Reaps007 remix of ‘I Feel Loved’ by Depeche Mode…
“How nice to see you,” the psychopath continues, dripping sarcasm like hydrochloric acid. Which I bet he already keeps stockpiled, in his own bathroom. “Are you still stalking guys, pretending to deliver pizzas for a living?”
“Carvery,” I greet him coldly. “And are you still pretending to be the love of my housemate’s life?”
“You look a little bit worse for wear, Sarah,” Ace Bumgang says, tilting his nearly-full pint glass towards me. “How many have you had so far?”
“Not enough to have my beer goggles on yet,” I answer haughtily.
Even though, confronted by Ace Bumgang and the equally delicious-looking Carvery Slaughter – my forgettably doomed housemate’s current psycho-with-benefits – I feel as though both of my ovaries are racing to hatch the first available egg.
Damn my traitorous hormones! Faced with the two most pheromone-loaded specimens of live masculinity at the University’s Masquerade Summer Ball, my eligible dream zombie Crispin Dry, lurking silently at my side, seems no more than a cardboard cut-out in comparison.
“You could have fooled me,” Carvery cuts in slyly, indicating my companion, on cue.
I wish Crispin would do something to defend my honour, fly into zombie rage action… but he’s too genteel, too eccentric. Edward Scissorhands meets Michael Keaton’s Batman incarnation, without the art of a director like Tim Burton to hold it together. Those ‘fifty shades of gay’ that I suspected earlier are looming again – in contrast to the overwhelming testosterone now evident in the room.
“Seriously,” Ace continues, to my own surprise, with a hint of concern in his voice. “You’re actually drooling, Sarah. It’s kind of creepy. And your right eye is all wandering and squinty. I’m sure you were limping as you walked in. To be fair, I thought it looked like you’d had a stroke. I remember what it was like when my old dear had one. You should go to the hospital, get checked out – if it’s honestly not the alcohol this time.”
“No, I’m fine, really.” I shudder, ignoring my ongoing light-headedness, and the numbness now obvious in my right hip. The hospital is the last place I want to be right now…
“Or maybe your pay-as-you-go date is just more lively in the sack than he looks?” Carvery suggests. “I’ve seen more than a few girls hobbling around and dribbling, after a good session in my company.”
“And the rest are under your floorboards, I imagine?” I reply, trying to match him, snark for snark.
He shakes his head.
“That’s the benefit of having my own paving business,” he smiles nastily. “They’re all under everyone else’s property.”
My mouth drops open, like an unsecured loft hatch. The nerve! He could get sued for use of sub-standard foundation materials… everyone knows that human remains don’t retain their structural integrity, even when buried in concrete…
My voice refuses to co-operate, as some announcement comes over the Conference Hall tannoy, about an imminent World Poverty lecture by Bono from U2, in the main amphitheatre. Partygoers in fancy-dress costume and masks start to gravitate towards the theatre doors.
“Ten minutes have passed, Sarah Bellummm.” Finally! Crispin interrupts, coming to my rescue – like a Speaking Clock in shining armour.
“I’m afraid I will have to leave you, gentlemen,” I say, striking out for the use of courtesy as a weapon. But the way I’m currently slurring, I note it sounds more as though I was declaring my undying love to them both, in drunken Bavaria-dialect German.
At least I have the satisfaction of seeing some disappointment mingled with their repulsion. Although disappointment at what, I’m not sure – depending on what they just heard me say.
“Not staying for a drink, then?” Ace observes, as I link my arm with Crispin once more.
“Perhaps you’re right,” I say, rebelliously.
I take Ace Bumgang’s pint of Snakebite & Black out of his hand, and down it almost as fast as stand-up comic Billy Stephens. Christ. How does he do that? It feels as though it’s going to whoosh straight out of my ears…
I act as if to hand the empty glass back, letting it slip through my fingers before Ace can grasp it, intending it to smash dramatically on the floor. But I’d forgotten the red carpet laid out especially for the Masked Summer Ball. The pint glass merely bounces, and delivers me a crack on the shin.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Ace queries, sounding even more doubtful.
“Of course,” I retort. “And you shouldn’t be drinking anyway. I’m sure they can find a new Stig to replace you, on Top Gear.”
“Well, would you drive that fast sober?” Ace calls after me, as I turn away, head in the air – now finding out what it’s like to limp with both feet.
