Saturday in the Park
The cliché of it all was almost sickening. The sun was shining. There was a cool breeze breaking the heat of summer. Birds were fluttering around, chirping and singing. Children played on swingsets and monkey bars while parents watched and talked and flipped through their phones. Couples went for runs bargained for by the more active partner. Dogs ran around and tumbled in the grass. It was idyllic and annoyingly perfect.
Then it all changed.
It was like a bomb had gone off, but nothing exploded. Instead, the park itself and everything in it simply changed into a new form. Warped. Mutilated. Shifted into some grotesque mockery of existence. It was pure horror.
Birds plunged to the ground, bursting on impact, sending feathers and blood spraying across the grass. Trees launched their branches like missiles. Hurtling through the air like jagged javelins, the wood would slam into anything it met and shatter into shrapnel. The grass itself would even twist and corkscrew into literal blades.
Legs burst from dogs’ sides in random numbers. Some got one. Some got two. Some got four. One poor beagle got seventeen and could only whimper helplessly as the legs skittered and flailed. A couple caught mid-jump had rudimentary wings rip from their spines and carry them, howling, off into the sky toward parts unknown.
Children on the swingsets found themselves fused to their seats as the chains broke and they hurtled to the ground. They tried to stand but the chains whirled and snapped like new appendages, slicing and gashing everyone around. They would get tangled with one another and pull until something tore with a wet rip. Those kids on the monkey bars could only scream in horror as they twisted and wrapped around the bars like warm taffy being stretched. Those on the climbing dome felt their limbs twine in and out of the holes, extending to impossible lengths. Those kids unlucky enough to be on the woodchips were swallowed by a yawning mouth, their shrieks of fear disappearing into the earth below.
Those running found themselves unable to stop. They had to continue to run, even as muscles split and bones cracked and blood started to run. Even if they fainted, their legs would churn and drive them around and around and around the park, utterly out of control of their own bodies. Parents were not spared either. Heads turned and were pulled and stretched into inhuman angles. Mouths opened wider and wider until they turned into puppets. Cell phones surged with electricity, flash-frying those wielding the instruments of their own demise.
And then it was over. Everything was back to normal. Nobody remembered the horror that had occurred. The park went back to how it had been.
In the background, far away from what had been the chaos, the scientists sniffed and wrote down notes on their clipboards. Moderate success. No lasting side effects on subjects. Seems ineffective as an interrogation tool. Repeat experiment with increased intensity.
Next trial starts.
Here is where I''ll post random stories that aren't, as of yet, in a larger book. Call it a free ride into the mouth of madness, yo.