Clut said: “Zombies is no different than your average chicken ‘cept for one very crucial thing: Zombies’ll eat ya if they have half a sec. It’s true, I saw my brother Clem, God rest his soul, get his ass bit clear off when he was only mid grunt in a three coiler back in East Texas,”
Clut Jenkins of the New York Jenkins by way of the Shreveport Farnsworths clutched his trusty double barrel in both hands and looked out the third floor window of the Mercer and Mercer Harmonica Factory of Dallas. Cletus looked on.
Cletus had shown up that morning after a particularly long journey from his home in Lufkin in his ‘64 Ford pickup with his best girl Luissa Jenkins of the Shreveport Jenkins, no relation. They’d left two days before this at a quarter of three in the morning when they awoke to a sound that could only be described as an unwilling cat getting humped by a very eager elephant. When they slipped on their overalls and clambered down the narrow hallway of their nearly paid off Modular Home (352 more payments of 152.95) to little Billy Joes bedroom they found Grandma in a rather damning position. Grandma Flavel of the Lufkin Flavels was dead going on a year and half now and that what was left of her wrinkled 75 year old ass was hunkered over Billy Joe and her left arm that barely hung on by what looked like only a handful of Tendrils, was arm deep in Billy Joes entrails.
Luissa jumped hard on Grandma’s back and Luissa’s fingers dug in her rot and she clean went through her. “This was the last of my 5 youngins that ain’t been sent to Social Services and Kin be damned I ain’t gonna lose another,” she said.
Cletus grabbed Luissa by her hair and she slid into the trailer wall. Grandma was in two pieces and Green foam was caked on the sides of her mouth like broccoli in a Vegetarian’s teeth. Billy Joe looked on with that funny eye of his (he’d lost it two Halloweens prior when he shoved a Firecracker up Chin-Chin Jones’ cat’s ass and when he thought the cracker was a dud he picked up the cat and took himself a looksie.
Chin-chin was the crazy Vietnamese woman who was Farmer Johnson’s mail order bride from back in ’74- Farmer Johnson dead going on ten years now left her the house, the farm (three Cows a chicken, two roosters and a still) and a bottle of pickles he got off a ‘feller what passed through town in Summer of ’59 after the freak Frog storm that destroyed his Prized Pumpkin patch where farmer Johnson was growing what would have been the largest pumpkin in the county. Said the feller had a travellin’ Freak show, which turned out to actually be an Alligator, a Doberman with a Paper Mache Trunk Superglued on, a Bearded Man with high Estrogen, three pictures of Wild Bill Hickock’s 12 inch wang and a piece of gouda that was a year old and if you stared at it long enough you would swear it looked like the baby Jesus.
But the real show was in back and you had to pay an extra fifty cents to see that. To his dying day Farmer Johnson never said what he saw back there but the bottle of pickles was what he got after the intense experience. O’course ever since he'd had to use one them little Rubber Os to sit down and no one not even Chin-Chin asked.
The room smelled of Take out Fried chicken and week old gravy and although Cletus was the reigning Champion of Lard eatin’ his inside wanted to make a guest appearance on the linoleum and his luck probably do some magic tricks while it was there. Luissa was screaming like she’d done sat on the toilet and Cletus forgot to wipe the seat off. He pulled out his hogleg he always kept in the J.B. Hills he wore when he was sleeping. Two bullets- two brains- one draw.
Like the bloom of the Yellow Rose with flecks of grey, green and red Billy Joe and Grandma’s noggins opened up and they both twitched and kicked and then nothing.
After Cletus and Luissa stocked up on Ammo and artillery from Jenkins’ the local Hardware slash video rental place slash Subway slash 7-11 slash lotto store they were ready to go see how big brother Clut was doing in the big city but before they left town for good Cletus had one more stop.
Sylvia Harris-Quiroga of the Galveston Quiroga’s and the Killgore Harris’s; Cletus’ third grade teacher lived, on the second floor of the Merton Trust building across from the movie theatre that showed dirty movies. When Cletus was 13 he snuck in to the theatre with his then best friend Jimmy-James (they’d had a falling out in Grade 12 when Jimmy-James wanted to date Cletus’ cousin Loretta and Cletus had the hots for her and when they made her pick she chose Jimmy-James ‘on account he don’t look at her boobs when he talks at her’. Cletus tried to explain this was because Jimmy-James on a dare had been locked in a barn blind-folded with Belinda, Farmer Johnson’s favourite milking cow and was told it was Sissy, Jimmy-James’ own cousin whom he had acquired a small crush on after a skinny dippin’ session they all had in Miller Pond when they were drunk on Watermelon Wine one July the fourth holiday. Jimmy-James was only in the barn an hour before he came screaming out the back door with a milk moustache and a broken hand and right then swore off breasts for life) and were caught by Ms. Harris-Quiroga. It wasn’t until they were older that they come to question what she was doing in there as well.
Cletus climbed over the bodies strewn through the hallway and stairwell and came to 2B and blasted the door knob off without knocking. Ms. Harris-Quiroga was in the kitchen wearing curlers and a bunny suit. She had a half a chicken in one hand and a bottle of Green ketchup in the other. The second barrel of the Over-under Cletus was carrying took off most of her head save for the bottom row of teeth and her left ear hung like a mobile above a baby’s crib. Luissa made a mental note not to ask Cletus why he screamed, “Blind my ass, this is for Grade Three Sports Day.” The answer to the question Luissa later did ask on the trip to Dallas, Cletus said: ‘She was a Zombie? Prob'ly.'
Now it was Cletus, Clut, Luissa and Jerry from Marketing in the aforementioned third floor office waiting for Heaven to crash down because Hell had opened up.
Cacophony. Noise wrapped in din rolled in clamor and baked at 450 degrees to a nice black tumult bounced off walls and cars and slipped through broken windows and collapsed on flesh and brain-matter and topped off with a nice dollop of spittle surrounded our hapless heroes.
“You see,” said Clut. “Zombies ain’t like yer Vampires, yer Werewolves yer Swamp Men or even yer Halfandhalf Nephets Demon of the Inner Everglades of Miami. They ain’t like you and me. They ain’t got no Mama and Daddy that made em. Descartes was wrong; these things just ‘are’ and you best understand what that means: shoot first and be happy you're alive to ask questions later.'