Thank Ye God for the Gift of Death – Very Short Story

The hill rose before them as they struggled on the rain-soaked field. Mud cluttered against their shoes, weighing down their already tired legs.

He panted heavily and he could feel his throat drying up, despite the humidity in the air. 

The wind blew across his face and foul stench filled his nostrils, making him snort in disgust.

He glanced at a cart next to him and saw an arm dangled by the edge, wobbling as the cart was dragged up the hill. The white bone on the dead man’s hand was contrasted by grey-green colour of rotten flesh. He shuddered at the thought of the meat being gnawed off by some rodent.

Staring in fascination at the white bone, he rubbed his own fingers against each other, wondering if he looked the same inside. Suddenly, a cough escaped him, making him stagger. While trying to keep in line with the rest, he rubbed the snot clear from his lips.

He could taste iron in his mouth and he stopped abruptly. As he did, a man cursed at him, from behind for holding up the line. Ignoring the man, he lowered his head and looked at his sleeve, a black-red liquid streaked along the cloth. His heart sank as he looked at it.

With his head still bent, He glanced around. Wherever he looked, glowering eyes, tense with terror, stared at him.

“No! No, stay away from me,” he roared as they tried to grab him by his cloak.

A sharp pain struck the back of his head and he fell to his knees. His senses swam and a second blow darkened his vision. 

Awoken by his head throbbing, his vision swirled as he opened his eyes again and flares of light covered his sight. He clenched his fist, trying to rise, but a cold moist goo stuck between his fingers and made him slip. With a blurry vision, he looked at his hand; white maggots crawled from the goo between his fingers. 

He let out a scream but only air came out as he lost his breath when the cart abruptly stopped. Suddenly, the cart dipped and he was sliding with the dead bodies off the cart.

Falling over the edge he stared up into the sky as rotten body parts fell all around him.

While falling, his vision cleared for a moment and he could see an eagle soar by the clouds.

The eagle let out a screech and he grabbed after it in desperation, his mind still dizzy and unaccepting of his imminent death.

Thank you Rokuro-sama for providing the art

© Christopher Stamfors

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