Coffin Apartments – Bring Them On

With each passing month, zombies have continued to grab headlines. The heat of summer got a few of us riled up and there were a couple of unfortunate incidents. Anti-zombie bigots in the media explained it away with bath salts. More recently, Danny Bonaduce had his face bit by a rabid fan – or perhaps an inexperienced zombie. Every day, more roamers join our ranks. You thought there was a population problem now. Try finding an apartment in New York after the zombie apocalypse is in full swing.  That thought would send any real estate agent running like a rage-infected zombie.

As the undead, we’re one and a half feet in the grave already. We really don’t need much space. A place to lay our head without fear of headshots is enough, preferably in a place with a high population and food supply. There’s plenty of housing opportunity in Tokyo which we’d find just perfect and cozy. Affordable coffin apartments are springing up like mushrooms on a blood soaked grave in Japan. They’re awfully popular among breathers. We try to live among the living in peace, although we do occasional leave one or two in pieces.  It’s not easy. The walls are far too thin and noisy carries. The living are far too noisy and prone to waking the dead.

There are some benefits.  Since the walls are so thin, we can eat through to our neighbor for some in-coffin dining.  There’s only one shower and most don’t manage to get in on a daily basis. Everyone stinks just as badly as we do. It’s so much easier to blend in.

At the moment, this trend is limited to only the most dense cities on the planet. As you breathers continue to overpopulate the planet, this trend is bound to continue and we look forward to it.

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Long Haired Zombie-Killing Freak #17

I kick started the bike as I dreamed dreams of exploding zombies, and the sweet reward of a hardware store to call my own. I took an extra loop or three around the area, just to satisfy myself that I had a good grasp of the urban topography… and to dry the effluvia and remains on my clothes.

I’d rather be crispy than gooey.

According to plan, I stopped by the fountain I’d patronized earlier, and found the corpses I’d left behind had been moved into a tidy pile… and stripped of every scrap of clothing.

There’s nothing quite so pitiful as the decapitated male form, if you ask me. The one thing you most want to use in life droops like a forlorn sausage casing. How can you find dignity and pride in the afterlife with a saggy member decorating your headless body, left behind in the mortal world?

Why did I care? I didn’t, and I don’t. I just needed something to distract me from how fucking cold the water in that fountain was. I didn’t demurely sit on the edge and wash my pits; I went all in. I shouldn’t have.

When I rose up out of the chilly, pink, water, there was a gun barrel sucking on the end of my nose. I froze in the water, and looked up into the face of the older nerd that, I assumed, was my target.

“Do you have any idea how hard it is to manage a gang of reanimated, angry, motorcyclists?” He asked me.

“Is that a trick question?”

His thumb pulled back the hammer on the revolver. I could see that it fired from the bottom chamber in the cylinder, which was oblong, not round… Chiappa Firearms… I guess it could have been one of their Rhino series revolvers. Not that it mattered, since a bullet through my nose, .40, or .357, would blow the back of my skull off.

“You are a smart ass, Mr. Zombie Hunter.” His look in his eyes was hard, almost as if I wasn’t worth the trouble of appraising in a tactical manner. “How have you not been killed before today?”

“I think I fly like a butterfly and sting like any of the poisonous spiders from Australia.”

For a split second, his expression changed, and I took that instant to get the gun away from my face, or vice versa. I stepped into him, and fell the rest of the way, which took the gun offline from my face.

That was the good.

The bad? I was lying on top of him, and I didn’t have control of his gun hand.

The ugly? I am ashamed to say that I used a simple Sistema (Russian “Aikido”) loose-fist punch to make his day more memorable. His testicles, popped with the knuckles of my left hand, probably had a completely different outlook on how their day was going.

I don’t know if zombies screw—I pray I never have the opportunity to find out one way or another—but as loudly as he howled, I must have done a good job at ending his sexy plans for the day. He flailed underneath me, and to my delight, tossed the gun away.

To my chagrin, he started beating me with both hands, since he didn’t have anything in them anymore. It was annoying, chaotic, and painful. I wanted him to stop long enough for me to get up, grab his gun, and shoot him with it. So I hit him again, in the upper left quadrant of his… ahem… groin. Why? I was betting the pressure point in that area would make him react, and I’d be able to get off him.

It worked. He yelped and writhed like a dying cockroach. I launched off him like a water-propelled plastic missile in the direction of his discarded weapon. I snagged it, and spun to shoot him.

“The chamber is empty.” He croaked.

