Jezri's Nightmare Books

Monday, October 29, 2018

Bob, The Boogie Monster


It was dark in the tiny room. Bob sat there holding his head in his hands, listening to the tiny arguments that were ensuing outside. Andy didn’t want to go to bed. There was either a monster under his bed, or in his closet. Or maybe there were two monsters! In either case, Andy wasn't going to go to bed without arguing his case.
“It wants to eat me,” Andy insisted, as his mother ushered him into the room.
“I am sure no monster would ever eat you,” his mother insisted, “and if he did, he would spit you right back out.”
Behind her, his brother laughed. Andy shot him a dirty look. “You just wait Joe, I bet there’s one in your closet too!”
“Oooh, I’m so scared.” Joe waved his hands in front of his face and pretended to be frightened.
“Joe, that’s enough,” his mother said. “Now get to bed.”
“But it’s only eight o’clock! Why do I have to go to bed at the baby’s bedtime?”
“I’m not a baby!” Andy balled up his fist and punched Joe in the gut.”
 Tossing Andy into his room, their mother turned towards Joe and sighed. “Because you told him a scary story. You know how easily he gets frightened…”
“But it’s fun scaring him.”
“He’s your brother, you are supposed to watch out for him, not torture him. Now off to bed.”
Grumbling under his breath, Joe stomped off to his bedroom and slammed the door. Bob jumped at the noise and then shook his head. This kid lacked subtlety; that would have to be trained out of him. He listened to the sound of Joe’s feet shuffling across the floor and grinned. The show was about to begin.
 Stepping inside his closet, Joe pushed his clothes out of the way, revealing a small hole in the wall. Through it, he could see Andy lying in his bed. His blanket was pulled up over his head, as though the cover created a force field around him. Joe snickered, reaching for the remote on his shelf. Aiming it through the hole, he turned his brother’s SpongeBob Television on. Andy sat straight up, his eyes wide as saucers. Joe pushed another button and turned the volume all the way up. Andy scooted towards the top of his bed, pressing his back against the headboard and pulling the blanket to just below his eyes. A few seconds later the bedroom door banged open and their mother marched in.
“What part of go to sleep don’t you understand,” she asked, shutting off the T.V.
“I didn’t turn it on! It was a ghost.”
“Honestly, I would think you could come up with a better excuse than that. Blame it on your brother or something…” Mother’s voice trailed off as a light bulb went on over her head. In the room next door she heard a scraping sound, like the closet door being shut.
“But I didn’t do it!”
“I’m sure you didn’t.” Walking out of the room, the boy’s mother headed down the hall into the next room, where Joe was in his bed, snoring obnoxiously. Switching on the light, she watched as her son stretched and slowly opened his eyes.
Joe sat up and looked around, confused. “Waz up?”
“Where is it?”
“Where’s what?”
“Don’t play innocent with me. I know what you’ve been doing.” Opening his closet door, she stood on her tiptoes to see on top of the shelf. “Ah hah!”
***
Joe sat on his bed, plotting how he would get his revenge. If Andy wasn’t so scared of everything, he wouldn’t be in trouble, but now, just because he had played a few pranks on the little whiner, he was grounded for a week.
“Maybe I’ll put fire ants in his bed.”
“That will just get you in more trouble.”
“Who said that?” Joe looked around his room. He didn’t see anyone. It sounded like it came from his closet. “Andy, is that you?”
Joe opened up the closet, expecting to find Andy looking through the peephole. Instead, he found an orange furry creature standing there, literally holding his head in his hands.
“I’m sorry,” Bob said, holding his head up, “but I can’t get it back on. I’ve had trouble with it ever since the Jenny Christine incident”
“Ever since the what?” Joe backed out of the closet, hoping to make a run for it, but when he turned, the creature was there, blocking his way. He held his eyeballs in his hand and rolled them across the floor. Startled, Joe danced as the eyes whirled around him, tripping his feet and knocking him to the ground.
“We need to talk,” Bob said, bending over Joe and drooling on him.
“Who … who are you?”
“I’m Bob. Andy’s Boogie Monster.”
“Who?”
“I’ve been scaring this kid for a while now. He’s mine and I thought I had pretty good thing going. But then you come along and try to one up me.”
“I wasn’t trying to …”
“I know what you were doing kid and I respect it, really I do. You’ve got some good moves. But, you need some finesse. Lucky for you, I put in a good word. You’re in the program.”
“What program?”
“Why the Boogieman Training Program, of course. We’ve been short-handed, so they probably would have let you in anyway …especially after your demonstration of ability.”
“I don’t want to be a Boogieman,” Joe protested.
“You should have thought of that before you applied.”
“But I didn’t!” Joe was looking around the room, wondering if he was dreaming. Yeah, this had to be a dream.
“Just relax,” Bob said. “Come here, I want to show you something.”
Joe found himself following Bob into the closet. “This is insane,” he thought, as his feet moved across the floor.
“See that?” Bob was pointing to a dust bunny in the corner of the closet.
“It’s some dirt fuzz.”
“Nope,” Bob said. “It’s a portal to the Monster Realm.”
Smething hard hit him in the back and Joe felt himself falling forward. Putting his arms out to catch himself, he yelled out in surprise when the floor opened and he found himself falling through a hole.
“Well that takes care of that,” Bob said, shutting the closet. Standing in front of Joe’s mirror, Bob began to change his appearance. Gone was the orange fur, being replaced by pinkish skin and blue pajamas. Hearing feet coming down the hall, he set his head back on his shoulders and popped his eyeballs back in. They too had transformed, no longer red, but a sea foam green.
“Are you okay? I thought I heard you scream?”
Bob turned and looked at the mother. She looked tasty. Maybe when he was done scaring Andy, he would eat her.
“I’m fine,” Bob said, making sure to change his voice to sound like Joe. This was going to be fun.

