As the sun rose on another clear and sparkling Edinburgh morning, I was awoken from a deep sleep by a strong breeze coming in through the bed sized hole in the hotel room window and out again through the Ellie sized hole in the hotel room door. I lay there blinking for a few seconds before turning over and going back to sleep, as I do every morning. I waited until it was really urgently crucial that I get out of bed before I peed on the carpet and ruined my one set of underpants. I stepped through the Ellie sized hole in the bathroom door and had one of those gloriously satisfying morning pees. I timed it at forty five seconds; almost a new record.
Suddenly, I performed a melodramatic double take and stared in anguished horror at the holes in the doors. If my eyes could have extended on stalks, they would have done so. I stood by the toilet staring at the shattered bathroom door (underwear around my ankles and willy in hand) for about fifteen minutes before I realised that I was going to have to try to find Ellie and bring her under my control.
It wasn’t difficult to see where Ellie had gone. Here’s a little tip for any of you that ever have to track down a renegade zombie; follow the gore. I couldn’t help feeling in some way responsible as I followed the trail of blood, limbs and hollowed out heads from the hotel through the Edinburgh streets. I shrugged off the feeling of guilt by reminding myself that this whole mess could have been avoided if Ellie had just given up Jacq’s address before I started torturing her to death.
As we all know, a zombie bite spreads the infection. Using my incredible powers of mental arithmetic, I managed to calculate a rough minimum estimate of how many zombies Ellie had managed to turn on her journey through the streets (based on a ratio of severed heads to all other easily identifiable body parts – not exactly the most scientific method, but I’d like to see you do any better.) I reckoned I was facing at least twenty zombies. I guessed that they would have flocked around Ellie, like moronic penguins around their king.*
This guess was proved correct, when I turned a corner to discover a large group of zombies milling around outside a house looking confused. I couldn’t see Ellie anywhere among the crowd, but it didn’t take me long to spot her. She was inside the ground floor flat, with her lips pressed to the window, blowing her cheeks out.
“Idiot”, I said to myself. Unfortunately, I said this a little too loudly, as the crowd of twenty or more zombies heard me and began lurching in my direction.
Luckily for me, they were the traditional slow moving, George A Romero style zombies and not the new fangled, fast paced, frankly CHEATING zombies of, for example, 28 Days Later. Seriously, how fast do you think a reanimated corpse should be moving? I mean, really? These guys I was facing up against here were the real McCoy. None of your nonsense.
So, slow moving as they were, it was clear to me what I should do. I had kept hold of the sword I’d taken from Ellie’s flat. Drawing this very carefully from where I’d tucked it into the front of my trousers, I charged the zombies with something approaching sublime joy. It had been a dream of mine for quite some time to attack a horde of zombies and I was not going to let the opportunity pass.
In hindsight, a little practice with the sword would not have gone amiss. Chopping off a head isn’t as easy as martial arts films would have you think it is. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up smacking zombies on the ear with the flat of your sword, and that just doesn’t work, let me tell you. After flailing around for five minutes or so, I had managed to behead a couple of zombies and several more were on the floor, holding their ears, but it was clear to me that I was about to be overwhelmed. I was just about to give up, say my prayers to Crom and prepare for an honourable zombie death, when I heard, from the edge of the attacking horde, a loud “CLANG!”
“Don’t die just yet, Matt,” called a voice I thought I knew. The voice was followed by several more loud clangs. Conscious that someone was coming to my rescue, I began hacking at zombie necks with a renewed vigour. Before long, the final zombie was twitching its death throes and I was brought face to blood-spattered face with my rescuer.
“No, don’t die just yet, Matt” Jacq grinned at me. In her hand, covered in gore, was the same frying pan I had narrowly avoided being beaten to death with only a short time ago. “I have far grander plans for you than being merely eaten by a few zombies.”
The house Ellie had made straight for after escaping the hotel was, of course, Jacq’s. As she prodded me in the back with the frying pan handle, guiding me through her front door, I realised that clearly, here was a necromancer more powerful than even myself. Was there anything this pain in my arse couldn’t do?? Jesus. As I entered her hallway, I was gratified to find at least one answer to that question.
“Ha! Interior decorating!” I laughed in triumph, as I surveyed her ugly old house.
“Shut up and sit down,” said Jacq, smacking me in the small of the back with the frying pan and sending me sprawling into a rather comfortable armchair. Lena sprang, as if from nowhere and proceeded to chain me in place. A little too tight, to be perfectly frank. Typically, as soon as she’d finished rendering me immobile, I needed to scratch my bum.
“I’ve got an itch,” I told Jacq, squirming.
“Ignore it and it’ll go away.”
“No! It’s really annoying me!!” I can whine like a toddler when I really want to. Jacq heaved a deep sigh, produced a back scratcher and administered relief. “Thank you. Did you get my cheque, by the way?”
“Yes, thank you. It was a bit too much, to be honest. I was going to… Look shut up will you?? I’m not holding you captive so that we can exchange idle chit chat!”
“Oh!” I was a little disappointed, “so why did you…?”
“I’m getting to that!” Jacq exclaimed, tetchily, “God! How a moron like you managed to become my nemesis, I’ll never know.”
“Look, Jacqui, I…”
“DON’T CALL ME JACQUI!! I’LL KILL YOU!” She screamed. Women, eh?
“Lena!” Jacq snapped her fingers at Lena and gestured towards me. Lena came at me, grinning demonically and taped my mouth shut with Sellotape. The actual brand Sellotape, so I knew it was going to stay stuck. Sellotape: for all your hostage taking needs (ker-ching!)
“Now,” said Jacq, as she took a seat opposite me, “you’re going to sit there in silence, while I tell you a thing or two. And if you even THINK about escaping, talking or doing ANYTHING without my approval, you’ll be zombie food!” She nodded towards Ellie, who had come away from the window and was staring at me hungrily. And not in a sexy way.
“Mmmph!” I said, which I think Jacq decided to take as submission.
“Ok then. Lena, put the kettle on, please. Thanks.” With a final bloodthirsty look in my direction, Lena disappeared into the kitchen as Jacq, demonstrating a serious lack of James Bond film knowledge, began to reveal her dastardly scheme. I seriously couldn’t believe it. What a schoolboy error.
I settled into the armchair and began to plan my escape.
*For more on moronic penguin habits I refer you to David Attenborough’s “Stupid Penguin Shitheads: Freezing My Nuts off with Nature’s Simpletons.” For more on the Penguin King, I refer you to my own works “The Penguin King – He Totally Exists” and the lesser known “A Fish Diet: One Man’s Attempt to Overthrow the Penguin King.”