The Make-Shift Desecration of a Teenage Doomsday
When the world ended, all that was left in the desolate streets of Hollywood were the rock bands and zombie fans. Running amok in the downtown war zones and skid row barricades, the sub-nuclear fallout shelters were packed with underground survivors of the cataclysmic double-whammy of World War III and the zombie apocalypse. Everyone above the age of twenty-five died within minutes of the viral outbreak (Don’t ask me how; no one knows). It was only us now: Gangs of Neo-punk rockers and Cannibal greasers roamed the city of Lost Angels, battling for control while maintaining the population of undead jerks, scavenging millennials, and out of work baristas. This sounds like something a twenty-something art school major would make up on some blog, but no this is all real. You can deny the outbreak is happening and even convince yourself it’s all over, but in the end, the ugly truth shows up to remind you that this is how your life will be from now on.
I often reminisced about my life before the world came crumbling down. Not that it was anything special. We were a generation of doomed and damned children anyway. At least that’s what the songs said and what the billboards read: “We’re floating bodies in the rivers of asphalt and Vicodin flavored ice cream.” I was twenty years old and still stuck at home. My dad was on the other side of the world selling phone apps to the German market and my mom was addicted to green tea frappucinos, tanning beds, and John Mayer concerts.
Sometimes I wanted to stay submerged in my pool, muffled from the world above, so I could watch it play out through a moist silent planet of my own isolation. At least I still had Felicity, my long-time girlfriend who was stuck on the other side of the city. That’s why I was putting myself through so much danger and death. I had to find her before it was too late.
I was stuck in the interconnecting sewer drains of Beverly Hills along with the parking structures and steel tunnels that led underneath Wilshire Boulevard. You could hear the scattered footsteps and low moaning of the undead above us all the time, dragging their rotting feet against the asphalt. There were hundreds of us crammed together in the tunnels, just a bunch of kids huddled like homeless sardines with broken iphones and no purpose. I needed to get out of there, not just for my sanity, but to reach my girlfriend.
It was like being on a movie set to a crappy 80s sci-fi flick: Steel pipes running above your heads, steam spraying randomly from the valves, people wearing rags and looking like crusty shit. It was a sad excuse of a post-apocalyptic struggle. You had groups of teens reading aloud the Cliff Notes version of the Bible while others implemented zombie survival tactics learned from video games. Some of the older kids developed a loose system of bartering & haggling for supplies, but most of the time it was survival of the fittest. I pushed through the aisles of hobbling teens and made my way to the scavenge booth. I nearly tripped onto the high-raised counter where a massively obese guy sat going through the inventory of the daily pickings. He looked like a regular Dungeon Master gone pro in a fucked-up predicament of recent events.
“What you got, what you need?” he blurted to me without looking. He had two bodyguards on either side of the counter hold one of my arms. I pulled my arm out of the bodyguards grasp so I could rummage through my backpack.
“I need someone to help me get across the city,” I told the fat man/boy. He looked over at me, scratching his blemished face and patchy beard. He laughed at me, snorting arrogantly.
“I can’t help you with that, Chicken Little.”
“Do you know of anyone that can?” I pleaded.
He crossed his arms and tilted his neck suggestively.
“Maybe I do and maybe I don’t.”
I reached into my bag and pulled out a couple of Butterfinger bars and an mp3 player with half a charge of battery. I tossed them onto the counter. The fat man pulled them up to inspect them. He felt the wrapper of the candy, noticing that most of it wasn’t crushed or broken. He turned the mp3 player on and off again.
“Go find a guy name Harvey. He should be in the collecting square behind that old Whole Foods shithole. He makes trips in and out of here and always comes back clean. He knows this city’s new layout better than anyone.”
I took the express rail car to the old Whole Foods down the street. I hopped out of the smelly train cart and stepped over the piles of rat carcasses littered in the tube. As I entered the next station, tons of kids came up to me, begging me for food and asking where their parents were. I couldn’t help even if I wanted to. I climbed the steps up towards the street level, which had been blocked off and barricaded. The Whole Foods building and parking lot was made into an assemblage checkpoint for teams to reconvene with supplies from their trips inside the city.
I could hear a long spray of gunfire echo down the street with screams and hollers of panic, followed by the snarling and screeching of the undead. After a moment of chaos I watched as several older boys came running through the iron-welded blockade fence.
