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    All The Dead Are Here - Pete Bevan's zombie tales collection


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    WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.

    ZOMBIE UNDER THE BRIDGE By Sonny Zae
    December 4, 2012  Humorous   Tags:   

    “Go on, Nash, get it over with.”  Ramon gestured toward the stream of cars rushing by in the California twilight.

    The younger zombie stared at the careening traffic.  “They’re moving awfully fast.”

    “Yes, and that’s good.  They won’t be able to avoid you.”

    “Why don’t you show me the first time?”

    “You don’t believe me, Nash?”  Ramon gave the younger zombie a contemptuous look.  “I told you, I’ve done it too many times.  If I do it one more time, I’ll be so damaged I won’t be able to even crawl.”

    “So I’m supposed to run out there and get hit by a jackass in a Lexus?”

    Ramon sighed.  “You can’t die, you’re undead.  Look, you wanna eat nothin’ but roadkill?  That’s the other menu item, and dead raccoon brains ain’t so tasty.  Uh … if I hafta eat one more dead skunk…”

    “Alright, alright.”  Nash looked at the cars speeding by.  “I know I can’t die, but getting’ hit by a truck doin’ eighty?  That’s gotta hurt.”

    “Go!” Ramon commanded.  “I’ve got a terrible hankering for human brains.  And if you want to learn how to survive as a zombie, you gotta do what I say.  If you don’t do this, you’ll be on your own, understand?”

    Nash climbed over the concrete barrier wall separating the superhighway from the river bank and dropped to the emergency lane.  A car honked as it whizzed by him.  Ramon crouched down on the other side of the wall, unseen to passing motorists in the growing darkness.

    “Wait!”  Ramon spotted the roof-mounted lights of an oncoming highway patrol car and raised a hand to get Nash’s attention.  “Don’t go yet!”

    But Nash took a deep breath and launched himself across the six lanes of streaming traffic.  He made it to the third lane before getting hit by a crossover SUV.  The vehicle ripped Nash off his feet and slammed him down on the hood.  The force of the impact rolled him up over the windshield, then one hand caught in the roof rack.  Nash hung off the side, flapping like a forgotten beach towel.

    The tires of the crossover SUV squealed and the vehicle fishtailed into the next lane, Nash fluttering alongside.  The vehicle already in the lane took violent evasive action.  The car behind dove in the opposite direction.

    Multiple impacts occurred and cars veered crossways, slamming off the concrete divider walls and rebounding to hit other vehicles.  Sparks sprayed out in accompaniment to screeches of metal against concrete.  The vehicle Nash was hanging from careened onto its back, flapping Nash onto the pavement and rolling over him, leaving a zombie outline print in the vehicle’s roof and a smear of dark, nasty fluid on the roadway, like a stepped-on slug.  The crossover SUV was now a rollover SUV.

    “Ooooh, he stuck the landing!” Ramon crowed.  “Hang on, Nash! The eight second buzzer hasn’t sounded yet.  There’s nothing I love better than rodeo.”

    Shards of glass flew through the air, glittering in vehicle headlights.  A truck slid sideways and tipped onto its side.  Tomatoes thudded against other vehicles, bright red fruit bouncing in all directions.  A low-slung sports car slid under a semi-trailer, shearing off its top.  A human head rolled away as the car’s taillights flickered and dimmed.

    Ramon brightened with anticipation.  “Now that’s what I call good form, getting the food to me.”  He lurched over the divider wall to scoop up the delicacy, moving as fast as he could with one dragging foot.  He held the prize aloft by an ear.  “Gooooaaaal!  They score, and the crowd goes wild.”  Someone in the wreckage screamed and Ramon smiled.  “Thank you!  Give him a hand, folks, the world’s best zombie.  Better yet, give him your whole arm.  No, wait, he needs to get a head.”  Ramon bowed to an imaginary audience, then retreated to the barrier, moving with a lurching gait and hobbling along with the dripping head tucked under his arm.

    “Hey, Ramon, help!” Nash shouted over the sound of hissing radiators and popping metal.  Scrabbling sounds accompanied his struggles to free his hand.  Succeeding, he dropped to the pavement.  “Argh!” He pulled himself to his feet by seizing an arm hanging from a shattered side window.  He twisted it until bone snapped and he could jerk it free, tearing the remaining flesh.  Nash thrust his head through the car window and looked around inside.  “Damn, no severed limbs!”

