The Tourniquet: A Zombie Parody

Deadmau5 vs. La Roux – ‘Ghost in for the Kill’ mash-up…

Change of course?” I repeat, while the crew rush in with their axes raised. Bits of violin and spangly nylon underwear fly around wildly. “Can we do that?”

We can, Sarah Bellummm,” Crispin says, as a nun’s head bounces across the deck between us, a beaded thong caught over one ear. “What do I own in Paris, Captain Dartos?”

Everything below sea-level, Mr. Dry!” the Captain calls out, from the helm.

A flute whistles by, embedding itself in a life-preserver strung from the wall.

Perfect,” Crispin nods, curtly. “Behind you again, Sarah Bellummm.”

I turn quickly, and just see the tuba arcing overhead before everything goes dark and echoey.

I can’t even lift my arm to swing my own axe.

Great, I think. Sarah Bellum dies, trapped by a bell-end.

I’ll never hear the end of it at University…

Help!” I shout, but only succeed in half-deafening myself inside the brass convolutions. “Let me out!”

A clanggg from the outside denotes the expiry of another set of sisterhood false teeth. Eardrums already numb, I let out another scream as I’m lifted bodily from the deck, inside the giant tuba.

I manage a glimpse down past my feet as I feel the instrument swaying, only to see the upturned gray faces of clambering zombie nuns with glowing green eyes, scudding clouds, and beyond, the ripples of distant blue sea…

Help!” I scream again, picturing a subsequent plummeting to a watery grave. “Pull me back in!”

The tuba lurches, and I fill my lungs, trying to increase my body area in contact with the surface…

And then it is shaken abruptly, and I shoot out backwards with another yell.

Sorry,” says Ace, as I tumble heels over head, back onto the deck. “Thought you were a nun.”

In all senses but the religious,” Carvery says, elbow-deep in another zombie. “…She is.”

Any luck with those organs?” Luke asks, holding a clarinetist at bay with the loops of his axe.

Not a sausage,” Carvery sighs, shaking the drips off. “Whatever spell Sister Jaundice used on her Superiors, it only did a Green Slime Reduction on their old carcasses. Crispin, wherever we’re going, I hope you have a REALLY big hole in the ground ready and waiting.”

I am indeed ahead of you there, Mr. Slaughter,” Crispin replies.

The air-balloon progresses at speed, whipping tears from my eyes, while the crew adds to the pile of musically-inclined gnostic zombie corpses amidship. But undead members of the elderly orchestra keep coming, scrambling over the sides.

I shouldn’t have wasted the magic in the clockwork hand on changing this stupid dress.

I try to wipe green smears off the silk, and struggle back onto my feet. I could be standing here in a cheap cosplay Wonder Woman outfit, an itchy pink patent thong, half a suit of Swiss watchmaker’s armour, and be turning all of these zombie nuns into…

I glare at the clockwork hand, hanging onto my wrist.

Not even one speck of magic left?” I demand of its dull and inert gemstones. Nothing. It might as well be a bangle. “Nothing of any use at all? Wow, sometimes, you really…”

A shadow falls across me, and I look up into the glowing green eyes of what I can only assume was the Mother of all nuns. Mottled, wrinkly and warty, and raising her conductor’s baton. She opens her mouth, like Donald Sutherland in the final scene of Invasion of the Body-Snatchers…

Ribbet, she says.

“…Suck!” I continue angrily.

The baton strikes, gashing my forearm – as the gemstones in the clockwork hand open, and the green glow pours into it from all sides…

Screaming like banshees, the enchanted undead life-force drains from every remaining nun, shaking and vibrating them right off their feet. Black robes smoking, they shrink and shrivel alarmingly.

The gemstones close with a whoosh, now illuminated like evil radium.

Suddenly, the deck is hopping mad.

Well done, Sarah Bellummm,” Crispin approves, lowering his axe and moving quickly to attend my bleeding arm, thoughtfully tying a monogrammed, embroidered handkerchief around the wound. “Frogs go down a treat in Paris. Easier to explain than nuns turning up in the sewers, too.”

The crew exchange their axes for buckets, and are soon scooping up frogs left and right.

The nuns were frogs!” I gasp. I look down to check my clothes. Phew – still silk and cashmere… perhaps the clockwork hand can only do one thing at a time… “I mean – before they were nuns! I didn’t cast a spell! It sucked the magic out of them!”

Ah.” Crispin picks one up and dangles it thoughtfully, while it blinks a benign yellow-and-black eye. “Then let us consider ourselves fortunate that you have already dealt with Sister Jaundice, the witch. I will make a note to have the nunnery in the mountains investigated, to see what else may have occurred there.”

No wonder the organs weren’t right.” Carvery wipes his hands on his cowboy denims. “Nothing but out-of-date frogspawn.”

No wonder they never stood a chance against the Sunday School Choir,” Ace grunts.

Be careful with that power, Sarah,” Luke whispers to me, as I try to cover the glow around my wrist with my sleeve. “You don’t know what the witch was practising. Turning a man into a zombie is one thing. All that takes is low wages and a bad marriage. Just ask my wife! Turning other living creatures into zombie folk? That’s amassing a cheap Army.”

I glance at the zombie entrepreneur Crispin Dry, as he drops the frog into a passing bucket and wipes his gray fingers, on another monogrammed handkerchief embroidered with a cockerel.

Yes,” I agree. “We wouldn’t want that sort of thing to catch on…”

Approaching the Seine, Mr. Dry!” Captain Dartos reports.

