The Duke Nukem series is all about being a crude action hero, but the terrible things that happen to women are shocking. “Get our babes back” was the motto at one point. But what if one of these damsels in distress wanted to escape by herself? This is the story of Veronica Venom. It isn’t humorless, hopeless, restrained, or meant to arouse. It’s a short story about survival and our place in a cold universe.
Plus, there are lasers.
Veronica Venom: Chapter 2
Veronica just wanted to lay back. She just wanted to rest. The memories wavered but she remembered lasers and gunfire. So close that she felt the intense heat. Debris that replaced landscape. The scattering people and terrible noise. She remembered the blinding pain of being pushed onto exposed rebar.
There is always a risk with surprise in the days before an anniversary. She wondered if it would be the right time for one of them to have a ring. She thought leaving her underwear would be a flirty game. She didn’t think an army would show up and take her and her cloths. The present lifted itself out of the haze of memories.
Holding onto her thoughts and memories was balancing a rotating glass disk in thinning palms, fated glass making a slow descent to the floor. She had held on to the thought for a day. It felt like a day. She had stopped speaking to Brenda for the sake of holding on through the blood slicked peace of sanity. She pictured it in lieu of conversation or escape plans. She questioned herself. Is picturing holding on to sanity a sane thing to do? Then Brenda spoke.
Brenda couldn’t take the dose. Her conscious had already hit the floor. Shattered women, like shattered people, speak in the things they directly feel. They don’t think for the consequences of deep contemplation. “You’re crying,” Brenda observed. Blood dripping from the side of her smile. With tired excitement she asked, “do you think Mine will be a boy or a girl?”
What? Veronica choked on her own sore and stale mucus.
“My baby, it could be a boy or an adorable little girl.” Her stomach was bloated. She motioned with her elbow wishing she could reach it.
“No. Fuck. Bitch. What the hell is happening to us?” Veronica asked in panic.
Brenda began to prattle. Veronica bared her teeth but no amount of threats got brenda back. If only she could spit. The noise began to echo and grew into a whimpering moans.
Veronica held on to her pain and embarrassment to keep out the voices. She twisted her arm to feel the bar buried in her flesh. She held on to everything the drugs tried to make her forget, everything that they had forsaken. They were taken by monsters and there would only bring more monsters if they win.
Brenda’s stomach bulged. Her pink bunny tattoo peaked over her left thigh until fully exposed and blown-up and unrecognizable. Suddenly, her eyebrows raised and her lips smacked. She began to open her mouth for one last time.
Brenda burst. A pink cloud blinded Veronica and she closed her eyes in recoil. Limbs, tattooed with Brenda’s favorite quotes, and stains on the floor were all that remained, unrecognizable.
Small metallic balls of terrible gnawing and clicking emerged. Tiny spikes populated a protruding jaw. Red domes housed many peering eyes.They bounced with a hesitant decent.
These were what was inside her and every girl. Her eyes reflected her terrible knowing. She still had her wits and forced her mind to comprehend her enemy. Her assailants. Murderers. They bounced and devoured. Within the hour they doubled in size.
Brenda had struggled none-stop. Veronica stared at the stump in front of her. Feeling her pain. Clinging onto her thoughts. Why could she think? Why didn’t she go delirious? Maybe, Brenda found the only way out.
She heard four more screams and then the pops and succinct meaty impacts. She was glad she was in this nook and didn’t have to witness more.
Veronica Venom will continue next Monday!
Article by contributor Ray Richards.