    Tucking the newly acquired arm under his own, he shambled toward the side of the highway, stopping to check other vehicles.  He found a foot still in a boot and without an owner.  He found a lone finger adorned with a large diamond ring.  Grunting, Nash pulled it off the not-yet stiff digit, taking care to not damage the flesh.  He held up the ring and observed the sparkle of the big, expensive stone, then tossed it away.  He slipped the finger into a shirt pocket.

    Cries of pain and fear escaped from the twisted wreckage.  Flashing lights flickered out.

    “The patrol car,” Ramon muttered, staring at the lights.  “Not good!  They’ll be buzzin’ around like hornets.”  Ramon closed his eyes.  “No, we can’t leave now!”  He inhaled deeply, the air whistling as it escaped from the hole in his lung.  “Uhhhh, the blood, so fresh and sweet!  It’s almost intoxicating.”  He flicked his tongue over ragged, blue lips.

    “What’re you mumbling about?”  Nash moved closer as he hobbled from vehicle to vehicle.

    “D’you hear the cries and moans?”  Ramon put a hand to an ear.  “I’ll never tire of the song of death, the choir of those about to expire, the necrosis chorus, the…”

    But Nash moved on, sniffing about the cluster of wreckage for more free appendages.  “Huh!” Ramon snorted.  “Typical kid, doesn’t have any sense of wonder about how the world works … or the miracle of death.”

    At the squeal of a bent door being forced open, the older zombie sank down behind the barrier wall. He gestured frantically at Nash.  “Move!” Ramon hissed.  “We can’t be seen, or the living will come after us!  More highway patrol will be here any second!”

    “Yeah, yeah, I know,” Nash grumbled.  “But I can’t move very fast after that car hit my legs.”  He limped around an overturned car to get to the barrier wall.  “Not much eatin’ for all that effort.”  He peered into another car, grasping a handful of hair and pulling vainly on a head that lolled forward, but couldn’t rip it free.  Nash withdrew his own head and bumped it on the top of the door frame.  “Ow!”  He rubbed his scalp.  A clump of hair clung to his hand.

    Ramon reached out to help Nash clamber over the wall.  “God bless the California highway system,” Nash said in a hushed voice.  He handed the torn-off arm and severed foot to Ramon.

    “And God bless California drivers,” Ramon added.  “They won’t slow down for anything.”  He inspected the arm.  “Not bad, has some good meat on it.  I got an entire head, so we’ll eat well today–arm, foot, and brains.”  He waved the severed arm at the piled-up cars and trucks.  “Slow down or die, you fools!” Ramon intoned.  He folded over the smaller fingers of the severed arm, then crossed himself with the two remaining outstretched fingers.  “May you all rest in pieces.”

    “Let’s go.”  Ramon gestured toward the creek bed below with the severed arm.

    “But is this gonna be enough food for both of us?”

    “It’ll hafta do,” Ramon replied.  “Come on, let’s move!  We can’t let the living know we even exist, let alone that we’re causing massive freeway pileups.  We can’t get caught.”

    ###

    Ramon was scooping out the contents of the severed head when Nash crawled into the drain pipe.  “Hey, I get some!”

    “You’ll get your half,” Ramon took another mouthful of grey matter, rolling his eyes in ecstasy.  “Ooooh, that’s so … so delicious!  Remember when you were living and thought eating brains sounded like the most disgusting thing ever?”

    “Uh, yeah.”  But Nash’s eyes and attention were focused on the movement of Ramon’s spoon.

    Ramon peered down into the opening he’d excavated.  “Ah, this reminds me of my childhood and jack-o-lantern carving.  Thank goodness brains aren’t as stringy and tough as the goop inside a pumpkin.”

    “Let me have a bite,” Nash begged.  “I can smell the brains, and it’s driving me crazy!”

    “Don’t worry, you’ll get your share.”

    “I did all the work!” Nash complained.  “And took the injury.  I shouldn’t hafta watch until you’re finished.”

    “Oh, all right!” Ramon licked the spoon and handed the severed head to Nash.  “Don’t worry, brains don’t get tough that quickly.  Scoop out from the right hemisphere.”

    Ramon watched the spoon move as Nash ate.  “Slow down, kid.  Enjoy it!  You can’t even taste the brains, eating so fast.  Chew.  Savor.  Can you tell the difference between cerebellum and medulla?  It’s a different texture.  Take the time to appreciate it.  We won’t have fresh brains again for a while.”

