Vampires drool zombies r.., p.1
Vampires Drool! Zombies Rule! A YA Paranormal Novel, p.1
Vampires Drool! Zombies Rule!
By Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don't Cry
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Vampires Drool! Zombies Rule!
Copyright 2012 by Rusty Fischer
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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.
Front cover credit: Ivan Bliznetsov – Fotolia
* * * * *
My name is Lucy.
I’m, well, there’s no sugar-coating it; I’m a zombie.
Synonyms for my current state of being might include words like undead, the reanimated, the Living Dead, undying, immortal… take your pick.
What’s that you say?
You wanna know what it’s like to be… dead?
That’s okay; you’re not being rude for asking.
(I mean, not exactly.)
Lots of girls want to know.
(Heck, I used to want to know, too.)
And nowadays I’m not shy about telling them, either.
So I guess I’ll tell you, too.
You wanna know what it’s like to be dead?
Step outside on the coldest day of the year – no fair if it’s above 30-degrees out and bonus points if there’s actually snow on your front stoop – and stand there for, oh, say an hour.
That’s all; just one hour.
60 little minutes.
Now, don’t rush through this hour like it’s some kind of multiple choice test, either; own it.
Own every stinkin’ minute of it.
Own the first minute, when it’s still “fun” to be trying this little living dead experiment.
Own the fifth minute, when you’re still warm from inside the house and your down jacket and puffy new socks aren’t quite letting the cold in – yet.
Own the 14th minute, when the “fun” factor has worn off and the cold has seeped in and your toes are frosting over and you’re starting to realize just how long 60 frickin’ minutes can be.
Then own the half-hour mark, when your teeth and chin and even your eyelashes are chattering and you’re wondering why you’re out here in the cold when you could be watching TV with your feet up and a cup of hot cocoa in your hand.
Own the 45th minute, when you are flat-out over it and don’t know how you’re going to last the next 15 minutes.
But you do; somehow… you do.
Then, after that hour – after that long, cold, frigid, frosty hour – right about when you’re dying to step back inside by the fire and warm up your hands and blow your dripping nose and slip that cup of instant hot cocoa into the microwave… don’t.
That’s right, don’t go back inside.
Do not stamp your feet on the inside welcome mat, do not go straight to the kitchen, do not pour that packet of hot cocoa in a Christmas mug full of water and insert it into the microwave and, whatever you do, do not start looking around for last winter’s bag of stale mini-marshmallows while the cocoa is nuking to a hot, velvety, frothy boiling point.
Instead, start taking off your clothes, one item at a time.
That’s right; DO NOT go back in but DO, by all means, start disrobing.
First take off your fancy leather gloves, then your monogrammed ski cap, hoodie or parka, then your poofy down jacket, then your other jacket, then your sweater, then your shirt, then your bra (if you’re a girl or… whatever), then your boots, then your ski pants, then your long johns or leggings, then your panties (if you’re a girl or… whatever) then, finally, your socks.
Are you bare yet?
Are you completely unprotected from the elements?
Standing there in your birthday suit?
Do your goose bumps have goose bumps?
Is there snow, or at least frost, between your turning-blue toes?
Is your out-y and inn-y?
Is your hair – and I mean, all of it – frozen in place?
Good; very good.
Now stand there for another hour, and another and… get the picture?
That’s right; now you’ve got it: Death.
At least… it is for a zombie like yours truly.
It starts cold, it stays cold for a couple hundred years and – or so I hear – it ends even colder (if you can imagine).
Meanwhile our skin is cold, our faces are cold, our breath is cold, our feet and hands are cold, our stomachs are cold (and empty).
It sucks, at first, but like everything else in the Afterlife, you get used to it.
In fact, you get so used to it that you forget that your skin is roughly the same temperature as an ice cream cone.
So used to it that you get lazy and bump into people in the halls at school and are only reminded that your skin feels like an ice cream cone when they look at you funny and have to rub the spot of skin where they touched yours just to get it back up to its normal temperature.
So used to it that even after the school installs new paper towel dispensers in the bathroom that have those little red sensors that detect human body heat you stupidly put your hand under there expecting – actually expecting – a paper towel to come out.
And that, dear readers, is where our little story begins…
* * * * *
That’s right, we are both here today because of… a paper towel.
Not a whole roll of paper towels, not some super special paper towels like with shiny silver foil undersides or some fancy holiday print in honor of fall or monogrammed with my initials or anything – just one regular, generic, public high school issued stinking paper towel.
