October 31, 2013

When Zombies Attack (draft)

It was a dark and stormy Halloween eve, as is typical for this sort of event. Two friends, Steve and Jon, were watching a Twilight Zone marathon at Steve's house, mere blocks from the old cemetery. Jon sat glued to Steve's couch that was so old it had butt indentations and smelled like burnt cheese. Steve was up munching on his favorite snack, a hot dog with steak sauce, as he watched the rain beat down outside. 

“Shuth eth raymen,” he said with his mouth full.

“What?” Jon was annoyed because Steve was talking over the part where the old woman discovers her dead husband has been calling her. 

“I said it sure is coming down out there. Sort of rhythmic when you listen to it.”

“Well I'm not listening to it. I'm trying to watch!”

Steve plopped down next to Jon and his butt sunk perfectly into place. He held out his half eaten hot dog as a peace offering. 

Jon pushed it away. “That's disgusting, man. How can you eat that?”

Steve shrugged and ate the rest of the dog with much vigor. “The only people who don't like a wiener with steak sauce have never tasted one.”


Meanwhile, in a seemingly unrelated event, the devious Professor von Doctor vin Stein was eating his steak dinner and plotting his revenge against his dead father. He sat alone in a huge dining room with a gigantic dining table, and his special dining bib with little skulls on it that he bought at a a craft fair four years ago while trying to pick out a birthday gift for his brother. To his right, a steak. To his left, a beaker full of mystery liquid. 

Now, Professor von Doctor vin Stein wasn't the sharpest pencil, although he wasn't exactly dull either. He was the kind of pencil with the graphite that's sharp at the tip but more exposed on one side than the other side like you'd get when you used the manual pencil sharpener at school as a kid. The pencil that nobody wanted because, as soon as the tip got dull, you'd be etching into your paper with wood. At least, that's how his family made him feel. Although, admittedly, he wasn't a professor (that's a title he gave to himself), he was still more of a success than his deadbeat werewolf of a younger brother or his older brother who'd held the distinction of being the only vampire he'd ever met that, try as he might, could only turn into a mosquito instead of a bat. But his father, Professor von Doctor vin Stein Sr., was actually a professor, and made sure to mention it at every family event.: barbeques, reunions, creepy uncle Barney's birthday party, you name it.  Professor von Doctor eventually became so spiteful, that he closed his mildly-successful-but-still-more-successful-than-his-brothers herbal tonic store and spent the following years scheming up a way to impress his father. And then one day he got a letter that his father had passed. But instead of taking this a reason to move on, or even disappointment, his father's death became his greatest inspiration. And now, it was almost time to prove to his father, once and for all, that you didn't need a fancy degree to be a professor.

Professor von Doctor chewed on his chunk of steak long and hard. He let the juices flow over his tongue and gnashed away at the meat until it was mush. It was the best steak he had ever eaten. It tasted like victory. At least, for a moment, before he realized he was sloshing around saliva-meat goop and spit it into the beaker filled with an un-recreateable liquid mixture. But hopefully it would still work. Maybe.


Jon had turned off The Twilight Zone and was getting ready to put in the DVD of the 2002 revival because they had run out of episodes, when he noticed Steve staring out the window again. “What it is now?” he asked.

“Something's not sitting right with me. It's too dark and stormy. I'll be right back.” Steve disappeared into the hallway. 

Jon hit play and cringed as the theme song by Korn's Jonathan Davis began to play. 

Steve came back holding a shotgun. “Bleh,” he said looking at the TV screen, “they really ruined the theme song.”

“Holy Jesus fuck where did you get that gun?” Jon was expecting a hotdog.

“Oh, I got it from my apocalypse bunker. It's it in case of zombies. My dad always warned me about zombies when he used to live here. You know, because of the cemetery and all.”

“You have an apocalypse bunker?”

“Yeah, man. You want to see it?”

“Why did you never mention this before?”

“You never asked.”

The bunker was down the hall and under a rug, just before the garage. Steve pulled the rug back and unveiled at hatch with a digital lock. He input the code “12345” and the hatch unlatched with a hiss. 

“Why wouldn't you pick a more complicated password?” Jon asked.

“I just slapped it with my hand and that's what came out. Saved me some thinking. Besides, it's not like a zombie can figure out even a simple password like that.”

“Yeah, but what about other people? What if you need to use your bunker for, like, a nuclear explosion or a meteor strike.”

Steve chuckled. “You really think that those are more likely to happen than a zombie attack?”

For a bunker, it was pretty swank. The old couch's twin was there along with boxes of batteries, flashlights, hand cranks, radios, canned food, chips, Twinkies, water, books, board games, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, Pokemon cards, Magic The Gathering cards (in case thumb twiddling became boring), and a 1950s vintage Coca-Cola poster. And then there were the guns organized by type. Every type. And a crossbow for good measures. Steve reached into the shotgun cabinet and pulled out pump action with a wooden handle. 

“Here,” he said, handing it over, “I call this one Buck. See, because it's a shotgun.”

Jon reluctantly took the gun. “Yeah, I got it.” 

And then there was a pounding at the bunker door.


Professor von Doctor Vin Stein stood on top of his father's grave. He stomped on it a few times for good measure before declaring, “Father, now you will see what a genius I really am. A true Professor von Doctor!”. He poured a drop of the solution onto the dirt and hoped for something amazing to happen. A bony hand tore through the earth and grabbed him by the ankle. It had worked, steak juice and all. The other hand poked through. They clawed at the dirt until a skull was partially exposed. This was taking too long. By the time Professor von Doctor returned with a shovel, he could see the beginning of his father's eye sockets. He plunged the shovel into the earth and dug with ferocity, then reached into the whole and yanked his father out. 