    “Why not?”

    “Haven’t you been listening?  If we cause too many crashes, or are seen by witnesses, we’re in trouble.  You think the living won’t do anything about us eating them?”  He nodded at the skull in Nash’s lap.  “So we gotta take precautions.  When we’re done, we gotta take the bones out and dump them.”

    “Seems like a lot of extra work.”  Nash handed the spoon and head to Ramon.  “Does it ever bother you that you’re eating humans?”

    “It bothered me at first,” Ramon admitted.  “But hunger is hunger.  I got over my squeamishness.”  He plunged the spoon into the skull and twisted it to cut out a portion.  “I started out eating raccoons, squirrels, and whatever else I found on the road.  Dead food’ll keep ya going, but tastes like crap.  Fresh kill … ah, you can’t do better than fresh kill, warm and drippy and…”  Ramon put his fingertips to his lips, then flicked them outward like a French chef on a cooking show.

    Nash’s forehead furrowed.  “But what if … what if you kill someone and start eating them, then discover they’re a friend or relative?  How do you avoid eating the wrong people?  That’s why I ran away from home, to avoid eating my family and friends.”

    “You got it all wrong, kid.”  A twisted smile flitted across Ramon’s face.  “You eat family and friends first.  They’re easiest–they trust you.  Then you move on to harder game.”  Ramon put a finger in his mouth to pull a fiber from between his teeth.  “I ate my entire family, then moved far away, came here.”

    ###

    “I’m hungry again,” Nash complained.

    “Hold the box steady,” Ramon ordered, cutting an opening in the thick cardboard of the refrigerator carton Nash grasped.  “What are you, a teenager?  First, we get our new shelter in order, then we hunt.”

    “I don’t see why the box is so important,” Nash responded.  “We’ve gotta eat.  We can make shelters later.”  He frowned.  “And I’m twenty-two.”

    “You young zombies don’t know anything.  How long’ve you been undead?”

    “About three weeks, I guess.  Why?”

    Ramon waved his arm around them.  “The dry LA heat is great, but any moisture at all makes us rot away.  Didn’t you know?  What did they teach you in zombie school?”

    “Zombie school?”

    “I’m just tweaking you,” Ramon admitted.  “There’s no such thing as zombie school.  But there should be!  Surviving requires a certain bit of, uh, adjustment.”

    “How long’ve you been undead?”

    Ramon squinted at the sun.  “I’d almost reached retirement when it happened, so … thirteen years now.”

    “And you’ve survived this long without being caught?”  Nash’s eyes widened.  “What were you before, when you were … you know … living?  A commando?”

    Ramon burst into laughter.  “No, nothing that cool.  I taught high school history.  And coached football.”

    “Really?  Has it helped?”

    “Sure has!  There’s nothing better for learning mental toughness than spending twenty years as a high school history teacher.  It was the teaching that made me heartless.”  Ramon stretched clear plastic tape over the top of the fridge carton.  “There, that’ll keep rain out.  But it’s more than just protection.  We’ve gotta blend in, look homeless and desperate, like the least of the living.”  Ramon swept his arm to indicate the modest creek and scrubby floodplain under the freeway bridge.  “We live here like hobos, despite the noise, because…”  Ramon’s voice trailed off.

    “What?”

    “Visitors.”  Ramon nodded toward figures at the top of the bridge embankment.  “Investigating the wreck we caused last night.  Shoulda known they’d be extra curious with a patrol car in the wreckage.”

    “What should we do?”

    “We hide in the drainpipe, way back, so far back they won’t find us.”

    ###

    Ramon crawled out of the concrete drain pipe.  “They’re gone.”

    Nash’s graying face appeared at the mouth of the drain, ghastly in the daylight.  “All safe?”

    “Yeah, for now.”  Ramon stood, looking warily around.

    “What’re we gonna do for food?  I’m still hungry.”

    “This changes things.”  Ramon scowled.  “We gotta be really careful.  I always wait at least a week between wrecks, but we’d better wait longer this time.”

    “What’re we gonna eat in the meantime?  Homeless guys?”

    “No.”  Ramon grimaced.  Loose flesh on his cheek pulled up and exposed muscle underneath.  “Hobo brains’re revolting!  Cheap alcohol ruins the flavor.  Forget it.”

