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Revenge of the Zombie Penguins

by on June 15, 2012

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, Susan had just wiped out Earth’s civilization with a device hidden inside a manatee. This was an extremely unfortunate event that made a good many people very much put out. Fortunately, the story’s not quite over yet….

Slowly Katrina came awake. She’d been having a lovely dream in which she ruled over a planet populated entirely by Starburst candies, and she’d just discovered the Island of the Pink Starbursts (which everybody knows are the best kind of Starburst) when suddenly she wasn’t dreaming anymore. Katrina instantly assumed the worst, and started brainstorming a way in which she could get free and exact her vengeance upon her captors. Except…there weren’t any captors. She was sitting, completely not tied up, in a comfy armchair,Β  with a cup of tea sitting on a little stand next to her. The teacup was even perched on a lace doily. Katrina certainly had not expected the lace doily.

Neither did she expect to see an elderly sheep sitting calmly in the armchair across from her. It took a few seconds for the words sheep and armchair to connect themselves properly in her brain, but when they did she leapt to her feet and drew her Sporksaber. “You!” she began overdramatically. “You kidnapped me! Now I shall have my REVENGE!”

“Your tea’s getting cold,” the sheep pointed out, with remarkable composure under the circumstances. “And in point of fact, I did not kidnap you, I saved you from being discovered and eaten by the mutant zombie penguins.”

“The….what now?” Katrina said cautiously. “Also, where am I, or maybe when am I, and why is there a statue of me out there with a spaceship jammed in it?”

The sheep’s explanation took the better part of two hours, as it had a good deal to tell her, but the author has decided to skip over that and go right to the finish. “…and boom went the manatee,” the sheep finished. “I’ve been hiding in my bunker ever since. You see, the manatee’s energy didn’t kill the zombie penguins since they were already dead, so to speak, but it did mutate them.”

“Mutate…how exactly?” Katrina asked, although she had a sinking feeling she didn’t want to know the answer.

“They can fly.”

“Zombie penguins that can fly.”Β  Of all the answers Katrina didn’t want to know, that one ranked right up there.

“Yes. Also they’re significantly harder to kill.”

“Oh. Crap.”

“Precisely,” said the sheep. “I have only survived because I managed to hide here underground. My supplies are beginning to run a bit thin, though, so I’ll be doing the heroic last stand scenario any day now, I expect.”

Several thoughts came together in Katrina’s mind like falling Tetris blocks, and she fairly exploded in fury. “This….this is stupid! That maniac! She destroyed the world! Susan’s not supposed to actually do it, she’s only supposed to threaten it and then the hero stops her! I’m only a new villain and I know better than this! It’s about standards and audience expectations and –aagh! Right, that’s it. I’ve got to save the world now. And I can’t very well do it from 4194, so how do I get back?”

“You can’t,” said the sheep, a little too quickly.

Katrina pressed her glowing green Sporksaber to the sheep’s neck. “Bantha poodoo. Try again.”

“Well….there are the meta-warp coils in the Dangling Participle, if you fired up the ship’s engines you might be able to use them to create another wormhole and get back, but-”

But she was already gone, racing out of the bunker, pounding up the steps, and dashing across the barren landscape. Little did she know that she really should have stayed and listened to the rest of the sheep’s sentence. Then again, if she had, this story might have turned out very differently. Let’s face it, if everyone always did the smart thing in books, they’d be over in three pages.

Katrina worked out how to fire up the meta-warp coils with relatively little trouble, mainly a slash from her Sporksaber and a good swift kick. The engine of the desolate ship thrummed to life one last time, and once more a wormhole opened up outside. Katrina dived through without even noticing the harsh squawking sounds in the distance, sounds that were rapidly growing louder.

***

“If you are not on Team Edward,” Ermingard shot back, “you are my enemy!”

“Only a Twi-” Catrina paused. “What was that?”

“What?”

“You didn’t just hear someone yell, ‘hey, you idiots, there goes Susan, she’s getting away and she’s about to destroy the world with her stuffed manatee?”

“No….it must be another one of your Team Jacobian lies!”

But Catrina was already looking around, realizing that she had actually heard what she’d thought she’d heard. Then she saw it: Susan, cackling with fiendish glee, climbing into Santa’s sleigh and preparing to take off into the future. She was too far away for Catrina to get there in time, but she wasn’t the one who had a bow and arrow. “Ermie!” she yelled. “I’m not on Team Jacob, Susan is! She lied to you this whole time!”

“No……that’s not true! That’s impossible!”

“Search your feelings, you know it to be true!”

