Neon Bible

A delapidated strip mall, everything layered with a grey, greasy film. The parking structure blocks everything in, a hulking cement wall broken with black holes along its face like squinting eyes. Blue traps swing out from the walls to make lean-to homes that jut out like bird perches or tuck themselves away in the shadowy ramps of the car park.

The tile floors are grey-green from water damage, the skylights long shattered and fogged over. Bits of glass crunch underfoot against the dull blue tiles with the black, molded-over grout. Triangular planters, overgrown with wilted ferns and the tree roots splitting through the brick and mortar, have been placed sporadically around the commons in what was once probably an aesthetic pattern. Little wooden benches along the sides of the planters have rot away in moist piles.

A steady drip, drip from the splintered sky light plastic. Residue from a morning mist congealing and condensing along the thick edges. Drip, drip.

Words echo from a thin hall cut in the car park wall. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall." A halting, hiccup laugh. "Show me where the bombs will fall,"

A spindly hand, like an albino spider, swings out and grips the grey crevice. When it releases there are white scratches in the faux-rock. Pin-prick irises, really only a minute blue line around the pupil, peer from rheumy red eyes. A grey, sweating face edges cautiously into the dull light.

The man is moonflower grey, hung with rust tarnished robes that ripple back as he moves. He hunches, clutching his elbows in the cold.

A tapping from above.

The man mutters a quick prayer, blinking quickly, and looks up into the distorted sky.

A black, twitching speck. He squints, unsure of what he is seeing. A glint of white in the weak sun along a length of metal, it's a thin arm. It taps the glass again.

The man ducks into the crevice again, flattens against the wall. His chest billows, the ribs bowing out as he huffs.

The taps grow more frequent. Louder. More white metal arms glance over the thick plastic skylights, skittering for purchase. Their twitching, spider-spindle shadows spin on the walls.

Tap. Drip. Crack.

The End

17 comments about this story Feed