World’s End Update

P1000189 3- CopyIf you’re reading this, you may be aware that I haven’t posted anything for months. I want you to know it’s not my fault. Shortly after the event at the Indian casino, Shelly and I met up with a renegade Meetup group called Biker Chicks for Literacy. Upon hearing my name, their leader, Prunilla Scrotch, a pursed-lipped librarian from the nearby town of Hemet, had me shackled and taken to their headquarters in an abandoned Barnes and Noble. Seems she was privy to my blog and found my prose beneath her literary standards. In an effort to correct my shortcomings, she forced me to listen to endless hours of her reciting Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen. Oh, how I begged her to feed me to the living dead who roamed the streets outside.

Speaking of soulless creatures , don’t even ask what Shelly was doing while I was being tortured. I’m so mad at her I might not even take her with me if I get the chance to escape or if I finish my novel–whichever comes first. You see, that’s what I had to promise to make Ms. Scrotch stop her infernal reciting and let me go free, that is I promised to forget this blog business and finish my novel, mindful of proper punctuation and grammar with lots of emphasis on the protagonist’s feelings. She even demands I have a theme to the story. She’s merciless. God, if only I were more like Bruce Campbell. Then I’d really show Prunilla and her female band of erudite hellions what for.

Prunilla’s looking at me and tapping her wristwatch, meaning I need to wrap this up. She has allowed me this one short update after a month of my working on the novel. If you’re new to my blog and wish to know how I ended up in this sorry state, go to the Table of Contents and begin reading at the beginning. Perhaps you’ll learn enough to save yourself from a similar feckless fate.

Martin Grist, prisoner at the World’s End.

Drink up!

Cloudy With a Chance of Zombies

English: Capoeira cartwheel Français : Roue de...

As it’s been a while since my last post, I think a quick recap of where we left off is in order. So here tis. Shelly and I were caught in an anti-gravity field or tractor beam or whatever you want to call it. We were twenty floors up on top of an Indian casino filled with zombies. And best of all, we were catch in an anti-gravity field and cartwheeling through the air with only a cool breeze between us and a UFO the size of Los Angeles hovering high overhead in the night sky. All this was the backdrop to the fact we were about to sail over a pergola, the one place on the roof that would have provided refuge for us had we been beneath it. So there’s your recap. Onward.

I had one shot at halting our ascent, grab hold of the pergola as we flew over, and it was all up to me. I was the one who’d be in position as we flew past the edge of the pergola’s roof. I stretched out my free hand–and missed by mere inches. As my feet came around I kicked out and wedged the toe of my boot between a couple of crossbeams. I was certain our momentum would rip us free. Which is exactly what happened. But not before our path arced downward enough for Shelly to reach one of the crossbeams and anchor us to safety. From there it was only a matter of climbing under the pergola.

We rested on the ceiling for while to gather our nerve which gave me enough time to think of a plan. If you’re wondering, I swear, it was me and not Shelly who came up with the plan for our escape. We worked our way down(up?) the columns to the floor where, using our belts and strips of cloth torn from our cloths, we tied workout weights to our feet. With our feet weighted to the floor, the world righted itself. We then walked to the roof door and reentered the casino.

Français : Vichy La Pergola

Let me tell you it was one of the strangest things I’ve ever experienced. The blood rushed to my head and each step felt like I was walking through thick mud. But that was nothing compared to walking under a ceiling squirming with zombies. Progress was excruciatingly slow, and Shelly didn’t help matters with her constant blather.

“I wish I had a camera. That’s the freakiest thing I’ve ever seen. Hope the gravity doesn’t come back on before we get out of here. Guess we’d go quick, though. They’d probably land on us and break our necks. If we added my weights to your boots, you could carry me along like a balloon. Let’s try it. Help me make a tether.”

I threw in an occasional “No” and “Please shut up” but for the most part I was too scared to speak. We almost made it to the exit without my fears taking form. Luckily, our necks remained in tact when the gravity returned and zombies rained down. Zombies of course are subject to physics the same as anything else, and I doubt any of them escaped the fall without breaking a shitload of bones. We removed the weights from our feet and simply skirted around the crippled piles of flesh sprawled between us and the exit. Shelly stopped to stuff her pockets with some of her winnings from the slot machine before saying adios to the fly infested hall. Fresh air never smelled better.

