Being dead is hard when you need to work. When Alice's appetite awakens in the middle of the workday no teen or Uber driver is safe. Things get really bad when she finds out she’s the harbinger of the coming fleshpocalypse. Then monsters show up wearing human bodies like poorly fitted, inside-out winter coats with the stuffing coming out and she has to decide if she’s going to fight for humanity or be first in line in the all-you-can-eat people buffet.
A second after the elevator nearest the old man dinged Lazarus knew something was wrong. He drew his Glock but didn’t aim at what came out of the car, by far the strangest thing he had ever seen. His mind tried to tell him he was looking at a cartoon, but it wore clothes and had human like skin. Lazarus could even see hair on what appeared to be forearms. But everything from the chest up was decidedly not human.
What looked like a squid had burrowed into the person’s chest, tentacles lashing wildly about. Lazarus figured a pair of coal black knobs about the size of his middle knuckle hanging on slender ridged stalks had to have been eyes. His reaction was instinctive and immediate. He had to kill it.
Lazarus raised his gun, but before he could fire a second and a third figure emerged from the elevator. One had a cone-like head with a collar of thick flesh encircling it that pulsed like the throat of a frog. The other had the parts of a woman, but in the wrong orientation. ‘She’ was hunched over, but her head and neck appeared to have been dislocated and reset on the top of her upper back. Her knees were bent backward like a goat’s the same as her elbows.
The first figure turned its upper body back and forth as if taking in the whole room. The third figure leapt upon a heavyset woman, bashing its narrow shoulders into the fallen nurse like a battering ram. The woman screamed, her breaking bones loud enough to be heard across the room. Lazarus aimed and shot the conehead right between its compound eyes. Its head erupted far more material than he’d ever seen from a head shot, a spray of thick, viscous reddish purple hitting the wall behind it. It went down, its body flopping violently on the floor.
Tentacle man got down on all fours and began galloping in Lazarus’ direction, violently shouldering fleeing people out of his way. Lazarus fired once, twice, certain he’d hit him, but the man-thing just kept coming. Lazarus landed a last shot right between the eyes and it went limp mid-air just before he rolled out of its path.
He looked for the third creature and it stood as if on cue, whipping a purple tongue around before leaping the nurse’s station and charging them. Lazarus aimed for one knee, clipping it twice before he ran dry. It stumbled and fell before scuttling away.
Lazarus quickly reloaded. His bullets weren’t enough he was certain, but they gave him a certain peace of mind that his fists certainly wouldn’t. He shuddered at the thought of even touching any of these things and one thing he was completely sure of was that he hadn’t seen the last of them.
As he stepped around the nurse’s station his thought was confirmed. He hadn’t killed the first one he’d shot. It was gone, crawled off somewhere and he was going to have to deal with it and soon. He looked up at the old man by the elevator who seemed calm as ever, smoking his cigarette. He gave Lazarus a thumb’s up as he puffed away with oxygen tubes up his nose.
Lazarus shook his head as he walked over to the old man. “Old timer, those cigarettes are gonna be the death of you.”
“I hope so!” the old man said with a reedy voice, digging a yellow-nailed finger back into the pack suddenly in his hand. Out came another cigarette before the pack disappeared again. He lit the cigarette and poked it between his lips with the other, half-smoked cigarette. “You got any?”
“Nah, I don’t smoke.”
“Wasn’t askin’ for you. I wanna suck down as many of these as I can before they get me.”