Friday, October 19, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Not #ZombieLuv




Dr. Positron arrived for their date half an hour early, so excited was he for a reply to his zombie lovers ad. He didn’t expect any of them could read, and the prospects of a zombie girl whose brain was that much intact set every cyborg part of his husk to tingling. Even his remaining biological organs thrummed in their semi-stasis, hoping to finally find someone who enjoyed haunted house movies as much as he did.

He was then somewhat disappointed when the mummy-girl made her way to his table. Even with crumbling vertebrates, she had regal posture, her face obscured in a gold and turquoise burial mask. Either out of royal conviction or because a curse affected her grip, she held a golden crook in her left hand. They sat in silence for 242 seconds – his internal clock timing the awkwardness, and his disappointment, and analyzed what appeared to be disappointment on her part. Maybe she’d been expecting a zombie boy.

The three remaining fingers of her right hand toyed with her wine glass. She hadn’t drunk any. He’d ordered for her in advance, figuring zombies would prefer red wine. But she wasn’t a zombie. She was some crazy Egyptian sorceress with a name he couldn't pronounce.

“You don’t have an eternal mate?” he asked, breaking the painful silence with what felt like even more painful talking. “A pharaoh or something?”

“I did,” she said in a ghastly voice that echoed through her gilded mask. It bore eye slits, through which he could see her crusted eyes rolling at him. “His head was stolen in the 13th century by North African tomb raiders.”

“That’s terrible. Just terrible. There ought to be a law.”

“There is.” She remained rigid.

“Well, there would be.”

“I mean, he was an artifact. Old-fashioned, too.”

“You know, old-fashioned zombies were defined as…”

“Not as robotic freaks with half their bodies replaced by metal.”

“This is awful,” he said, pushing his wine glass across the table cloth. Alcohol didn’t have any affect on him anymore, and his prosthetic eye revealed that the waiter had spit in his wine. The living sucked. He could at least be honest with the dead. “Listen, I don’t want to run you around. I put out the ad hoping for a zombie whose parts I could harvest. I’m trying to go more organic. Metal limbs are so… eighties.”

The mummy-woman smoothed out her thigh-wrappings and sighed, sounding tinny behind the burial mask. “Then I’m going to be straight with you, too. Would you mind being possessed by my husband? I thought you were going to be a zombie, an empty husk, and could serve as his vessel.”

Dr. Positron only had one eyelid left, but it squinted for two at the mummy-woman. “How would I have written the ad if I was a brainless husk?”

“All those ads read like husks wrote them. No offense. Or maybe you had friends write it for you?”

“Zombies don’t have friends. They have packs of other zombies they shamble around with, mindlessly biting bystanders.”

“Then why did you call yourself a zombie in the ad?”

“Well,” his fleshy remains formed half an awkward face. “It’s a term.”

“You’re undead, not a zombie.”

“Neither are you, and you answered the ad.”

“So you’re not thinking about sheltering my husband’s soul?”

“I mean, I could give you a flashdrive. Ancient curses aren’t lossless, so he could probably fit on there.”

She rubbed at her collarbones, the remaining flesh and wrappings nearly tearing from her massage. She groaned. “Being a zombie is such a mess.”

“Well, you’re not a zombie.”

“Neither are you, but we’re both pigeonholed. Welcome to the culture wars.”

“It was nice meeting you. I’ll pick up the check,” he said, signaling with an iron hand for the waiter. “Good luck with your… thing.”

“My zombie thing?” she asked with a smirk. He’d been about to rise and wave more insistently for the waiter when he caught that – her smirk that warped the turquoise lips of her burial mask. Magic, sure, but sexier than any robo-lady he’d ever built. It gave him pause.

He chanced, “So your husband…?”

“What about him?” she said, fingering her wine glass.

“He’s headless. Needs a host. So he’s not… around?”

When she narrowed her eyes they went entirely to black, with an utterly otherworldly sheen that set his circuitry a-tingling. She asked, “Why?”

