Monkey Dust Devil

by D I Hughes


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Art & Culture October 31, 2018

Fingers drag the grates and pavement, my eyes are not peepers but buckets of cloud, feeding time is fleeting. 

I could do anything: defy the smog-soaked gravity, fight a million men, walk through walls and clear Biblical paths, fangs out and ready to tear.

Every day, at a certain time, I can do all of these things and more. But not now, so I fade into the suffocating blackness of my blanket, shivering, quivering, waiting.

The lusus naturae inside me will have to claw my organs for now.

People swerve my feet, nervous, shuffling away as they pass me on the pavement – I am universally feared by silent droves.

I will try to remain unconsciousness until feeding time.

                                                                                                  *** 

Work has become a living nightmare. I’m awake three hours before walking to the office, sweating onto my sheets.

Will this be the day he gets me? Will he devour his powdered feast early?

How will it feel?

A melon-sized lump blocks my throat and I can barely breathe; at work, I can only chain drink Americanos, food is not an option.

Around 10 am I look from the lower left-hand corner of my office window and glance across the street in sheepish bursts.

One moment he’s vacant, cold-eyed. The next, after the van has passed, his peepers are a violent purple, his chipped, cheddar fangs ready to ruin.

Him – that – this thing, claws and bashes at local shop windows, scars kids and their dreams, terrorizes cars, chanting a mantra of foul adjectives I cannot bear to even think about, let alone speak.

Even the vermin are running for their lives, disappearing down the drains trying to escape the rabid clutches of the cloaked, suped-up zombie and his putrid breath and rotting fingernails.

By midday or so, the land surrounding the office calms, I can hear the birds and the inviting hum of service vehicles.

It has fallen into itself, under its blanket shivering, quivering, waiting.

950 incidents a day are reported around the city, I fear there will be an uprising soon. This old place will be nothing but Monkey Dust Devils – a zombie apocalypse on fast-forward.

The problem is we’re all Monkey Dust Devils. It’s in all of us – a few hard knocks, a fleeting moment of vulnerability and for two coins you can join the ranks.

Tomorrow’s another working day.

Oh Lord, give me strength.



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