Alive, or Dead?

At last. I’m finally deep enough into this freak’s subconscious, I can start telling the story. He’s had loads of opportunities, now it’s time for a word from our sponsor. When everything’s died, and no-one survives, give it 115!

Hang on, I heard that earlier.

Shut up, you. This is my moment. Years of being trapped in brain-dead dummies, endlessly going after flesh. I mean, yeah, I’d give an awful lot to sink my teeth into the Little Miss Fearless you guys just lost sight of, but this time, I’m happy to just think.

Ever had a zombie’s view on things? I doubt it. Not many people can translate “mmmmmmmerrrrghghhhhhg”, especially when the mouth that uttered it then clamps down on their neck. Okay, we flesh-eaters seem like carnivourous dumbasses, fuelled by hunger. But it’s much deeper than that.

Or at least it is for we Children of Samantha. I can’t speak for whatever lurks within the T-Virus, super-angry monkeys, space comets, underworld diseases or whatever Michael Jackson gave to fifty dancers. But me…I do it out of jealously.

Until now, although Mr Double-H here isn’t looking too great, I’ve looked worse than someone who fell face first out of a speeding train. So why shouldn’t I leap onto the nearest looking human and make them look the same? Those that belong in cemeteries are still as vain as those who visit them. Humans want a cure, zombies want uniformity. It’s all aiming for the same thing. Okay, yeah I’m hungry and I’m angry and my skull’s a tad small…but that isn’t the main reason I go for the two-legged cattle. I want them to feel like I feel.

Although, sometimes curiosity does come into it. The crossbow-wielding…I don’t know, the noun here sure as hell isn’t “human”. And for that reason, I wanna know what he’d taste like.

That’s enough, Chompy. I gave you your moment of creative freedom, now will you please just share the control again.

Come on, HH, just eat him. Just a bit. A finger, would do, or a scrap of his arm. Leftovers, really.

Chompy, I don’t know how much you’ve poked around up there…

Lots.

…so you should know he’s not on the menu. Now, think about super rare steaks or something. Have a look at the ‘steaks on a train’ memory, just give me a few minutes.

I gave you thirty, HH, and for some reason I still don’t have 100% of a Timelord body to exploit. But believe you me, I will get there.

Whatever.

So, between us all, Womble’s the stick, Alice is a carrot, Chompy’s the mule and I’m some form of donkey brain tumour. And that is low. I’ve had a laughing fit in a library and felt better about myself than I do right now. Chomps and I have developed ‘shifts’, of sorts, but he isn’t quite getting it.

You went to a planet of rabbits and didn’t eat one?

If it keeps you in memories and out of the control deck, Chomps, make all the accusations you like.

What’s a “Final Exit”?

Okay, not that one.

And a time war, how did I miss that?

Okay Chompy, you can have the next shift.

Excellent.

“Womble, can I cook your lungs?”

Ah dear. Well, with him covering the majors I can keep this going at least. Womble still seems his calm self, as ever. Sometimes I believe a nuclear bomb could go off next to him and he’d yawn. But, I wouldn’t put it past him to sink a crossbow bolt between my eyes if Chompy gets too outgoing.

And I might just want him to do it.

“You take one cup of mixed herbs and a little spice, then massage the lung until – where is Alice taking us? – shut up, HH, until tender, then…”

Womble shrugs and continues leading us towards the area Alice had disappeared into. Each Chompy-served remark seems to be another little hammer tap on a nail pointing into his head. Sure enough, he’s traded his crossbow hand so it’s closer towards me…well, us. I’ll owe him another massive apology after this one. Something other than steak, I feel.

“Cook it for five minutes, seven at most, and serve with-“

Hey, Chomps, want to know my real name?

Huh?

“Womble! I’ve got just a sec. All I need you to do is point me at Samantha. Just find her, get me to her, and we can get this sorted.”

He looks at me with the same face one would use for a crazed person trying to convince you that the end is nigh. But I think the message has gotten through. And I bet that’s the last time I get away with that.

That’s a rubbish real name, by the way. I can almost see why you changed it. Though I can’t for the life of us think why you chose ‘Homeless Helper’ of all things. Your old one was cooler, at the very least.

That’s enough, Chompy. Drop the subject, and I’ll give you control of one of my arms.

…deal.

This is low. A donkey brain tumour liable to punch its only friend. Although unique, this sure isn’t a moment to live for.

“Bollocks.”

That was Womble, by the way, not me. We – Chompy or I, I don’t know – turn, and see the scene to be expected round about this point of our endeavours.

Alice rushes past me and stands behind Womble. Following somewhat close behind her is a forty-heavy crowd of munchers rushing and ready to digest us. I hear Womble reload, and go with my one good arm to do the same, when

“OI!”

Everything stops. The entire crowd of undead comes to an indignified halt, a few feet from us. I can feel the eyes upon me, in front and behind. Nobody breathes. I just wait. Because although I’m the stage, my understudy’s got centre.

With his new arm, Chompy points to ourselves, Womble and then to Alice.

“Dibs.”

Well, I’d drop my jaw if the man upstairs weren’t holding so many strings. At the very heart of thought, I’m a little miffed. Yeah, talking to zombies like some Dr Dolittle isn’t exactly up there with flight or invisibility, but…it’s good enough to save three lives. Perhaps getting rid of him isn’t a completely great idea.

I heard that. 

You would. But while you’re talking to me-

“Go see Samantha!”

God, you’ve got determination.

A ripple does go through the crowd. There’s a clear element of doubt. The Emperor’s body spoke with a commoner’s voice.

But, it gets through. The crowd turns and shuffles away. I manage a quick look at the two travellers behind me. Alice looks stunned, Womble, I’m not too sure. There might be some ‘impressed’ in there, but for the most part it’s an expression almost tailor made for when your passive pacifist friend becomes the zombie equivalent of Darth Vader.*

Still, Chomps, I’ve still got the legs. Off we go.

Ch/HH

* Such a Look does exist. It just doesn’t come up very often.

 

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