Zombietown, part 9

I rose and heard another shot. The left side of my abdomen exploded and I fell again. However, I’m not one of the nine percent who have their whole body as a weak spot. Despite the pain, I turned on my back and peered in the direction I heard the shot had come from. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was Lenore. She still wore the long black dress from Samedi’s. Smoke rose from the barrel of the gun in her hand. She was standing next to the Baron.

“I’m impressed,” he said, “According to Lenore, that shot should have done you.”

He was right. After all, I belonged to the remaining one percent; the exotics that have their weak spot in some obscure part of the body, in my case, the spleen.

“But since you’re in pain, I must conclude there was a degree of truth to her claim,” he continued.

Again, he was right. That shot did take out my spleen, hence the pain ¾ a zombie only feels pains when its weak spot is damaged. However, thanks to the Army warlocks who magicked my weak spot to my appendix, I was still unlive.

“No matter,” he said, “A few more bullets and I’m sure we’ll hit something vital.”

“Whatever your plan is, Samedi, it won’t work,” I said, still in pain.

“Plan? You sound like a comic book character, Jimmy. And save the bravado, please. I know you came here all by yourself. You have a reputation as something of a maverick in the police department, even though you have that partner of yours, Gills.”

“His name is C.L. Black,” I forced between greeted teeth. Only his friends could call him Gills.

“Whatever. There’s nothing you can do now. The trucks have already left to deliver the flesh. That reporter though, she could have spoiled the whole scheme. I must confess her connections to the Gorgons took me by surprise, but luckily the police saw fit to send their most narrow-minded thananthrophobic detective to investigate the case.”

“What do you mean by trucks?” I asked, ignoring the insults and attempting to stall for time. His colossal arrogance, and perhaps my genuine look of confusion, made him explain the scheme.

“I had the idea several years ago, that’s why I invested in the flesh market — as you may recall, I’m the main importer and distributor of flesh in the city. I was inspired by Romero’s motto: all flesh must be eaten. But the key point here, Jimmy, is whose flesh must be eaten? When I realized that, I contacted some associates of mine overseas. After several years of research, they finally provided me with a mystically engineered flesh that will turn anyone who eats at least an ounce of it into one of us.”

One of you! I thought, but kept to myself.

“Of course, it won’t work on everyone. Other undead, for example, will be immune. That’s a minor problem though, since they represent a small proportion of the population. The important thing is that, once they join our ranks, they will feel our misery. They will know what it’s to be treated as the scum of society, to be…”

“Spare me the propaganda, Samedi,” I said, “I don’t buy you as a hero of the masses. There must be an angle here for you. Say, what tribe are all those people gonna be turned into? Surely not the Quick, or the Problem Solvers. I’d bet good money we are going to see a lot of Dead Joes, or even the Dumb. What else does this mystical flesh do? Make them more susceptible to suggestions?” I knew I had struck a chord when Samedi’s gleeful expression disappeared.

“I knew you were a selfish bastard the day you left us, Jimmy,” Lenore said, “Can’t you see he’s trying to help us all?”

“You’re not fooling me anymore. There must be something for you in this too, beside “happiness for all zombies” and all that crap!” I spat at her. She didn’t like my comment by her reaction. She pointed the gun at me and…

A shot rang. Her hand exploded. Another shot. Samedi’s chest exploded, blood flooding his white suit. Lenore fled and Samedi fell. Gills came running out of the darkness and helped me up. Good thing I had phoned him.

“Gurgle gurgle gurgle?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” I replied.

“Gurgle gurgle gurgle gurgle,” he said.

“I don’t care if I don’t look okay, I am! Look, we don’t have time for this. You gotta radio the precinct and tell them about the trucks and the flesh.”

“Gurgle gurgle gurgle gurgle gurgle gurgle?” he asked.

“I’m going after her,” I said, grabbing my gun and limping after Lenore.

Zombietown, part 2

I looked forward to immersing myself in work. That brush with the past had brought back memories I’d rather leave buried. Unfortunately, that wasn’t gonna happen. As soon as I sat down at my desk back at the precinct, the captain burst into the office.

“Don’t get too comfy, Valadares. You’re hitting the street again. I was just on the phone with Commissioner Dracula. Yeah, that’s right, the Count himself. It seems that Boid chick you guys found outside Zombietown was related to a second cousin, or sister-in-law, of the Gorgons. And they want to know what’s happened,” he barked at Gills and me.

Great, I thought. “Captain, we’re still waiting for the tests results from…” I didn’t get a chance to finish.

“Valadares, I don’t think you understood. I said I was on the phone with Dracula. He told me he expected information in the next few hours, or he would come down here in person. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need that fanged son of a bitch breathing down my neck. Especially, my neck.

“So I’m sending you out again. Go snoop around Zombietown and see what you can dig up. Gills stays here. If he went with you, he would stick out like a… Well, like a fish-man in a zombie hood.”

“Sir, I don’t think I’m the best…”

“Save it, son! I don’t care what you think. You’re a detective and this is your job. Deal with it!” The captain could be a fanged son of a bitch too, especially on full moons.

Zombietown, part 1

Her body lay lifeless on the street. Even in its current mangled state, I could see she had been a beautiful woman. Her gray scaly skin contrasted strikingly with her black skirt and green blouse, even though they were soaked with blood. Some of her hair had been pulled out, but there were enough snakes left to show she cared about her appearance. Her left arm was missing, apparently bitten off. Not surprising, since we were half a block from Zombietown.

Zombietown. I had sworn I’d never go back to Zombietown again. I had left all that misery behind me. I wasn’t one of them anymore.

“Gurgle.” Gills, my partner, broke my reverie. A good thing too. I didn’t want to waste time thinking about Zombietown.

We walked towards the head forensics guy, Digger.

“So, Digger, what’s the score?” I asked.

“Valadares, Gills. Well, I only have preliminary data, but I’m pretty sure it was a shambler.” He meant a zombie. Like me. No, not like me. I wasn’t one of them anymore. Nobody outside Zombietown calls them zombies. It’s always “shambler”, or “deadmeat”, or “brainjunkie,” or a dozen other nicknames.

“Can you give us a tribe?” I asked. Even though most people think of zombies as just one big, stupid, lurching, flesh-eating group, in truth there are several tribes.

“I’m a ghoul, Valadares, not a psychic. I’ll need to run a few tests back at the lab,” he said, rising to face us. He took out a handkerchief and wiped his glasses. “Anyway, what’s the rush? She wasn’t anybody special. The officers found her purse. Her name was Medea Boid, a reporter with the Dusk Diary. Have you heard of her? Me neither. So it’s not like we’re going to be pressured to solve this case. She probably went in there looking for some shambling action and things got a little out of control.

“Relax, Valadares. It’s Zombietown.”

He was right, of course. Nobody gave a damn about what happened in Zombietown, least of all me. I had sworn I’d never go back to Zombietown again.

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