Ooh – I hurry to look over the side. White clouds part, and a river sparkles as it divides the Most Romantic City on Earth…

Well done, Captain,” Crispin announces. “Prepare to offload nuns… sorry, frogs…”

Can we stop here?” I ask. “I know it’s not the Elevensies Lounge, but – I’ve never been to Paris…”

That’s because if you set foot here, the city’s reputation for love and romance would drop too far below average for the tourist industry to survive,” Carvery tells me, resting his elbows on the railing to my left.

Oh, I don’t know,” Ace muses, appearing at my right. “It’d be like allowing the World’s Biggest Loser into a casino. Suddenly everyone else feels marginally luckier, regardless of how they’re actually getting on…”

All I know is I’m currently flying over Paris, with two fit guys dressed as cowboys standing either side of me. Meaning regardless of what they’re actually saying, all I’m hearing is Non, je ne regrette rien…

No – I quite agree,” Crispin’s voice joins us. “It may not be the Elevensies Lounge, but there are parts of the city I will be happy to show you, Sarah Bellummm. A small diversion. We will be taking one of the lifeboats, Captain Dartos! And after you have dropped us off – perhaps check the nunnery, in the mountains…?”

Right you are, Mr. Dry, sir!”

I try to gird my excitement as we climb into the smaller boat suspended from the side of the air-ship, only slightly dampened by the buckets full of anxious frogs surrounding us.

On the Captain’s orders, the ropes start to lower us steadily towards the surface of the river.

Oh my God – I’m in Paris! And not to deliver a pizza!

Is it true that you shouldn’t drink the water here?” Ace asks.

How much water do you usually take in your alcohol?” says Carvery.

I’m in Paris! With Ace Bumgang! My innards are knotting like voluntary sausage-skins. Not to mention the undead heart-throb Crispin Dry… and even more darkly and reluctantly, Carvery Slaughter… stupid traitorous hormones… if I had to pick one man, for my currently-overloaded fantasy, it should really be the one I’d survive longest in the company of…

Goood,” Homer approves, opening a lace parasol against the balmy sunshine.

Luke and Crispin free us from the ropes, and Ace starts the small outboard motor.

Where are we dumping the Sisterhood of Tolerance and Frogs’ Legs, Crispin?” asks Carvery, nudging one of the croaking buckets. “Right here?”

Not yet, Mr. Slaughter,” Crispin replies. “You will see a large overflow ahead at the second bridge, Mr. Bumgang. Take us to it, if you please. We will release them there.”

I soak up the view across the rippling water. Other boats chug along, some carrying tourists – real people! Not Lounge-dwellers… we pass under the first bridge, where to one bank, a great iconic structure looms.

The Eiffel Tower…” I breathe.

Yup,” Carvery affords it a glance, and sighs. “Reminds me of Las Vegas…”

Er, Crispin,” Luke interrupts any mood of romantic reverie. “Some weird-looking guys over there seem to be taking an interest in us…”

We turn to look at the other small boat in our wake. Four occupants pretend not to notice, swathed in scarves under their trilby hats and dark suits with gloves, no doubt to protect their sensitive green and purple-marred skin from the daylight…

I’ve seen someone like that before…” I recall aloud. My adrenalin surges, much to the annoyance of my kidneys. That head, as it rolled across the floor of Casabladder… “Yes! In the Eight a.m. Lounge, Crispin! Looking for you…!”

Try not to make it look as if we are spooked, Mr. Bumgang,” Crispin suggests. “But perhaps a little faster…”

Our boat burrows into the water and glides ahead smoothly. The shadowy pursuers accelerate in turn, to follow.

Who are they?” Luke asks.

Caterers, Mr. Lukan,” says Crispin. “I am afraid they take issue with the existence of vending machines in the workplace.”

I knew it! I knew he couldn’t be in debt – it was just a jealous food-industry rival!

Oh, they reckon you’re stealing their business,” Carvery remarks, thinking alike. “I get that from turfers, lawnmowers and landscape gardeners all the time.”

And divorce lawyers and undertakers?” I query.

The overflow,” Crispin repeats, as we approach the second bridge. “Take the exit straight into the tunnel.”

Into the sewer?” Luke exclaims.

What?” Ace scoffs at him. “You never rode the poo flume before?”

We turn sharply, and the daylight is replaced by darkness and dankness. Homer closes his parasol and produces a fan instead, fluttering it delicately under his nose.

Are they following?” I ask.

Ace looks over his shoulder.

They’ve slowed down a bit,” he reports. “But yes.”

Keep going,” Crispin orders. “There is a corner ahead – once past it, we can release the frogs. It may hinder them a little further.”

Ace pulls on the rudder, and as we complete the turn, the rest of us each grab a bucket of Paris-ready Jambes de Grenouille.

My sleeve hikes up, and the green gemstone glow from the clockwork hand illuminates the dark tunnel eerily.

Good luck, Sisters,” says Carvery, tipping his bucket-load over the side. “You’ll need it.”

Bon appetit,” Luke adds.

The fetid water burbles and plops, as I add my contribution to the endangered French batrachian population.

Hoooome,” says Homer sadly, releasing his own.

Straight ahead, Mr. Bumgang,” says Crispin, once the last frog is liberated into the subterranean streets. “Let us hope that the harvesting of delicacies is enough to distract vengeful caterers…”

I look down at the clockwork hand.

I suppose, if not – those delicacies could soon be turned back into rabid zombie nuns…

But remembering Luke’s words, I pull my sleeve back down again firmly.

Besides – it’s Paris.

I still might get a proper date here, one day. And I know what I’d rather see on the menu, next time I visit…

‘The Tourist’ official trailer – Enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords


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