In the middle of a gas station parking lot at 2 am on a Saturday, Anthony’s empty body rests on it’s right side. The red that consumed his shirt is slowly pulling away, revealing the white cotton that once resided in its place. Below his head rests a lake of blood that flows up into his mouth like a serpent of life; while the ocean at his stomach seems to be shrinking by the second.
Twenty feet behind Anthony’s flowing body, an unknown man with scratches all over his head creeps backwards towards the body of Anthony. Just before he reaches Anthony, he rustles through his own jacket and pulls out a wallet. The man turns to face Anthony, sweat feverishly fleeing into his pores, and he shoves the wallet into Anthony’s back pocket before rifling through the every other pocket on his person.
The man straightens his back and begins to pace forth and back around Anthony’s body. The man’s hands raise and he starts clutching his head with more aggression than he had ever expressed in his life, his fingernails reapplying the missing skin on the sides of his head. As the man paces, the lake of blood slowly turns to a pond and the ocean to a gulf as life flees from the panicked monster ahead.
As the street lights flicker in the distance, a wail of frustration rises from deep within the shadows, forcing itself down the man’s throat. As if trying to escape the force of the wail, the man flails around for a moment. His arms swing in repeated circles and, at the height of the third swing, a rustling in the bushes off to the left can be heard. The man’s arms swing once more and a knife bursts out of the bushes, meeting his right hand at the top of its arcing swing. As if it were a magnet attracted to the iron within, the knife begins to collect and soak up multiple little puddles and droplets of blood in between the two men’s bodies.
The unknown man’s hand begins to shake with the increasing weight of the knife, his chest rises in tandem with the shake. Heavier and heavier, his breathing seems to overtake him; his sweat still unable to find a permanent home in his pores. The blood, however, is all but dried up as it successfully flees into Anthony’s body; although, the red still dots his clothing like stars in a night sky. The man’s pacing begins to slow down as Anthony’s body starts to rock back and forth; a perfect transfer of momentum. Anthony swings back and forth, forth and back, until the pendulum sends him up on to his knees.
As Anthony’s body begins to rise to his feet, the man’s eyes widen while Anthony’s open. Both pairs of eyes grow wider and more shocked, fading in and out of the inconceivable moment they find themselves in. The man is the first to take a step forward, but quickly, Anthony attempts to follow suit. Both men, horrified in heart, march towards one another in complete synchronicity.
When the two men meet, Anthony attempts to grab the man’s arm just before he plunges his magnetic blade deep into Anthony’s stomach. Both men’s eyes narrow as the blade replaces all the missing life from Anthony’s previously absent body. The men glance down at the blade, confused and scared, before they work together to push and pull the blade out of Anthony’s stomach. As the blade is removed, all of the weight it once held flees from its frame until it’s left a hollow shell.
Anthony grabs the man’s other arm and they both begin to fight over control of the knife. Anthony loses ground, the man loses ground; they battle for what feels like a lifetime before both men let go and step back from one another. The man collapses his knife and slowly slides it into his back pocket as his eyes begin to shrink in frustration.
Vile words meant to injure come flooding out the world around them and into each other’s mouths. A tennis match of screeching ends with both men, ten paces apart, staring motionless at one another waiting for the other to blink first.