The words over at Three Word Wednesday are fragile, rampant and tremor. This is short and tense, as I got my stuff Monday and I’m still unpacking.
Bent awkwardly in the mid-section, he rests his ass on a chipped metal gate, but the puke won’t come.
The tremors started hours ago, and like a pregnant woman’s contractions, they’re coming at shorter and shorter intervals.
An east wind blows warm across his skin. It carries with it the scent of fried foods, wet paper, a slight whiff of sewer gas. The breeze races over his skin, upsetting an already fragile condition.
Viscous drool, clear and bubbly, escapes bluish-purple lips.
Passers-by give him an even wider berth than normal; a baby in a stroller looks back, catches his eyes, and begins to wail.
He spits once, and a tooth hits the concrete. He spits again. Each mouthful of saliva carries with it more teeth.
Even he’s surprised at the lack of blood.
There’s something rising from the pit of his belly. His throat tastes of bile, bitterness. He stands, wobbly, puts a hand on the gate, bends to vomit.
Droplets of blood, dark crimson, fall from his outstretched mouth and onto the broken concrete like raindrops. His mouth feels slick; he flicks his tongue across toothless gums and whimpers.
He’s fighting for breath.
His fingers constrict, turn into claws and rip at his throat. It’s shutting off his airway. His forehead turns scarlet, then purple, the veins in his temples pulsate blue. The whites of his eyes are filling with blood, as capillaries burst from the pressure.
Falling to his knees, he looks through nearly dead eyes and a dizzying haze at the crowd that’s been drawn to him, a circle of gawkers. He wants to tell them to run very fast, run far, far away.
There’s one last push.
His lifeless flesh hits the pavement. A woman screams.
But it’s free, breathing on its own, looking for new hosts.
The crowd scatters in panic. There are sirens in the distance, urgent, converging.
Across the static of radios, there’s worry in the dispatchers’ voices. The calls are now rampant across the city. Sickness, vomiting. Something else.
Something. What? Alive?
There’s too many calls.
Just way too many.