The Writer's Digest #StoryFriday for October 30, 2009.
(Thanks to all who participated.)
"This body is heavier than I thought it would be," Joe said, as his friends Nate and Tim looked on in disbelief. Joe was seduced by life, didn't realize that gravity pulls a dead body towards the ground it was returning to.
Tim squirmed in his gorilla suit. "It's so hot under here, and I can't carry this body any further." Having their friend die on them unexpectedly definitely put a damper on things. But was it unexpectedly, or had this Halloween trick turned dead? Then Nate remembered an Anthology about zombie love and the 3 looked slowly at one another, nodding their heads in unison. Nate lifted his Freddy Krueger mask.
"We have to get rid of it. I think zombies are supposed to be shot right between the eyes," said Nate. "Anyone have a gun?"
"No," Joe said. "Aren't they stabbed with a wooden stake?"
"Who said we have to kill it?" asked Ann
"Oh my god!" shouted Nate. "Where the hell did you come from, Ann?"
"Er.. she's been here the whole time, Nate." Joe turned to Ann '… and what do you suggest we do with it, if not kill it?'
"Shit," Tim said, "you think he got infected". "We only got bout 30 minutes before he turns then," Joe said.
Tim didn't give Ann a chance to answer. "We try to save him," he said. "It's the least we can do for the guy."
"I think," Ann said, "We could have a zombie slave."
"A what?" Tim stared at Ann wide-eyed. "Have you lost your mind?"
"He's beginning to come to. Let's just cut off his head."
"Look guys, Mark's undead, your joke didn't play out like you expected--besides, everyone has a zombie slave these days ."
Ann laughed & whistled. Nine men with teflon body armor, guns, grenades & flame throwers. 'I think 4 are better.'
"Zombie slave? really? Do ya think we'll win the costume prize with that old idea?"
"What if we all got infected? Joe shook uncontrollably "I'm too young to die. I don't want to eat brains."
Nate was becoming irritated by the debate. "We have a BODY here, people.. starting to show signs of life. Some focus, please?"
"Listen, we're running outta time, someone has to do something, and now. We need a plan."
Down on the ground, Mark's hand was turning green and starting to twitch. A groan emitted from his closed lips.
"How about we just get the heck outta here?" said Joe. "I can't deal with Zombies on top of all my other problems."
"He's moving," Joe whimpered, as he lost it. "Man-oh-man-oh-man...I don't want my brains eaten."
"First thing we need to do is get out of these freakin Halloween costumes," Ann said.
Joe booked it out of there. Tim and Nate stared after his retreating back. Ann just shook her head in disgust.
"But, what about the prize money," Tim asked
"Forget about the prize money, moron," Ann sneered. "Nate, what are you doing?"
Nate suddenly dropped to his knees in front of his stirring friend and pulled a drawstring bag out of his back pocket.
"Well, there goes dumb ass of the year prize for sure--bye Joe," Ann said, as she waved the universal Fuck You gesture at Joe."
"This is the poison serpent powder that will reverse the effects of the virus," Nate answered. "There may be a side-effect."
"Side-efftects worse than being a zombie?" asked Tim.
"Well, how do you think he will feel about having scales?" replied Nate.
Everyone froze as an evil cackle sounded from the woods around them. Silence overtook the band of Halloween rejects, as the screams began. "Is that Joe?" Nate asked.
Nate added, "He'll be converted into a hermaphrodite."
Silence. "Hm, maybe being zombie is not so bad after all"
Mark twitched on the ground, bringing all of their attention back to him.
"Did you not check his pulse, Nate?" asked Tim. "What kind of a doctor are you?"
"I'm a proctoligist Nate. How exactly did you want me to check to see if he was alive, stick my finger up his ...."
With Mark twitching, and footsteps now crunching the dry twigs on the ground close to them, the group didn't know what to do.
"It's too late! Nate backed away from the morphing body. "We have to get away from him. NOW!" Without a backward glance, Nate, Tim and Ann turned and fled through the woods. But the sound of harsh breathing followed them.
Ann tripped and fell. Gunshots and screams echoed as Tim and Nate continued on.
"Wait! Where are you going?! Get back here!" Ann's voice was hoarse. Then wordless screaming and moaning, mingling in the dark. Ahead of them loomed an ancient house, shutters drooping, windows broken. Nate took one look and said, "No. Not there."