Copyright © 2018 Lisa McCourt Hollar

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Zombie Reunification Act



“EWWW,” Tina squealed, staring at Mr. Sampson’s arm lying in the middle of the floor. The appendage had been dangling low for most of the day and some of the kids had been taking bets as to when it would fall off. Tommy Jordan cheered, yelling out the time of 1:42. He had said 1:45 and since his was the closest to the exact time, he was the winner.

Mr. Sampson stood there a moment looking at his arm, then shrugged his shoulder … the one still attached and bent to pick it up. The arm made a sucking sound as he lifted it off the ground. A trail of blood and gore was left behind on the floor, while some hung from the open cavity, dangling like strings of bloody thread.

“That is so gross,” Sissy Foreman said, looking away, but then peering back at the scene, disgusted and impressed at the same time.

Mr. Sampson grunted something to the class and then walked out of the room, presumably to the nurse’s office to have the limb reattached.

That was so awesome,” Tommy shouted, holding out his hand and collecting his winnings from his friends.

“It was disgusting,” Tina said, turning her dainty nose in the air. My mother called the school board and told them if they didn’t do something about Mr. Sampson she was going to pull me from the school and send me somewhere else.”

“Where would you go,” Sissy, her best friend asked, followed by gasps of “oh no’s,” from Karen Little and Susan Fynch.

“I don’t know,” Tina said, “maybe Allendale. I hear they don’t allow zombies to teach.”

“Really,” Frank Lawson asked. “I thought the Zombie Reunification Act said it was illegal to discriminate against zombies and half zombies.”

Tina sniffed, “The Zombie Reunification Act is bogus and should never have passed. It will be overturned. I heard the President was going to sign to have zombies banned from all aspects of society.”

“But that’s unconstitutional,” Jimmy Becker said, standing up with an angry look on his face. Rumor had it his mother was a zombie now. No one had seen her for weeks and Sissy’s mother worked at the butcher shop and she said Jimmy’s dad had come in last week and bought a whole cow, including the brains. Then he’d bought some pig brains and sheep brains as well.

“You’re just upset because that means your mommy will be sent to the slaughter house,” Tina sneered. “My mother says she was always a bit strange anyway.”

