""Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates-the darkest and most evil of thoughts.""
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Truth About Baby Zane

By T.K. Millin    
Based on Vamplit Publishing's Friday Flash Theme: Freaks/sideshow

The torrential downpour on the barren landscape had turned the hillside into a river of mud keeping Zorba’s Traveling Sideshow imprisoned in the only shelter they could find; a cave, and they were not alone. 
Bored, Zelma the bearded girl, set out to explore the vast cave and discover what was making the walls mysteriously glow green.  Following a winding path, she forgot to take notice of where the troupe had camped out.  All she cared about was being the first one to find the aliens whose ship’s lights were making the walls glow or maybe it was some outcast pirates living deep inside the cave.  
Zelma never liked being put on display to show off the facial hair her mother called a gift.  All she’d ever thought about was being an archeologist.  Every night she dreamt the same dream that one day she would make the world’s biggest discovery; but she knew her fate had been sealed the day she was born with a beard. 
She came to a fork in the winding path and paused to decide which way to choose.  To the right was the blackest black she had ever seen; but to the left in the distance was a faint glowing green light, making her decision easy.  
As she approached the mysterious green light it became brighter and brighter causing her to squint as if she were outside on a bright and sunny day.  Hearing a shuffling, she called out.  “Is somebody there?”  
Something slithered across the shining light.  “Snakes!”  She turned to run when a soft giggle stopped her.  She turned and whispered, “Hello?”
A shadow appeared from the left and slowly made its way in front of the bright green light.  Zelma took one step at a time toward the beckoning light and gasped.  “You’re a baby . . . and a snake!” 

The strange being giggled.  
She moved closer toward it, passing by hand written words in blood on the side of the cave’s wall which said, “Beware Baby.”  

Ignoring its blood stained lips and hands, Zelma bent down and picked it up.  “You are so cute.  I can’t wait to show you to Zorba, he will make you part of our family I just know it.”  
After wandering aimlessly past glowing green wall after glowing green wall, Zelma suddenly realized she was lost.  

“Oh no, I don’t know how to get back to my family!”  
The strange being jumped from her grasp and sniffed the air around him.  He pointed to the right and said, “There.”  
“You talk!”  Zelma looked around. “Do you have parents? Who taught you to talk?”  
“I just can.  Follow me.”   He slithered around a corner.
In the distance, Zelma could here her name being called over and over by Zog, the dog boy.  Thinking she should give her discovery a name and only knowing names that started with the letter Z she shouted, “Wait for me!   Baby Zane, the snake boy.”   
A year had gone by since Zelma discovered Baby Zane, the snake boy, and since then he had become the biggest attraction Zorba’s Traveling Sideshow had ever known and it was also the first time in Zelma’s life she wasn’t the main event.  

She delighted in being allowed to visit the local library of each town they traveled to where she read every book she could find on archeology and that is when on a cold winter’s day she uncovered the truth about Baby Zane and realized she made a big mistake when she made the world’s biggest discovery.  She now knew her true fate in life and that time was running out.
Convincing Zog, the dog boy, to join forces with her, Zelma waited until Midnight to put her plan into action for she knew everyone would be tucked snuggly asleep inside their tents, everyone except Baby Zane.   
“Baby Zane, I have your favorite treat.”  She shouted from behind a pair of ice covered shrubs.
He slithered outside of his tent and slid his snake like tongue across his lips.  The fluffy brown mouse dangled from the tips of Zelma's right hand and the glass clutched in her left hand could be only one thing; fresh warm sheep's blood. 

Baby Zane zig zagged his way across the snow, his hunger becoming more intense with every twist and turn, and then suddenly his stump of slimy flesh used to make his way around began to split and the pain made him scream.  “What’s happening to me!”
“Now Zog, now!”  Zelma screamed.
Zog, the dog boy, jumped out from behind the bushes twitching his brown wet nose that gave him his name sake.  He flung his long curly arms in the air and drove the wooden stake straight through Baby Zane’s heart, ending his pain.

Zog tilted his head toward the moon and howled.
“Quiet, you’ll wake everyone!”  
“Sorry Zelma, it’s just I’ve never killed anyone before, but I’ve always dreamt about it.” 
Zelma thought back to when she used to have her recurring dreams of being an archeologist, before she discovered Baby Zane, the snake boy.  Before she realized dreams should remain dreams and that reality is sometimes the best fate life has to offer.  
“You didn’t just kill anyone Zog, you killed Satan’s son.”  
“How do know that was Satan’s son?”
Zelma remembered that cold winter’s day in the library when she found the book about prophecies.  It told of how there would be a child given the gift of being different, a gift that would make her stand out from other children and that one day she would discover the most evil the world has ever known hidden in a green glowing cave and that this child would discover her fate in life.
“I don’t know, I guess my mother was right.  I was born with a gift.”
Total Word Count:  981