Friday, December 18, 2015


by Vincent Daemon

Chapter X

F**k Christmas

 The sun was rising as they pulled into Corman’s, setting an oddly pink dawn snow-glow across a sight far worse than anything they’d seen in the woods. 

 There was no white snow, just blood and mud and pieces of penguin along with most of the other animals strewn about everywhere, a mess of inconceivable proportion and graphic magnitude. Julie instinctively turned to John, hiding in the warm protection of his intuitive holding of her. Hell, it seemed almost rote at this point. They stuck like magnets and fit like a puzzle.

 “Doc, take Julie.” John gently passed her off to the Doc so that she saw not a trace of the carnage that lay all around her; though she could still smell the more pungent and stranger odoriferous wafts of scents both natural and like some stinging chemical, similar to what they encountered back in the woods but far stronger. “I gotta check on some things.” 

 Despite his dire exhaustion John bolted at top speed, somehow not slipping in the bloody mud and snow slush, to a spot behind the office where he found not only more vile remains, but Quacks holding Walter Paisley quite protectively under his right wing.

 “Oh thank fuckin’ Christ kid, I knew you’d come.” Walter exhaled, tired, frightened, now looking far beyond his years, but not as psychologically disturbed, like the others. “You should’a...what am I talkin’ about, you did. Reads on your face. Quacks here, he saved my goddamned life. He’s coming home with me, fuck Corman.” Paisley looked up at John. “Hey Johnny, you got a smoke?”

 John handed him a cigarette, went and got him water, food, some first aid supplies to tend to some of the cuts and bruising. Aside from the rapid aging, Walter really seemed none the worse for wear.

 “Don’t look in its eyes, Johnny. That’s where it really tries to get ya.” 
 John looked at him quizzically, but understanding. “I’ve no intention to, Walt.”

“Cyimir’s gone, broke free after he and that thing had it out. You should’a seen it, it was a real zinger of a humdinger,” he laughed to himself, obviously exhausted and probably not having fully processed a good portion of what he’d witnessed. How the fuck does one process all of this anyway?

John handed him a joint. “You, this, now,” was all he said. Before it finally occurred to him, of course, that the polar bear was gone. “Wait, what? There’s a fucking polar bear roaming the town now?”

 “Yeah,” said Paisley in a matter of fact tone. “Pretty much. But he’s okay.” 

 At that moment the sound of Corman’s lowbrow Hummer pulled viciously into the lot breaking all silence, setting Quacks on edge again. The duck had every intention of beak-poking the man’s squinty little face into the back of his head.

 Corman jumped out of his truck, furious and baffled. “WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO MY ZOO? YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!”

 John and Walter said nothing, just looked at the man as the one still living, blind six-foot penguin waddled up between them and the panicked owner.

 Corman looked over at Dr. Chorn and Julie. “Who the fuck are you two?” His voice was flooded with bewilderment and rage. 

 “I’m Dr. Chorn, here to check on your petting zoo. And if you don’t mind, do not yell and scream in front of this young woman, Miss Julie Adams, here to do a report on your absolute mess of an establishment here, Sir. She’s had a long, difficult night, as have John and Mr. Paisley, as well as myself. Don’t worry though, Mr. Corman, she’s getting a hell of a story.” Chorn’s calm, strict manner seemed to ease Corman’s volatile temperament slightly, subconsciously putting him in his place. He knew all too well how to deal with these types.

 “Where’s Cyimir, fer...where’s Cyimir?” Corman remained calm, it being an obvious battle in his mind.
 “Gone, buddy. Just like me and ol’ Quacks here.” Paisley’s tone was not one of lightheartedness. 

  “What do you mean ‘gone,’ Walter?”

 “Gone, exactly what I goddamned said.” As Paisley stated this, Quacks stared Corman down to a near simpering sop with one glance of stark, mutated avian terror.

 “Okay, no reason for anyone to get upset. We’ll just go find him. C’mon, let’s go,” said Corman almost mockingly trying to round up the team’. 

 “No one’s going anywhere, Corman. Except perhaps to the Holiday Carnival that is supposed to start atcorrect me if I’m wrongnine a.m? That’s twenty minutes ago. Corman, you come with uswe take your HummerI drive. Not a word. Paisley, you stay with Quacks and this blind...thing. I’ll be back soon as possible to help you out.” All agreed in an understanding silence as Chorn laid down the plan. 

 Doc Chorn hopped into the driver’s seat, not even having to ask Corman for his keys. Julie and John huddled together in the back, falling into a brief but intimately comfortable nap against each other, resting their heads upon one another. Corman schlepped his way to the passenger side and slid in the true rat-prick he was.

Click Below
to read Ch. XI
of the novella
by Vincent Daemon
In fifteen serial installments
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