Andersen Richards didn’t choose for the world to know that a growing epidemic could be cured by eating his flesh. He would have preferred to avoid anyone suffering the poor impulse-control and constant hunger that Ratfanger’s Syndrome brings. But a tweet, of all things, changed everything, “If you want survive, eat @ADick”.
Since the Roger Riots placed Toronto in a state of quarantine, fear of the rising rates of the illness have heightened demand for Andersen to turn himself in. Now he knows his time on the run can’t last much longer.
Blog of Andersen Richards
Do you know what’s bullshit?
Do you know what’s total fucking bullshit?
Those fight scenes in a movie where everyone starts moving so fast. They edit it so it’s like watching a strobe light. One guys makes a move and the other one is blocking it at the same time. You can hardly tell the difference.
The front door flew in while Sam and I were having dinner with David and Laura. It rotated, hit one corner against the ground and flipped into the couch. The frame hurled with it, shattered and spread out. Pieces slashed through that white, featureless room. We all just sat there.
No one even dropped a fork.
Then through the gaping wound that had been their front door walked a black, wild and curly beard. Attached to it was a sloping forehead above a broken grin. All this belonged to a man whose head nearly scraped the door on his way in, his triceps pushed pried at the opening.
Somehow, there was something about a long-haired, shirtless man that still didn’t make me run. Even as he craned his head toward the table, caught my eye. His grin curled in one corner, like a dog when someone reaches for their bone.
Of course, Sam isn’t the idiot I am.
Without taking her eyes off him, she simply grabbed her plate and hurled it at him. Before it hit, she grabbed David’s and hurled that, too. The monster blocked the first as the second broke in his face. Ceramic shrapnel and ground beef flew in front of him while Sam thrust her fork into his side.
It stood in his side. The way it might when thrust into a leather couch.
Apparently she hadn’t thought much further than that. She just stood there and waited for a response.
Maybe when he did respond, when he backhanded her, she didn’t do anything to avoid it because she knew it could be worse. With one sweeping motion, she was lifted off her feet, smacked into the coffee table with old magazines and bits of doorframe.
David had the good sense to get to his feet. Laura pushed herself from the table.
As the monster yanked out the fork and stepped forward, he grabbed the corner of the table furthest from me and threw it into my face, smashing me against the wall. From behind the table, I heard two more sets of feet enter, smacking the tile entry and scurrying over the rug that led to the dining table. David and Laura began to scream. I placed my hands flush against the table and tried to push when it hit me again, my head entering the drywall behind me.
Blood was running into my mouth. Ground beef and gravy set into my hair.
It’s funny how a moment of clarity will come to you when you taste like the dentist office and smell like dinner. My sister had told me about this, about the beard and everything. He was a bounty hunter.
Snapping wood, a chair broke. David and Laura were still struggling.
I pushed the table away, the house tilted and spinning beneath me.
Sam was swinging a solid wood chair, another broken at her feet. The bounty hunter caught the chair and threw it to the ground. He threw a punch, with an arm thicker than a tank-cannon. The only reason she could duck in time was she was so much shorter than he was.
She hooked her left leg behind his knee and thrust her shoulder into his stomach. The giant toppled backwards, onto the sound guy from his film crew as he was trying to pin Laura.
“Dick!” Sam shouted.
I grabbed the chair she’d dropped, raised it over my head and brought it down on his face.
But he caught that, too. One-handed. With a solid grip took control and jabbed the legs into my stomach.
One arm out, Sam swept across the bar of the kitchenette, raining down a blender, a vase, a toaster oven. Not enough to hurt him, but enough to get him to drop the chair.
Sam grabbed it up, swung it just as I did and brought it down at his stomach. He kicked the legs out from under her before she finished. As she fell he kicked her again into the couch. His hand wrapped around me, from the ankle to just below the knee, yanked hard and threw me into the counter.
“Fuck!” he growled as he pulled himself up. “Are you filming this?” He grabbed me by the balls and the shoulder with my old bullet graze, tossed me into the guest bathroom door. As I soared, I could see clearly a man standing beneath a large camera, watching me fly like a clay pigeon.
In that moment I didn’t know much. I couldn’t hear David and Laura struggling anymore. I wasn’t sure how many people were in the room. I could hear Sam groaning as she tried to get to her feet. All I knew was this was it for me.
And it was about to be it for Sam, too.
Shadows swung across the walls. The bounty hunter had ripped the cheap chandelier from the ceiling over the dining table, yanking the electrical cord out of the wall. His feet wide apart, a few fork-hole weeping from his side, his grin renewed.
Sam was steadying herself, ready to pounce. But she felt worse than I did. “Go,” I told her. She shook her head.
“This is it, Richards,” the bounty hunter said. I gave a look to the entry way, the camera man blocking it, still fixed on me. The sound guy and some other piece of shit had David and Laura pinned, covering their mouths.
“Do you know where to meet me?” I said to her.
Sam shook her head. “I’m not leaving you.”
Rocking back and forth, the chandelier began to spin in a full circle at the bounty hunter’s side, “This is it, Richards. No more running.”
So I charged. He swung the chandelier into me. The metal frame hurt but the bulbs shattered and dug into me like fishhooks. The chains which held it to the wall began to twist about me, just beneath the shoulders. And the lights went off.
“What the fuck?” I heard someone say.
The bounty hunter wrapped his arm around me and crushed me into his sweaty, bare-chest.
A flood light from the camera was all that remained, but it suddenly sunk six feet and the plastic split open. The cameraman shouted, then sound cut off from his throat. Total darkness followed.
I figure Sam had made a run to the circuit breakers. But I never really knew for certain.
“I’m sorry,” I heard her say in front of me. The monster stumbled into me, then came the sound of reverberating metal. His mountainous arm loosened. I didn’t even realize I was being held off the floor until I dropped. She was hitting him with a floor lamp. I know because I felt the rim smack the top of my head.
I shook loose the chains, shouting for Sam to run.
The second I knew she had, I did, too.
She went out the back. I went out the front.
It took me thirty minutes to run to a spot ten minutes away. I ran through yards, over fences, parking lots, anything I could do to put as much distance between me and the bounty hunter. Once I knew there was no way I could be followed, I ran back to the trailhead where Sam has been taking me for night-walks.
After all, this wasn’t a total surprise. We do periodically talk about where to meet if we ever need to. I park the Bronco a mile away from David and Laura’s. I never pick her up directly outside where she works. We’re careful, we’re safe.
The night came and went without a sign of the bounty hunter, cops, anyone. I stayed in the woods, just beyond where anyone would happen to see me. I sat there, waiting and thinking about how my last post, the one I posted Tuesday or Wednesday, had been from David’s computer. I thought about how easy it must have been to find the IP address and track me down.
I thought about how much better life had been in the Bronco, on that dark and lonely cul-de-sac, with Eartha Cat to keep me company.
I thought about how cold it was.
Then, when the sun rose, I thought about Sam and how she never made it.