Audiophiles, Listen Here:
“Alan? Are you listening to me or shall I hit you over the head with that ladle? Put down your banana and look at this!” Loretta demanded.
Alan didn’t answer. Alan was up to his elbows in banana bread batter when the zombies converged. When Alan did look up to see what Loretta was yodeling about, his response wasn’t helpful. “It’s pronounced BAN-YAN-AH, Loretta. We’re never going to convince people to pay $45 a loaf if you keep calling them ‘bananas.’” Loretta was great in the sack, but even that was starting to lose its appeal. She was always telling him what to do but couldn’t reciprocate on the smallest thing. He went back to ladling glop into paper baking trays.
“Alan! Look out the window!” Loretta rushed over and grabbed his thin face, forcibly moving it to point his eyes at the front room window. An undead horror stared back. It was Max, the produce guy from the supermarket, sans half the skin off his face and one eye. Alan was going to have to find a new inside man to slip him bananas on the down-low. His momentary annoyance at being inconvenienced dissipated as Used-to-be-Max banged a hand against the glass and a finger splatted there, detaching from the hand and sliding down like a very dead slug.
“Oh,” Alan said, severely understating the issue. “Did you Google it?”
“NO, Alan, I did not Google it.” Loretta rolled her eyes. That was his response to everything. In a previous generation, he would have been such a mama’s boy. Now, he was just Alexa’s boy. Alan didn’t do anything. The ladle of banana bread batter he was holding dripped gunky globs on the floor. “Alan! The floor!” He realized he was making a mess and quickly put the ladle back into the bowl.
“Oh, sorry. Here, let me…” He went to the sink and wet one paper towel, which he used to smear batter in a large circle on the yellow-patterned linoleum. Loretta heard more banging at the windows and doors, along with a gross sort of moaning that sounded like a porno on downers. Alan’s bald spot was shining up at her through his brownish combover, like a few pieces of yarn on a worn-out doll head.
“Alan. Zombies? You can leave the floor, I think.”
She needed to make up her mind. “Don’t want someone to slip,” he muttered, creating a banana slick two feet in diameter. He spent another 30 seconds wiping the mess around and decided he’d made his point. He threw the heavy, gloopy paper towel in the trash and rinsed his hands, noticing the mail lady’s corpse snacking on the neighbor’s cat in the backyard. She still had her USPS uniform on, but it was much the worse for wear. The buttons were busted off the tunic to allow her intestines some breathing room, and one shoe and half a foot were missing. The cat was even more worse for wear.
The pounding around the house was louder, and the windows were rattling in an alarming way. While Alan was squatting on the floor making a mess, Loretta had from somewhere produced a shotgun, a hunter’s knife, a roll of tape, sixty yards of barbed wire, two walkie-talkies, a camouflage ghillie suit, and a large German Shepherd. She was fashioning an improvised bayonet out of the shotgun and knife, tearing the tape strips off with her teeth. Alan’s ardor was rekindled in an instant.
“Close your mouth, Alan, and help me put this barbed wire around the kitchen table. We’ll use it as the high ground.” Loretta tossed her long blond hair back, tying it with a vine chopped off one of Alan’s houseplants. It took another few seconds for the blood to start rushing back to his brain. The table was still covered with his ban-yan-ah bread equipment, including a large vat of congealing batter. They strung barbed wire in circles, using the chair backs to define the space. The dog licked the floor where Alan had spilled his goop.
“Heimlich! Nein!” Loretta barked, and the dog stopped, snapping into a sit.
“Where’d you get—” Alan began.
“No time to explain. Get your ass on the table.” Alan was turned on again. He thought they should clear off the table space just in case this was working for Loretta the way it was working for him. Grabbing the batter, he turned to put it on the counter just as the mail lady punched the remains of the cat through the kitchen window.
“Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyeeee!” Alan screamed as he dropped the bowl on the floor, narrowly missing Heimlich. Gobs of batter made a barrage through the air like a toddler vomiting macaroni and cheese, defying every principle of fluid dynamics and coating every surface. Alan looked around, dismayed, until he was pulled roughly back by Loretta.
