July 30, 2011 at 10:16 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

This is another in the series of flash fiction from Chuck Wendig’s site “Terrible Minds.” This week it’s a thousand words, involving a flea market. I missed last week’s challenge–or something like that. I was a little too ambitious, and it got the better of me. I’m a little more grounded now. To see more and to check out the other entries, go shopping here:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: The Flea Market

Way out on the edge of the metropolitan area there was a closed up car dealership.
In the summer, impromptu farmer’s markets sprang up.  Before Halloween, growers sold pumpkins.  After Thanksgiving, it was Christmas trees.
On Saturday, the flea market appeared, almost like magic, and disappeared just as quickly–only to reappear the following week.
Last night my group of friends made a drunken decision to come here, and this morning I held them to it.  It had been an early morning drive, and there was still dew on the ground, and fog in the air.  Even early, the crowd had already gathered.
Flea marketers are an odd bunch:  more eclectic than any other group of geekdom, looking for the ultimate deal on the penultimate piece of something that they had been searching their entire life to find.
I felt a kindred spirit.  The quest…it’s all very primal.
Two old men drank coffee at their table of old car parts.  A suburban mom had a table of scented candles.  There was a boat for sale.
We stopped at table with some remarkable hand-carved items.  My friend Sue shouted, “Ravenwolf!”
*The* Ravenwolf.  I had heard much about him, and yet, he was nothing like I had expected.  I had heard he was a musician.  I had heard he was a hippie, and had his own way of doing things.  I heard he did some odd things in his house.  Mystical, pagan things.
From this and other things I had heard, I thought he would be a 60-year old grizzled-looking half-Indian, half-Scottish Nick Nolte-looking dude with moccasins and bongos and a hookah.  I pictured a loud and brazen blues-singer type, taking up everyone’s space, speaking in poetry and snapping his fingers.
The real Ravenwolf was quite different.  A young black man?  No, not young.  Even more so than many blacks, he had the annoying ability to look much younger than he was.  He could have been as young as 28; most likely he was past fifty.
In my mind’s eye I imagined him dressed like a pimp in a purple suit but I know he wasn’t.    Honestly–he was dressed plainly, but his essence sparkled, so it had the tricky thing of making him appear at once both more and less than he was.
Sue introduced us.  My girlfriend said, “I’ve heard a lot about you.”  He brushed it off, remarking something about not being that special–
He continued to deflect the attention to everyone else.  He was genuine, and he cared to hear about others.  I had started to walk towards the van to put the stuff away.  From about 20 feet away, Ravenwolf said something to me loud enough for me to hear–loud enough for everyone to hear–and yet no one heard but me.
“Are you a Holy Man?”
Not much can stop me in my tracks.
I had been walking away, but I had to go back, because I had some explaining to do.  In my embarrassment, I answered, “Yeah, I am–-although I don’t really talk about it because I’m not a good example.”
He smiled large at me.  “Who is, brother–who is?”
“You know, that may be why people come to me for counsel all the time.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.  But I listen, and people need that.”
He didn’t ask, but stated, “You’re honest.”  But more than the words were the emotional projection behind it, reminding me that I’m honest but I use humor to hide it, or I write fiction and make things up but they hold a higher truth.  All of that came to me in energy from him as he said those two words.
I laughed hesitantly, startled at the depth of our communication.  “I am that.”
While the others talked loudly to each other, their noise was gently blocked as Ravenwolf and I connected.  As we are preparing to go, we shook hands again, and this time–
This time, he held on to my hand.  Locking hands, I looked him in the eyes, and saw him already there, waiting for me.
At that moment of our connection, I could tell he was reading me.  Kim later told me that we had only met for the space of a few minutes.  Perhaps.  But Shamans can bend time and space.  And while I can’t, I can recognize it when it happens.  I had some doors of perception open for me, and I saw the real him.  His veil was like a dark jacket thrown over him like a costume.  Under his veil, I saw his aura.  His aura was at once a dark and bright purple, with sparkles of energy coming from it.  And under his aura, I saw his Presence.  His presence was of an ancient tribal priest, dressed in loin cloth and body paint, wearing a headdress and holding a staff, performing an ancient dance to the gods of the land, and the wind, and the water, and the spirits.
I don’t know what he got from me–truth?  The truth is over-rated, I suppose.  I am curious about what the real me looks like.
Shamans and Holy Men–I believe he is both, because a Shaman is a special kind of Holy Man–we have to…we have a job to do.  We have to teach, and counsel, and nurture the people.  We have to guide and direct them in this plane.  We point out new direction, and help remove blinders.
And we all have different methods of doing it.  Mine is more direct; I grab the spotlight and say, “Come, follow me!”  Others, like Ravenwolf, do it indirectly, by example and suggestion and gentle persuasion.  But we are both–if anything else–spirit guides.
This is what Ravenwolf communicated to me:  he was reminding me that I am a Holy Man, and that I have a mission, and a purpose.
My girlfriend bought some kitsch jewelry, too.

