BY FRANCIS CROT
So ardently and so eagerly did the one lot go prying meat out of the other lot, and so spirited and wriggle-some were the latter in their reluctance, that amid the frolics points of extraordinary and fell localised stress, like that point where the revenant Missus Williamson lent all her eight stone onto the olecranon fossa of Brenda’s humerus, came frequently into being, and as these little systems discharged themselves, as when Missus Williamson’s smashed hose thwuck'd heavily into Brenda’s forehead and then hip, this or that liberated component, a rib perhaps or an eyeball with a trailing ribbon, regularly would ping in a high arc away from its unfortunate, who knelt and wept from its middle its intestines, for instance, criss-crossing oftentimes aloft with more such morsels, and, indeed, it was just these little impulses, these moments of gore pinging to and fro above the chapel lawn, which sometimes decided other highly-pressurised engagements at the margin, as for example the jolly-hockeysticks SMUCK of a triangular piece of Elisha’s cranium, and its subsequent whizz twixt Henry and wee Marco startled the one without bothering the other, whose childish hands then quickly pliered ribs from him and lit his nerves as they did, such that, taken at an airborne view, the bright lawn about the chapel had the aspect of a touch-me-not, or impatiens bush, whose distended seed pods, if disturbed in one place, may ripely cannonade and crackle left and right and up and down the whole foliate structure, without regard for the artificial membrane of organism, pod setting off pod till the next nervous equilibrium arrives.
So complicatedly elegant – and so laden with humane significance like pain and death – were the forces that vomited and tumbled themselves about the dead things’s feedground, that we can at best make of them a very brief and arbitrary tour.
Congregations boast crazies. Most of these cravens had been among the first fallen, stampeding through the sly slaughter mouth. Henry, a legendary psychopath who always wore his kilt like a true Scotsman so to keep a spare skein-dugh under his foreskin, appreciably reduced their numbers before being clawed and bludgeoned to death. In the corner of her eye – so it seemed to Brenda – it tore off his dick, which was hard with fear, and stabbed him in the eye with it, and his brains and blood landed up Elisha’s vagina, causing her to vomit her unborn child into his pelvic wound, which was unfortunately brimming with piss and shit.
Who loaded the tennis ball machine with black pudding? In that sunlit rift, Brenda had misperceived, and Elisha yet lived. And who were the eight survivors? They were Brenda, Elisha, Toby, Corntrough, Henry McDonagle – no longer, let the foetus have his place – Chanique Akinfemu, Helen Freemantle and Father Jeremy Farrier.
“Oh gosh. We’re not getting out of here in one piece,” said Toby. “Are we?”
“We’ll get out in loads of pieces!” said Brenda, and Toby smiled tolerantly, but took his leave.
The inflamed meat sprouted from every chapel aperture but there ceased, quivering, advancing no further. It was not bashful. “Could I be possibly insane?” Brenda entreated an emo Jesus, “Um. Just because I don’t say anything . . . doesn’t mean I don’t like you . . .” Brenda stared at the pert door and began to trace in it a nebulous logic of Satanic cautery. Brenda determined never to go back there. But flesh-eaters interrupted her reverie, as was becoming more widespread.
Brenda saw a dead man stagger towards Toby, his own headstone (either) held before him. Toby, ever socially awkward, misinterpreting the gesture, leant in, trying to read the worn stone. The rotter flogged him to paste right down to the torso with that immense slab.
A cohort of sandy zombies straightened from where they had fed, along with what they had fed on, and all together staggered and skipped towards Brenda, gesticulating their arms like slave oars in a wilderness, chattering their soaking mouths and braying through the wrecks of their throats. If she fell into the hands of the sinuous, segmented, misshapen men, who were about ten yards away, they would tear a hole in her midriff and eat her. She ran, but where? Arabesques. Helen Freemantle reached the outer gate, and a shoal of hands covered her.