Back from the Brink

I don’t know anything about vultures…but I know they’re trouble. The vultures are overhead, tiny little black Vs eternally circling waiting for the right time to strike. I have a couple of hours until they determine that I can’t defend myself as they tear the flesh from my head. I like my fleshy head. I can’t defend myself because I’m buried from the neck down due to a bunch of ne’er-do-wells. It’s one of the risks of traveling alone in the back country; you can’t trust anyone because well, you end up in my situation. I don’t know how I got in this predicament; all I remember is being woken briefly by some noises in the night… then blackness.

The few instances I was awake were blurry: a lot of noises, a lot of movement, and a lot of pain as I was thrown around like a piece of meat. I woke up briefly to see my attackers, a series of blurry images but there was one man that stood out like a sore thumb. The first noticeable detail was the very expensive and very clean suit; there was not a button out of place or dirt on any bit of clothing. The other detail was that he only had eight fingers; both his index fingers were either ripped, burned or cut off and all that remained were little nubbins where his fingers use to be. Eight Fingers saw me looking at them and walked towards me, “too bad,” he rasped, “Wrong place, wrong time partner” then kicked the side of my head.

The next thing I remember where I am now: vultures above, and death seemingly imminent. I struggle to gain my bearings but I have no idea where I am. I know I am far enough away from my camp because I don’t recognize any landmarks from the day before. It is some time in the afternoon because the sun is relentlessly beating down on me and sapping what little strength I have. The searing heat causes the desert soil to be hard packed and dry but somehow the bastards managed to dig deep enough to put me up to the neck; have to give them credit because it must’ve been hard work. I tried clenching both firsts and was awarded with slight movement. I have a chance. I tried leaning forward and was immediately rewarded with a sharp jolt to the back of the head-I have to take it slow. I continued working with my hands and slowly clench and unclench so I can try and get a little free space. I hear noises above me; the vultures are slowly making their way down to introduce their razor sharp beaks to my soft fleshy face.

I can move my hands but I’m so tired. The wound on the back of my head makes any movement an intense battle; the searing sun is burning my head and impeding any thought. I keep wriggling my hands to slowly shift dirt down so I can free them and continue my efforts. Its slow going, my hands and arms are burning with exertion as they dig through the dirt towards freedom. As I feel my hands push upward I let myself sigh in relief as I see the ground trembling; my relief is quickly squashed as I glanced above and see the vultures circling close enough so I can see the feathers rustling against the wind. Working frantically, I power through the pain and exhaustion until I finally break through the dirt-I never thought I would be so happy to see my hands. I start shoving dirt away from my body, just making it so I can wriggle my way out of my grave. I can finally move; but I’m exhausted.

This is not good.

I am partly out of this grave, but I cannot continue due to my arms being deader than the middle of winter. I need to rest. I hear the rustling of wings and the cries of triumph as the vultures see that they have more meat to eat. I have to move. I slowly start crawling towards some rocks to try and protect my body. I can barely use my hands so I use my legs as I worm my way to the rocks, I sidle like a snake because of utter exhaustion. The vultures land behind me, I hear them hopping around croaking curiously about me. I’m almost at the shelter when suddenly I feel a tugging on my foot; I glance behind and see a vulture gnawing on my boot. With sudden fury I give the bastard a kick across the face and relish in his cries of pain and continue onward to shelter. I find a crevice among the rocks and cram as much of my body into it.

I pass out.

When I regain consciousness it’s pitch black and very cold, I’m aching all over from the vigorous race from death that I completed. I live to fight another day: good news for me, but bad news for the people that tried to kill me. There are a couple of things that must be done when it comes to killing people. The first piece of advice is to leave no noticeable clues or details that people can remember. Like that “two shy of a complete deck” Freddie Eight- Fingers man; people will remember the burnt and scarred stubs of where his index fingers use to be. So I know who to look for. The second piece of advice is when you kill someone: be sure that they are actually dead. People that do elaborate deathtraps or have intricate plans to kill somebody are idiots because it is way too risky. It is much simpler to just use a gun, slit a throat or throttle the life out of someone, and when it’s done it easier to make sure that person is dead.

The guys that tried to kill me made a terrible mistake. They left me alive. I usually don’t care about revenge, but they took something valuable from me. It’s a picture of something that I hold dear to my heart, a picture that I need so that I can continue what I originally set out to do.


People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *