White Zombie vs. Billy Idol – White Wedding Zombie mash-up…
“Cut us free,” Luke suggests.
For a moment, I actually wonder if there’s a Squidmorph concealing itself in my own lower intestine. Everything below the waist threatens to explosively migrate, as Carvery looks from the chainsaw in his hand to my arm chained up at the back of the sink, speculatively.
“I think I might be able to amputate your arm at the ear,” he agrees.
“Er, let’s not rush things,” I squeak, hurriedly. Why isn’t the clockwork hand helping us?! Stupid thing, running and hiding up my trouser leg like that… “What plan do we have?”
Carvery sighs, bored once more, and goes back to sit on the edge of the lavatory
“If you cut us down, we might be able to brace that moving wall between us,” Luke continues, nodding towards the metal bunk and the unconscious zombie Homer N. Dry against the – presently static – deadly tiled wall, opposite him.
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” I worry, squinting up at the dank glass ceiling, where the dwellers of the Eight a.m. Lounge are still watching our predicament from the town square above. I’m sure I see some cash exchanging hands as well, and as I seek out and find Ace Bumgang looking down on us from overhead as well, I notice something else. “I have a feeling any cutting that happens down here as an escape plan, is going to be replayed out there as well. They’ve got Ace at sword-point!”
Carvery and Luke look up to confirm. Yes – Ace’s hands are now bound roughly with rope. He’s a prisoner as much as we are, and as his captors see us looking, they make threatening motions with various knives and cutlasses towards him.
“So?” Carvery grunts. “Less dead weight for us.”
The plumbing gurgles again, and this time seems to come from the toilet.
“God – flush, man!” Luke groans.
“Wasn’t me.” Carvery raises his feet and swings his legs. “Maybe this wall moves as well…”
But instead of a grinding of invisible cogs and the traversing of deadly chamber-ware menacingly into the room, there is another gurgle, and a splosh. A fountain of acrid water spurts out of the bowl between Carvery’s legs, and bubbles across the slimy floor.
“Eeeww!” Carvery jumps up. “They have some crack cowboy plumbing in here.” He hisses as he tries to brush the water from his trousers. “Ow…”
“What?” Luke asks.
“I think they’ve overdone the Toilet Duck.” Carvery wipes his hand on the wall. “It’s burning through my trouser-leg.”
Alarmed, I look at the pool of water trickling over the tiles, as it creeps towards me.
It’s black. It smells of battery acid. And it’s fizzing…
“The plumbing in here must lead to to the Well of Our Souls,” I whisper. “Carvery – that’s not Toilet Duck. It’s Squidmorph ink!”
“What do we do?” Luke moans, rattling his chains hopelessly.
“Whatever you do,” I begin, “don’t let it…”
A massive tentacle whips out of the bowl, showering the interior of the cell with burning droplets – and whips straight around Carvery’s ankle, turning him upside down and shaking him.
“Don’t let it what?” he jokes, as his head is bounced repeatedly off the disgusting floor. “Ow… ow… ow…”
“Don’t let it…”
“…GET HOLD OF THE CHAINSAW!” Luke shrieks for me.
The chainsaw, on cue, flies out of Carvery’s hand as he is pounded deliberately against the wall, and spins wildly across the tiles. It hits the wall close to Luke, and with a squeal he snatches both feet up off the floor, grateful at least for now that he is suspended higher up the wall on his manacles.
“Oh, no you don’t,” Carvery snaps, as the tentacle drops him unceremoniously and flails around instead to find the escaped weapon. He leaps back onto the hooked appendage, trying to hinder its attempt to arm itself further. “Bad calamari!”
“Luke!” I shout. “The chainsaw – see if you can slide it over here…”
“You’re crazy!” Luke squeaks.
I reach out encouragingly with my free hand.
