Thomas turned his Ford pickup off the main road and onto a grassland area. The sun’s dark orange glow had lured him from his rented backyard apartment to the edge of the forest.
“Stay put, Rascals,” Thomas commanded his dog.
He stepped into the knee-high grass and shook his head at the sound of chainsaws buzzing like hyped-up bees through the foliage. He knew the forest would be gone in a few years. Every idiot in the city knew it, but no-one said anything.
Thomas continued to stare at the sun’s peculiar gloom – a mixture of nature’s beauty and an unfamiliar phenomenon. The sun’s murky, rotten-carrot-like radiance didn’t even hurt his eyes. He wished his wife and child were still around to see it.
The noise of chainsaws died.
Rascals stood up against the dashboard and barked hysterically.
A new sound emerged from deep within the woods. A rumbling resonance akin to flowing water.
Thomas jumped at the sight of a dark figure running out of the woods and onto the grassland. In the shady light he couldn’t tell if the individual was in danger or looking for trouble. “Everything alright?”
The figure altered its direction towards Thomas and picked up speed.
Unsure of what else to do, Thomas reached into the back of his pickup and removed a tire iron.
With a strain in his voice he once again called out. His grip strengthened around the cold apparatus. His heart rate spiked and he picked up a large rock, tossing it towards his potential attacker.
His scare tactic didn’t work.
Another figure exited the woods. And another.
Thomas stepped back.
The roar of flowing water grew louder.
Thomas gasped when he realized his assailant was a woman. But it was what he saw on her face that almost made him drop the tire iron. A thin layer of skin appeared to be stretched over her eye sockets, nostrils and mouth. Like a watery, rubber-type skin pulled over her face.
“Stay back!” Thomas shouted as he picked up another rock.
A dozen more of them ran from the forest, most of them dressed as lumberjacks.
The woman was only a few yards away when he hurled the rock through the air and hit her against the chest. Her body evaporated in an explosion of water.
Thomas stumbled backwards and fell to the ground.
“Rascals,” he whispered as two figures charged his car. Their bodies burst into a shower of water that consumed his truck. Like melting ice it disappeared into the ground.
Rascals barked no more.
Hundreds of faceless people now swarmed out of the forest. A river of water followed their every step.
Two more of the creatures turned towards him. He threw more rocks, but his shaking hands refused to take proper aim.
A watery shape rose from the grass before him. It was the woman who dissolved earlier. Her naked body grew before him; first her outline, then her hair, and finally her clothes.
She was right in front of him, the others only feet away.
It was too late.
They were too close. So close he could see their jaws lower as they tried to scream, stretching the skin over their mouths to within an inch of tearing.
Thomas raised his arm and swung the tire iron with unrelenting force, sending the tool through both the woman and the second assailant.
Acidic water blasted over his body and into his eyes. It burnt through his clothes and into his blood stream.
Thomas screamed . . . then disappeared beneath the body of water that now flowed across the grassland.
Seconds later a figure closely resembling Thomas rose from the river. He looked at the thousands of water-creatures just like him and joined them in their sprint. The flood followed them on their journey towards the smog-laden city, and the polluted world beyond.
A muffled bark rose from the horde.
"A Simple Certainty"
Copyright: © 2011 Joe Mynhardt
Joe Mynhardt is a South African horror writer and teacher. His work has been published at Pill Hill Press, Dark Minds Press, Library of the Living Dead, Microhorror, Flashes in the Dark, Pages of Stories, Ghastly Door and many more. Joe is also a moderator at MyWritersCircle.com. Read more about Joe Mynhardt and his creations at www.Joemynhardt.com.