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Remnants — Episodes 5

Bobby was afraid to touch her. Kyra lay upon her back on the concrete slab of the convenience store parking lot. The bubble blisters had spread and now covered all of her visible body, and they continued to eat their way through her clothing into her flesh.

By C. L. NicholsPublished about a month ago 3 min read
image created by author using Canva

Bobby was afraid to touch her.

Kyra lay upon her back on the concrete slab of the convenience store parking lot. The bubble blisters had spread and now covered all of her visible body, and they continued to eat their way through her clothing into her flesh.

She turned onto her side then vomited a squirming mass of unknown matter on the pavement, gasping as her stomach heaved in and out.

Bobby couldn’t believe she was still breathing.

“Make it stop!” She groaned then clenched her teeth, in obvious pain. “Please.” She squeezed her eyes shut.

Bobby realized he’d only been staring down at her bizarre dissolution, incapable of action. His paralysis finally broke. He took quick steps to his car, reached through the open rear window, and ripped a blanket from the back seat.

Unfolding it as he spun back, he knelt then spread the cover over Kyra. He rubbed the blanket up and down her stomach, gently at first then brisker when she didn’t complain.

She lay suddenly still. Her eyes snapped open and latched onto his, her expression one of pain and misery.

“Bobby?” she whispered hoarsely.

He lifted the cover to see if he’d been able to scrub away the blisters.

A sickening mucus coated the beige blanket he’d pressed against Kyra’s belly. Her shredded blouse was mixed in with the remains of the bubble blisters and her own rotted tissue.

The protoplasmic soup already had eaten into the fabric. It fizzed like radio static in the silent night. The stench made Bobby’s stomach seize in disgust, and he slung the blanket away into the predawn darkness.

Afraid to see, he made himself look down at her abdomen. He was horrified to discover the raw meat of a grievous injury to her body. The blisters had to contain some kind of acid, a caustic solution that burned its way through skin, baring muscles and intestines, severing nerves and veins in a bloody internal potpourri.

Bobby reached to touch her naked midsection, then recoiled at the last second. He stood quickly. Fearing contagion, he stepped back, feeling the burning shame of his cowardice.

“Kyra?” The voice didn’t sound like his own, more the strained speech of some stranger.

Kyra opened her mouth, trying to tell him something. No words escaped her crusted lips.

The bottom of her face had dissolved into a liquefied pulp. A rush of air exited her mouth in one last attempt at speech. Her vocal cords most likely had been devastated.

Bobby gawked at what had become of Kyra.

Her open eyes stared blankly.

* * *

Less than a hundred yards from the roadside store, Charlie saw the chrome gleam of a sedan at the gas pumps and knew it would soon be his ride. One way or another. He caught movement to one side of the lot.

On the concrete apron near the light’s limit, a man stood looking down. Charlie suddenly recognized him then noticed the figure at his feet.

Bobby Kent, damn him. And Kyra, too. What was he doing to her? Charlie would put an end to this, here and now.

He stopped in the road.

A weapon. He was empty-handed. Bobby Kent was no puny runt. Even when Charlie began to suspect they were up to something at the church, he’d watched and waited.

When Kyra started missing services, Charlie had become certain and formed plans to rectify the situation in a supremely satisfactory manner.

The damn comet might make him do things different than he would have liked, but he’d make the most of this discombobulated mess.

Charlie looked around, stepped off the road into the bushes, searched for the thickest tree limb he could find. He hefted it, making it comfortable in his grip.

Two feet long, it was heavy enough, the result of becoming waterlogged at some point then drying from the outside in. Its center remained weighted.

Yes, it would do. If he could get up close and personal, it’d do just fine.

Science Fiction

About the Creator

C. L. Nichols

C. L. Nichols retired from a Programmer/Analyst career. A lifelong musician, he writes mostly speculative fiction.

clnichols.medium.com

specstories.substack.com

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    C. L. NicholsWritten by C. L. Nichols

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