Jay-Z vs. Limp Bizkit – 99 Problems/Nookie mash-up…
Several things seem to happen at once. Luke and I both scream, but due to our manacles attaching us to the walls, go nowhere other than to dangle from our chains, while the tiled floor rapidly recedes downward. Carvery drops the chainsaw, favouring to retain the gun in his other hand, and grabs the edge of the toilet bowl to halt his fall, and the metal bunk upon which Homer is still unconscious merely tilts a little, apparently bolted to the tiled surface as well.
“If that’s the Well of Our Souls down there…” Carvery begins.
“Don’t remind me,” I say through gritted teeth, twirling on the end of my one restrained arm. “What are they up to now?”
I look up. There seems to be a commotion in the square.
“I don’t think that little incident was our captors’ fault,” Luke replies. “They’re not happy either…”
To my concern, I see Ace Bumgang being prodded around sharply with sword-points on the glass ceiling above our heads. He skips out of the way, and glancing down at us past his feet, stamps a few times on the glass.
“Look away,” Carvery says, hitching up the shotgun again. “Time for that escape attempt…”
I close my eyes just before he fires, picking up the hint just in time. Chips of glass spray down onto our heads, and a huge crack shoots widthways in turn. Ace does a back-flip from a standing jump, and as he lands, feet together, on the spot above the metal bunk, the great fracture feathers outward abruptly, and he punches through.
His Caterpillar work boots just miss the zombie Homer’s face, scraping his gray ears on either side, as he lands astride him.
Two unwary bystanders from the citadel square plummet by, in the centre of the room – shrieking piteously and scrabbling the air for non-existent handholds.
They seem to continue falling for a very long time…
“What now?” I ask. Other angry city-dwellers are waving their swords at us from the perimeter of the bottomless room above. “Do we have a plan? Are we going up or down?”
“I think the only way we’ll be going up is as dog meat paste,” Ace remarks, and Luke yelps as a cutlass-point nicks his knuckles, still clamped in their restraints. “They think you’ve got voodoo, Luke. Now would be a good time for the old hocus-pocus, if you’ve got any.”
“Do I look like Mister Dynamo to you?” Luke splutters.
“Well, you are wearing a hoody,” Carvery points out.
“And you played Old Harry with the security guards at the University campus all right,” I say, encouragingly. “Do it again.”
“That’s just a load of old tricks and nonsense,” Luke sighs. “Nothing beats the use of good old-fashioned force.”
Unexpectedly, the mechanical grinding groan echoes around us again – and Homer’s bunk, still attached to the wall with no floor, crawls inwards once more.
“What the fuck?” I cry. “We’re STILL getting crushed in this stupid crazy room?”
“Best it’ll do now is scrape us off the walls,” Carvery agrees. “Except Luke, of course. He’s facing it, so he’s definitely getting squished. Unless his secret magic wand that he’s not telling us about works in his favour, of course.”
“Man, if my magic wand could stop that wall, my wife would never have kicked me out of the house forty years ago,” Luke grumbles. “I would be President of Nigeria now, not a taxi-driver for drunk medical students.”
“Oh, God,” I sob. “Where’s a Flying Carpet when you need one…?”
I try to remember. What had Justin Time done to summon the flying rickshaw?
“Sarah,” Carvery warns, as I whistle a few bars experimentally. “This is no time to play Name That Tune.”
“I disagree,” Ace counters. “Let me guess… is it Don’t Fear The Reaper?”
As the bunk carrying Homer and Ace approaches a few more inches inwards, with an unsteady wobble, all I can do is hope that I was right.
But didn’t it take a while to respond? Like, the distance between two Lounges… with another lump in my throat, I recall there was another apparently bottomless fall involved back then as well…
“Where’s Crispin?” I ask Ace. “What have they done with him?”
“I wouldn’t worry,” says Ace, wryly. “From what I could tell, all this was his idea.”
“Do you remember that spy movie? The re-make, with that short celebrity cult guy with all the sunglasses and teeth. Hanging around in rooms where they don’t have security cameras installed. The opening scene. I think it’s what they call a Mole Op. Weeding out the bad guys from your own team.”
“What?!” I repeat. “He can’t think that! Haven’t we all been trying to help…?”
The three guys exchange looks.
“Well, forgive me for saying, but Luke’s a Nigerian jewel thief compensating for the fact he can’t satisfy a woman long enough to keep a roof over his head,” Ace continues. “And Carvery has been leaving big dents in anything female crossing our path since we started. Madam Dingdong didn’t need a tip after we went to her Sauna And Spa, put it that way. And I basically humiliated the zombie guy’s mother. Apparently it’s rude not to give a four thousand-year-old zombie queen a seeing-to when she’s asked nicely, and I should have spiked my own drink and taken one for the team instead of the other way around. Who knew, right?”
I can’t believe it. I must be desensitized from living around all these psychopaths and abusers.
“All sounds perfectly normal to me,” I grumble at the wall, which I’m currently facing on the end of my wrist-chain, at the back of the sink.
“Yeah, zombies have morals and ethics, what a bummer that turned out to be.” Out of the corner of my eye, Ace sits sideways across Homer’s stomach and swings his feet over the precipice, evidently unconcerned about about potential squid hatchlings. “And you – well, you summoned Atum, so of course they’re going to be pissed at that.”
“Atum?” I exclaim, nose still to greasy ceramic tile. “I had nothing to do with that great mythical monster turning up!”
“They don’t see it that way. What they see is a male-DNA-motivated obsessive female virgin, who works with dead bodies. According to them, that makes you a necromancer.”
“Necrophiliac,” Carvery corrects him. “Nothing romantic about it, buddy.”
“And Atum – well, basically, he’s… er…”
“The spirit of the first gamete,” Luke interjects, in sombre tones. “I warned you, Sarah Bellum – be careful what you wish for.”
“Great.” Carvery is nodding, as red-faced, I rotate on the end of my chain to face into the shrinking room once more. “First, I thought it was bad enough being trapped in a room with a hormone-riddled idiot necrophiliac. Now it turns out, it’s a hormone-riddled, sperm-jacking idiot necrophiliac, who’s haunted by the gigantic vengeful manifestation of the first ever spermatozoa.”
“Yeah,” Ace says, sourly. “That’s the last time I knock one out to internet snuff porn.”
“I told, you, Ace – that stuff’ll give you nightmares,” Carvery tells him. “Sometimes while you’re awake. Making you do stuff that you’ll want to deny later.”
“If you want to know what denial is, it’s a big river that you should be floating down, in a large padlocked packing-case,” I snap at him.
“Oh, I’m just as pissed off as you are,” he remarks. “I’m hanging by one arm from a toilet in an underground torture-chamber, on the basis of some speculation by superstitious zombies, and the failure of a taxi driver with persistent erectile dysfunction to come up with a miracle.”
“That’s what she said,” Ace and Luke both agree at once.
I heave a sigh.
“Well,” I begin, annoyed that I’m twisting back around again to face the wall, “we do have what they want. We’ve got the clockwork hand – even though it’s not doing much other than scratching my ankle at the moment. We’ve got a copy of Mr. Dry Senior’s diary. Do you think they’d let us fall to our deaths?”
We all look up at the threat from above. Hmmm. It does appear that most of the prodding with swords and shouting is for appearances’ sake.
Luke tests his chains, which squeak against their metal rings in the wall.
“Carvery Slaughter,” he says at last. “How good is your aim, with that shotgun?”
Mission Impossible (1996) fan trailer – enjoy 🙂
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
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