“NOOOOOOOOOO!” Ermingard howled, whereupon she swung around, with tearstained eyes, unleashed a spork-arrow right at Susan. Susan, being the ex-mistress of Character Hell, caught it in one hand. “Ha!” she said. “I am Susan, you Edwardian-obsessed creature, and I will not be bullied by-”

But the Hulk did not break in at this point and slam Susan around like a rag doll; no, what did impact Susan rather dramatically was Katrina, who popped in from the tail end of the wormhole and snap-kicked Susan like a champ, sending her flying right over the intervening rooftops to the exact same one on which Ermingard and Susan were standing. Katrina naturally followed, green Sporksaber at the ready, intent on finishing her off. Only what she found when she arrived was Catrina and Ermingard, Catrina with her red Sporksaber blazing bright in her hand, Ermingard with a second spork-arrow on string, ready to fire at anyone who moved. Moreover, Susan had learned to be prepared for emergencies, so she’d swiped a very powerful and fully charged laser rifle out of Santa’s bag (what it was doing there in the first place is a very interesting story that there’s no time to tell now. It’s a bit complicated, though, and involves mermaids. Always the mermaids.)

The four women stood there, armed and ready for battle, looking awkwardly at each other. “Standoffs,” Catrina grumbled. “Oh, these are fun.”

“Group hug!” Katrina said, then broke into a tense hysterical little giggle.

“Moron,” Susan snapped. “Incidentally, thanks so much for killing me off with your little toy there. If I wasn’t planning to murder you all horribly anyway, I’d definitely plan it for you.”

“Oh yeah? Well, at least I didn’t destroy the world! I would’ve made a valiant attempt and then let the hero catch me so I could escape and start all over again, but noooooo, you had to actually go and do it! I had to use those meta-warp coils in that stupid hamster ship to get back and stop you, and let me tell you, that wasn’t fun at all-“

“Um,” Ermingard ventured. “I hate to interrupt, but does anyone else hear that ominous squawking, buzzing sound?”

They paused. Then, slowly, they looked up. “Oh…..” said Katrina. “I think I should have listened to that sheep.”

The sky above them was filled, horizon to horizon, with a vast swarm of flying zombie penguins, eyes red, beaks slavering. They were clearly about to start dive-bombing the city. And there were only four people right then who had the slightest chance of doing anything about it.

Susan cocked her gun. Katrina brushed her blonde hair out of her eyes, and raised her Sporksaber into a battle stance. Ermingard pulled the string of her Spork-Bow taut, taking careful aim at the nearest chilly winged undead creature.

“You know,” Catrina said, a slight half-smile on her face as she coolly raised her own Sporksaber, “it’s times like this, when I’m on a rooftop with my worst enemy, a movie adaptation of myself that’s turned to evil, and my best friend who wants to kill me over a vampire series, waiting to start a fight with a horde of flying mutant zombie penguins, that I remember something my mother used to say. Catrina, she’d say, “Pickles? Who brought me dill pickles? I don’t even like them!” ”

Ermingard, Susan, and Katrina all made a collective “what the heck?” face.

Catrina shrugged. “She didn’t like zucchini either, my mother. Actually the whole vegetable family. She had a bad experience with a tomato as a child. Left her emotionally scarred. You understand. Right, then, let’s see about these zombie penguin chappies, shall we?”

The zombie penguin horde screamed in. Twang went Ermingard’s bow. Wirp went Susan’s laser rifle. Vssh vvmmmm vmmmm bsshz crackle went Catrina’s and Katrina’s Sporksabers. And thus the battle began.

Well, that was exciting, no? To find out how the epic showdown concludes, stay tuned for Episode 48 of the Catrina Chronicles, coming soon. To catch up on prior episodes, go here. To subscribe so you get new episodes right in your mailbox, click the little subscribe button on the right. Thanks for reading!

 

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6 Comments
  1. A planet populated entirely by STARBURST CANDIES! Can I steal that idea?

    • Absolutely. I would love to see someone write a story about a world inhabited by Starburst candies.

  2. Zombie penguins again?? Gosh I really must catch up πŸ™‚

    • well, good news is, my frenetic pace in writing these may be slowing down, what with law school things and all, not to mention that I’ve decided to do JulNoWriMo, or whatever it’s called. So you should be able to catch up fairly quickly πŸ˜›

  3. Fiiiinally read it! I have to say that I really appreciate your numerous kick-butt heroines – it’s nice to read a story dominated by them! Even the airhead ones are fun to read about – i.e. Phoebe and co. πŸ˜€

    and this battle scene definitely strikes me as one of those epic moments in the sure-to-be-blockbuster movie that will eventually get made of Catrina πŸ™‚

    • Ah, Phoebe. I need to bring her back; I think she got left in the 12th century and forgotten about. This happens a lot. πŸ˜›

      Yeah, that battle scene was just really fun to write. I think I did the whole story arc just to get to that scene. πŸ™‚

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