They sprinted inside the fence, panting and clutching their knees. As the security detail closed the metal fence, I could hear an insurgence of loud rock music cranked up. A large vehicle I couldn’t see sped past the fences with absurd noises and taunting people whistling to the recently arrived men. The zombie herd clawed at the fences, drooling and moaning like nightmarish ghouls with heroin withdrawals. The surviving members of the team threw down their equipment. “Um, excuse me!” I called out to the exhausted people making their way towards the descending stairs. “Hi, yeah I’m looking for someone to take me out through the city. I’m looking for someone named Harvey.”
No one responded; they all ignored me.
I tried to ask around again. I didn’t blame them for not being interested, for the needs of the many (or few) have turned to the selfish endeavor. I should have just given up.
“Why they hell do you want to go out there anyway?” a voice said from behind me. I turned around and looked at the uninterested, but curious man with ragged hair and sporting a plethora of travel gear on his body.
“I need passage through the city to the valley on the other side,” I told him desperately. He pulled a cigarette out from his pocket and lit it. “Why?” he asked, eyeing me.
“I’m trying to meet up with someone and I need someone named Harvey to get me there. Do you know him?”
“Why would I help you?” he questioned.
“Oh wait, so you’re Harvey?”
He rolled his eyes. “Why else would I be talking to you?”
Harvey walked past me looking over the injured teenagers clutching their wounds. I followed him, hoping to convince him to help me.
“Listen, I need a guide into No Man’s Land. I’m trying to find my girlfriend in Pasadena. They say you’re the best at moving on ground.” Harvey quickly traded half a pack of cigarettes with a nearby guard. “Why the hell do you want to trek across that wasteland to find some dead piece of ass?” He rebuked insensitively.
“She’s alive and I know it. Look, it doesn’t matter; I can pay you.”
“With what?” he blurted, turning around at me. “What resources could you offer me? Oh let me guess, you one of those rich white kids who lived in the Hollywood Hills, huh? How is that helping you survive now?” he ranted, “Most of these fuckin’ hipsters don’t know what to do with themselves. They’re completely useless. I got a bunch of guys in the tunnels who are still trying to get their Xbox LIVE accounts back up and you want me to escort you through the most hellish place on earth so you can be reunited with your girlfriend?”
“Yes,” I told him stubbornly.
“What the fuck man…”
“But, hey, maybe me being a former rich kid will benefit you if you decide to help me.” I teased him about my method of payment. I could tell he was a least curious about my offer.
“Ok, what you got Little Man?”
“You help me find my girlfriend, then you can have this.” I held up a ring of keys.
“What is that to?”
“This is my dad’s private Malibu beach house. It’s all locked up and secure. I even have the passcodes for the security. It’s fully stocked and I know he has at least a few guns inside.”
“I don’t know man; I’m not even sure I should—,”
“…and he has his silver Mercedes in the garage.”
“Fine, deal.” Harvey accepted as he thrusted his hand out. I shook it. “We’ll leave in fifteen minutes. What’s your name?”
“Typical. Okay, meet me by the fence, I got to take a wiz.”
Most of the guards and loitering lowlifes thought we were crazy to travel out into the urban decaying city and in some ways we really were as crazy as they assumed. I was determined to reach Felicity at any cost and Harvey was willing to put his life on the limb for a sweet pad and a pair of expensive wheels. It all evened out, but I wondered how a guy like Harvey survived so many times on his own.
“Simplicity, Little Dude,” he told me as we treaded around the corner of a bank. “Large groups of people leave too much room for error; it over complicates things. I get in, get out, and I watch my own back. Nothing to it, other than being prepared for any situation that comes your way.”
“How can you be prepared for every situation?” I humored him. He held his arm up, signally for me to crouch behind him. He checked the street and noticed a few zombie dickheads stumbling by a Redbox kiosk. We rushed across the street and took an alley way around them.
“You have to be able to think under pressure,” Harvey continued the conversation like it was nothing. “There’s always a solution to every problem.”
Harvey definitely seemed like the type of guy who could go on fighting in this new augmented world of fears and terrors. I wish I had enough moxie and guts to do what he did unhinged. I nearly panicked every time gravel unsettled under my shoes.
We were trailing the edge of Downtown Los Angeles making sure to stay away from the center. We walked past the eye-sore that was the Walt Disney Concert Hall and avoided a dozen or so Walkers feasting on a bunch of dumbass Abercrombie & Fitch models held up in a 24-hour Fitness Gym. The deep metropolitan areas were becoming dangerous so Harvey advised me to arm myself with some protection.
