Pollywogs

There were so many dead, the fire pits had been decommissioned. Now they just loaded the bodies on commandeered cruise ships and dumped them in the ocean. I heard that hordes of seagulls, bloated and flying erratically from the never-ending feast, would descend on the floating corpses like flies. If you vomited on deck, they’d eat that, too.

I wasn’t sure if I preferred to be one of the living or the dead on those ships that stank like an open grave in the summer sun. On account of my asthma, it was a good bet I’d never get assigned corpse duty.

“Jeremy, where did you go to now?”

Destiny snapped her black lace-gloved fingers in my face.

“Sorry. I spaced.”

“I figured.” She smiled with purple tinted lips, the corners of her eyes crinkling. Her hot pink hair caught the last filaments of the moon before it tucked itself behind a black, roiling cloud. I remembered when the skies were black with smoke for months on end, until the government realized they had destroyed an entire growing season and had to scale back the fires.

“You want to tell me why we’re here again?” I said. I did a three-sixty scan of the graveyard. A majority of the tombstones were crooked, many of them shattered by vandals. The vegetation had been left to go feral, the grass coming up to our hips. Critters large and small skulked in the weeds.

“So I can be with you forever,” she said, pouting for added effect. I was a geek, she was the hottest girl in my school, at least back when there was a school. Who was I to say no? Plus, there were less and less fish in the sea to choose from for us both.

Well, the sea was teeming with fish because of all the human nutrients we’d been dumping in it, but you get my point.

No one, except the Crazies, ate fish anymore, by the way. The rest of us would rather starve – and many have.

I sighed, taking off my glasses to clean them with the end of my shirt. Destiny gingerly put them back on for me and lit a kiss on my thin, dry lips.

“There’s no proof that it will work,” I said. “You ever hear of an urban legend? I’m pretty sure this qualifies.”

She shook her head. “You’re wrong. I’ve been reading a lot about it. Couples in eastern Europe have been doing it and surviving.”

A blood curdling shriek echoed over the untended cemetery hills. Destiny pressed herself to my back. I could feel the heat of her breath on my neck.

“The internet is practically dead. Whatever’s on there is just Crazies talking crazy shit,” I said.

“But what if they’re right? I mean, it’s not like it can hurt.”

The shriek was met by an angry growl, this time from the other end of the cemetery. We wouldn’t be going home tonight.

“Come on, I picked out a safe one the other day.” Destiny grabbed my hand, leading me to a small, marble mausoleum. She bent by the iron and glass door, taking a pin and paperclip from her pocket. The lock clicked open and she rushed us inside.

Another cry, this one human, made my blood run cold.

There was little room to move Inside the crypt. There was a folding chair, a vase with dried flowers attached to the back wall underneath a stained glass window, and a plastic bag on the floor.

The most glaring aspect of the tiny death house was that the wall had been chipped away. Bits of grit and marble were everywhere.

“Did you do this?” I asked.

She averted her eyes, a clear admission.

Shit, she’s becoming one of the Crazies.

I clicked on my pen light, saw the coffin that had been wedged into the wall space.

“Destiny,” I sighed. “No.”

“But you have to!” she cried, balling my shirt in her fists. “It’s all easy for you because you know they’ll never touch you! Don’t you want the same for me?”

It was true, but she never understood that I wasn’t too keen on being the last of a dying race.

When the Pollywogs first started pouring out of Mt. Saint Helens, our nation’s embryonic inertia of fear was counteracted by a bloody show of extreme violence. We hit them with everything our military could stuff into a gun or rocket launcher. The Pollywogs, gray skinned creatures twice the size of a man with tapering tails and sperm-like heads with button black eyes, were faster and more resilient than anyone could predict. They were also regenerative. Blow off their legs, and they grew back within hours. Set them on fire and they would secrete a flame-dousing jelly from their pores. Hack them into pieces, and each piece is reborn into a hungry Pollywog.

You absolutely did not want to do that.

While the west coast became a food source for the beasts, the earthquake under Manhattan split the fault line wide enough for the east coast Pollywogs to run free. The hordes met in the center of the country, devouring people like they were Tic Tacs. The same scene happened in every country around the transforming world. I guess the center of the earth wanted some time in the sun.

I shouldn’t say they ate people. Actually, they only preferred their lungs. Healthy lungs. Not lungs like mine. Rapidly, mankind was being whittled down to the weak and the lame.

Destiny tugged at the coffin handle. “Help me get this down and fuck me inside.”

Her eyes were manic, desperate. I knew she didn’t want to be with me forever. She just didn’t want to die. Even now, being asked to have sex with her amidst the rot and ruin of a years old corpse, I couldn’t simply say no.

The coffin crashed onto its side, the latch springing open. The jerkeyed body smelled surprisingly like moldering apples. Shrugging out of her skirt, Destiny wedged herself inside the askew coffin, laying atop its resident. The cries of the Pollywogs were a chorus of hunger.

“Please, Jeremey, please fuck me.”

The legend had it that if you fucked a Craplung, someone like me, atop a corpse, and became impregnated, the Pollywogs would do everything in their power to avoid you. Something about the scent of death and growing a Craplung in your womb. It made no sense and I wondered what Crazy invented it.

Desperate times were fertile ground for insane conjectures.

