09 Oct The Woman on Sticks
“The Woman on Sticks”Written by Corban Groshek Edited by Craig Groshek Thumbnail Art by Omega Black Narrated by N/A
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available
⏰ ESTIMATED READING TIME — 19 minutes
How happy we are today
The feeling will only escape
No matter who we blame it on
When the thrill is gone, it’s gone, it’s gone
Warren Biggs thundered into the radio station that sat at the edge of town, the town itself sat at the edge of an expanse of cornfields mingled with six acres of woodland.
This was not his day. He arrived with his hands full (as usual) and cool weather had made the studio door lock uncooperative. First it wouldn’t take his key. Then it took it but wouldn’t let it go.
He had made it inside with only seconds to spare, fumbling his donuts against his paunch where the souls of many devoured donuts already languished. He caught his foot on the leg of a rolling chair that had been left out in the walkway four inches too many. Laws of physics determined that this would result in some spillage from his coffee, but just a few drops.
He sat down in front of the control board with a seismic thunk. Grabbing his headset caused the wire attached to it to pull his coffee into his lap where it spilled much more than a few drops in a place where there were much more than a few nerve endings. It was a howl that rattled the glass, but it was too early for anyone to be around to hear.
He switched on the obsolete equipment and gave it the obligatory waiting period that it needed to warm up.
He shook his head, hoping that his boss wasn’t doing a station performance audit. His boss wasn’t. So Warren’s morning DJ show hit the airwaves at 5:15 AM instead of the official 5:00 AM, an anomaly that wasn’t terribly uncommon.
With tears in his eyes from the spill of lava-hot java on his Oh Mama, he hit the ground in form when the ON AIR light went green.
“Good morning from the sticks of Stocksville! Pour the Joe and rock and roll, all you lovely dreamers and doers riding that early worm into the sunrise! DJ Warren Peace is gonna keep you warm on this chilly September day with the hottest tunes from the coolest artists, so stoke your fire and go get over the hump of today’s hump day! Go get what’s yours! Start a fire, start a fire, Start a fire!”
That was the part he lived for. By the third ‘start a fire,’ he was swinging one chubby arm in the air like he had a lasso. And then that cued the stretch where his failed career as a motivational speaker was replaced by music that got played through thin speakers in the back rooms of diners and employee lounges and motel lobbies and gas station bathrooms, songs that were veritable EVPs of people that had bought into the American Dream, gotten it, and likely lost it by the time anyone could attach their names to their songs. And now the ghosts of their success were rained down on a quiet town full of people that were too busy to think about the American Dream. All except for the teenagers. Teenagers are composed of nothing but dreams.
For a teenager to give up on their dreams would be tantamount to self-mutilation.
Teenagers like Jacob Pines, a lad who was sixteen and every bit the pretty boy that girls swooned over along with their moms. Oh, did Jacob ever have dreams. Most of them centered around getting the attention of the equally gorgeous Jane Corcorin. But like anyone else that bought into dreams, he didn’t think much on the discrepancy between the volume of his efforts vs. the results.
He could have been one of the faces that music producers take under their wing and manufacture into pop stars with zero talent. Jake didn’t know how to leverage his pretty boy-ness. He tried getting Jane’s attention by staring at her longingly, the way some boys can manage when they’re models in front of a camera. He just ended up looking like a creepy kindergartner sizing up a box of animal crackers. Not that it mattered. She didn’t notice.
He tried showing off for her in gym class. He was a capable athlete. He’d make the shots, the touchdowns, the winning points, but she never seemed to be paying attention during those critical moments. She always had that dreamy, faraway look to her, like she were in a perpetual state of being mentally absent, someplace where Jake’s peacock feathers couldn’t be seen.
People willing to listen to Jake moan about his girl problems were a rarity in his world. You’re not supposed to be prone to such things when you’re hot.
In spite of this, Ryan Lambert with his bowl cut, and poster-worthy dark eyes was able to reach into the depths of his utter lack of experience with girls and offer some good advice:
“Dunno, man. Maybe you’ll have to start with something she actually likes. Like, get into what she’s into.”
“Yeah? What’s she into?”
Ryan shrugged hard enough to pull his head into his jersey turtle-fashion.
“I don’t know nothin’ about her.”
And nobody did, really. Jake discovered this with his attempts at overhearing anything Jane might say about herself. The only time she ever talked was to answer the teacher’s questions to the class.
