Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the sixteenth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s piece is a 999-worder by novelist and guest blogger Bob Frey.
Please note that this story has some strong language.
‘Zombie Fight Song’
“I want to fight you,” Driscoll said.
It was the last thing Steve expected him to say. Driscoll’s eyes were unnerving, spooky. His clothes were a fright. Apparently, they were the same ones he had worn the previous night. “Don’t be an asshole,” Steve said.
Driscoll grunted. “I want to fight you.”
What was going on? Was the son of a bitch packing an equalizer or had he completely lost his mind? “What for?”
“I can beat you.” His words were slow and chilling.
Driscoll’s mindless stare made him antsy. Steve wanted no part of him. “Get lost,” he said. He started to walk away.
“I will hit you right here,” Driscoll said in a raspy voice.
Steve stopped. Hell, he had beaten this creep before. He could do it again. The guy couldn’t have turned into Mohammed Ali overnight. What was the difference, either now or some other time? “Where do you want to go?”
“The museum? Are you for real?” Steve wished someone would come out of the house to help him talk this asshole out of his stupidity.
Steve peered into his eyes. They were dead, lifeless. They made his blood run cold. The last thing in the world he wanted was to fight this creep, but what could he do? “Suit yourself,” he said.
As they walked up the narrow street with the old dilapidated houses on one side and the stone edifice of the museum rising on the other, Steve tried to think of a way to reason with the joker shuffling beside him. He was sorry about what happened last night and wanted to tell him so. He wanted Driscoll to know Carol was sorry too and that he could have her back if he asked her. Steve couldn’t say any of that. He was afraid. Fear was churning in his gut.
Why was he afraid? He didn’t honestly believe he was about to get his ass kicked or a bullet in his skull. Driscoll wasn’t capable of either one, or at least the old Driscoll wasn’t. But the way this cretin was behaving gave Steve the creeps. It was unnatural. It made him want to cut and run.
Driscoll didn’t utter a word all the way up the street. When they turned at the corner, Steve followed him as he clumped up the stone steps and around the side of the building to the rear of the museum. Behind them about twenty yards or so was a street which wound over some small hills and then past a cemetery. Kids called it the boneyard because they often took their dates there to make out. Damn, the way Driscoll freaked him out, he might have just come from there.
Driscoll turned and leaned slightly forward as Steve removed his jacket and pitched it aside. Without a word, the asshole came at him. Steve stepped nimbly to the right, threw a fist into Driscoll’s stomach and hit him with a blow that glanced off the side of his face. Steve feinted and danced away. Driscoll mumbled incoherently and advanced toward him again.
Steve went into a peek-a-boo crouch and a couple of jabs caught his adversary flush in his face. Blinded, Driscoll wrapped his arms around Steve and pulled him to the ground and sunk his teeth into his shoulder. Steve slammed the gaping jaw away with the heel of hand, broke free, and got up. Good grief, the son of a bitch had bitten him.
Driscoll got up slowly and lumbered at him again. Driscoll moaned, swung his arms and landed a blow on Steve’s shoulder. Steve countered with a hard right that caught the creep under his right eye. It turned him around and Steve hooked him smoothly with his left hand and struck him just above the eye on the other side. Driscoll groaned and raised his hands, and Steve threw a couple of ineffectual punches that glanced off his flailing limbs. He then drove his fist into his opponent’s midsection and came around with a left. The creep toppled to the ground.
It was a cool night, but Steve’ armpits were on fire and sweat ran down his face. He wiped the sleeve of his shirt over his forehead and took a breath. It was hard to tell in the moonlight if he had done any damage to Driscoll’s face, but he must have. He waited to see if the asshole got up. He did.
Again, the fat ass shuffled forward and again Steve knocked him down. Once more, he rose to his feet and Steve began to hit him with desperation. As savagely as Steve beat him, the creep would get up with the same vacant look in his eyes and limp toward him like the terminator. It was macabre.
Steve’s arms were like lead. He didn’t know how long he could keep knocking the creep down. Every time he flattened him, he was sure it was the last time. In his heart, he knew the son of a bitch would outlast him. He knew it. The creep would have his way in the end.
Like the walking dead, Driscoll growled and staggered toward him again. It was ridiculous, but Steve suddenly realized with horror that Driscoll wanted to eat his brains. He struck him a blow with all the strength he had left and Driscoll went tumbling once more. Then Steve heard this crazy clockwork music come from out of nowhere. De dum, dum, dum, de dum, dum, dum, de dum, dum, dum. It was a happy tune with a beat like a polka. Somehow, it made him think of chickens. He swore he could hear groans or blackbird squawks in the background. It was more than he could take. Steve fell on top of his nemesis, wrapped his hands around his throat, and throttled him. He squeezed harder and harder, cursing and yelling in the night. Suddenly, the creature gurgled and was still.
Thank you Bob. Something tells me I might not look at museums in the same light. 🙂
Bob Frey loves to entertain, make people laugh and think, and, perhaps, shake them up a little.
He was a copywriter for several top Los Angeles advertising agencies and received several awards for his creative work.
When he turned to writing fiction, he found it was a whole new ballgame and he had a lot to learn.
He has since published a couple of mysteries, The DVD Murders and The Bashful Vampire Murder & Comic Book Murders, and Catawampus Tales, a book of short stories, a mixed bag of fast food for the mind.
Also an actor, he has appeared in some forty independent films and stage plays. Now retired, he lives in Sandy, Oregon, with his wife, Susan.
If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.
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