As promised, albeit later than promised, here is my entry in Dominic's No Fear Blogfest.
It's another episode in the Happy Acres saga, a continuation from the Next Line Blogfest, wherein the main character (whose name is Mindy, btw), shows her own brand of bravery as she's forced to face the Zombie King.
With my hand in hers, I followed Tonja, a reluctant participant in this adventure. The empty cavernous halls of Happy Acres were lit at night by dimmed florescence, casting a ghastly glow.
I swallowed hard, “What does this Zombie King guy want, anyway? Why is he here?”
“Then give him some cupcakes,” I said, turning and heading for my room. “See? That was easy. Now let’s go back to bed.”
With a harsh jerk she pulled my arm, resuming our forward motion.
“He doesn’t eat cupcakes, he eats souls. He found Mia in the common room one night, sleeping on the couch, and he tried her soul first, but her zombies defended her, so the Zombie King made a deal with them. He wouldn’t take Mia’s soul, if they’d help him take everyone else’s.”
My stomach rolled over in protest, “So Mia’s zombies are the one’s who’ve been hurting me?”
Tonja nodded. “I’ve been defending you, but they’re determined to protect her, and I can’t hold them off forever. So you have to face the Zombie King or they’re going to start taking everyone else’s souls.”
I considered - only briefly - whether that was a bad thing, then decided that yes, it was. My Happy Acres family was the only family I had, and even though they’re a bunch of crazy nut jobs, I still love them. I just didn’t want to face the Zombie King.
“How do I defeat him?” I asked.
“You have to find his biggest weakness.”
We reached the common room where moonlight streamed through the windows, draping itself over the furniture as if it were white satin sheets.
It might have been poetic except for the Zombie King. He looked like a god, which is to say he was hot and built. This freaked me out more than if he’d been a stinky half-corpse.
I stayed in the hall, just outside the room, unwilling to commit. “You’re not what I expected at all,” I said.
“That’s what you said last night,” he replied, taking a step in my direction.
“You must be mistaken, this is the first time we’ve met,” I said. For a Zombie God King he wasn’t very bright.
“You say that every night, too,” he took another step closer.
“Where are Mia’s zombies?” I asked.
“Hunting,” he said, stepping closer still. “Because you clearly have defensive mechanisms, I’ll find someone who doesn’t.” He glared at Tonja and she shot him a smug smile in return.
“Leave my friends alone,” I said. It came out with a lot more bravado than I felt and when he smiled and took another step closer I wondered if I’d made a big mistake.
“Are you willing to sacrifice yourself in their place?” he asked, now close enough to reach out and touch me.
“No, because you’re just going to leave,” I said. “You’re not welcome here.”
He threw his head back and laughed. “Well,” he said, raising one tanned, perfectly manicured hand and placing it on my shoulder, “I guess you told me, didn’t you.”
I pulled back into the hall, his hand still on my shoulder, “Just go away! I banish you! Begone! You shall not pass!”
When the fluorescent light hit his fingertips, little tendrils of smoke erupted and his skin began to sizzle. He jerked his hand back quickly, blowing on it to cool the burn.
Who would have thought? I took a bold step into the common room, taking his unburned hand in mine, and wrapping my other arm around him, as if we were best buds. “Dude!” I said. “I have a great idea. There are some super tasty souls here. You don’t want mine! Blech! I probably taste like brussels sprouts or some other yucky thing. And Mia? Way too sweet. You’d be on a sugar high for days.”
The look on his face was priceless. I’d totally taken him by surprise, so much so that he didn’t notice that as I babbled about soul-flavor, I inched him toward his doom.
“So, you know, you’d be much better off with a tasty Scottish haggis, right?”
He turned out of my grip, his back now to the hallway, and planted his fists on his hips. “What on Earth are you yammering about?”
“Byeeee!” I said, then with all the force I could muster, I did my best football block, ramming my shoulder into his gut and shoving him backwards into the fatal fluorescence. He fell to the floor, writhing and screaming as his skin smoked and burned and melted away until he was nothing but a pile of zombie ash.
“See?” Tonja said as if I’d just squished a spider, “I knew you could face your fears.”
“Can I go back to bed now?”
So, what do you think? And don't forget to check out the other entries in the fest!