“TABLE. NOW.” She could just see him insisting on cleaning up with one paper towel while the mail lady noshed on his neck. Alan complied, scrambling into the space vacated by the bowl now vacated by the batter. Loretta used her bayonet to sweep the rest of the banana bread preparation onto the floor, splattering the pans of glop onto the clean floor on the other side. She joined Alan on the table. “HEIMLICH! UNTER!” The dog scrabbled through the sludge and sheltered under the table.
Now that he was up here, Alan didn’t really feel it was very high ground after all. He could smell Loretta’s sweat, a sour un-sexy smell, and the cinnamon and cloves and bananas from the lagoon surrounding the table. He didn’t think his BAN-YAN-AH bread was going to work out after all. There was also a hint of blood and gore from the cat’s remains, but he was trying not to focus on that. Another crash, this time at the front door. Loretta whirled around, ready to blast the head off whatever was coming for them.
It was Used-to-be-Max. He shambled (do zombies ever not “shamble”?) toward them in the kitchen. His Grocery King name tag was still on, but the “X” had broken off. “Moooooooooo,” he said.
Loretta didn’t shoot him immediately. “What are you waiting for?” Alan whispered.
“Don’t want to waste ammunition,” she hissed. Alan was suddenly worried. Why did she need to be careful with ammunition? Didn’t she have enough? Why hadn’t she thought to bring enough up here on the table? He was back to being annoyed at her. She never thought things through. He nearly fell off the table when she yelled, “HEIMLICH! BOWLINGKUGEL!” The dog shot out from under the table and ran straight into the undead grocer’s legs, bending them funny at the kneecaps and knocking him over. He thrashed on carpet, mooing softly as he tried to figure out why his legs weren’t cooperating. Heimlich leapt over him and skittered back under the table, sliding a little on the goop.
“See?” Loretta hissed. Alan wasn’t in the mood for her I-told-you-so. The back door conveniently crashed in so he didn’t have to acknowledge it. Mail lady was beating everything she could reach with her dead cat, leaving smears of brown and red all over the cheery daffodil wallpaper Alan had hung himself. That was a little beyond the pale.
“Hey!” he shouted, attracting the attention of the corpse-wielding undead. Loretta glared daggers at him. “Stop flinging Miss Mouser around!” Mail lady opened her mouth and hissed, spraying teeth across the room. She flung Miss Mouser at Alan, her listening ears long gone. She took a step toward the table. Another. Loretta shouldered Alan aside, nearly knocking him off again. She took aim with her shotgun, but didn’t shoot. Alan widened his eyes at her. She rolled hers at him.
“Heinrich! Blasenkugel!” Alan shouted, his weak voice unable to get the commanding tone Loretta had.
Loretta giggled, eyes on the zombie but the rest overtaken by sudden hilarity. The dog did nothing but whine a whine that also sounded suspiciously like laughter.
“Later,” Loretta replied. Her mouth kept twitching, but she wouldn’t say more. Well, they were going to have a serious talk after this about whether their relationship was worth pursuing if she thought it was okay to laugh at him, Alan thought. At least he was doing something.
Mail lady, also not in on the joke, made a large farting sound out the front of her blue tunic. She was the center of attention again. She took another step toward the table. SWIT! Her extended limb landed in a puddle of BAN-YAN-AH bread batter and she lost her half-footing, flinging her arms to the sides. She thudded to the floor in a dramatic and comical pratfall that left her glaring malevolently at the ceiling. “Guuuuuuuungh,” she said, making angels in the batter but unable to regain her upright position.
“That’s one for me,” Alan said, “so now we’re even.”
Loretta looked at him in disbelief for a moment before pushing him off the table with a mighty shove.
The Story: This was suggested by Dan Sibbernsen on Facebook–something about bananas being the natural predator of zombies and the pronunciation of BAN-YAN-AH, which I found very funny. I wrote this all in one go, which is what I’d originally envisioned for Story McStoryface. QUICK AND DIRTY, PEOPLE. If you speak German, it’s even dirtier.
I’m working on a long, dark story in the background, and I can’t rush that one. It’s also about eight or nine times the length of this one. So….that’s something to look forward to? I think? In the meantime, I’d love some more silly ideas, or scary ideas. Lemme have it! firstname.lastname@example.org