Speak 24-VI

Murderers Try To Hurt Us.

CW: graphic descriptions of gore.

You know people will sometimes talk about how something hurts too much to even register? How something is so excruciatingly painful that it just stops registering with the brain?

Yeah, that’s a load of fuckin’ horseshit. Because he crushed my right hand into a pulp, and I felt every single second of it.

I blacked out after a few seconds, screaming at the top of my lungs, but even that didn’t make the pain go away. I hung in a void, no light, no sound, no thought, just agony. Then I slammed into the ground, and my senses returned, the edges of my vision clouded with red. I was still screaming, I realized, but my throat was too raw to even produce sound, so it was just sort of a weird, raspy whistling noise. I might’ve found that funny, if I wasn’t completely consumed with my hand.

It was… it was a fucking sphere. A lumpy, uneven sphere of flesh and bone, maybe half the size of what my clenched fist had been. Blood leaked and trickled from every part of it, and I could see the marrow inside one of the pieces of bone and then I threw up.

I hadn’t really eaten since the morning, so it was mostly vile. Honestly, I barely even noticed the burn in my throat, considering, you know, my hand had been turned into a fucking cannibal’s gobstopper.

I ran out of breath to keep on screaming, so I started hyperventilating instead; it seemed fairly appropriate. My vision started to waver and grow blurry, and thankfully this time the pain started to fade away with it. I slowly began to topple forwards, falling straight into the blissful, open arms of unconsciousness-

And then Edith punched me.

I snapped back, both mentally and physically; the pain jolting me back to lucidity, and also sending my head physically backwards. It also brought back the pain.

I screamed again, so Edith punched me again. “Stop,” she snapped. “Your hand is useless, agreed?”

“W-what?”

Your hand,” she repeated, “is useless. Agreed?”

I didn’t really understand why she was asking, but there was not really any way to deny it. “Y-yes,” I stammered, “but-”

“Good,” she said, and sliced it off at the wrist.

I gaped, frozen, as the lump that used to be my hand dropped to the ground, bouncing a few times before settling. My… stump spurted blood a few times, but then it just… stopped. I stared at it in morbid fascination, until a jerk on my shoulders snapped me out of it.

“Hold still,” Edith growled, moving back around into my field of vision, holding a strip of cloth that, I realized a second later, she’d cut off of my cape. With surprising skill, she wrapped it around the stump, making a possible tourniquet. “Now get up and make yourself useful.”

Too shocked to really reply, I stood, actually registering the surroundings for the first time. I couldn’t figure out exactly what had happened while I was… otherwise occupied, but it was pretty obvious it had been violent. Thick, uneven gashes had been carved into the ground all around us, and blood had splattered in various places. There was no sign of the big guy, though, and a second later I realized why.

The sound of churning concrete had been coming from behind us the entire time, but I’d been too distracted to notice it. The realization of what that meant brought my brain back into focus, and I spun around, just in time for the noise to stop.

The big guy picked up the datapad with a satisfied sigh. “Much better,” he said with a smile.

Edith glared at me like it my fault. Which, uh. It was.

So…

“Go!” she snapped, and we both charged forward. I wasn’t sure if I was coping really well with the loss of my hand, or if I was just in shock, but either way, I’d take it. I clenched my remaining hand into a fist as we closed in. I’d pay him back for that, I decided.

“You know,” he boomed as we drew close, “I’ve just realized something.”

“Would you,” Edith snarled, “SHUT. UP!” The spear of salt she became speared a hole straight through his torso, but he didn’t seem to care, even as gore splattered out the other side and stained the salt.

“Would you care to know what it is?” he continued conversationally, spinning around to deliver a backhand to Edith as she reformed, knocking her off to the side.

“Listen to the lady,” I suggested as I tried kicking him in the nuts. He blocked it again, but it had been a feint, and I punched him in the face. With my right hand, I realized a second too late.

I reeled back as pain washed through me. Stupid stupid stupid stupid! He went to hit me, but Edith came in from the side and carved a gash in his torso. He was slowing down, I realized.

“You see, I’m very fast,” he said, sounding amused. The fact that he was still standing was ridiculous. He barely had any flesh left!

“Gee,” I growled, staggering back upright. “We hadn’t noticed.”

“But that’s not all.” He tossed the datapad up into the air, and I jerked forward instinctively, eyes locked on it. Edith was quicker, though, and she was there in an instant, arm outstretched to grab it.

He was quicker still, though. He splintered for the barest instant, his fragments blinking over to the datapad, and then he reformed.

Around Edith.

I felt like I’d run into a brick wall. Or like I’d been punched in the face. Or… like I’d just seen my ex-girlfriend get consumed by a human abattoir. There’s not really any simile you can use for that.

He dropped to the ground, catching the datapad again. Did he have more mass now? Oh god. “I’m also,” he continued like nothing had happened, strolling up to me, “very, very strong.” He grabbed me by the collar before I could react. “So I don’t need to carry you to somewhere more populated.” He drew me in close, and I could smell the awful smell of rotting meat on his breath as he whispered in my face. “I just need to throw you.”

He jumped, and once again we rocketed into the air, shooting up above the buildings.

And just before we reached the apex, he shoved the datapad in my face. 

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