...the shambling figures reached the end of the line, the fans were gasping and gagging at the smell but they refused to move and lose their spots. They stood their ground, even when the figures fell upon them, biting and tearing at their flesh.
Two chubby Darth Mauls were fighting for their lives against a hoard of sickly-looking creatures whose clothes and flesh hung off their frames in tatters. The Darth Mauls swung their plastic, double-ended light sabers futilely. The roar and crackle of the embedded sound effects chips was soon drowned out by screams.
Mark felt his knees go watery, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
“We’ve gotta get out of here,” Alec said.
“What?” Mark asked.
“Those are zombies. Real zombies!”
“But…” Mark said, “…the movie...”
“I think this showing is canceled.”
All the fans started to run at once, several Jedis tripped over their costumes and were easy prey. Mark was smart enough to lift up his robes like a girl skipping over a puddle, “This is just my damn luck.”
“It’s not all about you buddy,” Alec led him back to where they were parked. The Spectrum Theater was bordered on one side by a residential neighborhood and on the other by a small playground. Crossing the street was treacherous business; cars were careening this way and that, ignoring traffic lights and stop signs. They had to run for it. Alec lead the way, “Come on.”
Just as Mark set his foot off the sidewalk he heard a dull thump and turned to see the fat guy wearing Princess Leia’s metal bikini crash through the windshield of a speeding truck. The truck careened sideways and slammed into a utility pole. Thrashing, snapping wires and sparks rained down on the crumpled vehicle
“Oh my God,” Mark couldn’t move; he could only watch the horde of hungry dead converge on the truck. They clawed their way through the shattered windshield, bare feet oblivious to the broken glass. Occasionally a power line would catch one of them and it would be blown backwards, only to get back up again a moment later.
Mark glanced to his right to see another group of the zombies heading their way. How many of these things were there? Why wasn’t someone doing something?
Alec gave him a shove, “Keep moving.”
They slowed to walk near the edge of the playground. Alec looked around, “Where’s the Falcon?”
Alec had named his car the Millennium Falcon 2, and while the rusty compact wasn’t much to look at, it could make a Taco Bell run in record time.
“You got towed didn’t you?” Mark said.
“They can’t have towed me.”
“You parked right in front of a No Parking Sign!”
Alec raised a finger, “No. I parked behind the No Parking sign and in front of a No Stopping or Standing sign. I was effectively in a parking neutral zone, a no man’s land just big enough for an AMC Gremlin.”
“Then why didn’t you say so before?”
“I did say so before!”
“Hey,” Alec said, “We’re gonna have company.”
Alec looked down the block, more zombies were heading their way, some were dressed in suits slit up the back, the rest wore bloodied rags, “Oh boy. Here we go again.”
“Let’s head for the main drag.” Mark said, “There’s got to be a cop or an army recruiting station- somebody with guns.”
They made their way through the residential neighborhood. The houses were modest two story affairs, with narrow yards and long walkways. Occasionally they would spy a door hanging open or a shape lumbering past a shattered picture window. A cloying foulness hung in the air, it kept Mark running, even though his lungs were aching. Alec tagged behind him, cursing under his every breath. Off in the distance they could hear sirens and shouts.
Three blocks later they were barely running, twice Alec had paused to lean on one of the majestic old trees and throw up. The single keening note of a car horn grew louder with every footstep. They slowed their pace to a walk and saw a red Escort sitting in a driveway with the engine running and its doors hanging open. A figure was slumped over the steering wheel.
“Finally some good luck,” Alec said.
Mark looked at him disbelievingly, “We’re going to steal a car?”
“I’ve kept my arrest record clean for a situation just like this.”
They drew closer, they could see now that the man slumped over the steering wheel had massive wounds in his neck and arms- bite marks. Blood congealed on the dashboard and the windshield; it traced a path down the man’s clothes to pool in his lap.
Mark drew back, “You really want to drive in that disgusting mess? What am I saying? This is the man that had chipmunks living in the back seat of his Gremlin…”
“Hey!” Alec grabbed the body to pull it free, “I still insist those chipmunks were planted by my ex-wife.”
The body fell back from the steering wheel, the blaring horn stopped. The sudden silence left Mark’s ears ringing. Alec pulled the body again but it just swayed in the seat. “Come help me,” Alec said, “he’s stuck.”
“He’s buckled in,” Mark fidgeted in place but didn’t move any closer, “look lets just keep going. Central Avenue is just a few blocks away. There’s got to be someone that can help. All you’re going to do is get us in some kind of trouble.”
“I find your lack of faith in me disturbing.” Alec said with a smile.
Suddenly the body reared up. It clawed at Alec, grabbing hold of his hat and shirt. Its mouth lolled open in anticipation, drooling cold rivulets of blood and spittle...
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