Not much of his face was left.
And what little of skin and flesh was still there, a crazy naked man chewed delightfully from his bones.
With no regard to the disturbed witnesses around him, the naked man took one bite after another. Savouring, moaning with every moist lick along the cheekbones. Fine threads of muscle stuck between his teeth. His victim—an elderly man out on a late-afternoon walk along the coast—was twitching, but barely conscious. A few by-passers tried to help the old man, just to be threatened by the crazy naked man dining. He clawed at them, gurgled up fresh blood mixed with rotten dark fluids.
When the police finally arrived, it was too late for the old man. He long since accepted his fate.
“Freeze!” They yelled.
Slowly, like he had to force his body to obey his will, the naked man stood up tall. Fighting with gravity, struggling with every step, the naked man turned around, turned to face the policemen. The officers cringed, pulling their faces awkwardly in disgust. All blood dropped from their heads, leaving them pale. As if they’d seen a ghost. Their hearts pounded strong, near-deafening. The naked man’s face was covered in blood and shreds of skin, the skin of the old man’s face. His eyes but two dark holes—his entire body pale and sickly green. His own skin hung loose in different places. Black blood oozed out of several cuts and punctures throughout his chest. Bullet-holes, knife-wounds. One ankle was broken, just being dragged behind like a child would pull a toy-wagon on a string.
“I said, freeze, fucker!” The officer screamed. His grip tightened around his taser.
The naked man was unable to speak with with but a stump of his own tongue hanging out of his mouth—hanging between rotten teeth covered by no lips. He charged the officers. Pulling his useless foot with him, stumbling awkwardly but determined.
Two prongs stuck in his chest. Connected to a wire each, they sent one jolt of high voltage after another into the naked man’s flesh. Every muscle contracted painfully. Skin crawled, his already fuzzy hair stood erected from his skull. A moan. A cry like a wild animal. All for show with little consequence. The taser couldn’t stop the crazy naked man.
Many strangers stood witness. None of them able to help, all but paralyzed by the morbid show. Drawn into the scene as bystanders, silently staring, maybe cringing. Quietly cheering, in an all-too-human way, at the blight and the grotesque.
The officer panicked. Pushing the trigger of the taser over and over, as if it would change the outcome. The crazed man rammed into the officer. They tumbled to the ground. Blood—mostly of the elderly man still dying at the other side of the street—smeared and spilled in every direction.
It took three bullets, the last one to the head, from his partner’s sidearm to stop the naked man just before he could dig his rotten teeth into the policeman’s face. The officer crawled from under the limb body, crawled backwards in disgust. Panicked. Confused. His stomach turned. He gagged. Covered in dark blood, a foul smell in his nose, then his lunch came back up in half-digested chunks surrounded by bile and acid.
His partner kicked the dead naked man over and look at the him. Wrinkling his nose, putting his arm before his mouth to stop the stench of death from entering his breathing. The naked man looked like a cadaver floating in the river for too long. His skin sick and rotten, body bloated by disease, and spongy like the head of a mushroom. Like poison-green algae covering a lakeshore of diarrhoea-esque mud.
He said, “What the hell is that thing?”
His partner still vomited all over the sidewalk, unable to control himself or his throat from tightening and pushing more acid upwards. Somewhere between spitting, gagging and heaving, he said, “I don’t know. Sure glad it’s fucking dead.”