The adventures of holly.., p.1
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       The Adventures of Holly Weird, Zombie Slayer, p.1

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The Adventures of Holly Weird, Zombie Slayer

  The Adventures of Holly Weird,

  Zombie Slayer

  By Nick Pawluk, Creator of the iPhone App Hollyweird Zombies and Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don’t Cry

  Copyright © 2011 by Nick Pawluk and Rusty Fischer

  All rights reserved.

  This is a work of fiction. All of the names, characters, places and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or, if real, are used fictitiously.

  Cover credit: ©Phase4Photography – Fotolia

  Authors’ Note:

  The following is a FREE living dead short story written in conjunction with the iPhone App, Hollyweird Zombies.

  Any errors, typos, grammar or spelling issues are completely the fault of the living dead.

  (They’re not very patient with the editorial process!)

  Anyway, we hope you can overlook any minor errors you may find; enjoy!

  The Adventures of Holly Weird, Zombie Slayer

  I open Bliss in the dark; I don’t need to see her anymore to know which is her business end.

  She’s all I have against the two of them.

  Luckily, she’s all I need.

  They are big and let’s face it, I’m far from it, but with zombies it’s not how big they are, but how fast they are.

  These two are faster than most, but they eat too many human brains to be human themselves.

  As for me, well, I’m a strict carnivore; it’s only animal brains for me, and from the UCLA medical lab at that – no wild animals were harmed in my dinner, that’s for sure.

  It keeps me more human than most; and out here on the street, I need all the edge I can get.

  There is an empty cigarette pack on the edge of the playground; I step on it purposefully, just to see if these Zannibals (zombies + cannibals = Zannibals; try to keep up, huh?) are paying attention.

  The bigger one is; he turns around, dead eyes black and full of rage as he nudges the other one with a giant, blunt shoulder.

  “Run, Percy,” I say to the tall, bony teen clinging desperately to the jungle gym.

  The Zannibals hesitate, not sure whether to focus on dinner or… dessert.

  Lucky me; they choose dessert.

  “Fancy meeting you here, Holly,” grunts the big one familiarly.

  I’ve heard the others call him “Grinder”; from the looks of his headstone size, traffic light yellow chompers, the nickname fits.

  “Where’d you think I’d be, fellas? Having tea with the queen?”

  The smaller one, though he’s far from small, croaks, “It’s not fair of you to interrupt meal time, Holly.”

  I rack my brain and finally come up with a name for this one, too: Stain.

  It fits as well, thanks to the garish black spot that covers half his left shoulder and creeps nearly to his chin.

  “Fair?” I blurt, keeping the switchblade I call “Bliss” slid into my back belt loop so they can see I have nothing in my hands. “That what you call ganging up on some homeless Sapien in the middle of the night?”

  “You know the rules, Holly,” says Grinder, advancing an inch without really looking like he’s moving. “If no one’ll miss ‘em, then they’re fair game.”

  “Yeah, I know that’s how you Zannibals rationalize murdering innocent human beings, but any rule that calls living people ‘fair game’ is made to be broken.”

  “You know what else is made to be broken, Holly?” asks Grinder, being sssssoooooooo obvious.

  I tense and inch forward.

  “Both your fugly faces,” I snark, hands still on my bony hips.

  The Zannibals look at each other and I take the moment to spring forward, liberating Bliss from the small of my back and grabbing her fiercely in my left hand.

  Stain lifts his hand up instinctively; it’s big and blotchy and gray and all kinds of huge.

  Huge enough for me to slice off the first three fingers the blade touches; it doesn’t stop there – his ear goes next.

  Stain growls; that’s what Zannibals do.

  The minute they’re faced with a foe, or even something they like, such as eating some random homeless kid’s brain, for instance – they growl; pure animal behavior.

  Not sure why I’m still surprised at this point.

  I tumble just beyond them, right hand gripping the jungle gym and swinging up to the top.

  That’s the good thing about being a small zombie; you can go where the big zombies can’t.

  It’s just out of reach for the Zannibals, and doubly so for poor Stain who can only point at me with his two remaining fingers.

  Grinder’s face is a mask of anger and rage; the two primary Zannibal emotions.

  I walk above them, stepping carefully from rusty metal bar to bar in my ratty black hi-tops and keeping Bliss handy.

  Grinder steps on the far side, Stain the left; God, they’re so stupid!

