The Lost Bones: A Zombie Parody

Rita Ora vs Oasis – R.I.P. vs Wonderwall mash-up, by baDJa…

“Now you!” Higham Dry Senior’s shaking finger of doom finds me, pointing in an almost accusatory manner. “You are in my power… your mind is bending to my will…”

I don’t feel any different. But then, I wasn’t exactly expecting to. Mostly just curious – at what he might find to instruct that I would cheerfully have done anyway, like Carvery Slaughter and Homer just demonstrated…

“Mercy!” the prisoner Justin Time pleads into the carpet, ignored.

Apparently he is the only one falling for this little sideshow.

The elderly robed man gestures at Ace Bumgang, standing next to me.

“Kiss him!” he snaps, a glint in his eye. “Like you mean it!”

Ooohh – any excuse!

But as I turn to look at Ace and catch HIS eye, it’s evident that someone in the room has bigger mental powers than the Dry brothers’ zombie grandfather.

I can almost hear Ace’s voice in my head…

Sarah, you so much as try it, and you’re going home in a padded envelope…

I gulp, wondering what the punishment is for rebelling against supposed Jedi mind tricks. Either the old man’s, or Ace Bumgang’s.

But as I procrastinate over what I would rather die doing, we are interrupted by breakfast arriving.

“Ahhhh, you all get off lightly this morning!” the old man cries appreciatively, smacking his lips as the servers file into the dining hall, with silver tureens and platters. “Just in time – sit. And the rest of you. We eat first. Then play more mind games.”

We all move cautiously towards the long table, and Justin Time peels himself tentatively off the floor. The only ones who move confidently are the three outsized bounty hunters, who settle themselves into the three largest chairs, and take out their own chopsticks.

Even Higham Dry Senior’s remaining guard is included, although he pauses before seating himself to tie a bib onto the old man first.

It has a picture of a white rabbit in a waistcoat on it. Now why does that remind me of something…?

“Chicken soup!” Higham Dry Senior approves, lifting the lid of his own tureen. “Mmmmm… and plenty of extras. Everybody must eat. Good for your braaiiins.”

Two of the servers heave the body of the dead guard onto their shoulders.

“Tell him when he wake up that he only get his usual rest break allowance!” says Higham Dry. “I am not running a hotel for layabouts here!”

The two servers nod, and carry the body out between them.

The soup does smell appetizing. I examine mine first for any bits of chicken anatomy that can’t be identified. Or ones which I’d rather not.

The enthusiastic slurping of the bounty hunters behind their chain-mail veils indicates that it’s safe to start, so we pick up our spoons in turn.

“Maggots!” the old man suddenly shrieks, and I drop my own spoon in fright.

The others take no notice. He is prodding something yellow on his side-plate, and a server hurries over to his side.

“What sort of cheese is this?” Higham Dry demands, poking at it.

“Goat’s cheese, Lord,” the server informs him, obsequiously lowering his eyes, in a half-bow as he speaks.

“I told you before, you cannot make cheese out of billy-goat!” the old man rants. “And not even one maggot! It taste of nothing, I tell you! Bring me the blue cheese. With the holes in. The one that hums when you blow on it.”

“Yes, Lord.” The server removes the offending plate, and scurries away.

We continue eating, although I check to make sure my soup has no active swimmers in it. Even Carvery and Ace, who claimed not be hungry, are tempted enough by the aromas to taste their food.

Crispin and Homer both have their heads down, eating as heartily as the bounty hunters and the wayward rickshaw pilot, who is eating and sobbing at the same time. I wonder what that means the elderly man has in store to follow…

“I see you enjoying your noodles, my boys,” Higham Dry beams, nodding his approval at the two younger Dry zombies. “Gobble up so fast, too. You must all have the worms, no?”

“Just very hungry, Grandpappy,” Crispin replies, while Homer pats his own naked gray belly in agreement.

“Something to drink!” shouts Higham Dry. “Bring the special brew!”

“I can’t face Special Brew this early,” Ace remarks, as more servers rush to comply. “I downed enough dirty pints last night.”

A huge tea urn is wheeled in, steaming, and many small cups are quickly arranged.

“This stuff very good,” Higham Dry tells us. “Make men of you! Put hair on your palms.”

The bounty hunters exchange glances, and I swear I can sense their evil grins, behind that chain-mail covering their faces.

The cups of hot brown translucent liquid are distributed, and I look at mine with concern. But it seems benign, and has only a faint scent of cinnamon.

Higham Dry raises his tiny cup in salute.

“Everyone drink!” he says. The bounty hunters put down their chopsticks, and do likewise. “Later, we go up on the roof again. More flying experiments. We see if Mr. Time has enough hot air in him to float unaided now…”

The Chinese food scene from ‘The Lost Boys’ – enjoy 😉

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

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The Men Who Stare At Glutes: A Zombie Parody

Rammstein vs Lady Gaga: Du Hast/Telephone mash-up…

“What do we do now, Crispin?” I ask, my voice by now only marginally less hysterical than the Sinclair C-5 concept.

“We disembark,” Crispin announces. “Quite rapidly…”

None of us need to be told twice. In fact, I think being told the once was pushing it.

We scramble out hurriedly over the restrained and thrashing rugs – while in the true spirit of battle, our pilot Mr. Time reaches for the sky, and surrenders.

Parlez!” he cries, lapsing into the language of longevity.

“Crispin,” I pant, as we scurry away, along the battlements of the enormous fort. “Those bounty hunters – they all have…”

“Yes, clockwork hands,” he agrees. “I know.”

“But they are…” I look down at my own hands, flexing them. “Attached!”

“That does not mean they have more power than the original,” he replies. “Although they might outnumber it…”

We follow his lead to a grand archway set into the rooftop gatehouse, barricaded by more guards, and a portcullis. I’m expecting more hard negotiations – but our approach is punctuated by a shout, from high above.

“Crispin!” hails the high-pitched, crackly-as-old-wallpaper voice. “And Ho-o-o-merrr… What do I owe this pleasure?”

“Yes, yes,” Crispin calls out to the unseen speaker, sheepishly, as we draw to a halt. “Hello – Grandpappy…”

“Grand-what?” Ace asks, as Carvery snorts.

“My father’s father,” Crispin coughs. “Higham Dry Senior.”

Higham Dry! Is this who the stillborn Dry sibling in the pickle jar was named after?

A wisp of cloud above the battlements moves, and we spot a pigtailed, white-haired ancient old man, in black and emerald green dragon-embroidered robes, leaning over the parapet squinting at us.

“What-what-what?!” Higham Dry Senior repeats, taking in our group. “So many guests! Is it my birthday?”

“Why do I get the feeling that you’re not well-known for remembering family birthdays, Crispin?” Carvery smirks.

“You interrupt my experiments!” Higham Dry cackles. “But I be right down…”

He ducks down and disappears momentarily, and reappears again with a fat hen in one hand, and a cannonball in the other.

“Now – which one will hit the ground first?” he announces, and we leap aside – as the cannonball and chicken both sail over the brickwork.

It’s a close one. Mainly because the hen is chained to the cannonball, by one leg.

“Stupid chicken,” says Crispin’s grandfather, shaking his head sadly. “If she learn to fly faster, then maybe she beat cannonball. Okey-dokey – here I come…”

And he steps off the ledge. My reward for screaming, is another cuff around the ear from Carvery, and a wince from Ace Bumgang, who is still clutching his bleeding arm.

But Higham Dry Senior merely drifts gently to the ground, his robes inflated around him like a Disney-esque parachute.

And looks mightily pleased with himself too – I can see where Homer gets his self-confidence from…

“You see any Jedi Master do that?” he asks, sniggering. “Maybe – but I don’t watch all of the series. Sooooo… you like my experiment? Chicken wasn’t always fixed to cannonball, but too many chickens just fly away. Did you know they can fly? Who knew, right? But one day, I will find a chicken who can move faster than a cannonball. Then that be really fast food, no? Come downstairs. We make chicken soup.”

“Your grandfather…” Ace begins quietly, as the portcullis raises for us. “Is he a zombie too, or just really old?”