    “No, hold on.” Nash laid a hand on the tattered sinews of Ramon’s arm.  “They should taste okay if … properly raised, right?”

    “Sure, I suppose.  What’re you saying?”  Ramon stared into the grey and lifeless eyes of the younger zombie.

    “If they don’t drink anything for a time, the alcohol will disappear from their blood, right?”

    “Yeah, why?”

    “If they can’t drink for a coupla days, they should be detoxed and safe to eat, right?  Maybe even tasty.”  Nash’s voice cracked.  “God, I’m so hungry I’d eat anything right now!  I feel like attacking the first living person I find and ripping mouthfuls of flesh from them before they’re even dead.  Aaarrgh!”

    “Easy, kid.”  Ramon put a hand on Nash’s arm.  “That’s what it’s like being a zombie.  But being stupid and bloodthirsty gets you caught, understand?  We gotta be careful.  Get control of yourself.”

    “Okay, okay, you’re right.  You know what you’re talking about.”  Nash’s voice steadied.  “Whaddya think, though?  Could we create a food source of our own?  That way we would have plenty of fresh food–but without risk of injury or suspicion.”

    “How would we keep them from drinking?”

    “Lock them up, of course.  Maybe give them some food, some living human food.  Lotsa water, too.  Then we knock them over the head and feast.  No risk.  No chance of damage to us, and we harvest fresh, bloody meat.  Just imagine sawing open a skull still warm and juicy and soft inside.”  Nash’s gray and purple face assumed a dreamy smile.  “We wouldn’t have to go out at night hunting for food.”

    “You’re proposing a hobo farm?” Ramon said dubiously.

    “Yeah, exactly!”

    “Go on, flesh out your plan.”

    Nash glanced at Ramon’s face. “Are you trying to be funny?”

    “Me?”  Ramon put a palm against his chest.  “No, “I’m not trying to be funny … I am being funny!  Don’t take everything so seriously, kid.”

    “Hey, I don’t know anything about being a zombie.  And I can’t tell when you’re being serious or … or weird.”  Nash swept an arm out.  “We build cages.  With the freeway noise, we won’t have to worry about anyone hearing their screams.  No, someone might see.  I know, we could dig a pit to keep them in.  I know where we can find an old shovel.  We dig a deep hole and become hobo farmers–or hobo ranchers, whatever you wanna call it.”

    “Sounds good,” Ramon admitted.  “But how do we catch them?  I can barely walk anymore, as many times as I’ve been run over by cars and trucks.”

    “There’s a seedy liquor store close by,” Nash said.  “Winos sleep in the junkyard near the store, staggering over to buy cheap booze, then crawl into old cars to drink and pass out.  They won’t put up much of a fight.  Whaddya think?”

    “I think you’ve got a good idea.”  Ramon smiled.  “We’re gonna be eatin’ well, once we get us a crop or two of … what should we call them, organic hobos?  Free-range derelicts?”

    “You can’t call them free-range if they’re raised in cages,” Nash said reproachfully.

    Ramon threw his hands up in the air.  “Oh, now you’re the food label police?”  He scratched the back of his head, causing a swarm of flies to take flight and circle.  “We’ll go hunting as soon as night falls.”

    “Great.  I’ll dig first,” Nash volunteered.

    ###

    Nash pulled back a strip of metal roofing and peered down into the pit.  “I think he’s ready.”

    “Why d’you think that?”  Ramon peered over Nash’s shoulder.

    “’Cause his yelling has been getting louder and more coherent.”

    “Let me out!” the ragged man shouted up at the two zombies.  “Who’re you?  Where am I?  What’n hell’s wrong with yer face?”

    “Okay, how do we get him out of there?” Nash asked.

    “Not a problem.”  Ramon looked around.  “Drag that wooden post over and drop it down.  He can crawl up it.”  Ramon lowered his voice.  “That’s what I do when I find a raccoon trapped in a dumpster.  Then I stand to the side and whack it on the head as it emerges.  Voila, lunch!”

    “Ah, I see.”  Nash grinned.  “I’ll get the post.  You find a club.”  He moved toward where the fence post lay, then stopped to pick up a bottle instead.  “Was this his booze?”  Nash held it high.  “Looks like water.  The label says grain alcohol, one-hundred ninety proof.”

