The Madman that Should Not Ride

This is my first attempt at Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge, from his blog. We picked a title from a random title generator he provided. I haven’t written since I was, like, seven… So, I think it’s a pretty dumb story… I look forward to, hopefully, getting better.

The Madman that Should Not Ride

“Faster!” He yelled. “You’re not going fast enough!”

I glared into the rear view mirror back at him, cringing at his mouthful of teeth, “If we go any faster the fucking thing is going to fall apart! Why the fuck did you chose a 1948 Ford De Lux for our get away car?!”

He didn’t answer, but the “Greased Lightning” scene from Grease flashed into my head. I sighed.

This hunk of metal was pre-Greased Lightning, the tires were wobbly, the exhaust was puffing something blue and the whole vehicle was not made for this kind of speed. The upgrades were created by his mind, and even though he was not a very good judge in the host, it was a pretty sweet ride. I don’t know much about Max’s abilities. So far I have seen him teleport from one place to another, and manifest hemis on old cars. We met a few weeks ago at a survivor’s meeting, and decided to survive together. Non-romantically.

“It’s gaining on us! You have to go faster! Let me drive!” He closed his eyes and in an instant I was in the back seat, and he was at the wheel.

“Dude! I fucking hate it when you do that. You can’t fucking do that!” The car was really shaking now, and the animal after us was not backing down.

Our world has been taken over by Sendletarns. Our job every day was to survive. A sendletarn is a human beast hybrid that hunts alone. They’re large, fast and disgusting creatures. They hunt to feed, but on occasion they hunt to convert. Though, you were never sure of their intent until they had you. They are especially attracted to people with “special” abilities, like my friend Max here. They’re vicious, and enjoy their meals alive, so they eat you very slowly. This is not something I wish to experience first hand.

Thinking about it now, Max probably isn’t the best survival buddy. He attracted them. They craved him. Sometimes I think he enjoyed the attention, and the adreniline. He really liked the excitement of a good chase. Me, not so much. But, being hunted was a part of everyone’s life now.

The land is barren, and flat. There were more tumbleweeds than vegetation. Brown, everything was brown and dead. There is no where we can turn off to lose this one. He is drooling and right on our tail. I can smell him. He reeks of rotting, that funk your sink gets when you leave a cereal bowl unrinsed on a hot summer day. Sour.

We have no weapons. We have no way of knocking him out. We’re fucked, absolutely positively fucked.

“Can’t you manifest a turret or something?” Max looked back at me, furrowed his brow, and put his eyes back on the endless road. Guess not. “We have to brainstorm then, we can’t just keep dri–” Just then, the rear wheel flew off. It flung back and the sendletarn dodged that shit like a ninja. Sparks were flying and the car was slowing down. The sendletarn leapt, and landed in the car. The smell made me vomit instantly. Luckily he had no interest in me, because of Max… But I had to think of some way to get him out of the car and away from him. I wiped the puke from the corner of my mouth, and was about to go Chuck Norris on him when I noticed Max had vanished. Just as it grabbed at the essence of Max, he realized he had disappeared and his attention changed direction to me.

With no driver, and the alignement off the car was in the dirt and slowly coming to a stop, but not slow enough to muster a duck and roll. I slumped into the back seat as the sendletarn came closer, and closer. His mouth oozing the most noxious liquid I have ever had the pleasure of being around. I dry heaved. I am petrified. This is it, I am going to be gnawed to death. Savored by this creature. This stench is the last thing I will ever smell. I closed my eyes and suddenly felt saturated in warm sludge. That dirty sink smell, just got fifty times worse. I began salavating, and just kept swallowing to avoid being sick. I open my eyes and I am covered in something. I look up at the creature, and it has been impaled by something, what I don’t know, I can’t be sure. Blood was everywhere. It took some time for my mind to catch up with my eyes, but it didn’t take long to realize I was covered in its viscera. The smell, oh the smell. The sendletarn collapses over the back of the bucket seat. Dripping, oozing, reeking. The car is almost at a complete stop, dust is settling around us and I look around for the impaler.

I turn around to find Max is standing on the back of the car, all superhero like with his hands on his hips, he might have had a cape on, I don’t know. Max smiles a crooked, satisfied smile and tosses me a towel. I catch it with one hand and immediately began wiping myself down, never taking my eyes off of him.

“That was exhilarating,” he said, stepping into the back seat.

The fuck it was, I almost got eaten. What the fuck, dude! Where did you go?”

I improvised. It’s been weeks since I’ve eaten, and I have waited long enough. That near death experience has surely filled you full of delicious adrenaline, let’s have a taste.” His eyes began to glow vivid and bright amber, and that’s the last thing I remember before he ripped my throat open with his teeth.