Desperation drove Jake to his boldest move yet.
The P.E. teacher’s shrill whistle pealed throughout the gym, signaling everyone to come out of the locker rooms, one pool of boys and one pool of girls, both groups in the gray shirts and blue shorts that marked them as being the property of Stocksville Middle School.
One of those groups was missing a member: Jacob Pines, who had hung back in the boys’ locker room. He slipped into the girls’ lockers when everyone was doing laps outside.
He knew what her binder looked like. Pink flowers against a darker pink background. He went through the lockers whose combo locks had been carelessly left open, hanging like hooks. He prayed that one of them was hers.
One of them was.
There were her clothes and her binder. He was so proud of himself. There had to be something about her… something, anything… inside that binder.
The binder was closed with a tiny lock. The kind that wouldn’t stand a chance against a screwdriver but that was more than a match for Jake’s paws.
He wasn’t proud anymore.
He resigned himself to the fact that Jane Corcorin was a safe he would never be able to crack. He put everything back in their places and he even managed to slip into the line of red-faced teens doing laps in the schoolyard.
Gym class ended and he changed his clothes and he sat with a vacant stare. He was gazing down the long tunnel of time at his future life where Jane couldn’t be seen.
The bell rang.
Jake was the last to file out. He turned the corner of the doorway and smacked right into Jane Corcorin, knocking her binder out of her hands and causing it to break its lock on the floor, sending the binder’s contents scattering. Jake became a little more religious in that moment.
“I’m so sorry,” he lied.
Her crystal blue eyes flashed at him before she shook her head.
“No-no, you’re fine,” she said as she started scooping up the sheer volume of papers that should not have been able to physically fit inside the dimensions of that binder.
He didn’t ask for permission to help her. He began shoveling papers and he found that mingled with her schoolwork were all manners of sketches and handwritten notes on monsters. Cryptids. Bigfoot, Mothman, The Jersey Devil, Black-Eyed Children, and so on.
But the bulk of the heap seemed to be devoted to the local monster. Some called it Pegleg Peggy. Others called it Sally Stilts. Stickwoman. It almost looked as if there were more drawings of Pegleg Peggy than there were sheets of schoolwork.
Jackpot, said Jake’s brain before the mound of papers he was holding were snatched away from him. Oh man, she was dead hot when she was mad. Her straight blonde hair seemed to flare out like the fur of an irritated cat.
“Thanks,” she said, effectively dismissing Jake from helping her salvage her valuables.
“Are you sure? I don’t mind help–”
“I said THANKS.”
He left her without a word and wearing his dumbest grin yet.
So tell me what part of no
Don’t you understand?
– Lorrie Morgan
Jacob was disappointed to find that there just wasn’t much information about Pegleg Peggy on the internet. He could count on one hand how many pages there were in a Google search that contained scanned information, and none of them had any real artwork or pictures to speak of.
He was wanting to draw Jane a picture of her favorite monster. But it looked like he was going to have to go off of a simple crayon drawing that was uploaded by one author’s child, and whatever he could remember from the papers he saw in her binder. He guessed that most of those had been drawn by her. A true fangirl.
So he did the best that he could, going off of the vague descriptions of the creature that he found on the internet. An otherwise featureless human female torso, gaunt and emaciated from living a life in the wild, and with whatever limitations are brought on by having sticks for arms and legs. Perhaps it killed things by impaling them? It had a mouth that seemed to go from the bottom of one ear to the other, creating a long slit that allowed for it to open up extremely wide, almost like the way the jaw of a snake unhinges.
He gave it various injuries as you would associate with living in the wild with no medical treatment. The final product didn’t look much better than the original children’s drawing that guided him. He too was using crayons. But he was pouring every romantic fiber he had into this picture, as if it were the one prize rose that would woo his beloved, if a rose could ever do such a thing.
It was finished. It was his most serious work of art since he was six. It was beautiful and she was going to love it. She would be so taken by his attention to detail and his realism with Crayola that she was bound to throw her arms around him and kiss him and confess her eternal love.
She wasn’t at school the next day.
Or the day after.
He boldly went to her house to deliver the picture in person. He didn’t know why he was so certain that she would be the one to answer the door. The door was answered instead by her mother, a beakish woman with eyes that were always wide and a cross around her neck large enough to nail Jacob to it.
“Can I help you?” she asked in a tone that said she didn’t want to help anyone.
