For the best part of the last half an hour, Matt Johnson of KLF Local News and his film crew had been broadcasting coverage of the amazing aftermath of events that occurred in the home of George and Lillian Carpenter, perhaps something like two hours previously—during which George called in the police, thus starting the whole domino effect. Matt was a tough customer, called a spade a spade, and never hesitated getting down to the brass tacks of the news he reported on in the local Cumbria community. In his time, he had been nominated for many reporting awards. Yet, up until now won none, which sickened his stomach, but made him ever the more eager for that one big story—and recognition in the media. Matt dreamed of that big contract with the BBC or Sky News.
He was a young buck who took no prisoners and prized himself on his bluntness and getting straight to the point in on-the-spot interviews. However much of a riddle newsworthy events’ turned out, Matt was certain to get to the very bottom of them.
He spotted George Carpenter emerge from the front door of his Whitehaven home flanked by two constables, so decided it was time to pounce—make his move. He rushed across the neatly-trimmed front lawn with his cameraman in town and wasted no time in ramming his microphone straight under George Carpenter’s nose, who appeared actually relieved to be accosted by the in-depth reporter and his team.
Matt said, “George Carpenter, what exactly occurred here tonight? We understand there are strange events afoot concerning your wife, whom, as it has been reported, has quickly been rushed by ambulance and police escort to West Cumberland Hospital with suspected pneumonia…and yet we also understand—and this is why the media is currently been driven wild with expectation—her lungs, kidneys and even her heart, have seized up. Yet, she seems utterly unawares of her current physical condition, that her body is resolutely dead, but continues to operate like somebody completely alive. Can you elaborate on this intriguing state of affair for our viewers, sir?”
The policemen stopped and allowed George to speak before bundling him into their squad car, since there were many questions to answer at the station. But all parties concerned suspected there was no foul play involved tonight. It seemed to everyone it was just a bizarre freak of nature—a strange Act of God, perhaps? It baffled the scientific community as they woke in the early hours to the news of Lillian Carpenter, rendering most geeks and boffins confused, as global media companies inundated them with phone-calls and emails.
Bad news travelled fast, or it seemed that way certainly.
George said with a brave face, “There was an intruder in my house, in my kitchen, as my wife and I were in the bedroom trying to sleep, so I told her I had better go and investigate, and that if there was anybody there in the kitchen, no matter how intimidating or nasty—or murderous—they were, and that she needn’t worry, as I was a bigger man than them and I’d see them off. After all, I am a qualified 7th Dan green belt in Karate, and I even know some Judo…”
Matt said, “Did you discover the intruder, Mr Carpenter? I mean, was there a scuffle, a conflict or confrontation, between yourself and this rumbled potential thug, any violence?”
“He was a big black guy…a big nigger…who escaped through the back door and made a run for it as I entered the kitchen, when he shouted back at me “I’ll be back to get you next time, honky!” in a thick Birmingham accent. Admittedly, yes, I was unnerved, but I knew my wife was alone, so my priority was keeping Lillian safe.”
“There was no mention of a black man in the police report.”
George looked angered, “Are you calling me a liar? I tell you, he was black, big, muscular, angry…and as he ran away, he was shouting things about the Government, how he was going to plant a bomb under Parliament and blast everybody inside into space and oblivion!”
“Are you making this up, Mr Carpenter? KLF News isn’t a soap-box for your racist rants!”
Adamant, the man said, “I tell it like it is, that’s all. You and your pansy media set-up just can’t handle the fucking blind truth.”
Matt Johnson peered at the cameraman, “Cut the cursing, Mike…” and turned back to George.
George appealed, “Why would I lie? My wife is severely ill in hospital. She might even die.”
Matt laughed, “That’s just it, sir. Apparently—technically—she is dead as we speak, yet somehow fully functioning as per normal. The phenomena has the vast majority of the scientific community up in arms, they are utterly baffled. She’s a zombie!”
“Tell me, sir…how did you first notice something wasn’t right with your wife? I mean, before you decided to call the authorities?”
Pissed off, George inhaled deeply, and then slowly exhaled. He paused in an attempt to somehow compose himself.
He said, “We were lying in bed together. We had been making love…you know…fucking, like married couples do, nothing wrong there. But we took a break, and after a little while, I noticed she looked a bit off-colour. Still in sexy mood, I put my hand down her knickers, and then slipped my fingers into her cunt…”
Transfixed, Matt egged him on, “Yes…and what next?”
“…It felt cold…icy cold…her pussy, just damp and cold, like dipping your fingers into a can of mushy peas that’s stood for too long in the freezer. Plus, she wasn’t responding when I attempted time after time to wake her up, even when I raised my voice and shouted, until I started screaming, not because I was scared…well, I was scared, yes…but I was only scared for Lillian, in case my wife was dead. And then I realized she was not even breathing. She opened her eyes and her eyes were like Luther’s eyes, yellow, glowing, demonic…”
“Who is Luther? Is that the intruder’s name? I thought he ran away into the night.”
“Luther…Luther, the cat, our cat, a domestic pet.”
Nervously, Matt Johnson turned to look back into the camera, much to George Carpenter’s chagrin. For George, it seemed the camera-angle was more important than interviewing the most important person here—him!
Matt turned back to him. He looked like he was going to laugh, since the interview had taken some amusing detour. He said, “Your cat’s eyes were yellow? Like those of your wife? Are you serious?”
“I saw my wife’s eyes and I saw Luther’s eyes and they were both yellow!”
Feigning to look around the front lawn and garden, Matt teased, “I don’t see any cats around here? Tell me, when you put your fingers inside that cold pussy, did you suddenly want to put your dick in and screw something similar to good old Eskimo pussy?”
The two policemen laughed along with Matt and the cameraman. For these guys, events had taken some kind of darkly hilarious turn.
Matt turned to the camera, “Edit those last remarks out, Mike.” He turned back to George, resting his hand on his shoulder, adding, “I suggest you go to the station and file your report, and then get some sleep. We all need sleep right now, even filthy hacks like me seeking exploitation and brownie points in whatever corners they dwell…” He glanced back at the camera, “…Matt Johnson, KLF News, signing off…enjoy the rest of the day, folks, until next time!”
And that was a wrap…


Carter Ward—Space Rat by Gregory KH Bryant.


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