“Well,” he said, setting his cognitive processes to check available showtimes, “how do you feel about haunted house movies? And how did you pronounce your name, again?”

29 comments:

  1. Ah blind dates are a tricky business! ^__^

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  2. lots of wry smiles elicited from me in this one. "Welcome to the culture wars" - OH YES! and love his scanning eyes detecting that the waiter had spat in his drink. Plus of course that both were looking out for an empty receptacle they could exploit to their own ends. Fiendish tale!

    marc nash

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    1. Glad all those details landed with you, Marc. I wondered if the eye analyzing his wine for spit would amuse anyone, or just me...

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  3. Nice one. And I would like a sequel too. Please.

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    1. Oh yeah? After the first date or something...?

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    2. Indeed. I want to hear from the survivor of this epic date. If there is a survivor. Battle will be joined.

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  4. "Metal limbs are so… eighties.”

    This made me smile. Kooky fun, this one. I, too, would love to see how their date progresses!

    By the way, in the first sentence you have "as" where I'm pretty sure you meant "ad".

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    1. Full disclosure: I miss the heck out of RoboCop.

      Thanks for catching the typo!

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  5. Dr Positron! Love that name, John. This was a fun piece, too. Nice work!

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  6. Love is a flower that can bloom in the most fetid swamp...

    Good fun in this, John.

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  7. This is sheer joy to read and made me laugh. I too liked the "Metal limbs are so...eighties". I take it Positron doesn't drink the wine because it would play merry hell with his circuits?

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    1. Your comment brightened my morning, Justin! Thanks! I hadn't thought of alcohol bugging his system. I could mess with that aversion in later chapters, if I took it serial. Do you desire that?

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  8. Lots of good humor in this week's #FridayFlash crop so far, and this one goes right along! It's so funny how both of them were hoping to "harvest" the other, but it sounds like it might all work out in the end.

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  9. wahahahaha that was such a joyful and fun read :) The ending had me laugh out loud. Like other commenters before me, the so 80's line had me laugh out loud. Also: I could give you a flashdrive.
    GREAT story! :)

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    1. So glad the humor landed for you, Sylvia! Validates all the wacky ideas I had in putting it together.

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  10. Definitely not #zombieluv but most amusing! Besides everybody's comments, I must add that I loved the progression of disappointment to interest in his part. The sudden effect a smirk had on him and the more attentive look from there on made a delightful reading.

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    1. Were you one of the #zombieluv bosses? I've actually forgotten at this point, only recall feeling shamed that my idea absolutely didn't fit.

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    2. Yeah, it was my contest, although the original idea came up in a conversation with Jim Wisneski and Jodi MacArthur, who both helped me judging it. ;) You shouldn't feel shamed in the least. Your story is great! As usual, btw. ;P

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  11. Ahh the dating game. It's always the same isn't it? Thanks for the laugh :)

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  12. Ahhh,, its so nice when two of the undead can set aside their cultural differences. Maybe its zombie love after all!

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  13. I think they should go and watch some haunted house movies together, maybe they were meant for each other after all.

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  14. Hey, we both managed happy endings this week! What are the odds? :)

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  15. LOL Let the battle commence! Who will win?

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  16. LOL! I was just thinking - are there girl mummies and lo! here she is, larger than life and plotting to take over robot-zombie and complaining about being typecast - very cool.

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  17. Ah, this was ace! Suddenly none of my awful dates seem quite so bad...

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  18. What a fun story, John. I loved the 80's comment and "sexier than any robo-lady he’d ever built."

    Consider this my vote for serializing this if you're considering it.

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  19. Good to know that even the undead suck at dating.

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  20. "You can't always get what you want/but if you try sometimes, you just might find/You get what you need."

    That popped in my head as soon as I read the ending, and I'm not even a Rolling Stones fan.

    I think this would be an improvement on a lot of on-line dating site dates I've been on. At least they discuss why they're disappointed.

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  21. Haunted house movies, a great way to spend the evening with that special one. And love the idea of spirits on a flash drive. Portable ghost in the machine.

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