March of the Dead. Flash Fiction.

Woo! It’s the weekend!

I’m gonna try to make a loaf of sourdough bread, not entirely sure how it’ll go but fingers crossed!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

___________________________________________________

The crowd was silent as they watched the parade trudge past, occasionally a ripple of whispers moved ahead of the parade as people recognised celebrities, local or otherwise. The rotting corpses moved steadily, looking straight ahead the entire time, giving no indication that they saw or heard the crowd. Despite the various states of decay there was no smell, no rancid, foetid odour wafting from their bodies. Sometimes a parent would cover the eyes of their child as a particularly gruesome corpse walked past, with flayed skin draped over their shoulders like a coat, or spilt tangles of intestines dragging behind them. As people spotted their loved ones they blessed themselves, then said a quick, silent prayer before detaching from the crowd and walking home. Occasionally a corpse would stop suddenly, those around them would keep going, the corpse trembled then shattered into a spray of light, a small gasp rippled through the crowd followed by faint, polite applause. By the time the parade was coming to a close only a few people remained watching the dead on their eternal walk. It would take them a year, give or take a day, before they returned to the city again. Once the street was clear of the dead the cleaners came out, mopping up the gore and fluids the dead had left behind, street cleaners drove up and down the wide roads washing away the bulk of it. As always the bars filled quickly, people drank and shared memories of their loved ones, told each other how well they looked. Others toasted to the absence of relatives, glad that their hundred year march had finally finished and they were free to move on to the next world. Through it all there was a grim undertone, a silent acknowledgement that someday they too would have to undergo the hundred year march. The march had begun centuries before, no one was quite sure how long ago it started, punishment for atrocities committed by humans, so perverse and grotesque that they were wiped from all human memory, the shuffling corpses a reminder that the Gods were watching and that punishment would come to the wicked, no matter their station in life.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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