Monday, November 02, 2009


This is my second NaNo short story. I have wanted to write about merzombies for so long. It is a draft but it's so totally worth reading because the ending rocks.

The merzombies attacked at dawn.

Merpeople, but also zombies, they marched on Wellington in their grey-green, glistening hordes; draped with seaweed and blistered with barnacles, armed with tridents and spearguns and ex-whaling harpoons. They chanted a war song as they came: guttural noises in a foreign tongue, their words dropping fatly onto the water. They climbed the wharves and advanced on the city, hauling sleek, decomposing bodies over the rocks like decaying seals.

Melissa, sleeping in her Island Bay apartment, was woken by the military precision of a thousand flapping tails. She walked to the window and raised the blinds, gazing out at yet another spectacular sunrise. It took her a couple of seconds to register the undead phalanx marching out of the bay and onto the beach, but when she did she wasn't surprised. Michelle had been waiting a long time for the zompocalypse, and its watery origins didn't faze her. She quickly packed a bag with laptop and tinned food then quietly left the house.

In the war room of the National Defense, there was a lot of shouting going on. The very vague plan, in the highly unlikely event of a Zompocalypse, had been to put everyone worth saving onto boats and send them out to sea until the Army had eradicated the zombies. No-one had ever taken the Zompocalypse especially seriously, except for one small PA who had formulated an intricate and highly useful plan; sadly, he lived on the beach, and had had his brains eaten early that morning. As a result the Army had been sent in, but no-one knew what to do with the Important People while the merzombie rampage was at its height. "Send us into Space!" shouted the Prime Minister, who was somewhat more excitable than he had led his constituents to believe. "Yes," shouted the Mayor, "Let's go into orbit!" The assembled generals looked irritated and went back to their topographical manoeuvres. The Prime Minister checked his watch.

In the city the street preachers stood on corners shouting, "I told you so!" and celebrating the triumph of a apocalypse well predicted. Panicked businessmen ran from office to office, cellphones clamped to their ears. Traffic clogged the outbound motorway. The merzombies progressed steadily, a dark tide of slimy death. Webbed fingers crept up windowpanes; tridents smashed car windows. Brains were everywhere.

Panting and out of breath, Melissa made it to the top of the hill. As she popped out from behind a bush, brandishing a makeshift spear, she found herself face to face with one of the invaders. She shrieked and jabbed at him with the stick. He frowned, the scales on his face catching the light, and smacked the stick from her hand. Melissa stepped backwards, tripped on a rock, and fell over. The merzombie grinned, displaying sharp, serrated teeth, and took a step forwards. "Please don't eat my brains," Melissa said. A thought struck her. "I can take you to the university. They have better brains. You can eat them." The merzombie stopped and narrowed his eyes. "Huge brains," Melissa said. "Huge, delicious, academic brains." The merzombie grinned again, sharklike teeth pointing right at Melissa, then put out one webbed hand and pulled her to her feet.

The Prime Minister went on the television to reassure the populace. "Be assured," said the Prime Minister bravely, "that we are doing everything in our power to resolve this situation." He heard scuffling behind him, but kept his eyes on the teleprompter. "We are," he said, "advising citizens to take their families, and move to higher ground." Out of the corner of his eye, the Prime Minister saw that the barricade holding the door of the broadcasting station closed was beginning to give way. He took a deep breath and performed his final civic duty. "Above all," said the Prime Minister as the door gave way and the merzombies swarmed in, all determined to get a piece of the largest brain in the country," remain calm and do not panic."

As Melissa and the merzombie made their way through the corpse-clogged streets, the merzombie, in an attempt to calm Melissa down, explained things. He had come from Atlantis, he said, as their race was dying out. The zombification of merpeople, caused by pollution from high above, had sterilized all but a few of them. "We came up," he said, "for learning. We came up to find out how to reverse the pollution, before we all die." "How are you going to find out?" Melissa was intrigued despite herself. The merzombie shrugged. "Eat brains." "What?" "Brains. Full of knowledge. Taste bad, but very good for you." " don't get smarter by eating brains!" The merzombie frowned. "We do." As Melissa was wondering whether or not to believe this, the merzombie stuck out his hand. "My name," he said formally, "is Guilliame. In Atlantis, I am a prince." Melissa raised her eyebrows. "In that case," she said, "we'd better take the cable car."

Melissa and Guilliame hurried through the university in search of relevant brains to eat. As they went along they gathered a following of merzombies, and when eventually they reached the Science and Medicine departments it was carnage. "Please, excuse me," said Guilliame as he scalped a visiting professor and scooped out his wobbly brain. Melissa watched in horrified fascination. Well, she thought fiercely, well, good on them, we poisoned their home and now they're eating our brains. Guilliame turned towards her, a dribble of grey matter on his chin. "Got anything yet?" she asked. He cleared his throat and grimaced. "Not yet," he began, but as he said this there was a whoop of excitement from the other side of the room. A tall merzombie who had been bent over the body of the Professor of Reproductive Studies was waving his trident about and shouting in Atlantean. Guilliame listened intently for a minute or so, then shouted in joy and flung his arms up in the air, scattering brains everywhere. "Stop eating the brains," he shouted, "Vladimir has found the answer!" The merzombies all spat out their brains.

Vladimir shouted, "Breed with humans! Breed with humans!" And, shyly, Guilliame and Melissa held hands.


Michelle said...

It's just like the real world... no one remembers if you're called Michelle or Melissa.

Reading your short stories is the best. study break. ever.

a cat of impossible colour said...

Haha, only just noticed the name change in the middle. Or did the zombie eat Michelle and hook up with someone called Melissa? I wouldn't put it past him.

daisymay said...

Lol I like it. Its quite funny! But youll have to sort out the name error.

chic said...

I like the line "well in that case, we better take the cable car" ! Wonderful!

I also love the neologism "zompocolypse" and think this sounds like food for a great story!


Snidder said...

I really love the way you create your action scenes and the crazy world of Merzombies. Thank you for sharing! Your protagonist is great.

IT IS ALLY said...

Michelle - oh man. Sorry. I'll get around to fixing that.

Thank you, everyone! :)

日月神教-向左使 said...