Nine And A Half Reaps: A Zombie Parody, Part Two


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The intensity in the atmosphere is excruciating. I can hear Crispin Dry (vending machine CEO of Dry Goods, Inc., nouveau morte and bonne bouche) still moving around me in the vast kitchenette of his Grade II-listed mansion. Chopping, dicing, blending, and possibly mixing up the previously-mentioned cocktail, which he says is tailored especially for me.

Me: Sarah Bellum – mild-mannered pizza delivery girl by night, ambitious forensic anthropology student by day, and incurable romantic. Apart from the very much alive Ace Bumgang, who I like to watch from a distance through the chicken-wire fencing of Bumgang & Sons’ Breaker’s Yard – especiallywhen he’s outside his site office with his shirt off – the only male bodies I ever see are in various stages of decay, on the body farm.

I’m lucky if I get five minutes a week there to study, recently. Or at the body farm. What with Miss Wotsit, my best friend and housemate, being so demanding – with her delayed birth control plans, and electronically-tagged boyfriend, with whom she seems to be smitten.

Actually, her situation would be more accurately described thus ‘…by whom she seems to be smashed up, on a regular basis.’

No wonder I never even remember her name. She comes home with a different face every few days.

With a great pang of loss I wonder how much my dearest one at the body farm, Mr. Wheelie Bin Under The Silver Birch Tree, will have progressed the next time I see him. Apparently he was a domestic violence victim too. You could tell particularly in the early stages, by the way his scalp was hanging off like a bad toupée…

…But the sound of Crispin Dry sliding something along the counter towards me dissolves that thought, as quickly as an acid bath.

“No peeping,” he murmurs, and I nod, confirming that my eyes are still obediently closed. “Perhaps we should retire to the other room, where you will be more comfortable. Take my arm.”

“Where are we going?” I ask, sliding off the seat at the counter.

I had been enjoying the food game. My stomach was still hinting that it had room for more. I feel the cold cloth of his sleeve under my fingers as I reach out, and the even colder press of his flesh underneath, as he tucks my arm into his side to guide me along.

“Just across the hall,” he confides. “There is a very nice late evening lounge.”

“You have a lounge for different times of day?” I ask, making careful effort to keep pace with his attractive, undead pimp-limp. What do they call it? Crap walk? Crabstick walk? I’m glad Ace Bumgang can’t hear my thoughts, sometimes. Although the look he gives me when he espies me through the boundary fence of the breaker’s yard suggests he does know exactly what I’m thinking, and it comes with the words ‘restraining order’ attached. He’s so cute. He just knows I’m a sucker for threats like that… Cripple walk…? Hmm. Maybe I made it up…

“I have a room for every time of day, Miss Bellummm,” Crispin Dry assures me, heavy with implied meaning.

My kneecaps try to switch places, while my tongue tries to hide behind my epiglottis and escape up the back of my nasal cavity.

“Turn around,” Crispin’s voice whispers against my ear, his other hand on my shoulder, pivoting me to face him. I feel him testing the sleeve of my Pizza Heaven work fleece. “Would you like to take this off?”

“Er, well, actually…” I cough, trying to sound nonchalant. “I kind of had a nap before work tonight, so this is all I have on. Er. Underneath. Just me.”

“Intriguing,” he says, and I can hear his approval. I gulp.

He moves forward just enough to help me take a backward step, and I feel the soft give of a cushioned seat at the back of my legs.

“Make yourself comfortable,” he says, and for my wandering kneecaps’ sake, I plop thankfully onto the velvet cushions. “I will return with the drinks. And still no peeping.”

“I promise,” I nod, my anticipation at his own promise of drinks already building again. I’m parched. I could go for a fishtank cocktail right now, never mind a fishbowl cocktail.

“I think I will take out a little insurance on your promise,” he remarks, and I hear the swish of silk. “I will use my tie to blindfold you. Do you mind?”

“Is it another game?” I ask, accepting the strip of material as he places it gently across my eyes.

“Another sensory game,” he agrees. “Not taste, this time. I think your tastes are well-established.”

I wonder what he could possibly mean. Smell? I take a few experimental sniffs once I hear his footfalls crossing the marble hall floor again, receding away back to that food-court of a kitchen. I don’t smell anything in this room. Not even a joss stick, or deodoriser designed to mask the scent of a personal hygiene problem, or anti-social habit. Strange. Sound? I strain to hear anything other than the clink of glassware on a tray, and before I know it, the shambling footfalls are approaching again.

