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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Microstory 803: Kicker

My friend, Cooper invited me to a kickback party, which he prefers to call a kicker, but no one else does. It’s actually a little rowdier than I would have liked, but he’s having fun anyway, so I stay for about as long as he wants. Finally, though, I convince him to go on a walk with me out in the woods behind the apartment complex. There’s always been this sexual tension between us that I’ve wanted to explore, but I’ve never been able to muster the courage to talk with him about it. We’ve known each other since before either of us can remember, having been paired by our respective parents, primarily as an excuse for them to daydrink together. We walk under the light of the awkward moon for a few minutes before he asks me what that sound was. I didn’t hear anything, but we have this connection, so when he’s scared, so am I. He tells me he’s got goosebumps, and I tell him I have chicken skin. Before we can get into another argument about each other’s dumb words for things, there’s another sound, and this time I hear it too. We instinctively roll into the ditch next to the path, and huddle next to each other. My eyes dilate as we stare at the trail, waiting for us both to realize that everything’s cool, and there’s no problem. A pair of hooves appear in front of us and stop. He breathes a sigh of relief and points out that it’s just a deer. I ask him where the other two legs are, then suddenly receive my answer. No deer face looks like what we see bend over and hiss at us. Its head resembles that of a human’s, but more like those giant statues on that island in the middle of the Pacific ocean that no one knows how they got there.  The visage has places for eyes, and a nose, and a mouth, but it’s like the devil accidentally turned him on before finishing carving out all the features. It’s hard to tell in the dark, but the skin even seems more like stone than flesh. Oh, and it also doesn’t have arms.

The first thing it does is lean back and try to kick Cooper in the face. I pull him out of the way, and on top of me, just in time. But we both know that we can’t stay there. We scramble off the ground and start running, but it’s extraordinarily fast. I’m talkin’ comic book superhero fast, this creature is invisible when it’s moving. It kicks at Cooper again, and he dodges it again, but then it tries a third time, and makes contact. Having slowed down its first target, it now goes after me. I drop fast and cower submissively, but it just keeps kicking. “Stop!” I scream at it, but can it even hear me? Surely it can, ‘cause that’s how it knew we were there in the first place. By now, Cooper’s recovered, and is back on his feet. He decides to give the creature a dose of his own medicine, and kicks him literally in the ass, or rather what passes for an ass with this species. It stumbles back, stupefied at Cooper’s audacity. Taking this opening, I get back up and take my own shot. It trips back more, and tries to redirect its attention towards me, but it’s clearly confused as all hell. We give each other a psychic look, then we go full on crazy, kicking it as hard as we can. It’s squirming and twisting on the ground, but we don’t stop until it starts to laugh. Then we both notice it. Our goosebump chicken skin has turned the sickly grayish green that it has. The discoloration spreads all over our bodies, and then I feel my face melting off. In seconds, I don’t see, or hear anything. I just feel vibrations; the wind, the stream a hundred meters away, my friend next to me, and the creature—the creature, who is now our leader. All my brain is capable of thinking about now, though, is how good it’ll feel when I find a human to kick.

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