Specifically, we are here today because the powers that be at Barracuda Bay High School decided to switch out the old-fashioned, minding-its-own-darn-business, plenty-good-enough metal paper towel dispensers and go all high-tech instead.
What’d they replace them with?
Those fancy newfangled deals with the little red light under the dispenser.
And what does the little red light do?
It senses body heat.
And why does it sense body heat?
Because that’s how it knows when to shoot out a new paper towel at you.
And what don’t zombies have?
That’s right; body heat!
So there I am, just popping into the C-wing girls room between 5th and 6th periods so I can “check my face” before sitting as close to Alex Foster as humanly possible in Chorus and, at first, I don’t even notice the newfangled towel dispensers hanging from the bathroom wall.
I mean, why would I, right?
Who looks at anything but the mirror in the bathroom anyway?
Now, here’s a little fun fact for you (you know, in case you’re keeping score or something): zombies don’t actually need to use the bathroom.
Well, think about it: we don’t eat human food, don’t drink human drinks and only eat fresh brains once a month or so, so… why would we?
But I do pop into the girls room to check my face every other period or so just to make sure the three layers of white pancake makeup I apply every morning haven’t smudged to reveal the slightly gray, drying cement tone of my true skin color beneath.
(Slightly gross, I know, but yet another thing you kind of have to get used to when you’re no longer among the living.)
Now, if no one’s around when I do my checking, I just walk out the doors and don’t look back.
I mean, I’m already dead!
What are a few million germs going to do to me, right?
But when people are around, live people, human beings – “Normals,” as we of the zombie persuasion call them – well, I have to play the part and that means washing your hands so girls don’t start spreading the rumor that you’re a non-hand-washer because that pretty much kills your dating potential right there.
And if it had been just a few of the knock-around girls from class I really wouldn’t have cared because, let’s face it, what they do in the bathroom is 50 times worse than not washing your hands (trust me on this one).
But it just so happens that Piper Madison and Bianca Ridley are in there, trying out the new hand dryers for the longest time, and here I am itching to sit next to Alex and these two prima donnas are just so tickled pink with these new paper towel dispensers that they must use two rolls just trying it out.
Meanwhile a line is forming behind me and, suddenly, I’m next; batter’s up.
And without even thinking about it, without even remembering Law # 3 of The 8 Absolutely Unthinkable, Unbreakable Zombie Laws (i.e. “Thou Shalt Not Reveal Your Zombie Nature to Humans Unless Absolutely, Positively Necessary”) I stick my hand over the little red sensor and – nothing.
Now, five seconds earlier Piper and Bianca are spitting out paper towels left and right.
And if you’ve ever used one of these things well, then you’ll know there’s this VERY specific sound the shiny white machine on the wall makes when it a.) registers your body heat and b.) spits out a paper towel to reward you for having said body heat.
The first sound it makes, when it realizes you are actually human with a temperature of above 90-degrees, is a kind of “kachinga-chinga” noise and the next is a vaguely reassuring “whirra-whirra-whirra” as the paper towel comes out right before your very eyes.
And so when you put your hand under it the first time and it spits out a sheet, but that’s not good enough so you put your hand under again and it spits out another sheet, well, you get this very kind of soothing, instantly-recognizable “kachinga-chinga-whirra-whirra-whirra-kachinga-chinga-whirra-whirra-whirra” sound and it’s been going on for three straight minutes and suddenly – no sound.
And the equation is fairly obvious to anyone with an IQ of above, say, 30: Everyone else’s hand = sound.
My hand = no sound.
And the lack of that sound is so obvious, it’s like a whole other sound.
Specifically, the sound of a dead girl with no body heat trying to use the paper towel hand sensor machine.
(Okay, okay, so maybe that’s not what it sounds like to the other girls, but that’s sure what it sounds like to ME.)
“Great,” one of the girls behind me – Fiona Rutherford – not-so-murmuringly murmurs, “Goth Girl broke it. She breaks everything. She’s, like, the… Charlie Brown… of goth girls.”
And because I’m a zombie, and because I can break anyone in this room in half with two tiny snaps of my cold gray fingers, and because I’m already dead and what else can they do to me, I turn around and snap at mousy Fiona Rutherford (who would have never said a word if she hadn’t been standing there with three of her equally mousy friends to back her up, as if they possibly could), “I broke it? You think I broke it, Fiona? What about these two paper towel machine abusers right here? You think running through three rolls of paper towels for no good reason might have broken it?”
And by “these two paper towel machine abusers right here,” of course, I’m referring to Piper and Bianca, who aren’t too happy about it.