Needless to say, I stored the weights in the bike’s saddlebags and plan on fitting them with some sort of harness system. In an upside down world, it’s important to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.

Netherlandish Proverbs "The World Turned ...

Netherlandish Proverbs “The World Turned Upside Down” by Pieter Brueghel the younger after his father (Photo credit: Martin Beek)

“Houston, we have a problem.”

Mighty Mouse in Ralph Bakshi's adaptation

Did I mention we didn’t come across a single animated corpse until we entered the casino? From the inanimate bodies dotting the landscape, we concluded the colossal spacecraft had played its anti-gravity tricks over an area that stretched at least as far as the casino. Just my luck Shelly had an itch to play the slots. We could have spent the entire day having a picnic and playing Frisbee at the park without anything but a few bugs trying to take a bite out of us. As it was, we were stuck atop the casino with the zombie blues again.

Actually, if it wasn’t for the fact there was no way down from the roof, which didn’t include our certain death, we might have enjoyed ourselves, as our prison was complete with a swimming pool, a bar, and a free weight workout station beneath a shady metal canopy. The pool was relatively free of debris, but my spirits were too low to go for a swim so we passed time pumping iron and spotting each other. (I’m not sure how five foot, five inch Shelly would have helped had the weights become too much for me to handle) That aside, the truth is that, as far as I’m concerned, a sweaty Shelly is a sexy Shelly. That fact and our limited prospects for the future led us to pass the rest of the day in other sweaty pursuits.

In the evening, we sat on the edge of the roof, a fifteen story drop to the pavement below. We playfully considered taking a lover’s leap, thinking it a better way to check out than the rotting teeth that waited to tear us to shreds on the floor below.

Pressed close together, we watched the sunset.

“Tomorrow’s another day,” Shelly said with first twilight.

“What goes around comes around,” I said, only because I have a knack for ruining special moments when they come my way.

Shelly squeezed my arm. (Thank God, she wasn’t pissed) “What goes up must come down.”

I know it makes no sense, but that’s love, isn’t it?

“Houston,” I said, “we have a problem.”

A chill ran down my back. We turned to each other and said, “Holy shit!”

It was obvious Shelly was thinking the same thing as I. Gravity! What if the alien spacecraft returned this night? A roof is no place to be when up becomes down. Even as I tried to think of what to do, a sparkling black diamond began to consume the stars overhead as the alien spacecraft ascended from the heavens.

I grabbed Shelly’s hand and dashed for the canopy, our only hope. I felt lighter and we bounded forward as though running across the surface of the moon. I knew we weren’t going to make it; our next step would launch us into space.

Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick

As I’ve said before, I haven’t an ounce of heroism within me. When given a choice, I will cut and run at the first sign of danger. Bruce Campbell I’m not.

Whether it was because of the intimacy Shelly and I had shared, or for the fact there seemed no other choice, I broke with my nature and did something completely out of character. I took hold of Shelly’s waist and hurled her forward with my last step–she weighs about a hundred pounds, but felt more like ten.

I think my plan would have worked as well as a well-oiled thingamajig had Shelly not grabbed me by the hand and sent us cartwheeling through the air in a rising arc above the canopy.

~This post has gone on way too long. I’ll continue with the gory details next time. I for one can hardly wait to relive the horror that followed.

There and Hacknslash Again

English: A M1914 Colt

The good thing about motorcycles is you don’t pedal them. The bad thing about motorcycles is you don’t pedal them. The latter, of course, only applies to pedestrians like me who are forced to learn the bare essentials of motorcycle riding while attempting to keep up with a biker who’s hell-bent on testing her limits. To my credit, I almost made it to the freeway before my bike coughed its last breath. Seems I burned up the transmission. How was I supposed to know I had to shift gears? To Shelly’s credit, she didn’t abandon me and stuck me on the back of her Harley. I’m not certain which is worse, being snacked on by zombies or the humiliation of riding on the back of a chick’s bike.

Don’t laugh. It’s not funny.

In case you didn’t read my last post, Shelly and I have set off for greener pastures, or at least pastures where the laws of nature aren’t being screwed with by discourteous ETs. We decided to travel light and forage for supplies along the way, choosing to carry weapons and ammo in lieu of food. This, as you might expect, was Shelly’s idea. I would have preferred to bring food instead of weapons and thus avoid the messy scavenging bits altogether. Strange how she always seems to get her way. Then again, maybe it’s not. Better to die for someone worth dying for than to live on for no reason at all.