“So I got to ask, man,” Harvey stared out. “What makes you think your girl is even alive at this point?”
“When it was all going down,” I recounted my backstory, “I was out with friends in Huntington Beach and she was at her home. For a while I had my phone on me and we kept in contact. I tried to find a way to her but it was too chaotic,” I told him the best I could. “I was worried that I would never see her again, but the last message she sent to me said that she locked herself in the panic room of her house. There’s enough food, water, and supplies in there to last her for weeks.”
“Wow. A fucking panic room,” he commented. “How long ago did that happen?”
I paused a moment before answering. “Almost two weeks.”
“So I guess you need to get there pretty soon, huh?”
My silence answered for me. It confirmed my worries of the situation. We climbed up a fractured piece of freeway. Harvey grabbed a hold of my arm and hoisted me up. We heard a roar of motorcycles thunder behind us and iron chains whipped against the concrete foundations with intense fury. It was one of the feared gangs patrolling their turf. Before I could see them, I imagined a herd of dwarven-like megalomaniacs with razor-sharp teeth and burly arms of leather charging us on obese motors of debauchery. Instead, they rode neon pink choppers with glow sticks attached to their mechanized stallions. They encircled us with an intimidating display of overly-fabulous authority.
“Raise your hands,” Harvey hissed at me urgently, “Get them in the fucking air. It’s Scotch Marmalade and The Rotten Tamales.”
“Whointhefuckwhat?”I spat out in utter bewilderment. A big pink cycle rolled up to us, with flashing strobe lights within the spinning wheels. The rider wore a yellow leather jumpsuit with sequins shining like a disco ball. He stood up from his metal predator of a vehicle and walked up to us with a royal charisma that would blind a homophobe.
Take David Bowie and Lou Reed’s magical ooziness and throw it in an incubator with a sewing kit and a bottle of acid-dipped gummy bears and you have Scotch Marmalade, the quintessential heir to Glam Rock, forgotten by pop music’s forefathers.
Scotch pulled a silvery, furry boa over his shoulder and stepped towards us. He struck a flamboyant pose yelling “I’m an alligator!” while one of the Rotten Tamales strummed an acoustic guitar in the background. “I’m a mama-papa coming for you.”
Eccentric would be the word used to describe Scotch Marmalade, but it lacked glittery representation in its definition.
“More like a rock ‘n’ roll bitch to me, Scotch man,” Harvey snapped his fingers all cool-like at the lord of awe. Silence hovered over the broken freeway, all except for the guttural puttering of the idling choppers. Scotch then leaned over and flicked Harvey’s nose, laughing (more like giggling) like a bi-polar party clown.
“Ah baby, you a riot!” Scotch noodled his ass in a disturbingly sexy way. “What you doing out here with your little thing right there?”
Harvey bowed his head respectfully. “Helping this lad out, finding his ol’lady.”
“Hope you didn’t forget about me, space invader,” Scotch teased him.
“No, sir!” Harvey tossed a small plastic baggie to him. Scotch squealed and signaled for the Rotten Tamales to open the cycle blockade for us to pass.
“You be careful out there, honey Harvey boy,” Scotch warned him as he walked away. “Don’t ever come out empty handed or otherwise I’ll have to tie your sweet cherry picker to my Spruce Goose!”
We exited from the cracked freeway and headed toward the northern part of Los Angeles. It was growing exceedingly dark and it worried the both of us.
“Shit,” Harvey said in relevance to the setting sun. “I was hoping we would have made it to my first safe house by now.”
“What? How far are we?”
“Far enough for me to be worried about not making it.”
Harvey picked up the pace, ushering for me to keep up. We turned the next corner down a narrow one-way street, shocked to discover several dead-head jerks just waiting for assholes like us to stumble upon them. We turned on our heels like a pair of Looney Tunes and dashed the fuck out of there, but these zombies were faster than the usually undead geeks. They chased us down the street banging their awkward decomposing bodies against overturned trashcans and café patio chairs which alerted other nearby zombies.
“This…” I panted, trying to keep up with Harvey, “is like the one worst case scenario I hoped we’d avoid!”
“Stupid shit!” Harvey rebuked mockingly. “This isn’t even what you think it is. Worst case scenario my ass!”