“Oh, he passed away many years ago.” Crispin taps himself on the sternum. “It’s all clockwork in there. Have you ever seen Sucker Punch? Kind of like the soldiers in that movie. Only harder to kill.” He sighs. “It’s not like Mother hasn’t tried…”

“Oh, you been to see the Lady Glandula de Bartheline?” Higham Dry Senior’s hearing evidently hasn’t deteriorated a jot. He leads the way down some stone stairs, illuminated by candle-lit wrought-iron chandeliers. “Blood-sucking harlot. How is she these days?”

“Much the same, Grandpappy,” Crispin admits.

“Yay,” Ace seconds him, sorely.

“Slept her way out of the primordial ooze, she did.” Higham Dry Senior’s carved bone walking-stick clatters along the stone floor ahead of us, at quite a respectable pace. “Jumping from body to body like a secretary at staff Christmas party. She still hanging onto the last one? It run out of entropy quite soon, I think.”

“Spending most of her time dormant, yes,” Crispin confirms.

“I thought it very quiet around here lately. Nice and peaceful.” Higham Dry nods. “But when she find a new one she likes, you wait. It be all boiling oil and crocodiles and embalming people alive again.”

We find ourselves in a vast galley kitchen, designed evidently to serve the mountainous fort. You could have fitted Silverstone race track in it quite comfortably.

I glance at Ace to see if I can gauge his attitude regarding the subject of indoor drag-racing possibly crossing his thoughts, but his I-am-not-the-Stig poker-face is as inscrutable as ever.

I imagine what other secrets those dreamy brown eyes might also be hiding, and sigh…

…A billy goat trots past us along the longest granite worktop I have ever seen, breaking wind happily, while chefs with cleavers try to catch up with it.

“Oh, what a shame, goat escape from bathtub again,” Higham Dry Senior sympathises. “We have a new chef from foreign place, I don’t know where – I think maybe Basildon? Chef Reggae Reggae. He promise us recipe for goat curry. We been trying to marinade this goat in Guinness for three weeks already, but it drink it all every time, then run away. So we stuck with chicken soup for now. And the barracks very upset, all Guinness gone, they trying to make their own in the laundry. Not good. They blow it up nearly every day, trying to figure out secret ingredient. But as a result, we now know how to make napalm, so something good come of it.”

“How do you catch the goat?” I ask.

“We wait for it to fall asleep with big hangover, then just follow smell,” Higham Dry Senior shrugs. “Simple… All of you, come with me. You all look very peaky. Need chicken soup.”

I realise, as the cooking smells in the cavernous kitchen envelop us, that I haven’t eaten since Crispin’s strangely erotic food game, when I arrived at his mansion last night – and my stomach rumbles disturbingly. Yes. Food would certainly be welcome…

“I’m full,” says Carvery, picking his teeth, and finding what appears to be a fingernail, extracting it thoughtfully. It gives me an unpleasant lurch in my own gut. “Zombie Nando’s.”

“Don’t know if I’m up for eating anything yet,” Ace grumbles. “Not since Sarah puked on me as well.”

“Everyone feel better after soup,” Higham Dry assures us, and hands the failed speed-chicken and cannonball to one of the chefs. “Oooh, look who joining us for breakfast… just in time too! We go to dining-room…”

I look around to see the miserable flying rickshaw pilot, Justin Time, being hustled in by the three scarily larger-than-life, faceless bounty hunters. Higham Dry Senior gestures for them to follow as well.

The dining-room, a short walk from the kitchen, is another vast room, its vaulted ceiling supported by many pillars. Twin candle-sconces on every pillar give the impression of each having glowing eyes, watching all proceedings in this particular room.

Higham Dry hobbles rapidly to a throne-like chair at the head table, and two guards mysteriously appear at his sides. It is evident by the change in atmosphere that we don’t have permission to sit yet.

So we hover nervously, while Justin Time is deposited in a prostrate heap, sobbing, on the carpet-runner in front of him.

“He was stealing those flying rugs himself, as you suspected, Lord,” the first bounty hunter rumbles, in his unearthly deep voice. “And holding them to ransom.”

“Ooohh,” Higham Dry smiles, nodding his elderly glee and rubbing his hands together, which crack like a bag of walnuts under a lump-hammer. “You very naughty boy, Mr. Time! What I do with you, eh?”

“Be merciful, Lord!” Justin Time cries, his mouth full of thankfully less sapient carpet. “I was testing our security measures – an example of where improvements might be needed…”

“Hmmm, where have I heard that before…?” Higham Dry Senior ponders. “What was that film with the also very naughty children… Oh yes, Mission Without Permission! I don’t fall for your weak excuses this time, Mr. Justin Time. I think maybe I show YOU an example, of my Jedi mind powers…”

“No…” Justin Time pleads. “Not that… anything but the mind tricks, Lord…”

“You!” Higham Dry Senior points suddenly, with a tremulously wizened forefinger. “Yes, you, the Calvin Klein poster-boy, with the shotgun. You are under my spell, you hear me?”

Carvery looks over his shoulder, just in case there is another gunman in the room, and then shrugs.

Higham Dry points to the biggest guard, on his left.

“Kill this man.”

Carvery shrugs again, and blows the guard’s head off.

“Ooh.” Higham Dry rattles the finger in his ear. “That was loud!”

“Doesn’t prove anything.” Ace, Crispin and I all state the obvious.

“And you!” The old man points at Homer. “You, now, are under my spell… Now dance! Like a sexy concubine!”

Homer shrugs in turn, and pirouettes away around the pillars, shedding his last ostrich feathers – giving it his all.

“Oh, God,” Ace mutters. “This is going to be a long morning…”

Trailer for ‘The Men Who Stare At Goats’ – enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

Big Trouble in Receptaculum Chyli: A Zombie Parody

3-way Simple Minds vs Art of Noise vs Frankie Goes to Hollywood mash-up…

Homer and Carvery haul themselves up the sides of the flying rickshaw to perch on the back of our passenger seat, on top of those other lashed-down, struggling rolled-up rugs. A few of them give indignant grunts or squeaks, as the two plonk themselves down heartily.

I immediately flinch, as Carvery’s knees clamp around my shoulders.

“No seatbelts,” he excuses himself. “Maybe I should hold onto your hair as well.”

I try to make myself as small and inaccessible as I can, on the padded leather bench.

“Did you get bitten?” I ask, although it’s not the first thing on my mind. Damn my traitorous hormones again…!

“Nope.”

And he spits out what turns out to be a ragged gray ear, right onto my lap.

“I can imagine why not,” I mutter, trying to shake off the piece of discarded zombie.

Any undead saliva meeting Carvery Slaughter would only make his bloodstream cleaner, for one thing…

Homer – our transvestite exotic zombie dancer – is looking very pleased with himself, fluffing up his remaining ostrich-feathers. I feel as though some sort of artistic award or tribute is due for his life-saving performance just now, and hand him the bouquet of dead flowers, which had found me as we flew over the square. He is unashamedly thrilled, simpering dreadfully and fanning his own face with his free hand, as if overcome with emotion. Bless him…

We pass through early-morning ribbons of cloud, the harnessed flying carpet skilfully directed by our strange pilot, Mr. Justin Time. He is quietly focused on his task, but at one point raises an arm and waves.

Stretching my neck to see over the side, past Ace Bumgang, I just catch a glimpse of another flying shape in the distance, heading back the way we came – but I can’t make out what it is.

Ace suddenly turns in his seat, and punches Carvery on the quadricep.

“That’s for shooting me,” he says, still nursing the nick in his arm, licking the blood off.

“I was aiming for Sarah,” Carvery grins. “Sorry, dude.”

“We are almost there,” Crispin interrupts, his creaking zombie voice a balm to my suppressed anger, as usual. “The Six a.m. Lounge is often quite busy, and some of its denizens and regular clientele are the private sort, who may be suspicious of strangers. We must proceed with caution.”

My heart sinks. So it doesn’t sound like we’re back at Crispin’s brownsign mansion yet…

As we dip below the clouds, the sun disappears, and we find ourselves skimming over darkened, rain-soaked streets. Not the dry dusty sandstone of the Five a.m. Lounge – and less architecturally magnificent, consisting of a higgledy-piggledy of corrugated iron shacks, strange tenements, rainbow-illuminated storefronts, and many small temples of differing size and denomination. Ordinary rickshaws bob along the muddy cobbles, and every street seems to feature rows of bunting-festooned market-stalls, right on the doorsteps of the regular shops, businesses and houses. People just seem to exist right on top of one another here…

Scrawny dogs and tiny children with pot-bellies wander around loose, unattended. As I stare in horror, I notice a small boy with his mongrel terrier tethered on a piece of string, both happily pooping in the gutter.

It’s like something off Rough Guides Uncut…

“That is our destination.” Crispin points, and on a hill overlooking the bizarre town, stretching from horizon to horizon on either side, a huge stone fort appears out of the low-lying, gunmetal-gray clouds. Every arrow-slot is illuminated, and the distant flying dots of other airborne vessels arrive and depart from its roof, in a stream of early-morning industriousness.

“Remember what I said about caution,” Crispin re-iterates, as we dip over the walls of the fort. “There are people here who would suck out your soul, and rape it in front of you.”

“Cool,” says Carvery. “Get to put my feet up and watch for once.”

“Yeah,” Ace agrees, grudgingly. “Wouldn’t be the first time I got sperm-jacked in my sleep.”

“It’d be all right for Sarah.” Carvery scruffs my long hair, which immediately tries to stand perpendicular, in shock. “She doesn’t have a soul. They’d be poking around hopelessly lost in there for ever. Like chucking a toothpick down the Thames.”

“I imagine it’s somewhat like finding out some weirdo has whacked off while reading my diary!” I bristle, meaningfully.

“Sarah, it’d be like wanking on my Nan’s shopping list,” Carvery sighs, shaking his head. “Even my taxation accounts are sexier than your diary.”

The rickshaw comes to a bumpy halt on an illuminated runway, on the roof of the fort. We seem to be in a queue of similar arrivals. Helmeted guards are moving along the flanks, speaking to drivers, and scratching notes on slate tablets.

“Identification?” the approaching guard says to Justin Time, peering at us out of the corner of his faceplate.

“Tell your mother, she needs to move her stuff out of my brother’s caravan!” says Justin.

Er – not the way I was ever taught to speak to men in uniform. We all listen, in deathly silence.

“What have you brought today?” the official continues benignly, apparently immune to our pilot’s Tourette’s Syndrome.

We all let out our trapped breath.

“I want the bounty on these rugs,” snaps Justin, slapping one of the rolls of carpet behind him, which squeals for pity. “The ones that those slave boys were stealing to impress rich girls with. I have a dozen of them to return.”

“And your passengers?” the guard continues. “Identification?”

“You don’t need to see their identification,” Justin Time scoffs. “These aren’t the virgins you’re looking for.”

My heart seems to contract to the size of a hazelnut, in fear. Not again…

“Ah – Mr. Dry!” the guard suddenly exclaims, and pushes up his faceplate, greeting Crispin with a much less intimidating smile. “I did not see you there… are these people all with you?”

Before Crispin can reply, a crack of thunder explodes overhead, followed by a prong of forked lightning. It strikes down a cluster of guards, scattering them like ten-pins.

“Uh-oh,” Mr. Time gulps. He reaches out and prods our own gawping guard, with his little rug-driving whip. “Hurry up, Dumb-Ass! Let us through – I am a businessman, you know!”

A second fork of lightning grounds itself on the roof of the fort, and remains there, sizzling and sending up sparks from the stonework.

The dark cloud above swirls around its vertical axis, in the same way the river had swirled earlier before revealing Atum the sea-god, in the Five a.m. Lounge…

But this time, no gigantic leviathan appears.

Instead, three bat-like shapes descend, like ragged firemen sliding down a station pole. They land with thunderclaps onto the roof, and fold their gauntleted arms, faces half-hidden behind chain-mail and coolie-hats.

At least a third larger than the average man here, they tower menacingly as they stand beside the lightning fork, which reflects off their armour in flashes of ultramarine light.

“Who are they?” I hiss.

“Bounty hunters,” Crispin whispers back.

The middle one takes one pace forward, his head turning slowly – until his sight rests on our little flying rickshaw.

“Justin Time…” the tall bounty-hunter rumbles, in a voice like the quaking of continents. “Thief…”

And the three newcomers all raise their arms, to point at our equally quaking driver.

I know immediately where I’ve seen those twinkly glinting blue lights before…

FUCK…

…They ALL have clockwork hands…

Fan edit tribute to ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ – Enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

Life of Brains: A Zombie Parody

Soulja Boy vs Michael Jackson – Crank Dat/Beat It/Spaceballs mash-up

Fortunately – or possibly unfortunately – something more pressing intervenes on our discussion.

Some of the slave zombies have noticed our position atop the tilted pillar, overlooking the square, and are gradually gathering at the base.

One of them is boosted up onto the uppermost surface by his comrades, and starts to scale the hypotenuse determinedly. Others scrabble to follow.

“Um – I think we have company,” I squeak. “And not not the sort you get the best china out for!”

“Carver!” Ace yells.

The boiling sphere of hungry zombies down in the market-place, where Carvery Slaughter’s current position can be estimated, seems to rotate slightly, on an unseen axis. A zombie cadaver pops out of it abruptly, and dangles – from the shotgun barrels jammed into its ribcage.

The gun raises, angling upwards, and fires. The zombie corpse shoots across the quad, trailing limbs flapping – and knocks the ascending zombie from its perch, halfway up our pillar.

“Good shot, buddy!” Ace calls out.

The shotgun withdraws into the ball again, and bits of zombie continue exploding out of it.

“Told you he was having fun,” Ace tells me – and then disappears, over the edge.

Crispin and I both dive forward at once. Ace is dangling by his fingertips, from the crumbling sandstone.

Another zombie, who had evidently scaled the pillar inverted, like a sloth, is hanging from his ankles. More are now attempting the forty-five degree climb to reach us.

“Crispin, I am so sorry,” I gasp, as we each grab hold of one of Ace Bumgang’s wrists. I decide to risk the theory of revealing bad news in the face of greater danger. “But Luke has run off with the special clockwork hand…”

“He will not get far, Sarah Bellummm,” Crispin Dry intones, calmly. “They never do.”

“What – it’s been taken before?” I ask.

“Still here, you two,” Ace chips in, also sounding remarkably cool about things. “Zombie chomping on my trainers, and stuff…”

There is a whiplike crack of air, and the end of Homer’s ostrich-feather boa curls around the knees of the suspended zombie. With an expression of horror, it is yanked free.

Homer continues his burlesque dance, while the now detached dangling zombie crashes in a mess of gray splintered bone and sludge, onto the paving. The little fat zombie spectator with the bunch of flowers is now on his knees, in adoration – or perhaps due to his rickets – while the other remaining two more fey zombies appear to be taking the critical judgement evaluation standpoint, as they applaud the latest trick in Homer’s repertoire.

“It’s all right,” I say to Ace. “We’ll pull you back up…”

He glances past me, over my shoulder, wryly.

“I think I’ll stay put, thanks,” he replies.

I look up just before the shadow falls across me, and scream in the face of the latest zombie to climb the pillar…

…Just before I’m aware of a sudden rush of air, as a sandstorm blows swiftly down the street, engulfing us – and I feel Crispin grab my shoulders and flip me backwards over the edge as well…

Falling

The air is knocked out of me with a thud, as the wind seems to slap me in the face, and suddenly I’m hurtling along at speed – with Ace and Crispin sitting either side of me.

“Ah, just in time,” Crispin approves. “Ace – Sarah – may I introduce Justin Time, the carpet salesman?”

“Justin Time?” we both repeat, dazed.

The Oriental gentleman, as forewarned in the coolie hat and with the long whiskers, looks at us calculatingly over his shoulder. He is also sporting Biggles-style aviator goggles, and the traditional white tasselled mohair scarf.

“That is my name,” he snaps. “Don’t wear it out.”

“What happened?” I ask Crispin, wiping the streaming tears from my eyes, caused by wind-speed and sand.

I become aware of the distant view of the market-place wheeling far below us, and the sight of tiny angry gray zombies shaking their fists from the top of the fallen pillar. What the Hell…??

We are sitting in a rickshaw!

Mr. Time is perched just in front of us, with a little driving whip and some reins in his hands. And the reins are harnessed to…

…A rug.

The sort you put on the hall floor… an actual rug

Flying!!

More rugs are rolled up at our feet, and strapped to the back. Some of them are wriggling. And not all of them appear to be unoccupied, either.

“Mr. Time,” Crispin begins, quite loudly, while I’m sure I can hear pleas for mercy emerging from some of the carpet-bundles. “We need to get to the Six a.m. Lounge. But would you be so kind as to pick up the rest of our party on the way?”

“That will cost extra,” Mr. Time snaps again.

“I can offer you – two days off.”

“Hah!” Mr. Time leans the rickshaw. It’s as if he wants to scare us. “Twenty! In August!”

Ace is brushing bits of zombie finger off his hi-tops, before resting his feet up on one of the struggling sausages of rolled-up carpet.

“I can perhaps stretch to a long weekend in September?” Crispin ponders.

I look over the side as we circle the square again, and squeal as a zombie skull hurtles skywards past us, its eye-sockets full of white ostrich-feather.

“You insult me, Mr. Dry!” Justin Time froths, slapping the reins crossly on the back of the flying carpet. It bucks, bouncing us in our seats. “Twenty days! If you are lucky, maybe I even clean your dirty rugs too!”

“God, just give him his days off!” I appeal. A zombie arm arcs slowly over us, tumbling gently, and I suddenly find myself the surprise recipient of a dead floral bouquet.

“We have to do this,” Crispin whispers. “It is traditional to exchange the barter and the insults, so that he will feel better about it when he wins.”

He clears his throat.

“A week, Mr. Time!” he proposes. “Late July! And a long weekend in September!”

“Not listening, Mr. Dry!” our pilot shouts. “La-la-la! I want August!”

They continue their obligatory negotiations, while my mind spins, and my stomach – well, I’ve never flown before, put it that way.

“Thanks,” Ace remarks, trying to inch further away from me in the seat. “I think you actually found a clean bit of my overalls that I missed yacking on myself, earlier.”

“Sorry.” I use a tail of Lady Glandula’s borrowed robes to wipe my mouth.

A loud bang comes from the side of our carriage, and a ragged hole appears right beside him.

“Ow!” Ace flinches, and snatches his elbow off the sill of the rickshaw. Blood trickles from a large nick in his arm. “All right Crispin, hurry up. Carvery just shot me.”

“Twenty days in August, Mr. Dry!” shrieks our driver, not budging one iota.

“A fortnight in August!” Crispin relents.

Justin looks back at us, a glint of triumph in his smile.

“And a virgin!” he amends.

Oh, God… I seem to recall seeing that one coming…

But then an even bigger elephant in the room suddenly raises its ugly head – quite literally…

“Look out, Mr. Time…” Crispin points.

The pilot turns abruptly, and veers to avoid the gigantic yellow eye of the river-god, Atum. I slide sharply along the seat, sandwiched between Ace and Crispin. Ace grunts resentfully, as his shotgun-pellet wound smacks hard into the side of the rickshaw.

“Out of my way!” Mr. Time rants, waving his arm ineffectually at the looming sea-monster. “Stupid great snake! Like you own the place!”

“Technically…” Crispin begins, but then catches both of our eyes, and appears to think better of it.

The frightening rumble emanates again from the endless scaly column, and the prehensile neck curls around to follow our path, as Justin Time disciplines his wayward rug to hightail it back in the direction of the square. There is a bump, as we just clip the tip of the tallest mast on Lady Glandula’s barge in passing.

“We will discuss the terms en route,” Crispin continues, smoothly.

I don’t get it – is that him agreeing to the price, or not yet?

“…But first, my brother…?” he reminds the pilot.

“You Dry people, you all the same…” Mr. Time grumbles and raves, half to himself. Nonetheless, the rug swoops obediently into the quad.

Crispin leans out over the side as we barely kiss the air above the ground, and locks arms with his brother, just as Homer strikes a dramatic pose in his final flourish…

…And as we climb again steeply over the far side, the transvestite dancing zombie securely flying skywards with us – the ball of fighting zombies erupts, and a protruding hand grabs the very end of the trailing feather boa…

Carvery Slaughter ejects from the writhing mass, still in possession of the shotgun – which is handy as he blows the head off one last determined zombie, trying to grab hold of his foot as he is lifted free.

“Excellent,” Crispin announces, and the remainder of our group soar into the sky, away from the riverside and the frustrated slave zombies. “We will catch up with Mr. Lukan later. But for now – the Six a.m. Lounge, please, Justin Time…”

Extra doses of parody today – Monty Python’s Life of Brian, first clip… 🙂

…And the second ‘Life of Brian’ excerpt – enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

The Magnificent Septum: A Zombie Parody

Stevie Wonder vs The Clash – Uptight/Rock the Casbah mash-up…

I don’t know whether it’s my screaming, or Homer’s lethal feather boa snapping around the neck of a second zombie, rendering its future bow-tie wearing rather precarious – but suddenly all hell breaks loose.

Shotgun rounds fired from behind the upright paving slab where Carvery is hiding immediately take out a few more surprised slave zombies, and running from behind it into the back of the gathering, I see Ace knock down a few more.

Is that an adjustable spanner in his hand?

“Come on!” Luke is still urging me. “Let’s go!”

“We have to wait for Crispin!” I hiss.

Why didn’t he give us a signal? Or some form of safety code?

Typical man!

Bits of zombie are already flying, peppered with lead shot and shreds of white ostrich feather. Homer continues to whip and whirl, like Nureyev – minus the tights.

“We have to do something!” I moan. I look down in frustration at the golden clockwork hand. Why isn’t it helping us? If only I knew how to make it work!

Ace is dodging from pillar to pillar dealing with the enemy, one unsuspecting undead pyramid-builder at a time. Some of the other zombies have figured out where the gunshots are coming from, and converge on the paving-slab. Bits of them splatter around, as their own front line meets line of fire.

“I’m not waiting here to get my brains eaten by my own ancestors, thank you very much!” Luke announces. “It might be traditional – but it’s usually the other way around!”

And he makes one final – and successful – grab for the Dry family heirloom.

“Give that back!” I shout at him. “That was given to me to…”

But he has already gone, kicking up dust, as he runs down another sandy side-street.

“…Fuck!” I shout. Which was not at all how that sentence was meant to end, as it came out of my mouth.

I look back at the others. A huddle of zombies has reached the paving-slab, and Carvery straightens up, kicking it over flat on top of the nearest ones, jumping on top of it with a crunching of distressed bone and skull – giving him a few seconds to re-load.

Homer is holding his own, in the centre of a whirlwind of white feathers.

And Ace… I can’t see Ace…

“Sarah!” A hand grabs my shoulder.

All imminent bathroom requirements immediately dispensed with, I try to dislodge my inhaled tongue and turn to see Ace Bumgang behind me. Yes – it’s an adjustable spatter in his hand. I mean, spanner.

Very spattered, at the moment…

“Where’s Luke?” Ace demands.

“He ran off, that way.” I wave my arm weakly. “He stole the clockwork hand too…”

“Well – he did say he emigrated to seek his fortune,” Ace reminds me. “I guess he’s planning on cutting his losses, having worked as a minicab driver since 1971. Let’s find Crispin.”

“What about Homer and Carvery?” I ask, allowing Ace to drag me along by the elbow.

At least this is more like one of my Ace Bumgang fantasies… without the added zombie-massacre, maybe…

“Let them finish, they’re enjoying themselves,” Ace reassures me. “You know Carver’s never happy unless he’s beaten everyone else’s body-count high-score.”

I look across into the square, as we run behind the pillars. Carvery Slaughter is rapidly disappearing, under a mass of zombies, like bees flocking to subdue an interloping hornet. Every so often a gunshot hole appears in the seething, writhing bundle. I don’t hear any screaming.

I wonder if that’s a good sign.

Homer is entertaining his last few audience-members – a short fat zombie hopefully holding out a bunch of dead flowers – possibly myopic, considering Homer’s ‘qualifications’ as a semi-nude exotic dancer… and a couple of even more hopeful-looking zombies, whose posture and own flamboyant air suggest that Homer is eminently qualified, for their concept of this sort of perfomance art.

“There.” Ace points upwards.

Crispin is crouched on the top of a fallen pillar, resting at forty-five degrees to the ground, on top of some other dislodged masonry. He is apparently still scanning the area, with his little opera-glasses.

Ace and I scramble up onto the bottom of the sandstone block, and make our way up the incline of the pillar to join him, many feet above the paved market-place.

Goodness – the view from up here is spectacular!

But as I look around, I notice the snakelike river-God, Atum, still looming in the distance over the giant barge and the pyramids, examining its domain, and I gulp. That huge, ominous yellow eye looks as though it could obliterate the whole continent with one offended glance…

I look down into the square, and am rewarded with a vertiginous lurch in my gut. Homer is still dancing, in a much less threatening manner – evidently delighted to have found his niche market. Carvery is still hidden in a furious ball of zombie rage. A zombie head explodes sharply out of it, making me jump.

Still alive then, I note – only slightly disappointed.

It would be a waste of good DNA if he was torn to pieces…

“Any luck?” Ace asks Crispin.

“We’ve lost the clockwork hand,” I butt in. “Luke ran off with it – the traitor.”

“He was probably just scared, Sarah,” Ace points out. “I was scared. Look at my hand shaking.”

He’s such a liar. His own dirty blood-soaked hand is as steady as a rock.

“We were probably just a tad early,” Crispin admits, turning to scan another side-street. “The carpet salesman has an established schedule… aha.”

He points into the distance.

“The Oriental gentleman in the coolie hat, with the long whiskers,” he says.

“Where?” Ace and I both squint, into the early-morning heat-haze. The streets seem deserted – nothing but shadows and miniature sand-storms, drifting along them.

“We will need a few more minutes,” Crispin says. “I hope my brother has enough wind in his sails to stretch out his dance routine a bit longer…”

We all look downwards, to check. Still a good effort from Homer – in the distracting department – being put on below us in the quad. And still a mass of exploding zombies where Carvery Slaughter should be.

“Now – what was that about Mr. Lukan and the clockwork hand?” Crispin asks vaguely, raising his opera glasses once more…

Original shoot-out from ‘The Magnificent Seven’ – enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

Octopulpy: A Zombie Parody

Pussycat Dolls vs Michael Jackson – “Don’t Cha Wanna Beat It” mash-up…

“Seven of us – a few dozen of them…” Luke muses.

There is an expectant pause. Why is there a certain lack of humorous Pimm’s reference to follow that remark?

And then it dawns on me…

“Six of us,” Carvery corrects him.

“Oh yeah.” Luke sighs. “Forgot about your girlfriend. Sorry, man.”

Of course. Miss Knob-End, the usual air-headed wit on this occasion, is in a wooden box under the deck of Lady Glandula’s gigantic barge. Awaiting any regeneration privileges that might come her way. Or rigor mortis. Whichever arrives first.

“No worries,” Carvery shrugs. “She acts up like it all the time.”

We remain at the apex of the square, or market-place, unwilling to chance another masonry assault from above. The awaiting zombies shift restlessly in the shadows.

“Are these more relatives of yours, Crispin?” Ace Bumgang asks.

“Not mine.” Crispin shakes his head, and then glances a little sheepishly over at our Nigerian cab-driver, Luke. “But ancestors of one of our party, most definitely. The original engineers of the pyramids, you could say…”

“You mean slaves?” I gasp. Both Carvery and Ace thump me, on either arm. “Ow…”

“I could try and talk to them,” Luke suggests.

Crispin looks even more uncomfortable.

“I think you’ll find the, er… introduction protocols are a little different to what you may have experienced, Mr. Lukan,” he says. “Kneeling down and touching your forehead to the ground might be considered inadvisable, for example – unless you want it cemented there permanently.”

“Obvious, in the building trade,” Carvery agrees. “Any opportunity for the competition to make off with your tools, when you’re not looking.”

“Well, what would YOU recommend we do?” I ask him, irritably. “Seeing as you’re the expert on the – stone slab side of things.”

He gives me an assessing glance.

“You’re the one dressed as their psychotic zombie queen leader,” he points out. “Why don’t YOU come up with something?”

I look down at the glittering clockwork hand, tucked safely into the belt of my gown. It merely looks as decorative as the star on a Christmas tree right now. And about as lethal.

“Maybe there’s something helpful in that book,” I shoot back, indicating Mr. Dry Senior’s leather-bound diary, tucked into Carvery’s own waistband. “Or would it take you too long to colour all the pictures in first?”

“I’ve already checked,” he says. “No tits in it.”

“Or tacos,” Ace smirks.

“Friends,” Crispin’s powerful zombie monotone interrupts, before I can make another riposte. “We are not getting anywhere by arguing amongst ourselves. I suggest we send in a distraction.”

As one, we all exchange looks, and turn to look at Homer N. Dry – currently half-disrobed transvestite zombie. Only the ostrich-feather boa remains, from his dressing-up sessions this morning.

“Homer,” Crispin announces, solemnly. “I am giving you permission to enact that little fantasy of yours, which Father always prohibited at dinner-parties.”

Home?” Homer asks, uncertainly. A look of perverse hope flickers fleetingly across his disturbing gray face.

“Yes.” Crispin takes a deep, bracing breath, his own lungs creaking and whistling as he does so. “The one about the ladies of the Villa Negra – and the French Foreign Legion…”

Comprehension sinks in. And a broad, manic, evil grin spreads across Homer’s face.

The very same chilling grin I first saw of his, on the CCTV footage in Crispin’s hi-tech security bunker, last night…

Goooood,” Homer approves, rubbing his ragged hands together, and cracking his knuckles.

*  *  *  *  *

I peek out tentatively, around a pillar.

“Go on, Sarah.” Carvery urges, and I feel the butt of the shotgun nudge me in the spine. “Homer needs an M.C, and you drew the short finger-bone. Don’t leave the creepy little zombie dude hanging.”

The half-hidden Nigerian slave zombies are still loitering menacingly in the shadows. Homer, preening his leftover ostrich-feathers, is waiting patiently just at my shoulder.

“God, all right!” I grumble, and clear my throat.

I take one cautious pace out into the open, worrying that Carvery appears to have the gun trained on my own head – rather than at any potential attackers.

“I expect you’re all wondering why I called this meeting!” I improvise loudly, in my best cut-glass Lady Glandula de Bartheline impression. “Well, er… you’ve all been very loyal, and very hardworking. Putting up all these huge erections that I demand of you, and stuff. I can’t imagine what it must have been like lifting all of this stone, day after day. So, um… I have a little reward for you. A bit of entertainment.”

I step aside, sweeping an arm out, in a gesture of introduction.

“Gentlemen, I give you… uh…” My brain frazzles. Just say anything, Sarah! “All the way from… a galaxy far, far away… the exotic fjords of… somewhere-or-other… Princess… Homer Rottick!”

“Nice,” Carvery mutters.

Homer swirls past me into the empty market square, trailing feather boa, like a rhythmic gymnast. I hear the collective intake of zombie breath, as he pirouettes into the centre of the pavement.

Any minute now, I’m thinking. Any minute now – we’re all going to be eaten alive…

“Oooh, I hope they don’t notice that…” Luke remarks, right by my ear, sounding equally concerned. “He has a big wang for a dead white fella.”

“Must be a family thing,” I agree, instantly more worried, as Homer performs a cartwheel.

“That doesn’t sound like a virgin at all, Sarah,” Carvery points out, nastily.

“What?” I snap, wondering why I’m now thinking about Madonna, and elevators. “Why are you hanging around gawking? I thought you had a part in this plan too?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Carvery grins. “C’mon, Ace, let’s go shift some stuff.”

The two of them head off, on their own determined mission.

Crispin has taken out a small pair of opera-glasses, and is scanning the shadows. Some of the strange zombies are starting to move forward slowly into the open, attracted by the bizarre spectacle of burlesque gyrations, performed by Homer N. Dry.

“Any sign of the carpet-salesman?” I ask Crispin, hopefully.

“Not yet,” Crispin admits. “I think I will need a better vantage-point. The two of you stay here, and keep an eye on my poor brother. Well – having the time of his life for now, at least…”

While Crispin hurries away also, Luke and I watch the dancing Dry brother, with our own mixture of deep concern and horrified fascination.

I feel like exactly like Rachel did, on Friends

“Oh, God – I can’t not look at it…” I quote. My fingers, covering my face, are fighting each other to hide in my mouth.

“They are getting very close,” Luke confirms. Homer tickles the end of a zombie’s nose with a long feather. “They are going to notice quite soon that he has the wrong qualifications for this sort of lady-dancing.”

“Perhaps they’ve noticed already?” I whisper. “And they aren’t bothered?”

On the far side of the square, in the shade of another pillar, I spot Carvery and Ace – levering up a large paving-slab. My heart thumps in sympathy. I crane my neck to try and spot Crispin.

Where on Earth has he got to…??

“Can you see Crispin at all?” I ask Luke.

“Maybe he’s scarpered,” Luke says grimly, after looking fruitlessly around. “Maybe we were ALL his distraction.”

In the middle of the square, Homer continues his grotesque ballet – the strangest, gangliest, deadest Sugar-Plum Zombie Fairy I have ever seen…

“We should take the clockwork hand, and run,” Luke suggests. “Give it to me.”

“What?” I gasp in shock, as he makes a failed grab for my belt. “No!”

“Crispin has gone!” he insists. “We have to save ourselves!”

“NO!” I shout again, louder than I intended. I stumble backwards, trying to evade his attempts to snatch the precious clockwork hand. “He’ll be back! He wouldn’t abandon us…”

Suddenly one of the zombies in the market square gives a roar, and we all look around – to see the tallest, thinnest zombie standing over Homer – pointing accusingly.

“Oh, shit…” I mutter.

“Told you,” Luke reminds me. “It’s just not normal for a white dude to be flaunting THAT about.”

Homer twirls coquettishly, trailing ostrich-feather boa – which inexplicably speeds up, until it cracks like a whip…

…And the head of the tallest zombie pops straight off, bounces – and rolls right over to my feet, underneath the long gown belonging to Crispin Dry’s mother.

As I snatch up my skirts and leap aside with a scream, I see it give a much more approving grin…

Palace siege scene from James Bond ‘Octopussy’ (en Francais) – Enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

Undeath on the Nile: A Zombie Parody

Katy Perry vs Rihanna – We Found Love in Vegas mash-up…

The interior of the giant wooden pyramid is quiet, with just the empty pedestal and altar in the centre, and for a moment I take a deep thankful breath.

“I guess we’re safe…” I announce, before spotting a movement from a far darkened corner.

Crispin Dry lurches almost into view, and in one terrible split second, I think he’s injured.

“Crispin!” I cry out.

He staggers out of the shadows – and then I see what’s hindering him. In his arms, is the unmistakeable – if unnameable – body of my housemate, Miss Thingy.

“That’s why you should never trust a brain-muncher,” Carvery sighs, and is about to level the shotgun at Crispin – when Homer squeaks indignantly, pushing the gun-barrels aside.

Crispin advances on the altar, and we hurry over, as he places her body carefully on its surface.

“What happened, Crispin?” I ask.

“She reached into an urn, and was bitten by one of Mother’s pet vipers.” Crispin turns over Whatsername’s left arm, displaying two ugly blackened circular weals on the inside of her wrist. He looks up at me in despair, and his expression changes as he takes in my new turn-out. “Miss Bellummm… you look… you are…”

“Had to change, I know,” I explain, blushing fiercely.

Dressing up in his mother’s clothing probably not the best thing to do, on an almost-first-date…

“You look… most presentable…” he admits wretchedly, at last. Dragging his gaze back to the body of my housemate, he heaves a dejected sigh. Those broad shoulders in the black wool suit slump, at a loss. “I fear she needs more than an electric shock this time, Mr. Slaughter.”

Carvery shrugs.

“I’ve seen worse,” he grunts. “Usually they’re fine by the time I get back from work. Waiting for me with their gimp masks, crotchless aprons and feather dusters… it’s all just a bit of drama for the attention…”

“I reckon she could actually be dead,” Ace remarks. He lifts up Miss Dumbass’s other arm, and lets it fall back onto the altar, with a loud Bonnnk.

“So are most folk around here,” Carvery points out. “No stopping them, though.”

“She can be saved,” Crispin nods, earnestly. “But we do not have all of the required equipment here. We will have to head for the Six a.m. Lounge.”

He pulls a lever on the side of the altar. With a grinding sound, it starts to lower into the floor.

“She will be safe here,” he continues. “It was Mother’s regeneration casket – while she was alive. Once we have the necessary items to activate it, she will be as good as new.”

Am I imagining things – or does Carvery look none too pleased with that idea?

A seamless panel closes over Twat-Face, as she sinks fully below the deck. I wonder if there are air-holes down there, in case she spontaneously recovers. Someone has to pay their share of the rent…

“Who are we missing?” Crispin asks. “Has anyone seen Mr. Lukan?”

“Right here, Mr. Dry!” Luke’s voice calls out. He’s behind us, in the entranceway to the pyramid. “I think you might all want to come and see this!”

*  *  *  *  *

Outside, on the gigantic upper deck of the barge, a strange steady breeze is blowing. And the surface of the river is moving.

Not with crocodiles – but in an oddly geophysical, concentric circular motion.

“I think it’s a whirlpool,” Luke reports.

We look over the side. Crispin’s paddle-steamer, moored on the opposite bank, bobs on its tethers at the edge of the watery disturbance.

“It is not a natural occurrence,” says Crispin, grimly.

The rotating phenomenon dips in the centre – and blinks, revealing a huge, reptilian yellow eye.

“Sarah!” The butt of the shotgun clips the back of my head. Carvery is grimacing, rattling a finger in one ear. “Screaming again, Jeez… control yourself. How many sets of underwear do you get through in a day?”

The eye starts to rise out of the vortex. Scales… and more of those weird alien tentacles around it too…

“What is it?” I whisper.

“Not what,” Crispin murmurs. “More of a who.”

Taller than the masts on the giant barge, it towers over the river. The snakelike head curves downward, and swings around, surveying the surroundings. River weed trails from it, and crustaceans tumble from its sides.

“What does it want?” Ace Bumgang asks. “Is this the part where we hand over a convenient virgin sacrifice?”

“Ssshhhh!” I hiss. “This isn’t Fifty New Ways With Virgins day!”

“Sarah, if you can name fifty new ways with a virgin, and still be a virgin after number one, you’re either doing it wrong – or an incredible liar,” Carvery remarks.

“They’re usually doing it wrong on purpose,” Ace tells him. “Because they reckon it doesn’t count.”

“What?” Carvery scowls. “So you can’t change lanes without indicating?”

“It is Atum,” Crispin says, sombrely. “It means – there is unfinished business…”

An echoing, bubbling sound comes from deep within the massive serpent’s body. Dwarfed alongside, the sides of the barge vibrate, making the timbers creak.

“What kind of business?” Luke asks. He has produced his iPhone, and is trying to take a picture of himself, with the forbidding leviathan towering in the background.

“The business of the fabric of the Universe.” Crispin glances meaningfully at the golden clockwork hand, tucked into the belt part of my gown. “If he is disturbed from his waters – it means the world is not yet finished.”

“What do we do?” I ask cautiously.

“We try not to get in his way,” Crispin confirms.

“Abandon ship?” Luke suggests.

“Yes,” Crispin nods. “But in an orderly fashion. Walk, do not run, to the nearest exit.”

*  *  *  *  *

It feels strange without Miss Fuckwit, as we set off inland away from the monstrous barge, and the even bigger sea-monster.

Could she really have been bitten by a viper? I mean, it did look that way, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen an actual snake-bite before – but what if Crispin’s not being completely honest?

Could it have been a zombie-bite?

Or even – I risk a glance at Carvery Slaughter – a Taser-burn? He definitely didn’t look too happy at the thought of her being revived ‘as good as new’

The serpent-thing, Atum or whatever it is called, is preoccupied with the land around the pyramids, behaving as though something is mislaid – as it scans every surface, nook and cranny, with its huge yellow eye, on the top of the apparently endless prehensile neck.

“The Six a.m. Lounge will give us a chance to review our situation,” Crispin announces, leading the way, in his rolling zombie gait, along another avenue of palm trees. “But the route from here is not the most straightforward…”

“Not more tunnels…” I groan, wearily.

“Not at all.” Crispin pauses, and surveys the silent sandstone side-streets. “We merely need to find the travelling carpet-salesman.”

