The Indestructible Man
By Jake Wrenn
A crowd had gathered around the stage, and painted clowns began setting up tables. There were items on the tables. The items were weapons. The clowns were bringing out weapons and placing them on the tables. The crowd was drawn in by the enigma of it, the strange.
“Step right up! Come one come all!” A clown had taken the stage, swinging his arms and keeping his knees bent. The clown had a white face with red eyes. “Come see the eighth wonder of the world! The scariest of the scaries! The freakiest of the freaks! The ghoulish, the grotesque, the bloodcurdling! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the Indestructible Man!”
The crowd shifted in revolt as the man took the stage. He was impossibly large, hands that could crush a skull, his body a hellish façade. He walked the way mountains walk, slow, uncalculated.
The clown continued, pressing the morbid. “I challenge each and every one of you to take but one swing at death, and to try and kill the man that cannot be killed!”
Spectators began a line near the corner of the stage. They stood with wide-eyed fear, staring at the man, the thing, this entity. Each took a device from the tables; some tried stabbing him and some tried shooting him, one man tried to choke him and the thing laughed, having those hands around his neck. The man swallowed potions and acids that would burn the body from the inside out, yet there he stood, unscathed.
I wished to participate.
I stood in front of the tables, the array of the ghastly pieces; there were knives and guns, chainsaws and swords, strange things I had never seen. Devices all that would end the life of a normal man. The knives were rusted, suggesting a lifetime of use. I stared at the stage, the Indestructible Man.
Some may criticize my modest choice of weapons, but the kitchen knife was the only thing I felt familiar with. I took the stage. The crowd groaned, seeing many knives come and go. I stood in front of him, this man, this enigma. He was two heads taller than me to be sure and stared down, his hollow, dead eyes, saying nothing, thinking the decrepit. I could feel the grandfather clock tick tick of my heart.
“Go ahead, kid,” a clown whispered behind me, “stab him.”
I felt the knife in my hand, its rigidity, its decisions, and I felt the man staring down at me. I flipped the blade in my hand, revealing the handle to the man and the blade pointed toward myself. He reached out, confused, taking the handle of the knife. Silence swept over the crowd as the Indestructible Man fell to the stage.
Jake Wrenn is the winner of this year's Flash Fiction contest! Congratulations, Jake! And congrats to all the other winners!