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Slim and Benny-Be-Damned Take It on the Lam

horror by Jude-Marie Green

So here’s Slim squirting bright arterial blood and laughing every step of the way.

“Did you see the looks on their faces? Didn’t know zombies could be surprised!”

“Shut up,” Benny-Be-Damned snarled.

He wrapped his arm around Slim’s waist and carried him along, more concerned about what might be following them than about the scarlet trail dripping down the bricks into the alley grease.

“And when you said, ‘Stick ’em up?’ They just – “

And here Slim ran out of breath. His copy-paper skin and the orange of his hair and the red of his blood draining from his nose made his face a clown-smear that would have frightened a lesser man.

Benny-Be-Damned didn’t frighten easy. No imagination. Dicking around with the zombies, pistol-whipping them just to see what they’d do. Never figured they’d be the kind would attack their keeper.

His best buddy Slim, promoted from night janitor to night lead zombie-handler. Easy for him to work with the zombies at the bank. He didn’t mind chained-up dead people dripping slime and shedding body parts like freaky latter-day lepers.

Slim coughed up a load of snot and blood, green and red, Christmas! He waved his arms, Let’s go, c’mon, get a move on. Words he was too choked up to say.

Benny-Be-Damned tightened his grip and pulled Slim along, end of the alley, turn right, duck into an abandoned storefront.

“Those the kind of zombies can run fast?” Benny-Be-Damned asked.

He didn’t see anything following them but that didn’t mean nothing.

Slim coughed again. “Dunno. Depends. You got your junk yard dogs and your lugnuts. Bank uses whatever guard service comes along. Dunno which kind bit me, either.”

He choked on the rattling phlegm in his throat.

“We just gotta make it to daybreak,” Benny-Be-Damned said. “You last that long, we blow this town.”

“Why’d you have to do it, Benny?” Slim whined. “Were you just in it so’s you could beat up on repurposed dead people? ‘Cause I wanted the money.”

“Shut up!”

Benny-Be-Damned pulled Slim up some stairs and behind a thick office door. Only the abandoned buildings still had the good doors, though this lock was gone. He’d shot it scoping out this place.

Slim staggered across the room and slid to the floor, back up against the wood desk. His head lowered between his knees. The desk was the only thing big enough to block the door so Benny-Be-Damned pulled his friend aside, settling him closer to the windowsill.

“Keep a look-out. Whatever kind they are, I bet they’re coming.”

“Thrill of the chase,” Slim muttered, smiling. “They don’t stop, you know. Whole point of using the fuckers.”

Benny-Be-Damned grunted and shoved and barricaded the solid wood door with the solid wood desk. All the while thinking, If I hadn’t of screwed around with the zombies we’d of gotten outta this with the cash and our skins in one piece.

Slim inched up and strained to see over the window ledge. He slumped back down with a sigh.

“Nuthin’ comin’. And hey, the bleeding’s slowed.”

He pulled his yellow-just-two-hours-ago teeshirt away from the hole in his shoulder. Mangled skin and pale flesh scabbed over with browning blood.

Looks like someone took a bite outta fresh chicken, Benny-Be-Damned thought. The blood no longer squirted, just oozed.

“I’m feeling faint,” Slim said. He leaned over until his nose touched the floor.

Benny-Be-Damned rolled Slim onto his back. Harsh snores convinced him to push Slim onto his side. The snores stopped. Slim curled up like a baby in a crib.

Gotta piss, Benny-Be-Damned thought. No toilet but plenty of corners. Done with that, he plopped into a leather desk chair and pushed against the floor with his feet. Twist one way, twist the other.

Damn that Slim. Passing out before they could make their escape. But come daylight and any roaming zombies would be destroyed, bullets first and questions later.

“Argentina,” he said, liking the way the word felt on his tongue. “No kind of zombies there. They kill their dead. Decent-like. Pina coladas served by real live women who don’t stink.”

He aimed a foot at Slim’s head and kicked, half-hearted and not even close to connecting.

“I’m outta here,” he announced. Slim didn’t move.

Benny-Be-Damned checked the window again – nothing – so he put his back into pushing the desk away from the door.

“Hey Benny.” Slim’s voice, thick and growly.

Somethin’ powerful wrong about that voice, Benny-Be-Damned thought. He didn’t want to turn. See his friend stand up now? No way.

That voice again, right behind him.

“‘Bout them zombies? I guess they’re the kind that pass it on real quick.”

Copyright 2009 by Jude-Marie Green

Jude-Marie Green lives in southern California. She is associate editor at Abyss & Apex and blog about writing at Incarnations. Check out her other work at Jude-Marie Green.

[Return to the October 2009 stories]

5 Responses

  1. […] Slim and Benny-Be-Damned Take It On The Lam […]

  2. I am a total zombie lover, and that was a fabulous story.

  3. this story was a blast. yay. two things I really liked about it:

    1) we never actually see the zombies — we just envision them through S and B’s eyes and imaginations.

    2) this sentence — “Pina coladas served by real live women who don’t stink.”

    i’m gonna find me some of them right now.

    love, tad xox

  4. […] fiction and her work is equally leavened by sly humor and a strong sense of nostalgia. Check out Slim and Benny-Be-Damned Take It on the Lam in the October 2009 issue.  Ole Stoney is a tip-of-the-hat to Jude-Marie’s […]

  5. An interesting twist to an age old classic. Well done

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