“Oh really!? What is worse that this!?” I pointed at the snapping freaks behind us. We bolted for an alley way between two tall buildings. As we turned the corner we came face to face with a leather clad, firing squad wearing different colored masks with face painted over them. They cocked their AK-47 rifles. I froze like a dear stuck in headlights as Harvey yelled, “Get down!” and yanked my body to the cold ground. In a blaze of dangerously inaccurate marksmanship, the gunmen took aim and massacred the following zombie herd that was hot on our trail. I kept my head down, only able to hear the blitzkrieg of nasty flesh being shredded by gunfire. I felt the chilled blood splatter on my back with bits and chunks of meat being scattered all over the street.
When all the zombies were obliterated, the shooters all cheered and high-fived each other. One of the gunmen walked up to us. We were covered in undead slime.
“Ah shit…” Harvey uttered with foreboding regret.
“What?” I asked, but my question wasn’t answered as the last thing I remembered was a massive steel toe boot landing in the center of my face.
As I adjusted to my blurring vision, a throbbing ache continued to pulsate egregiously on the sides of my head. I couldn’t move my arms and I was sitting on my knees. Harvey was the same way, cursing like a Thai hooker. There was a blinding set of stage lights beaming down on us. We were situated in the middle of a closed-off street in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. Piles of junk and scrapped cars were stacked around us. There were two massive school buses covered in voodoo trinkets, human skulls, band posters, flyers, and rusting chains. A faint Runaways song was playing on a crappy jukebox. The masked hoodlums who captured us sat around the scrap yard staring at us.
I sweated profusely, my heart beated vividly against the inside of my chest like a tribal drum. I looked to Harvey, hoping he had some sort of plan to get us out of there. He looked at me the same way. “Dude, please tell me you have a plan.”
Harvey squirmed, fumbling his tied hands behind his back.
“Ummm…” he muttered, “Don’t…die?” he suggested awkwardly. I was losing faith in myself and my hired, poor-excuse for a guide.
“Die? Yeah, you think?” I rebuked through my gritted teeth. “What happened to all that shit you said about always having a solution, or there’s always a way out of something?! You’re not all cool are you?”
“Go fuck yourself, you fucking human bagel!” Harvey snapped back. “I didn’t even want to do this! I shouldn’t have taken this job from a kid with a pair of keys…makes me look like an idiot.”
I pushed my body against his, trying to tackle him in my constrained form, but a masked gunman walked up and put a shotgun to my head, hindering me from doing anything.
“Shut up,” he said in a monotone authority. “It’s show time.”
The lights on the school buses powered on and the ground began to shake. The masked men clapped in unison. The stage lights above us rotated and shined over the darkened towers where a multitude of zombies could be seen littered on the streets. The distinct insurgence of live music began to rise over us. On top of the two buses, I could see several forms of people encased in a mist of artificial fog.
“Fuck a duck…” Harvey coughed, “I was really afraid of this.”
“Do I need to ask?”
“The Psychoheads. We’ve been kidnapped by the goddamn Psychoheads.”
A raunchy female voice shouted from the fog through a PA system. “Shit head, power up!” followed by a rumbling from a mildly distorted bass guitar with a lot of low-end. Its sluggish melody galloped while the ebony drum set behind the shadows matched the rising tempo. The fog dissipated and exposed the main members of the Psychoheads: The drummer with his purple liberty spikes, covered in anarchic tattoos and face paint; the skinny puppy of a bassist, fidgeting his head like a schizo epileptic; the guitarist wore tight denim covered with layers of patches, spikes, studs, and chains. He revved-up his fiery axe with a buzz saw strumming technique not seen since 1979. Standing before them all on top of the twin school bus stage was their leader, their front woman. She had a supple petite body, covered by a leopard-skinned leotard sporting steel-cut stiletto heel boots. Her hair was cut short like an angry pixie, dyed red like neon blood. She strutted along the edge of their stage, screeching and snarling like a lioness in heat. They pumped their fists in the air like lunatic renegades on the road to ruin.
“Psycho! Head! Bitch, crave! Crave me in the night, while it’s all sooo tight!” she roared gruesomely into his microphone, crudely thrusting her hips and cupping her crotch. The drummer tossed in a drum fill on the snare that sounded like the shattering of shields on a battlefield.
“Psycho! Head! Bitch, crave! Raving hostility, circle jerk misery!”
