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Zombie Penguin Caitlin, Part Three

by on March 22, 2011

Zombie Penguin Caitlin’s beak slashed towards her mother. Just as it was about to close on Maralyn’s arm, a sudden clap of thunder…clapped. Or thundered. It did something thunder-y. You get the idea. At that same exact moment, a glittering spray of rainbow light arced across the sky, a light so brilliant and shiny that it could only have come from the combined happy non-zombified thoughts of literally tens of readers around the world. The light crackled down and split off into two plumes as the zombie penguins watched it in uncomprehending astonishment. The first plume dropped around Maralyn and crystallized into a dome of impenetrable glass that completely shielded Maralyn from the advancing zombie penguin horde. Zombie Penguin Caitlin had to jerk her beak backwards very suddenly to avoid getting it cut off, like that goat or whatever it was that got sliced in half by the dome in that one Stephen King novel of which the author has only read a snippet.

The second plume, however, was even more dramatic. It materialized into the last person Maralyn or her zombie penguin daughter had expected to see in New York City: Colin the Mime-Assassin, Master of Very Sharp Knives. Colin, empowered by happy thoughts, unleashed a veritable (and oh, don’t you just love that word?) storm of very sharp knives as well as metal throwing stars at the zombie penguin horde, downing them all with well-aimed head shots (which as everyone knows is the proper way to kill a zombie, even if it happens to be a zombie penguin). Unfortunately, the happy thoughts that had summoned Colin to the world of New York City had not told him all he needed to know. Thus, little knowing what he was doing, his last knife shot through the air and buried itself right between Zombie Penguin Caitlin’s eyes. She gave a last little squawk and fell over, killed instantly for the second time in her life. Maralyn raced to her side in a panic, trying desperately to revive her daughter, but she couldn’t. Colin’s knife had done its work too well. Caitlin’s zombie-penguinified brain had ceased to function, as brains usually do when several inches of cold steel are jammed into them. The queen couldn’t even have the small comfort of holding Caitlin’s real body in her arms; all she had was the cold gray form of a zombie penguin indistinguishable from all the others in the city. This was, to borrow the phrase, a total bummer.

But for Caitlin, it was even worse. When she opened her eyes, she found herself lying on a red couch adorned with yellow daisies, surrounded by tall bookshelves and a high sunlit window. “Oh, drat,” she said. “I’ve died. Again. This must be a record.”

“Um, hi?” a querulous voice piped. Caitlin whirled about, and saw a brown-haired girl in a denim jumper and a plaid sweater, whose eyes were very wide in her roundish face. “I saw you arrive and I wasn’t sure when you would wake up. I figured you would be tired after all the zombie-penguin…stuff.”

Caitlin hesitated. She couldn’t quite remember all that had happened to her. She vaguely remembered dying before, meeting her mother, going back to the real world, and landing in a strange city, but after that, she had only vague flashes of being very cold, and a bit fuzzy. Also, her mouth tasted of tuna fish. She had no idea why. “I’m sorry,” she began, “I don’t quite understand…who are you, exactly?”

“Oh,” said the girl, blushing awkwardly, “um, right. I’m…an angel. It’s my thing. I don’t have a harp or wings yet, but I’m making very good progress with a harmonica.”

“I see,” Caitlin said. “Well. I have a question, then, if you don’t object. See, I seem to have been killed twice. What am I supposed to do now? Is that it, or can I keep going back?”

The girl pondered for a moment, furrowing her brow in studious concentration. “Hm. Being killed twice…I don’t think that has ever happened before. It’s very unusual, though it is kinda fascinating especially since…I should stop talking. I tend to ramble. Sorry.”

“No, no, you’re fine,” Caitlin said politely, though her attention had truthfully wondered a bit. This girl, whoever she was, seemed a trifle flaky.

“It’s just that I’m so happy you’re here; I’ve been trying to destroy your world for so long and then you went back and started the Zombie Penguin Apocalypse and now everything’s going so wonderfully, and-”

Caitlin had been distracted again, thinking about her mother and wondering where she was, but all of a sudden that train of thought crashed into a ravine and exploded in a thought-fireball. “Could you go back a bit?” she asked, still politely. “Maybe to that part about destroying my world? I’m not sure I understood it.”

The girl’s wide eyes narrowed intensely. “Oh, it’s not just your world. It’s all of them. There’s literally zillions out there, all the worlds from every novel, every movie, every comic strip, every TV show ever. That’s not even counting the fanfiction. Zillions. That isn’t right. There should only be one world, one reality, the one that doesn’t come from some loser’s weak imagination. That’s why I’m going to wipe out every single fictional world that ever was, so that people will focus on their real, ordinary lives instead of footling about with silly made-up worlds.”

“You said you were an angel!” Caitlin snapped, leaping to her feet and grabbing for her sword, which unfortunately wasn’t there as she had left it behind in New York. “Angels are supposed to save puppies, orchestrate seemingly random coincidences, and deliver messages while having little glows shine over their shoulder, not wipe out whole worlds!”

“I lied,” the girl said smugly, giving a little toss of her hair. “I’m not an angel, I’m better than that. I’m going to be a god. I am a god already, at least of this world. My name’s Susan, and, Princess, you made a real big mistake. This isn’t Character Heaven. Oh no. No it is not.”

The window darkened ominously. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Foul green mists began to rise from the floor, and red flames leapt hungrily from the walls, devouring the bookshelves. Two sharp horns sprang curling from the girl’s head, and her eyes flashed sickly green. “Princess Caitlin,” she said, her face twisting into a horrible sneering smile, “allow me to welcome you to the exponentially worse reality of… Character Hell.” She paused, dramatically. “And now that I’ve let that sink in, listen to my horrible evil laugh!”

Susan took a breath, and began with a slow chuckle that rose higher and higher, faster and faster. “Meh, heh heh heh, eee-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-hee-hee-hee…” Then she exploded with a powerful burst. “Ahaha, WAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!” It was a perfect evil laugh, its final note drawn out to an admirable length. Susan didn’t tell Caitlin this, but she had in fact been working with a vocal coach (Character Hell had more of those than you might think). The work had paid off. Caitlin, for the first time she could remember, was well and truly terrified.

This is the last part of the three-part saga of Zombie Penguin Caitlin; our next episode in the Caitlin Chronicles will featureΒ  Caitlin’s epic battle against her worst enemy yet…Suuuusan. (dun dun DUNH….) And of course, this story was written for Prompt Number Twelve of the Chrysalis Experiment. for which, incidentally, participants get a button graphic. Shiny, to quote Firefly.Β  πŸ˜›

  1. Susan?!?!? OMG!! lol. YAY EVIL SUSANS.

  2. Okay, ANOTHER comment that isn’t about the story, as I haven’t read it yet πŸ˜›

    I gave you an award:

  3. Jenn permalink

    So you and Cait haven’t made up yet? You should make her buy you ice cream.

    Of the angel was Susan. She was totally giving off the evil Alyson Hannigan vibe. She had me at harmonica.

    • Yes, yes I should…or maybe I should buy her ice cream, considering I’ve just sent her to the Bad Place.
      And that time I actually had the evil Alyson Hannigan vibe in mind when I wrote Evil Susan.

  4. Oh my gosh, Susan really is evil. πŸ˜‰ I met this chick whose name is Susan and I felt bad about all the evil Susans I’ve met lately πŸ˜› But I still continue to write them and read them! hehe

    “she had only vague flashes of being very cold, and a bit fuzzy. Also, her mouth tasted of tuna fish. ”

    this cracked me up, but then most of the installment did πŸ˜‰

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