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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Cindy Rosmus—Gobble, Gobble

89_ym_gobblegobble_mdavis.jpg
Art by Michael D. Davis 2021

GOBBLE, GOBBLE

  

by

 

Cindy Rosmus

 

 

What happened was, Rudy fucked up.

He knew the zombies were out there. It being Thanksgiving, he should’ve stayed inside. The aroma of roast turkey vs. stench of rotting flesh? Come on.

But he felt sorry for them.

“Zombies,” he told me, “have rights, too, ‘Einstein’.”

That’s what he called me, ‘cos I was smarter than him. A college grad with a crappy job, but I knew lots of answers on Jeopardy. Knew other shit, too, like how to stay inside, when the zombies were outside, chowing down.

Home, I was, cooking our Thanksgiving dinner. As Rudy staggered to my door, a fight was going on, out in my hallway.

“Fuckin’ leech!” Lisa-from-next-door yelled at her boyfriend. “You thievin’ fuck!”

I peered out the door, not seeing Rudy, yet. Even as he clutched his throat, blood and rotting tissue peeping through his fingers.

Lisa’s boyfriend wore a jacket, hoodie, and a nice coat no doubt he stole. Out of his backpack, I glimpsed two drumsticks, poised like an acrobat’s legs. Like he’d crammed the whole turkey in there, straight from the oven.

“Where’s the stuffing?” Lisa demanded. “You take that, too?”

No answer. His cheeks were all puffed up, like before you puke.

I slammed the door.

Above the delicious aroma of turkey was a noxious smell, like giblets from last night’s garbage.

Rudy, I realized. Somehow, he’d slipped in, past me.

Something—either zombie ooze, or his mangled flesh—was stinking up my place.

“One of them . . .” Even with shades on, he looked dizzy. “. . . got me!” He was ready to cry. “And I was only trying to help.”

I reached out, hesitantly.

God, I loved him. In a sick, overwhelming way. That pale, brooding rebel; eyes hidden behind dope glasses. Who always put my needs first, sexual, or whatever. Damn, he was great between soiled, wrinkled sheets.

Obsessed with injustice, he was. Always fighting something. Even for the rights of …oozing, murderous zombies.

If Rudy . . . my dad once said, jumped off a cliff, would you . . .

My smile had freaked Dad out.

I’d been to hell, and back, with Rudy.

But this, I realized, fingers inching toward his wound, was a new kind of hell….

The doorbell saved me.

“Baby,” I said, “Go sit down.” The bell buzzed wildly, as he shuffled away.

What if the zombie had followed him here? And brought friends?

I thought hard: Machete, bowie knife, .38 special. Which was the best zombie killer?

If I used the machete, would the severed parts keep moving?

The head . . . would the runny eyes still see, rotting teeth keep chomping on both Rudy, and then me?

Or, would beheading the zombie do the trick?

 Did the .38 need silver bullets?

“No,” Rudy murmured, “That’s for werewolves.”

He’d read my mind. Was he even still human?

The buzzing was replaced by persistent knocking.

Machete behind my back, I edged toward the door. Then threw it open.

Old Mrs. Delancey, from 1-B stood, holding an empty cup.

“Christine.” Her voice was thick with dirt, and maggots. “Can you spare some flour?”

I slammed the door, heard the zombie’s head crack. A loud screeching followed.

From the couch, Rudy moaned in pain.

Using almost super-human strength, I held the door shut. Heart racing. More of them were out there. Jabbering, and howling.

My feet slipped like mad, but I kept shoving the door back. God! I prayed, help us! Wondering how long till the wood split.

If Rudy wasn’t . . . wounded, he might’ve saved us.

          But zombies had rights.

          I seethed with hatred. This was all his fault. Now, we’d be the Delanceys’ Thanksgiving feast.

Rudy slumped off the couch.

Sick as it was, the fear that he’d died, coupled with the dread of being eaten alive, gave way to panic that our dinner was burning! Turkey would be overdone; potatoes bubbling in too-little water, never to be mashed.

If the wine was opened, I might’ve disinfected Rudy’s throat, before gulping the rest, myself.

Might’ve, I thought, bitterly.

“Einstein,” he whispered, trying to sit up.

On days like this, I kept the kitchen window shut. To keep both the chill, and zombies out. But not today. Our only chance was the fire escape.

Machete in hand, I leapt across the room, toward the kitchen.

The door burst open, and the zombies stumbled in.

The stench made me gag. I glanced back to see Rudy, my poor, wounded love, half-sitting, looking so defenseless.

As they tore into him, he howled. His shades went flying, as Lisa-next-door, a zombie now, devoured half his face, with one “kiss.”

The rush of jealousy terrified me.

Still, I climbed out the window.

The sky was a freaky gray, like rain could help. I imagined it washing all the zombies from this world.

Maybe one, just one of them, would drown.

Easing myself down the fire escape, machete held close, I feared this might be my last Thanksgiving.

I recalled that cliff I might’ve jumped off, for Rudy . . .

.Before landing on my feet.

And stealing away.

 

 

 

“Gobble, Gobble” originally appeared in Dark Dossier, Issue #30, January 2, 2019.






Cindy is a Jersey girl who looks like a Mob Wife and talks like Anybodys from West Side Story. Her noir/horror/bizarro stories have been published in the coolest places, such as Shotgun Honey; Megazine; Dark Dossier; Horror, Sleaze, Trash; and Rock and a Hard Place. She is the editor/art director of Yellow Mama and the art director of Black Petals. Her seventh collection of short stories, Backwards: Growing Up Catholic, and Weird, in the 60s (Hekate Publishing), is now available on Amazon! Cindy is a Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights advocate. 


If Charles Addams, Edgar Allan Poe, and Willy Wonka sired a bastard child it would be the fat asthmatic by the name of Michael D. Davis. He has been called warped by dear friends and a freak by passing strangers. Michael started drawing cartoons when he was ten, and his skill has improved with his humor, which isn’t saying much. He is for the most part self-taught, only ever crediting the help of one great high school art teacher. His art has been shown at his local library for multiple years only during October due to its macabre nature. If you want to see more of Michael’s strange, odd, weird, cartoons you can follow him on Instagram at mad_hatters_mania.




In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2021