The following post is by guest author Frederick Foote.
Without warning, Randy hauls off and punches the stranger in the mouth. The skinny guy takes the shot well. He looks surprised, not scared or even angry, just surprised and maybe a little weary. His two long dark fingers touch his blooded lower lip.
By now, everyone in the dingy, rundown bar is watching, waiting to see Randy, “The Beast,” wade in with his hard fist and dangerous feet, waiting for him to pulverize the thin dark dude. This is Randy’s specialty; bar room brawls. Randy ain’t good for much, but brawling is his thing. He has a Ph.D., a gold medal and a heavyweight championship belt in bar fighting with fist, feet, beer bottles, bar stools anything handy. It’s our lucky night to see The Beast in action beating on an outsider for a change.
Randy is poised on the balls of his feet to rocket back into his attack.
The stranger just stands there and looks around at the rest of us. Looking for something from us. His eyes meet mine for a second. I blink and look away. Under his gaze, we feel a wave of unease ripple through our small crowd of eager fight fans. We are a little less eager now.
My mind flashes back to Sylvia telling me to be back in time to put the kids to bed. I see her little crow’s feet and tired, puffy eyes. And she still is as fine as when I first met her ten years ago. I need to get home. But, this will be over in a minute – as soon as this is over I’m out of here.
The stranger raises his right hand as if he is about to take some kind of pledge or something. “I don’t think you really want to see this.” The stranger’s voice is way too deep for his thin frame.
“What the fuck? Hey, who turned out the lights? I can’t see shit!”
Somebody bumps into me from the rear. I reach out to brace myself, and it hits me.
“I’m blind, blind! Fuck, man! I’m fucking blind.”
I’m stumbling and fumbling around. There are screams, shouts and curses from every direction. There are the sounds of struggle and breaking furniture. I can’t see shit.
I hear Randy. His voice is shrill, piercing, “What the Fuck! What the Fuck did you do to them? They blind! They all blind! Who are-”
Randy’s scream stops us all for a second, freezes us in space and time, until we hear the ripping of flesh and the snapping of bones and then, and then the chewing, gnawing, teeth on flesh, teeth on bone.
Everyone rushes in the general direction of the door. I try to fight my way through the mob, but I get my legs knocked out from under me, stepped on, kicked; someone falls on me.
Sylvia, Sylvia… I may be a little late…
There is a belch and a sigh of satisfaction that cuts through our crashing mayhem that motivates me to my feet only to get an elbow to the chin and a knee to the kidneys. As I crumble back to the floor, I pray that I get lucky and die in this blind stampede. I really, really need that kind of luck tonight.