Unpositive Charge, by Will Couper

It was several seconds before Thomas realized that the baby in the sky was headed straight for him.  Not an ideal start to the day, he had to admit.  A large part of this was down to his dislike of children and babies.

But he had to admit that mostly is was because he wasn’t that enamoured of the idea that something that weighed as much as ten pounds was hurtling towards his skull.  It must have come from pretty high up to be going at that speed.  It must have possessed quite a set of lungs, as it managed to wail as the air pressure must have been pushing down its windpipe.  By all reckoning the baby should have suffocated.

There wasn’t a lot of time to analyse the situation though.  What would be do?  What would Jesus do?  What would Stalin do?  None of the answers to those three questions were quite as helpful as he had hoped.  The question posed about his own reaction was a little redundant; he knew the answer and he was standing there gawping at the screaming child plummeting out of the cloud deck.

Saying that performing a miracle like Mister Christ wasn’t in his personal repertoire and airbrushing the child out of photos like mad ole Uncle Joe would have done wasn’t any help either.  Historical references weren’t going to get him through this pickle that was for certain.He could have stood there, staring and gone through a list of dead people in his head, but that wasn’t going to resolve the issue of imminent impact betwixt head and infant.

So he made an executive decision and sidestepped.

The tiny body landed with an impressive splat that managed to spray him with blood and entrails.  Fortunately the horrendous noise that the baby was making in its freefall abated, punctuated as it was by the wet thudding sound.

Before he got a chance to bend down and wipe off the lumpier bits that were stuck to his trousers, something moved in the semi-liquid mash of flesh and bone.  For what was, essentially, a puddle this was quite the achievement.

There was a sound like a tiny cough and a lump moved through the mess.  Through the understandable disgust for the splatter on the ground, Thomas felt his curiosity twinge in response to the unexpected movements and sounds.  It was even stranger when it sounded like whatever was moving swore too.

“Fuck!” said the lump.  “They didn’t tell me that it would hurt.  Wasn’t supposed to hit the fucking ground either.  That’s what I get for listening to them.”

The ongoing dialogue turned out to be coming from a tiny figure that breast stroked out from the lumpy puddle.  The creature was humanoid in its way, but its head was far bigger than it should have been and it possessed three huge eyes.  And once it had cleaned all the blood and other biological sludge from itself, he saw that it was bright orange.

“What a curious little creature you are,” he said.

It eyed him, fury from the triple bronze eyes made it seem ten feet tall.

“You, fucker, have ruined my day,” it said.

Then it hopped up onto the cuff of his trousers and started a very swift climb up Thomas’s leg.  So taken aback by the speed at which the thing was doing this that he didn’t move to swipe it off.

As it turned out this was a major mistake.  It scuttled to the inside of his thigh and stopped there.  The little creature was armed with a tiny, and very sharp, knife, with which it slashed first through the material of Thomas’s trousers then through the flesh of his leg and then to the femoral artery.  The gush of blood knocked the creature off his leg and it tumbled to the ground.

A few seconds later so did Thomas.  The creature stood in front of his face, showing its contempt for him and then said, “Have a nice day, shitpipe.”

With that it walked off and left Thomas to bleed to death.


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Submitted for the February writing challenge, “Baby.”  This story was written in response to the prompt, “It was several seconds before Thomas realized that the baby in the sky was headed straight for him.”

To see more of Will’s writing, check out www.willcouper.com or www.crownwearer.com.