Pendulum remix of Prodigy’s ‘Voodoo People’…
“Mrs Frittata is going to be very annoyed that you’ve taken her Sunday wig as well,” Crispin scolds his brother, while the transvestite zombie cowers in the closet, attempting to hide his face in shame, behind a bejewelled clutch-purse.
“Who’s Mrs Frittata?” I ask, wondering if they refer to their mother so formally in this house.
“The housekeeper,” Crispin groans. “She and her two sons, the Frittatas, form the main hub of my staff here. Jerry Frittata is my driver, while Ben Frittata is the gardener. There was a third Frittata brother, who did odd jobs as handyman on the estate – but he fell down a well in the sunken garden some years ago, and has never been quite the same since.”
“Is he in care?”
“No, still down the well. He likes to try and entice female visitors to climb down and kiss him, impersonating a cursed frog. Honestly. Like you say, as if women persist in believing that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before a prince appears, these days.”
“Quite,” I agree stiffly, thinking of my brainwashed housemate, Insert-Name-Here – who was virtually born with a glass slipper between her legs – and had been discussing the very same myth with me (in her usual deluded fashion) earlier this evening. Before having her boyfriend-amputated thumb reattached.
The reminiscing is interrupted by the ‘DONNNGGG’ of the impressive doorbell, reverberating through the mansion.
“Strange…” hisses my host for the night so far. “Who would call at this hour? I only ordered the one pizza…”
“Er – which you still haven’t paid for!” I point out, hurrying after him, as he leaves his mother’s boudoir.
With a squeak of abandonment, I hear his brother Homer disentangling himself from coat-hangers and designer footwear on the floor of the closet, and shuffling quickly to keep up – jabbering ‘Home… home…’ as he scuttles after us along the corridor, to the second-floor landing.
I risk a glance behind. His progress is hindered, Pippa-Middleton-style, by the pink fishtail wiggle dress.
Well – he doesn’t look too dangerous… At least, not to humans, I think, as he burps a chicken feather.
We descend the two flights of stairs to the ground floor again. Reaching the doors first, Crispin answers it himself – just as he did when I first arrived, with that pizza.
I wonder how I’m meant to ride the Pizza Heaven scooter back, now I’m only wearing his loaned pyjamas.
“Luke,” Crispin greets our Legally-entitled-to-work-since-1971 Nigerian taxi driver, from the hospital. “What brings you here?”
“The young lady left her mobile phone on the seat of my cab,” Luke announces, holding it out to me. “I was passing by on another passenger route, thought I would see if you folk were home.”
“How kind!” I say, although I’d barely missed it. The only calls I get are from my housemate Twatface, when she has some new drama with Carvery Slaughter…
I pocket the phone, and look up again, just in time to see another movement in the doorway behind the taxi-driver…
Speak of the Devil…
“Hey, this doesn’t look like The Astoria,” Miss Novelty-Tricks slurs, staggering in behind Luke.
“No – this is way better,” says another familiar voice, and – oh, no – Ace Bumgang lopes in as well. “Where’s the bar in this place?”
Last and definitely least, Mister Slaughterhouse himself walks in, and spots me immediately.
“Don’t know about the bar, but I’ve found the toilet,” he says, meaningfully. “Hello again, Sarah.”
“I’m sorry.” Luke apologises to Crispin, trying to herd the three of them back outside. “Drunk customers. Always leaping out of the cab if you so much as stop at a traffic light. Let‘s get you nice people home…”
“Home!” shrieks Homer N. Dry, tripping over his skirts, at the bottom of the stairs.
“Oh, do we have to?” complains Whatsername, pointing at the fallen zombie. “It’s fancy dress here as well, look…”
“Please,” Crispin steps aside, gesturing into the grand hall. “Make yourselves all at home. It is the least I can do to thank you, for returning my friend’s property. You will find a drinks bar in the Three a.m. Lounge – straight ahead to your left.”
“Very kind of you,” Luke grins, and strolls jauntily after the others.
I grab Crispin Dry’s sleeve.
“None of them are virgins,” I warn him, under my breath. “If you were thinking of including them in your little experiments in the basement!”
“Not at all,” he smiles. “Why would I need them, when I still have you, Sarah Bellummm?”
And he limps after them. Homer manages to get to his feet in turn, and hobbles along in pursuit.
A moment later, the cockerel appears in the kitchen doorway, gives me a sidelong glance, and flutters in the same direction.
