First off: NSFW a bit.
Cheating is wrong. It appears that, by picking a second set of random numbers, I cheated. So, back to the first set. I misread the list, and thought it was the tropics when it was actually Limbo. SO ANYWAY, here, a non-cheating flash fiction post.
I will say this. Horror’s not my thing, and post-apocalyptic anything makes me gag. I put a spin to it so I could get through it. Post-Apocalyptic Horror, Limbo, featuring a Vigilante. 972 words.
Danced to Death
Einstein said he didn’t know with what weapons World War 3 would be fought. Well, WW3 was fought over the Internet, with kitties playing piano and rock opera montages. When Disney’s electro-sorcerers called down lightning on Bollywood server farms, nobody was that surprised. Now Kate stood at the brink of World War 4, and aside from the small group of educated observers, nobody would ever know they were at war.
The overgrown parking lot left plenty of space for the thirteen warriors, seven judges, and eight pole men. Seven large speakers were set up in a wide circle, with bleachers in between. At the center of each space, a judge stood behind digital camera on a tripod. A single, dented mic was aimed at a small radio/cassette deck’s built-in speaker.
Byron, DJ of Electro, glared at Kate across the open battlefield. Twelve thin girls and scrawny boys in skintight web nets stood behind him. Kate, in a molecule-thin motion capture suit of her own, stood alone across the field.
After a full twelve seconds of silence, during which the cameras panned and zoomed and set the scene, Byron finally spoke. His web net captured his voice, and it boomed from the speakers. “Kate, fugitive, sometime DJ of the Rebel Nation of Rock, I, Byron, DJ of Electro, challenge you to a contest. The prize is the complete, immediate rule of the world. The followers of the loser will surrender themselves to the nearest school for immediate return to the Web World of the winner. Do you accept?”
Accept, or forfeit and die. “Yes,” Kate said, her low, gravelly voice a surprising counterpoint to her emaciated body. “In what battle shall we fight?”
Byron laughed. “As if you don’t know. In the spirit of your own rebellion, your Dance Revolution, I challenge you to a dance-a-thon…”
Well, perhaps this wouldn’t be the end of civilization after all.
“…a Limbo Rock dance-a-thon.”
Aw hell. That song was banned in both worlds! Where had Byron found a copy?
The eight pole men stood in two rows, facing each other. None of them could touch any of the warriors without dropping the web net connection point they held. The woven mesh held taut at a carefully practiced angle was far more challenging, and harder to beat than a bamboo pole. Kate stared as the pole men lowered the web net to shoulder-height.
Byron walked slowly to the radio/cassette player. “You, Kate, must do the Limbo, under the web net. If you succeed, then my warriors have their chance. Should you successfully Limbo better than my twelve, you will face me—and winner takes all.” He reached out with a single un-netted finger and pushed play.
“..this is DJ Bill Ray, coming to you from the beaches of Cancun…” Oh, that’s where he’d gotten it. Recorded from the radio, and part of Byron’s personal stash. Of course. “It’s time for that weekly contest! How low can YOU go! Give us a call!” And the music started.
Kate put her arms out and her head back, and walked slowly under the net, never touching it. When she reached the other side, she stepped out of the way, and Byron’s twelve went under all at once. The pole men lowered the net two inches. Kate limboed again. Again, Byron’s twelve went. This time, the tallest boy brushed the web net.
It crackled. Power flowed through the short circuit he’d made, into his body. Electrified, he died where he stood, cooked in his own web net suit. Eventually, gravity won, and his body dropped to the ground, steaming.
Kate passed him carefully.
Next round, two more boys and a girl fried.
Five more rounds played. Five times Byron rewound the tape. Five times callers who were long dead tried to beat the DJ’s low voice. Five more of Byron’s warriors died in their tracks.
The ground was becoming dangerous, now. Three thin, short girls were left, and Kate was getting tired. The net was at crotch level. Kate calculated the position of each body before she took a step. Two girls fell when a pole man sneezed—the web didn’t move, but they jumped at the surprise, and died.
Knee level, now. Kate bunched up the loose coils of her web net in one hand to keep them from dragging on the ground and ending the war right there. She made it through. The girl didn’t.
“Interrupt,” one of the judges called. “The bodies are too high to lower the net.”
Byron sighed. “Fine. Observers, clear the field.”
Seven groups of observers swarmed the field. The pole men raised the net high over their heads, and each group of observers grabbed a body and carried it away. When they got their prizes back to the bleachers, they ripped the bodies apart. After a little commotion, each observer chewed on a leg, arm, rib, or head as they watched the final round.
Kate didn’t let herself get sick. She couldn’t. Back down went the net, down to a mere eight inches from the ground. Under Kate went, slowly, carefully, successfully.
Under Byron went, more slowly than Kate, more carefully.
Kate struck, smoothing her voice. The gravel dropped out, leaving a deep, rich, honeyed, temptress’s voice. “How many girls are waiting for you back home, Byron? Real, live girls, willing and able and well-endowed… Maybe you don’t like girls. How many boys are waiting for you? Maybe they’re not even netted. Maybe they’re off the grid, naked boys and girls in a secret room in your farm, waiting eagerly for their great DJ to return. They’ll strip the netting off you, oh so slowly, and then…”
It worked. Eight inches of space to live in. Byron’s six inches of hip plus six inches of lust were four inches too many. Kate won.