DAY FOUR- MAFIA HIT- Life's a drag

Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—

“Because I could not stop for Death” By Emily Dickinson

Get six crapshooting pallbearers Six chorus girls to sing me a song
Put a jazz band behind my hearse wagon To raise hell as we roll along

"St. James Infirmary Blues"

Vera rubbed at her gummed-shut eyes and struggled out of her sleeping bag, groggy and sad and feeling as though she had only gone to bed a few hours ago. With a look at her watch (and who knew if any of them had the right time anymore?), she realized her instincts were correct. It was early, too early really. Who else would be up at this hour after the night they’d had? Had anyone else heard that sound? Maybe she should try to go back to sleep. Instead, she unzipped her tent and climbed out.


Vera had kept a stiff upper lip and a stern expression through the deaths, crying only in private, but at the sight that greeted her that morning she, like many before her, had to scramble for an appropriate place to be sick.

Most of the vomit ended up in her hair in spite of her efforts, and so it was a freshly washed Vera that everyone else saw cleaning up the body when they got up that morning.


A furious Flagg was a terrible sight – the small group could all agree on that, even if they never spoke of their dreams in the waking hours. The things he wanted done to their victim, to crush the group’s spirit and get them back on the right track, were described in all too graphic detail, and even the toughest of them had trouble stomaching the mental image of the poor kid laid out in a nearly unrecognizable lump in the middle of camp. Their failing resolve only made Flagg –more- angry, and everyone’s sleep suffered from the nightmares that rolled through the group of survivors.

They awoke while it was still dark; they knew what had to be done to avoid Flagg’s wrath. A small storage garage just a few miles hike from camp would, according to the dreams, have what they needed. And so they marched in silence, trying not to think further ahead than retrieving the necessary equipment.


Just how awful – had- he been in another life, anyway? Hank could no longer imagine what heinous acts he had committed to earn this fate in the present. People were dieing all around him; he couldn’t even get a decent night’s sleep without worrying he would wake up with a slit throat. He’d received a few threatening looks, though he couldn’t tell if it was because of his opinions or just him being in the wrong place at the wrong times. To add to the litany of woes, the rain had tapered to a slight drizzle – just enough to be annoying as he made his way around the perimeter of the camp in search of an outhouse. His foot found a clump of rotting leaves and he slipped, landing hard on his rear end in a muddy puddle.

Hank closed his eyes, more annoyed than pained, and summed up the situation quite succinctly.

“This –sucks-“

The chuckles he heard behind him only made the whole situation worse. That was just great – everyone around him was dropping like flies and these jackasses were making cracks about his little mud bath. He tried to scramble around, and slipped again.

When next he woke, Hank was greeted by a familiar sight. That damn Eskimo was taunting him again from the back of the van. Was it his van? He didn't know but did it matter? What were the odds? It started rolling forward...and this time it didn't leave him behind.

At least not by much. The rope trailed backwards only ten feet or so. That damn van was the last thing he ever saw with its grin that mocked him like the dark man in his nightmares.

Slipnish 17 years ago
Estaban looked at the broken remnants of someone lying scattered across the center of the camp...

He wasn't sure, as the remains were difficult to identify, but it looked sort of like the little asian guy... Hank? Frank? Something like that anyway.

Frowning, he sat down on a nearby fallen log and lit up a cigarette. One from a pack he had picked up from somewhere on their trek. The smoke was acrid and stale, but then, no one was making any more these days were they?

Estaban watched as his fellow survivors came and went, muttering in twos and threes, plotting and planning he was sure.

He carefully pulled back an errant strand of gelled hair and exhaled another plume of the aged smoke into the still morning air.

In the distance, a crow cawed repeatedly, it's sound like the laughter of a mad man.

Estaban finished his smoke, stood up, and shrugged his backpack into a more comfortable position.

Whatever happened today, his charm and good looks might not be enough to save him. He grinned privately. Either way, it had been a grand ride.
vwinsect 17 years ago
Lanna stayed put. She heard the gasps of surprise and revulsion and made the only possible conclusion. Another death. She put her hands to her face and just sat there. It was one thing to have patients die. At least you could say you did all you could to save them. This... this was pointless and she felt so useless in helping. She wasn't a coroner, she was a nurse. Saving lives, making the illness go away, that was her job. She got up finally and walked away from the rest to work on getting ready for the day's travel. Let someone else prepare the body this time. She put her mind to the journey ahead wondering just how many of them would survive after all.