Thursday, December 18, 2008

Putrefaction by Michael A. Kechula


I’m in Haitian territorial waters. Destination: Miami.

A Haitian patrol boat’s coming with sirens blaring. They fire a shot over my bow. I quickly stop the engines. Four sailors brandishing machine guns come aboard. General LeHate follows.

“What’s your cargo?” he snaps.

“Cadavers,” I say, passing the manifest. “For American medical schools.”

“What’s their degree of putrefaction?”

“Advanced. The refrigeration units are busted.”

“Let’s see,” he says.

I hope he doesn’t inspect too carefully. Millions in illegal drugs are stuffed inside the cadavers.

He opens the hatch. Greenish smog escapes. The stench is nauseating. Suddenly, a female corpse sits up and moans horribly.

“A zombie!” LeHate yells. “You’re carrying contraband. Zombies are Haiti’s national treasures. They attract tourist dollars. Kidnapping her is like stealing our Big Ben, our Eiffel Tower, our Mona Lisa. This crime is punishable by death.”

“Don’t arrest me,” I plead. “I didn’t know she was aboard. Here’s $5,000.”

He pockets the bribe. “If she were your wife, there’s no crime. For $5,000 more I can give her a travel permit.”

“Then I’ll marry her immediately,” I say, handing him another $5,000.

After he leaves, I’ll toss her overboard.

We stand in front of him, holding hands. Her hand is slippery. It’s leaking green goo.

He pronounces us married. Good grief! What have I done?

“Kiss the bride,” he orders, pointing his pistol at my head.

Her eye falls out as she faces me. She grabs me and bites my lips off. While chewing, she drags me into the hold, and throws me to the floor. I land on squishy corpses.

“Honeymoon time,” she cackles.

miami ice - Icy Demons

Michael A. Kechula's flash fiction tales have won first place in seven contests and second and third place in four others. His stories have appeared in ninety-seven online and print magazines and anthologies in Australia, Canada, England, and US. He’s authored a book of flash fiction stories: “A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales,” which is available as an e-Book at Books For A Buck and Fiction Wide and at Amazon as well.

Photo by Adam Lawrence.

Street art by Ian Sanity.

Chicago's Icy Demons took the world by storm this summer with the release of their latest album Miami Ice.

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