Well, it may not be 1000 words. It may not fit many of the rules at all, but hey, rules are made to be broken. Stolen from the wonderfully talented Sadie
, as usual.
Actually, I'm only posting this out of a sense of obligation. I tried to combine my writing with the city of Lud, in the Stephen King Gunslinger books, and I don't think it's turned out too well. Also, I'm rather drunk at this point, so coherent storytelling is beyond me.
So, it's not the best, it's not even my best, but it's writing.
He keeps staring at his book, not really reading it, into an empty seat.
Five blocks, he thinks. Five fucking blocks, saves me ten dollars, but makes me late for work. Or for War, as he prefers to think of it when he stares into the eyes of his continually discontented boss.
He keeps his nose buried in his copy of "Salem's Lot", all the way to the exit he knows is his by timing. Reading keeps the bums and kooks away, they don't disturb someone who is busy and likely to be pissed off.
He wakes from a gentle, needed nap, gets off the train and heads down the sidewalk in the direction of the building where he works. His left arm is constantly trying to cover the badge on his left breast; fake sheilds are liable to draw too much attention from the folks who think "cop" when they see one.
He brushes a hand off his right shoulder and keeps moving. Fucking beggers, I wish they'd learn that a security guard can't spare 'em any money...
Then the hand is back, gripping, and as he turns, with a prepared statement in mind, until he notices the body attached to the hand on his arm. It is shrunken and decayed, brown, and clothed in rags. Bone pokes through the parchment skin in places. The head attached to the body has no eyes, only sockets; no teeth, only a gaping hole.
"Hellllllp....", the apparition rasps, but he has already knocked it to the ground and is running, full fledged, away from it.
He is thinking that that is about the ugliest beggar he has ever seen when he realizes he must have passed his building, he's run twice the distance it would have taken him to get there from the subway stop. He stops, looking for a landmark to tell him how far he's gone, and sees a giant, shining building in front of him.
It looks like something from the Jetsons, he thinks. Huh. Can't believe I haven't seen that one before.
Looking back down the street, he knows something is seriously wrong. Grant Street, that should have been brick, is not only paved but littered with trash, an uncommon sight on the normally clean streets of Pittsburgh.
His beggar is gone, which isn't really a surprise, but what is a surprise is that apparently everyone is gone. A street that was normally filled with daily commuters was completely empty.
Wow, must've run into the wrong part of town. Deep inside, he knows this road, knows it goes nowhere that should look like this, but he accepts that explination as the easiest. He begins to backtrace, heading toward the place he works, worried about being even later than he already is. His eyes spot a pile of soda cans, "Nozz-o-la", set in a careful temple in front of what used to be a deli. A stray newspaper in his path reads "The Lud Post-Gazette". But all of this is pushed out of his mind in a singular desire to get to work, to get to the familiar.
That is when they come. Out of nowhere, a whole army of shambling, disfigured creatures come out of alleys he didn't know existed. He tries to run, but they are ahead, and behind, and to the sides; screaming, moaning and chattering, they are on him. Ripping at his clothes, one grabs his badge and tears it from his chest, another pulls a bloody chunk of hair from his scalp.
He tries to fight them, but they are too many. Looking up at a tower that reads "Tet" on top of its hundred stories, a building that he has never seen before but would tower over the tallest building in Pittsburgh, he cries out for help. He doesn't think anyone will hear, and tries to fight or make peace with death, when a gunshot like a cannonblast rings through the street.
His attackers stop, all eyes on the new man down the street. The sun is behind him; only a slim outline wearing a broad hat can be seen. But the creatures seem to recognize the figure, and retreat into their shadows.
The man comes closer, saying something that sounds like "Hile, Gunslinger". These words don't make sense, but they make as much sense as anything else that has happened.
"Remember Lud". Those are the only words the silhouetted man speaks, before he is gone.
Mind gibbering, continuing the run down the street. Suddenly, he is at the door to his building, pounding to be let in. He stumbles into the lobby and looks at the etched-in frown of his boss.
She takes in his bloody face, ripped clothing, missing badge, and injured walk. "You're almost ten minutes late".
"Five blocks" is all he can manage before he stumbles back to the street and heads out to walk the five blocks back to his c