Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Pallbearer: Where The Dead Belong Part 3


My father; embedded in my car.

"Associate Anderson,"

My mother; screaming when I told her.

"the West Worthington Corporation"

Noose; the first try.

"no longer has need for you."

State Hospital; rotten eggs and hangover puke.

"I hereby terminate"

My mother again; headstone.

"your contract"

Cassie; ring in my pocket.

"with our company."

Conduit; suicidal angel.

"Fuck you. I quit."

Ozone and splitting hairs. Come and get me.


comekittenfun funtobehad killyeskill


meattoeat clawbitebite goodyesrabid?


youwant morekitten


shetastes goodno


eat your fill

your sister didn't entertain me.


Roast turkey. Pig on a spit. Barbecued ribs.

I stood up.

End. Stop. Break.

I picked up the steel post laying next to me.

Cycle. Chain. Continuum.

I charged.

Old habits are hard to break.


Shouting. Focus on shouting.

your sister

Fuck my sister. Shouting. Who's shouting?


Steel post ramming down next to me. Twisting away. Crackling blue.



Driving the post through the rubble. Lightning rod. Boom.

Volcano of dirt and bricks. Half-buried under rubble. There. Conduit.

"Thank you for service Associate Anderson. That will be all."

"You're right Conduit. That will be all."

Steel brace. Up. Through his arm. Electricty pulsed. The rod glowed blue.

Snap Crackle Pop.


Light. Air.

I scrambled up, gasping, sucking down breaths. Where? Where was the Cleaner? Where was Nikolas and the others?

Conduit, sparking. Screaming. An infant getting a shot.

He smoked and sizzled. Burning tires. Burnt car clutch.

Conduit ripped the slender piece of steel out of his arm, brought it over his head.


Struggled, twisted, fighting to get out, to move. Conduit swung the steel brace over his head.

And she was there. Sinking her teeth into the neck of his suit, thrashing and clawing, ripping, tearing, snarling.

I pulled and legs came free. Not my legs. Arms moved. Not my arms.

He dropped the steel and grabbed her by the neck, pulling her off his back.

"The West Worthington Corporation has authorized your execution. Goodbye criminal."

"I suggest you take your hands off the lady."

Bare-fisted in the dirt, trapped.

"Or what?"

"I'll have to get rough."

He squeezed and she squealed.

I blinked and saw. Dirt and black. Move. Move my arm.

Conduit squeezed again.

My Brute's hand erupted from beneath the debris, clenching around his waist. I squeezed this time, and heard bones snap.

Conduit dropped her. He was too busy screaming.

I stood with flesh, steel still laying there.

"Associate Conduit, I regret to inform you, I am terminating your position in this city. Your services are no longer required. Goodbye."

I made a fist with flesh and steel.

The air went out of him and he was a crumpled balloon. His helmet fell off and rolled down the pile of debris. He was dead.

Had been for a couple days from the look. And the smell. Straight-jacket. A damn straight-jacket, locked in a box somewhere. Wondered where he uploaded his brain to before he died.

The cat-thing said words. I don't remember what they were.

I closed both eyes and fell forward. Never felt the ground. Hadn't been drunk enough in 5 years to do that.

I think I slept. I know I dreamt.

I was fucking Cassie in our bed at home. There was screaming that wasn't us. The walls around the city were falling, just like they fell on the Entertainment District. The entire city was a newly dug grave.

We kept fucking.

She smiled. So did I.

We burned as the winds and the dust came. We changed as we were covered by silt and ash, growing scales that flaked away to fur that fell out for fins that closed over again.

We kissed and kept fucking.

We were in a coffin, lined with notes and paper.

"Neil, bury us. Put us in the ground. Please big bad pallbearer?"

The city...

It was dead. The worms were coming. Already eating.

I stood up and climbed out the window. Cassie smiled and melted into the bed. The puddle gurgled and oozed, dripping onto the floor.

"Gonna play the hero Neil?"

I opened both sets of eyes.

The cat-thing was watching me, claws bared.

"We need to have a talk. A talk about my Brute, a talk about you, and another talk about my Brute."

"You forgot, a talk about you too. Like who the hell are you?"

"Haven't you heard? I'm the Pallbearer."

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