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Last Hope of the Roadkill by DeAnna Knippling

Last Hope of the Roadkill

by DeAnna Knippling
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Page 2

I got up close and kind of squatted down next to the body.

About then, everything happened at once.

Marge came charging out of the car just as a semi was barreling down her side of the road. The only thing that stopped her from getting run over was those weeds. I saw her door whip open and her run straight into the weeds and get all caught up in them for just barely long enough. By the time the semi passed, she was running straight for the road. I stood up, yelling at her to stay where she was.

And as I stood up, bright lights flashed in my eyes: a semi had snuck up on me, and it was just about on top of me. It was kind of swerving back and forth, like the driver was drunk or falling asleep, and it was headed straight for me.

I took a step backwards, which was about all I had time for.

I hit a kid, I thought, and now I’m gonna get run over myself. That’s fair.

Fortunately, not being the graceful type, I fell over backwards into the ditch.

As I fell, I felt something hanging onto the leg of my pants. It was the body on the road, getting pulled along with me. How it was even still alive after I run it over, I don’t know. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The semi blew past. The wind of it was in my hair, it shook the long grass in the ditch around me. I sank into the mud and tried to catch my breath. At first I didn’t notice that the thing off the road was laying on top of my legs. Then it moved.

I screamed and tried to shove it off me. But it had such a grip on me, and it was so slick that my hands slipped off its skin.

I guess I should stop to describe it, so you don’t go thinking I actually hit a kid anymore.

The alien looked kind of like a gray, that is, the big-head, black-eyed aliens that are all over signs and keychains and whatnot in New Mexico. But then again it didn’t. I couldn’t tell then what color it was at the time. I guess all aliens look kind of gray in the dark. It was fatter than a gray, that was for sure. And heavier. And kind of sloshy, but maybe that was just from being run over.

I tried to shake it off, and it hissed at me, and something sharp and painful dug into both my legs.

I shook my leg again and got one leg free, then raised it up high, took aim at whatever was attached to me, and stomped hard. I just couldn’t help myself, even though I was still crying to beat the band. Anyways my shoe scraped down my leg and took off a good strip of skin, and the thing popped off my leg and went flying into the grass.

I backpedalled across the ditch and tried to get up on my feet again, but they kept sliding out from under me due to a puddle of meltwater and mud. The thing came towards me. It kind of turned translucent as another pair of headlights went past, kind of greenish dark lines running through it. And it was reaching towards me like it was going to rip my throat out.

I finally turned around and got two fists full of weeds from the top of the ditch and started to pull myself up, waiting to get yanked back into the water and eaten or something.

I had one leg up when I heard it.

First came a splash. Then a snort and a splutter. Then a soft kind of whimper, the kind you get from a dog when you leave the house in the morning.

And then another soft splash.

I looked back.

Nothing.

I let go with one hand and shaded my eyes.

Another semi drove past. The lights reflected a ripple in the water, that was it. I held my breath and waited for the next semi.

The ripples stopped.

I let go of the weeds. I hit a kid. I hit a kid, I kept thinking, even though by that point I was pretty sure I knew better. I waded through the water, hoping that I wouldn’t step on it before I found it.

I knew I should have left well enough alone.


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About the Author

DeAnna Knippling

DeAnna Knippling is a freelance writer and editor in Colorado Springs. Her first book, Choose Your Doom: Zombie Apocalypse was released in November 2010 by Doom Press. She has recently published in Three-Lobed Burning Eye, Silverthought Online, Crossed Genres and Nil Desperandum. She was also honorable mention in Best Horror of the Year, Volume 3.

Story Discussion

Stories by DeAnna Knippling

The Person Who Puts Down the Keys by DeAnna Knippling

The Person Who Puts Down the Keys

FTL pilots were a rare breed. They traveled the galaxy faster than light. Faster than it was possible to go. Strange things happened to them. They changed.

People who signed up were people with a death wish, or people with long-term ambitions. The desire to see one era disappear and be replaced by something else. At first, he’d thought he was one of the second kind.

What will Tom actually find when he returns? Find out in this new story by DeAnna Knippling.

Read More

Related Stories

The Person Who Puts Down the Keys by DeAnna Knippling

The Person Who Puts Down the Keys

FTL pilots were a rare breed. They traveled the galaxy faster than light. Faster than it was possible to go. Strange things happened to them. They changed.

People who signed up were people with a death wish, or people with long-term ambitions. The desire to see one era disappear and be replaced by something else. At first, he’d thought he was one of the second kind.

What will Tom actually find when he returns? Find out in this new story by DeAnna Knippling.

Read More
The Wilson Boys and the Ship From Space

The Wilson Boys and the Ship From Space

Their Dad was Quentin Wilson, world famous detective. They hadn’t seen him all day, but that wasn’t unusual. The last few months he hadn’t been spending much time at home. The boys had left word with his answering service…

Dad had not gotten into many scrapes until about a year ago. Since then he seemed to be chloroformed and bound and gagged an awful lot…

Can the Wilson Boys solve the mystery without the full help of their detective dad? Find out in this new story by Pete Wood

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Finger Food by Gary Ives

Finger Food

My second day outta stir had gone down so smooth, like greased tracks smooth. The Social Services lady, Mrs. Nixon, had liked me. I could sense it. Twenty-two years at Attica was equivalent to a Ph.D. in reading emotions. Yeah twenty-two years served on a life sentence. Me, I’d gone down hard for offing a shitbag Puerto Rican who’d burned me for two kilos. I played up to the near-sighted old hen.

“Yes ma’am, whatever it takes, ma’am. All I want, really… what I need… is employment. I understand that’s the key, Mrs. Nixon. You get me a jay… oh… bee, job, and I swear by the Holy Bible ain’t no way Tony Spallano is ever gonna go back to them bad old ways. No ma’am.”

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Hitler Skin Deep by David Wright

Hitler Skin Deep

The spastic movements of the dermal layer, which would have been merely a twitch to ordinary humans, was much more to someone of Morgan’s unique genetic make-up. Morgan was able to manipulate surface muscles, change skin tone and even burst surface skin cells to create spontaneous bleeding, a phenomenon which has been commonly documented and which is referred to as “the wounds of Christ” when it occurs on the palms and feet. You’d think that a freak of nature such as he was would be locked up and exploited or probed for science. But the truth of the matter was, after people saw his act a few times, they forgot about him. So there were derma-morphs. Big deal. I heard that he spent some time traveling with a bearded lady in a two-bit circus, hooked up with Buffalo Bill’s Rodeo as the “man-beast”, and performed on-stage transformations in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as the understudy of Lon Chaney (who was also a derma-morph). But just before the war, the stories stopped and the great Morgan Globus vanished into obscurity, or so we thought.

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