And what, pray tell, could the flaw in this story be? Now that I’ve sucked you in, I’ll tell you: It’s a true story. It really happened.


Your Call May Be Monitored

July 18, 2011 at 6:16 PM | Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments
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This is another in the series of flash fiction from Chuck Wendig’s site “Terrible Minds.” This week it’s a thousand words, about your favorite apocalypse. Everyone has their favorite, right? To see more and to check out the other entries, go shopping here:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: An uncharted Apocalypse
And this is a first for me–a double entry. I already put in one story, but it was one that I had written before and just had to edit. I had been sitting on this idea for a while, but was wondering just how to exploit it.

There is a reason for rules, Ted thought angrily, as he pulled the decayed corpse from the car.  This is what happens when people don’t abide.  Ted was immune to any punishment.  He was upholding rule and order when he took this Cadillac as his new ride to the office.
Commuting was hell, but it had gotten better since ninety percent of the people had died.  The bastards that had died on the highway—in the fast lane, for Christ’s sake—had no regard for rules and deserved what they got.  I just want to give them all tickets for dying in the express lane.
At the office, Ted gave himself a promotion.  The CEO’s office was his, as well as all the perks that went with it.  He had a great parking spot right up front, the closest one to the door besides the handicapped spots.  Ted was not one to flaunt the rules.  He did not want to get fined.
What started off as a great day turned sour when his secretary exploded in the copy room.  Fuck.  Now who’s going to make my coffee?  She was a temp, anyway—someone Ted had hired when he made himself Vice-President of Collections and Intimidation.  Rachel thought he was going to “save” her.   From what, exactly?  Just because a meteor shower filled with space pollen killed everyone with allergies doesn’t mean she doesn’t have to work to pay off her VISA card.  She worked four days, and she owed 1743.44. That debt is not paid off, and it will accrue interest on the next billing cycle.  “You can’t shirk your obligations that easily, bitch!” Ted screamed and kicked at what was left of her corpse, until it fell off the finisher of the Sharp MX-623.
Ted’s afternoon appointment schedule was full.  The company was short-staffed because he had to lay off everyone that died.  Some of these people did not have to courtesy to die elsewhere.  This economy has been a ball-buster.
But the growth industry has been collections.
In a seminar Ted gave last week to three sickly people and four dead bodies, Ted explained with PowerPoint that it was a fine line between sales and collections.  The difference is in the attitude.  For sales, you have to be polite.  “In conclusion—stop trying to leave, Rhonda, or I will shoot you where you lie—in conclusion, since the valued customer has already received the services or merchandise and we have upheld our part of the sales contract, it is within our legal right to do whatever is necessary to collect from them.  Any questions?”
“I thought there was help here.  Is there a doctor?  Can you help us?”
“No, Eric, I cannot help you.  Not unless you hit your quotas.”
“Please help us?”
“This is not part of our incentive program for the month.”

Ted pulled into the sweeping circle drive of a massive house.  This house in this neighborhood, before the bubble burst, was easily 1.2 million.  The market took a dive before the pollen meteors.  That was no excuse, however, for the owner to become delinquent on his payments.
Ted had prepared a strategy.  He would try the friendly touch first; let him know that Ted was his friend.  Then make him an offer.  If he gave the house to Ted, and signed over the paperwork, not only would all collection efforts stop, but Ted would clean up Mr. Stanley’s credit rating.  It wouldn’t be easy—but we’re in this together, as partners.  Ted went up to the door, briefcase in one hand, and shotgun in the other.
Later, Ted sat by the pool of his new house.  Luckily, the owners were not home.  Lucky for them.  They were probably vacationing in Delaware or Singapore.  That’s just irresponsible, going on an expensive vacation to a glamorous place like Delaware when you’re six months behind on your house payment.  What happened to values?  He was going to keep the papers handy, to have Mr. Stanley sign them upon his arrival.  It would all be perfectly legal—Ted was also a notary.
Ted sipped his drink and thought about Delaware.  That’s where Ted would like to go, for his vacation.  According to his incentive program that he had developed, he should get a hefty bonus to pay for the trip as well.  He drifted off to sleep thinking happy thoughts.

