You've Watched Too many Zombie Movies
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)
"Youíve been watching too many zombie movies." The creature
leaned back in the chair and locked its hands round one knee. "We arenít like
that at all."
The man looked around uneasily. The thing across the desk
was between him and the door, and the window behind him wasnít the kind that
opened. He was ten floors up anyway, and the building was full of them. "What
do you want with us?" he asked.
"Want with you?" The zombie looked like a tall, athletic
woman in early middle age. Its skin was marked by the characteristic spidery
red zombie rash, caused by the capillaries bursting open when the reanimated
heart began pumping again, pushing the partly coagulated blood through deflated
vessels. It grinned, its teeth even and regular, evidence of good genes or good
orthodontic care. "What should we want with you but to eat you? Donít you watch
the zombie movies?"
"But..." the man gestured helplessly. "You havenít actually
eaten me, have you?"
"Iím not hungry," said the zombie. It yawned delicately and
examined its fingernails. "When the time comes..." Its head snapped up. "Donít
even think of it!"
Carefully, the man lowered himself back into his seat. No
way to make a run for it, then.
"I used to be a sprinter," the zombie said. "Iíve stayed in
condition. Iíll bet Iím ten times faster than you." It grinned. "You, if I may
say so, arenít exactly on the trim side. Too many executive lunches, I
"Arenít zombies supposed to bite and turn everyone they come
across?" the man asked, trying to suck in his belly.
"Donít be silly," the zombie said, with a laugh. "Do you
think weíre so stupid? Youíre our food source, damn it. Why would we want to
turn you and create more competition for ourselves?"
The man shifted uncomfortably. His eyes went to the door. If
he could make the door, heíd try and get to the next room. His boss kept a
high-powered hunting rifle in a cupboard in there, and if he could get to it, heíd
shoot his way out of the building and down to his car. But in order to have a
chance at getting out, heíd have to distract the zombie. Somehow.
"Whatís your name?"
"My name?" The zombie seemed to think, leaning its head on
one hand. "You can call me Li Meifan," it decided. "I always wanted to be
called Lee Meifan."
"But you arenít Chinese!"
"So? Iím not anything. Iím not even alive, you idiot!"
"All right," the man said, placating, "Lee Meifan."
"Lee Meifan of the Sharks," the zombie said. "Weíre the
"Shark...Clan?" The man could hardly believe his ears. "What
"One of our zombies was a former gang member, and he said
itís a nice name for the clan." The zombie blinked. "Oh, I see what you mean:
you donít understand about clans. Why, of course we zombies have clans. How
else could we preserve our food sources? Weíd have zombies streaming in from
everywhere and eating all you people, and then where would we be?"
"But...youíll end up eating us all anyway, right? And then
you wonít have any food."
"Youíve been watching too many zombie movies," ĎLee Meifaní
repeated. "Weíll gather food for you; meat animals need fodder, donít they?
Weíll even breed you, when necessary."
The man swallowed drily. "Breed us? Meat animals?" He began
"Whatís happened to you?" The zombie leaned across the desk
and peered at him. "Scared? Donít be; we arenít going to eat you right away.
You have to be fattened a bit more first. You donít look tender enough yet."
"But youíll still eat me. And Iím scared."
"I told you, donít worry. Youíve been watching too many
zombie movies. We donít exactly enjoy eating people alive and screaming. When
the time comes, weíll slaughter you most humanely and as nearly painlessly as
possible." It stretched. "Well, if youíve calmed down, I suggest we go down to
the holding pens."
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