“Bullshit!” I pulled the trigger.

It clicked on an empty hole, just like he said. I swore and pulled the trigger again, hoping the pistol was double action. No luck.

He had enough time to get up and close the distance. I told you: zombies are fast.

“I’ll Rochambeau you for it!” He cried, and kicked me in the nuts.

The kick lifted me at least two inches off the ground. I can’t remember what I screamed, but I think it sounded something like this: “Hawwwachugglybaw!”

I didn’t let go of the gun. I’m proud of that, and delighted that I managed to cock the trigger on my way back to earth. Then his foot caught me in the guts. That’s when I stopped caring—between the fire in my nads, and the explosion of pain in my midsection—about anything other than “Do not get killed.”

(Enjoying this? Tell the guys here at For Zombies, share it with your friends, and bloody-well tell ME so. Twitter: @crawford4033 Blood-Soaked and Writing)

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What’s With All The Face-Biting?

What’s with all you wanna-be zombie breathers?  Earlier last week, we came across a report of another face-biting incident.  This one involved radio show host Danny Bonaduce (also of The Partridge Family fame).

Chatting with fans at a Washington state casino Friday, Bonaduce, 53, encountered the woman during a meet-and-greet and she asked for a kiss after lavishing him with praise for his Partridge Family role. “They were tiny little Chucky teeth. Man, they just gnawed like piranhas,” Bonaduce told KIRO-TV of the woman’s teeth, which she sunk into his cheek near his left ear. “People are trying to pull her off me . . . I’m screaming like a baby.”

Clearly, the fact that Mr. Bonaduce was able to recount the incident for the press is evidence enough that this attack was not perpetrated by a true zombie.

Once again, there were attempts to blame bath-salts for the woman’s behavior, but given that no facial tearing actually occurred, it would not be a stretch to determine that she just might have been a little nuts.

Of course if the woman had been one of the horde, the incident might have gone something like the following:

Chatting with fans at a Washington state casino Friday, the late Mr. Bonaduce, 53, encountered the woman during a meet-and-greet and she asked for a kiss after lavishing him with praise for his Partridge Family role. Per reports, the woman sunk her teeth into the former child-actor’s cheek and then proceeded to tear off half his face as he started to scream like a baby.  Horrified bystanders attempted to pull the woman off Mr. Bonaduce, but they in turn were also bitten. 

Speaking with some lucky souls who got out just after the incident, they did report seeing the partially dismembered corpse of Mr. Bonaduce dragging itself along the bloodied casino floor while moaning something that sounded like “rur ruuurrruuurrr arrrrggghhhh C’mon get happy…ruuurrrhhh”

Immediately following the attack the casino was quarantined.  Attempts to get in or out are being met with heavy fire from national guardsmen who refused to be interviewed.

 

 

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Long Haired Zombie-Killing Freak #16

“Ew.”

What else could I say? Intestines, liver, and some bulbous green thing, are not a pretty sight at the best of times.

I got up after giving my lukewarm opponent’s body the heave-ho. There wasn’t a wet-nap large enough to clean me off , so I didn’t bother fretting. Another thought took up my mind: where were the rest of them?

Minutes before, there were other biker zombies across the street with the reanimated nerd… or there had been prior to my unromantic hair-pulling experience. From where I was standing, there wasn’t a soul across the street to be seen.

I suppose they might have pulled back to relative safety, but they had the advantage in numbers. When you’ve got the advantage, and there’s only one opponent, you ought to attack. It didn’t make any sense… neither did racking my brain about it. I decided to put my efforts into frisking my playmates’ corpses.

In a trade/barter-based economy, you don’t let anything go to waste. At the very least, I got to claim a decent shotgun as my coup for this encounter. There’s no telling what a good weapon could net me on the open market, but I bet it would put food on the table for a while.

I did a quick whip-around of the bodies, and came up with the gun, twelve shells, four fixed-blade knives, a cheap folder, and three pairs of boots. Not a bad haul! It would have been even better if the recent kill hadn’t grabbed my hand when I was going through his pockets.

“Oh!” He moaned, bubbling thickened blood from the rent in his lung. “Oh.”

Why did I forget to decapitate him? Why?

Oh, yeah. I wanted to loot. Silly zombie executioner!

I pulled out of his grip and took a step backward. It was the first time I’d ever seen a zombie start healing, or be remotely functional, after taking that much damage. It was morbidly fascinating, and just a bit terrifying. When you cleave someone, you expect them to stop moving so they can pay proper attention to dying.