The next morning Ted was looking forward to a productive day at work.  Friday before Labor day—you want to make as many collection calls as you can, and ruin as many weekends as you can.  But people shouldn’t be spending their money on beer and barbeque anyway when they owe money they haven’t paid.  There are rules.  There is order.  He just hoped that today he would be able to get a line out.
The group of survivors was waiting for him inside, hidden behind cubicle walls on the production floor.  They jumped him and beat him, and tied him spread eagle to a small conference table.  Ted didn’t think to bring his gun into the office.  The office was safe, it was his haven.  Besides, firearms were forbidden in the workplace.
He and the table were dragged uncarefully outside, and tossed on a pile of random timber along with three others similarly constrained.
Stan, with a second mortgage and 420 credit score, said, “What is it with these people, hanging on to…the old ways of doing things?”
Jean, whose homeowner’s association had numerous nuisance suits filed against her, said, “I don’t know—collections people and lawyers.”
Robert, who had to close his business and file bankruptcy, said, “They don’t have any other skills.  They certainly don’t have the skills for survival.”
Tracy, who already had more student loan debt than she could ever pay off, asked, “Is that enough gas?”
Stan said, “Yeah.  Not too much.  We don’t want them to burn fast, otherwise they don’t scream long enough.”
Tracy giggled.  “I know, right?”

Whatever Happened to Mesopotamia?

July 16, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Posted in Fiction | 5 Comments
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This is another in the series of flash fiction from Chuck Wendig’s site “Terrible Minds.” This week it’s a thousand words, about your favorite apocalypse. Everyone has their favorite, right? To see more and to check out the other entries, go shopping here:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: An uncharted Apocalypse
I wrote this story many years ago–in fact the original appears elsewhere on this blog. This story has seen more rewrites than a sitcom with an out of control diva with a producer credit. So…this should be the best version, in theory. Right?
And I do have an idea for another one that I may write, to keep it fresh.

The streets were empty, save for the man selling his wares from a handcart, and the woman sweeping her stoop.  The old brick buildings and the cobblestone path made even the most subtle noise echo, giving them life beyond their want.
This country is a different place now.  There was a time when children would play in the streets, and adults would gather and talk, sharing the family wine or perhaps some lager.  Hardly anyone has children anymore.
Everyone came around to a new way of thinking:  Do what you want.  Think of yourself.  Live for today.  With these thoughts our goals changed.  Why have children?  Burdensome and expensive, not to mention the smell.  Would we ever get a peaceful night’s sleep again?  Ever?  Non.
And so, the children started to grow up and hardly any replaced them.  Schools started to close.  Having a child almost seemed to carry with it a stigma.  What were they thinking?
I could see it in their faces, down at the pub.  All the adults drinking and laughing, enjoying their childless life.  With a twinkle in their eye—

I came from another funeral today:  the provost of this area.  Suicide.  No one said it.  No one cried, either.  Too many tearless funerals of late.  The service was in a church, but no one mentioned God.  No one has for years.  The priest gave a little talk, and his concubines handed out beer and crackers.  Ashes to ashes-
I felt as though I was standing on the edge of the world.  Close, perhaps.  Was it the edge of civilization?  Some individuals face the end of the world every day.
Is this what it was like in Pompeii?
Or when Rome fell?  The rules and order that they had known was overwritten by the new order.  Like a thousand other times throughout the course of civilization.
I stood at the bar in the pub.  Normally loud, it had taken a somber tone recently.  It suited me.
Old Man Johann sat next to me, brooding.  He was ready to fight.  Trouble was, he wanted to fight everyone.  Sometimes, I agreed with him.
“Slovenly bastards,” he muttered quietly.  I nodded as I tilted my glass.  When the time came, I would fight.  I was going to use what dignity I retained and go out like a man.
We imagined we could hear the hordes just over the mountains.  Taking the land, killing the people, and changing the world.  I would fight them.  And Old Man Johann, and the half-score others who were so disgusted with their own people that we felt like killing them ourselves, for practice–and to prove a point.

