Comedy Of Terror

Entry by: Alex Fleet

5th February 2016
The Terror of Comedy

I can’t bear to hear people laugh. Or giggle.

It sends chills right down my spine.

As I sit here writing, I feel as if someone is dribbling ice cold water down my back, just thinking about it.

Its the same coldness as that night in the African Savanna.

We had been told we could camp there, it was a safe spot. The view was terrific, across miles of open country laid out below us, reaching towards the blue outline of the mountains in the distance.

In the scorching heat of the midday sun we had set up camp at the top of the rise, then later eaten well in the flickering light of the camp fire, its ruddy colours matched by the far off clouds as they nursed the sun down below the mountains, now dark grey in silhouette. Behind us the sky was black with the coming night.

We had made love in the warm close darkness of the tent, the sounds of the wild animals muted in the distance, with only occasional quiet paws nearby, their owners checking the tent and it surrounds. Our skin clung in the humidity, then later we pulled a blanket over us as the air chilled outside and seeped into the shelter of the tent.

I must have been asleep when she quietly rose and crawled to the tent flap. I seem to remember a momentary shaft of light as she opened the flap, then all was dark again. It was a clear moonlit night. She had gone out to quietly sit, naked, in the moonlight, gazing at the black and silver landscape beneath a different light. I stirred slightly and heard her outside, sighing with the pleasure of the moment, alone in the vastness of the Serengeti, beneath a silent sky crowded with stars. Then I heard her gasp and I could imagine her running her cold hands down her skin, enjoying the utter sensuality of the cool night.

I pushed aside the fug inside my head and crawled to the tent flap, gently pulled it slightly open. Outside, I could see her silhouette, slim, curved as she sat absorbed in the moment. Then, she must have felt me watching, for she turned towards me and in the gentle light of the moon, I could see her smile at me. Then, at that moment as I started forward towards her, there was a sudden thunder of feet, a scarce seen flash of fur and she disappeared behind the silhouette of something leaping on her, taking her down and the quietness had suddenly shattered into a bedlam of shrieks and animal grunts and squeals. For what seemed a millisecond I was frozen as more dark shapes leapt past me, then I was frantically scrabbling in the darkness of the blankets for the gun and the torch.

Then I was out, running towards the mayhem, but I was already too late. Amongst the pack I could not distinguish where she was, though I could still hear her muffled screams and moans. In the light of the torch I could only see dark heads and shoulders fighting to get at her, some chasing, some running, dragging something heavy, their capture of the night. The clear air of the night was now dry choking dust and the rank, gagging odour of their fetid breath and filthy downsloping backsides. I ran after them, shooting wildly at those hyenas that turned towards me and at the heads of those at the front of the pack. Even when those that fell were set upon by others, there were still plenty more to pull at her body, a half dozen of them fighting over her legs, her arms, her torso, her head, her beautiful, fine featured face, by now probably torn off.

And all the time they giggled. The Laughing Hyenas giggled as they argued over her, their distinctive cry amongst the sound of ripping flesh now clearer as I battled my way to her. They laughed, in their hyena laugh, as their powerful jaws crunched her bones.

In the morning there was little left. Except, for me, for the memory of the terrors of that night. No comedy will ever be the same.