Friday, 4 July 2014
On the ledge (Part 2)
For anyone wishing to read from the beginning
Part 1 can be found here:- On the ledge (Part 1)
ON THE LEDGE (PART 2)
Before long my injured arm began to throb rather painfully. I pulled my tee shirt over my head, and with the aid of my teeth managed to tear it into several strips and fashion a crude bandage around my elbow and upper arm.
My stomach lurched again, so I retrieved the wrapper, folded it around the wad of gum and put it back into my pocket.
I leant my head back against the rock face, closed my eyes, and tried not to think about what was waiting at the top of the cliff,
A tap on the head caused me to open my eyes. Christ! I must have dozed off. The filtering light told me it must be nearing dawn now.
Another tap on the head, then a shower of dust hit my scalp. I looked up, shielding my eyes as best I could, and was panic-stricken to see a pair of long, hairy legs amidst the powder avalanches.
Jeez! The thing was climbing down.
A massive shower of dust and small rocks hit me in the face blinding me. A long, primal howl joined the cacophony of scrabbling claws and rattling debris, culminating in a rather loud thud as something big, heavy, and very pissed off landed in a thrashing heap on the ledge beside me.
I furiously rubbed the dust from my eyes and when I saw my new neighbour, wished to god I was still blinded.
The huge, dusty furball beside me began to unfurl. It pulled itself to its full height, and shook its head confusedly.
I tried to sit even lower, making myself as small as possible, shrinking back against the rock face, holding my breath, maybe it was too dazed to notice me?
I should be so lucky. Yeah, that's me, just like Kylie bleedin' Minogue. Lucky, lucky, lucky. For some insane reason I found myself humming a few bars of the song under my breath.
Uh... Oh! Bad idea,
The creature's ears twitched. It's head slowly swivelled in my direction. Yellowed, malevolent eyes glared at me. A mouth, lips drawn back to reveal finger-length incisors snarled menacingly.
“Err... Nice doggie? I croaked, hopefully.
The snarl deepened and more teeth were bared.
I felt the blood freeze in my veins as sheer terror washed over me. My testicles fought with each other in a futile race to hide inside my stomach. The crap I had earlier managed to keep in let loose and with a warm, liquid splurge filled the seat of my pants. Wonderful... just bleeding wonderful!
The first rays of sunshine hit the ocean as the creature raised its head skywards and opened its jaws wide.
What began as a deafening, throaty howl, gradually diminished over several second to become a squeaky whimper.
I watched disbelievingly as the creature literally shrank before my eyes. Claws retracted, hair receded, limbs shortened and thinned. The snout flattened and the ears rounded.
What now stood beside me on the ledge was a slightly podgy, naked, middle aged man.
He sank slowly to a sitting position, his back against the rock face, holding his head in his hands. Almost mimicking my own position.
We sat side by side like that for a few minutes, the silence growing like a tumour.
He was the first to break.
“Errr... I don't suppose you have a cigarette you can spare?”
“No... sorry. I don't suppose you have any toilet paper you can spare?”
“Err.. no, sorry.”
We both lapsed back into silence again.
I don't know what was going through his mind, but I was wondering what would happen if we were both still on the ledge when the moon came out again.
When he spoke again, the sudden noise, quiet though it was, startled me out of my thoughts.
“Look... I'm err... sorry about your err... friends.”
“It's not your fault.” I replied. “You can't help being what you are. No hard feelings, eh?” I said, and offered him my hand.
“Well, that's awful decent of you.” He said as he reached sideways and clasped my hand in a soft handshake.
I gripped his hand tighter, rose half-way, and putting all my strength into the action, dragged him up and around in a swinging arc, letting go just as he reached the tipping point. I watched dispassionately as he sailed, arms flapping, off the ledge and disappeared from view. His shrill scream ended abruptly as I heard the crunch when he hit the rocks at the cliff base.
I looked down, his body was draped over the sharp rocks, all odd angles and over-jointed. Well, that was one problem taken care of, and I had the ledge to myself again now, a bit more room to spread out.
I must have fallen asleep again, because the voice seemed to come from far away. A distant whisper that grew in volume until it dragged me back to reality.
“HEY!... HEY!... HEY YOU DOWN THERE!”
I looked up to see two faces peering over the cliff edge.
“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” One of them called.
“My arm's injured.” I replied.
“Hang on, we're gonna get you out of there, just hang in there.”
I almost wept with relief, salvation was at hand. How the hell I was going to explain all this, I don't know.
The stink coming off me was kind of self-explanatory though.
My arm began itching annoyingly. I lifted the bandage and took a look. Impossible as it seems, the wound looked almost healed, and poking out from the skin were several thick, bristly hairs.
A sudden, chilling thought hit me like a hammer blow. Was I infected?
I think the moon is due to be full again tonight. I guess I'll find out then.
Continued in:- On the ledge (Part 3)
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.