My Spartan existence, that I once thought so chic, has left me with little to show for my life.  When this ground is buried beneath layers of civilization, will there be anything to show of what my life had been?  Trinkets, souvenirs, and heirlooms…I have none.
Will the scientists and philosophers know that I had loved, truly and deeply, and that my love had gone?
The bare walls betrayed the paintings that had once hung.  My love had a flair for the creative, and making a statement.  When she died, I made a statement and ripped them from the wall.  My bed was now a single.
With my beloved gone, I thought I had nothing to live for.  But in my early morning café-induced meditation, I realized that I wanted our love to never be forgotten.  Whether I was remembered or she was, it mattered not; I wanted our love to be remembered.
Looking out at the empty square, I had an idea.
The side of the old courthouse, long abandoned because there was no law anymore, became my canvas.  With somberness of purpose, I painted.  I painted a picture that was a story, a poem, a sonnet; an ode to the love we shared, that was bigger than all of us.  The self-involved townsfolk left me to work in peace, saying nary a word.  I knew what they thought, though:  I was crazy.
Ha!  At least I wanted to live!  Who was crazy?
It took weeks.  Time was marked for me only by the setting sun.  What else did I have?
I knew the savage hordes that would come would not destroy it, because it was the largest building in our valley.  Their savage kings and savage priests would claim the building as their new temple, as they often did.  In generations to come, it would be forgotten that the old people had put it there, and they would claim credit.  And the mural would enter their mythology, and it would be a story passed down through the ages in their barbaric tongue.
And perhaps the painting itself and the story it tells would inspire one of these savages, and cause a turn in their thinking, ever so slightly, and down through the ages, and perhaps be the catalyst for a renaissance for their people.  Perhaps some good can come from this after all.

That night at the pub, I celebrated quietly the completion of my work.  I could die in peace.  Levin read us the news, and the story of his travel over the mountains.  The news always made me angry; that’s why I listened to it.  I had so little emotion left, anger was the only one I could muster with any real conviction.
They are close, and closing in.  We won’t last the winter here.  The fall leaves crunched beneath my feet as I ambled drunkenly home.  A fitting metaphor for our whole stinkin—
A couple of coffees later, and of course I couldn’t sleep.  Lately, I never did.  I sat up thinking and sharpening my sword.  I would take some of the savage horde with me.  I swear to the God who has abandoned us to our fate that I would.
The price of civilization is blood, and theirs was going to cost them.

Go Ax Alice

July 9, 2011 at 10:23 PM | Posted in Fiction | 3 Comments

This is another in the series of flash fiction from Chuck Wendig’s site “Terrible Minds.” This week it’s a thousand words, whatever comes to mind based on a photo on Chuck’s site. To see the picture that inspired this and to check out the other entries, go shopping here:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge, “The Lady and the Swordsman.”
The first draft that was in my head was about a woman who seeks out bad relationships because she is addicted to the pain of heartbreak. However, I’m just too much of a happy person to write a downer like that.

