Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mid-Afterlife Crisis

The following excerpt is from Mid-Afterlife Crisis by Ben Shakey. It will be published by Belly Dreadful Books in June 2009

Archibald enjoyed that the winter sun set early in Northern British Columbia. With nightfall arriving so soon he could rise from his coffin early enough to watch the evening news and revel in any reports of last night activities.

“We have a very strange story to end on tonight. A caller notified police that they were witnessing a break and enter that quickly escalated to a kidnapping in an apartment across the street. In an effort to help the police the witness grabbed their cell phone and recorded the struggle. However this all the footage could reveal:”

The station then displayed the bizarre footage of a young woman seemingly fighting with an invisible opponent. It had the look of a bizarre piece of modern dance or a DVD extra of an actor battling a CGI monster that would be added later.

“Although the film did not pick a second person the police assure that a crime was commit. Damage to the apartment from the struggle was significant as well the young woman is still at large.” The news reader then continued with more details about the missing woman and where to report any information.

Archibald winced he knew that the event could not be traced back to him but the film did provide some proof of the nature of existence. Luckily most people are so in denial they could look at the document and still dismiss it as some sort of Bigfoot film trickery.

“The seemingly invisible assailant in the video is most likely the result of an electromagnetic disturbance.” said the newsreader.

"Well, there you go" thought Archibald.

“However, the eye witness filming the event was able to assist the police in the creation of this police sketch.”

Flashing on the screen was crude cartoon rendering of Archibald. His hair was greasy and shaggy, like a wet dog. There were bags hanging under his eyes and his eyebrows drooped down like an even sadder, wetter dog. He looked like a depressed.

Jesus, thought Archibald. Is that what I look like? He hadn’t seen his self he was turned in Victorian England. By Victorian standards he looked like a very handsome man. By modern standards he looked like Queen Victoria.

Archibald stared at the photo longer. He had a double chin and triple forehead.

"How is this even possible?" he thought " I’m a liquid diet. I haven’t aged, just like they said, but I look like crap. I look like I’ve been out all night for 125 years and living of blood and not one vegetable. I look like crap. "

“Although we have no visible images, the film did record enough audio that we know that the perpetrator refers to himself as Archibald.” The newsreader continue with a number to send any information to but when he finished and turned things over the jovial weather man the humiliation continued.

“I thought that was vampire until I heard the name Archibald. Dracula is a vampire, Vlad is a vampire. Archibald is your uncle. The kind you don’t invite to a open bar!” and he laughed a deep, mocking chuckle.

"Archibald was a very popular name once. It showed an apporiate level of class. Not like now when random nouns can be a name. Now most children are named after colours or brands od motorcycles" he thought.

Archibald slumped in his chair.

He wished he had never learned how looked. Part of the appeal, part of the reason he turned, was to appear God like, not a run down, double chinned Archie that desperately needed some exercise and vitamin C.

“I’m Hungry” Said the young woman, who now rose from the coffin beside him. “I’m hungry” she said and rubbed her belly. “Hungry but I feel great. I feel invisinceable. What happened?”

“What happened” answered Archibald. “ You peaked. It’s all down hill from here,” He tossed over his shoulder with an angry swish, transformed to a bat and fluttered towards the fire escape window.

“Are you going to feed?” cried the desperate woman.

“I’m going to the gym!” it flapped

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