He then grabbed Tim by the collar, "We're freakin dead." Out of the woods in front of them stumbled Joe, oozing from his skin. Joe looked at them both hungrily, as he walked toward them. They both could see a bit of finger on his chin, presumably Ann's.
"Son-of-a –" Tim's stomach turned. "He ate your wife."
"Actually, she was leaving me for Joe," replied Nate.
"Looks like Joe got her."
"Ngggghughmmmmgha" replied Ann.
Ann had stumbled out the woods behind Joe, nearly knocking him down. She was covered in scales and missing an arm.
Suddenly the ancient house in the distance didnt look so bad to Nate. Making matters worse, the ground underneath them vibrated as fingers poked through the damp soil. "Um -- Tim," Nate said ...
"What?" Tim snarled, eyes locked on Joe and Ann.
"Run!" Nate shouted back as he took off toward the house. The door mysteriously opened as Nate and Tim got close. "Come in, my friends and have some tea and gingersnaps dears." A stooped grandmotherly figure with white hair smiled sweetly.
"What we need are guns, do you have guns?" Tim asked, as Nate frantically locked the door behind them.
The little old lady set her tray down a pressed a button behind a plant. "Will this do?" A trap door opened.
"Oh, no, dears. I don't believe in violence."
Contradicting her sweet-as-honey words, the trap door revealed an entire armory of weapons
"You can call me Granny Oakley," as she snapping a belt of grenades around her waist, "Stop gawking. Let's toast these SOB's"
Tim tapped Nate on the shoulder and pointed to the stack of oak barrels resembling a lab experiment in the kitchen.
"Why Granny Oakley, what big rounds you have!" exclaimed Tim, with a look of disbelief on his face.
"Do you think the bodies of her victims might be in those barrels?" Tim whispered to Nate. Tim's eyes bulged in terror.
Granny Oakley laughed. "No dears, I called that Rot Gut Rum. Want some?" and passed a flask. "I keep the bodies out back."
"Uh, boys", Granny said, still busy arming herself, "We have a situation. Pay attention."
Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door. "Hey, guys" cried a frantic voice, "it's Mark. Let me in. LET ME IN!"
Granny cocked her gun, "How about I let you have a gut full of lead?"
Granny Oakley pointed the barrel of a shotgun at Tim. "Step away from your friend." That's when he noticed that Nate had stopped dead at the sight of someone behind Tim. Someone whose presence was completely frightening.
"No! I'm not a zombie! I promise! Though if you don't let me in I will be!"
Even Granny was freaked out enough that the barrel of the gun lowered to the ground. The Queen of the Zombies, who also happens to be the baddest vampire ever, had just arrived. Shock and horror registered in Tim all at once. This couldn't be happening. Grabbing Nate and Granny, he ran into the kitchen.
She towered over all three of them, yellow eyes glistening and fangs reaching over her lower lip. As she was daintily nibbling on the leg of one of Ann's armored men. "Yummy" she cooed.
"Boys, this special rum isn't just for drinking," Granny said, tapping into one of the barrels. "It kills vampires."
"But do we really want to waste it like that..." murmured Tim.
"It's no waste, honey. I've got gallons of it out back," she said, filling a turkey baster.
Queen of Zombie/Vampires threw down the leg and hissed.
"She's bluffing," said Ann as she walked into the room. Granny took a swig from her flask & spit into Queen's face. The Queen laughed.
"Sorry," said Ann, "I gave her some of the antidote. I could not let you ruin my plans." Granny paled.
Zarantha, for that was the Queen's name, lashed out with her claws and opened Granny's jugular but good. Granny dropped to her knees. "Glu-glu-glu -- ." She clutched her throat as blood sprayed all over Nate and Tim.
Tim started making funny sounds. Nate looked over to see him twitching & hear him whisper, "Blood."
"Feet, don't fail me now!" muttered Nate as he sped off like a banshee from hell, pursued by Tim, Ann and Zarantha .
Zarantha caught Nate in a second, all that preternatural speed coming in handy. Nate called on his werewolf powers, flesh giving way to fur and his bones snapping and cracking in his transformation. All while Nate was gagging, having supernatural smell is not all that great when being held by someone is a zombie vampire.
"Well, crap, not another lycan," Zarantha muttered as she flung Nate away. "They think *I* stink."
"You are a werewolf!" exclaimed Ann. "No wonder I always had allergies problems when I was around you!"
"I know. It was hilarious!" said Tim
Ignoring the Queen-Zombie, Nate pounced on Ann, knocking her onto the ground.
