“Space Zombies!” Chapter 1Regan Macaulay
For the next few months, I’m giving you the first parts from each of my books in the “Trilogy of Horrifically Half-baked Ham” … now let’s move on to the whole hand (or Chapter 1) from my novelette movie adaptation, Space Zombies! …
Expect the big toe from They Suck in May (Chapter 1), followed by a little piece of the bum from Horror at Terror Creek (yes, that would be Chapter 1) in June.
Enjoy your bits of Frankenfiction!
PART ONE: TERROR FROM THE SKY!
Chapter 1: The Crash
I must not admit my error, thought the ginger Zombie slowly pulling his bony, long-nailed fingers through his hair. He felt a tear just above his middle right finger. He had broken a nail. They were so much more flimsy, so thin and delicate, now that he was dead. No, undead. Always look on the bright side.
Their spaceship had not landed so much as crashed on Earth, conveniently behind a giant billboard advertising New Zealand’s ravishing beauty. This was where he had wanted them to land and this is where they had “landed,” and he was the Lord of the Zombies, the ship’s Zombie Lord, so if he said they landed, then they damn well landed. The point was that he and his small crew were hidden from prying eyes. Now it was time for a snack before the main event.
“Zombie Boy,” the Lord wheezed, straightening up. Posture was so much more difficult to maintain once you’d become a Zombie. “Send out the Feline Infinity signal I have prepared. It will attract our new brethren to us.”
“Lord,” gurgled Zombie Boy as he teetered toward his master, “will you not still consider raising the feline dead? They may be more compliant and more like us.”
The Zombie Lord waved him away. “The felines will agree to our scheme once we reveal our intentions. With our mind essence transferred to their bodies and their minds to our superior Zombie bodies, we will rule the earth—and the universe—together!”
The curtain separating the bridge swished aside a moment later revealing Zombie Girl and her skunk-coloured hair. She stepped forward stiffly and began to speak, without making eye contact with anyone. “Forgive me, Lord Zombie, I still do not understand the logic of this quest we make and how this scheme will result in the defeat of our non-Space- Zombie enemies.”
“That is because you are inferior. Female and inferior,” the Lord of the Zombies sniffed. Suppress all self-doubt to suppress the doubt of others, he thought, somewhat amazed he could still think at all. “I must feed. I hear the call of human brains as we speak.”
Without another word, the Zombie Lord ambled, or maybe stumbled, off the bridge and out of the ship and away from the blank stares of his crew. It was night and there was snow on the ground, but the cold did not bother him. His flesh was as chilly as the winter.
It was only a few minutes and a few streets along before the Zombie Lord stumbled upon a cemetery. He watched from the gates as a woman with golden hair and a face streaked with tears approached one of the tombstones with a bouquet of white flowers in hand. She dropped to her knees and cried out to the night, scattering the flowers onto the snow. Misery sweetens the brain, mused the Zombie Lord as he licked his lips. He rose from the shadows and pushed through the gates.
He thought she must not have seen him through her veil of tears, for he was right beside her before she turned and screamed at the sight of him. He grasped her by the shoulders and she froze, as stiff as Zombie Girl. He bit into her skull and felt it crack as it gave way to his sharp fangs. He spat bits of skull away as she fainted into his arms. He tasted the warm mucous of her brain matter. It was better than pancakes!
The Lord of the Zombies pulled out handfuls of her mind, then let her drop to the ground. That’s when he heard the crunch of snow in the distance.
“Ju-Jube!” called a voice in that same distance. “Where is that silly pussy?”
“Drat!” cursed the Zombie Lord. “I must flee!” And so he did.
“Wait! Sir!” called the voice in the distance. The Zombie Lord heard the man’s steps scrunch as he skittered away. “Wait! Have you seen my cat?” was the last thing he heard as he staggered down the street, back to his ship. In the sky above, the image of a cat—the Zombie Lord’s Feline Infinity signal—glowed against the clouds.
In the ship, moored behind the New Zealand billboard, the two remaining Space Zombies debated the merits of their presence on the planet of felines and homo sapiens.
“Stupid humans!” Zombie Boy spat. “They make such good snacks.”
Zombie Girl barely moved. She turned her head ever so slightly to take in the spectacle of Zombie Boy’s gyrations. She blinked. She sighed. “Yes, stupid humans,” she conceded. “But our Zombie Lord wastes precious time gorging on their delectable brains. We must find cat brains. Therein lies our prosperous future.”
The memories within Zombie Girl were triggered by her own words. You see, the Space Zombies were fugitives—undead rebels on the run from the living beings that ruled their home planet, Zogtor. The Zombie Lord had almost single-handedly (with only the minor assistance of Zombie Girl and Zombie Boy) wiped out three-quarters of the living Zogtor population before commandeering a flying saucer and going on the lam with his two undead disciples. No longer could they bear to live . . . or unlive . . . on a planet filled with non-feline individuals of such inferior intelligence. It was the Lord of the Zombie’s dream, and therefore, the dream of Zombie Boy and Zombie Girl, to meet, befriend, and eventually merge with the minds of the Great Species . . . the cat!
Long had they worshipped the cat beings and their superior intellect! Now they would be cats. They would be Zombie Cats! They would be one with those they had worshipped for so long.
“When will the cats respond to our signal?” Zombie Boy warbled, breaking through Zombie Girl’s expository reverie. “When will the Lord return? If he is so anxious to find cats, why is he down there, grabbing a snack in that cemetery?”
That’s when the Lord of the Zombies burst through the curtain and onto the bridge. “We all have to eat, Boy,” the Zombie Lord hissed, flipping Zombie Boy the bird as he licked the remaining brain matter from a nail. “Even I.”
“Lord,” Zombie Girl interrupted with nary an expression breaking through her features, “we have searched every cemetery on earth, we have combed the skies and climbed the mountains, plunged into the depths of the ocean, plummeted into volcanoes, and infiltrated many government organizations. Now we have crashed, and still we have not found these fantastical cat creatures we worship and prize beyond all other things. What shall we do? When will the search end?”
“But, my dear,” the Zombie Lord responded unctuously, “the search has ended. As I dashed back to the ship from my midnight snack in the cemetery, I heard from a man who lives near the cemetery. He was looking for his cat—the mighty Ju-Jube! He owns one of these divine creatures. We will take this he-cat from him immediately!”
Zombie Boy clasped his hands together and stared reverently at the Zombie Lord. Zombie Girl almost blinked.
“And by we, I mean you.” The Zombie Lord pointed a sharp and shaky nail at Zombie Boy’s nose.
“He owns this cat?” Zombie Girl uttered. “Blasphemy!” This final exhortation caused a dry cough.
“Ingrates!” Zombie Boy added loudly and unnecessarily. “No one can own a cat! Their fiery souls are as free as the tornado! As expansive as a small field!”
“Soon,” the Zombie Lord cooed, “soon we will right the wrongs.” He stroked Zombie Boy’s curly locks, tangling his fingers and tearing off a pair of nails. He extracted his hand after some effort and proceeded with the obligatory maniacal laugh. He switched off the Feline Infinity signal, and it disappeared from the sky.