Bride of the Zombie GodMike Leon / Actions & Adventure / Horror
Bride of the Zombie God
By Mike Leon
Copyright 2014 by Mike Leon
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Author, except where permitted by law.
Cover illustration by Rachel Lang
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She uses sex as a weapon…
He uses weapons as weapons…
The flames roar as the dark one pours rum over the burning logs. He extends his arms in silent prayer to the old gods as the shadow awakens. Tongues of flame erupt from the bonfire to lick at the twisted trees around him. Crumbling and tilting granite stelae glow orange with the flickering reflections of the fiery pyre, revealing inscriptions from a time of strife.
“It been a long time,” the dark one speaks. His words are stretched into a Caribbean patois. “Loong fuckin’ time.”
From the shadows within his long black sport coat, the dark one produces something that wiggles in his hand. It chirps as he dangles it over the flames. It is a black rooster bound with zip ties. The dark one douses the animal in rum and throws it to the flames.
“Da stas is lined da way dey need ta be an’ it won’t be long now,” he says.
The dark one drinks from the bottle of rum. The drink burns on the way down and he hisses after he finishes it.
“Now I jus’ gotta find somethin’ you like,” he whispers to the flames.
Clapping thunder and clattering rain clamor continuously outside as Dominique struts along the hallway in jade plastic platform heels that add more than half a foot to her height. Without them, her rain spattered brown overcoat would drag the gaudy orange carpet. The rounded yellow and silver CD player she carries over her shoulder isn’t that heavy, but the shoes make it seem so much worse. The balancing act with her cell phone is a difficult one. She glances back in annoyance at Brad, her bodyguard, but he doesn’t notice.
“Man on the TV says there’s a level five weather emergency for Convent Parish, mom.” The voice on the cell phone belongs to her son, Etienne. He’s nine.
“For Christ’s sake, child,” Dominique says. “That’s thirty miles away.”
“What if the power goes out, mom?”
“What if it does? Maybe you’ll get your homework done instead of playin’ video games.”
“I already did my homework.”
“Good,” she says. She already knew he did, but she likes to keep him on his toes.
“Two-seventeen?” Dominique whispers back at Brad as she continues to strut past numbered hotel room doors. The hotel is older than dirt and so far from the city that her better judgment screamed not to come out at all. Out here she could be walking into a cookout filled with wholesome LSU boys or a scene from Deliverance. She’s seen both of those and everything in between. Going to the boonies is asking for trouble, but there were no other calls tonight and Etienne’s tuition is already behind. She won’t see that boy in the Louisiana public schools. That can’t happen.
“Mmm?” Brad groans wearily. He’s a greasy white yank with a shaggy salt and pepper mullet and a thick goatee. He never wears anything but dirty grey sweat pants and a size XXXL Affliction tee shirt. Dominique doesn’t like him. None of the muscleheads Mitch hires are winning any personality contests, but this one is especially dour. He makes her carry the radio, while most of the others offer to do it for her. He’s grumpy and ugly and half asleep most of the time, but he’s a mountain of a man, at least a foot taller than her with her heels on, and that counts for everything in this business.
“I don’t like it when you work late,” Etienne says.
“You like wearing clothes and not starvin’ to death and havin’ a roof over your head?” Dominique replies.
“Yeah,” the boy laughs.
“Then ah gotta keep workin’ late.”
“Uh, myeah,” Brad grumbles as he thumbs his cell phone. “Two-seventeen.” Most of the jobs come through as text messages with an address and not much else. They’re presently passing two-fifteen, two-sixteen, and there it is: two-seventeen.
“Ah got a table so ah gotta go,” Dominique says. She told Etienne she works overnights in a diner. Whether he believes that is a matter of speculation.
“Okay,” Etienne says. “Love you, mom.”
“Love you too, baby.”
She pushes the red button to disconnect her call as she stops in front of door 217.