Who am I kidding? It’s the sex, plain and simple.

Abandoned casino at Asbury Park, NJ

Speaking of the devil, Shelly, true to her nature, led me on another of her suicide adventures not fifteen miles from home. Besides Walmart or Disneyland, what’s the last place in Southern California you’d wish to visit during a zombie apocalypse? An Indian casino, right? Do you know how many people swarmed to the casinos with their life savings when they realized the world was coming to an end? From what I’ve seen, the answer is a lot. And what does Shelly decide she just has to do? Play the slots, that’s what. God help me, my girlfriend’s got the survival instincts of a Lemming, and I keep swimming after her.

Needless to say, our gambling spree was short lived. We stormed into the casino with shotguns pumped and ready. We ventilated the skulls of those who greeted us inside and Shelly blew open the giant slot machine that welcomed gamblers to the casino. Tokens spilled out onto the floor, and Shelly jumped around like a shameless game show contestant, screaming. “I won! I won! I won!”

I won’t bore you with the details of our escape—if you want to call it that. Just take my word that we found ourselves surrounded by a gazillion zombies and fought our way to the casino roof where we managed to barricade the door.

Anyway, I hate long posts so I’ll end this one here. Stay tuned to see if Shelly and I die a horrible death.

Jackpot #neon #neonmuesum #sign #vintage

Star Blight, Star Fright

The Flying Saucers Are Real

Splat

Shelly and I are packing up and heading out. At least we won’t have to worry about the stinking zombies for a while. The ones around here are all dead, or whatever you call it when a zombie stops moving. I just pray we don’t get caught outside if someone turns off the gravity again. We’ve been without power and cut off from the rest of the world since my last post. We have food and water and were willing to weather the blackout as long as we felt relatively safe. We did feel safe for about a week and a half. Then came the patterned lights in the night sky and the stars vanished. Although a true believer in UFOs, I’ve never been one to blindly trust in alien benevolence. I estimate the structure that hovered overhead at night was two or more miles in diameter. It scared the piss out of me.

Of course, my fear of an alien presence paled in comparison to the fear I felt glued to the ceiling of my bedroom each night for the last week. Falling up is a strange, sickening sensation, let me tell you. It’s nearly impossible to sleep, knowing you’ll crash to the floor sometime before the break of dawn. –as the phenomenon doesn’t affect inanimate objects, the term “gravity” is merely used for lack of a better term–

The first morning was the worst. The thunderous bang of a zombie body crashing into the roof nearly stopped my heart. Outdoors, the splattered remains of what I hoped had been the living dead, rather than the living, lay splayed about in unrecognizable gory ruin. Nowhere did anything move, but for the wind.

Last night, the power returned as did gravity. (Bed never felt so good) We don’t know how long it will last, but we want to be somewhere else if and when the craft returns. It’s time to leave. I’m taking my netbook and solar charger. I’ll report on our progress as providence permits.

Basic Survival

Having Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Here

English: MS Majesty of the Seas, one of Royal ...

Norma Tropical Drinks

Norma Tropical Drinks (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

Shelly and I just got home from a Caribbean cruise. Sailing the beautiful seas for a month was exactly what the doctor ordered. There’s something about sipping Mai Tais with colorful little umbrellas while relaxing on a deck chair in a zombie free setting that does a soul good. If only I wasn’t making this up. The sad truth of the matter is we lost power and internet service shortly after my last post. Not so fun when you live in a house with the windows boarded up. We spent most of our daylight hours upstairs with the only unobstructed window in the entire house. I do have a couple of 30 watt solar panels for recharging batteries and whatnot but small battery operated lamps are no substitute for good old 100 watt bulbs.

On-deck image of passengers on RMS Carpathia d...

Caribbean

Shelly gained at least ten pounds. She’s a more active type than me and found herself bored to death and ate to break the monotony. I worked on my novel,  and only occasionally suffered from cabin fever.  Shelly, to her credit, never once set fire to the house as she threatened to do, wishing to motivate me to take her out on the town. I personally don’t see the appeal in zombie dodging, and refused. Selfish of me, I know.

Actually, more has happened in the last month than I’m letting on. I’ll clue you in with some future posts. For now, I’m too much in the moment. Once I finish imagining this tropical sunset, I’m making a beeline for the casino.

Tropical_Island_Sunset

Tropical_Island_Sunset (Photo credit: myheimu)

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here (Photo credit: Sister72)

“That’s despicable.”

"Train leaving on Track 5..."

“Train leaving on Track 5…” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rodney isn’t the natural born clean freak we thought he was. Turns out he’s a speed freak instead––as in methamphetamine. He returned with the cleaning supplies as promised, even brought me my JD. Decked out in new clothes, he talked ceaselessly about his jaunt into town. I doubt anyone could singlehandedly kill as many living dead as he claimed, but who knows? Maybe the drugs gave him the necessary edge.

I had my suspicions even before he left for town, and I removed the lampshade from the desk light in den. When he entered the room, I positioned myself so the light shone directly in his eyes. They remained dilated as he rambled on about all the cockroaches and spiders in the house. (I’ve never found a cockroach in my home) I confronted him about the drugs, and he came clean. (sorry about the pun)

Seems he’d been living across the street from a meth lab before the plague. He had nothing to do with drugs at the time and minded his own business. After most of mankind went belly-up and started eating the living, Rodney found himself alone. Convinced the dead would find a way into his home when he slept, he killed his first zombies when he broke into the meth house and stocked up on the drug.

Shelly and I will decide what to do with Rodney tomorrow. We’re concerned where his frazzled brain will take him once the house is spick and span clean. The world’s gone Looney Tunes enough without Rodney going Daffy Duck on us. Think I’ll hide the cutlery tonight.

One man’s fungus is another man’s ambiance

St Augustine in His Cell

St Augustine in His Cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s difficult to get any writing done with Rodney puttering around the house, what with his vacuuming, dusting, and meticulous cleaning. How am I supposed to get any work done when he’s constantly popping into the den with rants such as, “Where do you keep the mop. What, no mop? That’s barbaric. Sponges? You must have sponges. Oh my Lord, you’re impossible.”

He’s been gone for several hours and I’ve written almost an entire chapter in that time. Who in their right mind would make a run to zombie central just to get some cleaning supplies? I hope he doesn’t forget to pick up the Jack Daniels I asked for.

Here’s the big question: Who’s he think he is, barging into my home and deciding it’s not up to government standards. Maybe I like my home the way it is. Shelly doesn’t complain. Since when did a little dirt ever hurt someone? Dirt gives a place character, if you ask me. And my house was rich in character before Rodney showed up, if I do say so myself.

Oh well. He did dispose of the zombies milling about the house. Plus he hasn’t shown any real interest in Shelly. Thank God for small favors. If only he’d stop pestering me so I could get some writing done.

All in all, I suppose there’s worse things than a clean home.

Along came Rod-ney

Just when things couldn’t get any worse, Rod shows up. He doesn’t just show up, he appears like some asshole out of a harlequin novel. Lock of hair falling over an eye that makes my eyes look like they belong to a jellyfish. Blood splattered wife beater T barely covering his Hollywood physique. You know the type.

I hate guys like that. They’re so full of themselves. On his own, Rod couldn’t level past ten in WOW without forking out cash for Asian gold.

And no, I’m not afraid he’ll read my blog and know what I’m thinking. If my blog isn’t about him, I doubt he’ll pay it any interest.

Ludovico technique apparatus.

Ludovico technique apparatus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All right, maybe I am insecure. Sue me.

Play nice, that’s my motto. This post isn’t to rail on Rod. Allow me to move on.

How’d Rod chance upon our humble abode you ask? Goes back to this morning when I went to check on Shelly and asked her to turn off Dr. Strangelove on the TV so we could talk. She about took my head off at the suggestion and it was then I noticed her not-quite-right look, sort of what I imagine Gollum would look like on LSD. Interesting but not pretty.

What did she do? Nothing all that strange by today’s standards, I suppose. She vacated the den–where she could have easily locked me out–and set up the TV and DVD player in the living room and declared it her personal space. Death to all trespassers, i.e. me. End of story.

Or it would have been, had there not been a fireplace. Shelly decided that the furniture in the living room—which I must mention, was willed to me by my beloved, deceased mother—was more suitable for burning than for sitting on or setting things on as was my bent.

Seriously, I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but this is California. I sleep with only a sheet over me 364 days out of the year. The 365th night, the sheet is in the wash.

So long story short–fire, smoke, signal, hello, somebody lives here, hi my name is Rod and I just happened to be in the neighborhood and saw your smoke, I hope you don’t mind.

Asshole. At least he cleaned up the zombie mess he made around the house before he came to steal my woman.

I wish he were a rapist. I find rapists are so much easier to deal with.

I need to stop being like this. Put on a happy face.

I wonder if Rod likes Beethoven?

Death of a turkey

Male wild turkey in Brookline, Massachusetts, ...

Male wild turkey in Brookline, Massachusetts, United States of America. He frequents the area on Beacon Street between Washington Square and Cleveland Circle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love Shelly. Yes, it’s true. She’s as fun as one of those old sitcom heroines, always ready with a new adventure that’s sure to get her in deep doo-doo. I’m being harsh. Shelly’s not all that funny, but that’s okay because I’m not with her for the laughs. Unlike those cit-com husbands, I’ll do what Shelly wants, if it will buy her time from her depression.

So here’s the low-down. Thanksgiving is only a few days away. For my friends living outside the USA who don’t know about our American Thanksgiving holiday, it’s one of our more nationalistic and less alcoholic driven celebrations. (Despite what you might think of Americans, ugly is primarily what we become when you try to deny us our freedom or booze)

To move on, Thanksgiving is basically a celebration of the birth of capitalism in the New World, although it’s politically incorrect to speak of this these days.

Here’s the History of Thanksgiving in a nutshell: Some early English settlers, known as the Pilgrims, were essentially amazingly daring socialist hippies who made the new world their home in 1620. These people should not be confused with the Puritans. The difference between the two groups is immense. The Pilgrims were driven by spirit; the Puritans, by religion.

The Pilgrims, finding that their communal system produced less than was necessary to support the community, made an extraordinary transition and gave up socialism in favor of capitalism. Due to that decision, the community survived. They not only survived, they thrived. In celebration of their new found bounty, they threw a feast which came to be known as Thanksgiving.

Central to the feast is a cooked turkey. For those who don’t know, a turkey is a large bird that tastes wonderful when it’s baked with bread crumbs crammed up its ass.

So where am I going with this post? Here goes. In a couple days, Thanksgiving day will be on us. Do I care? Absolutely not. Does it matter what I think? Absolutely not. So who does matter? Shelly.

Shelly wants a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving diner. Says she’s going to leave tomorrow morning and will return by Thanksgiving day with a turkey, cook it and serve it or die trying.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’ll not be letting her go on her wild turkey chase by herself. I’ll take my cell phone. In case I find a spare moment, I’ll keep you informed as to our progress. Don’t count on it though. If I know Shelly, she’ll probably have me build her a Taj Mahal with any free time I might find.

I have to admit I feel like an idiot. I’m going to die for a stupid turkey. Heck, I’ve never seen a wild turkey around here in my entire life. I’m a loon for going along with this. I really truly don’t expect to return home this time. I mean it. I’m only doing this because I love Shelly. I guess I’ll do anything for her.

God save me.

Okay, but this is my last drink. Really.

Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough. ~Mark Twain
.Halloween was tardy this year. The trick-or-treaters showed up on the afternoon of November 1st.  Dressed and armed like Mad Max fans at Comic Con, they came to my door bearing backpacks and saddlebags brimming with booze.

Mad Max

Mad Max (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seems Shelly grew bored with my company and announced an open BYOB party at my home. They drove here on dirt bikes and seem to have gone out of their way to draw as many living dead to my door as they possibly could. Whereas I used to be able to step outdoors in relative safety when the urge hit me, there will be no opening of the door again without facing a major rotter fest.

The smell indoors is hellacious. Not just from scores of living dead outside, but from the sweat, vomit, and stale booze inside. Like I said, Shelly invited them here for a party, and party we did.

My world has again been tipped on its ear. Five people now occupy a haven designed for one. Shelly swears she doesn’t know these people. Says she told a friend over the phone how much she missed wild parties. Her friend lives too far away from here to chance a visit, but apparently started the ball rolling, which ended up with Derik, Carl, and Felicia pounding on my door.

These three aren’t exactly what I’d call bad, but they’re not what I’d call conducive to my survival, either. Let’s just say they’re members in good standing of the eat-drink-and-be-merry-because-tomorrow-we-die club. The party has gone on since Thursday night, and I for one am done. I’ve had nothing to drink since last night and have a hangover to rival the apocalypse. My hands are shaking so bad I can barely type. Just thought I’d post this so you’d know I was still kicking.

Martin Grist