I looked around at the four pairs of eyes that were drilling holes in my skull, and really wished I were anywhere else but on the floor of the bar. In the back of my head, Leonard Nimoy was explaining to me how the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, or the few. As soon as he finished the speech, I had a few imaginary goons waiting to pound the farts out of him.
“Frank, I hate to be harsh on you, what with your purple testicles, and everything.” Marvin called out from across the room. “But I really need you to get the fuck outside before they burn down my home. I promise we’ll back you up if we can.”
I took a deep breath, and yelled. “I’ll be out in a minute! I need to pull my pants up!”
There is a unique and horrible sound, one I’d never fully appreciated until it was at my expense: the derisive laughter of a gang of zombies. I couldn’t do much more than listen to it, pull up my drawers over my swollen crotch-décor, and slide my katana through my belt. The .45 already had a round “in the pipe,” so I just held onto it.
“Good luck, dude. Sorry I didn’t get to meet ya until today.” Shawn said, and gave me a jaunty little wave… with a hand the size of a smoked ham.
“Likewise.” I said, and I’m sure it came out as unexcited as I felt.
Managing good grace when people are sending out to die is an art. I assure you, it is not an art I’ve mastered, apprenticed at, or even considered attaching to my rucksack of odd hobbies. The most I could manage was a surly bow to everyone, as I turned to trudge towards the perforated front door.
I’m not going to record the litany of bad language that was tearing through my head at light speed. Suffice it to say, it was awful, multi-lingual, and could have created an international incident in the right circles.
I grabbed the doorknob, and it came off in my hand.
“Well. That’s just fucking hilarious.” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.
I pushed the door open with my gun hand, and held on to the knob. What possessed me to keep the brass turd in my hand, I can’t say. There was an up side to all of it: I was so pissed off; I forgot how badly my nuts hurt, and just kept walking.
My opponent from earlier, looking a little worse for wear, was standing on the other side of the four-lane stretch of asphalt, called Route 29. Like a good boy, I looked left, and right, before I considered crossing the street. There were at least three other shooters nearby, all of them armed with military-style machineguns. More naughty words rose to the fore of my mind, and unlike before, streamed out of my mouth.
“You micro-cephalic, creamed cheese-felching, kono ecchi yaro ga, asno del chupacabra, lame-ass, excuse for a post-apocalyptic fiend. I’ve met piles of shit scarier than you. Hell! I’ve dropped piles of shit that are scarier than you! How the hell dare you threaten my home and people I ostensibly care about—when they’re not shoving me out the front door to a certain (almost certain) messy death—when you suck so hard that you prolapse every colon that comes hear you? What the fuck? What the fuck, I say! You! Yes, you!” I pointed at him with the doorknob. Eloquent, don’t you think so?
He actually looked taken aback.
“You,” I continued, at the top of my lungs, “and your cheap ‘I-failed-Hell’s Angels’-twenty-four hour internet correspondence class-ruffians’… can just drop your trousers and circle-jerk until the coming of the Lord! I hate you. I hate your mothers. I hate your fathers. I hate each and every one of your sisters that I violated with my massively bruised love-tackle! Your brothers aren’t worth pissing on, much less buggering until they shriek like exploding lemurs in a microwave oven!”
“Are you finished, little man?” He shouted from across the road.
I heard new rounds being jacked into the chambers of guns, and knew that my last stand had arrived. My heart hardened. My bladder let go. My embarrassment blossomed like the nerdy girl next door, after a year away at college. With nothing left to do but die, I threw that doorknob with all my might, straight at the jackass in question.
I didn’t stop to see if it hit, I just moved. I rolled left, brought up my .45, and made the head of an undead biker explode like a watermelon at a Gallagher show. From somewhere behind me, in the bar, I heard other shots ring out. When I threw myself backward, away from the zombie I put to rest. I caught a glimpse of one of the other gunmen go down with a baseball-size hole in his chest.
A few bullets tore up the sidewalk near my feet, and I spared a glance to see where they came from. My little friend, my target, the fucking apple of my eye, was clutching his bleeding face with one hand, and trying to shoot me with the other.
I guess I knobbed him. Bonus!
My moment of glee faded, just slightly, before I shot him through the eye.
(Hi, sorry for the delay. Life has been strange, hectic, and filled with STUFF. I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Winter Holiday of Choice, and exhort you to share your loaf of my work with your friends in the coming New Year. Thank you for your support in 2012, and in 2013, too… provided the Mayans were wrong. Otherwise, catch y’all on the cosmic flip side! -James Crawford)