The joke was on them. The townsfolk of Candor, TN. Everyone that had ever laughed and sniggered at him. All those people that would point and hiss. His parents for giving him his name, George Washington. For giving him his disease. It wasn’t his fault that he was born different.
Mixed. That was the word he preferred, though he rarely got it. Instead he endured the hateful, prejudiced speech of the uneducated. Half-breed. Demonchild. Devil. For a time he didn’t understand the words, then he thought they were funny, and one day the humor was replaced with wrath. With pain. With heartbreak. With understanding.
The sounds of laughter and music floated up through the air to him, covering his tongue with a fresh coating of disgust. He was sitting high up on one of the many hills that overlooked the small town, reclining against an upper branch of an ancient tree. The valley was celebrating its annual Blackberry Festival, and a good time was to be had by all. Not far away was the local Lovers Lane, currently home to only two young couples, the soon-to-be only survivors of the terrible Candor Disaster.
He checked his watch. “Not long now,” he said. Yesss… He tried to think if there was anyone that he’d miss, anyone he should’ve warned. The closest thing he’d had to a friend had been a lanky boy named, ironically, Gerald ‘Gerry’ Ford. Still, even Gerry had eventually joined in with the scoffers, so George reckoned he deserved what was coming, too.
It’s strange how, in time, he came to accept his unusual circumstances. He truly was different. He saw it reflected in the mirror, in his red-lined pupils. He heard it in the many voices of the wind. And when his skin had started peeling, like a snake in the summer, he knew it was true. His appetites had changed to raw meats, and he vehemently eschewed anything resembling a fruit or vegetable. Perhaps he was a demonchild. Certainly something more than human.
The wind picked up, a moaning sound fitting for the dark work at hand. It was as if the land was preparing for its destruction, weeping like Rachel wept for her dead children in Ramah. It was time to end this stage of his life and move on to something better. Something grander. Something more… accepting.
He stood on the branch and held out his arms, spread wide. If his balance was not superior, he likely would have plummeted to his death. However, masterful acrobatics was just another abnormality in his genes. Bare chested and bare footed, he howled at the waxing moon, joining in with the cacophony of the wind. Down in the valley, the ground began to shake. The calliope choked out and was replaced with screams of terror. A loud hissing sound, like steam leaking from a pipe, entered the fray.
And as quickly as it began it ended. George peered out onto the destroyed town. Not a building was standing; in fact, only a few buildings were even visible. Dust hid most of the destruction, and the rest was covered with rubble and debris. Most of the bodies would never be found, and the few that were would be swollen and unrecognizable, mostly due to the bite marks as opposed to injuries from the tremor.
He laughed. From the bottom of his gut he chuckled, content at finally getting his revenge. He hopped from the tree, landing on all fours, low to the ground like a cat. He could hear the lovers frantically talking. A girl was crying. For fun, he howled again. Shrill and feral, his voice pierced through the night air. He grabbed his duffle and ran into the woods without another glance at the fallen city.
Word Count: 630