Heathens

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 21 (v.1) - 2:35 AM

Submitted: September 29, 2017

Reads: 92

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Submitted: September 29, 2017

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“I’m alive.” He gargled. “I’m alive.” 

His jaw was having difficulty growing back. He was having difficulty standing up. His arms could not lock in place, his arms dropped him on the concrete many a times and he was forced to feel the rough surface on his skinless jaw. He was bleeding everywhere, atop the dandelions that grew in the cracks of the culvert, atop the small stream of gutter water at the center, atop the piece of his mask now laid out everywhere. 

“No evidence.” He mumbled. He used his sword to stand, and fell. He put it inside of his coat and waited in a prostrated position for the pain to subside. It never did. When he was done resting, he sat on his knees. Apollo picked the small pieces of his mask, putting them in his coat. He was like a bird with bread crumbs, knocking and tossing ten pieces with each he picked up. His eyes were the first to heal and his blurred vision of the sky fixed on the north star that shined through the clouds. 

“No evidence.” He said. He was noseless, his voice sounded nasal and as he dragged his body around he noticed his teeth falling before they could find a grip on his gums. He was removing pieces of his mask from his mouth, they were like toothpicks, dug in between his loose teeth. He wanted to cry but had no tear ducts to, those came later. He was following the stars and after a while, following the bullet casings and putting them in his palm. He looked like a child in red, picking flowers and fungi from the forest, all bountiful with the shells falling from his fingertips. 

He came to the wreckage and the car that had tried to drive up the wall, only to fall at an angle upwards, lopsided against the wall with the top portion ruined into a scrunch. He dropped the bullets and watched with strained eyes. He swore he could hear breathing, though his head ached and filled him with false sounds. But he was sure this was a person, sure that it was no schizophrenia. 

He leaned in and the soft noise of strained lungs responded back. He walked closer to the car, put a hand on the trunk and jumped when it burst open. There was nothing inside, a false jack in the box. The car was just so wrecked that it took every opportunity to burst out. The wheel rims fell to his feet. The glass knocked back. And he was hearing the woman, somewhere in the cluster of metal, he heard her. 

He also heard the choppers.

The heavy blades that cut through the air, the light that was far off yet closing in. He saw it, it started at the knocked down fence wire and followed the trail of carnage. It was coming to him. 

“I need to go.” He said. “I can’t get caught.” 

He turned his legs to move and heard her breathe again. Softer now, more desperate like she was drowning. He heard the loud sirens of the police too. And wondered why they even bothered if the whole point was to catch people, why make any sound. That seemed counter-intuitive. But who was he to judge about bad hunting practices? He was beaten. He looked like a ghoul and felt like an idiot. 

“You’re not worth it.” He said. The car lit into flames and he nodded his head. He could talk now. And bitch. And he stomped the floor as his body moved towards the car and threw the door outward. It echoed off, the light was looking for the sound. 

“I must still be fucked in the head.” He said. Though he wasn’t, he was very clear and he punched the airbags that deflated with a droning waft. The girl looked up at him, she almost looked as bad as him and when her eyes opened to the sight of the fire reflected from his fleshless face, she cried. It wasn’t loud. She could barely breathe. 

“Zombie.” She said. She tried to push him away, her arms were trapped behind the dashboard. That was the first thing Apollo got rid and it seemed the more he helped her, the more frightened she became. He was getting slapped and she was getting frustrated and frightened, her hand kept slipping from him. 

“Will you stop it.” He said. He ripped the seat out, laid her on the ground and would have reprimanded her, his pointed finger was already in front of her, but he noticed her legs. What was left of them, and he just sighed. 

“How are you alive?” He asked. His felt weight on his face, his nose must have come back. 

“Zombie.” Her face would not move. 

“Look who’s talking.” He said. He looked back. They were arriving and he bit his now freshly formed lip. He was an idiot. He put his hand in front of him and blocked what little light he could. The other hand was wrapped around his lower mouth. 

 
"You don't know how lucky you are." He reached over to her and ripped a sleeve from her. He wrapped it around himself. 

“Freeze.” He heard an officer say. They were opening their doors in careful unity. Their bodies were hidden behind the white cars and their guns were pointed through the gaps of the row of cars.

"Next time you should fucking use those car brakes."

She wasn’t listening, simply mumbling, they’re dead. He nodded his head. He was staring at the barrels of the guns. Facing them, seeing where they ended.

"All units to 4622 Edmond St., near the freeway. Yes. Yes" 

Can I make the jump?

“Freeze or I’ll blow your fucking brains out.” 

You’re a little too late for that.

“No one has to die today.”

Except for me.

“Put your hands up. You’re surrounded.”

Like it matters.

They sang their warnings like a choir of fear. Apollo grinned, with what little face he had to grin. Somehow, they could tell what it was. His body seemed loose, ready to move and they all steadied arms. 

“Go fuck yourselves.” Apollo said. He ran. Up the side of the culvert, he felt the bullets hit his shoulder and he kept his head low. He felt his knees shot. He jumped with the single good one he had left. He stabbed his arm through the side of a wall, it was a storage house and it was being drilled through as he scaled it up. His back felt like it was on fire, an acupuncture of bullets had begun to bleed him. But he stood. He growled. He ran, jumped building to building with the light struggling to catch up to him. He held his leg, he shouted and put his hand against the stream of burning light.

“Fuck off.” He mumbled. 

“Fuck off.” He shouted.

He led them. A few gallops, a few miles away, he led them. And smiled once again, as the Colonel Weiner sign flashed neon across from him, on the other end of this very particular rooftop. Here, everything was heavy. The food, the smoke, the sign. He walked through the trails and puffs, he walked over to the giant E and watched it spark and scream as the metal was amputated. 

“You should have left me alone.” He said. They could not listen, if they did, they would have avoided it. The giant E shot off, throwing at them. It hit the glass and shattered it. They persisted. They would not stop, they flinched and shook in the air and shot down at him. He grabbed and L this time, L’s were sharper. This one he aimed for the light and watched as it flew off, like Medusa’s head, cut off and rolling in the air and spinning it’s vile gaze everywhere. They lost track of him. They shot at nothing and turned around the store that now read “Colon Weiner”.

They would have laughed. But the men with their rifles and heavy armor were too busy cursing. By the time support came, Apollo had disappeared. The grand escape. They cursed, where was he? How could he avoid us?

He went nowhere far, really and the police hadn't expected it. He was resting. He was on a bed of plastic bags and half eaten food. He had fallen into a dumpster somewhere in between a jump, an accident really, and had decided just not to move. And when the noise of the chopper was too loud, he pulled down on the dumpster door and rested his eyes. They were shouting, they never found him. No one did. Not till morning came and the opening pimple-faced burger artist came to him by accident. Until though, he slept. 

It had been a long time since he slept that well.

 


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