Is it still a quest if you’re being pursued?
Janice ran down the well-lit, deserted street.  It was full of people only minutes before, when she stumbled and fought for balance as she came up from the street service elevator.
Now everyone was gone.  But she heard voices.  Why was everyone gone?  She just needed–
Hell, what did she need?  She needed someone to protect her.  Something was after her.  Or someone.  The Fencer:  the woman with the sword.
Where was she?
Janice remembered how it had begun, but she knew as soon as she thought it that what she remembered was not what happened.  Every time she thought about it, her memory was different.  She started to cry and claw at her head, but she stopped when she heard the noise.
The noise.
It had been alien and strange-sounding at first, and it affected her the way fingernails on a chalkboard did.  Now she was used to it.  Now, she needed to hear it.  The fencer was coming.  She was tapping-dragging her blade across the brick wall next to the street.
Janice ran the other way.
The people were back now, and the crowd only slowed her down.  She was in a panic, running for her life, and they only seemed to be interested in impeding her progress.  A car honked, and Janice found herself looking into the eyes of a 3-eyed dragon lady behind the wheel of a Hyundai.  The dragon lady hissed a small burst of fire, and Janice ran across the street and down an alley.
Around the corner, she came to a street sign.  It was shaped like a stop sign, but it said, “Keep Running.”  From a block away, she heard The Fencer.  And the noise.  It gave her a comfortable chill down her spine.
Janice peeked around the corner and saw the carnival in the street.  But there was a clearing in the crowd.  Everyone gave The Fencer a wide berth.  Anyone carrying a rapier gets her personal space respected.
It started to rain.  Just a sprinkle at first, but when she tried, Janice found she could make it rain harder.  The cold March rain soaked her, and she felt relief.  She had been burning up with the fever.  Delirium is one of the symptoms.
That thought was poignant to her, and so telling of her life.  She continued to mutter it to herself as she traveled the cobbled brick street.  It was slick now, and also reflected light from everywhere.
But there was very little light here, so the wet brick reflected a shiny darkness.  There was only darkness, and a woman carrying a sword.  The blade reflected in truncated pieces against the brick.  It was strange how Janice knew that, even though she never saw it; Janice was running away and not looking back at The Fencer.  Still, she knew.
She knew that The Fencer had been given the task of killing her.  The Fencer was doomed to walk the earth and destroy art.  And Janice was Art.  She knew it.  In her soul, she was full of art, and it had to be protected.  What would the world be with art, without Janice?   She ran fast, but her thoughts ran faster.  Her mind had already run through hundreds of scenarios.  But in each one, Janice dies.
Sometimes she dies from a blade through the heart.  It manages to cut and partially break a rib as it pierces her heart and runs through her back, cutting into another rib as it exits.  Blood squirts out the back, and then just pours quickly out of her body as it crumples to the ground.  The rain immediately begins to wash away her blood, and Janice can now see under the city, into the sewer, where her blood is diluted with water and eventually reintroduced into the cycle of life and city sanitation services.  Through subway posters and sidewalk graffiti, the soul of Janice would live on.
In other nightmares, Janice would run right at her attacker.  The Fencer would thence hold up her blade and run it right through Janice’s mouth and through the back of her skull.  Still attached, The Fencer would then run the sword into a wall, leaving Janice to hang there and suffer for her sins.  Crucified on the street by the deliverer of justice, and yet on display, like a piece of sculpture from one of the old masters.
Janice ran with the reckless abandon.  The Fencer chased her by walking briskly.  Around every corner, The Fencer seemed to be there.  How was it possible, Janice thought.  I’m not crazy.
This time, Janice decided that’s what she would do.  She turned and rushed at her foe—
But her foe wasn’t there.  She had disappeared into a crash of thunder and a cloud of misty smoke.  Was that all there was to it?  Did she win?  Did she have but to face her attacker?  After going through so much pain and fear and—
With somber resolution, Janice thought, “Thus endeth the lesson.”    It had stopped raining.  Both here and in her mind.  Now she wondered if it had ever rained at all.
She took a pen that seemed to oddly be at hand and finally wrote her message to humanity on the historic wall of this ancient part of the city that had always been her quest.  Stumbling over nameless debris, she reached her target.  In large block letters for everyone to see, Janice wrote:  “Delirium is one of the symptoms.”  Satisfied, she went to sleep with a smile.
When her body was found, police marveled that someone could get this far in a straight jacket.  The window to the art supply store had been broken.  Janice had bled to death, cut from the glass.
On the wall above her was beautifully scripted calligraphy in a dark burgundy of dried blood that read, “Madness is its own reward.”

Bob on The Fourth of July

July 2, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Posted in Fiction | 9 Comments
Tags: , , ,

This is another in the series of flash fiction from Chuck Wendig’s site “Terrible Minds.” This week’s mission? One thousand words, with the theme being the Fourth of July. Check out the other entries here:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge, “The Fourth of July.”
Right at a thousand words, by the way. I couldn’t cut another syllable.

