Zombie Crush

Melody was running as hard as she could, but her legs were growing weary with every step. Her lungs were screaming for air and her breathing became more and more labored. Victor was closing his gap with her quickly. Melody knew as soon as her long-time friend caught up with her, her fate would be sealed. Just fifteen minutes ago, Victor started succumbing to his bite wounds, then transformed into the soulless creature that was chasing her now. Despite her best efforts to continue running, her fatigued legs finally gave out from under her, then she fell to the ground after tripping over herself. Momentarily fazed, she realized she was lying on her back and was staring up at stars in the night sky. Suddenly, Melody could hear Victor’s footsteps growing louder and louder. After several seconds, but what felt like an eternity, his deformed face displaced part of the sky as he hovered over her prone body. Then, Victor started reaching for Melody. . .

“I have an order of eggs sunny side up, hash browns and toast. And I have an order of pancakes, bacon and hash browns,” the waitress said, interrupting Carter Nash, who had been reading a passage from a book he wrote called Zombie Crush to his high school friend Barney. Carter was an aspiring writer who worked on his writing late into the night every day after finishing his nine to five. Last week, he requested a meeting with Barney, who was a successful and legendary movie producer, because he wanted to adapt Zombie Crush into a movie. “Sunny side eggs over here,” Barney said raising his hand. The waitress set down each plate, then went back to check on the other customers after confirming Barney and Carter didn’t need anything else.

Barney began eating his food while Carter continued on. “I was just getting to the best part, Barn.” Barney, taking a bite of his eggs, said , “Oh yeah? I didn’t know you were writing horror stories these days.” Carter took a sip of his orange juice, then said with a cheerful smile, “Actually, it’s not a horror story. It’s a romantic comedy. Despite turning into a zombie, Victor confesses his love to Melody. He tells her that he has loved her since they have been childhood friends. And to prove his love to her, he will not eat her brains or bite her to turn her into a zombie because his love for her is greater than his zombie desires. The rest of the story is about his romantic pursuit of her.”

Barney stopped chewing his eggs and sat there in stunned silence not knowing whether to laugh, cry or both. Surely, Carter couldn’t be serious with this ridiculous idea. Barney only granted this meeting because Carter had accidentally saved his life during their sophomore year of high school. Barney was waiting to cross the street one day after school when Carter came racing down the sidewalk to catch the light. He was running so fast that he tripped on his untied shoelaces and grabbed onto Barney to break his fall. Had it not been for that fall, Barney would have been crossing the intersection at the moment a car, after running a red light, sped through it.

“Uh, that’s an interesting story you have there, Carter. Just curious. What have sales been like for the book?” Barney asked, trying to keep his composure and not burst out laughing. “Let’s see. I self published it nine months ago and sold about fourteen copies so far,” Carter said with a grin on his face. “But I think after the movie gets made, sales are gonna skyrocket!” Barney knew at that moment that he had to get out of this meeting quickly, so he looked at his watch and told Carter that he had to be somewhere in twenty minutes. There was no way this movie was going to get made, and there was no way in hell he was going to have his name attached to it. It would ruin his reputation, and he would become a laughingstock in the industry. Barney threw down some money on the table, excused himself, then exited the restaurant.

After waving goodbye to his friend, Carter began eating his pancakes and thought to himself, “I have a good feeling about this.”

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