“Oh, is that it?” I say. My voice sounds oddly high. Is this what they call hysteria?

“Almost,” Crispin continues. He seems to sense my unsteadiness, and takes my arm reassuringly, with his cold zombie one. “He also enjoys a good barter, and drives a hard bargain.”

Why do I get the feeling that the word ‘virgin’ is going to be brought up again imminently?

We turn a corner into a pillared square, perhaps an empty market-place.

“This place is dead,” Ace remarks. “No offence.”

A large sandstone block pitches abruptly into the ground from high above, right in front of us. It’s big enough to demonstrate that a direct hit would have made our journey to the Six a.m. Lounge completely unnecessary.

We all look up, and spot the disappointed gray zombie face at the top of a pillar briefly, before it abruptly withdraws.

Suddenly, it seems that every shadow in the square is occupied by other shadows…

“None taken, Mr. Bumgang,” Crispin replies. “I think your estimation of the populace here is entirely accurate.”

‘Death on the Nile’ trailer, featuring Peter Ustinov and star cast – Enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

Pyganglion: A Zombie Parody

Britney vs. Ke$ha – Piece of Blah Blah Blah mash-up…

“Where are the others?” Ace asks, as we reach the bottom of the steps, heading back up into the giant pyramid shrine aboard the barge.

Carvery shrugs.

“Never touched ‘em,” he grins.

Uh-oh. I wonder if that means the crocodiles have had an early breakfast…

A figure appears at the top of the stairs, silhouetted against the flickering torchlight. The outline of a regal headdress stops my heart dead in its tracks. My kneecaps file against my body for divorce.

“How the Hell did she do that?” Ace gulps. “Next time, I’m bringing ketamine as well…”

The figure takes two paces towards us, and raises an arm imperiously, to point in our direction. I clutch the mechanical clockwork hand to my chest – but it is dormant, no sign of helpful magical activity coming to our rescue from within it at all…

Gooood,” the distant shape groans.

Then trips over its skirts, and falls flat on its face. A very impressive stair-tumble follows, shedding bangles, headddress, pendants, and unravelled silk.

“Homer!” we all shout, as the now semi-naked gray zombie arrives at our feet.

“Ouuuuuch…”

“Well, we know what he’s been up to,” Carvery remarks, as we help the bedraggled, undead transvestite Dry brother to his feet. “Found his mother’s closet again, by the look of it.”

“Do you think we could use this?” Ace suggests, picking up a tail-end of embellished white sari, or toga, or whatever it is. “Seeing as Homer likes to dress up as his mother already. Could be our ticket out of here.”

Home!” cries Homer, and we have to stop him, as he spots the distant bath-tub.

“Risky,” Carvery replies, shaking his head. “The guy can’t stay upright and facing in one direction all at the same time. But I reckon Sarah could do it.”

If my mouth could drop open any further, I’d be obliged to fit it with a manhole cover.

“Cool.” Ace holds out the toga and headdress, towards me. “Get your pyjamas off.”

Again – not the way this fantasy about Ace Bumgang was meant to happen!

“No!” I cry, more in frustration with the way my imaginary future love-life seems to be getting bulldozed at the moment, than in response to the request.

Which, under other circumstances, I’d have no problem with at all…

“Come on, Sarah.” Carvery waves the shotgun in my general direction, gesturing up and down. “It’s not like we haven’t seen it all before. Like, when you’re asleep. Or sending Ace Bumgang pictures of it, playing Draw My Thing online.”

Does this guy stop at nothing??!

“They were good drawings,” Ace nods in agreement. “All I had to do was colour them in.”

“For the last time, it was a picture of a taco!” I nearly scream at him. “Didn’t the clue ‘you eat this’ give you any ideas?”

“Yeah,” he says. “But not food-related ones. And I guessed the letters C and T, remember?”

“Wasting time, Sarah,” Carvery reminds me. “Time in which we might all get eaten, by zombies and crocodiles and stuff.”

He’s right. The zombies at the far end of the great hall by the marble bath-tub are trying to organise themselves, bumping into one another and attempting to haul the black onyx body of their zombie queen, Lady Glandula, out of the water. They’re like honey-bees, prioritising their queen first – luckily for us…

“Okay,” I relent at last. “But you guys have to turn around. No peeking.”

“NOW you don’t want us to look?” Carvery chuckles, as he and Ace, smirking, turn their backs. At least now, they can keep an eye out for danger.

Oh, God, how does this sari-toga thing work? Maybe I could just wrap it around over the pyjamas… but Homer joins in once he sees what I’m doing, flinging the fabric expertly around me, over a shoulder and under and through, pleated here and tucked in there – and in the process, my borrowed pyjamas from Crispin Dry drop discreetly onto the floor.

Phew. No more work for the lawyers of Angelina Jolie and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider at the Mutual Film Company today, then…

And now the bangles and headdress… strange. The bangles have the same sort of surface engravings and gemstones in as the golden clockwork hand. Maybe it was procured to co-ordinate with the queen’s wardrobe, when it was being made in Switzerland?

“You done?” says Carvery Slaughter, and I realise he’s been peeking all along. “Let’s go. Try to act classy. That means – not like a pizza-delivery girl. Or an alcoholic, sexually-frustrated, closet necrophiliac.”

“And Lady Glandula isn’t one, I presume?” I retort.

“Good point,” Ace agrees. “Just march right up there and ask if anyone wants to see your Thing.”

“In a classy accent,” adds Carvery.

“Just you wait, Carvery Slaughter,” I scoff at both of them. “And you, Ace. When we get back – just you wait…”

I turn around, head held high – and with Homer attending carefully to the longer bits of my gown, which would have made Pippa Middleton professionally envious – I start to ascend the grand stairs, back up into the pyramid.

“You know she rolls around naked in the cheese before they put it on your pizza?” I hear Carvery telling Ace, behind me.

…And if I ever find out who invented the idea of keeping a ’secret’ diary, I am going to travel back in time and give them a big piece of my mind…

Restored Audrey Hepburn vocal on ‘My Fair Lady’ version of ‘Pygmalion’ – Enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

Dirty Harridan: A Zombie Parody

Depeche Mode vs Prodigy mash-up: Personal Jesus/Serial Thrilla…

I notice the very briefest flicker of alarm in the zombie queen’s iridescent green eyes, before she covers it with a sneer.

But I realise the essential part of a pro-active strike, is to maintain control of the situation…

“I know what you’re thinking, Pump,” I gulp hurriedly, saying anything that comes into my head. I wave the clockwork bejewelled hand in front of me, in what I hope is a threatening fashion. “You’re thinking, does she have a trick shot or just a dive? And do you know what? I can’t even remember my name in all this excitement… But considering this is a clockwork Swiss-movement, the most powerful hand in the world, and could blow you clean off…”

Ace Bumgang looks dubious, but I jabber on regardless.

“…You have to ask your selfish quisling: Do I feel lumpy?”

God, this stupid tassel wedged up my nose isn’t helping my enunciation either. Shreds of silk drapery and twisted retainer cords from my botched ‘surprise entrance’ dangle randomly from the ceiling.

“Well?!” I demand, rather too loudly. Hoping to attract the others, if they’re within earshot. “Do you? Pump?”

“Sarah, I was just going to dose her with Rohypnol, but you carry on if you think it’s helping,” Ace remarks, his eyebrows slightly quizzical.

“Perhaps you would like to join us in the tub, Miss Bellum?” Lady Glandula says, slyly. The weird zombie tentacle appendage curls possessively around Ace’s neck once more, and tightens perceptibly. “No need to be shy…”

“Let him go,” I order, nervously.

Ace doesn’t look too bothered yet, fishing in his overall pockets for something.

“…When I know you’d rather be in here, with him?” The zombie queen gives a knowing smile, resting her elbows on the edge of the marble bathtub. “Why not just indulge your final fantasy – instead of trying to save the world, Sarah?”

I knew it – I knew she’d give something away, without realising… I act as if taking aim.

“I am a virgin, and I am not afraid to use this!” I shout.

“Really?” Ace warns, still rummaging in his pockets. “You don’t know where it’s been.”

“And it’s clockwork,” a familiar voice joins us, attached to the familiar body, stepping through the drapes on the far side. “You’ll have to keep stopping to wind it up. But I kind of want to see you do that with it anyway.”