Breathless, Bob closed the door behind him. He slid down and sat in front of it.
He lost them. For now. The Midwestern July sun beat down on him and everything on the roof of this building. He was used to it now. Wiping sweat from his bald head, he reflected that he had often wondered how people had lived before air conditioning. The answer was: The same way they lived after air conditioning.
Of course, it probably didn’t smell this bad a hundred years ago, what with all the rotting flesh walking around and so forth.
Bob got up and looked around. He had been gathering supplies for this event for the past month. Sometimes it had gone easy. Sometimes not, like today. He thought of the blood that was dried on his leg, but he didn’t want to look at the wound. He was unsure if it was a scrape from a shard of glass–
Or a bite wound.
Scenes from movies played in his head.
(“I know what you’re thinking. Did he fight off six zombies or only five? Well, to tell you truth, in the middle of all this apocalypse, I kinda lost track myself–“)
He moved the barricade into place. He was safe here now.
Under his makeshift sun shade, he drank some hot water from a bucket, and eyed his food supplies but resisted. Food was scarce starting with the second day of this whole mess, and getting scarcer with each passing day. If that was a word.
(“One word.” “One word?” “Zombies.”)
From the roof he had a fair view of downtown. There’s The Arch, there’s the ballpark.
(“Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”)
Below him the street was deserted. Downtown hadn’t changed much–if it wasn’t near the ballpark or the clubs, there was no one around. A deer walked down the street. Okay, that part was different.
It never occurred to Bob to think of the deer as food. Bob was not an outdoorsman. Bob was not handy. Bob had no skills for dealing with a lack of technology.
Bob was in marketing. How he survived all this time was a combination of miracles and dumb luck. Oh, and he was a runner.
(“Run, Forest! Run!”)
Indeed, life was like a box of zombies. Don’t open that shit up.

Darkness was something to fear lately, but now he couldn’t wait. Bob’s one original marketing idea came too late to receive accolades or a bonus. Or hell, even a mention in the trades. But that was a different world. This was to be his shining moment.
He found the prize he had risked everything for today: one of those butane lighters with the long nozzle, perfect for lighting a barbeque.
Or fireworks.
Bob took a deep breath. It was time. He went to his first set-up and prepared to light the fuse.
He heard a loud bang in the sky behind him. As he turned, he heard another, and saw the fireworks in the sky. Those bastards! This was his idea! His!
(“Nobody puts baby in a corner.”)
Dammit. Still, it was time to show the rest of the fragments of the living world that he was still here.
(“Say hello to my little friend!”)
He lit his first array. And jumped back.
The rockets took off more or less the way he had intended. He didn’t have the professional set up that official displays use, and he didn’t understand the difference.
For several minutes, he lit his fireworks off, taking note of other rooftops in the city that were doing the same. He was over being mad–it had served its purpose. On the Fourth of July, he knew now that he was not alone in the world. Over a dozen different light displays were going on.
He stopped when he saw one display suddenly explode in an orgasm of light and sound. The finale?
Hmmm. “Does the light and sound attract zombies?” he wondered. Then he heard pounding on the door and the creaks of metal and wood giving under pressure.
Oh, shit. He was on the roof. That was the only way out. A weapon–he needed a weapon. He picked up a golf club–
(“Cinderella story, out of nowhere–“)
He threw it down.
He ran to the edge of the roof. More were coming.
(“The cops are here.” “How many?” “All of them, I think.”)
The door was starting to give, and his hapless barricade was sliding. A cart with wheels, even weighted down, still has wheels. He wished he was better at this stuff.
(“Zombies mean never having to say you’re sorry.”)
Maybe if he fired the last of his stash at them?
(“If you light it, they will come. And eat you.”)
In a panic, he lit an array and kicked it over, aiming at the door. He hoped. The rockets launched and went everywhere. The flames from the exhaust lit other rockets.
And so on.
Before Bob caught on fire, his barricade gave way and a swarm entered.
(“I see dead people.”)
The zombies rushed him even as he was burning and running around. The zombies nearest him caught some flame as well, and the fireworks were still going off. All this noise drowned out the sound of Bob’s screams.
(“Get your stinkin paws off me, you damned dirty apes!”)
With flames and zombies all around, Bob’s options were limited. He ran for the edge of the roof, with a few flaming undead close behind. He ran, he jumped, and he headed for the ground, a human fireball with an ultimately useless degree.
Three zombies followed him down.
(“I want to be alone.”)
(“You can’t handle the truth!”)
(“You’re going to need a bigger boat.”)
(“Everyone thinks they have a sense of humor, but then they don’t all.”)
(“I’ll suck your cock for a thousand dollars.”)
(“I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, Yankee Doodle do or–“)

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