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Fiction #198
(published October 28, 2004)
The Two Corpses (A Russian Folktale)
as told by Rob Miller
(Rob Miller is the lab assistant to our Editor-in-Chief, the Giant Squid)

So there was this soldier, right, who was off on leave to go home on furlough, right? Wanted to visit the fam, stick his chick, pray to the holy images, bow down before his parents— whatever. Normal, straight-up sailor-on-leave shit. So, anyway, it's back in the day, right, so he has to hoof it to his folks house. It's getting later, and later, and the sun has set, and it's all dark all around, and he has to go by this graveyard. Just as he's passing, sweating bullets and shit 'cause it's back in the day and fuckers are all scared of ghosts and shit, and he hears someone running up after him, moaning:

"Stop! You can't escape!"

Soldier looks back and there's this, like, corpse, right? Running up and gnashing its teeth and all that crazy 28 Days Later shit. The soldier jumps to one side, dodging this fucking fast-ass zombie, catches sight of a little chapel, and bolts straight into it.

The chapel is totally empty, but stretched out on a, like, table there, in the middle of the fucking place, there's this other corpse, with long-ass candles burning in front of it. The soldier hides himself in a corner, scarred as fuck, shaking like a leaf and totally wishing he was, like, anywhere else, waiting to see what happens next. So, up runs the first corpse— the one that chased the soldier before— and dashes into the chapel. This riles up the second corpse, that was lying on the table, and he jumps up, starts dancing all around, and yells:

"What hast thou come here for?"

"I've chased a soldier in here, so I'm going to eat him."

"Come now, brother! He's run into my house. I shall eat him myself."

"No, I shall!"

"No, I shall!"

And they set to work fighting each other, tooth and nail and shit. There's dust flying everywhere and bone chips and little chunks of meat and scrap of hair and whatever, and these two are just tearing each other apart. They'd have gone on fighting forever, except for that some rooster started cockle-doodle-dooing. Bam, both the corpses collapse, lifeless, to the ground, and the soldier goes on his way merry way homeward, saying:

"Like, what the fuck was all of that shit about?!?"

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