“Hey, um. My name is Jacob. I’m just checking on Jane. She hasn’t been at school.”
She smiled. “Yes-yes-yes, the poor dear has been under the weather. Now how are you involved with my daughter?”
“Well, we’re classmates…”
“Yes-yes-yes, but how are you two involved?”
Jacob felt very uncomfortable.
“I mean we just talk about monsters and stuff. See, I drew her a picture of her favorite monster for a, uh… a project, and I was just hoping…”
The woman snatched for the drawing like a chicken goes for a fat grasshopper. She held the drawing aloft, crushed in her grasp.
“Jane Mallory Corcorin, you’re still taking communion with demons! DEMONS!”
The woman began speaking in tongues while citing scripture in English. She spun around like a dementia patient convinced that they were the Warner Brothers’ Tasmanian Devil. She saved the trail end of her babble for Jacob.
“…messenger from hell!” Slam.
A creeping dread settled into Jacob’s stomach. He had just started a fire, and this woman seemed every bit the type to deal with fires by flogging them or stretching them on a rack and demanding a confession.
He began walking home feeling awful.
How would he redeem himself from this one? He was walking past some garbage set out for collection when he noticed something pale and pink. The resident had set out a department store mannequin. It was just a head and a torso. He knew exactly what he was going to do. It was a shot in the dark, but white-hot teenage love takes those kinds of crapshoots.
It took a lot of duct tape and balancing, but there stood Pegleg Peggy on four sticks, her hair a mess but her body poised to strike whoever dared to enter her woodland. The mannequin was just the right size and shape and there was no shortage of tree branches littering the forest floor to make her arms and legs. An old mop supplied the monster’s hair. Instead of offering Jane a drawing, he would give her an authentic photograph. Taken by him. And he would be her hero. She would forget about how he accidentally outed her to her mother.
The more he thought about the whole thing, the more foolish he felt going to this length, but again… teenage love was about feeling, not thinking.
He was in the depths of the forest and positioned the fake cryptid and the camera so that the body was turned to a silhouette and the duct tape was thus hidden. He knew just enough about photography that he wanted to take at least a dozen or more shots and choose the best ones. He was also lazy and shot most of them from the same spot.
This had an unexpected result.
He spent the evening poring over the mostly identical pictures, deciding which ones to give Jane. Maybe he would use a cool filter on some and make them look like bloody movie posters.
He ended up including all the photos plus ones that he edited with effects. He put everything on a flash drive and looked at it like it was a magic ring that would cast a love spell on whoever wore it.
Tremble for yourself, my man,
You know that you have seen this all before
Tremble little lion man,
You’ll never settle any of your scores
Your grace is wasted in your face,
Your boldness stands alone among the wreck…
– Mumford & Sons
Jane was back in school on Monday, looking nerve-worn and stressed. Jacob felt a pang of guilt when he saw her at her locker. He braced himself before going up to her and offering the flash drive.
“Hey,” he said.
She took one look at him and turned her back on him.
“Look I’m really sorry my drawing upset your mom.”
Jane turned around with eyes that were perfect circles.
“You mean that was you that came to my house?”
He hadn’t considered that her mom would have been too worked up to supply a proper description of the man that exposed the apparently underground interests of her daughter.
Jane looked fit to slug him. He wasn’t going to get the flowery lead-in that he had hoped for. So he went for it.
“I’ve got photos of Pegleg Peggy. They’re on this flash drive.”
She eyed the thing. Looked at him.
“I’ve never done anything to you. I don’t even know you. Why do you feel the need to make fun of me and wreck my life?”
“I’m serious! I took these pictures myself!”
“I don’t know you! Why are you doing this?” she said with tears forming translucent pearls in her eyes.
“I wanted to impress you!”
That got her attention. Was she going to throw her arms around him and kiss him? No. She just took the flash drive and looked it over. Looked at him the way a wild squirrel regards a hiker offering a peanut.
“What’s really on here?” she said.
“I told you. Pictures of Pegleg Peggy. I noticed that she’s your favorite…thing. That’s why I drew you a picture of her. I just wanted to impress you.”
You would have thought that he told her that he was trying to grow a third armpit.
“Just look them over and tell me what you think. My uh… phone number and email address are on there too.”
She took the drive and walked off without a word.
It wasn’t the scene from a modern romance novel that he had hoped for but it could have gone worse.
