“Wait” calls Iliana and you slow down marginally to let her catch up (you are a gentleman after all, right?).
“Gunky”, she gasps when she draws level with you, “Gunky, I guess it’s pointless asking, but I will anyway; you don’t happen to have that ’10 Ways to Repel a Zombie’ booklet in your MIP, do you?”
Iliana yells something at you. It sounds like she said wait, but dude, come on. Girlfriend #2 is limping towards you, overcome with lust for your brain and eyes and blood. You don’t think that’s the sort of lust that would be very pleasant on your end.
You have to stop when someone grabs your elbow with fingers of steel. You scream and scream and try to think about something other than those fingers tearing into your skull but you can’t and oh man it’s going to hurt and you want your mommy, she’ll make the mean zombies go away, and then your cheek stings like hell and Iliana is standing above you, her hand poised to slap you again.
She looks at you with scorn in her eyes.
“Goopy, I guess it’s pointless asking, but I will anyway; you don’t happen to have that ’10 Ways to Repel a Zombie’ booklet in your MIP, do you?”
Disdain drips from every syllable. The familiar rage rises, but your survival instinct kicks in and chokes it to death before it gets to your vocal cords. There are worse things than Goopy in this world, and they are limping ever closer.
You dig around in your magical infinite pocket. The cow plant statue is still there, wrapped in the newspaper. There’s the easel, the unknown seed…ooh, a cabbage, that will be nice when you’re starving to death…a death fish swimming happily around its bowl, a life preserver wall decoration that may come in handy if you decide to try to swim across the ocean or want to play toss the ring on the zombie, and…that’s new. You know it wasn’t there before.
You bring out an old and tattered book. It seems to have been originally titled 50 Great Jokes So Clean You Can Tell Them To Mrs. Crumplebottom And Not Get Battered Into Biscuits By Her Pocketbook, but now a new title has been scrawled across the yellowed cover.
The letters pulse with a lurid purple glow.
“Top 10 Ways To Repel Those Awful Green Smelly Zombies Who Want Your Nice Juicy Eyes”, you read out loud.
You open it slowly, worried that the purple glowy stuff might suddenly jump out of the cover and try to eat your hand. You’re very worried about things eating you in general right now, really.
Over the faded “Have you ever heard the one about the suitcase and the elephant?”, letters glow and snap and crackle with purple energy. They aren’t from any alphabet you know.
Iliana gives you a Look, looking very much like the cow plant statue. If there is cake in her eyes, you don’t want it.
Veronica looks over your shoulder and says, “Oh, that’s Ancient Simmerian. It says “Talk to the cow, ’cause the gnome ain’t listening.”
Let’s see…maybe its time to try and talk to the creepy glowing cowplant. Its gotta know something, right? Why else would it be all creepy and glowing?
The cries for blood and brains and eyes are getting closer. “NICE JUICY EYES!!!”
You’ve got to get moving. You don’t have time for this.
You grab the cow plant figurine out of your MIP, rip the paper off it, and throw it on the ground.
“Okay, look, you stupid glowing burny cow thing, tell us how to get rid of these zombies RIGHT NOW or I swear to God I will buy a llama mascot figurine and make you hang out with it in a curio cabinet forEVER!!!”
It sits there, Looking at you and glowing green and smoking.
You roll to the floor and start gurgling, screaming and clutching your throat. Maybe that’ll repel them. If not, you could try rolling down the hill as fast as you can go…
Then suddenly it’s inside your mind. You withdraw into a little green plumbbob cowering in the corner of your brain. The cow is in control.
It throws your body down on the ground and makes you gurgle. You feel your arms rise up and grab your throat. You whimper.
The SCCRUH SCCRUH stops. From a great distance you hear Veronica yelling.
“It’s working, it’s working! They’re confused! Come on, let’s go!”
You feel a gentle push as if someone is poking at you through rolls of foam. Then you see the ground and the sky and the ground and the sky and the ground and then the ground again.
They rolled you down the hill. You reach the bottom and the cow leaves, waving a slice of cake in your plumbbob as it departs your cranium.
You sit up, shaking your head. That was really really weird.
You look around, getting your bearings. You’re not that far from the house. You jump up and start running like your life depends on it. Which, you guess, it sort of actually does.
“Come on, this way!”
Veronica and Iliana follow you, trusting you to lead them through the valley of the shadow of undeath. Well, sort of. You think maybe Iliana might trust you to at least not feed her to the zombies first.
Home sweet home.