  The minute they’re halfway up I slip down between the middle bars, landing safely on the tarmac and rushing Grinder’s legs as he quickly begins to descend.

  Before he can hit the ground I slide Bliss through both his Achilles tendons; slice, slice, like a warm knife through butter.

  Sure, my life might be more fun if I didn’t spend two nights a week sharpening Bliss for hours on end, but then I couldn’t do things like that now, could I?

  He doesn’t groan, but he drops like a lead balloon and can’t stand up; even though it doesn’t hurt him, it cripples him.

  Stain growls, howls is more like it, and rushes me with all the force of a marble pale freight train.

  I stand just out of Grinder’s swiping, massive paws and crouch, waiting for just the right moment.

  As Stain approaches, faster and faster now, building up steam and momentum, I juke just slow enough to the left for him to readjust his course; then I zag to the right and, when he’s turning his head to find me, slice through his neck with the razor sharp blade.

  His head falls with a dry “thump,” and nothing more.

  There is no blood to avoid or stain my smoky gray hoodie; only the soft, sad sighing of trapped air escaping a lidless white neck.

  Grinder looks up at me, giant fingers clawing in the pavement as he crawls my way.

  I’m tempted to leave him like that; just… walk away and never look back.

  But I’ve tried that before; the big, dramatic movie moment that feels so good but always, always backfires.

  Some Zannibal you spare for whatever reason – because you think they’re useless, because you think they’re done – always comes back to haunt you when it’s too late to discover that they’re not so useless or done after all.

  “You don’t have to do this,” Grinder croaks, not quite begging but as dead as he is, still desperate to live. “What can I do to you now?”

  “It’s not what you can do to me,” I grunt, stepping on each hand and taking his greasy, straw blonde hair in my fingers. “It’s what you did to my mother.”

  He chuckles, knowing the end is near.

  “You fool,” he croaks as I touch the pointed blade under his ear. “How long are you going to carry this grudge, Holly? Especially when she’s still—”

  Bliss stops his tongue from moving the minute it severs his head from his neck.

  I hold it aloft, staring into his deep black eyes.

  “What did you just say?” I ask his lifeless lips, wishing I hadn’t been so impulsive with the blade.

  He was probably only talking trash anyway, I figure, sliding one arm out of my backpack and unzipping it.

  Inside is one of those fold-up shovels like the Army uses; I unfold it and start digging a grave big enough, and deep enough, to hold these two without attracting every stray dog in the neighborhood.

  At least not for another few weeks, anyway.

  Percy shuffles over about halfway through the dirty, dirty job and I smirk, handing him the shovel and stepping out of the three-foot by five foot hold.

  “Tag,” I chuckle, rubbing his curly blond hair and watching him smirk. “You’re it!”

  “I would have stayed away longer if I’d known you weren’t through yet,” he groans, making quick work of another two feet of ground with his long, muscular arms.

  I stop him when it’s deep enough and sit on the edge of a nearby merry-go-round, patting the space next to me.

  He lopes over on his long, gangly legs and does what he’s told.

  He’s a good kid, Percy is; just a little… lost.

  “How long’s it been since you’ve eaten?” I ask as I unzip my backpack and slide out two candy bars.

  “This morning?” he asks/answers as I offer him the second bar.

  He pauses before taking it shyly.

  “You sure?” he asks even as he unwraps.

  I wink and say, “You’re going to need your energy, Percy; our job’s only half done.”

  Still, the night is young and I’m in no hurry.

  From the looks of it, neither is Percy.

  “What were you doing out here anyway, Percy? You know it’s past curfew at the shelter.”

  He shrugs and looks down at his own battered sneakers, the candy bar already halfway gone.

  “I’m not staying there tonight,” he admits.

  He avoids my eyes as I ask, “Somebody harassing you?”

  “Not somebody,” he grunts, kicking at dirt with the toe of his shoe. “Somebod-ies.”

  I flick open my switchblade, making a big show of clacking the butterfly ends together and flashing them under the moonlight, just to make him feel better.

  “You want me to sick Bliss on ‘em, Percy?”

  He snorts and says, “Why do you call it that, anyway?”

  I shrug, flip her closed again and slide her back in my pocket. “Because that’s how it makes me feel to kill those guys, Percy; blissful. Now, come on; finish up your Zonker bar and let’s get back to work.”

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