“If I can get free, we can beat it,” I say, beckoning. “Just nudge it over this way. And, er, try not to switch it on. Or this escape attempt will be over very quickly…”
Luke nods, and with one eye on the ongoing battle between Carvery and the tentacle, stretches out carefully with one foot.
“Yes!” I urge, patting the floor in front of me. “Over here…”
Luke times his soccer touch perfectly. The perfect speed, the perfect curve, the perfect amount of spin…
…And the tentacle, with a whip-crack, detaches Carvery violently, sending him flying backwards onto the bunk on top of the unconscious Homer, and barrels towards me like an express train…
My hand closes around empty air – as inexplicably, the chainsaw rears up above my head. With a flick of its hooks the giant tentacle switches on the whirring blade, with a roar…
I close my eyes.
The second roar echoes around the cell, and I’m suddenly swamped in a coating of tepid, sticky, oozing, suffocating slime.
Oh, God – I’m like the bad magician’s glamorous assistant. Sawn in half… drowning in my own entrails!
But surely I shouldn’t be able to cry out? Or to still feel that stabbing in my ankle, from the tenacious golden clockwork hand, hiding up my trouser-leg?
I open one eye, tentatively. Just in time to see Carvery walking over to flush the toilet.
The last remnants of scaly, blubbery skin vanish down the pan. Carvery turns back to look at me, and I see Mrs. Frittata’s shotgun in his other hand.
“Gun must have dried out properly,” he remarks. “Just in time.”
“You had the gun on you all along?” I exclaim, shaking now more with rage than with fear and revulsion. “Where were you hiding it?”
“Down my pants,” he scoffs. “Right behind my knob.”
“Well, that’s reassuring,” I snap. “Knowing that you can conceal an offensive weapon behind the one you already have.”
Even while retaliating, I’m aware of consciously trying not to picture the implied scale of the aforementioned deadly Carvery Slaughter attachment… Stupid traitorous hormones!!
We all look up. Some more cash is grudgingly exchanging owners above us in the street, but Ace is still upright. Thank God…
Homer’s bed grinds another three inches inwards, across the floor.
“I don’t understand,” I whimper. “We’ve got the diary – we’ve got the clockwork hand. What are they waiting for? Why are they torturing us?”
“I think they’re still waiting for the heathen magic,” Carvery reminds us. “Sure you don’t have any voodoo on you, Luke? They‘ve even provided you with a half-dead zombie to start you off.”
“They’re crazy!” Luke yelps. “You’re all crazy…”
I start to get pins-and-needles in my ankle, at the location of the clockwork hand. And as the wall inches closer inwards again, evidently working now over shorter consecutive periods – like the road-markings approaching the end of a freeway – the tingling starts to heat up. It feels as though a candle has been lit under my foot.
“I don’t know about you,” I mutter, “but something hoodoo is happening down here…”
The tiles on the floor around me start to click rhythmically, and seem to slide against one another like a picture-puzzle. The walls bulge, organically this time.
“Dude,” Carvery remarks. “There’s a weird light shining out of the toilet…”
Before he finishes speaking, the room revolves ninety degrees.
The light gets brighter, gradually outshining the daylight from above. The onlookers in the citadel square overhead back away, covering their eyes.
“Fuck!” Carvery suddenly exclaims, still looking into the toilet-bowl, like a lightweight freshman on his first Rag Week night out. “It blinked!”
Luke’s shaking stops. As he breathes out calmly and the light in his own eyes changes, it is apparent that perhaps he does have a little knowledge of the occult…
“It’s a scrying bowl,” he states quietly. “It’s Atum. He’s keeping his Eye on us. And on the clockwork hand – and on the little book.”
“From the toilet?” I can’t stop myself from scoffing. “If he’s the most all-powerful god of all creation, surely he’d find somewhere better to watch us from?”
“Careful what you wish for, Sarah Bellum,” Luke warns.
And the entire floor suddenly drops away, beneath us…
Toilet scene from ‘ParaNorman’ – a must-see, zombie-fan family fun! 🙂
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
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