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Too Many Bites
by Jeromy Henry
It started with the ant.
The pest crawled off the white and red tablecloth on the picnic table and stung me on the arm. I thought nothing of it until the next day, when red chitin started to grow on the swollen limb.
Before the bite, I was nobody special. You've seen someone like me before. Think of that gawky guy in the back of your freshman College English class, the guy who couldn't talk to a girl if someone jammed a gun in his ribs. Clothes a little too big hung off him. Cheesy puff stains dusted the front of his plaid shirt. That was me.
I drove to the hospital. They let me right into the exam room. I sat on the padded bed, listening to the paper crinkle beneath my backside.
The doctor entered, dressed in the usual mad scientist lab coat. His name tag read "Dr. Favre". I should have realized something was wrong when I smelled rotting flesh. Hospitals smell sterile. The doctor's skin looked gray and as wrinkled as a brain. I flinched back from his dead-cat breath when he leaned over to touch my arm with his stick-like hands.
"Are you OK?" I asked. He leered at me, revealing yellow teeth. A grip stronger than a vise caught my shoulder.
"Uuurrrrggghh," the doctor moaned.
The man bit my chest, lifted me off my feet, and then shoved me out the white exam room door in one smooth motion. I nearly fell on the baby crap brown, all-purpose carpet that covered the hall.
"Ow!" I said. Hey, it's the most intelligent thing I could think of at the time. I rubbed the half-moon spot beneath my torn white t-shirt, smearing blood all over it.
“Wait, that guy was a zombie,” my dazed brain told me. The room seemed to spin, and I shook as I tried to process the fact that an undead corpse had just bit me. I levered myself to my feet and took a shaky step backwards.
"Next," said the nurse. A lady with a potato-shaped bottom and a white afro leaned into her walker and wheezed as she inched past the counter.
I stumbled through the waiting room, out the glass double doors, and into the street. My mind whirled. Can you sue a zombie doctor for malpractice if he bites you? Or is he legally dead and not liable?
Dark surrounded me now. The curved front of the emergency room looked like a UFO from a cheesy fifties’ movie. Round lights followed the roofline and cast glowing puddles on the seamed black asphalt.
I didn't notice the figure in a black cloak until I ran into her. I could tell it was a “her” by the extremely soft chest pressing against mine.
"Look what came my way!" purred the figure. Porcelain fangs flashed, and two sharp needles sank into my neck. Blood pulsed up those hollow teeth. I yelled and punched at my captor, but she didn’t budge. Finally, the black-robed vampire released her grip on my arms. Blood red lips smiled, lurid against pasty skin.
I shrieked and ran. Blind terror nipped at my heels and slithered up my back, like a horde of rats swarming over my skin. I ran for an alleyway and dove inside, barely registering the smell of rotted cabbage and urine.
A part of my mind wondered if I would turn into a vampire, and whether I'd be cool if I did transform. Maybe I'd finally muster up the courage to ask Sally Thompson, that girl with the long brown hair and shy smile who sat next to me in College Algebra, for a date. I wondered if she liked vampires. The rest of my mind gibbered in abject terror as I clung to the slimy brick of the alley wall.
Seven more things bit me before dawn. A cyborg infected my left arm with nanobots and left a silvery casing struggling to swarm over the rest of my body. One leg is a pogo stick. Have you ever had a living pogo stick bite you? I won't even describe the horror. Various other spots sprout werewolf and wererabbit hair. I'm not sure what the other things that bit me looked like, but from the foam coming from my mouth, I think I have rabies.
Now I limp down the sidewalk, bouncing with every step. The blood of morning light pools on the concrete around me and mixes with the drips of red from my wounds. I feel a strange sensation in the back of my throat, a longing to taste something I can't name. I can smell the iron tang of my blood. My eyes scan the street. Maybe I can find someone to help me. I feel the need to touch someone, anyone. I feel hungry.
I wonder what will happen... when I bite.
OOh, sounds like the center for insect/dis-ease control needs to be created in this town...HH
Victoria Silverwolf - This was very amusing, which is rare in this kind of comedy. Good job.
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