I am pursuing Michael Arnzen’s Instigation, a collection of prompts for horror writers. Warning: What follows isn’t pretty. Splatterpunk is not my forte.
Three days lain in the sun, the man fell as we circled. Now the sign on the diner reads “Open” and we descend.
Before us rests the smorgasbord, sweetbreads and soft meats tenderized by the noonday sun. We savor the aroma as we circle down, the sweet smell of festering flesh and rotting entrails. Soup bubbles above the waistband of the man’s shorts. A sharp peck at the translucent skin, a sibilant hiss, and we drink.
Black feathers flap as we circle for better position, to find a decent scrap of skin as we unravel the remainder of the feast. The scent of bowel and decay blinds us, carries us into ecstatic frenzy as we rip loose flesh, crack weakened bone, tear away the man’s flimsy second skin to remove his nipples. In our ecstasy, we do not smell the coyote a half-mile away, though she must know we are here and that we are many. Men do not often die on the mountain, and they offer the tastiest flesh, the greasiest of forbidden fruit to delight and titillate. Many have come to share the euphoric feast, though we are first after the maggots and beetles.
We pull and rend, feast and cackle, screech and vie for superiority as the body vanishes. The shorts slide down, the tuft of blonde fur obvious above the prized parts, when the coyote howls, charges into the flock.
Up we scatter, we squawk. We howl at the loss, flap down to mock the dog, scream our defiance as the beast laughs and claims the testicles for her prize. The sign on the diner door reads “Closed” as we fly home to vomit a portion into the mouths of our young.