Thursday, July 12, 2012
Flash Fiction: Zombie Dave
Dedicated to my dear departed Uncle Dave; hopefully he’d be amused that he inspired this instead of upset. Also, he is one of the few people for whom I would stand for four hours and shake hands or hug that many strangers.
Please note: except for the obvious exception all names involved are purely fictional.
Trish was standing next to her grieving Aunt to the right of the open coffin. She’d been unofficially assigned the task of making sure that Aunt Grace remained upright and supplied with tissues. Trish glanced past the line of people waiting to personally offer their condolences to her Aunt and Cousins, Derek and Alex, to where her mother was discretely keeping Uncle Dave’s mother occupied on the other end of the reception room. Celeste was not taking the sudden death of her beloved son well at all and there were a certain number of hurt feelings between Grace and Celeste.
Seeing that her mother had Celeste well under control, Trish let her eyes scan the room more completely. She noticed that additional flower arrangements had appeared while she had been hugging an unknown number of strangers and her gaze gravitated to the coffin where her Uncle lay still. Trish thought she saw her Uncle’s eyes open but after blinking and shaking her head she saw that she was mistaken. Clearly, she had been watching too many movies. She brought her attention back to the conversation in front of her just in time to receive yet another hug.
She listened to several more stories reminiscing about her uncle’s life before a sound penetrated her subconscious. It took her a moment to realize what sound was bothering her but once she did it was unmistakably moaning. She glanced around looking for the distraught mourner who had been suddenly overcome with the reality of her Uncle’s death and was almost relieved to see that it was actually Uncle Dave sitting up in his coffin and moaning.
“What the hell?” Trish exclaimed softly.
“What happened?” Grace asked overhearing the expression of surprise. When no answer was forthcoming, Grace tried to see what her niece was looking at. She gasped when she caught sight of her husband kicking his way out of the coffin. Trish knew there was something wrong about that movement but she figured it out too late.
Several things happened in the space of three heartbeats. First, Celeste spotted Dave from across the room. Second, Dave broke free of the coffin. Third, Dave grabbed the nearest mourner and ripped his throat out. With his teeth! Trish remained rooted to the spot in shock and her Aunt was in a similar state. Others were not so reserved and started a mad dash toward the exit of the funeral home. Those were the smart reactions.
“Dave!” Celeste cried out and launched herself across the room, arms open to embrace her son who was still chomping on the unfortunate man in his clutches.
“That isn’t Dave!” Grace cried out and tried to grab her mother-in-law. But Celeste was too fast and quickly was inches away Zombie Dave. Zombie Dave looked up from the corpse in his grasp with blood dripping down his chin and staining his dress shirt and tie. Celeste stopped suddenly fully aware that something was terribly wrong but unable to backpedal fast enough. Trish screamed as Zombie Dave lunged at Celeste teeth first.
In the blink of an eye, a metal plant stand slammed into Zombie Dave’s head. Trish looked up into the grim eyes of Cousin Derek who beat the zombie’s head a few more times before dropped the now-misshapen length of metal and throwing up into the nearest flower arrangement.
“I just couldn’t let Dad eat Grandma.” He muttered shakily and Trish handed him a fresh bottle of water.