She takes a deep breath and then gently knocks three times at the door. An unfortunate thunderclap drowns out the sound of her knocking, so she waits only a second before knocking again. Her knuckles barely contact the old lacquered wood before the dull steel door handle turns. The door creaks open as lightning flashes throughout the hallway. Between the door and the jam Dominique sees a pair of threatening black eyes glaring out at her from a room with no lights on.
“Hi there,” Dominique whispers. “Somebody call for a dancer?”
The door opens the rest of the way to reveal a hard looking white boy with a square jaw and bulging muscles. His eyes are level with hers, which puts him at six feet, and his black hair is buzzed close to his head. He wears only a pair of black jeans and some heavy boots that look military to her. Her attention is so drawn to his titanium six-pack abs, that she almost doesn’t notice the criss-cross of scars up and down the outsides of his arms. Maybe he’s a cutter, or maybe he had a hell of a weed whacker accident. Either way it’s not her business.
“I asked for a dark haired girl with tattoos,” the stranger says.
She hears what he says, but what he means is something different. What he means is he didn’t expect a black girl.
“Ah have tattoos,” Dominique replies. She eyes him coldly, as the unspoken racism of their conversation hangs conspicuously between them.
The stranger only answers with a tilt of his head. His scornful eyes remain trained on her.
“Your man can wait outside,” he says after another moment passes.
“That’s not how we do things,” Brad tells him. “I go where she goes.”
The stranger’s daring glance is enough that she should turn around and leave right now, but she needs the money too much. She’s on the wrong side of thirty for her line of work and the days of four figure nights as a club dancer are long over. She never imagined herself doing private shows back then, but things change, and she’ll die before she sees that boy in the public schools. He’s a good boy and too bright for that.
“Take off the jacket,” the stranger says.
“Is there somewhere ah can plug this in first?” Dominique asks, holding out the CD player in front of him. The stranger palms the CD player from her grasp and sets it on the dresser next to the TV.
“The jacket,” he nods at her and his eyes belie nothing but barbarism.
“Okay...” Dominique says, undoing the button on the front of her coat. An uneasy glance at Brad, still standing in the threshold of the door, reveals an alertness she rarely sees from him. She looks back at the stranger as she drops the coat to the floor and steps past him, further into the little hotel room.
The stranger flicks the light switch near the door and the room is flooded with warm light from a lamp in the far corner. It reflects off the butterscotch wallpaper in a way that adds a sickening yellow hue to all of the already stained French colonial furniture inside. A small dresser with little curtained doors supports an old boxy television which displays a broken image of Jerry Seinfeld that moves only occasionally. Next to it sits a plain brown leather briefcase. There is a single bed and a single faded green chair with a black electrician’s tape patch the size of a paperback novel stuck to the front corner near one of the legs. This place is a far cry from the Waldorf-Astoria.
Dominique turns and looks back at the stranger. He stands quietly, moving his eyes over her smooth black form like he’s judging a prize hog at the county fair. He stops briefly at the green butterfly tattoo on her hip. Dominique is hardly unaccustomed to men ogling her like a piece of meat, but this guy takes it to a whole new level. Over the stranger’s shoulder, Dominique sees Brad shaking his head at her in dismay.
“Turn,” the stranger commands gruffly.
Dominique complies. She folds her arms to stretch out the angel wings that take up most of her back. She has on a jade string bikini with extra-long ties that stream from her hips down to her knees. The color matches her heavily applied eye shadow and the few dyed strands in her long braided hair. A dozen strings of shiny plastic beads rattle over her chest. Tourists practically shit bricks over the dumb things. Mitch gives them to the girls in ten lbs bags to be kept in their cars.
“I’ve never been with a black girl before,” the stranger says.
“What makes you think ah’m gonna-” Dominique starts as the stranger wraps his arms around her. Brad starts in without a millisecond of hesitation.
“Awright, chief. No touching!” he stomps toward them. He claps a hand down