Brinker asked the waiter if the woman was a zombie.
“I’m not sure. Ask her to come closer. The exorcist sprinkled blessed salt around the café to keep those monsters away. They cannot cross the salt. If she refuses to come near, she may be one.”
“Hey, lady,” Brinker called. “Come here, and I’ll buy you a drink.”
When she didn’t move, Brinker went to her. “Take me to Zambulu,” he said, waving fifty dollars.
“Do…you…believe?” she asked.
“Believe in what?”
“Yeah, sure. Next you’ll tell me you’re one of them.”
“And I’m Spiderman,” he snickered. “Do you wanna make fifty dollars or not? I don’t have all night.”
As they rode slowly in the carriage along a jungle path, she sang a strange voodoo melody. It was the weirdest thing he’d ever heard. He found himself so unnerved, he wondered if she really were a zombie.
“Stop the carriage!” he yelled. “If you’re a zombie, prove it.”
When her countenance took on a greenish glow and vibrated, he was glad he’d worn the armor.
“If you can make your face do that during the day and in front of a camera, I think you could get an important part in a new movie. How would you like to go to Hollywood and play Queen of the Zombies? Not only that, if you can point out more zombies, I’ll pay you two dollars for each one. Is it a deal?”
When he reached out to shake her hand, she lunged for his stomach.
Slamming her head with a blackjack, he knocked her out of the carriage. When she hit the ground, he heard growls. Dozens of figures with green, vibrating faces came out of the jungle and headed toward him.
As he tried to get away, the horse bolted, throwing Brinker out of the carriage. Dazed and disoriented, he didn’t realize he was staggering toward the approaching zombies.
Mulu knocked him to the ground from behind. Baring mottled teeth, she ripped his shirt open and went for his stomach.
“Stop it!” he yelled, punching her face. “Don’t you wanna be a movie star?”
He screamed horribly when her teeth pierced the armor and slashed his stomach.
His body flooded with so much adrenalin he managed to break loose and disappear into jungle thickets. He ran until he blacked out.
When they asked him at a hospital how he got there, he couldn’t remember.
* * *Galaxy Pictures paid his medical bills for a few weeks. When he didn’t improve, they canceled his contract.
Medical doctors couldn’t understand why Brinker’s stomach kept discharging pus. Nor could they comprehend why space-age medicines couldn’t stop the flow. They scoffed when he told them it was a zombie bite.
But Haitian folk doctors didn’t scoff. Though they sacrificed countless chickens to jungle gods, nothing stopped the pus or kept Mulu from invading Brinker’s lucid dreams and feasting on him while he slept.
One morning, he woke and found he was hemorrhaging. Mulu was chewing his intestines.
Too weak to fight her off, he groaned, “Please stop…I can…still…get you…to Hollywood. You…can…become…a great…movie star.”
She tore at his guts until he took his final breath.
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.