Seeing Destiny spread her stockinged legs, revealing the brown matchstick legs of the corpse beneath her. I decided it was no use fighting.

Becoming a Crazy or having your lungs devoured by a Pollywog, they were both death in different clothes.

~ Hunter Shea

© Copyright 2013 Hunter Shea. All Rights Reserved.

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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. His novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre , Sinister Entity, Hell Hole, The Waiting and Island of the Forbidden are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. Hell Hole was named Horror Novel Reviews #1 horror novel of 2014. His first thriller novel, The Montauk Monster, was released June, 2014 as a Pinnacle paperback, and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best reads of the summer. His follow up Pinnacle novel, Tortures of the Damned, a post apocalyptic thriller, will be out July, 2015. That will be followed up by his latest cryptid tale, The Dover Demon, in the fall through Samhain. His horror short story collection, Asylum Scrawls, is available as an e-book, straightjacket not included. Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. A copy of his book, The Montauk Monster, is currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME. He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years. Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

41 responses to “Pollywogs”

  1. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    Pollywog me and call me Mamma! So, being a non smoker do I simply get consumed, or is there a chance of being assimilated into the ranks for having good lungs? Sort of a reward for good behavior (plus I think I already qualify as Crazy)?? Not that I’m against having sex on a corpse, because… well, you have to try everything once, right? But assimilation sounds like the better option. Oh, to be a sperm-headed Pollywog! A girl can dream… LOL

    Great tale, Hunter! I love that you went completely left field on your post apocalyptic twist. Volcanic eruptions, the earth splitting in two, wide-scale global catastrophe, plus the emergence of an unknown race taking over and devouring mankind. You are one sick pup! Gotta be Damned to be that twisted! This is a film I would pay to see!! 😉

    Like

  2. blazemcrob says :

    This is one twisted tale, Hunter! But it’s a good kind of twisted. What gets to me is that I can actually envision something like this happening. Your story seems . . . well, it seems real. Unlike Nina, my lungs are bad. I’m safe. I’m ready for some of that mausoleum sex now!

    Blaze

    Like

  3. Joseph Pinto says :

    Hey Hunter, I loved POLLYWOGS!! First off, you had me with sex in a coffin…not with you, of course, but…oh you know what the hell I mean! Second, can we please look into producing a Damned POLLYWOG plush doll, I mean, the marketing aspects of this is endless! lol

    Seriously though, I really enjoyed the fresh concept of your apocalyptic vision and yes, you are right: the hell with the strong surviving, bring on the weak! As i read this, I looked nervously at my own asthma inhaler…wondering…

    Great tale, my friend! Good to have you back in the Damned fold!!

    Like

  4. Thomas Brown says :

    Love it! The world, the tone, the death by Pollywog… Your imagination knows no bounds, Hunter! At once characterful B-Movie and gravely dystopian, the story draws the reader in from the first line and holds them enthralled through the short account of the Pollywog apocalypse.

    Like

  5. Sue says :

    Feel like a nice Young Adult read – almost – you going to make a novel of this, you could. Love the world building as they say – great legend – I could have read more (and anyway I’m a craplung so am safe)

    Like

  6. moondustwriter says :

    gosh we really are a damned bunch – pollywog dollls, sex in a coffin, eating healthy lungs.
    Hunter you created an excellent, horrific avalanche. I am in agreement its great to have you back!

    Like

  7. Tyr Kieran says :

    Hunter, I love your demented creativity as always! I like this tale for too many reasons to list here. The contrast of the innately cute and cuddly name Pollywog to the vicious and monstrous creatures they really are, is fantastic. There was a fun misdirection in the beginning, the ships of corpses and the thriving seagulls and sea-life lead me to think it was going to be a Zombie Apoc tale. And the anti-survival-of-the-fittest element was brilliant! It’s Damned good to have you back, my friend!

    Like

  8. zkullis says :

    Hunter, there were so many parts of this story where I found myself thinking “man, that’s one hell of an idea!” I agree with much of what has already been said. Survival of the fittest – how do we define who and what is the fittest or strongest anyway? Isn’t it subjective? Screw our preconceived notions of how shit works and bring on something else!

    I liked all of the unexpected. Killer story

    Like

  9. eanash says :

    Clever story. Some good imagery. I liked ‘lit a kiss’ and the ‘revealing of the brown matchstick legs’.

    Like

  10. jazzbumpa says :

    As a non-smoking trombone player, I have above quality lungs
    For me, this is a very sad story, indeed.
    [sigh]
    JzB

    Like

  11. Dan Dillard says :

    Destiny sounds hot! Is it still necrophilia if you’re just doing it on top of a corpse? Freaky weird tale, like a nightmare I wanted to have but never did. Well done!

    Like

  12. Daemonwulf says :

    Hunter, my apologies for being late to the…er…Pollywog party. But…what an engrossing piece. I very much appreciate a good End of Times piece, especially when the apocalyptic take is fresh and unique. Pollywogs, indeed! Necrophilic three ways (by geographic location), ingenious! And getting ridding of those do-good health freaks, stupendous! But, in all seriousness (*serious face*) this was a wonderful read. But then, I expect no less from the twisted mind of the talented Hunter Shea.

    Like

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