Now I would love to tell you that things went exactly as he had hoped after that. But nope. His email pinged with a message from JanePeg@famnet.net and his heart was shot down just as soon as it had taken to the sky.
It was a long, nasty, scathing message. To the effect that he must really think she’s stupid and he must really want her dead and really hate her.
He was going to make a hasty reply, but she had blocked his email address. That was it. He failed.
He didn’t eat dinner that night. Told everyone that his stomach was bothering him, which was partially the truth. He laid in bed but couldn’t nap. The sun went down but he couldn’t sleep. He just garnered what meager painkiller he could from the dopamine release of playing a game on his cell phone.
it was around midnight when his email pinged again. It was from Jane.
It simply read “We need to talk.” Beneath that terse line was an animated gif made up of the photos that Jacob had taken. He almost thought that she was making fun of him but he noticed something in the background of the gif. He had taken the pictures no more than two seconds apart, and the gif made it look like a cut from an amateur stop-motion film. Behind the fake Pegleg Peggy was the real thing. She was nestled in the leaves, mostly holding still, except to shift her weight on her sticks and to slowly stalk away, keeping her eyes on the camera until her neck wouldn’t turn.
He was beyond belief in that moment. Was it an act of God? Was Jacob really just such a G that he made things work out so well without knowing it?
Either way, he was gonna take it. He replied to her email and waited.
She was waiting for him in the cafeteria. The anger and the distrust were gone from her eyes.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hey,” she patted the spot on the table next to her.
He couldn’t hide how happy he was to sit next to her. She didn’t share the glow. Instead, she wore the look of an addict trying to hide their hunger for a fix.
“Can you show me where you took those pictures?”
“Do you still have the mannequin?”
He frowned internally. Why wasn’t she talking about dating?
“I took it home with me after I was done taking pictures. So yeah. Why?”
“Did you see the way that she acted? She wasn’t looking at you. She was looking at your mannequin. That was territorial behavior. If we set it up again, it could draw her out and we could get better pictures.”
She was looking intense, like something important hinged on her ideas.
“Will you be able to get away from your parents without getting in trouble?”
“Yes, don’t worry about that.”
So it was a date. She just didn’t know it or didn’t seem to care.
You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
– Johnny Cash
Jacob waited in the exact same spot with his prize mannequin cryptid. He was grinning ear to ear and he felt amazing. It all seemed too good to be true. She was going to be here with him alone in the woods. He brought snacks and drinks. They were going to photograph a local legend and he was going to win her heart in the process. Perfect. So perfect.
He tried to suppress his anxiety when she took her time to show up. Part of him wondered if she had stood him up to get revenge. But there she came at long last, wearing nothing remarkable but looking stunning to him all the same. Her golden hair looked at home among the leaves that were changing colors into all the hues of Autumn.
Love in Fall. FALL-ing in love, he mused.
He grinned at her like an idiot.
“Hey,” she greeted without making eye contact. “Is the decoy set up yet?”
In about ten minutes they were ready. Faux Peggy was where she was the first time she succeeded. The two youths were poised with their equipment. Jacob made sure that they would be able to camp out long after dark, just not for the same reasons that Jane had in mind.
Jane looked like an over-prepared tourist who was lugging around half of a studio. She had her own camera, a laptop, plus her cell phone at the ready. Her face was stern like a grim Mona Lisa. A good hour passed before there was much talking. It was actually her that broke the silence as they two of them sat on a storm-fallen tree, leaves falling around them like snowflakes.
“This means everything to me,” she said rather matter-of-fact.
“I can tell,” Jacob said.
“I mean, this is my future. My mother thinks I want to be some kind of ghost chaser or demon hunter. If I can just show my mother that this thing is real and not some demon, I’ll be one step closer to doing what I want to do with my life. Hard evidence is the best argument, right?”
“Sure,” Jacob said as his hand started inching towards hers.
Her face scrunched slightly as if she were seeing a naked tarantula sneaking up on her. She looked at him.
“So what’s your favorite real-life monster?” she asked as she moved her hand to where her other one was.
His eyes danced. “The Loch Ness Monster?’
She looked away to hide the smile that was coming on. He saw it. He couldn’t tell if it was due to amusement or ridicule, but it was a smile from her and he loved it.
“So what do you know about the monster we’re looking for right now? We’ll start there.”