    “Really?”  Ramon’s tone reflected surprise.  “That’s wickedly strong.  Grain alcohol equals a whole lotta lush.  A few gulps of that and a wino will be crazy drunk and ready for anything.”

    “Gimme my bottle!” the hobo protested.

    “Ready for anything?” Nash repeated, looking from the bottle to the hobo.  “Like doing something dangerous and stupid?”

    “You can’t do thisssshhh to me,”  The derelict thrust his chin out defiantly.  “I’m a … I was a … a shtar.  Yearsh ago, I was fame … famous.  People came to see me perform.”

    “That so?”  Nash stared down at the hobo with amusement on his face.

    “Yessir,”  The derelict had a serious expression on his lined face.  “I even auditioned for a TV show.  Almost … almost made it, too.”

    “So what did you do, back when you were famous?”  Nash gave Ramon a nudge.

    “I juggled, an’ I rode a uni … unicycle.  I was real good.”

    “So why are you here, drinking too much and living in your clothes?”

    “Same reason as you, I s’pose.  Lived the high life and ended up spendin’ far more money than I had, until the tax man and the banker and the ex wife came and took it all away.”  The hobo stared at Nash.  “Well?  Izzat what happened to you, too?”

    “Close enough,” Nash replied.  “So if we found a unicycle, you could ride it?”

    “Sure could!  An’ I could ride an’ juggle things at the same time.  My gran’ finale was juggling knives with burning oil on the blades.  I juggled … ma-shoot-ees.”

    “You mean machetes?”

    “Yeah, machetes, tha’s what they were.”  The hobo bobbed his head.  “I’d … I’d juggle four or five flaming ma-shit-ees.”  The hobo sighed wistfully.  “No one entertained a crowd better’n I did.”

    “Nash, why are you talking to the old sponge?” Ramon asked.  “We’ve got things to do.”

    “Hold on.”  Nash nodded sideways at the hobo.  “Maybe we can put his skills to use.”

    “How?”

    “Simple.  We give him a bracer, then put him on a unicycle.  There’s a hill next to the freeway with a nice slope.”

    “Oh, I get your drift!”  Ramon’s face lit up.  “This evening?”

    “Yep.”

    “What about the hobo ranching plan?”

    “Screw the plan!” Nash replied.  “We stage a final, grand show starring our friend here.  Would you like that, to perform one more time in front of a big crowd of adoring fans?”

    “Would I?”  The old wino’s face became animated.  “You two gray guys would do tha’ fer me?”

    “Sure would.”

    “But I don’t have a unicycle anymore.”  The hobo’s face fell.  “Or ma-shoot-ees to juggle.  Or a crowd.”

    “You leave all that to us,” Nash said reassuringly.  “We’ll find a unicycle.  We already know a place you can perform.  We’ll get everything lined up.  You let us worry about the details.”

    “Can I get outta here?”

    “No, afraid not,” Ramon replied.  “We’ll get you out when it’s time for your final performance.  Nash, pull the sheet metal back over the top.  We’ve gotta go find a unicycle for our new friend.”

    Ramon moved a few paces away and waited for the younger zombie.

    “You think he can ride a unicycle?” Nash asked.

    “Doesn’t matter.  If he crashes, we pick him up and start him again–as many times as it takes.”

    “Where’re we gonna get a unicycle?”

    “There’s a pile of old bicycles in the junkyard.  Find a serviceable one and stick it in the mouth of the car crusher.  When the ram comes down it’ll shear the bicycle in half.  Then bend the seat into place.  Voila, a unicycle.  Should be good enough for a one-way ride.”

    “It could work,” Nash conceded.

    “And see if you can find anything machete-like at the junkyard.  Our old wino friend might be more cooperative if we have something for him to juggle.”

    “Good idea.”  Nash shook his head in disbelief.  “This’s gonna be one hell of a show.  A wino on a unicycle juggling large flaming knives as he rides out into six lanes of LA traffic–riding straight to hell!”

    “He won’t need the knives to be on fire.  Now go and find a unicycle.”

    ###

    “Stop here.”  Nash guided the hobo by the elbow as they neared the crown of the hill, halting before they could be seen by the traffic below.  “We’ll help you mount up here, and make sure you’re ready for your grand entrance.”  Nash turned to watch Ramon drag-stepping slowly up the scrubby slope, towing the unicycle.

