No one was within six feet of Burt except Patty, who now stood frozen with nowhere to go because she backed up into the rear of her car. Not able to think straight she held herself flat against her trunk trying to feign invisibility. Simultaneously, the gawkers took a collective step away from the car accident. Several parents hastily guided their children away from the bloody scene, while others glanced around trying to confirm what they just witnessed wasn’t some kind of sick joke. Lincoln heard someone heaving and gazed around to make sure it wasn’t on his lawn, spotting the person near the edge of his property.
Still on the ground, Burt chewed sloppily, a finger bone slipping in and out through his lips until an inevitable crunch made Lincoln shudder. Lincoln moved forward when Burt lifted his torso, shuffling his limbs until he ended up on all fours. He tottered back and forth trying to put weight on his broken arm, twisted in the wrong direction. Finally catching his balance, he flapped his broken arm around willing it to work to no avail.
The wrecked arm made Lincoln’s own throb, he couldn’t fathom the amount of pain Burt must be in—not that he was complaining or pleading for help. Spying Burt’s every move with revulsion, Lincoln waited for him to scream in agony from being hit by a car and discovering his broken arm—and probably bones only an x-ray can reveal.
No sounds of pain erupted from his throat. Nor a whimper. Tears didn’t pour down his face in silent agony. The only sounds heard from Burt were his teeth grinding the bones in his mouth. He didn’t even appear to be remotely uncomfortable. In fact, Burt eyed the red liquid leading straight to the treat he just snapped off two fingers from.
Craig was backpedaling away from Burt staring at the two bloody nubs on his hand, flinging fat red droplets at anyone near him. Shock and adrenaline kept him numb to the pain. The horror and craziness of losing two fingers had him moving as far as he could to get away from Burt. Craig’s back landed against someone’s legs and he erupted with a terrified shriek when he was hauled up by his armpits, losing the little color he had left in his face. It took a few minutes for his friend, Trevor, to calm him down. Finally feeling safe, Craig couldn’t rip his eyes from Burt, letting them fall to his stomach. He leaned heavily against Trevor knowing he wouldn’t be able to salvage the fingers he lost as they moved toward a vehicle to get to the hospital.
Burt took his sweet time getting onto his feet. First lifting his butt into the air, and then moving his legs forward before peeling himself up into a standing position.
Swallowing the remnants of the fingers, he burped before slowly assessing the crowd and snapping his teeth at everyone. His eyes locked on new prey, and shuffled in her direction reaching out to the closet person to him. Patty. Who’d left the safety of her car to give him a piece of her mind. Squeezing herself against the trunk didn’t make her invisible but she couldn’t find the will to move. Someone will save me, she thought, someone has to save me.
Her jaw dropped slowly, the color in her face fading and turning a light shade of green as Burt approached her. Finally reaching her, his fingers groped around her mouth for purchase. Hooking them downward, he gripped the lower part of her jaw as tightly as he could with his gnarled fingers and yanked her forward.
Screaming at the top of her lungs she tried to snap her head away but she pinned herself against the car and refused to move while Burt gravitated to her. Before anyone could offer her help, Burt pulled on her tongue and kissed her. Mouth to mouth. He turned his head from side to side like a ravenous horny dog that couldn’t get enough of her mouth.
Patty’s eyes bulged and her arms flailed at her sides as Burt landed a big wet one on her. Only when he came up for air, Patty’s tongue was being ripped from her mouth. His teeth yanking on the pink muscle as if his life depended on it. It slowly tore away, the blood gushing between them dribbling down their chins and showering their faces with the red liquid. Burt finally cleaved it from her and slurped it through his lips like a noodle.
Gargled, wet sounds pitched from Patty as her legs buckled beneath her. She clawed at her throat, spitting blood in order to clear her air hole. Burt never let the woman out of his sight as he dipped down with her taking his next bite from the side of her face. Ripping the piece of flesh from her temple down to the edge of her jaw, tearing it off midway through with his teeth. Patty’s high-pitched shriek suddenly ended because the woman had passed out from shock and agonizing pain.
Bedlam erupted. Everyone staggered in different directions trying to flee from the gory scene disappearing down the street, inside houses, or backyards. Burt continued to gorge on Patty. Hunched over and tearing chunks of skin out with his teeth. Being one of the last few out in the open Lincoln’s eyes widened, his line of sight clear and not clogged with bodies. Without noticing he had slowly moved forward and instantly froze, the sharp rotting smell enveloping him. Without a doubt Lincoln knew he’d seen this behavior before. Not in person, but online.
Hesitating, his feet shifted back and forth. He wanted to get a glimpse of Burt’s eyes, but he didn’t want to get any closer than he already was to the man. Between the odiferous smell and the skin hanging from Burt’s mouth Lincoln turned away feeling his gut threatening to revolt. Only one person attempted to try and help Patty. Whatever Doug was trying to do, Lincoln didn’t think he’d be successful. Doug’s mouth was moving but the words were drowned out by Burt chewing loudly with his mouth wide open, never bothering to speak or acknowledge Doug’s existence. Lincoln wanted to tell the man to check Burt’s eyes, but he didn’t want to call attention to himself, or give anyone the idea that he knew what was happening.
The only thing that interested Burt was the next piece of flesh he could shove into his mouth. It was obvious to Lincoln if they wanted to save the woman, Burt would need to be incapacitated. Lincoln’s hand swiftly fell on top of an empty holster. Taking a second to peer down, he panicked until he remembered he’d left his gun inside—so he wouldn’t be tempted to shoot the gathering on his lawn.