And there is my big mistake.
If I had just blown it off, scampered away and wiped my hands on my skirt like any other self-respecting zombie would have in a hot minute, I wouldn’t be writing this right now and you certainly wouldn’t be reading it.
But instead I called Piper Madison – sorry, THE Piper Madison – a name and at Barracuda Bay High that is a really big no-no.
(Okay, sure, I called Bianca a name, too, but she’s basically just Piper’s lackey so that doesn’t really count.)
And Piper stops everything to look at me with her strikingly brown – I’m talking chocolate bar commercial brown – eyes and says, in that fake European accent of hers, “We didn’t break anything.”
And, just to prove it, she shoves me aside – hard – and slips one of her porcelain white hands under the dryer and, sure enough, “kachinga-chinga-whirra-whirra-whirra” out pops a fresh sheet of paper towel.
And then it’s like I’m not even there anymore, at least for Fiona and her two stupid Geek Girl, Math-a-lete, AV Clubbing friends, who “kachinga-chinga-whirra-whirra-whirra” their way into some fresh paper towels before sashaying their way straight out of the girls room.
And you can almost hear the Old West wind whistling through the bathroom – wait, was that a tumbleweed tumbling by just now??? – as the final girl shuts the door for the final time and suddenly it’s just me and Piper and Bianca and that stupid, stupid sensor.
“Nice going,” says Piper, sliding up against the back of the bathroom door so no more Normals will walk in and interrupt us – and I can’t get out.
“Yeah,” snorts Bianca, covering her blossomy bosom with her Sociology textbook. “Nice going.”
(I mean, is there a rule that lackeys have to repeat everything the Head Witch in Charge says, verbatim, like their own personal echo machine? I’m just asking here.)
“I forgot,” I say, not backing down. “I wasn’t even thinking.”
“That’s the problem with you stupid zombies,” Piper spits, the barest tips of her white glistening fangs poking out from behind her plump, red, so alive lips now that the coast is clear and it’s just us immortals in here. “You. Never. Think. Which is weird, considering the fact that all you guys eat is BRAINS!”
The thing about vampires, the angrier they get, the more their fangs get pronounced (kind of like Pinocchio’s nose when he starts telling a lie); that’s why they always have to act so cool, so they don’t “slip” and pull a fang-boner in front of a whole cafeteria full of civilians.
“We do think, Piper,” I say, defending the zombie race to the best of my ability (which isn’t saying much). “I just wasn’t thinking today; there’s a difference.”
“Yeah, well, now stupid Fiona Rutherford noticed, and who knows what that little junior reporter wannabe is going to do about it,” Piper points out pointedly.
(Try saying that three times fast.)
I forgot that, in addition to her duties as head of the AV Club and Supreme Mistress of the Math-a-letes, Fiona Rutherford is also on the staff of our school newspaper, the Barracuda Bay Bugle and freelances for the annual yearbook, the Barracuda Bay Beagle (try not to get those two mixed up).
“Piper,” I sigh, trying to look at my watch without her seeing me look at my watch (which isn’t exactly easy because vampires see everything), “you’re overreacting. It was, like, two seconds frozen in time. No one is going to remember anything. You think those stupid Nerd Girls care if I broke the new paper towel dispenser or not?”
“That’s just it,” Bianca leaps in, eager to please Piper, “you didn’t break it, and they saw that it worked for everyone but you.”
“You guys are paranoid,” I persist. “Just because you know I’m… what I am… doesn’t mean that’s the first thing admittedly nosy but not particularly insightful Fiona Rutherford is going to think.”
Piper pauses before sliding away from the door and preparing to fling it open. “You better hope you’re right, Lucy, because if you and your stupid cold, dead hands screw up the good thing we’ve got going in Barracuda Bay, I will personally make it MY Afterlife’s mission to make YOUR Afterlife the worst 2,000 years of your, well, your… Afterlife!”
“Too late,” I think to myself, but don’t say, as I let them burst through the bathroom door and out into the empty hallways.
* * * * *
I’m late to next period, naturally.
And Alex Foster already has girls sitting on either side of him, naturally.
But then, Alex Foster always has girls sitting on either side of him.
That’s because he’s Fine with a capital H-O-T.
(But not in the way that you might think.)
I’ve been crushing hard on Alex Foster for months now, ever since he first walked into Chorus and melted my non-beating heart on the first day of junior year.
Vampires Drool! Zombies Rule! A YA Paranormal Novel by Rusty Fischer / Horror have rating 3.3 out of 5 / Based on39 votes