    “Iss gettin’ dark,” the hobo observed.  “Good fer showing off flames in the act.”

    “Go on, have another big pull,” Nash encouraged.  “Sorry, but we weren’t able to get flaming machetes.”

    The hobo drank, then gave the bottle back.  “I … bedder shhhtop now.”  He wiped his mouth on a dirty sleeve before toppling forward into Nash.

    Nash pushed him upright.  “Nonsense!  This is a celebration, the grand encore of your showbiz career.  Have another.”

    “You really shink I should?”

    “Absolutely!  It’ll be good for your balance.”

    “I dunno.”  The hobo glanced at the approaching unicycle.  “I ain’t ridden in years.”

    Nash reached into his pocket for the short pipe he had brought along to finish off wreck survivors.  “Come on, hobo dude, don’t get cold feet now.  If nothing else, think of the children … the delicious, delicious children.”  Nash shook his head.  “You wouldn’t want to disappoint your fans, would you?”  He held out the bottle.

    “No, I guess … I guess not.”  The hobo took a swig and let out a belch.

    “Shhhh!”  Nash held a finger to his cracking lips.  “Give me the bottle and climb up onto the unicycle.  Use my shoulder if you need to.”

    “No, I keep … bottle!”

    “Fine, keep the bottle,” Ramon said, intervening.  “As long as you can ride.  Put it in your pocket.”

    “Okay.”  The hobo tucked it inside his shabby vest.  He put a hand on Nash’s shoulder and climbed up onto the unicycle as Ramon steadied it.  The bottle tumbled to the ground.

    Nash picked it up.  “No worries, there’s still plenty left.”  He tore a dangling strip of fabric from his sleeve and stuffed it into the neck of the bottle.  “Now it won’t slop out.”

    Ramon took the bottle out of Nash’s hands.  “I just had a wicked idea.  What’s the best way to increase balance?  More speed!  The faster Tipsy McTipple goes, the more likely he’ll be able to balance.  So we need to give him a speed boost–an afterburner.”

    “What do you have in mind?”  Nash asked cautiously.

    “Gimme!”  Tipsy tried to grab the bottle from Ramon’s hand.

    “We … uh … ight-lay him on ire-fay … so he pedals for his ife-lay.”

    Nash nodded.  “So he can’t get cold feet.”

    “Exactly!”

    “I wanna ‘nother drink!” Tipsy grabbed for the bottle.  Ramon held it at arm’s length.

    “There’s an empty bottle behind you.”  Nash pointed.  “Pour Tipsy a bit, just to keep him quiet.”

    “Good idea.”  Ramon picked up the empty and Nash poured a portion of grain alcohol into it.

    “Wait, he might spill it.”  Nash tore another strip of cloth from his sleeve and plugged the bottle before handing it to Tipsy McTipple.  “Go ahead, pour some on his eet-fay.  I’ve got an ighter-lay.”

    Ramon giggled.  “Time to move him over the hill.  He’s ready to launch.  This’s gonna be some show!”

    They wheeled the hobo and unicycle over the crest of the hill.  “Perfect!” Nash exclaimed.  “A nice, smooth slope. He won’t have to steer around obstacles.  Just down and into … affic-tray.”

    Nash poured grain alcohol on the hobo’s shoes.  “Houston, we’re ready to light the candle!”  He put the rag back into the neck, whereupon Tipsy seized the bottle from Nash’s hands and uttered a raspy cry of triumph.  Nash flicked his pocket lighter and touched it to the hobo’s shoe.  The fire jumped to the other foot. Both shoes flashed into whitish flame as the high purity alcohol caught fire.  Tipsy shrieked and grabbed at his flaming feet, igniting the alcohol-soaked rags in both bottles. Ramon gave the unicycle a shove.

    The slope and Tipsy’s churning, flaming feet rocketed the unicycle downward.  Tipsy screamed a high, sustained note, like a train whistle in the gathering evening, pedaling furiously to get away from the flames licking at his shoes.  The flaming unicycle hobo careened down the slope.

    Tipsy realized that he had a flaming bottle in each hand as he hit the concrete freeway apron. He tossed the bottle in his right hand up into the air, shifted the other bottle to his right in order to throw it away, then reflexively caught the first bottle as it returned to earth.

    “My word,” Nash breathed.  “He’s trying to juggle!”

