Sara’s wisdom teeth are coming in crooked.
I know this for two reasons. The first is because she’s always bitching about headaches. The second is because I see both of them on the left side poking out of her gums sideways and big as the first knuckle of you thumb. I have time to notice this before her mouth fills up and the blood starts pouring out of the hole I carved in her cheek.
Blood is also trickling out of her mouth in a little river. It dribbles down her chin and spatters on her white Keds.
She wipes her mouth and looks at her hand.
She looks up at me.
“U fickin azho! U ifed me!”
I can tell she’s mad. Honestly, I don’t really blame her. All this time I thought she was faking headaches so I’d stop trying to talk her into ass sex. I guess that makes me an insensitive jerk.
Fuck it. I never said I was a catch, but since the majority of humanity is either dead or shuffling around in a stinking zombie stupor, beggars can’t be choosers.
She raises the gun in her right hand until it’s an inch and a half from my left eye.
“Baby, I think we should talk about this,” I say, “You know I love you, right? It’s really just a scratch...” She’s looking totally horror show at this point. All those blood covered teeth poking through her cheek are grossing me out. Somehow I keep down my lunch and manage a smile. “Hey, baby, it’s me, your snuggle monster...”
“I go’n ‘ill u ow,” she says.
I guess she’s not interested in discussing the situation. Bummer.
Her finger tightens on the trigger. As the hammer pops forward, a pink blur knocks the gun upward and it fires into the ceiling. The Cupcake has hold of her wrist just behind the the gun. “Sorry sweetcheeks” he says and pops her in the chin with the heel of his free hand. Her teeth crack together and a little jet of blood spurts from her torn cheek. Her entire head bounces back and then forward.
The Cupcake grabs her close and gives her a sloppy tongue kiss before letting her unconscious form drop to the floor.
He sees the look in my eyes and grins back at me. He has Sara’s blood all over his lips. “You want to put a bullet in me for taking liberties with your girl, right? And I just saved your life. How very exciting. I’d kill you before you even pulled your gun. But don’t worry. She’s a bit toothy for my taste.” Then the creepy fuck giggles.
I think about going for my gun anyway, but I hear more glass breaking in the adjoining room. Cupcake and McMurphy’s room. I hear a string of gutteral Irish curses and the sound of McMurphy’s shotgun blasting away.
The Cupcake gives me a wink. “Did I mention that McMurphy and I didn’t finish boarding up the windows in our room?” He turns and runs toward the sound. I glance down at Sara pooling blood across the shitty motel carpet. I grab my guns off the bed and follow.
It’s right out of a zombie flick. All the windows are broken and the door is off it’s hinges.. McMurphy has tossed the sofa and the mattresses up against the hole. Of course the hundred or so oozing, shuffling creeps outside are doing their best to push them out of the way.
“One of you lazy son’s of whores hold this fockin’ mattress so I can reload my fockin’ gun.” I run forward to relieve McMurphy and lean my weight against the mattress. McMurphy runs to the nightstand where he’s stacked a few boxes of shells and starts racking them into his gun.
The Cupcake has his enourmous pistol in one hand and a hatchet in the other. I wonder where he got the hatchet, which reminds me that I never asked him about the ice cream he had when I first saw him.
I’m being forced back by the weight of the shufflers on the other side of the mattress. The heels of my shoes dig a furrow in the carpet as I slowly slide forward.
“I can’t hold this much longer.”
The cupcake is grinning from ear to ear. “Let our friends in. It’s a nice night for dancing.”
McMurphy and I both glance at The Cupcake and then each other. He gives me a slight shrug. “What tha fatboy wants, the fatboy gets. Why the fock not.”
I gather my legs under me and leap away from the mattress, spinning in the air and landing with my two sawed offs pointing at the window.
Both of my guns roar opening up a smoking hole in the crowd of shufflers as 3 of them have their upper bodies shredded. It’s quickly filled again by more oozing forms pressing forward from behind.
The next forever is work. Fire-cover-reload-fire-cover-reload.
We might as well be making widgets.
The barrels of our guns get so hot the skin of our fingers stick to them and peel off.
The only thing keeping the monsters from overwhelming us is the piles of twitching oozing bodies they keep tripping over.
I run out of shells for the sawed offs and switch to the snub nosed AK-47. McMurphy runs out of shells for both his and Sara’s shotguns. The boxes from the nightstand are long empty. He switches to pistols.
I’m not sure if The Cupcake is out of shells or not. He switched to the hatchet early in, pulling an enormous matching machete from somewhere for use in his off hand. He is enjoying himself immensely. He’s become some pink helicopter of death. I know he saved McMurphy’s and my ass more than once, chopping Shufflers and even a couple of four legged fast movers into kibble faster than I can see. Always grinning and laughing. That creepy fat man sure is light on his toes.
And still they keep coming. In some way it reminds me of my days working customer service at Circuit Buy. I’m wondering just what this means when my AK clicks empty.
“Reload!” I yell, and reach for another clip from my bandolier. There aren’t any left. I reach for my pistols. I remember tossing them to McMuphy a few minutes back.
“I’m cashed!” I spin around and scan the room for a weapon, and find a broken table leg at my feet. I bend over and grab it and when I lean up I’m face to face with a Shuffler. It’s mouth opens wide in a groan of hunger and it reaches for me. It’s head is torn away by two nine-millimeter bullets and McMurphy is at my side. He unloads the pistols into it’s joints, stopping it from crawling.
“Thanks,” I say.
His guns click empty.
He throws them at the beasts coming through the window.
“Lad, we’re fock’d right up the ass with the business end of a shovel. There’s a lot of people I’d rather die with, but I suppose you’ll have to do.”
And we didn’t even save enough bullets to do ourselves.
“Cupcake, we’re fucked!” I yell.
The fat pink man leaps out of a mass of Shufflers, green bubbling gore dripping from his arms to the shoulders. He’s no longer pink. Instead he’s become a slimy mess of green and black ooze. “And I was having such fun,” he says.
He drops his hatchet and his machete, to the floor, reaches behind his back and comes forward with a hand grenade in each hand.
I ask, “Where the fuck did you get those?”
He ignores me. “You both better duck.”
He pulls the pins and underhands both of them out the window. We all dive for the floor.
There must have been two blasts, but it seems like only one. The noise is so loud I feel my left eardrum pop and one of my fillings rattles out of a molar. The heat from the blast burns the back off my t-shirt and melts the soles of my shoes.
The smoke clears.
McMurphy comes up bald. Even his eyebrows are gone, and there’s a neat row of blisters along the top of his forehead where the arms he put in front of his face failed to protect him.
He and I are both staring at what used to be the front wall of the room. Now there’s just a smoking hole leading into the parking lot and a few smoldering zombie bodies flopping around on the pavement.
We’re still trying to remember our names and wondering who’s ringing all those bells when the cupcake strolls out of the bathroom pulling on a fresh pink shirt. His mouth is pushed into a strange pucker, and even though I can’t hear a thing, I know he’s whistling. Probably the theme song to the A-Team. He is always whistling the theme song to the A-Team.
The Cupcake picks up his hatchet and Machete from where he’d dropped them, turns to McMurphy and I and yells (for the benefit of our impaired hearing) at us, “We need to gather our belongings and go. It’s been fun, but even the best parties get dull. We’ve overstayed our welcome.”
I watch him walk through the smoke and rubble into Sara’s and my room. McMurphy and I help each other to our feet, gather our empty guns, and follow, obedient as dogs.
I’d like to say we were just shell shocked, and that’s why we followed him. The truth is, we were both scared to death. While we’d been fighting for our lives, that big pink freak had been having the equivalent of a hitman’s aerobic workout. 20 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes hacking up twitching bodies. All he needed was some shitty eighties dance music playing in the background and some pink leotards. Neither McMurphy nor I felt like getting on his bad side.
In the next room Sara was still out cold. The Cupcake had already walked out the door and headed to the Hummer.
Without a word I peel Sara’s face off the carpet where the blood has stuck, sling her over my shoulder and follow him out.
McMurphy grabs our bags and follows.
The Cupcake has opened up the backseat of the hummer and is leaning against the passenger door reloading one of his huge pistols. I dump Sara inside and watch McMurphy crossing the parking lot towards us.
10 feet from the HumVee, a black shape rockets from behind a broken down Iroq-Z and latches on to McMurphy’s arm. He drops the bags and screams.
“Fuck! A Fast Mover,” I yell.
I leap into the backseat of the HumVee and slam the door.
The Cupcake launchs forward, moving almost as fast as the zombie dog.
The dog gives McMurphy two quick shakes, slamming his body against the asphalt and breaking his arm, popping the jagged end of his femur through the skin.
It drops McMurphy and looks up at The Cupcake. It’s lips pull back in a snarl and it gathers itself to leap. The Cupcake unloads his gun at the beast, tearing off huge chunks of it’s body and knocking it halfway across the parking lot.
The Cupcake leaps on top of McMurphy, one foot on his chest, the other on the pavement. The Cupcake grabs the bitten arm, pulls it tight, whips out his machete and gives the arm a quick chop. The machete doesn’t go all the way through the shoulder so The Cupcake gives the arm a tug and a twist pulling the bone out of the shoulder socket and ripping the arm from McMurphys body.
He drops the arm to the ground next to McMurphy, lifts the Machete, and with a quick flip pins the arm to the pavement, the blade sticking 3 inches into the asphalt, the remaining 6 inches rising straight out of the palm.
The Cupcake walks over to my window, smiles and gives the universal sign for ‘roll it down’.
“Your friend had a nasty bite there. Maybe I got it in time, maybe it didn’t. I know I’m curious. Why don’t you stop the bleeding, and strap him to the roof. The sun will be up soon. I’d like to be on my way and looking for breakfast in an hour.” He turns away from the window, pauses and turns back. “You might want to tie him up first. It would be a shame if he went Zombie and ripped your throat out while you were still trying to save his life.” The Cupcake turns and walks to the other side of the car whistling the theme song to “The Facts of Life.”
I always hated that show.
McMurphy is out cold and doesn’t feel me burning the torn arteries in his shoulder closed. While I work, I try not to look at the disembodied arm next to me, purple now, twitching and grasping at the blade pinning it to the ground.