The rest of the masked men moshed around us and butted shoulders and heads against each other like goats on PCP. Harvey and I sat there on our knees trying to pull our hands free from our binds while everyone else was distracted. The Psychoheads just kept rocking and rolling as I managed to slip out one of my arms. I quickly and quietly helped Harvey out of his binds.
“Any idea where we are?” I asked him as he made our way out of the junk yard maze.
“No way, I’ve never been this close to the center of the city.”
“I can see why.”
As soon as we turned around the song halted, ending abruptly. We slowly turned on our heels staring into The Psychoheads’ cold eyes.
“Where do you think you’re going, bitches!” the woman barked at us. Before we could answer, two doofus goons grabbed us from behind and marched us back in front of the buses.
“You show Priscilla Psycho your respect!” the goons said as they twisted our arms behind our backs. They pushed us back on to our knees. Priscilla Psycho, as she was named, jumped down from the bus. She pulled on her sleeveless leather jacket and had one of her boys light a cigarette for her. She walked up, inspecting us like cattle. She paced back and forth. We couldn’t help but ogle at the tightness of her leotard. She noticed this and stood in front of me. She lifted her boot and laid it on my shoulder. She pressed his high heel into my skin.
“How does it feel?” Priscilla asked as she exhaled from her cigarette. I winced as she dug her heel into my skin.
“It hurts,” I admitted.
She laughed. “You don’t even know what pain is.”
“I’m guessing you do?” Harvey interrupted. “Little Miss Mad Max.”
If I could, I would’ve slapped Harvey’s stupid mouth for getting us into more trouble. Priscilla removed her high heel from me and stepped in front of Harvey. I could feel the rising tension growing: The Psychohead goons all ready to pounce on their disrespectful captive, the zombies moaning outside the scrapyard walls, the bassist on top of the bus still playing a slow-thumping line to add to the atmosphere.
“You know it’s been a long time since the whole Pat Benetar thing was in fashion,” Harvey egged her on. I saw a little twitch in Priscilla’s eye. She inhaled from her cigarette and flicked the ash onto Harvey’s face. She giggled all girly. She bended down and moving her head in between ours. She pecked Harvey on the face.
“You two are cute,” she said. “Especially you.” She nodded to Harvey, “That’s why we won’t kill you.”
“So you’ll let us go?” I asked hopefully. The entire gang laughed hysterically; even Harvey chuckled.
“No, baby,” Priscilla responded indifferently. She snapped her fingers at her men. She turned around towards the buses. I took the use of the moment and whispered to Harvey.
“What in the hell do you think you are doing?” I demanded.
He winked at me, “Buying us some time. Don’t tell me you didn’t hear those motorcycles just a few miles away?”
The Psychoheads pulled someone out of one of the buses. From its distinguishable noises and moaning we could tell it was a zombie. Not just any zombie, but an undead slave. Priscilla escorted her pet towards us. It wore a latex cat suit with a zipper mask covering its mouth. Harvey and I gulped simultaneously. The goons behind us tightened their hold. Priscilla clicked her tongue, nonverbally instructing another man to prepare the Zombie Gimp.
“You know why I’m not going to kill you yet?” she asked us. We shook our heads. “It’s because you’re funny. We have been in need of some fresh entertainment.”
“Ok yeah, fair enough,” I agreed nervously. “What sort of entertainment would you want us to do? I mean we can tell jokes and sing and—,”
“We want some oral entertainment from you boys.”
A Psychohead goon unzipped the gimp’s crotch fly, pulling out his swollen, rotten phallus, which was so long and thick it had an elbow. Worms and maggots wiggled out from its green shaft and staunch pus dripped from its revolting purple urethra. Harvey vomited immediately as the smell of sour fish and spoiled flesh hit our nostrils. I just kept staring at it in grotesque curiosity.
“I love the enthusiasm, kid,” Priscilla commented, “But let’s see if you can keep your bowels in check before you swallow.”
The Psychoheads laughed into the air as Priscilla signaled for the band to start a new song as a musical prelude to our initiation of necro-fellatio. The goons hollered and cheered. The ones behind us pushed our head forward just inches away from the wiggling zombie cock.
“Oh second thought, I think I would rather die,” Harvey looked up at Priscilla, but she ignored him.
