“Do you believe in zombies,” asked the beautiful, leggy lawyer representing Galaxy Pictures.
“About as much as the Tooth Fairy,” replied Brinker, a private investigator.
“I’ll bet you’d change your mind if Galaxy Pictures offered you a lucrative contract to find some.”
“Why give me the honor? This town’s full of hungry PIs who’ll do anything for a buck.”
“You’re the only one in Los Angeles who used to be a successful bounty hunter. If you found elusive fugitives, we figure you could find zombies. But before I say more, I’d like you to sign a confidential nondisclosure agreement.” Removing a document from her attaché case, she handed it to Brinker.
“Hmm. It says when I sign this you’ll tell me about one of Galaxy Pictures’ confidential projects. And if I mention it to anybody, especially to Galaxy’s competitors, your company will prosecute me to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Right. If you violate this agreement, I’ll make it my personal crusade to ruin your life. I assure you, Mr. Brinker, I’m very good at my job.”
Brinker couldn’t believe how such a gorgeous, innocent-looking woman could sound like a mafia bone buster.
He signed the agreement out of curiosity.
Tucking the document into her case, she said, “Galaxy is planning to produce a spectacular new movie. Something no studio has ever dreamed of much less attempted to produce. This will be the biggest project in the studio’s history. I’ve read the script. It’s dynamite. We expect ticket sales in the billions. Plus it could lead to a dozen sequels. Mr. Brinker, Galaxy intends to make the first movie in history that includes real zombies.”
Brinker chuckled. “That’s one of the craziest things I ever heard. Zombies don’t exist. Better inform your boss in case he hasn’t heard.”
“You’re wrong,” she said. “I’ve been to Haiti. I’ve seen one. Let me get to the point. Galaxy Pictures will hire you to go to Haiti and capture as many zombies as you can. We have lots of parts to fill in the new movie. However, you must include at least one female to play the key role as Queen of The Zombies.”
“What happens after I snag them?”
“Take them to the airport where we’ll have a chartered airliner waiting to fly them back here to Los Angeles. The company will pay $5,000 for each one you capture, as well as $300 per day for expenses. And once the zombies reach Los Angeles, you’ll be paid a bonus of $100,000. Do you believe in zombies now, Mr. Brinker?”
“You bet,” he said. “For that kind of money I’d believe there was an Emperor of Mars, and deliver him to Galaxy’s main gate. By the way, is it true that zombies eat human brains?”
“No. That’s an invention of Hollywood.”
“What do they eat?”
“Human intestines. But don’t worry. Galaxy’s model shop has developed tummy armor that’s thin, extremely strong, and very flexible. We’ll fit you before you leave. Make sure you wear it when you go zombie hunting.”
“How much time will you give me to deliver them?”
“I’ll do it,” Brinker said.
Editors' Note: Read "Brinker's Contract: Part 2" December 23.
About Michael A. Kechula
Michael A. Kechula's stories have been published by 134 magazines and 41 anthologies. He’s won first place in 12 contests and placed in eight others. He’s authored three books of flash and micro-fiction: The Area 51 Option and 70 More Speculative Fiction Tales; A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales; I Never Kissed Judy Garland and Other Tales of Romance. eBook versions available at www.BooksForABuck.com and www.fictionwise.com. Paperbacks at www.amazon.com. His latest book, Writing Genre Flash Fiction The Minimalist Way - A Self Study Book, will be released December 2010.