“It’s been popping up around here for the last sixty years. I guess it eats children. When kids go missing, it gets blamed. The name, Pegleg Peggy is a reference to Peg Powler, a very old water spirit who is also said to eat children.”
That made her smile for real.
“You’ve done some research.”
“Yeah, just for this monster.”
“Just for me.”
He nodded. “Yeah, just for you.”
Was he dreaming, or did she finally look like she could actually tolerate his presence and possibly enjoy it?
“For me, there’s more to this than just leaving my mark in paranormal research. This monster speaks to me on some level. Somewhere in there, she’s human, but she’s altered. You’d think her chances of survival would be nada, but here she’s been a legend for decades. She’s surviving despite her odds. She hasn’t felt the need to ask for help. She’s obviously misunderstood, and I really, really identify with that…” and so the cork popped and Jane’s backlog of self-expression came spilling out.
The hours wore on and the two teens talked for most of it. Sometimes forgetting what they were there to do.
It got dark. It got cold. They didn’t really notice.
Jake woke up to the pitch black of the night, the sky retaining just enough twilight to contrast slightly with the canopy of leaves. He fumbled for the oil lantern with heavy, sleep-drugged hands. He lit it. Jane appeared next to him, passed out and snoring. He thought it was absolutely adorable.
Movement at the very edge of the lantern’s halo caught his attention. His heart nearly stopped beating.
“Jane! Jane! He hissed, shaking her with one hand. She awoke with a start.
“What? What? What’s happening?” she said, and then she saw it half a second later.
Just past the fake Pegleg Peggy was the real one. She had been studying the decoy, but the lantern got her attention. Her movements resembled a praying mantis sizing up a potential meal. She creaked side to side on her sticks in a hypnotic rhythm. Her red eyes had a fire to them, as if they would glow if the lantern went out. Jane’s hands went to her face. Jake had the presence of mind to start recording with his camera on the tripod. Jane seemed to have forgotten all about her own equipment.
She stood up. The monster didn’t back up, but her shoulders crept up next to her ears like a shrinking cat. Jake got up with the lantern and held it high, casting the horrid appearance of ‘Peggy’ into even sharper clarity.
She looked like she spent her years being used as a dartboard, covered in cuts and scrapes and festering wounds. The yeasty stink of pus reached the teens. She was awfully thin, both from hunger and from wiry strength. The filthy hair hung straight down, and the movements of the head had an almost reptilian way about them. Especially clear was the mouth. A slit that ran from under one earlobe to another. If it truly indicated her capacity for opening her jaws, then the idea of her devouring small children wasn’t far-fetched. She could probably engulf rabbits and squirrels whole. Jane took a few slow steps forward and Peggy bristled with warning, but the mouth stayed shut.
“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you. Can you understand me?” Jane said.
Peggy tilted her head like a dog, eliciting a smile from Jane.
“We want to learn about you. We want to get to know you. People tell stories about you. We want to know what your story really is.”
Peggy tilted her head to the other side.
“Can you talk at all? Hey Jake are you getting this?”
“I’m getting everything.”
“Okay… Um, yes, we want to know what your story is. You see…Everyone has a story…”
Peg’s mouth flared wider than a hawk’s wingspan and she galloped toward Jane. Jacob reacted in the blink of an eye. The blunt ends of Peg’s ‘arms’ jabbed into Jane’s shoulders as she was tackled by the stinking, grinning predator. Jake struck her with a kick to the side of the head, enough to knock her onto her back. He helped Jane up and commanded her to run. He mentally went through the contents of the backpack he was wearing and cursed himself for not bringing any means of defense.
They had a good start but Peg was already galloping like some sort of bizarre deer and closing the distance between them. Her mouth gaped open like a demonic basking shark. She leapt and caught the heel of Jacob this time, just enough to make him stagger and fall. The oil lantern dashed against a nearby rock and erupted into flames. He rolled onto his back just in time for his abdomen to sustain the blunt force trauma of Peggy’s arms as she took another flying leap and impaled him in the stomach. No flesh was punctured, but the pounds per square inch was agony for his internal organs. He was just able to slide his knees up between his stomach and the monster and plant his feet firmly against her chest and send her flying onto her back. He anchored his hands to get up and found something round like a cylinder. Half a second of comprehension took him and a light bulb went off in his head.
