Alright. Dark Fantasy. Back on brand this month.
As usual, 500 words, and a bunch of conditions. This month is was . . .strangely enough. . . a May theme!
Aside from starting with an eleven letter word and having something running, it had to contain the words ‘Mayor’, ‘Mayhem’, ‘Dismay’, ‘Maybe’, and ‘Mayonaisse’.
(Slightly edited for reading)
The Banality of a Job Well Done
It’s truly a unique symphony– each time a cry leaves the choir, another joins the aural mayhem. Hundreds of voices have joined and left. Desperate voices creating a matchless harmony; a work to be proud of.
I lick my lips, the heat of the fire pits cracking them like the sun over autumn leaves. The contract set by the mayor was difficult.
“This place is infested! Liars, thieves, crooks, rats; they’re everywhere in this town! I want it cleared by morning! No trace is to remain!
The task is impossible. No trace is not realistic. But as the pits rage, I’m satisfied. I’ve achieved more than most could have.
I lick my lips again and lift the pipe, joining the harmony. A couple of sharp notes punch through the air and a chill runs over me, a welcome sensation among the flames. Another few notes. I can feel it now. A tune flows, more of the pipe’s accord than mine, louder and faster until the thrill reaches right into my bones, the melody engulfing me and I too must dance! Leaping, spinning. . .it’s running through my limbs. I must keep playing! Keep dancing, keep moving, keep running. . .
Aargghh! Burning! I slap at my patchwork sleeve, putting out a small flame and stepping back from a pit. How close had I been to following the melody in? A different chill runs through me. My coat is damaged, but it could’ve been worse. I pry my fingers off the wooden instrument, force myself to separate from the melody. It does not control me.
I will not follow the music.
A sharp, acidic odour burns my nostrils. Smoke, burning hair and skin. The wind has changed. Or maybe I danced into the path of the smoke. It can be disorienting inside the melody.
I look around – there are still a few left dancing towards their fate, screaming their only defence against their own actions.
One stares back though. I watch as he leaps into a pit, watch as his body turns black, his eyes bubbling and boiling.
But there is something else in his eyes too, before the whites bursts from the socket, flowing thick and gooey like mayonnaise. Before they turn to ash. Anger. Confusion. Dismay. I hear his questions as clearly as the roar of the flames that consume him.
He wants to know why I did this, why the town is no more.
The answer is simple. Because it was my contract. The town was full of liars, thieves, crooks and rats. Leave no trace.
The odour is still here – I taste the bile it brings, and I need to leave. But as I carefully put some notes through my pipe, I watch with pride as the final few townsfolk dance towards pit and throw themselves in.
By morning, there should be no trace of them at all. As per the contact. A job well done.