I lean into the embrace of the couch, trying to appear relaxed. It’s only slightly spoiled by the fact that the back of the couch is a lot further away than I thought, so I fall through the loosely-heaped pillows in slow-motion, until I am nearly prone.

“I see you are getting comfortable, Sarah Bellummm.”

He teases me with the sound of my own name. Maybe he knows that all I get called at work is ‘Cheese-Bag’ or at University, ‘Bell-End’. I never thought that the ink printed on my birth certificate could sound so sexy.

I feel the couch dip beside me, as he sits down.

“We are going to play a game of touch,” he says.

“Soccer?” I ask, puzzled. “Blindfolded?”

“No, the sensation of touch. With your permission I will draw some different objects across the surface of your skin, and you will guess what they are.”

“Oh, like Draw My Thing?” I conclude. One of my favourite pursuits on the internet in the evenings, while not doing homework assignments, is to try and get Ace Bumgang to Draw his Thing and email it to me. “Do I get three clues as to what you’re drawing?”

“If you relax, we shall start,” he says at last. “And the game will explain itself as we go along.”

“Sure,” I shrug, and roll up my sleeve. “Nothing below the wrist, in case it doesn’t wash off. People don’t appreciate seeing knobs drawn on your hand when you’re delivering their pizza…”

I break off with a gasp, as I feel something icy cold slide up the sensitive skin of my inner arm.

“What do you think this is?” he asks, as the tingling cold sensation slides slowly all the way down again, and back up.

“Er…” The cold has alerted parts of me I that didn’t even know were peckish. I could use another bucket of chicken wings, never mind that cocktail, wherever it is. “Um, can I ask for a clue?”

“If you ask a question, it must be in the form of a question with a Yes/No answer.”

Phew… I feel the icy cold sliding, torturously, all the way back down from my shoulder to my wrist. So different from playing online…

“Okay,” I say at last, my mouth almost like sandpaper by now. Mostly in trepidation of what the answer to my question might be. “Is it to scale?”

The original above… Warning: Contains human udders… ahem. Enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

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

Nine And A Half Reaps: A Zombie Parody

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My Pizza Heaven scooter is protesting as I ride up the mile-long driveway to the enormous stately home. I’ve never been called out here before. The little two-stroke engine is making those annoying little noises, only slightly more annoying than the noises that the gorgeous Ace Bumgang at Bumgang & Sons’ Breaker’s Yard makes when I ask him to take a look at it for me – on the occasions that I’ve ridden it through gravel, or a puddle more than three inches deep.

Good Lord, the house is huge. Like one of those ‘brownsigns’ in England, that have most of the rooms sectioned off with gilt corded rope, and that the public are allowed to wander around in at the weekends. So long as they don’t stray from the carpet and into the electric fencing, preventing them from leaving with more shiny heirloom helmets hidden down their trousers than they came in with.

A black stretch Cadillac limo is parked at the foot of the steps, the engine and exhaust still ticking quietly as it cools, as if the owner has only recently arrived home. I pull in at a respectable distance behind.

Swallowing my nerves, I take the pizza bag out of the top-box after parking up, and scale the enormous marble steps. I was rather hoping there would be a delivery slot, or at least a cat-door big enough to push the box through and run, which is my preferred tactic when also delivering to the rough end of town. I’d rather lose one pizza’s worth of payment, than my whole bike while my back is turned. Still smarting from the time I returned to the kerb just in time to see it being towed away around the far corner of the block, by four small children on a Fisher-Price musical push-along cart. Playing Old MacDonald Had a Farm… I cannot listen to that nursery rhyme since. It gives me terrible PTSD flashbacks.

But no. Just an entryphone beside the studded oak door. I press the buzzer, wondering if there is a camera as well, and if they’ll insist I remove my George and Mildred peaked crash helmet before responding. The one I still wear because I love Ace Bumgang’s face as he tells me the horrors of fixed-peak open-face headwear in an RTA. Sort of a mixture of caring, considerate, concerned, and ‘get out of my site office, you deluded stalker…’ while he pulls a sweater over his tight t-shirt, hiding those delicious-looking biceps and pectorals from my hungry gaze…

Expecting an intercom reply to my buzz, I get a shock when the door is opened silently in front of me – and for the first time I fully understand the meaning of the famous phrase ‘the world dropped out of my bottom.’

