For those of you that click on the links I post on Twitter, you may know that I am attempting to write a short story every week in order to stop my mind from sinking into a pit of uncreative despair. Last week I wrote all about the people who live in my apartment building being killed by an unidentified evil. That was fun. You can read it here if you like, along with an explanation of why I’m doing it.
This week no-one in my flat dies. They’ll be relieved to hear that. But what does happen? What monstrous wonders has my mind thrown up? Do any of you care? Let’s find out as we venture forwards into the unknown that is short story number 2.
Every weekday morning, at the same time at the same place, three men board the tram that I am sitting on. They walk on together, sit down together, and stay together until they get off at the same stop. Together they walk away until they are out of my sight, and that is the last I will see of them until the same time the next day.
At first I noticed nothing unusual about these three friends. They were all dressed in ordinary clothes, all looking like ordinary people, all making an ordinary start to what looked like an ordinary day.
The first man was tall and thin. His hair was long and the brightest of whites, sitting just at the bottom of his neck and staying in place no matter what the weather tried to do to it.
The second man was much shorter and much rounder. His hair was cropped with a small amount of product giving it some spikes, and a prominent moustache sat proudly above his upper lip.
The final man was the only one to really stand apart. Tall, and even thinner than the first man, he looked like he’d suffered a stroke at some point as his mouth hung slightly on one side of his face.
Together they boarded the tram, took their usual seats at the back, and spent the next 20 minutes discussing trivial things about their seemingly trivial lives. Nothing weird there. Nothing worth paying attention to.
But as the weeks went by and I saw those same three men every day, it became apparent that they were far less ordinary than I had first assumed.
It was the monster corpse that first made me suspicious. Invisible at first glance, but upon closer inspection I noticed its tentacles slithering out of the tall, white haired man’s rucksack. I believe he noticed me noticing, as his quickly zipped up his bag and moved it behind his legs. But try as he might, one thing he could not hide from me was the difference I saw in him and his allies. The shorter man kept sniffing, repeatedly brushing his moustache as if he was trying to clean something from it. The man with the wonky face was holding his arm as if he had hurt it.
Together all three of them looked like they did not belong. I lowered my eyes so as not to be seen staring, but kept glancing at their reflection in the opposite window. Sure enough it all became more obvious. A pool of some form of liquid was forming beneath the tall man’s bag, and the man with the moustache was angrily issuing instructions under his breath. I could not hear much of it, but what I did make out was enough to convince me of the three men’s discrepancies.
“What the hell are we going to do with its head?!?”
You rarely hear those words on the morning commute