Friday, May 15, 2009

Because, because, because, because, because...

Because my almost certainly non-zombie friends, E. J. and Keffy, will be arriving next week. Because I will have this dissertation chapter revised before they arrive, and all of my energy is going into that, and not into blogging, and I don't want you to be bored. Because zombies and E.J. and Keffy make me think about Clarion. Because that's where I wrote this, for Jim Kelly's fool your friends flash fiction contest, and it was the first time I had consciously tried to do something different with my writing, and it worked. Because I do have a shameful love for 80s dance and pop music. Because even though it's about zombies, and has some NSFW language, when I sent it to my parents so they would know what I did with my summer vacation, my Mom thought it was "cute."


Dead Man’s Party


            The thing about zombies, is they love ‘80s dance music. Really fucking weird, right? As in, you just can’t make this shit up. But it’s true. Some mass raising got a hold of a necromancer’s iPod while it was playing “Come On, Eileen.” Don’t ask. They left off killing the necromancer in favor of performing an improvised Irish jig. I’ve never seen the evil dead look as happy as they do in that video.

So now, it’s hard to go to a club anywhere without seeing a group of them enthusiastically agreeing that everybody should, in fact, Wang Chung tonight. And it’s not like they’re each off flailing around on their own. These are zombies, remember? Group mind. So they dance in unison, shambling around in perfect togetherness like the undead Rockettes. Kind of fucking awesome the first time you see it, you know? Although synchronized zombie dancing does mean that you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear “Thriller” at least once a night out at the clubs. The zombies have the choreography down perfectly. Tourists love that shit. And the zombies never get bored of that dance. Zombies are extremely serious about “Thriller.”

            The problem with all this, is that zombies still eat brains. And dancing makes them hungry. Tourists do not love that shit. Most tourists seem to think that the zombies are just people decked out in really bad makeup and rotting clothes, and get really surprised when the zombies stop worrying about how fine Mickey is, and start worrying about snacks. Most tourists are fucking stupid.

            Which is sort of where I come in. I’m kind of like the cruise director for the undead. ‘Cause except for when it happened that first time under the combined power of their recent resurrection and the danceability of the one hit wonder, the zombies have never been able to get into the groove on their own. Someone has to get the zombies to start dancing in the first place, and keep them going when they try to gnaw on the audience. I’ve found that “99 Luftballons” works well to get things started, and “Safety Dance” usually makes them stop eating people. Zombies have no fucking musical taste.

            So the other night I’m at the club when this complete fucking idiot of a dj decided to spin “Hungry Like the Wolf.” This started out okay, with the zombies happily head-bobbing to the repeated “dit dit do do dit do do dit do do dit do do do do.” Then the chorus started playing. Reminding zombies that they’re hungry like anything is not a great idea. As the head bobs began to fall out of sync, I jumped up on a table and set the emergency disco ball spinning, trying to get the dj’s attention. This would have worked better if a zombie hadn’t already been slurping down his brain like a really big oyster.

            Some woman in a pink tracksuit stretched to its capacity by her flesh tried to help out by wailing an off-key rendition of “Bette Davis Eyes” into the chaos. Since Duran Duran was still blaring, I don’t know what she thought would happen. Her efforts were about as helpful as you would expect. Zombies also really like eyes.

            The natives knew enough to hit the road when the zombies stopped dancing so most of them had escaped, but pieces of tourists were strewn everywhere, like the world’s most disgusting party decorations. The dj must have programmed an entire set, because my attempt to climb over random entrails was soundtracked by Joy Division’s assurance that love will tear us apart. I was a bit more worried about the fucking zombies, but I understood the concern. I slid on a discarded kneecap, and landed in a pile of viscera. I realized I was never going to make it to the dj booth to change the music. I told them we needed a better emergency plan than a fucking disco ball.

            I can’t carry a tune for shit, but after working in a zombie dance club, you better believe I know Vincent Price’s voice-over from “Thriller.” So I stood in the middle of a pile of guts, and started reciting it. Like I said, zombies are extremely serious about “Thriller.” Most of them were looking at me by the time I got through the first recitation, so I started the dance. That got the rest of them, and they filed back to the dance floor in nice orderly lines.

            It took thirteen and a half recitations before emergency services got to the club. I almost lost the zombies’ attention while trying to convince the police that putting “Safety Dance” on was as important as looking for survivors.

            I have got to find a new fucking job.



  1. Oh my god, this is fucking awesome! Right on.

  2. 10 months later, and this STILL doesn't read like a Kat story.

    Love you, dear.

  3. It doesn't read like a Kat story to me, either, but wow, was it fun to write.

  4. I'm in love. Will you have (more of) my babies?

  5. I started reading this while also watching So You Think You Can Dance. I was on the second paragraph when a tap-dancer started his audition to... Thriller.

    I kid you not.

  6. Oh, I love it when the universe does things like that.

  7. You know, I always thought those people who go to 80's revival parties are actually zombies. That makes perfect sense now.