Our saving grace was a massive explosion. A gust of debris scattered across the way sending everyone to the ground. The wall of junk cars had been obliterated from an outside force. As the dust cleared, Priscilla stood up with her surviving gang readying their weapons for the imminent encounter. At the helm of the explosion point stood nine figures, all armed to the teeth.
I crawled over to Harvey who was hiding near a flipped car. We took seat in front of the epic Mexican standoff of two rival gangs.
“How’s this for a solution?” Harvey nudged me in the arm
“I still don’t know how this is really a solution,” I reiterated, “Who the heck are they?”
I gazed over at the clerically uniformed new arrivals. The leader wore a priest uniform wielding an iron-casted cross with a spear tip at the end. He had long white hair but a youthful face. He was accompanied by eight nuns wearing skin-tight latex (probably stolen from a sex fetish shop) and wielding machine guns, samurai katana swords, morning stars, and blackened musical instruments.
“That would be Father Dante and the Virgil Sisters,” Harvey informed me nonchalantly. “I’d cover your ears. Things are about to get heavy.”
Father Dante raised his hand in the air. A monstrous electric power chord reverberated from a nearby guitar amplifier supplied from one of the demented nuns. “Abandon all hope ye who enter here!” Father Dante shouted like a preacher out of Valhalla. “Thou shalt not fuck with us and our turf, you pagan worshippers of punk rock!”
Priscilla Psycho screamed into the night like a feverous Valkyrie. The drummer on top of the bus clicked his drum sticks four times and the band launched into a fast, rampaging jam. The Psychohead goons rushed in like an army of cloned Henry Rollins. The nuns took aim and fired their assault rifles over the skinheads. The guitarist nun shredded a saucy guitar solo, completely overshadowing the Psychohead guitarist’s raw tone with superior distorted awe.
“You cannot defeat the Metal of our Sabbath! This city is ours!” Father Dante yelled at his enemy.
Priscilla took her microphone and locked it into her mic stand. She spun the stand in her arms. The bottom end turned into a wicked trident. She grasped the musical weapon in front of her. “Fuckin’ metal heads and their illusions of rock ‘n’ roll grandeur! Come and suck it you Judas Priest!”
“There will be no absolution for your punker sins, you street-walking cheetah!” Father Dante ran forward into battle meeting Priscilla Psycho in the middle. The Psychoheads face-fisted the sinister nuns while the opposing guitarists were in the middle of a gargantuan guitar duel. With every passing second, the two feuding gangs generated more noise and caused more bloodshed.
“Let’s go!” Harvey yelled trying to duck out of the line of fire. I tried to follow but I could see the Zombie gimp lying dead on the ground.
“Wait hold on!” I told him. Before he could stop me I ran over towards the gimp. I dodged flying band equipment and Psychohead limbs. Once I had what I needed, I ran back to Harvey.
“What did you do that for?!” he scolded me. I told him to forget and we ran out of the scrapyard. We jumped over barricades and nearly avoided the rushing zombies making their way towards the Battle of the Bands. Amusingly enough, many of the zombies were chanting in incomprehensible slanders, throwing devil-horn hand signs in the air. Literally.
We were nearly free, running for our lives in the middle of the night in downtown L.A. when a deep voice shouted at us as we exited an alley.
“Halt!” the voice bellowed again, sounding much closer than before. Out of the shadows stepped out a dozen men wearing matching leather biker jackets.
“Oh goddammit!” Harvey yelled, kicking a trash can in annoyed fury.
“What, who are these now?” I asked, tired of the repetitiveness of our misfortunes. A man walked up styling a tall pompadour and Elvis-style lamb chop sideburns. He flipped a switch blade knife which was actually a comb. He ran it through his greasy hair and folded his arms in front of his chest.
“We’re the Man-eater Mechanics,” he boasted proudly but me and Harvey were too exhausted to care.
“Sooo you’re…?” I pondered.
Harvey interjected. “They’re fucking Rockabilly cannibals for god sake.”
“That’s right daddy-o!” The leader flexed his arms stupidly.
“Wait, cannibals?” I voiced aloud.
“And you squirts are dinner tonight,” the Mechanic leader congratulated us.
“Hold on,” I urged. “If you can go quickly, you can get in the middle of an all-you-can-eat buffet.”
The Man-eaters shuffled around, curious to what I meant. I had to explain to them what just happened to us. “So yeah, there are flying body parts everywhere. Fresh for the taking. But you’ll have to hurry before that zombie herd gets there first.”
