We’d heard rumours, of course, who ‘adn’t? Just no one believed ‘em. Occasionally, a horror would shamble in from the Wastes, but with the 10th Legion camped on our doorstep, we thought it didn’t matter. We thought we could sleep at night.
It were Devlin that woke me, his hands cold, his eyes wide. “Papa, Papa, wake up, wake up.” And as I tried to shake my ‘ead clear of the evening’s cider, I heard somebody at the backdoor, rattling its frame. Footpads and burglars had become bold as brass since the police force collapsed and it were each family for itself. But that weren’t a problem, either. I’d taken the liberty of stealing Miss Blunder from the local Night Watchman. He no longer needed it. Strung up on the street corner, as he was, trousers around his ankles, kids stabbing his genitals with sticks and whatnot – why, I was doing the world a favour keeping it out of harm’s way.
So I tells Devlin to get under the bed, I do, and I sprinted downstairs to the kitchen. In the shadows, I could see something big bashing against the doorframe. Stupid bastard was drunker than a whore on payday. But I’m no cold-bloodied murderer so I say, “On yer bike, before I put two full rounds into you from Miss Blunder ‘ere.” And to prove I meant business, I clicked on the ‘ammers.
If I’d expected him to run, tail between his legs, and try some other unfortunate then I was mistaken. He redoubled his efforts and threw himself upon the door until the whole thing come down.
And the man that shambled in, weren’t no man at all. A massive slab of muscle on legs. That’s what it was. Two heads on stalks that grew where its nipples should be. One arm was black, the other white, legs too small and it constantly tottered like it were a baby learning how to walk.
I’m not ashamed to say I screamed, what man wouldn’t, and gave it both barrels, close up like, point-blank range, threw the fucker right off his feet. And across the corn fields awash in brilliant moonlight, I could see others. Hundreds of them. If not more.
The one on the porch, the one with both rounds rammed through his heart, clambered to his feet and groaned from both his heads. And then . . . then I knew I was in trouble.
Somerset Sunrise – author unknown.