Duran Duran vs. Was Not Was – Notorious Dinosaur mash-up…
“Where will it take us?” Luke demands, now trying to hold the small rip in the blanket together, having extricated his buttocks from it. We are swinging rather dangerously around in the bundle suspended from the Pterydactyl’s neck, and I’m currently hoping that Carvery’s trigger-happy shotgun has a safety catch on it.
“Not to its nest, I hope?” Ace adds.
“Most likely it will try to dislodge us first,” Crispin replies. “Possibly by finding a nice flat rock to pound us against.”
“Well, of course,” says Carvery. “If it’s going to eat our brains, it’ll want to get us out of the wrapper first.”
“Braaaiiiiiiinsss,” Homer agrees, mournfully.
Luke suddenly yelps.
“Hey, who’s got their tongue in my ear?” he hollers.
“Sarah…” Ace warns.
“It’s not me!” I say indignantly.
“Hard to tell in this tangle,” Carvery grumbles. “There’s at least two dicks poking into my lughole.”
“They’re not mine either,” I snap.
“I think Homer’s appetite may be returning,” Crispin ponders. “He has been a zombie a while longer than me – and his deterioration will be more advanced. I will need to get him back to the house for further treatment.”
“You’re talking about more organ transplants?” I ask.
“Yes,” he says. “And there are certain psychotropic drugs which will subdue his natural appetites.”
“Un-natural, you mean,” Luke replies, and there is a shove somewhere in our collected mess of limbs. “Homer! I am not a popsicle!”
“Who’s trying to feel up my leg?” Carvery adds. “Someone’s groping around my electronic tag.”
I recall the golden clockwork hand currently clamped around my own ankle, and try to tuck my legs underneath me, making them inaccessible.
There might still be a potential thief among us…
But that thought subsequently reminds me – Mr Dry Senior’s micro-diary!
The little tiny leather-bound copy that Sandy al Dj’eBraah gave me, to take to the Nine a.m. Lounge! Carvery has it in his pocket!
Hmmm. In all the dimness, elbowing and confusion, this might be my only chance of recovery.
Surreptitiously, I test each of the limbs around me. Old frayed denim – that must be Luke’s knee, up by my left ear. Down between my legs… aargh! My probing fingertip goes straight through old desiccated skin, like ancient baking parchment. Some portion of Homer, although I dare not guess what, and I withdraw hurriedly. Against my right shoulder, the familiar heavy wool cloth, which at least three of us are wearing, in the form of our borrowed Naval uniform trousers – only the trousers, in Ace’s case.
Idly, I poke a little higher, knowing that if I find shirtless abdominal muscle, these aren’t the trousers I’m looking for. Every part of me tingles at the thought of actually sneaking a touch of his bare skin… but I control my trembling excitement and try to focus on the mission at hand.
A little higher…
It’s only a jolt of the blanket, but I’m almost disappointed, as I feel the scratch of a jacket hem against my knuckle. But my heart leaps with renewed vigor as I realise that I have identified the wearer. Carvery.
Target acquired, I tell myself. A deadly target, but the right target. Now – just to pick that pocket.
Strike like a cobra, my subconscious guides me. I picture my hand as the head of a serpent, penetrating without sound or detection… yes. It’s almost as if I’ve done this sort of thing before…
“Sarah Bellummm,” Crispin’s voice interrupts my concentration. “Thank you for checking again, but I can assure you it has still not dropped off.”
“Oh.” I withdraw my hand abruptly, as if burned. I just find the nerve to add in a small voice: “Good.”
No wonder it felt so familiar! I had forgotten all about our encounter in Cramp’s University Hospital elevator. And his black wool suit – not much difference in texture to the Naval uniforms.
“But, if you have concerns, you may undertake a more thorough examination in private later,” he adds, closer to my ear.
Before I can respond, there is a tearing noise from the corners of the blanket overhead.
“Quickly, Mr. Lukan!” Crispin commands. “What does our exit look like?”
There is a scuffling, as Luke checks the hole in the bottom of the blanket.
“Nothing!” he reports. “No – wait… it can’t be…”
“What is it?” Ace demands.
“There’s a… a rickshaw flying beneath us!” Luke gasps. “Being towed by a dirty old rug!”
YES! It worked!
I summoned the rickshaw!
“That’s what we must aim for!” says Crispin. “Everyone hold on!”
“To what?” Carvery states the obvious.
Crispin cuts the rope from the Pterydactyl’s neck. After a split second of inertia, the whole bundle of us plummets.
Our fall is broken by rolled-up rugs on the back of the rickshaw, some of which yelp piteously. We arrange ourselves as quickly as possible, with only a small complaint from Luke, who has not encountered the flying machine before.
“Little help back here, folks?” he suggests.
We find him hanging grimly by one arm from the back, and Carvery and Ace haul him aboard. Above us, the Pterydactyl squawks as it soars away, disappearing into a distant cave high in a rock wall.
For the first time we get a clear look at our surroundings. There is light still, from the strange fluorescent fungi, by which purple-tinged plants flourish, and the glint of water flows down endless precipices.
I draw my breath sharply, as I spot a herd of beasts on a distant hillside. They jog along on their two turkey-like legs, balanced by elongated reptilian tails and small bony-crested heads.
“It’s a whole new world!” I gasp, leaning out over the side of the flying rickshaw, to get a better look.
“An old world, Sarah Bellummm,” Crispin corrects, almost sadly.
“Evicted from the surface by the arrival of humans,” Luke agrees. “They would not have survived, were it not for the zombie curse…”
“Not a curse,” Crispin counters, his stiff-upper-lip tone returning abruptly. “A disease. An illness. The reason they were interred. One which I am working to cure.”
“You’d bring all these monsters back to life?” Luke says, incredulous. “Back to the surface?”
“If a cure is found, it most certainly should not be selective,” says Crispin, philanthropically. “Leaving anything undead and untreated would only preserve the opportunity for another catastrophic outbreak in the future.”
“Like smallpox,” I nod.
“Exactly.” His confirmation brings a little warmth to my heart. “No-one and nothing will be discriminated against having treatment – for any reason.”
Gosh. He’s better than Bob Geldof. He really does just want to save the world…
“Well,” Ace remarks. “At least the Creationists will be pleased.”
“Let’s hope they’ve also got the secret as to how we co-existed with all these ugly fuckers,” Carvery remarks.
“Who do you think gave the dinosaurs the zombie curse in the first place?” Luke mutters darkly.
We watch as the creatures scatter, foreshadowing the arrival of a much larger hunting carnivore, causing them to stampede.
“Is this the Nine a.m. Lounge?” I query, still worrying about the diary in Carvery‘s pocket, and who and where my unknown contact might be.
“No, Miss Bellummm,” Crispin reassures me. “This is merely a byway. A subterranean route.” He clicks his tongue a number of times at the rug, which deftly changes direction. “There are many junctions here in the cliffs between the Lounges, rather like Bank Underground Station in London. But I must warn you about our most direct route from here…”
“What?” I ask, immediately feeling an imminent need to cross my legs, to prevent the inevitable.
“It is through the Five Thousand Mile Cave,” he says, as we hurtle towards a large, dark aperture in the cliffs. “The home of the Five Billion Vampire Bats.”
Fan trailer for 1993 original ‘Jurassic Park’ – Enjoy 🙂
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
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