The Zombie Of George Romero
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)
The Zombie of George Romero clambered out of its coffin
and stood peering blearily around.
"Can't see a damned thing
without my glasses," it mumbled to itself. "Where are my damned glasses?"
Bending, it began hunting around with its hands, but it didn't find the
glasses, and no wonder, because they'd been purloined by a crazed souvenir
hunter who'd long since auctioned it on eBay. At that moment the spectacles
were somewhere in the depths of Darkest Australia, in the possession of a
crocodile wrangler who used them to frighten the animals into submission.
"This is a pretty mess,"
the Zombie of George Romero mumbled, as well as a corpsecan mumble.
"How the hell am I supposed to go through undeath without seeing where I'm
Still muttering balefully,
it wandered out of the mortician's parlour. It was midnight, so there wasn't
anyone on the premises, but the downside was that the door was locked. But the
Zombie of George Romero wasn't a zombie for nothing, so it broke its way out at
the cost of only a few broken bones in one arm.
"Now," it wondered, as it
stumbled down the pavement, staggering a little because its dead muscle fibres
didn't contract so well anymore, "just what on earth am I supposed to do? Where
am I going anyway?"
This was a serious
problem, which took a lot of cogitation. The zombie's brain had suffered the
effects of dying, of course, and hadn't come intact back from the dead. Huge
chunks of memory were missing.
"I'll just go along like
this for the moment," the Zombie thought, finally, "and see what happens."
It was a cold night, and
rain began falling. Since the Zombie of George Romero no longer had a
functioning heart or flowing blood, it began to get chilled. "Must get warm,"
it thought, and at that moment saw a supermarket which was still open.
"Bright lights," it
mumbled to itself. "Maybe it will be warm in there." By now its legs were so
cold that it couldn't move them even as well as it was earlier, and was in
danger of falling on its face. So it held its arms stiffly forward to try and
balance, and staggered towards the blur of red, white and blue light.
The supermarket was almost empty at this time of night,
and the clerk at the check-out desk was surfing porn on his mobile phone when a
shadow fell across his counter. Annoyed at the interruption, and also worried
in case it was some family-values type who had caught a glimpse of the screen,
he put the phone into his pocket before he looked up.
"What can I do for -" he
began, trying to stretch his lips into a smile - of course, only the
minimum, standard smile the store management demanded of its employees. "For
you," he finished foolishly, the smile freezing in place, well short of the
Across the counter stood
an apparition, slack-jawed, bleary-eyed, dressed in a corpse's burial suit. Its
jaw hung open, and it moaned as it staggered. With its stretched out arms, it
pawed across the counter at the clerk.
The clerk screamed.
Desperately, pushing his chair back from the desk, he tried to get up, but the
space was so small that in his panic he couldn't. Goggle-eyed, he glared up at
the thing across the counter, gasping for breath.
The Zombie of George
Romero was astonished. It had merely meant to ask the clerk if it was OK for it
to rest a while and warm itself. When it had tried to talk, however, it had
found that its dead diaphragm couldn't move well enough to push air out of its
lungs to speak. So it could only moan helplessly.
"Are you all right?" it
tried to ask, but it just came out as another moan. The clerk didn'tlook all
right. In fact, he looked pretty damned bad, even to the Zombie's myopic eyes.
The Zombie tried to move closer to the counter, and its legs almost collapsed
under it with the effort. Only with a quick grab at the edge of the desk did it
manage to stop itself from falling.
"Sorry," the Zombie
apologised. "I'm still getting used to -"
The clerk interrupted with
a hoarse scream. He began screaming louder and louder, until it began to get on
the Zombie's dead nerves. Turning away, it began wandering towards the back of
the supermarket, wandering through the aisles of produce looking for someone
else to ask. But the bright lights and the shiny surfaces were confusing to its
myopic eyes, and it couldn't really see a thing.
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