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Zombie Penguin Caitlin, Part One

by on March 4, 2011

The city was in chaos. Sirens wailed everywhere. The lights of dozens of fires dyed the low-hanging clouds red. Plumes of smoke rose throughout. Occasionally a wave of screams would rise, cresting and then falling away into low moans or cold silence. Small spurts of gunfire broke out, punctuating the sirens with staccato bursts that quickly died off. It was not, to put it mildly, the city’s best day ever. And this was only day one of the Zombie Penguin Apocalypse.

Mayor Dudley Flanbury fervently believed that he would not survive till day two. He had never bothered to purchase the Zombie Survival Guide or form any basic zombie contingency plans, a clearly irresponsible move that would likely cost him in the next election, assuming any of his constituents were still alive and un-zombified to remember. Mr. Flanbury had, in a panic, shut himself in his office and barricaded the door. This was all very well for a start, but he had no long-term supplies, only a collection of Doritos, Nutter Butters, and Coke cans that he had salvaged from the city hall vending machines. Once his meager stores ran out, he would be forced to leave the office, and he knew as sure as shootin’ that the zombie penguin hordes would be waiting for him. Worst of all, Mr. Flanbury hadn’t a single weapon about him deadlier than a peashooter his son had made for him after reading The Pushcart War. It had exactly one pea-pin (a pea with a pin stuck through it). Mr. Flanbury hadn’t even practiced with the peashooter, either by shooting it or sticking it by hand in the target, and anyway, while peashooters might work well against tires, they are pretty well useless against zombie penguins. Mr. Flanbury, therefore, was almost entirely out of luck.

Then he remembered. Facepalming, he ran to his desk and felt underneath until his fingers ran across a small button. He wondered why the police hadn’t beaten him to it; the answer, though he didn’t know it, was that the police station had already fallen to the chilly undead. Zombie Penguin Caitlin was, at that very moment, squawking hoarsely on the sidewalk and waddling towards city hall, her beak dripping with grey flesh. (She had just devoured the chief of police’s…tuna fish sandwich. What did you think she was eating? Honestly.)

The mayor promptly pushed the button.  Out in the city, a new beam of light raced out into the darkness, tracing a brilliant G in the sky. “Thank heaven that still works,” the mayor breathed. Several tense seconds passed. Then, a swoosh, and a figure in purple and grey appeared hovering outside his window, a thin aura of flame flickering about her. “Yeah?” Gaseous Girl, protector of the city, said tiredly.

“Gaseous Girl, we need your help!” the mayor said importantly.

“Really. Wow. There’s a big surprise. I could just die from that surprise.”

“Well…I need your help! They’re coming to get me, I know it!”

“Mr. Mayor,” Gaseous Girl said, sounding very miffed, “forgive me for saying so, but I’m a little busy right now. You may have noticed the Zombie Penguin Apocalypse outside? I’m trying to save millions of people from getting eaten or zombified, or penguinified, whatever, and honestly it’s not going very well, so unless you have a really pressing emergency I need to-”

“Wait!” the mayor said in a panic. For the second time that night, he remembered something he really should have remembered before. “I think I know how we can stop this!”

A faint light of hope shone in Gaseous Girl’s tired eyes. “How?”

The mayor, instead of answering right away, went for his bookcase. On it was a small black glass bottle with a cork in it. Mr. Flanbury flourished the bottle. “This! It contains the mystical essence of one of the most legendary individuals of our time, a man of myth and legend, someone who can figure out a way to stop this and get all the penguins back into people!”

Gaseous Girl’s eyebrows arched in incredulity. “Uh-huh. So who’s in there exactly?”

“I don’t know, I bought the thing on Ebay,” Mr. Flanbury said. “It’s not like a magic spell or anything, but it’s the only hope we’ve got.” Without further comment, he popped out the cork. There was a blinding flash and a bang. Smoke filled the room. Then, as it cleared, Gaseous Girl saw who their new hero was supposed to be. “Charlie Sheen?” she gasped.”Oy. You’re both nuts.”

“Hey,” Mr. Sheen objected. “I’m not nuts. I am, however, on a drug. That drug is called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body!”

“Well, that’s very nice I’m sure,” Gaseous Girl said, “but I’d rather keep my face unmelty, thanks. And I don’t even have kids, weepy or not. Besides, I thought the idea was for you to save the city and reverse the zombification, not go melting faces. Incidentally, reversing zombification, penguin or human, is impossible. Can’t happen. I know; I’ve done my homework.”

“Can’t is the cancer of happen,” Charlie Sheen said mystically. “And I can cure zombification. I’ve already cured it. WITH MY BRAIN!”

“What are you, River Tam?”

Before the mayor or everyone’s favorite Hollywood wacko could object to Gaseous Girl’s snarky remark, the door to the office smashed open. Zombie Penguin Caitlin stood in the doorway. She was still hungry. “Squaaaaaawk,” she squawked, in what was presumably penguin for “Braiiiiins.”

Charlie Sheen scoffed. “I’m an F-18 and I will destroy you in the air, and I will deploy my ordinance to the ground! It’s all just strafing runs in my underwear before my first cup of coffee!”

Now it was Gaseous Girl’s turn to facepalm. “We’re doomed. We’re going to die. I’m going to end as a zombie penguin. Who’d have thought.”

Charlie Sheen lunged forward, swinging the fists he had once alleged were fire-breathing. Unfortunately, his time as a parody cameo in the story had just ended, for Zombie Penguin Caitlin’s beak flashed forward, his fists were not really fire-breathing after all, and in a trice he too had been zombie-penguinified. Now two zombie penguins were closing in on the mayor and Gaseous Girl, emitting in unison a single sound. “Squawwwwwk.”

To be continued.

Author’s Note: this week I’m doing a sort of double feature, as this story was also written for Prompt Number Nine in the Chrysalis Experiment. What fun!  😛


    So many times while reading this, I found myself pausing to laugh helplessly. Charlie Sheen’s cameo was especially delightful 😛

    Oh, and love this zombie description:

    “the chilly undead”

    • Just wait till Zombie Penguin Caitlin: Part Two, when I hope to send readers into bouts of hysterical weeping. *dun dun dunnnnn…*

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