Friend in Fire.

I sat staring at the fire, the heat drying the skin of my face like parchment left in the sun. I could almost imagine it peeling away and floating up with the sparks and ash in front of me. The sky was dark and the rain seemed to be taunting the fire and me.

The oranges and yellows flicked across the wood, slowly dying as the day was. I would let it die. Let the light and the heat ebb away like the breath of an old man. I stared without blinking, wanting the last of the heat to dry my eyes as it did my skin. I wondered if my vision would shrink as my eyes became raisins. I laughed at my silly thoughts as my skin floated away.

The fire was an old friend, one that often lent a hand. A warm shoulder if you will, wrapped around an old man. I stank, it had been a while since I was able to bathe or wash my clothes. I felt like the tin man, in a rigid shell of dirt and grime. I am not one to complain. This world is what I made of it and my mistakes are written on me. Whether it be a scar or grime, I wear them well.

I used to know my name, but that was a long time ago. I believe I was happy once without a fire. I avoid people because they avoid me, probably the smell. I laugh again. Nothing shields better than the smell of piss and sweat.

You get used to the flies, they only want to feast. They are no longer annoying. I almost consider them friends, but not like the fire. I think I was a father, I can almost remember what that means. My hands are so old now…when did that happen? I have gotten too thoughtful in my ageing bones.

I remember I was alive once. I had a beating heart of some kind. I don’t have a heart any more. I gave it to the fire. I remember less and less, but I remember I died well before I forgot. I laugh over those screams coming from the fire. I think dinner is ready.

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Family Dead Man.

He smelled. It was a stink that filled his nostrils and made him want to vomit whatever was in his stomach. He hurt all over too, his head fuzzy with stink and pain. He climbed out of bed and heard his bones crack. He died in the night. He died of a simple heart attack. Now he was something else.

He stared around the bedroom, feeling a hunger building inside his gut. His mouth was dry, he smacked his lips together. He stood with a jerk, realizing his joints had seized. He looked back at the bed, his wife was still sleeping. He had a vague memory of her. He seemed to have trouble remembering the red nightgown she was wearing and had she lost weight?

He staggered out of the room and into the hallway. Kids still sleeping, he thought as he made his way down the stairs. His legs couldn’t quite grasp stairs and he tumbled down to the living room below. He slowly stood up and made his way to the kitchen.

“Coffee,” he groaned.

Though he remembered this “Coffee,” he had no idea what he was supposed to do. He instinctively went to the cupboard and grabbed a can of something. He opened another and retrieved a cup. When he turned to the refrigerator he saw his own reflection. He was a bit alarmed by the amount of red covering him from face to toes.

He had a flash of memory.

Susan jumped into bed. She wanted to wake her husband. She was wearing a brand new negligee and wanted some attention. Bobby groaned in his sleep, Susan giggled and shook him harder. He groaned and turned to his horny wife. Her smile disappeared as he lunged on top of her, his milky white eyes devouring her as quickly as his teeth.

Bobby fell awkwardly to the kitchen floor. He loved his wife. She was his world, she was beautiful and delicious. Hunger hit him again. Bobby heard his daughter come down the stairs.

“What Stinks!” She yelled back up the stairs.

He crouched to pounce.

She came around the breakfast bar as her Daddy rose up and grabbed her. Her surprise was replaced by the knowledge of where the stink was coming from. Her father held her, teeth grinding, moaning and covered in blood. She knew what he was now. Her mind wandered to her mother and then back to all the blood.

“Daddy!” she yelled.

Bobby was so hungry. He smelled the blood. He needed to feed, just a taste. His mind flashed blurry images of his daughter. He was pushing her on a swing, both of them laughing. “Higher Daddy!” she squealed.

Bloody tears spilled from his dead eyes. Just a taste, he bit down hard and tore a large chunk of flesh. His daughter screamed in pain as she fell backward out of the dead things grip. She sat in shock, watching her father devour his own arm.