The Curious Case of Zoe Zombie -- An Intense Intervention
Have You Ever Seen a Vegan Heavin' on Gnarly Nachos?
Note to Readers: Movies present zombies as mindless drones, communicating in grunts, going through life as walking robots, and devouring human flesh. In real life, however, one may see a striking contrast; let's visit the Zombie family: father, Zeb; mother, Zelda; daughter, Zoe, son, Zach, and dog, Zegan. Join them now as they watch their favorite television show, The Grotesque Gourmet, when Dr. Zeel arrives.
"All the signs were there," Zelda sobbed. "It was just too, too horrible to face!"
Zeb agreed. "Those strange smells. And her appearance seemed to change over night."
"She wouldn't even eat her favorite snack, crunchy crickets."
Dr. Zeel nodded his head in empathy. "It's not too late; you called me just in time. Let's go see your daughter."
Zeb asked, "Do you want me to knock on her bedroom door?"
"Let's get it done."
Zelda told the doctor, "That poor dog finally gave it away. He's in there with Zoe now."
"Zach came home from school in tears. Zegan was burying. . ." Zeb stopped a moment to catch his breath, "carrots! Of all things. Carrots!"
Zelda closed her eyes and shivered. "Poor little Zach could hardly speak. The kids at school were teasing him about his dopey dog: Zegan the Vegan! Zegan the Vegan!"
Zeb knocked on the door.
"Sweetie, it's mom. How about we go out tonight for some rancid ravioli and slimy slaw?"
"I'm not hungry."
Zeb frowned and tried to open the door. "It's locked!" He pounded on the door. "You open this door right now, young lady."
Zelda ran to the kitchen for the key.
Dr. Zeel said, "Now, we must remain calm. Let me go in first; I've seen everything."
Zelda unlocked the door and stepped back for the doctor to enter first.
Doc turned pale, and Zeb turned away at the offensive odor.
Their daughter Zoe sat at her desk, wide-eyed and slack-jawed. Zegan emitted a low, menacing growl, and Zoe reached down to calm the dog with her touch. Zelda screamed and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Zegan ran over and grabbed Dr. Zeel's pant cuff, growling and slobbering.
Zeb looked helplessly as he tried to grab his wife with his right hand and the attacking dog with his left. He accused his daughter, "Oh, no, look, you've upset your mother. Her arm just fell off." He leaned down to rescue his wife and lamented, "Another trip to the hospital in the morning."
Zelda slowly opened her eyes and sat down in a chair. Her eyes were dull, and her hair hung like dirty spaghetti. Zeb patted his wife's hand and said, "It's good to see you looking normal again."
Zoe ran over to rescue Zegan and held him to her chest. The Zombie daughter was the picture of health: rosy cheeks, bright eyes, and a beautiful smile with pleasant breath. Her hair was shampooed and smelled like sweet strawberries.
Zeb said, "Doc, it's worse than we feared. Whoa! That awful odor, where's it coming from?"
Dr. Zeel sniffed the air. Zeb walked over to lift Zoe's mattress with his gray, decaying hand and stepped back in horror. There lay the evidence they all feared but could not voice. The contraband stared back, accusing, almost blinding in their bright glaring rainbow colors: carrots, a head of lettuce, apple, orange, squash, tomato and a cucumber. Zeb held his hand up to protect his nose hairs from the offensive stench. He looked with horror at the doc. "Is it true, is she a . . ."
"Vegetarian? It's truly rare; the only treatment is still experimental." Dr. Zeel sighed. "And very expensive."
Zeb shuddered and asked his daughter, "How could you? Think of your poor mother and little brother, at least."
Zoe answered, "Not only a vegetarian but a raw food vegetarian." Her bright blue eyes sparkled with anger, and her skin was smooth and soft. Zegan snorted and licked his master's cheek. Thud! Someone or something fell into the floor.
Dr. Zeel yelled, "Your wife just fainted again. It looks like one of her eyes popped out this time."
"I'll grab my wife and take her to the emergency clinic. You deal with Zoe and that weird dog."
"I'm home," a voice yelled from the living room.
Zeb groaned, "That's Zach. We've got to protect our boy no matter what."
"I'll take care of him." The doc pushed the father out the door as he carried his unconscious wife with an eyeball and arm in a bag of icky ice.
Doc shut the door to Zoe's room, and walked toward the young boy. "Hello, son, what do you say about getting a snack while we're waiting for your mom and dad to get back?"
"Where did they go? Is something wrong?"
"No, no. They're going to stop by Fetid Foods for some hamster helper and hairball soup."
Zach opened the freezer. "No catnip cola or chalky cupcakes! Do we have any gnarly nachos? That stinks."
"Well . . . How about this hemlock hash in the microwave and I'll be right back." Doc hurried to get back to young, defiant patient. He jiggled the door knob, locked again. Where was that key? He fretted as the long minutes elapsed before he opened the bedroom door. Aha, she must be in her bathroom with the forbidden food. Not a clue remained of the vile vegetables. He opened the bathroom door. "Oh, no!" The bathroom window was open with no sign of Zoe or her dog Zegan.
Zoe ran along the street. It was getting dark, and her eyes could no longer adjust to the night. Her nose failed her, no longer able to ferret out food sources. The vegan life revitalized her spirit and gave her energy she'd never felt before. But now, she wished for some of the old traits that served the zombie world well. She reached for her cell phone. Uh, oh, left it in her room. She'd wanted to call her college friend, Amber, to pick her up and find Veggie Village. Just thinking about all those yummy dishes made her mouth water. And Zegan, how that dog did love carrots. He could live on them alone. She sighed, just imagining her parents and Doc's shock when they discovered that bowl of soaking raw whole oats and almonds for her breakfast. Her stomach rumbled. Stop thinking about food. Stopping by a phone booth, she prayed, Amber, please be home.
Ten minutes later, a red car pulled up. "Amber, I'm so glad to see you. My feet are killing me." She carried Vegan; his feet hurt, too. He panted, and his tongue hung out.
"I'm ravenous. Let's go eat."
Zoe stood at the raw food bar. Choices, choices. Carrots and water for Zegan, of course. The lettuce wraps were a treat for the eyes: red tomatoes, yellow onions, and green avocados. Wow, stone sushi -- what a wonderful work of art: dried seawood strips wrapped around bell peppers, avocado, and ginger. She had to have the grape-celery smoothie. Wonder if Zegan would like that carrot blush smoothie: carrots, beets, lettuce and spinach leaves. Yum! Maybe they'd share that. She sighed.
Amber asked, "What now?"
"I just don't know. But I can't go to carnivore readjustment rehab." She sipped her gorgeous green smoothie. "I'm going to eat this delicious food right now." A tear rolled down her cheek as she thought of her brother Zach and his silly "knock, knock" jokes. Zegan crunched his carrots in delight. Alone, a new life loomed ahead of her, promising both chilling challenges and zombie zaniness.
Disclaimer: No animals were hurt or eaten during the course of this story.
To purchase a copy of Beverly's book, Gothic Bedtime Stories, contact her at P. O. Box 803, Alderson, WV, 24910 or by email: hbpoe(at)excite.com. The cost of the book is $15.00 -- mention the Piker Press for free shipping.