A little Carnage, a bit of Comfort. It’s a 6.

We ended our previous episode with Jaya, Seven and Ryan pulling off the highway into the parking lot of a deserted business, Ryan’s dramatic rescue successful. The fact he was alive was miraculous. The more important question was why?

******* 

There was a picnic table on the side of the Tractor Supply Co. building sitting self consciously abandoned beneath the canopy of a live oak, stringy strands of Spanish moss threading haphazardly throughout, it was an island oasis in the midst of the still hot Texas sun; I walked towards it, Ryan following lethargically; we sat across from one another, silence broken only by the rustling of leaves in the tree’s upper branches. I’d grabbed some water and protein bars out of the back of the Humvee, shoved them over to him.

I stared at Ryan impatiently, the earlier “moment” in the parking lot disappearing into disgust, “no, it wasn’t me got yanked by raving rabids, it wasn’t me got tortured or traumatized or whatever the fuck it is happened to you but you need to snap out it” – elbows on the hard hewn wood of the table, his head resting in palms coated with what hopefully were the dried remnants of rusty clay typical of this area, soiled and exhausted from a difficult day’s work.. a narrator’s voice echoed in my head sarcastically “bucolic but for the man’s blood spattered clothing and the dried dirt tracing the woman’s face, scoring her forearms”; I’d found myself in the middle of an f’ing Ken Burns video montage celebrating something mundanely dark in the history of man. “Listen Ry, I’m done with this, I need to know why you’re still alive and what was that thing came out of the woods!”

Ryan took a swig of water, swallowed slowly; he spoke softly as if he were a priest consoling the bereaved. ” These things Jaya, these rabids, yes they are a pack of way fucked up, undead walking meat sacks jonesing to score human flesh but now they’ve got themselves a captain and he’s got a brand new game plan.”  

27 thoughts on “A little Carnage, a bit of Comfort. It’s a 6.

  1. Chris Hall October 16, 2021 / 9:47 am

    Whoa, this is a worrying turn of events😨 but I love that sarcastic inner voice speaking.

    Liked by 2 people

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 16, 2021 / 9:56 am

      It is, but not totally unexpected. Thank you, Chris.
      A formidable challenge, in this format, conveying relationship dynamics. I believe the lines of communication between my characters and me are beginning to appear, which can only help 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Frank Hubeny October 16, 2021 / 11:28 am

    I wonder why Ryan is still alive also, but his mentioning of a brand new game plan makes me think he’s some sort of Trojan horse meant to be found.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 16, 2021 / 9:44 pm

      I dub thee “Mr. On The Money”!
      Ryan was definitely not killed so as to make a point should he break out or be rescued however, your Trojan horse idea is an interesting concept to contemplate. Thank you, Frank!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Liz H October 16, 2021 / 11:30 am

    Great pacing: steady, stretched out, and tense as hell!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 16, 2021 / 9:49 pm

      It is worrying Keith. It’s all designed to worry those not yet aware of the “development” of the rabids; how quickly they are self evolving. With a little help of course 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 16, 2021 / 9:50 pm

      “It always gets worse before it gets better” I believe is the familiar saying, Mimi. You guessed correctly.

      Like

  4. Pat Brockett October 17, 2021 / 1:10 am

    A new game plan? This doesn’t sound good, but as a writer, you’ve got this!

    Like

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 17, 2021 / 9:27 am

      Quite looks that way, Pat. I appreciate your vote of confidence! Not always sure I do, lol

      Like

  5. Spira October 17, 2021 / 5:48 am

    👏…
    (Continuing the opera set list…camera pan to close ups under the Helloween A tale that wasn’t right…)
    Keep unleashing.

    Like

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 17, 2021 / 10:27 am

      🙏
      (Choreographer and grip crew conferring on next scene…)
      There shall be no shackles.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. TheHiddenEdge October 17, 2021 / 6:13 am

    Ryan is acting quite strangely following his ordeal. It’s like he is pootling along in fifth gear, despite the ominous new game plan announced … until next week. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 17, 2021 / 10:31 am

      He is, Laurie. Remains to be seen whether this is self-indulgence in his own emotional response to his ordeal or whether his behavior stems from something else…
      ???

      Liked by 1 person

  7. UP October 17, 2021 / 9:05 am

    I love the pace and the writing ✍🏽 great segment

    Like

  8. clark October 17, 2021 / 10:33 am

    This is developing into a proper tale of adventure, grounded in the actions (and reactions) of a 21st C, X Chrome heroine.

    It helps that the story reflects the ‘real’ world, in which, at least to my experience, bad things (and good things) do not commence on an orderly schedule.
    And heroes and heroini do not always make correct decisions.

    (Not counting the archetypical sociopath good guy in modern movies (John Wick, Robert McCall, Raymond Reddington, Bryan Mills, John McLane notwithstanding).

    I agree with Miz Edge* ole Ryan would benefit from a little more spine and a little less tear ducting.**

    *no relation, I trust, to U2’s guitar player
    ** that said, the comments this week reflect his over-bearing presence in this installment (“Don’t cry for me Wakefield Doctrine, it cannot be helped.”)

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 17, 2021 / 10:56 am

      Thank you, Clark.

      No. You are absolutely correct on that. Mayhem and mishap on a sunny day do not adhere to any type of order. As to making correct decisions, well, no precedent set so it’s about trusting one’s instinct. Let the body take the lead.

      I am honored you reference such characters as John Wick and Robert McCall. I shall consider that a challenge 🙂

      LOL, yeah Ryan be somewhat “indulging”. Remains to be seen however, if it’s an exaggerated display of his nature under a highly unusual and stressful situation or, if there’s a contributing factor outside of his emotional self indulgence.

      (So very true)

      Like

  9. The Atomic Mage October 17, 2021 / 4:04 pm

    Kudos episode, D 😎 I like how among the trauma, the intrigue and the fatigue, the scene takes place at a frikkin picnic table under a tree – you even take care to note the tree is a ‘live oak’, indicating that the apocalypse has taken not just mankind but also nature as victim. I had to,look up Ken Burns, and can see where you’re coming from with that ref! V Cool.

    I think Ryan is deeply traumatised here rather than maybe complicit in any way, in perhaps the same way an alien abuctee might remember certain details about being ‘experimented on’ or ‘have insight knowledge and memories’.

    Yay, and kudos too for bringing a RHCP slant on things like I did… we be not only chugging along in harmony with our respective zombie tales, D, but are twinned in musical vibes too! 😎
    V, v cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 17, 2021 / 11:38 pm

      Thank you, V 😎 Live oaks can be quite majestic in appearance and often have very unique formations. Their limbs are well suited for symbolic protection from the “elements”. Glad to turn you on to Mr. Burns. I’ve no doubt you’d appreciate his work 🙂

      I agree with you. Trauma is the most likely explanation for Ryan’s behavior however, I’ll admit Frank and Laurie’s comments sent me investigating other possibilities. That is one of the coolest things about this hop – the feedback. Sometimes I discover another way to look at a scene because of how someone else interpreted it. I love that!

      We definitely be chugging, V and without doubt, twinned in musical vibes 😎

      Liked by 1 person

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