Wanting To Be Loved
by Barry Smythe
The Doctor’s foot rested on the shovel. The Wellingtons were heavy and clogged. They laboured their way to the car boot. Now he was wrestling with the huge bundle. Cursing his mistake – his folly – years of research now wasted. It had come to this. He’d been warned but refused to listen. Too heavy to carry. Have to drag.
Thwump! It lay face up in its last resting place. The eyes reflecting off the headlights, glassy and staring. A discarded doll at the bottom of a toy box. It had once been somebody’s favourite. Now replaced, up-graded by new research, new grants. No loyalty here!
The spade came down with a slash! – cutting the bag of builders lime. It was beginning to work already. The fine drizzle reacting. Bubbles forming on the face. The creatures mouth open with its last fixed grin.
Back in with the mud. Must hurry now.
The first rim of daylight was appearing as the sky lit up with lightning flashes. A storm brewing.
Clearing up now. Paring off the mud. Then back to the car. Ignition on; the motor turned over.
It wasn’t going to fire. He tried again.
The explosion was immense. He covered his face in reflex as fork lightning zig-zagged into the mound – his tomb – the final resting place of his creation.
As if on cue, reminiscent of an old horror movie, it opened its eyes for the first time.
At that precise moment the headlights died.
It twitched into life. Moving its arms only to find them smothered – trapped. The Monster trying to free itself; whining, moaning, pushing itself upwards, until – a fist punched through the earth.
On its feet now, swaying, unsteady. Its face lit up with bright lightning, momentarily flickering, showing the crude surgical joins of basic stitching around the forehead and neck.
Moving to the car, the fingers flexed for the first time since birth. Like worms sprouting from stitched-on hands – hooking themselves into claws and coming nearer and nearer.
The Doctor trying to get out. Frantic – panicking.
The beast grinned at him through the windscreen. It stood in front, silhouetted by lightning.
He sat back, beginning to accept his fate. Now quiet. Motionless. His face a tortured mask. Mouth open like a dead carp. White knuckled hands gripping the steering wheel.
It lunged at him – the windscreen glass disintegrating amongst high-pitched screams. The car rocked violently, back and forth. Then, silence, only broken by satisfied grunts.
The Doctor’s head was in its hands. It held the decapitation and tenderly kissed the lips. Then it was tossed away.
It looked up into the early morning sky, to the lights of a distant town, feeling good, feeling alive, wanting to be loved.
It turned in the direction of that sleeping community, then began to walk. Unsteady, clumsy, one lead boot in front of the other – but relentless.
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.