Depeche Mode’s ‘Policy of Truth’ – an early remix by Reaps007
Our driver takes Crispin’s advice, scattering street-garbage as we cut to the right. Faced with a deserted residential crescent ahead, and flooring it. With any luck we’ll beat the ambulance-jackers to the next junction, and head them off.
I wonder how my housemate is holding up in there, with her reattached thumb, and record-breaking collection of boyfriend-imparted abuse injuries and STDs. Being kidnapped by spare-parts-hungry zombies and rattling around in a stolen ambulance is probably an improvement, for her.
Knowing her as well as I do, she’ll have Stockholm Syndrome by the time we catch up with them. Hmmm. Maybe they’ll give her a new Zombie name. That would help things along, at any rate. I’ll have something to put on her tombstone. Something to identify her, before the engraved words ‘Feel free to wipe your feet on this Doormat’.
I must have known her name at some point…
We hurtle out of the junction, just missing the rear of the passing ambulance – by a gnat’s twat.
“Dammit!” I shout, frustrated.
“Which hospital are they transferring your friend to?” Mr. Lukan – the taxi-driver – asks us.
“They will require somewhere with surgical or dissection facilities,” Crispin Dry muses, and I feel his cold zombie fingers squeeze my own more tightly.
I’m glad I’m sitting down, because my hamstrings are suddenly akin to soggy spaghetti. I’ve never heard the word ‘dissection’ sound so attractive. Considering that to me, it’s already right up there with ‘Forensics’ and ‘Pathology’.
“The University campus?” the driver suggests. “It’s the Masquerade Summer Ball tonight – all the buildings will be open for showcase presentations…”
“Yesss,” Crispin hisses, in his hypnotic monotone, causing my buttocks to clench sympathetically to my jellied hamstrings. The ambulance, rocking along the road in front of us, abruptly takes a turning indicated by a Cramps University road-sign. “Go with your feelings, Luke…”
Sure enough, the ambulance heads straight for the Science buildings. It is allowed directly through the barriers, by the night security team.
“They must have been alerted to the power cut at the main hospital already,” I say. “What about us?”
“You just stay quiet,” says Luke. “Let me worry about the guards.”
Before I can worry about what that might entail, we pull up at the barrier, and Luke rolls his window down.
“Where are you driving this – thing?” the night security guard demands, eyeing the zombie-entrail-smeared windshield, and shreds of garbage clinging to the bodywork.
“Patient transfer from Cramps University Hospital,” says Luke, briskly. “We’re with them.”
“I wasn’t notified,” the guard responds, deadpan, and his one glance at the two of us huddled in the back seems to seal our fate. “And no partygoers under the influence allowed in the Science buildings. You’ll have to go back across the street to the public car park for the Masked Summer Ball, folks.”
“My mistake,” says Luke smoothly, putting the taxi into reverse. “Thanks for your help.”
“No!” I cry, as we turn in the road. “My housemate – she’s here!”
“We won’t help her by charging in on our own, tearing the place up,” Crispin reasons – although it sounds like perfect zombie retribution to me. “We’ll be better off mingling with the crowd, and waiting for reinforcements.”
“What? I’ve never heard of an escape plan like that before!” I shout. I rack my brains. Or have I? Was it Steven Seagal? Oh no, wait – I think that was the takeover scene in Under Siege… they all hung out pretending to be part of the crew, and then some more flew in by helicopter, and then…
“It’s cool, man,” Luke interrupts my procrastinating thoughts. “You two hang out here at the party, and I’ll find a way to distract the guards. Give me ten minutes, then you can stroll right through.”
“Ten minutes? She’ll be hamburger by then!” I rant.
“But you forget, Sarah Bellummm,” Crispin says, soothingly. “I have all the necessary spare parts.”
And he pats the lid of the Human Tissues container, still on the seat between us.
I just manage to stop myself from yelling at him, that if he hadn’t stolen them in the first place, we wouldn’t even be in this predicament…
Luke drops us in the car-park of the main campus, circles around, gives us a brief salute, and heads off on his mysterious mission, pulling up the brown hood of his Christian Audigier skull-logo jacket.
Students and faculty staff are converging on the Conference Hall, in a dazzling array of costumes and masks. Fireworks in the night sky scatter rainbow light, reflecting off all the glitz and glitter.
“We’re not in costume!” I whisper, in panic. “They’ll think we’re gatecrashers!”
Crispin turns and looks at me, appraisingly.
“I see a perfectly attractive young woman, dressed for the occasion as a pizza-delivery girl,” he says, quite calmly. I look down at my Pizza Heaven work fleece, wondering if he still recalls what I said earlier about having nothing on underneath. It’s certainly starting to feel a bit itchy, in a couple of specific places. “And I have come as a zombie Crispin Dry, the famous vending machine entrepreneur. I do not see anything about either of us to arouse suspicion. Just try to avoid stealing too many magnums of Champagne.”
I flush scarlet. My thinly-disguised alcoholism is obviously doing me no favours. But he’s right. I’ve thought of pretty much little else but that next Sloe Gin Sling awaiting me, when we get back to his place at some point.
“As if!” I scoff instead though, trying to feign hurt feelings. Idly, I wonder how big the wine cellar might be, under that huge mansion of his.
Crispin takes my hand with his free one, the other carrying the Human Tissues transport box (now relegated to the role of fancy-dress prop) and leads me up the grand steps, into the Conference Hall.
The décor is breathtaking. No expense has been spared on lighting and effects. I take in the gold drapery and red carpet in the giant lobby, set off with full-size potted palms, and ten-metre plasma screen displays. I gaze around, open-mouthed, momentarily forgetting my dear housemate, Fuckwit, currently being demolished by zombie surgeons in the Science block across the road…
The familiar voice brings me back to planet Earth with a clang. I lower my eyes from the gaudy fabric-swirly in the ceiling, to meet the startled gaze of my own reflection, in a fancy-dress welding mask. The wearer pushes it up, sharply – but I’ve already identified the owner of those to-die-for pectorals, in the deliberately charred workman’s coveralls…
“Ace!” I squeal, terrified.
My dream encounter shatters into a million pieces. For not only am I here in my work clothes, on a mission to save my housemate-slash-best friend, Name-That-Smell – I’m here with Someone Else. Whose hand I’m still holding…
Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!
This isn’t the way it was meant to happen…!!
Ace’s fabulously dark brown eyes look me up and down.
“Tight budget on the costume front, huh?” he remarks.
“Could say the same for you, petrol-head,” I shoot back, trying to disguise the tremor in my voice.
My knees are knocking, and trying to switch places in time with the music.
“Or did you spend the budget on your date for the night?” he teases, nodding towards my zombie companion, Crispin. “That’s a pretty good look-alike. Does he do Strip-a-Grams, as well as escorting?”
“I don’t know,” I say, tersely, ignoring the zombie’s low growl. “I’ll have to ask him later, when I’m negotiating my after-party extras.”
“No need to boast,” Ace grins. Oh Em Gee. Looks as good as his should come with CPR instructions, for faint-hearted females. “I brought a date too, you know…”
My failing heart sinks as he turns slightly to look behind him, and another familiar face atop an Adonis body swivels to gaze at me.
“Hello, Sarah,” says the human butcher and bulldozer, his eyes half-hidden, American Psycho-style, behind an Avon anti-stress refrigerator mask.
It’s him. Miss Fucktard’s assault and rechargeable battery-powered boyfriend.
The most recent cinematic version above – Enjoy. Hmm… Maybe I could do a ‘Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum: The Musical’ – someone get me Tim Burton on the phone… 😉
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
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