“Et tu, Brute?” I sigh. “Looks like everyone wants to go and play with the big boys tonight…”
I hesitate, wondering whether to just go back to my scooter, taking my chances with the unknown zombies out there, and my boss at Pizza Heaven instead. It would beat the company of two very definite zombies, and one certified girlfriend-battering psychopath, right here in this house. Although the thought of Ace Bumgang getting himself approachably drunk in the same vicinity is hard to resist…
But with escape resolutely in mind, as I’m aiming for the kitchen to retrieve my crash helmet and keys, I’m alerted by the creak of floorboards overhead – and the unmistakeable sound of someone moving around upstairs…
“Someone else is in the house!” I cry, bursting into the Three a.m. Lounge. Miss Tosspot has somehow ended up wearing Homer’s hat, and Crispin is mixing up cocktails. He looks at me and holds out a Sloe Gin Sling in his gray-skinned hand. My legs betray me immediately, carrying me in a bee-line to the bar. “Didn’t you hear me? There’s someone in the room above the kitchen! I heard them moving around!”
“Ah,” Crispin muses, as I drain the cocktail in one gulp. “Our antics have awoken the housekeeper, Mrs Frittata. Homer, I hope you have prepared your apologies regarding her Sunday wig?”
“Homer!” cries Homer, clamping the wig to his ears, with both hands.
“What will she do?” Ace queries.
“Well, as she usually does when roused by strange noises in the early hours, she will wake up her two sons, Ben and Jerry, arm themselves with shotguns, and scour the property looking for interlopers.” Crispin leans idly on the bar, twirling a paper cocktail umbrella between his fingers. “Oh. I haven’t introduced any of you to the Frittatas, have I? How remiss of me.”
“We should go,” I announce, putting the hi-ball glass back down regretfully, and wishing there was a full one right next to it.
“No need,” says Crispin, smoothly. “The mansion is full of secret passageways. It is rather fun to play at avoiding the persistently dogged Mrs Frittata and her sons for a few hours.”
He pulls a lever under the bar, and a wall of bookshelves abruptly disappears. I’m disappointed to see that Carvery Slaughter, who was leaning nonchalantly against it, doesn’t follow through, but merely straightens up with the slightest acknowledgement of one eyebrow.
Grrrr… that butcher is going to pay in blood one day… and maybe sperm, given the opportunity.
“Shall we?” Crispin suggests. “And quickly? The Frittatas are always bad-tempered before breakfast.”
The others shrug and follow. I take out my Trevor Bayliss wind-up torch again, and duck into the narrow passageway behind them. I hear the shelves grind back into place, after I’ve gone less than ten feet into the walls of the great mansion.
“There are some minor hazards en route in these passages, designed to prevent misuse,” Crispin’s voice intones, from the front. “Just be careful to only follow my lead. Now – here we have pit of spikes. The ladies – yes, that includes you, Homer – will need assistance to step across…”
“This is scary,” I hear Miss Fuck-Nose whining, somewhere in front of me. “I can’t see a thing down here!”
“NOW you’re complaining of being scared?” Carvery mutters, in disbelief – much closer than I like to think.
Bringing up the rear, I approach cautiously, and shine my torch downwards. My toes are at the edge of a pit so deep and dark, even the torchlight fails to illuminate the bottom.
“When you’re ready, Sarah,” says a grim voice.
I look up into the evil eyes of Carvery Slaughter, feet braced across the abyss, holding out his hand to help me bridge the gap. Oh boy. I know where I’d like those spikes to end up…
I put my torch in my pocket, and allow him to take my shaking hand. But my feet panic, both wanting to go first – and my heels skid off the edge of the precipice.
I’m left dangling by one wrist, held at arm’s length by the monster Carvery Slaughter.
“Thinking of dropping me?” I challenge, numb with terror.
His amber eyes bore into my brain, faintly disgusted.
“You wish,” he replies. “Pervert.”
“I know what you’re like!” I hiss at him.
“No you don’t,” he says. And with barely a flick of his elbow, deposits me on the other side.
What? He didn’t try anything??
“You’re the kind of guy who’d break into my room, and wank on my diary!” I hiss again, and cover my mouth, horrified. Did I say that out loud?
“Only if it was full of stuff about cars and firearms,” he shrugs, easing himself over the gap, and falling into step again. “But I’ve read it already, when you’ve been at work. It’s all about dead guys at the body farm, and your fantasy notion about Ace Bumgang being The Stig. And if I wanted to, I could just wank on him when he crashes out at my place, so your diary is kind of a poor substitute. You don’t even talk about your tits or touching yourself in it.”
Outraged, I can’t even speak, let alone think of a response.
“Up ahead,” Crispin’s impeccable monotone breaks the fuming silence, ringing in my ears. “There is a giant pendulum. But it may be quite rusty now – and is a little unpredictable…”
Behind me, I hear a distant clatter, and the grumbling of three apparently male voices.
“Aha, Mrs Frittata and Sons have joined us,” Crispin continues. Odd. I thought the third son lived in the well? But Crispin seems to sense our communal doubt. “…Hers is the bass voice with the hacking cough, that you can hear. It might be an idea for the seven of us to split up at some point.”
“Hmmm…” I hear Carvery’s voice, right by my ear again. “That would make things more interesting…”
Short clip of the original – classic 🙂 Enjoy…
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
See what everyone’s laughing about… 😉
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