I wish I had a clever parting shot to deliver over my shoulder… Jeremy Clarkson would have thought of one… instead I allow Crispin Dry to guide me back down the many steps of the Conference Hall, to the magnificently-decorated, open-air quad outside, still ringing with the sound of the fireworks display. Where I promptly join several Freshers in their celebrations, by throwing up the Snakebite & Black all over my own feet.
* * * * *
I don’t know how Luke did it, but there is no sign of the night security guard at the gates of the Science block. We hurry through, and I point out the abandoned ambulance by the Anatomy & Physiology Department.
“They must have taken her up to Pathology,” I say. The thought of my housemate being subjected to zombie torture isn’t as terrifying as it had been, just fifteen minutes earlier. Perhaps seeing her current real live psychopath, who attempts to put her through the meat-grinder on a regular basis, has put the thought into subjective context.
She’d probably compare a zombie rampage to having a Swedish Massage, measured up against one of her booty-calls from him.
At least here the electricity is still functioning, unlike at the hospital. We rush past signs directing us to the laboratory, although they’re kind of negated by the trail of blood, and infrequent bits of abandoned zombie.
At last, we find the dissection bay, and burst in.
“Oh, no!” I cry. Both my eyes and mouth are competing with each other, over who wants to be covered up first. “We’re too late…!”
Crispin lurches over to the gurney and puts the Human Tissues box onto the steel counter, suddenly all businesslike and professional. My housemate, Zero-for-Brains (pretty accurate description, right now) is lying there with all her incisions exposed, and bloodied instruments scattered around, some of them still half-inside her like a game of Operation.
The zombies themselves have apparently long gone…
“It is just a matter of replacing the components in the right order,” says Crispin, the epitome of calm confidence. “And not crossing the streams.”
“Not crossing the what?” I ask, bewildered. So much gore – it can’t be possible…
“The bloodstreams, Sarah Bellummm,” says Crispin. “You have to ensure that you don’t confuse the veins and the arteries.”
“I knew that,” I snap, irritated, wondering why I’m suddenly craving giant marshmallows. “You insert, and I’ll stitch up.”
We work feverishly. Or maybe I just work feverishly. Crispin works methodically, as if servicing and replenishing any old vending machine. In due course, we have a complete and watertight cadaver on the gurney between us. A cadaver that used to be my housemate. My best friend. Aaargh! I’ll have to think of a pet-name for her. This is ridiculous.
“Well?” I say. “How do we wake her up?”
Crispin stares at me, with his inky black eyes.
“Oh,” he says, crestfallen. “You wanted her alive?”
“Of course ALIVE!” I yell. “What do we have to do? Invoke a special god? Say some magic words? Take her to a forbidden temple? Sacrifice an illegal immigrant? Tell me how we bring her back to life, dammit!”
“I can do that,” interrupts a sardonic voice, and the evil outline of Carvery Slaughter appears in the doorway. “Wondered where you had to be in such a hurry.”
He saunters in, the laboratory spotlights glistening off his hard, unyielding musculature. Oh boy. Would I sperm-jack him… Posthumously, of course. After I’d bumped him off, and figured out how to dispose of the body.
“So,” he continues, looking impassively down at the shape of his hitherto punch-bag. At least most of the swelling has gone down, since being shanghaied and pillaged by zombies. She’s barely recognisable from how I usually see her, except for being black-and-blue still. “What trouble did Wank-Tits get herself into this time?”
Phew. At least it’s not just me, who never remembers her real name.
“She became a live organ-donor,” I say, scowling at Crispin, who has the sense to look suitably pensive. “We’ve fixed her up, but I don’t know how to re-animate her. I only perform on dead people.”
“Yeah, I had heard that about you,” Carvery sighs, and peels up one of Miss Numb Nut’s eyelids. “Yeah, it’s not too late. I have to carry one of these. Girls conk out on me all the time. It’s a tough life, being such a stud.”
He walks around to the foot of the gurney, and takes out a Taser. I’m just quick enough to leap away from the metal trolley, as he stabs the contacts into the sole of her foot.
Her whole body arches off the trolley. After a few seconds, the psychopath disconnects the current, and she slams back down again, scattering the remaining instruments.
After what seems like a millennium, she suddenly takes a long, shuddering breath.
“She’s alive!” I cry, relief flooding through me, like the effect of mild bladder weakness on the underpants.
“Yay,” says Carvery Slaughter, deadpan. He twirls the Taser in his hand, and puts it away again.
