The Monster Man

The monster was shaped like a man. Its chitinous skin turned knives, deflected bullets. Its terrible strength hurled people against walls with bone-breaking force, ripped limbs from sockets, sheared its human teeth through muscle and bone and swallowed. It killed and ate indiscriminately. The terror brought martial law down on the city. The city protested, and the government fought its people more than its declared enemy.


In an abandoned train tunnel, a man lay naked in a pool of sweat. He vomited something pinkish red. Sick, moaning, he picked the splintered bone of a human finger from his emesis. Struggling to his feet, he threw the bone and screamed, and slipped to the wet concrete. Disjointed memories struck him: breaking a soldier’s leg bare-handed; stomping a woman’s head against pavement; biting through a child’s hand and swallowing.

Tears mixed with the bloody vomit. Tucking his knees to his chest, he sobbed without rest. Finally drained of tears, he lifted his dispenser: half empty. He lifted his arm to hurl it, shatter it, but couldn’t. Weeping again, he took his dose and waited for his skin to harden, his muscles to tighten, and for the monster to rescue him.