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Zombies in the Break Room!

by on March 24, 2012

Bob did not like his job. He didn’t dislike it, exactly; he could certainly think of jobs he would have hated to do, such as mucking out the insides of Port-a-Potties. But Bob did not enjoy his work either. What he wanted to be was an astronaut. But, alas, while C’s may get degrees they do not get you into NASA, and so Bob had wound up working for the Edison Mutual Cape Insurance Company. He arrived every morning punctually at 8, made the appropriate entry on his timesheet, worked through the morning at his cubicle, took a thirty-minute lunch break, worked more in the afternoon, and left at precisely 4:30. Nothing interesting ever happened, to him, anyway, not to his customers. But he’d always stayed out of it. Until today.

His phone blerped noisily on his desk. Bob answered with the slogan he had come to hate. “EMCIC, we pay for justice, this is Bob, how may I help you?”

He listened briefly. “I see. Your car was damaged during the ZPA? Well, ma’am, as you know the city government has set up an agency to deal with that so if you-….yes….I see….Oh. Gaseous Girl’s flame-blasts melted your windshield, not the zombie penguins. Well, yes, your policy would ordinarily cover that, but unfortunately your coverage does have an apocalypse exemption, and the Zombie Penguin Apocalypse does fall under that category. However, I can send you Form 11A-57B-2, which you can fill out and return to the ZPA Recovery office and they should address your concern. Yes, ma’am. Okay. You have a nice day now.”

Bob hung up, opened a file on his computer, and printed out the appropriate form. This wasn’t the first ZPA claim he’d encountered. As it inched out of his printer, he heard a clatter out in the corridor beyond his cubicle. Mildly curious, Bob checked his watch. It was time for lunch anyway. He picked up his usual package of Pop-Tarts he had brought with him and headed for the break room. He opened the glass door, and gasped.

He’d worked with Linda several times before; they weren’t terribly close friends, but they weren’t mortal enemies either. She usually went out to McDonald’s for lunch. Now, she was crouched over a tuna fish sandwich which Bob was pretty sure belonged to Clarice in Legal. Her clothes were bedraggled and torn, her hair was wild and dirty, and her face had an odd gray look to it. Also, she was tearing into the sandwich like she hadn’t eaten in years. “Um…” Bob ventured. “Linda?”

She looked up, startled at the sound. Her wide eyes focused on him. Then she let out a horrible moan and began shuffling towards him, arms extended. “Urrrrrrrg…”

Bob was completely nonplussed. He knew about zombies, of course, the human and the penguin kind. His cousin Jack worked for a company that specialized in zombie insurance. He even knew how to defeat the undead. Double-tap, in the head, end of zombie. But he had never expected to be fighting off a zombie attack in his staid and orderly workplace. How had this happened? There hadn’t been a zombie infection in weeks, not since the ZPA! How-and then he didn’t have time for thinking about that any more, because Linda was still advancing towards him. Bob didn’t have a weapon handy, other than his own mild little superpower, and while being able to telekinetically control Post-It notes was useful in its way, the worst he could do to Linda would be to give her a paper cut. Paper cuts were worse than useless against zombies. So, Bob did the next best thing: he ran screaming.

Linda went shuffling after him, still emitting the trademark zombie moan. Bob had run off so fast he hadn’t seen that there was another person in the break room. Admiral Zombie Lady looked ecstatically upon her creation. “Meh, heh, heh!” she cackled. “My Zombification Ray works! It really works!” She gave the shiny metal device an almost loving caress. “Oh, it’s beautiful! And with it I shall destroy the world! Muwahahahaha!”

Her evil laugh was quite well done (she’d put in a good bit of practice). Unfortunately, it was a bit too loud. Bob, frantically jamming the elevator button in his haste to get away, heard it. He even recognized it; as an employee of a cape insurance company, he was reasonably familiar with all the city’s villains, since he usually got called in to pay for their damages. Bob resolved that he had to stop her. She wasn’t a zombie, after all, she was a person, and people could get stopped by paper-cuts! Bob, in his first-ever burst of heroism, started back towards the break room. Unfortunately, he had forgotten about Linda. “URRRRRRG!” she howled, shambling towards him. Bob backpedaled frantically, but stumbled up against the copier. He had nowhere else to run. She was coming on fast towards him, now, and Bob had a fleeting sense of relief that his own zombie insurance premiums were all paid up, and then-and then a blast of lightning swatted Linda aside like a bug. Apologies for our late arrival, Audrey ‘pathed at Bob as she, Natalie, Lucy, and Trina assembled in the corridor. I hope you are unharmed?

Bob blurted something unintelligible and pointed. The four turned, to see Admiral Zombie Lady standing with her new Zombification Ray trained right on them. “You again!” she yelped. “I hate you guys! Remember when you ‘ported me to the North Pole? That was totally not fun! And now you will PAY!”

“Sure we will,”  Natalie sighed. “Audrey?”

The Zombification Ray was indeed a highly advanced piece of technology. Alas, it was also highly breakable. Audrey ‘teeked it into shiny metal bits with a mere thought. Linda gave a shudder, and then returned right back to normal, as everyone does who’s been temporarily zombified in a superhero story. Admiral Zombie Lady still had one trick up her sleeve. “A grenade!” she announced in wild desperation, whipping it out of her pocket. “And I’ll set it off if you don’t-OW!”

A magenta Post-It note had just sliced across her nose. She yelped, and dropped the grenade, and Natalie dove for it, covering it with her invulnerable self. It exploded with a loud whoompf, but Natalie absorbed most of the force, with the exception of the carpet, which was pretty well scorched. Natalie stood up, dusted the ash off her shoulder, and slugged Admiral Zombie Lady so hard that she flew back into the break room and smashed up against the microwave.

“Hey, that was freakin’ sweet with the Post-It note, dude,” Lucy said. “You ever thought about fightin’ crime yourself?”

Bob opened his mouth to answer, swayed a bit, and fainted.

And so the world was saved once again.

  1. I absolutely love Bob’s superpower. Never know when that could come in handy 🙂

    • Yes; many’s the time I wish I could’ve telekinetically summoned a Post-It note to do my bidding. 😛

  2. Awesome title and super-cool post!
    Zombies rule! I’d watch – or read – a zombie tale crafted by you, my friend!

    • There’s going to be a lot more zombie goodness coming up in the Catrina Chronicles, I can promise you that.

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