For standing in front of me, his matt-black tie undone and just-dead hair hypnotically dishevelled, is Crispin Dry – vending machine magnate, entrepreneur, and the sexiest corpse I’ve recently seen – since 4.23p.m. last Thursday, in a wheelie bin under the silver birch tree at the body farm…

“Mr. Dry!” I squeak, terrified – and immediately thrust the pizza box under his nose. Hoping to avert the smell of nervous pizza-delivery girl.

“Miss… Belllummm…” he slurs. “What a pleasant surprise. Do come inside. The kitchen is just this way.”

And he turns in the doorway and shambles off into the opulent entrance hall, beckoning for me to follow. It looks as though I have no choice. I pull the gigantic door closed behind me, feeling as though I now know how Gretel felt, upon entering the gingerbread house…

The kitchen is vast – like a bowling alley. When he opens the giant refrigerator, and starts selecting his condiments, I half expect to see the bottles deposited mechanically onto the shelf in front of him, like a set of ten-pins.

“I’ll just leave it right here, shall I?” I suggest, sliding the box onto the glassy-smooth granite counter-top. It sparkles with quartz and mica – not superheat-treated granite then, I find myself thinking… my mind wanders like this unpredictably at times.

“Join me, Sarah Bellummm,” he says, unexpectedly. “I believe you might be famished, after your long day…”

Damn. That will scupper my usual Friday plans, of waiting outside Bumgang & Sons’ Breaker’s Yard with a Chinese Meat Feast. Ace always pretends to be surprised, which is sweet, and sometimes he even takes it with him. He’s usually in a big hurry to meet up with his friends at the boys’ club, Gentlemen Prefer Poledancers – which is endearing, as it means he’s telling me in his own special way that he’s not settled for anyone important yet…

“Well – I think the last thing I ate, was a sip of chicken soup, from the vending machine at your office earlier…” I admit timidly.

“Toooo long,” he agrees, with a devastatingly wonky nod. “Take a seat. And close your eyes. I have a surprise for you.”

I slip off my George and Mildred and try to make the most of my helmet-hair as I arrange myself on the seat at the counter. He darts me a meaningful look, still foraging in the refrigerator, and obligingly I close my eyes.

Gosh, I hope this means a big tip.

“Is that your Cadillac outside?” I ask, to pass the time with smalltalk, while I hear him putting dishes on the counter in front of me.

“It is just a courtesy car,” he says, dismissively. “The Bugatti and the Maserati are away for servicing, and I only use the Diablo on holiday weekends, when I go hot-air ballooning.”

“Hmm,” I murmur, only half-believing him. Probably only got a Ford Focus and a Renault Megane in his garage… I make a private bet that the Cadillac is rented, just for show – utilised to pick up innocent girls when he’s in town. I mean, guys like Ace Bumgang, you expect them to have a couple of sports cars, a racing bike and a speedboat, I mean, petrolhead mechanics always do… but not a businessman. A fleet of 1.2L commuter compacts, if anything…

“I hope you are hungry,” Crispin Dry says, rather darkly, interrupting my fantasy that Ace Bumgang is The Stig, which would explain why he’s always so elusive. “I have an idea of your tastes already. Open wide.”

I promptly rearrange myself on the seat.

“I meant your mouth,” he croons, and I slam my knees together again, like a barn door in a tornado.

Nervously, I let my mouth fall open, in a textbook Q.

“Put your tongue in, pleeeaase,” he moans softly.

The Q becomes an O, as requested.

Something tickles my lower lip, sticky, and fragrantly barbecued. Mmm – chicken wings! My stomach rumbles immediately in response, and I chew enthusiastically.

“You approve?” he asks, and he sounds hopeful.

“Yum,” I nod. “Is there more?”

“Nine more, I believe,” he confirms, as I run my tongue around my teeth to dislodge any gristly bits. I cough on something dry, and remove something curved, almost fingernail-shaped from my cheek, which he quickly brushes aside from my own fingertips. “I think we have found your acquired taste exactly.”

“Do you have anything to drink?” I ask. My eyes are still rapturously closed, all thoughts of the tanned, toned and droolworthy Ace Bumgang forgotten.

“Be patient, Sarah Bellummm,” my dream zombie whispers. “I am sure I have a cocktail worthy of you.”

I am shocked by his intimate tone.

“It’s as if you were expecting me,” I gasp, feeling myself blush.

“But of course,” he says, so close to my ear, I nearly swoon off the chair. “I even made sure to re-stock the vending machine in my bedroom, right before you arrived…”

And the original above… Enjoy 🙂

More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

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