I’ve never been so glad to see Carvery Slaughter. Well – edit that. I’ve NEVER been glad to see Carvery Slaughter. But right at this minute I’m so relieved, I could pee through a dozen mattresses.

“Be a whole lot better than reading your diary, for a start,” he continues. He points to me with the butt of the shotgun, and scratches the side of his nose. “Er – you got a little something right here…”

“Fuck it,” I say, bravely, and spit out a bit of tassel trying to stick in the corner of my mouth. “You like diaries so much, grab that one belonging to Mr. Dry Senior over there.”

“Weirdo,” Carvery mutters, but goes ahead and takes it, from the other immobile zombie guard.

I don’t understand why the guards are not resisting.

Ace finds what he’s looking for, and grabs the two drinks off the tray, from the edge of the tub. Something drops from his hand into one of them, and he swirls it quickly.

“Where were we?” he says, nudging the Lady Glandula de Bartheline. “Bottoms up.”

“I like my men keen,” she purrs, and accepts the crystal chalice.

It’s then that the four zombie guards seem to wake up, and become noticeably more menacing. They close in on the sunken bath.

And I realise.

They’re here to protect HER – not her property…

“Ace, get out of the tub,” Carvery says quietly, reaching into his own pocket.

“In good time, buddy.” Ace slowly unwinds the tentacle from around his own neck, as she takes a first sip of her drink, now completely distracted.

The zombies step closer, into the puddles overflowing the sides of the tub, and I look down at the rivulets of rose-petal-peppered water approaching my own feet.

“Back up, Sarah,” Carvery warns me.

I see his hand emerging from his pocket – holding the Taser.

Oh, shit…

And then, right in front of me – the gemstones in the clockwork hand start to glow.

“Ace!” I squeak in fright.

“What, you think Carver’s never zapped me before?” Ace grumbles, tying a knot in the tentacle, which seems to divert Lady Glandula further in a playful way, for a moment. “It’s not only your diary he likes to read in his spare time, you know.”

“That’s not what I’m afraid of right now!” I hiss.

The clockwork hand is acting as if it has a mind of its own. The two middle fingers curl in towards the palm, and the index and pinky extend out straight. The smallest stones along the knuckle joints of the two extended fingers ignite in series, like little blue runway lights.

“Any time you’re ready, Ace,” Carvery prompts.

“Just getting comfortable, dude.”

Ace leans back nonchalantly – and then grabs hold of one of the trailing curtain-cords from the ceiling. Like a gymnast, he hauls himself up out of the water, flipping upside-down as he swings out of the tub.

Carvery fires the Taser – dead square into the zombie queen’s back.

Before she even screams, the clockwork hand has mimicked the Taser current, sending a blue lightning bolt into the same target. But it’s doing something strange – the current seems to be moving in reverse, as if the clockwork hand is absorbing power from her – not discharging it…

The Lady Glandula’s skin darkens, the tentacle retracts, and that oil-slick on tarmac appearance emerges again. The zombie guards, in contact with the bathwater, do a grotesque double-speed Thriller dance as the electricity courses through them, sending every undead muscle into spasm.

But it doesn’t turn them also back into that onyx stone, unlike the queen herself. Once she is cold, dark and solid again, the gemstones dim, and the strange influx of power surging towards me fades, and ceases.

It must be the clockwork hand, I wonder. Can it give her life, but also reverse it?

Ace somersaults over the edge of the tub, as Carvery disconnects his own current. The zombie guards look momentarily disoriented.

“Let’s bust a move,” Ace announces. “Before these guys want to play.”

“Come on, Sarah.” Carvery jerks his head in the direction of the stairs. “Chop-chop.”

Not the best words to hear, coming from him – but I pull myself together, and make to follow.

Before I’ve gone more than a few steps, Ace Bumgang stops me. He reaches out towards my face – and tugs the tassel abruptly out of my right nostril.

“Ow,” I react, as he tosses it over his shoulder into the tub.

“You’re welcome,” he says, and heads off after Carvery. “Don’t dither, Sarah.”

I look longingly back at the tassel floating in the tub, with the frozen black onyx zombie queen. But the zombie attendants are starting to recover, and I daren‘t risk hanging around.

Damn – the one time Ace touches something that was at least temporarily in contact with my own body… and I don’t get to keep it for my Ace Bumgang souvenir box!

At least I have the magical clockwork hand… As I hurry after the other two, I start to wonder what its other powers might be, which are supposedly so important…

The most powerful lines of dialogue in the world: Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords

Pump Friction: A Zombie Parody

Tricky ‘Excess’ – fan edit video, from ‘Queen of the Damned’…

Neither of the zombies in charge of the stolen booty move. They just stand, stock-still, with the golden clockwork hand and the leather-bound diary on their respective red velvet cushions.

The Lady Glandula’s own hands, in contrast, seem keen to get in on the undressing-Ace-Bumgang action, as his oil-stained overalls become evidently reluctant to shift below his waist in the bathwater.

“You are a tease, Mr. Bumgang!” she gasps, wrenching ineffectually at his belt.

Perhaps it has shrunk in the wet. My hopes of Ace deliberately saving himself, for a deadly secret crush he’s concealing from everyone, soar to my dizzy heights of fantasy. Of course, if he can keep a secret like being The Stig on Top Gear, he’d definitely be able to disguise where his true love lies…

“And you’re cheating,” he remarks in response, uncurling the wandering alien tentacle from around his neck. “You have an extra limb sprouting from your… from underwater. Supposing I put this in my mouth and bite it, what happens?”

“Ooohh,” she muses, glowing green zombie eyes narrowing, fang-like teeth baring in a smile. “Why don’t you try it and see?”

I notice that the zombie guard, relegated to bartender, has apparently finished formulating whatever cocktails are order of the day for bath-side service, as he arranges crystal chalice-style glasses on a silver tray.

Yes… imminent distraction looming… now all I have to do is prioritise my targets…

I find myself wondering, as the potential outcomes for a pro-active strike unroll in my mind, what would Crispin Dry do in this situation? Or Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft? Or Gordon Ramsay… er, maybe not, in that case. Too many theoretical cooks spoil the plot, and all that…

Do I go for the diary, or for the clockwork hand first? An image of Carvery Slaughter crosses my mind, reading my own diary and sniggering, while I was at work – on God knows how many occasions. The thought fuels my indignation…

Stay focused, Sarah!

I try to estimate the pace of the bartender zombie as he approaches the marble bathtub, while attempting to ignore the distracting sounds of sloshing bathwater, and the slurping of those alien tentacle suction cups, all over the body of Ace Bumgang…

“You will not be disappointed, Mr. Bumgang,” Lady Glandula’s voice says, oozing over him like treacle. “I have exhausted many armies in my time.”

“It’s not my armies that are complaining,” Ace quips, still keeping himself braced at arm’s length, both hands on the marble side of the tub, against the hungry pull of the tentacle trying to draw him in closer.

The zombie attendant places the tray on the edge of the bath, and Lady Glandula de Bartheline, momentarily preoccupied zombie queen, reaches out towards it.

Strike, Sarah, while the iron is hot!

I dive through the silk gauze drapes towards the nearest static zombie guard, and make a frantic, one-chance-only grab at the display cushion in his arms…

A heavy silken tassel at the bottom of the curtain snags on the end of my nose in the headlong plunge, and blinded by fancy knot-work and cord, I force my hands to close anyway, on the estimated location of my target…

A great ripping noise of tortured fabric follows the continuation of my dive onto the fantastically embellished rug – and I roll, shaking my head in an attempt to dislodge the detached tassel, now quite intimate with my right nostril.

In my hands, I have it – I can’t quite believe it, but I have it…

I leap upright, helplessly spitting out bits of tassel.

“Nobody move!” I shriek, several octaves higher than normal, due to the nasal blockage, and the effects of a rotational wedgie in the pyjama-bottom department. I brandish the golden clockwork hand between my own, as if it’s a genuine Dirty Harry .44 Magnum. “Any of you zombie pigs move, and I will eradicate every tentacle-sucking last one of you!”

Warning – contains classic Tarantino language: The original ‘Pulp Fiction’ clip 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords