(Weekly Writing Challenge) In Which Pooh and His Friends Meet The Walking Dead

This week’s Writing Challenge wanted things set in a different locale.  I suppose I could have taken their suggestions.  But once I thought of Winnie the Pooh playing in the world of The Walking Dead, I didn’t want to imagine any other amalgams.  So, with apologies to Kirkman and Milne, that’s what you get.  (It isn’t quite an entry for The Tall Tales Tavern section, but it’s close.)

P.S.  This  is my 200th post.  ???  That’s insane.
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No brain at all, some of them [people], only grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake, and they don’t Think.” -A. A. Milne

One day, Christopher Robin, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Owl, Rabbit, Roo, and Eeyore were off on adventure. They had, at Tigger’s insistence, been visiting the nearby lands. Tigger was absolutely sure that there might be others just like him in this other place, and so they traveled until they came upon a strange scene. Christopher Robin had been forced to stay behind after a little bit, but the others had traveled on. Now, they found themselves entering a building.

It was the first building that they had seen all day that wasn’t built around a tree or a cave. The entire place was one big square with high walls made of a very grey looking stone, Owl said it was called “koncrate”, with tall fences all around. The fences were much bigger than ones around their friends’ gardens. These were big and scary and had sharp points at the top. However, with what they had just seen, Tigger had urged them all to run inside.

prison photo from Wiki Commons

prison photo from Wiki Commons

“Hurry up, hurry”, Tigger said to the others.

“You’ve gotta see this place”, declared Roo.

“We have other matters to attend to”, Rabbit said as the group entered through a large, heavy door. “What about Christopher Robin? He looked to be in quite the state.”

“Pooh, those other creatures were a bit scare- scare- scary”, said Piglet. What do you think that we should do?”

Pooh sat there and he thought. And he thought. And he thought some more. However, Pooh was a bear of very little brains. He watch as Owl flew in and perched on a rusted-metal railing.

“Owl”, Pooh said. “Did you see where they took Christopher Robin?”

“Took him?” Owl was confused. “What makes you think they took him?”

“They was gettin’ all rough with him”, Tigger said. “They was swarming him from the left, they swarmed from the right. They was on top of ‘im. Why, if I hadn’t been spending my time gettin’ Roo to safety, I could have tackled them all. Being the champion people-pulling-off-er is what Tiggers do best.”

“I wasn’t scared”, Roo said.

“Oh, that?” Owl started to chuckle. “They weren’t going to hurt him. No, that was a game that people play called pig pile.”

“Aaaaahhhhh”, the other animals all said to voice their understanding.

“It is really quite an old tradition”, Owl continued. “When a person comes to another that they haven’t seen in a while, they jump on top of him. And if there are more people around, they jump on too.”

“But Owl”, said Piglet. “What about Christopher Robin? He was making such an awful noi- noi- noise. Are you sure those were people and not Heffalumps? I couldn’t get very close but they sure did seem like they could have been Heffalumps. Or maybe even Woozles”, he said with a shudder.

“Piglet has a point”, Pooh said. “We have hunted Woozles before and they travel in groups. I have seen their footprints. Their groups keep getting bigger and bigger. I am a Bear of no brain at all, but I don’t want to dessert Christopher Robin. Of course, I don’t want to break up any family fun, either. Oh, bother.”

“Well Christopher Robin knows what he’s doing”, Rabbit said. “He would want us to trust him and to let him think of a plan.”

“I agree, Rabbit”, Pooh said. “But he was making a rather awful noise when we left him.”

“That’s not a noise”, Tigger insisted. “Why, you want a terrible noise, you should hear a Tigger on the prowl. When we’re ready to strike, there’s nothing more terrifying. We hunch back like this. We wiggle our tails, like this. And we let out an absolutely fur-crawling growl like this,

Worraworraworraworraworra!”

“Hallo there, Tigger”, Pooh said. “Would you mind doing something else? I think you have upset poor Piglet.”

“That’s because I’m fierce”, Tigger said as he wagged his tail excitedly. “I’m ready, I’m brave, I’m courageous. Who cares if those fellas were walking around missing a few arms or legs?”

“What’s wrong with someone losing a body part”, Eeyore asked.

“Oh! Eeyore! I hadn’t even seen you come in”, Rabbit said.

zombie-md“That’s okay”, the grey donkey said. “You don’t have to pay attention to me. Nobody ever does. Nobody ever remembers to check on me. Maybe they’re like me. It isn’t their fault that they don’t have an arm here or an eye there. Maybe somebody took their limb and used it as a door knocker or a back-scratcher.”

“Ar-hem”, Owl said as he flapped his wings and ruffled his neck feathers. “I hardly think that is what happened here”, he said. “Why, if something was borrowing body parts I am sure it happened entirely on accident. If the persons asked for their parts back, they would get them. Any creature can make an honest mistake like that.”

“Well I want to know what we’re going to do”, Rabbit said. “I want to go back to my home and water my garden. This building is nowhere near as warm and inviting as my place. Why, look all these drab and gray walls. There are hardly any windows. There is no color at all. And do you hear that? Those things are trying to get in. They keep moaning and throwing themselves against the fences.”

Rabbit was right. As the others stopped talking, they could hear it. A low, moaning, troubling sound of a horde trying to get enter.

“Owl”, said Roo. “What does this mean?”

Roo pointed to a sign above the door with large letters saying, PRISON RULES, followed by a number of instructions beneath it.

“Why, those are the instructions for a game that is held by the owner, a son of Pri, I imagine. That way any creature that shows up late can read those instructions and join in the fun. This Pri and his family must have quite a few parties.”

“A party? It must be nice to be invited to that kind of party”, Eeyore said. “Not that I ever was.”

“Excuse me”, Pooh said. “But has anyone else got a rumbling in their tummy?” He laughed at himself. “I should like to fill it. Piglet, are you hungry?”

“Why, yes”, Piglet said. “I think I am.”

“Well then there’s only one thing to do”, Rabbit said. “We must find the kitchen. Certainly a place this large must have one.”

“I wonder if they have any honey”, Pooh said to no one in particular.

“Oh good” Roo said, “Food!”

“That sounds like an excellent plan, only we mustn’t eat too much. I’m sure that’s listed in the rules”, Owl offered.

“Rules, thppppb.” Tigger had stuck out his tongue and was shaking his head. “Tiggers don’t like rules. We like bouncin’. So I’m going to bounce to the kitchen. And I’ll do it fast. C’mon, Roo!”

The group of friends all ran around the building. There was a series of long hallways with lots of small rooms. But there was no food behind any of the heavy doors, only uncomfortable beds and very tiny wells with a little water in each of them. Eeyore thought the metal switch at the base of the well was interesting. He could not only see his face in the water, but on the metal surface too. But then he pushed the lever and the little whirlpool in the lake tried to take his ear away. After that, he felt he would rather find some food.

Soon, they entered another room. In it, were rows of shelves. On the shelves were boxes of food, cans of food, and boxes filled with cans.

“Oh, there doesn’t seem to be any jars”, Pooh said sadly.

“This isn’t proper Tigger food”, Tigger said. “These are as bad as haycorns and thistles. Tiggers don’t eat this stuff.”

“I don’t even see a single carrot”, Rabbit said.

“Pooh”, Piglet said as he pulled at his friend’s leg. “Couldn’t we go home now? I feel my bravery is just about full for the day. I’d like to get out of this place. Maybe we could play some Poohsticks?”

“That does sound rather more inviting than this”, Rabbit offered.

“I will bow to the whims of the majority”, Owl said. “However I would like to stretch my wings and see a few more trees.”

“Tiggers don’t like being cooped up”, Tigger said. “Let’s bust outta here.”

798px-The_original_Winnie_the_Pooh_toysEveryone agreed. They missed the hundred acre woods and it was beginning to get dark out.

“Are they going to all come running towards us as soon as we open the doors?” Roo looked excited as he ran back and forth between all his friends. “Do you think they’ll try to jump on us too? I think that would be fun!”

“Oh, I don’t think they will give us much notice”, Owl said. “They didn’t seem to notice us before. They seem to prefer their own kind.”

“We don’t want to be rude”, Pooh said.

“No, of course not. We will be perfectly polite”, Rabbit said. “However, Owl is correct. They only wanted to visit with Christopher Robin. They certainly didn’t invite any of us to tea. And no wonder, if this is the kind of food that these creatures like.”

“Well, they’re not Tiggers, that’s for sure”, Tigger said.

“Pooh, do you really think it will be all right?”

“Yes Piglet”, Pooh said. “I believe that we shall all get home fine.”

“Are you sure- sure- sure?” Piglet rubbed his hooves together and started to feel quite small in such a big moment. “I’m scared.”

“Piglet, there’s no need to be scared”, Pooh said.

“There isn’t?”

“No”, Pooh said as he chuckled. “Wouldn’t you want your best friends with you when life got frightening and troubling?”

“Yes Pooh.”

“And aren’t we friends?”

“Oh yes, Pooh”, Piglet replied with a smile.

“You bet we are, ol’ buddy!” Tigger bounced and laughed happily.

“Then as long as our friends are along, everything is just fine. I’ll take care of you, and you’ll take care of me.”

“Quite right”, Rabbit said. “Now let’s head out”, he said a slight twinge of his whiskers.

“Besides”, Eeyore said. “If they are all going to jump on somebody and take away their tails, it will probably happen to me. That’s how it always goes.”

Roo ran to the door and pulled on it. He pulled again. And he pulled some more. Tigger and Rabbit came alongside and they pulled too. The door was a lot heavier from the inside than it had been on the outside.

Owl flew up high and urged them on. Roo pulled on the door. Tigger pulled on Roo. Rabbit pulled on Tigger. Piglet pulled on Rabbit. Pooh pulled on Piglet. And Eeyore pulled on Pooh. Finally, the door began to open.

The friends ran out, Owl flew ahead, and the gate was opened. A sea of strange people walked up. They never even looked at the animals. They rudely shuffled forward, a tired look in their eyes and a strong hunger in their bellies. Soon, there were no people left outside.

Sensing that no one wanted to talk with them, the animals headed home. Roo jumped around and talked to Tigger about what appendages he would like to do without. Eeyore looked and made sure his tail hadn’t been trampled on or had gone missing.

Owl flew just above Rabbit. The two talked about what reason there might be for the unemotional creatures ignoring them so rudely. (Eventually they decided that they would only have people for dinner and tea, not animals such as themselves. As Rabbit offered, they lacked his refined sense of taste.) Piglet, still anxious over what they had seen, held Pooh’s hand tightly.

Pooh was confused. He could have sworn he had seen Christopher Robin in the crowd. But when he had walked by, his friend hadn’t waved at all. Christopher Robin had sauntered by; the same tired look in his eyes that the rest of the people had. Perhaps this new game has him tired, Pooh thought to himself. It will all work out once I get some food in my tummy. Pooh was almost certain that there was honey at home. Or perhaps Rabbit would offer him some. Maybe they could all have a picnic under Owl’s tree.

Soon, the seven friends would all be home and they could forget all about those unwelcoming creatures. They still had each other. What more could they want than that?

 

(Here, we’ll end on something a little cheerier.  It’s all in good fun!)

Deathly Pale (Weekly Writing Challenge)

(Monday means a much needed Weekly Writing Challenge.  And seeing as how The Walking Dead came back on T.V. last night… well, you get the idea.)

I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters.” George A. Romero

**********

Outside, the thick layer of gray clouds was not to be permeated.  Only a month ago, an early morning setting of bright blue skies joined by puffy white clouds would have offered up a promise of hope.  However, in the thirty days since September had waved good-bye and exited off stage, things had changed dramatically.  Gone were the picturesque sunsets.  There would no longer be beautiful sunrises flooding one’s windows with orange and pink hues that danced and melted into each other.  The mountains that looked so majestic and daring off in the distance were covered by an intrusive layer of dismal color.  The grayness was so absolute and so all-encompassing that it even began showing on the denizens of the world.

Rick, trying his best to keep warm, looked at his roommate.  Earlier in the year, Robert had been the picture of health.  He had spent his summers working at the beach.  His bronze tan had served as proof of the countless hours that the golden sun had shone down on his muscular skin.  Running around in only swim trunks, Robert had portrayed an image of perfect health.  The men had envied him, the woman had smiled his way; Robert had looked as majestic as the sandy beaches and the clear blue ocean that he stood watch over.  It seemed ironic to Rick that a man who had spent so much time being a lifeguard now personified the cold visage of decay.

Once again, Rick found himself standing back in horror.  The normally bright green eyes of his friend had gone dim.  A low, “nnnnngh” sound was coming out of Robert’s slack jaw.  Weirdly enough, Robert’s teeth were still as white as ever.  His tongue even retained its purple-red color, like a plum that had been left out in the afternoon heat.  Clearly, some rich blue plasma must still be pumping through the man’s veins.

Pic from WP Clip Art

The pallid skin tone, however, told another story.  The formerly tanned face was now ashen.  Deep lines masked any freckles or smiles that had once decorated Robert’s face.  It wasn’t enough to describe Robert as pasty.  His face now seemed the very absence of life or spirit.  Robert was at the halfway point between lively human and stagnant corpse.  Even his brown hair had joined in with his face and had gone completely dark.  Robert was not entirely lost to the world of the living, but he certainly had packed his bags for the trip.

Rick tried to look away, but couldn’t.  The newly added creases under Robert’s eyes haunted Rick.  They sagged and drooped under the depressed state that Robert had sunk into.  The man’s eyes, no longer charged with glimmering or shining, had taken on a vacancy that was horrifying.  Rick couldn’t take it.  There needed to be some color added to Robert’s morbid features.  With a dab, he drew a long line running from the blackened lip and traced it down to the chin.  Rick stood back and looked at the trail of blood.  He gasped.  The contrast of the deep, dark-red streak only showed just how desolate Robert really looked.

“Dude”, Rick finally said.  “That is messed up.”

“Really?  The makeup works?”

Rick nodded as he stared at his work of art.  “The face is frickin’ perfect.  We just gotta get you some tattered clothes.”

Robert clapped his hands.  “First prize, here I come!  No more losing to guys dressed like TeleTubbies.”

Dramatic Shenanigans

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Dramatic Shenanigans

Talk around the locker bays that year had focus quite a lot on Gerald and Velma.  The other high school students would slam their lockers in confusion; the metal doors already dented with years of abuse and sullied in glue residue and sharpie signatures.  As the bays of locker reverberated in response, the groups of teenagers would continue their gossiping.  How was it that a nobody on the radar could snag such a somebody like Gerald?

The answer, had they bothered to ask the couple, was a simple one.  Gerald and Velma shared a love for practical jokes.  Gerald, ASB president and star of the drama club, used it as a way to perform.  He liked the big guffaws and bowling over with excitement when a well-executed prank was pulled off.  There had never been any proof that it was Gerald that had placed a bucket of water above the principal’s door.  There were plenty of witnesses, but they were “too confused by the events” to give an accurate description of the guilty party.  Either that or they secretly thought that it was a classic prank and they couldn’t bear to give up their hero.  Regardless, Gerald had found himself in the principal’s office.  His feet had squished on the residual dampness of the industrial carpet that had proven difficult to dry.  He almost gave himself away when he saw the administrator’s jacket and dress shirt drying on the corner coatrack.  The principal, clad in an old school sweatshirt, questioned and detained his prime suspect for two class periods.  In the end, he couldn’t prove anything.  Gerald walked out of the office scott free, a legend in his own time.

Velma preferred a more cerebral approach.  She was the only audience that she felt she needed to entertain.  Her English final was a bore to her, so she arranged the first letters of each paragraph to spell out “m-u-n-d-a-n-e”.  She would often hide hidden messages in art class projects.  Velma only wanted some subversion that she could smile at; her own private joke.

All that changed on the day that Velma’s friend, Midge, was the victim of Gerald’s prank.  Gerald had made friends with a few kids that spent much of their allowance on electrical gadgets.  Thus Gerald was provided with a small explosive device.  It was nothing serious; it had about as much explosive potential as a sparkler.  However this gizmo was hooked up to container of yogurt.  As Midge opened her locker, the connection in the wire was triggered and she ended up with a locker, backpack, and face full of dairy product.  (Later on it was discovered that Gerald had been trying to get his friend Paul, not Midge.  He had written down Midge’s locker number, 436, instead of Paul’s, 463.)

Velma went on the defense.  Gerald had apologized, even helped clean up the mess, but Velma wanted him to see what it was like when the joke was on him.  She thought, she planned, and she hatched a scheme.

Next Monday, it was Gerald’s own locker that drew his attention.  More specifically, he was intrigued by the note inside from Heidi Snift.  Gerald, like most of the boys at Woodbridge High School, was enchanted by Heidi.  She wasn’t head cheerleader; she was too busy playing sports.  She was the gal who always wore shorts, showing off her long legs in between volleyball, track, and basketball.  She was tall with long blonde hair, and she didn’t give the boys any attention; which only intrigued them more.  Gerald didn’t know why Heidi wanted to meet him in the Audio/Visual closet at lunch, but he was certainly going to find out.  He bragged to his friends about his rendezvous for the first three classes, then set off by himself for the exciting adventure he knew she had in store for him.

Walking up to the door, Gerald looked around, but saw no one in particular.  There were a few students around, but no one was looking in his direction.  He tested the doorknob on the closet, found it unlocked, and snuck inside.  He closed the door and tried to find a light switch.

“Heidi?” he whispered.  “Heidi, its Gerald.  Are you in here?”  Gerald kept feeling around the room, wires and cords dangled from various nails.  A few seconds later, he stumbled upon the light switch just to the left of the doorknob.  When he flicked it, nothing happened.

Suddenly, the door was flung open, and then slammed back shut.  Gerald rushed to the door but couldn’t get it to open.  He listened as wedges of wood were kicked under the door and the sound of a chair being wedged between the doorknob and the floor echoed his trapped state.  Gerald was starting to get concerned.  Unfortunately, his new roommate, who had just been thrown in with him, was terrified.

Gerald heard the scurrying at his feet and knelt down to investigate.  And that’s when it happened.  Velma couldn’t have planned it any better if she had tried.  For the exact moment that Gerald was crouched on the floor with the creature was the same moment that the skunk let loose its stench.

Gerald leapt back in shock.  There was no ventilation, no windows, just him and the skunk.  He pounded on the door and couldn’t get it open the first few tries.  Then, as the skunk was finishing its attack, he managed to kick the door open.  The first sight that met Gerald’s eyes was Velma and Midge, who were laughing hysterically at him.

“You did this?” Gerald asked Midge as his eyes watered.  He reached for something to cover his nose but all his clothes had been contaminated with the smell.

“No, she’s too good to stoop to your level”, Velma replied defiantly.  “She’s better than that.  This was all me.”  If Gerald was going to retaliate, Velma wanted to be sure that he would send his anger at the right person.  Midge had already been through enough.

“You?”  Gerald was stunned.  “You’re the quiet one who doesn’t say anything.  You play piano.  What’s your name?”

“Velma.”

“Velma”, Gerald said as he tried out the name.  He stood there processing.  Velma could see his wheels turning and wasn’t sure whether she should run or try to lock him back in the closet.  “Velma, do you know what I do to someone who puts me through this sort of wretched ideal?”  Gerald approached; a sense of purpose was communicated behind his eyes.

Velma started to back away.  “Easy there big fella”, she warned, not sounding as threatening as she had hoped.  Before she could stop him, Gerald had lunged forward… and hugged her.

“That.  Was.  Awesome!!!”  Gerald’s eyes were alive with excitement.  “Classic prank!  Beautiful!  I mean, nobody’s ever pulled off something that traditional and effective around here!”  Gerald started dancing in place.  “That was amazing!  Who’d you steal that from?  Are you a Groucho fan?  Bob Hope?  C’mon, that was perfect!”

Velma pushed him away and wondered how much of the skunk’s stench was now on her.  “I”, she started out, unsure of how to respond.  “I just figured it would work.  It always works when they did it on t.v.”

“And it did work!  That was flawless.  We gotta talk, there’s nobody around here as clever as you.  Can I buy you dinner or something?”

“No offense”, Velma said as she waved her fingers in front of her face, “but you kinda reek.”

“Well, not right this second”, Gerald laughed.  “What about tonight?”  Gerald looked at the expression on Velma’s face.  “Right, maybe that’s too optimistic.”  He sniffed himself and winced.  “What about tomorrow night?  Mini-golf, nobody ever gets hurt playing mini-golf, right?”

“Are you serious?”  Velma honestly wasn’t expecting the reaction she got.  She thought he might be mad, maybe even yell.  She didn’t think he would ask her out.

“Well, sure.  Why not?”

“You don’t think is odd behavior?  Considering what I did to you?”

“It was all in fun, right?  Nobody got hurt.”

“I mean, yeah, but…”

“Am I not cute enough?  I know I’m a little off my game right this second, but I’m not entirely lame, right?”

“This is certainly a new approach”, Velma admitted.

“That means I get points for originality!”  Gerald threw his hands up in the air and hopped up and down, the stench on his clothes bouncing up and down with the fabric.  “So now you have to go out with me.”

“As long as this isn’t some big prank”, Velma warned.

“Nah, we’re square”, Gerald replied with a grin on his face.  “Listen, I’m going to go to the office and get the rest of the day off.  ‘Extenuating Circumstances’, and all that.  You go return the skunk.  I’ll pick you up tomorrow night.

“You don’t know where I live, you nut”, Velma laughed.

Phone numbers were exchanged.  Golfing happened.  Then dinner, then back and forth texting, then another dinner.  After two weeks, Gerald and Velma were attached at the hip.  She sat and played piano while he sang along.  He went to parties and introduced her around.  She went on walks and taught him all about the parks that he’d never seen.  The two exposed each other to their worlds while enjoying the others.  So when they were both cast in very different rolls in the school musical, they were quite happy for each other.

The spring musical was a zombie edition of West Side Story.  The teacher was obviously trying to boost attendance by making their version unique.  The students didn’t care, they were just happy to have an excuse to wear zombie make-up and fake-bite people.  Gerald was of course the lead.  Velma was quite happy to sit in the pit and play piano with the orchestra.  There was something great about her boyfriend on stage, singing and looking handsome.  It was probably helped that his family were the gangsters and the other side were the zombies.  But that only made it easier for her to watch when Gerald kissed zombie-Maria.  Gerald assured her that he had much more fun making out with her than making out with an actress with fake lips falling off her mouth.

Finally, they were at the last performance.  Summer vacation was only weeks away.  After this, closing night, Velma would never have to play these tunes again.  Naturally, Gerald and Velma had their own special schemes for the show.

The teacher, knowing full well what her students were like, had repeatedly instructed them not to go crazy on the last show.  There was a history of shenanigans that she didn’t approve of and she hoped that the performers respected themselves enough to treat their final night with dignity.  Not surprisingly, that only made Velma and Gerald plot all the more.

Neither had told each other of their plans.  They both danced right over the topic whenever their friends suggested that they “pull off the mother of all pranks”.  But they knew each other well enough to figure out something was up.

As Velma walked up to her piano, she pulled the music out of the piano bench and placed it in front of her.  The lights in the theater dimmed, the teacher walked up on stage, and Velma sat down without looking.

“Thuppppppppppwwwb!” was the sound that exploded from her seat.  Velma turned bright red as she realized what had happened.  Gerald’s best friend, Ray, had taken the first row audience seat.  That gave him the perfect perch to place the whoopee cushion on Velma’s bench.  Velma, still embarrassed, turned to Ray half furious and half impressed.  He smiled from ear to ear, gave her both thumbs up, and nodded that it was, in fact, he who had helped his friend.”  Velma shook her head and sat back down.  The other students around her giggled and looked at her.  She eventually regained her poise.  Gerald was going to get his.  He wasn’t the only one with friends in this show.

The first act went by without any snags.  The second act went by and one of the zombies’ arms fell off before the big fight scene, but that just gave the actors one more prop to throw around.  Finally, the final scene arrived.  Velma was distracted by her impatience and ended up skipping a few keys.  She adjusted, tried to get herself to focus, and turned her attention back to the page.  As the fight began, she found her eyes drifting back up to the stage.

The zombies were approaching slowly, and the street thugs started brandishing their knives.  Their cardboard and aluminum foil blades had seen better days.  The rehearsals, the shows, and general roughhousing had left the cardboard wobbly and the aluminum was falling off in places.  At least they still caught the stage lighting and sent it bouncing back to the audience.  And then, just as Velma had planned, Gerald reached for his blade.  His back pocket was empty.

Velma resisted the urge to clap with glee but knew the best was still to come.  A look of panic flashed briefly over Gerald’s face.  Anyone other than his close friends would have missed it, but to Velma it was like a big spotlight shining on his target.  Then, just as they had discussed, one of the street toughs handed Gerald a bow.  No arrows, just a bow.

Gerald darted a look to Velma.  She shrugged and lifted her fingers from the keys just long enough to make a “what can ya do” gesture.  Gerald almost broke into laughter.  He contained himself at the last moment and turned to the violinist at his feet.

“Compadre, might I borrow your bow?  Por favor?”  The dazed musician didn’t know what to do.  The audience, amused by the antics, laughed at this last minute change.  Dumbfounded, the violinist handed over his bow and stared at Gerald with wonder.  “Gracias, mi amigo”, Gerald replied.  He then turned to the zombies and proclaimed, “Stand back you unloving beasts!  I only want Maria for myself!  The way she moans and stares at me with those lifeless eyes… it’s just too much for any man to resist!  I just want to hold her hand and take her… somewhere, I dunno!  Now get back!  Back or I’ll shoot you with my bow and bow!”

Gerald did an admirable job of trying to notch the violinist’s bow in the archer’s bow, but it was simply too short.  The zombies charged and attacked his neck.  Maria began to moan her final song, but was quickly interrupted.

“Hey, I almost forgot”, Gerald replied as he sat up.  “Here, gives this back to the violinist, would ya?  I promised I would.”  The zombie-Maria only groaned in response.  “Gracias, babe.  Te quiero.”  Then Gerald fell dead on the floor as his head bounced off the wooden stage.  Maria only groaned as she rocked her dead boyfriend on the floor as her undead family gathered around her.  Then the curtain closed on their tragic scene.

As the applause started and the actors took their praise, Velma laughed.  It hadn’t been the fanciest prank, but it had taken him aback.  Really, that’s all she had wanted.  That’s what had gotten the two together in the first place.

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The Byronic Man

We can rebuild him. We have the technology... Drier. Hilariouser. More satirical than before.

The One Year Challenge

A one-year chronical of no flirting, no more dating and absolutely no sex.

Beth Amsbary

Workshop Leader, Storyteller, Grantwriter,