“My mom is NOT a zombie,” Jimmy snarled, clenching his fist and daring anyone to say otherwise. The kids all just laughed at him though, except for Missy Black. Her father was a zombie. She didn’t want anyone to know though. They might make fun of her too, so she just kept her head down and pretended to read her book. Her mom had told her they were probably going to move soon. There were places where zombies were accepted. Noy many though.

With the new medicine, most zombies were harmless. Every now and then one of them would forget to take their pill in the morning and go out and bite someone. No one wanted to risk shaking a zombies hand for fear he wouldn’t stop at shaking and rip their arm off, or take a nice healthy bite out of one of the fingers.  Missy’s dad had been working on a car when the owner decided her dad looked like a zombie treat and bit his head.  Now he had a hole on one side and Missy’s mom made him wear a hat to cover it up.

Mr. Sampson cleared his throat as he entered the room, bringing the class back to attention. His arm was reattached, but now his right ear was hanging a little lower than the left and his nose looked like it was a bit wobbly. There were also a few maggots wriggling around a sore on his cheek. Sissy and Tina both squealed and looked away while Missy and Jimmy smirked at them. Jimmy hoped one of their parents would get bit by a zombie, and then they would know how it felt to have a mother or father that ate brains and had strings of intestines hanging from their teeth.

Mr. Sampson turned and said something to the class. No one really understood what he was saying since it was mostly grunts and groans, but no one was really listening anyway. They were all staring at his nose, which was now turned sideways on his face.

“Double or nothing,” Frank whispered to Tommy, hoping to win his money back “which do you think will fall off first, Mr. Sampson’s ear or his nose?”

Copyright© 2018 Lisa McCourt Hollar.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Things That Go Bump In The Night




Tasha hid under her blanket, trying not to cry. She could hear her parents down the hall, laughing at whatever shows adults watch on television after the kids have gone to bed. It must be pretty funny, judging from the snorts that came out of her mother’s nose. At least Tasha hoped they were snorts coming out of her mother’s nose and not a monster with a piggish snout laughing maniacally as he chopped her family up into little pieces.

Somewhere Tasha heard a buzzsaw grind to life, ready to hack her ten year old body to pieces. She closed her eyes and whimpered. She didn’t want to call her parents in.  She didn’t want them to know she'd watched that movie they’d told her not to. And she knew if she called out, that as soon as they turned on her light, everything would go back to normal. Tasha tried to reason with herself. She knew the buzzing she heard was really her brother in the next room, snoring. He snored every night. It’s just that movie … she could still hear it in her head, “Jason, Jason, Jason … Kill, Kill, Kill,” over and over in her mind and that awful hockey mask. Who wears a hockey mask down by the lake anyway?

Her mother laughed in the living room, snorting … the buzz saw in the next room … a whisper from inside her closet.  A WHISPER FROM INSIDE HER CLOSET! There wasn’t anything in her closet that could make a sound!

Peering out from under her blanket, Tasha stared at the closet, her eyes penetrating the dark and detecting a slight crack in the door. It wasn’t shut … she always kept her closet shut.  Horrified, Tasha held her breath as the door creaked to life, inching open. Something was inside! The door only moved open a little and realistically Tasha knew it could be a breeze making the flimsy door sway …except there was no breeze. It was a chilly night and her window was closed.

The door creaked again and Tasha heard a whisper, almost like a cry of a child. Was it a ghost of a little girl who had been murdered in this house previously? Maybe she was coming back to exact revenge on her killers. Tasha’s imagination flew, one scenario after another coming to mind. Perhaps one of her dolls had been possessed by an evil spirit and was coming out to slaughter the entire family, a demonic glee in its painted eyes.

“Meow,” Bosco, her little black cat cried, pushing his head between the crack in the closet door. Tasha laughed at herself; Bosco must have hidden in there earlier and fallen asleep.

“Come here kitty,” Tasha called, pulling her cover back and allowing the cat to jump up there with her.  She was relieved to know there was nothing more sinister in her room and she felt better now that she had Bosco to keep her company.

Tasha pulled the covers off her head and lay back against the pillow with her cat cradled in her arms. She would go to sleep and forget about that movie.

