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.

41 thoughts on “Pollywogs

  1. 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!! 😉

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  2. 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

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  3. 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!!

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    1. Somehow I knew sex on the corpse would be the sweet spot for this sick bunch! Thank you, I’m really glad you liked it. It’s also great to be back in the demented swing of things. I think you’re on to something with the Pollywog dolls. Hmmmmmm

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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)

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  6. 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!

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  7. 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

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  8. 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.

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