyed in the fight. Even the batteries he carried in his satchel would be useless now unless he could find another. But that was the least of his problems.

 

The ground was teeming with life. The insects were everywhere. They scuttled over cars and remains, scurried over the bodies he had left behind in the fight. Devouring everything in sight. Devouring steel like woodworms destroyed wood. Like termites ate through foundations. But at a much faster rate.

 

The heavens opened up. The angled surface the man was standing on started to become slick from the downpour as the rain began to fall harder. Time was running out.

 

There was nowhere for him to go. The bus lurched as it started to lose balance and he slid backwards and then shuffled back to counter the weight of the toppling bus. The beating wings were getting closer.

 

He held up the head of the last bat creature he had slain and let out a primal sound. His lungs aching from the scream. Three of the creatures dove down and came howling towards him. He threw the head at the first one and dodged to the side as it screeched past. The bus toppled under his weight and there was a wrenching, grinding sound as the half eaten section of the front end made contact with the ground. He began to slide off and as the second creature narrowly missed him, his boot made contact with the rubber of the remaining wheel and he used it to launch himself at the feet of the last of the bat men.

 

He made contact and held on for dear life. The creature squealed and rose higher, carrying him away from the slowly vanishing overturned bus and the millions of devouring insects that had swarmed and taken over the square.

 

He pulled the sword out from his belt and held it ready. His hatred for these bat things pushed to the back of his mind for the time being. He had more pressing problems now.

 

They had moved away from the fires and he couldn’t see the ground anymore in the darkness. Couldn’t tell if they were over a quiet area or whether it was still writhing with the insects.

 

The bat thing bucked and squealed, trying to shake him off, it’s claws scrabbling at him. It looped back around halfway and flew back towards the rest of its group taking the man with it. He still couldn't make out the ground as they screamed towards the pack of leathery creatures. The rain pelted hard into his face as he readied his sword.


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