Rushing back into his house moving backwards—to keep an eye on Burt—he stumbled into someone as he pushed to get through his doorway.
“What the hell—,” he peered over his shoulder and found at least fifteen people staring back at him. “Who the hell invited y’all inside my damn house!” Lincoln growled furiously.
“The door was open,” someone spoke up but Lincoln didn’t know who the hidden voice belonged to.
Entering Lincoln’s house, there’s only two options: right or left. The right took you to the living room and kitchen, while the left takes you straight back to three different bedrooms. Lincoln grumbled and forced his way to the right sidestepping through the throng of bystanders invading his space that spilled into his living room. Two of his neighbors were sitting on his couch, one look from Lincoln and they stood up like he’d lit a fire beneath them.
Lincoln stared harshly at them until they squished themselves against the crowd by his door. Sliding over to his side table his hand wrapped around the Glock 17 lying on top of it. The people invading his space made an audible breathy noise when he lifted the gun off the table. His neck snapped in their direction but everyone had their backs to him too afraid to make eye contact.
Realizing he’d have squeeze himself down the hall and it’d take precious time to get to the door, he decided to exit through the back. He trudged out of his house and through the backyard. Peering in between the cracks of his fence he saw nothing but the small path that lay amid his house and his neighbor’s.
The gate would creak when he opened it so he did it quickly holding the gun out in front of him in case Burt decided to follow the noise around the corner. Grass swished beneath his boots, crunching with each footfall. He came around the corner of his house and scanned the front carefully aiming in every direction.
Burt had disappeared. Patty was also missing. A trail of blood traveled the length of the street before it took a different path onto Daniel’s lawn, the neighbor to the left. Lincoln followed the trail with his eyes, contemplating to pursue it. He was in no rush to shoot anyone, even if they are obviously deranged and cannibalistic. In this day and age someone would find a way to sue him. Good Samaritans always get screwed in the end.
Sighing heavily he glanced back at his house with the door cracked open and several people peering out at him.
“He’s gone. Better make a break for it before he comes back,” Lincoln’s voice rumbled loud enough to reach the stowaways in his house. No one budged. Lincoln lost his patience, fearing he might actually get locked out of his house.
“I have an itchy trigger finger for the last person who exits my house,” Lincoln surmised in a husky tone, glancing at the people shadowed in his doorway. Bursting out one by one they ran for it, some stopping on his lawn breathing heavily and some getting as far away from Lincoln as possible. The last person, Thomas, who lived down the street, ran for all he was worth not glancing back to see if Lincoln was aiming at him.
Holstering his gun, Lincoln slowly treaded to his empty home with the corner of his mouth tilted up. His hand was on the doorknob when Wyatt spoke up, “Are you going to help look for Burt? He could hurt someone else.”
“That’s why we have police officers Wyatt,” Lincoln answered annoyed.
“But he took Patty with him. The police won’t get here in time… ,” Wyatt’s voice trailed off before he finished the sentence.
“I was getting my gun while Burt took off with Patty. What was everyone else doing?” Lincoln questioned turning to face the few people brave enough to be outside. No one answered him. Everyone shifted their gaze in a different direction. “I find it funny y’all are putting all your faith in a man you considered fanatical not too long ago. I’ll make it real easy for y’all,” Lincoln said calmly putting his hand on the doorknob behind him. Opening and slamming the front door shut, he bolted it, and pushed a plug into the wall causing the device to hum. He watched in between the blinds waiting for someone brave enough to knock.
Desperation and fear swayed through the throng of people outside.
“What if Burt comes back and attacks us?”
“He’s just going to leave us out here defenseless?”
“He’s going to help right?”
“What do we do?”
Their questions and pleas for help fell on deaf ears. Lincoln was savoring the moment. He literally watched one by one, as the uncertainty of his help turned into crushed hope. Because they all knew, deep down, that Lincoln was right. Everyone easily made him the joke of the neighborhood. So if they could survive without him all this time, surely they can see why he’s unaccustomed to their existence.
Wyatt stepped up, and tried to keep the peace by telling everyone to calm down. Lincoln almost lost hope someone would try to tempt him back outside. Then Wyatt faced his house and walked up warily, his head held high for the people behind him, but the facial expression hesitant. Lincoln’s lips spread slowly into a grin across his face as Wyatt lifted his fist to knock on the door. As soon as Wyatt’s knuckles grazed the door he jolted. Shaking and squirming everywhere until he landed on the ground face first, nothing to break his fall.
The collective gasp was on cue as everyone’s eyes darted from Lincoln’s door to Wyatt flat on the ground. Wyatt mumbled into the dirt pushing himself up on all fours before slowly sitting up on his knees. After checking to make sure nothing was broken, he rubbed his shoulder slowly making his way to his feet.
“That bastard just electrocuted me,” Wyatt growled angrily stomping back to Lincoln’s front door ready to pound his fist against it. To Lincoln’s surprise Wyatt was smart enough to think it through, realizing he’d get electrocuted again.
“Lincoln!” Wyatt shouted annoyed, “We’re your neighbors! We need your help.”
“I find it funny I’ve been here for over ten years and you thought today would be a good day to be neighborly,” Lincoln replied loudly so everyone could hear him. “Maybe you should have tried it when you first moved in six years ago Wyatt. I might have been friendly back then. Better get back to your houses soon. The King of Rock and Roll has made his debut. Who knew it’d be in the small town of Dessarillo.”
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To the next chapter —> 4/19/18