Fiction logo

Blood At Rosemary’s


By Randall WindlePublished 3 months ago 12 min read

Not far from where Hollow’s coffin broke free from the ground, the second of our three warriors was fighting for her life. At a haunted place called Rosemary’s.

Once it had been the best place to grab a drink and laugh your worries away. But that was before.

Before the world got infected by demons. Its name had been painstakingly painted onto an already old wooden sign, each piece of red lettering stood as a work of craftsmanship. Above and below the name were painted green stems. They curved around the scarlet letters perfectly.

A storm grumbled in the air. It will rain soon.

Inside Rosemary’s, faithful classic rock drifted out via a wounded jukebox. It spat out a grizzled electric guitar tone.

The noise of broken glass shot through the air and joined the rhythm. 

Glass bottles flew. First just one, bright green and heavy. Then a reply from a thicker, dustier wine bottle. Cork included.

That one hit the target, breaking itself into many pieces, drawing blood and setting off swears.

A sharp intake of breath. “Fuck.”

That coarse, miserable voice belonged to a coarsely miserable woman. Cyan Crown sat crouched behind a giant countertop, the type that would cost an arm and a leg.

She waited for another bottle to fly over her head. Then chanced a peek.

Her opponent, a poxy-faced scavenger from whatever was left of the Haze district, glared with his one good beady eye.

In the good old days, Cyan did not doubt he’d been a reliable dead-head type. Someone who would relish the process of turning themselves into a human chemistry set.

The way his skin was sagged and scarred, with a poisoned amber tinge to it. On top of all that, weak genetics had gifted him with a duck-bill-like nose.

“I’m not dying to him.” Cyan whispered. It was an irritated whisper.

There was a pause. No more bottles flew.

The Haze born junkie kept hidden behind three small round oak tables clustered as a rough cover.

This fight had been going on for just shy of ten minutes, but to Cyan it felt like an hour. She’d only wanted to stop and rest, isn’t everyone entitled to that after breaking free from a metal coffin?

Apparently not.

As the scavenger stayed hidden, more classic rock filled the silence.

‘I’m Livin’ For Givin’ The Devil His Due’

Cyan grabbed something sharp and shining from one of shelves behind the bar, not taking the risk of taking her eyes off the scavenger. It was a miracle her hand wasn’t sliced up.

Electric guitar jolted itself into a burning rhythm. ‘Burnin’ For You’

She leaped over her cover, bottle opener in hand.

He had not counted on her boldness, that’s what Cyan liked to think anyway. But when she leapt over the tables, her shadow fell across him. He was poorly nursing an arm wound from the last bottle Cyan threw. Shards of glass stuck out the arm, dripping red. His eyes were pin-sharp and shaken.

Truth was, he had not counted on dying anytime soon. Not many people do that.

She leveraged her whole shoulder strength into a stabbing attempt.

In a moment of probably supernatural speed, the ugly cunt was trying to runaway. But he did not make all the way out of range. The small kitchen tool at first meekly poked through the junkie’s ear, before physics added the equation of Cyan’s full momentum into the equation. This caused his whole ear to be torn off. Blood raced through the air as booth collided and flew into the jukebox.

Bad news, this meant the sick tunes were stopped. Good news, Cyan lived with only one horrific slash to her face. The junkie died with glass through the throat. His two second gargles of a deep blood pool was just as good as music so it made up for it.

He stopped spasming. The music stopped.

After a moment or three of silence, Cyan took a deep breathe in. Standing up put everything back into focus. Her heartbeat, her thoughts, Rosemary’s, the dead man…and those who had died long before.

She spent the next seven minutes wincing at the bleeding uneven cut on her face, the blood trail traced the arch of her eye and made Cyan resemble a demented crayon drawing.

She used her better one to drift away from the long vertical bar mirror, and instead let it follow its familiar course to the axe-range.

Rosemary’s famous throwing axe range.

On all the walls was painted iconography. Apples and skeletons grinned at Cyan, as if they could read her mind, smell her fear, or just see how shaken up she was. Deep down.

