I’m baaack! This time I wanted to show you my twisted zombie story. For the traditionalists this may seem very- let me see if I can remember the quotes I got in a few reviews. Oh yes.- ridiculous, childish and unrealistic. Apparently they didn’t think zombies could exist in a funny kind of romance.
In my defense when you write fiction I thought all those things were up for grabs. In the world I create I can do what I want. I know that some things are basically “written in stone” like vampires drink blood and have some kind of sensitivity to light, Greek gods live on Olympus and that sort of thing. To change that stuff could hinder your reader’s ability to get into your story.
Anyway, my zombies are zombie-like. Their flesh falls apart, the move steady but slow and they eat flesh to change others into zombies. The story around it is a romance. Two guys in a long term commitment taking a road trip to move across country to make a better life for themselves. It’s a light horror mixed with funny situations and hope. If you like that than I Love You to Death is for you.
To start their lives anew, Mike and Bill are leaving the chill winters of Chicago behind for the warm breezes of San Fernando Valley. On their cross country road trip they experience different foods, cozy country towns and…zombies??
Mike grunted and turned off the main highway following the dirt road that led into the small town. Bill’s mouth dropped open at its appearance. A quick shift of his eyes showed him that Mike’s expression mimicked his own. Having grown up in a major city like Chicago neither of them had ever seen a ‘small town’. It was like something straight off of television. Mike drove pass Scooter’s general store, Bob Cat’s hardware and Mick’s gas station all on the same block. They stopped at a four way stop and continued down the street to pull up in front of Ellie May’s Diner. The buildings were weather beaten and dull looking against the dusty sidewalks they rested on.
“Are you having a Mayberry moment, too, or is it just me?” Bill asked Mike with a laughing grin.
“Man! I’m half expecting the inside of the building to be in black and white.”
Mike roared with laughter as he left the vehicle. Bill followed and they went inside. The inside looked just as Bill suspected it would. A long marble-like counter with red top stools expanded to the left and right before them as they entered. Two men who appeared nothing alike in coloring or facial features, yet they both looked like they could easily go by the name Bubba, sat at the breakfast bar eating. To their left and right were booth tables, but only the left side had occupants.
Bill figured the bells on the door were there to alert the only waitress he saw to new customers into the establishment, but it also brought the ‘Bubbas’ and everyone else’s eyes in the diner to them as well. So many heavy gazes on him at once, no matter how vacant, made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Bill turned to Mike, but before he could say anything he headed toward a seat for them. Bill picked up pace behind him and slid into the booth across from him.
“Okay so how far off course are we?” Mike asked.
“Well, we crossed the Utah state line a few hours ago so…” Bill paused to spread the map across the table. “We were here. I remember passing this town,” he started trailing his finger over a windy red line, “Then we—“
“Then we veered off track to take a picture and got lost,” Mike chimed in.
Bill narrowed his eyes and twisted his lips, but Mike’s cheesy grin defused his anger.
“Anyway, as I was saying…” Bill looked back at the map, but his assuredness faded as he scanned the paper. “Huh, I don’t know where we are, but we need to find the way back to I-15 so we can hit Vegas before going into Cali.”
“You are right here, honey,” a voice declared as a pale finger with a bright red nail came down on the map.
Bill and Mike’s head turned at the same time looking up. A woman with dark brown hair twisted into a tight bun at the base of her neck, large flushed cheeks and bright crimson lips to match her finger tips stared down at them.
“You are in beautiful Blakely, Utah, population one hundred thirty-seven counting Becky’s new baby and home of our famous green bean and mountain oyster pie.”
“Becky had twins, Mabel,” one of the Bubba’s corrected aloud.
“Thirty-eight,” Mabel amended with a quick smile.
Bill looked across to Mike. He didn’t see the disgust he felt on Mike’s face, but his features were screwed up in apparent confusion. Bill turned his attention back to Mabel.
“Green bean and moun—“ Bill started.
“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, hun,” she quipped cutting him off. “What can I get you all to drink?” she asked pulling a small pad from the front pocket of her red and white checker board apron.
“I’ll just take which ever cola you have,” Mike told her.
“Uh-huh and you,” Mabel said pointing at Bill.
“Do you have organic products?”
The woman’s bushy eye brow rose as she looked down on him. Mike turned away to smother a laugh. Bill swallowed hard and licked his lips.
“I’ll just have water,” he modified.
Mabel nodded and wrote on her pad. “Be right up. I’m Mabel in case you didn’t hear. The menus are by the window,” she told him indicating the direction with her pen before walking away.
“I was afraid to ask if they had bottled water. She might have stabbed me with her pen or something,” Bill said trying to fold the map back into a carrying position.
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