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Infernis – Chapter Sixty-Three

August 13, 2013

The streets smelled of a mix of burning metal and some sickly, sweet odor that defied definition. It somehow made the mind wander elsewhere, recoiling from dwelling on it.

He walked along what once must have been Pine Street at Pearl, or maybe William. It was difficult to tell. The walls were only a few feet high in places. There was surprisingly little debris in the street.

He was alone. There was no sound at all. No traffic, no honking, no sounds of jackhammers and people trying to shout on their cells over the din.

It reminded him of Christmas, or other days when parts of the City were deserted due to it being Sunday and deep snow covering the streets and sidewalks. Except, of course, there were no trucks with snow shovels clearing the way for tomorrow’s commerce.

That, and instead of snow, there was black soot.

He wasn’t alone now, not entirely. There was a corpse sitting up, leaning against a wall. His hand still held out in the universal gesture representing the request for charity.

Brian reached a hand into a pocket which he was surprised to find was attached to a tuxedo. He found a quarter.

He held it in his palm a moment. He flipped it over. 1977.

He placed the coin in the palm of the charred homeless man. There was, as expected, no acknowledgment.

Brian turned to explore some other street and heard a croaking sound behind him. He realized just a few seconds later that the croaking had been speech, but he couldn’t identify the language. Likely, he thought, some Scandinavian tongue.

The corpse moved now. It stood and repeated the dry mantra. Black, crispy eyelids opened and a pair of steely blue eyeballs stared at him.

The man, the dead man, repeated the words again. Though Brian still could not understand the words, he realized that the man was actually singing, or trying to. The tune was a familiar one by Grieg.

As the fourth repetition of the words began, Brian jumped when there were more voices joining in from behind him.

He turned to look. There were other dead New Yorkers joining the song. The tune.started slow and quiet, getting slowly faster and louder. Even more corpses stumbled, slithered, and shuffled closer, found their way to the source of the song, and joined in.

The song was in several languages at once. As the chorus grew, the words became a little clearer.

The corpses moved faster and started to dance. They made moves that a human would find impossible. As the number approached climax, the dance army of the dead moved in unison.

“We don’t care what Nazis think, Nazis think, Nazis think,
We don’t care what Nazis think, ’cause their opinions stink!
We don’t care what Nazis think, Nazis think, Nazis think,
We don’t care what Nazis think, ’cause they just downright stink!”

Brian woke gasping.

Peer Gynt meets Thriller meets The Producers?

Strangely, there was no reply.

“Kinda catchy,” he said out loud.

There was only silence.

From → Infernis, Novels

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