Crispin takes the professional attitude. He prods her shoulder.
“Can you open your eyes, Miss…?” He looks at me for a prompt. Carvery and I exchange a look, and both shrug.
“My eyes are open,” she mumbles. Phew. At least she can still talk. That tongue was very fiddly to insert.
“I think you have your eyes wide shut at the moment, Miss,” Crispin confirms. “Can you tell me your name?”
We all lean in, hopefully.
“Er…” Fuck. Maybe that was too much to hope for. “My boyfriend… I think he knows. Something beginning with N… Nim… Nymph… I think it might be Nymphette…”
“Nympho,” Carvery corrects her. “But only if you’re good, then I call you Nympho.”
She bolts upright on the trolley, tears streaming down her face, her bloodstained arms outstretched.
“Carver!” she cries. “I knew you’d come to my res… res… resuscitation…”
“Yeah, yeah,” he grumbles, and helps her off the trolley. “Come on, Punk. I’ll take you home. Unless you want to come back to the party with me first. You make a good Autopsy costume impression, in your current state…”
“Punk…?” I query, wondering if it’s something I’d recognise as printed on our tenancy agreement. “Is that an abbreviation?”
“Short for Pumpkin, I guess,” Carvery tells me. “Because usually she looks like one, if you get my drift.”
With an unpleasantly meaningful wink, which puts thoughts into my head of both sex and shovels, he leads her out. I hear her apologising to him for being so useless as usual, as their footsteps fade away down the passage.
“We should go too, Sarah Bellummm,” Crispin says, interrupting my thoughts of sperm-jacking and justice.
Dumbly, I nod. Maybe there’ll be another Gin Sling in it for me tonight, after all.
* * * * *
Luke, the taxi-driver, meets us outside.
“Back to the hospital,” Crispin orders. “My Cadillac is there.”
“Sure thing,” Luke nods.
“What happened with the security guards?” I ask. We go over a speed-bump leaving the Science block, and I hear a thud and a knocking sound coming from the trunk. “Is your car all right? It’s making a bit of a funny noise back here…”
“I just pretended to need a little roadside assistance,” Luke chuckles. “They were very co-operative. I didn’t even need to use the force.”
* * * * *
The zombies had moved on from the hospital car-park, so we were able to retrieve the Caddy easily, and drive back to Crispin Dry’s mansion, in silence. My Pizza Heaven scooter is still where I left it, on the palatial driveway.
He turns to me, and sighs. It has been a long night.
“Can I offer you a nightcap, Sarah Bellummm?” Crispin says quietly.
“Thought you’d never ask!” I leap promptly out of the passenger door. I’m parched.
“You can use the bathroom and shower, if you wish,” he says, as we enter the huge abode. I look down at my housemate’s blood all over my work uniform. Good point. Some of this might be infectious. “I will make the drinks.”
There is a large gold-and-marble en-suite bathroom in an apartment on the first floor. I scrub my skin all over with a loofah until I am bright red, then turn the water to cold and wait until I am pale blue.
Hopefully nothing serious could survive that. I wonder if I should get myself checked for radiation at the Physics department as well tomorrow, just in case. You never know what else Twat-Face might be carrying, a little voice says in my head.
I emerge from the shower in a white towel. Strange. My uniform isn’t where I left it. I head out of the bathroom, into the bedroom of the luxurious suite of rooms.
“I put your uniform in the incinerator,” Crispin greets me apologetically. Thank goodness, he is standing there with a tray of drinks. I grab the nearest glass and knock the contents back in one, before reaching for the second. “Only your underwear was free of bloodstains. I can lend you some clean ones belonging to my household staff, along with some other clothes…”
“No thanks,” I say, plonking the second empty hi-ball glass back on the tray. “I don’t think I want to wear any of your other tarts’ trophy knickers.”
I turn away, summoning all of my pride, and hear him gasp as I drop the towel on the floor dismissively, in a blatant impersonation of Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Even though she didn’t win an Oscar for that one, it’s still one of her most-Googled scenes. Hah! He’s not immune to my charms either, then…
I give him a triumphant glance over my shoulder, before striding over to the bed, and reaching for my own underwear.
The effect is completely ruined, when his pet cockerel runs flapping across the duvet. Meaning I have to spend the next hour and forty-five minutes chasing it around the suite, while it panics, the gusset of my knickers wrapped around its leg.
The original above (excerpt). Enjoy (if you can, in such a short space of time!) 😉
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
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