The Man-eaters huddled together for a second to discuss the pros and cons of the situation. Harvey and I looked around for our escape route while they finished conversing in some form of outdated lingo.
“Okay, freshmen, listen up to this tune,” The John Travolta-esque leader proclaimed. “We’ll go check this shindig out and if you be telling the truth we’ll let you go but I’mma keep some of my Thunderbird boys here to watch over you wild ones.”
The majority of the Man-eater Mechanics grabbed their baseball bats and knives heading out of sight and towards the gunfire a few blocks down the street. Two Leather dweebs stood by guarding us until they came back. It was severely awkward to just stand there while all hell was breaking loose. The two greasers just remained calm and whistled some juke box yuppie shit to themselves.
“So…” I spoke indirectly, “You guys…eat people?”
“Yep,” one of them answered.
“How did that start?”
“Well you know, it’s a funny story actually—,” I didn’t get a chance to hear the story as the greasers’ heads were blown off from some gunfire. Standing there like a psychedelic Jesus, Scotch Marmalade had saved us from a complete cannibal holocaust.
“You know you shouldn’t be in this neighborhood after dark, Harvey.”
“I know that! This was an accident,” he retorted defensively. Scotch rolled his eyes like a teenage girl. “Yeah, yeah, baby listen,” Scotch whistled for the rest of his gang to swing around off their bikes. “That was some really good shit you brought me.” Scotch commended Harvey, indicating the package he gave him earlier. “Where’d you get it?”
“Oh that? I found it in Charlie Sheen’s house after the outbreak,” Harvey informed him.
“Mmhmmm. You fellas need a ride?”
Scotch Marmalade and his Rotten Tamales gave us a ride all the way into the valley outside of Los Angeles. Given we weren’t necessarily out of harm’s way, but we were definitely safer than we were before. They dropped us off at my girlfriend’s parent’s house in Pasadena. We ran up to the front door. I was startled to find it unlocked. We cautiously treaded through the house avoiding the lingering zombies which we quickly neutralized. I began calling her name. There was no answer. I led Harvey into the basement where Felicity had mentioned where the panic room was.
It was dark, but with the rising sun outside, a bleak light crept into the basement. In the corner I could see a partly open door that led to a fluorescent room. I slowly walked towards the room, softly calling her name.
“Wait,” Harvey said. He insisted that he check it out first before I did. I agreed to let him go in first. I followed behind him as he slowly pushed the door open. With the flickering lights above us, we could see the open cans of food, the empty water bottles, and smears of dried blood on the walls.
“I don’t know if you want to see,” he told me.
“It’s ok Harvey. Let me see for myself.”
I walked past him and looked at my Felicity. She sat up and looked into my eyes. She wasn’t exactly like I remember her, but she was still my Felicity: knotted blonde hair, smooth greyish skin, missing teeth, excessive drooling, yellow-stained eyes and just covered in oodles of blood.
“I’m sorry man…I…” Harvey mumbled.
“It’s alright. You did your part and that’s all I asked of you. Here.” I passed him the keys to my dad’s Malibu house and the Mercedes. What I didn’t tell Harvey was that I figured that Felicity would already be dead. That white lie aside it didn’t change my feeling for her. I still wanted to come and see her.
“Did you want me to…?” Harvey offered, suggesting he’d put Felicity out of her misery.
“Oh no, no it’s fine. She’s coming with me anyway.” The mood in the panic room changed very abruptly with my choice words. “I don’t get it, what do you mean?” Harvey asked, not aware of my intentions. “She’s dead man. She’s gone.”
“Yeah I know,” I replied indifferently. “That’s why I got this for her.” I took out the zipper mask from Priscilla’s zombie gimp and swung it over Felicity’s head, zipping up her mouth hole and preventing her from biting me.
“Why are you still taking her?”
“Because Harvey, I still love her and I want to be with her.” There was an awkward pause between us. “Besides…” I added, “Dead bodies are game for anything.”
“What do you mean—,”
“I mean anything.”
As we left the house, we gazed at the multicolored sunrise towards my father’s Malibu beach house; I was filled with a warm sensation of victory. Unlike Felicity, whom I led by gimp collar behind me, her cute little feet wobbling like a zombie penguin. If she were alive she’d laugh. Even though the world had come to an end, I somehow thought that everything was going to be okay.