Zarantha grabbed Tim and dashed out the door, leaving Nate and Ann hiding behind a fort of Granny's remains.
Tim squirmed just enough to piss off Zarantha. He screamed like a girl as she grabbed his head. Crack! Meanwhile, Mark stood at Granny Oakley's open door, decayed skin drooping, fangs gleaming. "Got brains?" he said. "Got blood?"
Ann kneed Nate in the groin, he yelped. She was about to escape when Joe was suddenly behind her.
"Ah, there you are," Zarantha said to Joe, tossing the remaining pieces of used to be of Tim to Mark. Slurping ensued.
"Finally, a story where the monsters win!" Mark chortled, while gulping down what remained of Tim.
"Not so fast," croaked Granny Oakley, appearing on the scene with hand-sewn stitches evident on her neck. Flask in one hand, gun in the other Granny glared around the room.
Zarantha swatted Mark on the head. "Do you *have* to turn everyone you bite?"
Mark gulped down the last of Tim. "Well sure. Isn't that what we zombies do?" Zarantha just sighed.
"Will somebody please find me a better class of henchmen?" Zarantha asked the Universe.
"Do I look like a supermarket to you?" asked the Universe. "And what ever happened to 'Please'?
"Oh, that's right, you did say please, oops my bad." The Universe blushed to his lime green roots.
"I still love you," Zarantha told the Universe. She paused 2 separate Tim and Joe from snacking on ea other. "See what I mean?"
"I wonder if I could turn the Universe into a Zombie Vampire," thought Mark. "Better yet, get a YA book written about me."
"And get that YA novel made into a movie that tops that other wimpy series garnering too much hoopla," thought Mark.
"You're getting too big for your fangs" said the Universe to Mark. With that, Mark turned into a tiny vampire newt.
Ann rolled her eyes, muttered "Monsters" & smacked Joe. "Stop trying to nibble on my shoulder! I am NOT on the menu!"
Granny, seeing the now tiny Mark, picked him up & set him inside a jar. Cleaning her gun, she asked "Rum anyone?" taking a swig.
"I'll join you," said Zarantha. "Amateur monsters are really starting to get to me. And I'm the only one left with a throat."
"Huh, well, mine is just fine, no thanks to you," patting her stitches. "Pansies. In my time you threaten, I shoot. Simple"
Tiny Mark could be heard hitting the jar. Granny peered in, "Shush, or I will give you some of my rum. That will shut you up." As Zarantha took the last swig of rock gut her blood began to boil, her skin bubbled, and she howled in fury.
Like that Granny said "I put a little something special in that one just for you."
With a final howl Zarantha exploded into a million bits. But as they hit the ground they all began to turn into Zarantha clones. The room was suddenly except Granny cackling. Zarantha was now a bubbling puddle on the floor. Her clones slurped up her remains, and began to grow as they howled, hissed, and snarled.
"Not so fast little ones, Granny" exclaimed, as she let little newt mark out of his jar.
Newt Mark licked his lips, "Dinner" & picked up the 1st clone & ate it. Nate, the werewolf now recovered from the knee to the groin, burst onto the scene, shoved Granny and swallowed Newt Mark whole. Now standing toe to toe, Granny and Nate sized one another up, they were the only ones left alive---soon there would be one. Nate roared and pounced on Granny, ripping an arm off her with one sweep a claw.
Her mangled arm twitched on the floor. "Come on you furry bastard, is that all you got". As Granny said those words...
The sun peeked over the horizon. The werewolf released a low growl and grabbed one of the rum filled barrels, cracking it open on the old woman's head before Granny lit a match, "Wanna see if you can heal from fire Wolf boy? That rum is all alcohol & a room is full of things that boom"
"Huh?" Nate stood in human form now, (naked) in front of Granny. "What are you doing old woman?"
"Right now?" admiring a naked man. "Not bad. Then again, it has been a while since I have seen a man naked in this house"
Almost 30 min. passed as Granny gazed longingly at what she could only dream of and never possess. Or so it seemed. Granny was actually calculating how long it would take to get the air mattress out of storage.
"So um, do you mind if I grab something to cover myself up with? I am..cold, yes cold," said Nate.
Hm. Granny thought. An inflated air mattress. A beautiful naked man/ wolf. "Yes, Nate I have a down comforter. I'm chilly too."
The Universe looked down at Granny and Nate, and shuddered.
Special thanks to the #storyfriday contributors: