Sunday, July 26, 2009

Late in July it Meanders Through the City

by Kevin Shamel

The street was a sticky trap laid down between buildings—oil-smelling dinosaur tar speckled with pebbles to keep it from running off the edge of the city. It crept along flypapery and sinister, slow and hot.

The asphalt grabbed at him as he crossed, bubbling under his feet, burning his soles. Cars sang by in low tones, too fast for the street’s grip.

He stopped to light a smoke beyond the cool shadow of a building, straight in the sun’s conspicuous face. Two steps back and he’d have been safe, but he alit too far from the solidity of shade.

The street splashed up and took him in the time it took to strike a flame. A mean wave of asphalt snatched him around the waist and pulled—a huge black frog tongue—and he a fly.

It took seconds for the street to eat him. He told himself, I knew this was going to happen. He remembered scenes from several movies—or maybe parts of his life. He revisited his last seven loves. He recalled definitions of words like oblivion, xanthocroi, and quagmire, an address of someone long-lost among the streets of his life, and most of the lyrics to “Big Balls” by ACDC.

His hands were the last to disappear under the tacky surface. They flopped and twitched at the sticky hide of their captor. Soon they too were swallowed.

Bubbles on the surface of the street smoothed themselves back to blackness.


Waves of heat fumed from the street as she crossed. The asphalt sucked at her feet—curling around her shoes and slowing her to a confused trudge. Metallic colors of a dark rainbow swirled before her.

The street tugged at her ankles. It bit at her calves, her knees and higher—reaching for the silent scream driven from her lips.


Kevin Shamel lives in an old haunted house in the Pacific Northwest with his family. You can find links to more of his writing at Look for his first novel coming soon from the New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press.


Rachel Green said...

Beautifully creepy!

Jodi Lee (Morrighan) said...

I always knew that black top was evil. o_O

Kevin Shamel said...

Thank you for the comments! And thanks for reading.

Michael Stone said...

Powerful imaginstaion at work!

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