    Tipsy shot out into traffic, his whirling feet a ring of fire and the flaming bottles flying through the air.  He missed the car in the third lane, but the van in lane four clipped him.  Hobo, unicycle, and flaming bottles went flying.  Brakes screeched and vehicles collided.  A bus ground a car against the center concrete barrier with a horrific metallic screech.  Following vehicles swerved to avoid the tangled mass of cars and trucks.  Vehicles shot off the freeway, bouncing and cart-wheeling down the creek bank.  A SUV tried to swerve back onto the freeway and hit the end of the bridge guardwall with a tremendous bang.  A tanker truck swerved, seeking a safe path through the carnage, its tank trailer swinging behind it, before flopping over on its side and skidding in a shower of sparks.

    “Ooooh, that’s a propane tanker,” Nash whispered.  “Do you think it’ll…”

    One of Tipsy’s bottles hit the concrete next to the overturned trailer. The tank exploded in a blinding flash, flattening both zombies. A portion of the tank shot up into the air like a comet.

    “Aaaaaaah!”  Ramon, flat on his back, stared open-mouthed at the flaming wreckage arcing above them.

    “Wow,” Nash said in a reverent tone.  “The flaming grain alcohol turned into a Molotov cocktail.”

    “Which turned the propane tanker into the biggest Molotov cocktail ever.” Ramon flinched as heavy flaming bits fell to earth and the ground shuddered.  “Do you suppose there are any body parts in orbit?”

    Nash opened his mouth to answer when a flaming debris comet hit Ramon with a blinding impact.  Nearby scrub brush caught fire.  Nash leaped to his feet and patted out the flames on Ramon.

    “You okay?” Nash asked as he pulled Ramon to his feet.

    “I think so.”  Ramon inspected himself.  “Good thing I’m not one of the living right now.  Crap, my lucky shirt is ruined!”

    Nash wrinkled his nose.  “You smell even worse after being on fire.”

    “Never mind that.”  Ramon struggled to his feet.  “It’s time to eat.  There should be a bounty of body parts scattered about after that big ka-boom!”

    A flaming mass splatted onto the ground nearby.  Nash went to investigate.

    “Whaddja find?” Ramon asked, trying to see what Nash had discovered in the semi-darkness.

    Nash returned cupping a head in his hands, the hair still smoking.  “Get your spoon out, it’s time for barbecue.  We’re about to have our first taste of brains propane flambé!”

     

    13 Comments

    1. Cool!

      Comment by Justin Dunne on December 4, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    2. Great–reminded me of me when I used to write in that cynical, black humor kind of way. It was very humorous and the ending made me laugh out-loud, which is very rare.
      Write more please.
      I am John the Piper’s Son

      Comment by John the Piper's Son on December 5, 2012 @ 3:09 am

    3. That is sickeningly hilarious! Encore! Encore!

      Comment by JohnT on December 5, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    4. My favorite part:
      My word,” Nash breathed.  “He’s trying to juggle!”

      Comment by JamesAbel on December 5, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    5. Haha, great laughs out of this story!

      Comment by Ashley on December 5, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    6. Damn that was a messed up story. Not in a bad way. It was really funny and I look forward to more stuff that you put out there.

      Comment by Jordan on December 5, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    7. This is a terrific story with a treasure trove of great ideas … Let’s see … I’ve got an old bike in the garage and a hacksaw to modify it … and I think I’ll sharpen the edges of my spoon to make it more efficient. Oh, boy! I’m salivating so much I can hardly work. I think I’ll start with the medulla oblongata …

      Comment by Frank on December 5, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

    8. Great fun to read. I especially liked the “free range derelicts”!

      Comment by ZombieLuvr on December 6, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

    9. This is an incredibly clever and well-written story!

      Comment by David Lord on December 6, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    10. while i’m not a fan of the thinking zombie (i’m a shambler purist) i did enjoy your story and will definatly read more.

      Comment by Gunldesnapper on December 7, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    11. Great story, the writer has great talent and I hope to read more.

      Comment by Colleen Hall on December 7, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    12. Hilarious! Just as funny as Stan and Ollie, but with zombies.

      Comment by John C on December 9, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

    13. What a great story! “Zombie Under the Bridge” is unique, well-written, funny, and most important – very entertaining. Keep the good work, Mr. Zae! I hope to read more of your stories in the near future.Leave a comment

      Comment by Stefani Chr on December 21, 2012 @ 11:42 am

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