| The Leg
By David Anderson
His mind was tilting on madness; the last thing he remembered was his lover’s husband brandishing a
gun in front of him taunting him that he had “killed the bitch”. At first when he turned around to face that
familiar voice calling his name, he didn’t know it was a gun. It wasn’t until the sun that shone through the
window of the Landers’ Mall was behind the assaulter that he knew it was one. The sun rimmed the silver
and playing in the second took away the severity of the thing. He gulped, feeling an intrusion – invented by
his mind – in his throat.
The husband had driven him out to the Mojave Desert to die; leaving him a couple of bottles of water
and a portable radio transmitter as a joke.
Now six hours in, the sun hung over the desert; skewering his eyeballs like hot pokers – enough that he
used his left hand like a visor; he’d be dead by 12 if not sooner from heat exposure that was three hours
away. He just sat in the sand in his suit, dress shirt opened exposing a white t-shirt; drenched sweat
silhouetting his partially hairy chest – the hairs ran in perfect arraignments.
There was no point of moving, there were just miles and miles of sand. The Mojave Desert bordered by
the Great Basin Desert to its north and the Senora Desert to its south and east. Where was he to go?
Even if he had headed west, it would take three hours to find a road. He sat there one leg extended out
and the other tucked lazily under it; he was badly burnt by the sun. He had gone from a pink color to various
reds, based on the areas that got the most exposure. He was blistering and peeling in the really dark red
areas, which was starting to turn purple. His chic silver hair was turning auburn white.
Todd Hauser’s life up to this point had been boss. Dressed in Bottega Veneta tuxedos, girlfriends
galore and guarded by the best bodies money could buy. His missed his lover and his apartment with
walls of tiny dark red ensigns, which he could never remember what they were of, and a floor the same.
Next to him was a radio transmitter, it would sometimes pick up signals outside the desert surprisingly.
The radio crackled and he heard his best friend – Gomez Mundey’s voice saying “I am coming for you but
it’ll take me at least a day to get to you.”
Todd didn’t have a day, he would die from thirst before then. Then a ghastly thought came to him, it was
times like this people resorted to drastic measures to survive and he realized the only way he’d live was by
staying hydrated but he had no water – except his blood. He was going to do it, he was going to amputate
his left leg or part of it and drink his blood – there’d be enough to keep him hydrated.
He picked up the radio and struck below his kneecap. It left a gash about two inches in diameter
running horizontal along the shin and it was about eight inches deep, he was able to stick his index finger
in up to where it bent. As he shoved his finger further to make the hole bigger he screamed in gooey globs
of phlegmie lunacy; inimitable strands of salvia formed and broke in the back of his mouth. The pain, which
was bought in one time, was unbearable and the sound stomach churning, the tearing of flesh reminded
him of the sound when ripping open a bologna package – a wet shredding sound.
He hit the appendage several times more until a thud sound reverberated across the desert and his leg
was on the ground leaving behind a bloody stump and a deep-seated itch.
He picked up the severed leg and began to drink the blood from the stump.
|To read other short stories,
click one of the titles below.
|About David Anderson
David Anderson is a seasoned Journalist with extensive experience in both writing and editing
for both print and web. I am an aspiring author who is trying to make a name of himself.