National Not-Novel Writing Month, day 8: The Kiss

I’ve been doing the flash-fiction every day NaNoWriMo replacement as prescribed. Most of them are rudimentary or fragmentary, but I thought this one came together rather nicely. So here you go.

The Kiss

It wasn’t Scott McHaney’s fault that his town collapsed. He was only the mayor, after all. How was he to know what was about to happen in downtown Riverdale at the annual Kiwanis Club wine bar fundraiser? And even if he had known, and maybe reported it to the county sheriff or the FBI or the CDC, it moved so fast that nobody could have stopped it anyway.

McHaney was an affable fellow, a bit of a goofball who wrote a tongue-in-cheek dialog between the mayor and the Headless Horseman in the local newspaper every Halloween and who took his public service seriously. There were limits, however. On this particular night he had made the obligatory 3-minute welcoming speech at the Kiwanis fundraiser and escaped the event as soon as he could.

Most of the Kiwanis club members were friends of his, and he felt a pang of conscience at ditching them, but there was a novel beckoning him from the side table in his book room.

The book room was his favorite place in the world. That’s where he was, sipping a beer with book in hand, gazing out the bay window, when he saw Marty Johnson stumbling down the street. A welter of blood spilled down the front of Marty’s Kiwanis jacket. Mayor McHaney’s first thought was that Marty had been shot.

“Marty! Marty, my God, what happened?” McHaney yelled as he ran down the steps of his carefully restored Victorian house into the crisp autumn air, then a strangled “Oh, God…oh, god…” as Marty Johnson lurched toward him.

Marty was bleeding from every orifice. Blood saturated his shirt and jacket. The seat of his pants was sagging and soggy with shit and clotted blood. His eyes were blank red pools. His blood-dripping nose quested toward Mayor McHaney, snuffling like a bloodhound.

Then he tripped toward McHaney on his tiptoes, reminding the mayor of the old Looney Tunes cartoons when Bugs Bunny smelled something delicious and the wafting fumes lifted him by the nose and floated him toward the source.

By the time McHaney realized HE was the source, Marty had coughed blood all over his Dockers and plush leather-soled slippers and was leaning in to give him a very moist, deadly kiss.

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