A Piece of the Action (Short Story)
by Simon Haynes
Flat broke and stranded in a South American country, Ralph Gardiner is nursing a beer and contemplating the wreckage of his life. No money, no prospects, and worst of all ... the beer is warm. When a local businessman approaches him with a curious offer, Ralph decides he has nothing to lose ...
Light filtered through the canopy: an even, green glow. A single beam of sunlight shone down onto a sick-looking bush, all brown leaves and white sticks. As I approached it, a large fly settled on my arm. I swatted it, and it buzzed away angrily. I heard a rattle at my feet and looked down. There were dozens of spent cartridges, glittering like gold against the broken, brown earth.
I took another step towards the bush, then stretched out a hand and parted the branches. A wave of cold rushed through my guts as I stared at a misshapen, blotchy face smeared with blackened blood. As I yelled and jumped back, the creature grabbed for me with its shattered, twisted arms.
- Bowman Press, July 2012
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