‘They’re all still here…’

Her arms shook, so Cyan stretched them out, resting on a section of wire mesh that stretched all around the range. Behind some parts of the mesh, caged red lights glowed among cobwebs.

Memories were soaked into the place just as much as the skeletons and roses and blood.

The actual targets stood still, with many axes embedded into it. Some were very familiar to Cyan. After all, they were hers.

“Been a while.” She said to them.

It had been. Cyan made sure to pick them up and hook them to her belt just like old times. With every wide step there was a clink noise.

Being hunched over made the young woman hold the pose of a coiled reptile.

Cyan tried to relax. Lifting the cheap beer to her mouth, she winced. A slight foam crept out the glass top. That’s what you get for breaking it open. She’d felt too lazy to open in properly.

No one there to flaunt the rules after all, just herself and a dead addict.

It had only been a few hours since she’d busted out the metal coffin. This was Eden’s world now. Cyan felt filled up with slight shame, was it her fault? Partially yes, totally? No.

She thought of her sister, Grace. Their last conversation, the smell of peppermint tea filled her senses by a route of chemical memory.

‘Before she put me in that box, we’d been so high up, that even those demons had looked like ants.’

Skitter skitter…skitter

An ant crawled along the bar counter, stopping to inspect a small river of beer foam, before ending up stuck in the muck. It was surreal to watch it on its back, struggling.

“I must look like a God to you.” Cyan said to the ant.

Cyan hovered her thumb above it, poised and ready to squash. She considered how the already sticky blood would mingle with the sugary alcohol. No thanks.

Outside Rosemary’s, reality was progressing in the precise sickly cycle the Eden cultists had predicted, and initiated. Demonic Murmurs enjoying plain old-fashioned systematic slaughtering.

“Not many people left.” Cyan murmured. The drink was finished automatically, its bottle was left to dangle in one hand.

The rain flared as lightning broke past clouds. Each strike was flanked by thunder, commanded by clouds. Getting louder and louder.

A voice sounded piped up behind her. Far from the voice she wished it would be.


Young, curious, cautious.

Cyan resisted the initial instinct to turn her neck. Instead choosing to lock both eyes on the bar mirror. It stretched far with enough height to take everything in. Cyan found that voice in a split second.

The young man stood around five foot ten. Maybe a couple inches on top of that. Wide soulful eyes were framed by a mess of scratches and mud. Hair that held both the texture and shade of scarecrow straw peeked out from under the sides of a worn pirate hat.

Cyan estimated him to be around seventeen.

He pointed to the soulless body in the far side of the room. Then he repeated himself.



The lad nodded, and Cyan got the sense of weariness from that. For a blink and you’ll miss it moment, the youth fell away from his frame, both shoulders drooped, green eyes misted over. Not from tears, she doubted there was any grief for the dead scavenger. For this stranger, it was just tiredness. Of everything.

Cyan approached. He had no marks that signaled him as another junkie, another danger.

The lad wore a torn-up t-shirt, like he’d been wrestling with a demon, and had heavy overall bruising. On the fabric shirt sat the faded graphic of a sphinx.

Hiking shorts capped off by vintage trainers that held clusters of mud. Red and black, sweatshop style.

He looked up.

“I am Osiris.” He said, simply. A playful smile that seemed unconscious, crawled across the boy’s features.

Cyan blinked.

Osiris continued. “I’m looking for paradise.”

Outside Rosemary’s, the rain blossomed.

Cyan laughed, and despite her overly cautious nature, found herself warming. Before she knew it, the bottle was placed back on the bar countertop.

“Aren’t we all. Not to bring bad news, but I think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.”

She gestured at another of the stools, Osiris took the offer.

Over the next several minutes some early conversations skirted around various topics, ultimately in a circle. God, souls and Murmurs. The demons engineered by Eden. Despite all this, he took Cyan’s cynicism with grace.

They mused about Murmurs.

“Can they be killed?”

“Were they really made by Eden?”