Something made a sound under her bed. Tasha’s eyes popped open. Bosco lifted his head, looking around for the source of the noise. It was a snuffing sound. Bosco crawled towards the edge to investigate. Tasha snatched him back, holding him close, and her heart pounding inside of her chest.

“You can’t just go and look under the bed to see what it is,” Tasha scolded the cat. “What if it’s a monster that eats kitty cats?

Bosco meowed at her. “Yes, I know, Tasha said, it could very well be a monster that’s nice … I suppose those exist, but if it is nice, what is it doing under my bed?”

Bosco meowed his answer and under the bed the monster snuffed. Tasha held Bosco tightly. She was wondering if it was a monster that liked to eat little girls. She was glad she didn’t dangle her feet over the edge of the bed. Monsters that ate little girls liked their toes the most. Her Uncle Al had told her so. Her mother had yelled at him for telling her that and he’d laughed and said he was sorry, that it wasn’t true, but Tasha knew it was. Adults never wanted kids to know that monsters were real, but she knew they were.

The monster snuffed again and Tasha felt her bed bump from something hitting it from underneath.  Then it bumped again. Bosco meowed, a scared kitty meow and Tasha tried not to cry, but she was scared. Then her bed lifted up in the air, not the whole bed but the bottom half. It lifted off the ground and tipped the top half back, so that she thought she was going to fall off and land on the floor. She knew what would happen then.

Tasha screamed. She screamed as loud as she could, squeezing her eyes shut so she wouldn’t see the monster that wanted to eat her. She knew he would be big and hairy, with sharp teeth that resembled barbed wire and a mouth wide enough for her whole head to fit into.

Down the hall she heard her parents as they rushed to her room. She hoped they would get there in time. Then she heard something else. Someone was laughing and it sounded suspiciously like her sister. It was coming from under the bed. Did the monster eat her sister?  Then the lights came on and she opened her eyes. Jenny, was crawling out from under the bed, laughing so hard she had tears coming out of her eyes.

“What’s going on,” her mother asked.

“You should have heard her,” Jenny laughed. “She thought I was a monster.”

“What were you doing under her bed,” her dad asked, giving Jenny his stink eye.

“Oh come on, I was just having fun,” Jenny laughed.

After everything settled down and Jenny was sent back to her room, Tasha laid her head back on her pillow and closed her eyes. The closet door was shut again and the bedroom door cracked so the light from the hall could come in. She heard her mother laughing at the television and her brother’s snoring had resumed. She didn’t hear any noise and her eyes were shut so she never knew that a small, furry creature had slipped silently out her window. He was hungry and had thought the little girl’s toes smelled yummy, but her family was scary. And that cat with its teeth and scary growl were enough to give him nightmares for weeks. He would find some other place and another little girl to creep up on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Witches Brew

Witches Brew
by Lisa McCourt Hollar




“Trick or treat!”


“Oh my,” Thelma said, looking over the trio of costumed children standing outside her door. “Don’t you look frightening. What are you supposed to be? Witches?”

“Yes ma’am,” snarled one of the hags, “and if you don’t give us a treat, I’ll turn you into a toad.”

"Oh my!" Thelma chuckled, “A toad! Well that would be a neat trick. And the three of you certainly look scary enough. Is that a wart on your nose?”

“Yes ma’am," the bigger of the three said. "All witches have warts.”

“Because they’re ugly, old hags,” another of the witches said. This one had a wart on both her nose and chin, making her truly hideous.

“I see. Well, I will have to remember that.”

The three witches giggled.

“Hmmm,” Thelma mused, “Trick OR Treat? Let's see ... I think I will go with ... trick. Turn me into a toad.”

“The first little witch laughed, “I can’t really do that.”

"You can’t?” Thelma sounded disappointed. Looking at the second witch she asked, “How about you?”

Shaking her head, the second witch giggled. Thelma looked to the third, a green faced hag with nary a wart, but long stringy hair and a long, crooked nose. The poser gave a nervous laugh and ducked her head.

“No? Too bad. I can though.” Thelma pointed a finger at the faux witches and chanted, “Skin of green with warts and all, eyes that bug, croaking call, hop you will instead of stand, become a toad at my command.”

“When the incantation was finished, three frightened toads sat outside her door. Before they could hop off, Thelma bent and scooped them into her hands. Closing the front door, she hummed, carrying them into the kitchen and depositing the toads into a cage.

“Let’s see,” she said, looking into a bucket that contained a handful of newts, “all I need now are a few lizards and rat tails. Then I will have everything I need for my skin lotion spell.”

Looking into the mirror, the witch shuddered. A wart was just beginning to pop, marring her previously unblemished skin. “If only this spell could be cast any time of the year, instead of All Hallows Eve.” Thelma sighed. “If only there were more beggars without their parents. Then I might be able to make more and I wouldn’t cut it so close every year.”

Thelma looked in the mirror again. Egads, another one was popping up and this one had a long black hair sticking out of the middle. She grabbed a small tube and squeezed out a thick cream. It was  the last of her stash. Thelma spread the anti wart potion on her skin. It also served to make her coloring less green and a little more pink.

“All witches have warts,” Thelma mimicked. “Witches are ugly old hags. Bah, I’ll show them ugly, the little brats!”

The witch smiled at her reflection. The warts had receded and she looked young and beautiful once again. “Just in time,” she cackled, turning to answer the door.

“Trick or treat,” sang a gang of werewolves and vampires.”



Word Count: 522







Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Do-Over

Continued from Tartarus, Zombies, and Ne'er-Do-Wells
This is chapter 8 in my MG/YA Zombie series, You can read it from the beginning in Death and Zombies.




“Careless, worthless, good for nothing ...” Medusa paused, trying to think of another word to describe what she thought of her son losing his cloak and scythe.
“Ne’er-do-well,” Steve suggested.
“Ne’er-do-well,” Medusa finished. “I can’t believe you. What does this make, three times? What is Khronos going to say? You know he hates zombies.”
“Khronos isn’t going to say anything, because he isn’t going to know about it. I’ve got a plan.”
“He stole his watch thingy,” Jason said.
Medusa grinned at the plump boy and set a plate of cookies in front of him. “Such a sweet boy. Too bad you’re going to grow up into a man.” Then she turned to her son and shook her head. “So you’ve turned into a thief as well. Where did I go wrong?”
“Probably when you turned my father into stone. You deprived me of a good, male role model.”
“You know, Khronos put you on probation after the last zombie outbreak. Giltine is just itching to get her job back.”
“Mom, could you try having a little faith in me, just once?” Death pleaded.
“This is really kind of sad,” Daniel whispered to Darlene. “How old do you think he is?”
“I am 717 years old, give or take a century or two, and I can hear you.”
“Don’t you think you should get your own place?” Daniel asked. “It’s not very becoming for the Grim Reaper to be living in his mom’s basement.”
“I pay rent. And besides,” Death said, turning toward the previously zombified teen, “perhaps you should worry more about yourself and less about me. After all, I’m not the one who tried to make a snack out of the girl I like.”
“Darlene looked at Daniel, who was desperately trying to avoid eye contact. “You like me?” Darlene asked.
“Dude,” Steve laughed, “she likes you too. Trust me, she talks in her sleep.”
Now Darlene was trying to avoid eye contact. Death laughed. “Yeah, I’m the pathetic one. Now, if I could get my robe and scythe back … Halloween is almost over and there will be no do overs if I don’t have it fixed by then.”
“Here.” Steve set his backpack on the table and opened it up. He pulled out the robe and scythe. “I’m sorry. It would have made a great Halloween costume though.”
“So what do we do now?” Darlene asked.
“Enjoy the ride.”Death said.
“Will we remember what happened today?” Steve asked.
Death shrugged. “I don’t know. Probably not.”
Daniel grabbed hold of Darlene and kissed her. If they were going to forget this anyway …
Death opened the pocket watch and began to turn the hands, rewinding time.

Darlene was annoyed. Something was tickling her feet. She kicked her foot and rolled over, clutching her pillow. Darlene sighed, trying to get back into her dream. Daniel had been kissing her. She felt the tickle on her foot again. “Stop it,” she mumbled, tossing and kicking her foot again. This time something grabbed her foot and yanked. “What the …” Darlene opened up her eyes and screamed. Standing over her was a dark figure wearing a skull mask. She threw her pillow at it before she realized what was happening.
“STEVEN! GET OUT OF MY ROOM!”
Steve pulled off his mask. “Come on Darlene, we’re going to be late. You can dream about kissing Daniel Griffen later.
“I don’t dream about kissing Daniel.”
 Steve picked up Darlene’s pillow and buried his face into it, “Oh, Daniel, kiss me again.”
“You better watch it, or I’ll tell Sheila Young that you have a crush on her.”
“Eww, I do not.”
“But she’ll think you do …” Darlene shut the bathroom door, a satisfied smile on her face. She looked in the mirror and frowned.
“Steve,” she called through the door. “Do you feel like we’ve done this before?”
Steve thought about it a second. “Yeah, kind of. Probably just deja vu.”
“Probably.”
 “Who do you think is going to win best costume? It was Johnny Farmer last year. He went as a space pirate, but his parents were rich and put a lot of money into his costume. He had special effects and everything. I’m glad they moved. Now I just have regular kids to compete against. Death is a pretty good costume, doncha think so Darlene?”
“It’s ok,” Darlene said, coming out of the bathroom. Better than zombies. So overdone.”
“Death is the perfect costume for Halloween. I just wish I had more than this dollar mask mom bought me at the dollar store. I saw the perfect costume the other day. If I had that, I’d be sure to win the costume contest.”
“Mom and dad are doing the best they can. Be grateful for what you’ve got.”
The two headed into the kitchen to grab their things and leave. There was a bag on the table.
“What’s this?” Darlene asked. “It has your name on it.”
Steve opened the bag. Inside was a cloak and scythe.
“That’s not real is it?” Darlene asked, eyeballing the scythe.
“I don’t know. There’s a note.

Steve,
You can borrow this for the Halloween contest. I want it back after.  Meet me at the tree.

                                                                   Grim


          “The tree?” Darlene asked. She and Steve looked at each other, and then Darlene remembered her dream.
“The tree,” Steve said. They both laughed as they remembered their adventure. Then the two headed out the door, ready for whatever this Halloween would bring. Except zombies. They didn't want zombies.
         And zombies is exactly what they didn't get.

 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Death Wears Boxer Shorts



 Continued from Finders Keepers.

This is chapter 6 in my MG/YA Zombie series, You can read it from the beginning in Death and Zombies.