Children, this is why you always decapitate your kills, and put a big hole in their heads afterwards. It isn’t safe to leave stuff behind… when the mess will heal up and come and get you later.

There was no way I was going to whip out my sword for the job. A little too much “English” on the swing, and I’d bury the edge in concrete. That would be irresponsible sword-ownership on my part, and my swordmaker would beat the crap out of me for being so stupid.

I unholstered my .45—the one I’d retrieved from the zombie I didn’t kill—and double-tapped the critter at my feet. Whatever you could say about the lack of elegance in fighting with guns, they came in very handy for moments like those.

No head. No brains. No problem.

With my conscience clear of uncomfortable issues, I stowed my pistol, and packed away my new acquisitions in the saddlebags on my motorcycle. I had a decent grasp of the tactical situation, and I knew something more than little old me was needed to guarantee my success. Explosives.

The rest of my supplies were back at the bar, under lock and key. It made all the sense in the world to go by that terribly useful fountain again, and then back to Marvin’s place. I wanted to shave my damned head, drop off the goods, and pack a new bag for later… one that included a few of my precious hand grenades.

While there were people in the wider trading community who made various kinds of explosive material for self-defense purposes, I was hesitant to trade with them. Rumors of poorly mixed products, resulting in the users exploding prematurely or not at all, had a certain way of reducing my willingness to experiment. When in doubt, go with a time-tested military tool, if you had the opportunity to get your hands on them.

This is how I know my services are appreciated: people give me great stuff. The grenades were a particularly wonderful gesture from an older Veteran who had me clear the house next door or zombie squatters.

“I’d do it myself,” he told me, “but I’m out of fuckin’ ammo for my M-16… and I really don’t want to shoot the house full of holes. You’re young enough to get in there and make the wet work personal.”

I got as much out of former-Captain Hatcher, talking about tactical situations, as I did out of the dozen grenades he gave me when I was done. I was grateful he didn’t ask me to dispose of the bodies myself.

“Nope. I’m happy to take care of that.” He’d said, grinning from ear to ear.

My kind of guy.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @crawford4033. If you’re enjoying Frank’s early exploits, you can jump ahead in time with Blood-Soaked and Contagious, available at Amazon, BN, iTunes, Smashwords, and soon on Google Play.

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Banning Books Rots Your Brain

In honor of Banned Book Week I thought I’d share an interesting story about an incident of actual, real-life book banning. Maybe it’s because I’ve got slime for brains, but I’d really like to know what some parents are thinking.
I was at the mall the other day, buying winter clothes for the little shamblers. They don’t really feel the cold, but one gets tired of gluing frozen fingers and ears back on, so they’re wearing hats and gloves this year whether or not they think they need them.
I shambled through the bookstore after lunch (I don’t usually eat fast food but the speed-walker club was right there and I was hungry) and in the children’s section I overhead a breather parent lecturing her child on what sort of book he was allowed to pick out. Apparently the boy was not allowed to read comics or anything not considered “quality reading.” She was making him put back a Calvin and Hobbes treasury.
My jaw dropped – then it rolled under a table – so I had to go after it and missed the rest of the conversation. When I came out from under the table, the mother was leading her red-faced child out of the book store with a stony expression. Neither was carrying any books.
Normally I’m not one to judge the parenting decisions of another, but that woman was lucky I’d just eaten. Who actively discourages their child from reading anything? Let’s take a moment to look at the books that have been banned and censored over the years, books of genuine literary quality that nevertheless some people thought would rot their children’s brains:
The Diary of Anne Frank. The Great Gatsby. Flowers for Algernon. Slaughterhouse-Five. City of the Dead.

Okay, I threw that last one in out of wishful thinking. Someday the book club will see things my way.
And yes, I’ve put my money where my mouth is. I let my daughter read Twilight, and I’m pleased to report that her reaction was, “I don’t get the big deal. Do we have any more Brian Keene in the house?”
I understand limiting access to material that would disturb younger readers. I don’t let my boys watch zombie movies yet, for example. My youngest is especially sensitive; he tends to think that every zombie that gets blown away is his great-uncle Arthur. But censorship based purely on one’s own interpretation of literary quality is a guarantee that your child will never appreciate the sheer fun of reading.

So come on, parents. Lighten up. Let your kid read Goosebumps and Junie B. Jones once in a while. I promise it won’t rot his brain. And anyway, it’s not like a little brain rot ever hurt a kid. Trust me on this.

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