“Father,” he declared, “I've done it. Something you could never do with you're lousy degree. I've brought you back from the dead!”

His father stared blankly, unimpressed, then whacked him on the top of his head with the back of his hand. “You fool,” Zombie von Doctor exclaimed, “I was enjoying a nice peaceful death and you had to bring me back to life? I never wanted to see your failure of a face again! Kill me! Kill me again!” He yanked the shovel from Professor von Doctor's hands so he could beat himself with it.

“No! Not until you admit what a genius I am!” Professor von Doctor yanked back.

“All you've done is torture an old man!”

And in their fighting, they spilled the solution. It seeped deep into the dirt. At first it didn't seem so bad. At first, it seemed like it might only wake up two or three dead, max. But then the rain came and Professor von Doctor found out the true meaning of “just add water”.


“Do you hear that?” Steve asked. “Someone's on the other side of the door. It's probably zombies.”

It was zombies. Zombies from the cemetery three blocks down the street. Steve's crazy preparations had paid off. Sort of. See, had Steve taken the time to input any other password besides “12345”, they probably would have been alright. As it was, a zombie hand simply smacking the input panel was enough to open the door. And the zombies began to pour in. 

“Holy shit, my foolproof plan!” Steve exclaimed as he prepared to unload at the zombies. “Good thing we've got guns!” He cocked the shotgun, pulled the trigger, and shot out a cobweb. “Oh fuckstick, there's no bullets in here!”

Jon fired his gun. “Mine either!” He threw the shotgun at the approaching horde and flung open the gun cabinet. “Where's the ammo, dude?”

“I don't know! I don't know! Hurry and find it!”

“There's no fucking ammo here!”

“Oh my God, I'm such an idiot!” Steve had resorted to throwing random objects. He clonked one with a can of beans, another with a flashlight, and a third with a stack of Pokemon cards, which wasn't very effective. Then he grabbed a bottle of steak sauce. It made a direct hit on the zombie's shoulder, exploded and splattered sauce over three zombies. It immediately began to burn like acid and they were zombie puddles in seconds. 

“Dude,” Steve yelled, shoving box of steak sauce at Jon, “their weakness is steak sauce. We need more sauce!”

And so, the two men, one with box, the other with bottle, fought their way to Steve's car. 

“Where are we going?” asked Jon.

“We gotta kick ass and throw sauce. And we're all outta sauce.”

Jon stared at him blankly.

“Ugh, why don't you ever get my jokes? We're going to get more steak sauce. We need to stop this before it spreads too far.”


The Publix was not prepared to ring up that much steak sauce.

“Sir, do you really need this much sauce?” asked the irritated cashier.

“Yes!” Steve said throwing his hands up in the air. “The zombie apocalypse is spreading and we need all the sauce we can get!”

The woman reached for the phone to call security. 
Suddenly, a voice rang out from customer service. The voice of a savior. Dan the bag boy. 

“Did you say zombie apocalypse?” asked Dan. “Take your sauce and follow me.” He led them through the storage room to the secret sauce reserves. “You can have all the sauce you need. I'll sneak you out the back, no questions asked.”

Steve and Dan's eyes met. There was an unstated understanding. They were brothers in arms. 

“Hey,” Steve said putting his hand on Dan's shoulder, “get to your bunker just in case.” 

Dan nodded. They were off.


“We've got to stop them at the source.” Steve explained as they climbed over the coral rock wall into the cemetery. 

They ran in bottles blazing. The steak sauce rained down like the rain iteslf, leaving pools of zombie in its wake. Soon they had found them. Professor von Doctor vin Stein Jr. and Zombie Professor von Doctor vin Stein Sr., in a heated argument. Without thinking, Jon tossed a bottle at them, splashing condiment all over Professor von Doctor's horrified face. He watched his father melt as the words “I looooblaschh...” sizzled out of his mouth. 

Professor von Doctor turned to Steve and Jon with rage in his eyes. “He was about to tell me he loved me! For the first time in his afterlife! What have you done?” He collapsed, bawling, in a heap at their feet. 

“Dude, the zombie apocalypse was just going on and you were trying to be diplomatic?” Steve asked, totally confused.

Professor von Doctor slowly stood up and looked Steve in the eyes. “Don't you know who I am? I am the brilliant Professor von Doctor vin Stein. Professor von Doctor vin Stein! I raised the dead! I am a genius! A genius!”

“Whoa, calm down there, man. You did this?”

“Yeah, and I would have gotten away with it, too if it weren't for you, oh who am I kidding he was probably going to tell me again how much he loved being dead. What's wrong with me? Why wouldn't he love me!”

“You did this to try and impress your dead father? That's messed up.”

Professor von Doctor grabbed Steve tight and cried on his shoulder. Jon quietly stepped away to call the cops. Steve patted Professor von Doctor on the back.

“There, there,” he said, “nothing a trip to the funny farm won't fix.”


After an interesting question and answer session with the police, Steve and Jon were back in the old couch watching 2002 Twilight Zone. Steve was only half paying attention. He was trying to make out the inscription on the inside of the probably cursed gold ring he held in his hand. 

“Hey, aren't you going to clean up all that zombie goop?” Jon asked. 

“Nah, it adds character.” Steve replied. 

Jon noticed the ring. “What's that?”

“Just some ring I took off that zombie professor guy. I'm trying to make out the writing. It's probably cursed.”

Jon laughed. “Oh yeah, definitely. And I'm sure that guy had a vampire for a brother who's going to seek revenge on us.”

Irony is a funny thing.

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