“Here,” Hal said, opening a door at the back of the community room. It was a broom closet. Sarah Quincy guided her husband inside, then shut the door. “He should be ok in there,” she said. “Oh, hello Jason. Are your mom and dad here?”
“Nope. Zombies.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Well you’re welcome to stay with us until all this gets sorted out. It will get sorted out, right? Someone will figure out what is going on.”
Steve and Darlene looked at each other uncomfortably. “Mom, what happened with dad?” Darlene asked, rather than tell her mother the grim truth.
“He was like this when I found him,” Sarah sobbed.  “Maybe if I’d gotten to him sooner … you know your dad, he’s a dreamer, not a fighter. Stupid Jeanette though, always getting in my way, and when I got to your dad’s office, the only thing I could find of him was his phone. It was, well, stuck in his boss’s mouth.”
“So where was he?” Darlene asked.
“I figured he went to check on you two, and I was right. He was home, fighting with Bruce Dixon over what remained of Petunia. Poor cat. She was mean, but she didn’t deserve that.  Anyway, I couldn’t, you know … Bruce Dixon, yeah, he was a bully and Cameron and his mom, if they survive this, deserve better ... but your dad … besides, there’s got to be a cure for this zombie stuff. Right?”
“Well,” Steve started to say, only to be interrupted by Darlene’s elbow in his side.
“Yeah, sure,” Darlene said, giving her brother a pointed look.
 “Your son says Death can fix this.” Hal said. “We just have to find him.”
“Death?” Sarah asked.
“The Grim Reaper,” Hal said. “Claims he’s in town and not doing his job, which is why we have zombies.”
“He can’t do his job,” Steve said. “I stole his robe and scythe for my Halloween costume.”
“Steve, you know better than to take things that don’t belong to you,” his mother scolded.
“Well he left them lying around. If I didn’t take them, someone else would have.”
“Then this would be someone else’s problem, but since you did, it’s yours. Return Death’s things so he can set all this right. Your dad isn’t suited for the zombie life. He’s a vegetarian you know. Zombies don’t eat vegetables.”
“I can’t return them, I don’t know where he is.”
“The best place to start is where you found them in the first place.”
“The lake,” Steve said. “But what if there are zombies?”
“Steve, your dad is a zombie and will continue to be so unless you return Mr. Death’s things! Do you want your dad to stay a zombie? DO YOU?”
Steve wanted to explain to his mom that there were no do-overs in the Z.A., but he also didn’t want to incur her wrath. When she got into these moods, there was no arguing with her.  He also didn’t want his dad to be a zombie. He was a pretty cool dad, unlike Cameron’s dad. He never yelled at them and would play board games, and laugh with them over silly TV shows. Maybe if he found Death, he could talk him into one tiny do-over.
“Come on,” Darlene said, “we can get to the lake through the camp grounds. Maybe if we hurry, there won’t be any zombies there.
“Wow, your mom is upset,” Jason said. The three kids were headed to the lake, armed with a variety of head bashing weapons. Steve was still in disbelief that his mother had actually sent him out there. His argument that he was only 9 and not old enough to battle zombies, was met with her response that if he was old enough to steal from a mythological being and start the zombie apocalypse, he was old enough to do what needed to be done to set it right.
“What are you going to say when we find Death?” Jason asked. “Sorry doesn’t seem to be appropriate.
“I don’t know. I’ve got to think about it a bit.”
“How did you know what he was wearing?” Darlene asked.
“What do you mean?”
“You asked Jason if the guy looking for you was wearing a robe. He said , ‘No, boxer shorts,’ and then you said it was Death looking for you. You have his robe, so how did you know he was wearing boxer shorts … with hearts on them. That’s kind of a specific thing to know.”
“Just a lucky guess.”
“There’s something you aren’t telling us.”
“Okay, okay, I saw him. He was at the lake, fishing. He was waded into the water, which is probably why he’d taken the robe off. Then some grumpy old dude showed up, they got into an argument and then, whoosh, they were gone.”
“Whoosh, they were gone?” Darlene asked.
“Yeah, but he’d left the robe and scythe. I thought he’d come back for them, so I waited … he’s Death, man, I wanted to talk to him, but he never came back. So I thought I’d keep them safe for him. I left a note, but then a few days went by and he never came … I figured he had a backup outfit and really, it would have made a super cool Halloween costume.”
“Yeah, what’s Halloween without a few zombies,” Darlene said.
“Here we are,” Jason said. The three came to a stop at the edge of the lake. “What do we do now?”
“Maybe if we wait, he’ll show up,” Steve said.
“Well he better show up quick,” Darlene said. “Look.”
Steve looked where his sister was pointing. Zombies were approaching the other side of the lake. They saw the kids and began heading toward them. Some were taking the long way around, but others were diving head first into the lake in their attempt to get to them … and it appeared zombies could swim.
They turned to leave and discovered that zombies were coming at them from behind.
“Where did they all come from?” Darlene yelled.
“There’s too many,” Steve said.
“Over here!”
“Who said that?” Steve looked around. There was a hollow tree nearby with a hole in it. A bony hand reached out of the hole and motioned them over.
“What do you think?” Jason asked.
“I think it’s a trap,” Darlene said.
Steve thought about what his sister said. It could be a trap. The zombies continued to approach from both sides. There was no where to run. He made up his mind. “I think we are already trapped, and there’s nothing to lose.” He ran for the tree with Darlene, Jason, and the Zombies close behind.


Continued with Tartatus, Zombies and Ne'er-Do-Wells.