“How the fuck did Eden make those?”

Despite the two-direction transactional nature of their conversation, Cyan noted how though they were worded perfectly, the heart of Osiris’ words rang with a hollowness.

The storm continued to take its time. Rosemary’s doors were thin.

“How did you survive.” Cyan asked. “Did you volunteer for…Eden’s program. Or were you forced.”

Osiris’ body language changed. It took him the longest time to answer this question.

“Hard to remember.” His tone shifted.

He turned the tables.

“Do you remember Zoltan, before it fell and became Eden. Before the world fucked itself.”

Cyan took note that he wanted to swerve hard away from that particular subject as soon as possible. So took the bait. “Yes. Remember it far too much for liking.”

“How much would you bet on there being other survivors?”

A lot of questions being asked. Cyan thought, finishing her second beer. That glass bottle joined its sibling. Both empty. The rain thudded.

“Good question.”

Osiris pressed the issue, “What do you plan on doing with yourself?”

Mirroring Osiris’ earlier guarded response, Cyan considered each word with care.

“Go back to whatever is left of Zoltan. And see what’s left.”

It was the truth shrouded in a lie, much as Cyan expected Osiris had given her with ‘Hard to remember.’

“We’re far away.” Osiris said.


“Let’s get going then.”

They stood and the floorboards of Rosemary creaked, a ghost sighing.

As Cyan left the threshold, those three throwing axes clinked.

They left the building that housed a million unspoken memories, mysteries and a dead addict.

Rainwater greeted them both in a friendly enough way, but it soon became irritated when you walked across the worn stone path. For Osiris and Cyan, each motion of their legs and arms felt heavier and heavier as the weather worsened.

The world’s once great network of roads and cobblestone pavements had been scrawled over by mother nature, like throwing a map in mud and spitting on it for good luck.

“You were right,” Cyan said to Osiris, “We’re far from Zoltan, proper Zoltan that is. About a hundred miles or so. Technically on a map we’re in the limits, the outskirts. But practically speaking, we’re fucked.”

“You’re awfully fond of that word.”

Osiris’ worn pirate hat kept his eyes hidden. He nodded sharply.

If either Cyan or Osiris was worried to death neither showed it.

Cyan considered the fact she’d heard his name at some point long ago…not to mention his hat was familiar…she asked him. He gave a vague answer. Cyan did not forget the subject as they walked on and on…and on.

Doubt shrank in Cyan’s opinion the more they walked. That was Grace’s hat…

Up ahead in their path a large hill reached up to the sky, matching it in moodiness and ugliness. It was composed of broken up metal. Ruined bots, rusted car bodies. Occasionally a failed coffin prototype jutted out, similar to an old-school fridge, sticking out like a fat thumb.

The sun hid itself behind clouds. They hung in the sky all grey and heavy. More lightning and thunder.

“Have you seen any Murmurs.” Cyan asked, both eyes on Osiris and his hat.

“Don’t see none now.”

That response made his scratches, mud marks and bruising all the more

Soon enough they were climbing up the hill.

Neither said anything, or even made a noise of effort or frustration. From a distance, with a certain pair of eyes, they’d appear to be gliding up the thing as easy as blinking.

Reaching the rough half-way mark of the hill, the sky gave them a slight break. That being said, the rain continued to brew in the clouds before resuming to moodily cut down at a steep angle. Each pellet of rain by the time it got down, was akin to frozen bullets.

They gazed down at the ruined wreck of what was once a wicked cool civilisation. Now there were only skeletons and empty roads.

“Not long before we reach the main path.” Cyan said, trying to lift the mood.

“True.” The young Osiris muttered.

“A whole world.” The boy said, his eyes clouded by that faraway glaze again, like he was behind a stone door or a block of ice.

“This is not how it should be.”

He muttered something that she could not understand, it sent an eerie feeling clawing up Cyan Crown’s spine to sit on her brain. Harsh and patient.


About the Creator

Randall Windle

UK Based Author, Bristol 🌉

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.