Magpie Tales 68
She pressed the thread between her talons, humming under her breath. The sound was eerie but pleasant, like a lullaby carried over a great distance. She drove her hooked nail into the weather-beaten flesh. This cadaver was as tough as old leather but surprisingly fresh. She didn’t enjoy the act of decimating but the art of creating a vessel for new life. “Pfft such a troublesome corpse…” She muttered tersely, she received only a gurgle in response. “Now don’t go mouthing off…you’ll mess up the stitches…” She reprimanded sharply wagging her index finger and then running that same bony digit over the rigidly stitched pout. She squinted her nearly pupiless eyes at the man grumbling to herself for a minute then shrugging. “Brains have turned sour by now…just mush…” She insisted, the single milky white eye of the man beneath her looked on frozen in muted horror. The other had fallen out, curiously unattached to the optic nerve, an exquisite state of blue. There it sat watching, sagging under its own weight.
His lips stung from rows of tight little perforations. The punctures were wedged open with flexible little wires that tore a little with every visceral exhale. His mouth was stitched closed. Screams rose in his parched throat but no words formed only incoherent murmurs. Not even a vocalization really but an internal vibration, like a primitive growl. His heart seemed to burrow down into his entrails tangling there, blood and offal simultaneously pumping. He felt the thick soup rising and lumping in his throat like coagulated blood. His body sobbed with his breath, each suspended before completion. His ears thundered with coils of snapping heat. He couldn’t move, his muscles erupted in spasms, electric waves of wrenching pain as if the sinew were being ripped free of his aching bones. His back suffered especially as though nails had been driven beneath the scapulae. The metal pins he reasoned must have torn open the ripe red flesh and released a flood of lactic acid. His oxygen seemed halted by a vice drawing his rib cage inward. Metallic edges digging into the tender space between the intercoastals, of course none of this was the case but such was the vividness of his torment. He only shuddered but inside his body erupted. He narrowed his eye drawing his attention to the solitary light drifting above him. The light sliced at the back of the filmy orb, shadows swathed the periphery and in the center prisms of color. The wafting palate was mesmerizing like the oranges and reds behind pressed lashes. The light was beautiful and he prayed to every power to be absorbed, to break down into the sunsets and sunrises he gazed upon as a child. He vomited in his mouth; gravity carried the bile down but for several moments he felt the panic of drowning. The desperation of his weakened peristalsis, waves of black terror.
He tried to move, moments passed maybe days and all the while the incessant scraping of nails over moist chasms in his flesh continued uninterrupted. Pricking, pricking each surgical pass was lightening fast so he couldn’t distinguish one prick from the next there was only the rolling waves of searing pain. “Not dead!” He screamed in his mind, his lips shuddered, released only metallic dust. “Your right fresh…full of sticky fluids…looks like we’ll have to bleed you and remove the thingies inside…” She crinkled her delicate nose. “Stink of blood you do…I prefer the smell of those dusty bags of bones myself…” She said hitching a razor-edged thumb to a modestly dressed skeleton. The skeleton paced the room absently but at finding itself the center of attention it turned around, empty sockets fixed. “Mind your own…” The demon girl hissed and the skeleton turned slowly back around, drawing its clavicles up in a shrug. The cadaverous imposter felt the press of nails on his cheek and his head turned. “Much less mess…just needs enchantments but I take care of the zombies…the zombies are my friends…don’t talk much I like that…” She said emphasizing her point by tapping his chest. “Don’t even know you’re dead…” She clenched her hand around his wrist. “Tick tock no pulse you see…” She dropped his arm back to the table, it rolled over the edge, hanging at an odd angle. “Not dead! No zombie!” He screamed in his mind; he whispered out loud, “Now we open you up…” She said lifting a mallet and a metal spike…don’t worry corpsie no pain…”