Monsters vs. Zombies
Zombiepalooza gets a classic monster mash-up from author Robin Reed with Monsters vs. Zombies. If you enjoy the story, be sure to go to www.barstowproductions.com for more information.
As the sun died behind the Pacific Ocean, breakfast stumbled across Sunset Boulevard.
It was a little early for the man to be so drunk, Tomas thought, but if that made it easy to grab a quick bite after waking up on this fine Los Angeles evening, he wasn’t going to argue. Jokes aside, alcohol in a victim’s bloodstream didn’t even give a vampire a buzz. Undead livers don’t process liquor or anything else.
From a rooftop, Tomas kept his eye on the prize.. As soon as he was sure no one would see, he would snatch the victim up and drain him. After that light aperitif, he would perform the most important function of any vampire’s day – making sure he looked good – then proceed to some serious hunting.
He felt Kamaria approach from behind. She put a hand on his shoulder. “You can do better than that one,” she said.
“Just an appetizer,” Tomas said.
She laughed that delightful laugh, in which he could hear the soul of ancient Africa. Every time he heard it, he shivered with the freedom she brought to him as he rode in a wagon, purchased like livestock, chained, and on the way to a life of servitude.
Picking his moment, when the drunken man paused in an unlit space between street lights, Tomas glided down to claim his first meal of the night. He took the man under his arms and flew up to another roof, a favorite feeding spot behind a five story billboard where the latest big movie release was trumpeted to the world.
Before he even put his victim down, he knew something was wrong. The smell of a living human being is intoxicating to a vampire. It is the smell of life, of energy, of another night of immortality. This fellow was rot, and ruin, and real death rather than undeath.
Tomas backed away from the thing. Normally he would bitten the man’s neck and sucked the lifeblood from his veins very quickly. He couldn’t imagine doing that. The victim reeked, and it wasn’t natural decay. There was an emptiness in the thing, a lack of the glorious life and soul that usually came with the blood.
Kamaria landed under the movie billboard and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“He’s…dead,” Tomas said.
As if to argue the point, the man turned towards the two vampires. He wore a suit, and it was still neat. He hadn’t been this way for long. He seemed about to speak, perhaps introduce himself. The sound he made, though, was inarticulate, a grunt combined with a moan. His nose was missing.
“Ugh,” Kamaria said. “It’s a demon. No, I sense no taint of hell. I have never seen its like in all my years.
That was saying something, Kamaria’s years went back to a time when all the people of the world lived in Africa. Tomas had known her for almost three hundred years, but he often felt like a child next to her.
He realized he shouldn’t have taken his eyes off the man to look at his lover when his left hand exploded in pain. “OW!” he shrieked, in a very un-vampire-like way. The thing was biting him!
It didn’t bite for long, partly because it backed off with an expression of disgust on its noseless face, and partly because Kamaria backhanded it so hard that it’s head almost came off. Attached by the spinal cord alone, the man looked behind himself and upside down for a second, then turned and walked backwards, mouth chomping at nothing.
“Get rid of it,” Kamaria said. Tomas lifted the thing from behind and threw it off the roof.
“Look at this,” Kamaria called. Tomas went to her. She stood looking over Sunset Boulevard. A group of humans – and humans they were, they gave off the fresh healthy scent of blood – ran down the center of the street. Tomas realized that there was no traffic. He should have noticed that earlier. Hunger must have narrowed his focus too much.
More slowly, some of the dead things pursued the humans. Tomas’s enhanced senses saw what the humans did not, that they were running towards another pack of the dead. Death both chased and awaited them, and they would not escape.
“Should we…save the humans?” Tomas asked. “These things are some sort of cousins of ours, predators of the living.”
“They are nothing like us,” Kamaria said. She very rarely became emotional, but he sensed a rage boiling within. “Vampires are civilized monsters. We do not destroy the entire species. Look further, see the city these things have made.”
From the Sunset Strip. set on the side of a mountain, the view of Los Angeles was usually a thing of beauty, with lights in square patterns that stretched to the sea and to another set of mountains far to the south.
Large sections of the light grid were dark, and fires dotted the valley floor. Smoke obscured parts of the view. The new monsters caused more than death, they were chaos incarnate.
Kamaria launched herself towards Sunset Boulevard, with Tomas following. They tore into the packs of dead things, tearing off heads and limbs with abandon. Most were quite fresh, but some seemed to have crawled from the grave. They felt no pain, and no injury seemed to stop them.
Then a snarl and an animal stench filled the air. Something else attacked the walking dead, something with teeth and claws. It went for the heads of the things, tearing into the brains until they fell and stayed down.
When no more dead stood, the werewolf turned to Tomas and showed its many teeth. One fang gleamed gold in the streetlight.
“Lazarko,” Tomas said. The wolf formed into his human shape, a plump, balding businessman from the Russian community in West Hollywood. Somehow Lazarko always returned to human form with clothing on, plus a number of gold chains around his neck. An expensive gold watch gleamed at his wrist, and the golden fang became a human canine tooth, still made of gold.
“You gotta destroy their brains,” Lazarko said. “That’s the only way to kill ’em.”
“What are these things?” Tomas asked.
“Where have you guys been? Oh, right, you don’t have cable news in your coffins. The TV is calling them zombies. It started this morning. Dead people all rose up and started eating living people. It’s all over the world, too.
“Too bad the humans all escaped,” Kamaria said. “I’m working up quite an appetite.”
Tomas shook his head. “We’re saving humans, yet still need to feed on them. I’m confused.”
“These – zombies – must be stopped,” Kamaria said.
“Good luck with that,” Lazarko said. “I’m going to find a place to hide.”
“They will find you,” Kamaria said. “You are human most of the time.”
“The first one I found didn’t like the taste of me,” Tomas added. “I bet you are pretty tasty. You can’t be a wolf all the time.”
“Hi guys!” A voice said behind Tomas. He knew this voice, and wished he didn’t.
“Hi, Greg.” Greg was from the other major community in West Hollywood.
Kamaria gazed at the new, transparent addition to their party. She didn’t share Tomas’ dislike of the ghost, she said she had known many like him, both alive and dead.
“Too bad what’s going on, huh?” Greg asked. “All the underworlders are upset. The goblins in the park, the trolls under the freeways, even the movie producers.”
“You give me an idea, Greg,” Kamaria said.
“Really? What?” Greg the Gay Ghost said.
“We must summon the monsters, the shades, the demons. All those who live on the edges of the human world and want it back the way it was.”
“We enter the underworld, and bring all its denizens together in this cause.”
“That’s impossible.” Lazarko waved his hands to emphasize how impossible this was.
“It must be done.”
Tomas said, “Kamaria has a lot of contacts in the underworld. If she says that’s what we do, I’m with her.”
The ebon vampires, the werewolf in the gold jewelry, and the gay ghost posed dramatically for a few seconds. Then Tomas asked, “How do we get there?”
“I have my SUV.” Lazarko pointed at the giant vehicle he had left at an angle in the middle of Sunset Boulevard.
The monsters set out to save the world in a Cadillac Escalade.