Beast of the Belly
You must login to vote
by Richard Dani
Roger was on guard duty when a boy, who was about 15 years old, ran up to him with a wound in his stomach. The teenager’s clothing was dyed red, his hair was matted with sweat and his eyes were stretched wide. Roger laid the boy on the ground. He then ripped the shirt open and stared into the bloody hole that was located just above the boy’s navel. The wound was one inch wide with jagged edges. The creature had clawed its way in and was probably making a home near the child’s intestines.
The boy was pale and frightened—probably more of Roger than the beast in his belly. “I’m alright. I think it just bit me and took off,” he claimed. However, when the guard jammed his index finger deep into the hole, he felt the monster’s pointy outer shell. And when Roger scratched it, he felt the little vermin skitter away.
The situation was desperate. The fiend had clawed through his flesh and muscle to nuzzle close to his bowels. There, it would live off the child’s feces until his life had expired. Roger explained this to the boy as well as the damage that the thing would impart on his other organs. He didn’t have to mention the poisonous qualities of the creature’s saliva for everyone at the complex had heard the horror stories. Their spit, while slow to act, caused such excruciating pain that some of the inflicted had tried to remove the monsters with their own bare hands.
“I have to cut it out,” Roger said, “and I have to do it now.”
The boy read the seriousness on Roger’s face and saw that he had already unsheathed his knife. The boy nodded his agreement and swallowed hard. With speed and precision, Roger made a deep horizontal slash from hip to hip and pulled the boy’s belly wide open. Inside, the beast had been busy. The teenager’s large intestine had been punctured and his shit was already leaking out. Then Roger spotted the turtle-like beast. Its shell had long thorns jutting from its surface and the monster’s front paws were adorned with sharp talons. The pointy gray thing was trying to burrow deeper into the child’s stomach cavity, but the guard was too fast. He grabbed it with his bare hands and ignored the small incisions that it’s shell inflicted on his palm. Roger wretched the monster out and threw it to the ground. Before it could right itself, he crushed it beneath the heel of his boot causing a thick brown sludge to defile the soil.
With time running low, he turned back to the boy and pushed his corded bowels back into place. The child’s eyes had rolled back in their sockets and his body shined with sweat. The boy was bleeding to death and the poison was starting to act. Of this, Roger had no doubt and he decided against suturing the teenager’s belly. Instead, he stood and removed his pistol from its holster. The guard, with a shaky hand, fired directly into the boy’s head and the suffering had ended.
Roger collapsed onto the ground and allowed the guilt to slice through him. While it had been a long shot, more than a few of his comrades had performed that surgery successfully. Roger knew that the trick was to be fast—to cut, capture and stitch before the patient had the time to bleed to death. It could be done just not by him. This was his third attempt and he was discouraged that it was also his third failure.
“Fuck,” he cursed knowing the odds of a transfer were getting slimmer by the minute.
If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.