He got up, stood behind the fireball that the oil lamp had become, and waited. Peg writhed herself back onto her stilts just in time to get a face full of fire. Jacob had taken the container of lamp oil that had rolled out of his backpack and thrown it through the fire at her. An improvised flamethrower. A painful squeal wrecked the ears of the two teens as Peggy was engulfed. There was no recovering from that one… it was a direct hit. The monster’s rage drove it to chase after the teens again and they fled, but they didn’t’ need to run far. The fire overwhelmed the monster, but they were too busy running for their lives to notice.
They ran until they couldn’t run anymore. They could see the street lights of civilization again. They looked back at where they had come from. Looked at each other. “The camera,” she said between gasps.
“We can go back and get it later. I’m sorry for having to attack her.”
Jane didn’t reply.
They agreed to go back early in the morning tomorrow, Sunday, and retrieve the camera. If she couldn’t get past her parents, he would do it by himself.
I fell into a burning ring of fire
Went down down down
And the flames grew higher
– Johnny Cash
Fire Marshall James Baldwin got a phone call at about one in the morning. There was a raging forest fire in a remote corner of the woods that surrounded Stocksville and it had progressed to apocalyptic proportions before anyone had called it in. After all, everyone was in for the night, not doing community fire watch.
Now the night sky was a hellish orange and eye-watering smoke was omnipresent. The local fire department was woefully inadequate, so firefighters from neighboring counties were called out in the dead of night.
The fire would be out of control for three long days. It claimed well over ninety percent of the forest, a good chunk of one of Stocksville’s upper-class neighborhoods, (revealing how shoddy those expensive homes really were due to how quickly they went up in flames) and rendered a church unfit for use for the foreseeable future. A black metal-loving satanist teen tried to take credit for that so he could say it was done with his magic, but it didn’t stick after Jacob came forward and accepted responsibility.
At the Stocksville Police Station, the room that they took Jacob into was small and quiet as a tomb. He could hear the tinnitus in his ears. He was alone with a female officer with dark red hair and chestnut eyes that were exotropic, causing her to stare around him rather than at him.
“You have a story for me, Mr. Pines?” the officer said without introduction.
He told her everything, except he edited out the presence of Jane at the incident of the fire.
She looked at him for a long moment before sliding a few photographs in front of him. They were black and white, so it took him a moment to realize what he was seeing. Once it hit him, you would have thought that his hair would turn white.
They were taken with PD equipment. Shots of a badly burned female body that had no arms or legs and a monstrously wide mouth that hung open.
“You found her,” Jacob croaked.
“This is the only reason you’re not being arrested right now,” she stated flatly.
Jacob breathed a sigh of relief. He would find out that it was premature.
The local media converged on Jacob. They were as interested in his account of the monster as they were about the price on his head from locals.
For weeks to come there would be reporters saying the same thing over and over with the scarred town in the background, Jacob’s face appearing
in a small square of the corner of the screen.
“A teenager from Stocksville is making history in more ways than one. He has accepted responsibility for starting what is considered the town’s worst disaster in decades. But it was all in self-defense from an attack that has led to the first truly solid evidence of stranger things that walk this earth…”
He was handling the cocktail of fame and notoriety rather well. Better than Jane would have. They kept in touch via email and he promised that he wouldn’t hog all the glory. She’d get involved when it was safe. It was the biggest bouquet of flowers he could ever offer her and that was the highlight of the whole thing.
Someone else was going to be famous. He just didn’t know it yet.
Harold Redshore. The mortician that would examine and prepare the monster’s remains for long-term storage.
He slid it out of the freezer and furrowed his brow under his pocked moon of a forehead. He would almost think it was fake if it weren’t for the wounds. It was so human and yet so devoid of typical human female features. It had to have been the last of its kind. It couldn’t procreate, as it had no visible reproductive system. Nor did it have a means of nursing young. Apparently a new species was born with it, and a new species died with it.
He picked up a scalpel just before Peggy lurched upwards and wrapped her mouth around Harold’s head, completely taking it in and clamping down hard. She twisted her neck and the muffled pop of Harold’s vertebrae sounded in her throat. Her limbs grew new wood out of their burned stubs. Her hair would grow back eventually. First things first. Her wide-eyed head bobbed around like a mutant chicken until she saw the stairwell. She ran up them and knocked the screen out of an open window and ran into the cool night.
🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None AvailableCorban Groshek Edited by Craig Groshek Thumbnail Art by Omega Black Narrated by N/A