Physics didn’t quite work the same here.
That was partly a blessing, because that was what was allowing George Gordonforth, Assistant Night Manager of Stick-e-Bunz 24 Hour Discount Bakery, shimmy and scramble his way up a cement and metal support piling at least as thick around as his own not inconsiderable waist as if this were an even on a japanese gameshow and his chance of winning were dependent on rescuing a bug-eyed kitten stuck at the top.
It was also a curse, because it was allowing the zombies to climb after him.
They’d been after him for miles now, shambling a lot quicker than he liked as he had run through the woods, and followed the woods into a ravine where the rock walls amused themselves by dislodging bits of their own faces to roll underfoot for him and the double handful of his pursuers. What little luck was with him was such that they tripped more often than he did on the rolling hazards, and so it was largely them at which the little cascades of rocks were aimed, followed by the disconcerting deeply grinding chuckle from the surrounding mountainside.
When he’d spotted the train trestle ahead, his heart had leapt and then sort of landed on itself; sure he’d been able to keep running in this place when back home he would have collapsed panting to the ground miles back, and he was able to leapfrog boulderfall like some sort of preternatural parker expert, but even seeing it in glimpses through the trees he was dodging around, it looked to be at least some 40 yards in the air. As he got closer to the base of it, he corrected that judgement to be more around 100 yards up, sailing overhead from one side of the gorge to the other atop their thick supports.
It helped a lot, when climbing, that instead of just reaching around and clambering up the support as if he was a kid shimmying up a light pole, this place was screwed up enough at the root level that he was able to shove his hands straight into the concrete and hold on to pull himself upward, then jam in his feet and repeat with his hands further up, without actually apparently damaging the support. Unfortunately, as the group milled about at the base, it didn’t take them nearly as long as he would have liked to watch him and then begin mimic the movements, some on the same support, some on its twin nearby.
He was a few yards down from the top when he realized he could feel a faint rumble. A train, against all expectation! As quickly as he could push himself (fucked up physics or no, he didn’t feel like falling the length of a football field to see what would happen), he did until he was almost bent double beneath the wooden slats. Then he stretched his leg across and, in a leap of faith, let go with his hands so that he could jam his toes into the other support, straddling the gap.
Reaching up between the wooden slats of the trestle, and rather thankful for the gut that wasn’t letting him see the creatures creeping closer, he stretched a hand high and splayed it open as a train rumbled closet and closer. Soon it was roaring overhead, and he waited, biding his time until he felt something twitch at his trousers – THAT was when he let his hand grab hold of an axel and yanked as hard as he could.
Like the impossible leaping, and the climbing, screwy physics played nice and he felt his body darting upward through splintering wood of first the trestle and then the floorboards of the train, landing him on a lovely plus gold and red oriental runner carpet next to the hole he’d just created. Helpful hands reached for him, pulled George to his feet, and then settled him in a seat of his own.
“Welcome aboard, Monsieur!” came a smooth tenor by his elbow, and George half-turned, smiling – only to see that the face that he gazed into had a thoroughly reddish cast that followed through all of the skin exposed around the rather fine tuxedo. “Would Monsieur care, perhaps, for some tea?”
He nodded dumbly and sat back with a sigh to mull over this new development. Devils, more devils. They seemed to be everywhere, running everything, but never seemed to claim ownership of things, nor really participate.
That could only mean he wasn’t finished yet, that there was more to come, and when the devil returned bearing an exquisite tea service and set it on the table before him, he grabbed the creature’s sleeve. “Listen, you gotta tell me, what was that valley? Where is this train headed?”
With the detached elegance any Jeeves sought to acquire, the devil filched its sleeve free of George’s fingers and picked up the pot to pour the steaming water over the teabag already in the cup. “Frying Pan, sir – and Fire, of course. Do enjoy, won’t you?” It glided away, leaving George to look into the teacup he was already lifting to try to figure out what kind of tea he had been served.
There, sitting in the steaming water, was a neatly severed scrotum.
“Teabagged,” he groaned, and tossed the cup altogether down the hole he’d left in the floor before dropping his head to bang against the table.
This piece of Nightmare Fuel was inspired by this picture by DeepInSwim of DeviantArt:
For more info on the Nightmare Fuel project, click here.