“Don’t complain to me! I told you I’m not a barber.” Tracy said.
“I’m not complaining at you. I really appreciate you for taking care of this for me.” I told her, taking both of her hands in mine to drive my sincerity home. “You’re a lifesaver, and you’re compassionate beyond reason.”
She gave me a quizzical look, almost like she was trying to decide if I was serious, or if I was laying it on with a trowel.
“Frank, I don’t know you well enough to judge if you were just sincere, or if you were blowing sunshine up my ass. Which was it? I need to know if I ought to retaliate.”
“It was sincere gratitude and appreciation. I nearly died because a zombie biker caught me by the hair.”
“Oh. Well, then, you’re welcome. Can I have my hands back?”
I let her go, and she looked at the floor, as if meeting my eyes was uncomfortable. I haven’t had that effect on a woman in… a long time. A moment later, she lifted her head, and squinted at me.
“I’ll let you sweep the floor as soon as your balls will let you. I think I deserve a drink after being so compassionate.” She said, gave me a pat on my bald noggin, and sauntered over to the bar.
“Um. I feel strangely alone, and vulnerable right now.” I looked around at everyone, without moving anything below my waist, and found myself craving a hug. “I could use a hug.”
“Gosh, dude.” Shawn, the Nordic Wonder said. “If I knew you better, I’d wrap my manly arms around you, and let you chill with my southern comfort.”
“That’s really kind of you. I think.”
“Yep. I’m a magnanimous, heterosexual, kind of man.”
Marvin gave him a high-five.
Have you ever wondered if people were gaining points at your expense?
I would have continued on that thought path, if bullets hadn’t rained in through the front door, and the wall facing the street. No one inside the bar made a noise; we all hit the floor, and started to pray to our favorite deities.
The fall to the floor jostled my pummeled plums, and I bit my lower lip to keep from cursing at volume, just as the incoming fire turned the table I’d been sitting at into kindling. Whatever ammunition our attackers were using was powerful stuff, and I thanked my lucky stars they got the table, not me.
One good thing came of it: my bag of tricks (that had been sitting on the table) dropped down right in front of my face. I pulled out my .45, and whistled at everyone over near the bar. Shawn raised his disheveled head, and I threw the shotgun I’d taken off the zombies in his direction.
He caught it with one ham-sized hand—a credit to Southern manhood—and jacked a shell.
I heard Shirley do the same, with the shotgun she’d recently held to my head.
Marvin manifested an AR-15 machine gun from behind the bar, and passed it over to Tracy. Surprisingly enough, she looked completely at ease with the weapon. A moment later, Marvin’s magic caused a pair of 9mm pistols to appear in his hands. The man never ceased to surprise me.
The gunfire stopped as suddenly as it began. We looked at one another, and you could almost hear the same question being rolled around in all of our heads. “Is it okay to move now?”
Our instant cerebral gestalt extended to the answer to our shared question: “No. Don’t move.” We didn’t.
“Excuse me, people in the bar!” Someone yelled from outside the front door.
“Yes, asshole who is shooting up my walls?” Marvin replied.
“Can your zombie exterminator come out and play now?”
Marvin looked over his thick glasses at me, and flipped me the bird. I just shrugged. It wasn’t my idea that the chumps come looking for me.
“Zombie exterminator? Is that a craft, microbrew, or some kind of bottled shit that I haven’t heard of before?”
“Ha. Ha. Very funny, Mr. Bartender! The bottle of shit had better present himself in the next 30 seconds, or we’ll burn down your little establishment. Am I clear?”
“Yes, you are both clear and eloquent.”