Today’s snippet, titled “Ice Cream Balls”, is a piece I wrote about an NPC in Paul’s new Zombie Campaign (using GURPS for Session One, but we’re moving to All Flesh Must Be Eaten for future sessions. The intention behind this was to recap events occurring in the world, from the point-of-view of my PC, Helen Poots.
Be forewarned, there are mature themes and naughty language below.
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The trip back to Maple Lane was slow, but uneventful. A few times, following the heavily loaded truck, Helen gripped the panic handle above her door, nervous that something was going to come flying off the back and smash into the Lexus. Still, they trundled along until they reached the double-bread truck-gate, and then gained re-admittance to the neighborhood.
For all that she felt as if she had run fourteen marathons in wrought iron underwear, Helen realized that it was still fairly early in the afternoon. She collapsed into a chair on the Honeywell’s porch and chugged the contents of a liter bottle of water.
Helen’s ears perked up. Bode’s distinctive voice was saying something about Turkey Hill and she sighed. She did not have the energy for another run today. Fortunately, he did not seem interested in inviting her along. Small fucking miracles, she thought, returning to the house for another bottle of water.
An hour or two later, the National Guardsmen returned. They had an amazing haul – they must have cleared out every last sheet of plywood and MDF in the area for they had four new vehicles with them; those ‘Rent Me’ trucks for delivering big items from the home improvement stores.
Unfortunately, no sooner did they pull the bread trucks back into place, Cooper jumped out, shouting that they had a tail.
Her stomach dropped like a lead weight. “They have a tail?”
“Yeah, they sure fucking do! Seventy at least, maybe more than a hundred!”
Helen lifted her gaze to see who had called out such an absurd number. It was Bode, perched atop his truck to see over the wall. Aleksandra, with her curt accent and extreme practicality, offered immediately to take her noisy Ducati out and try to lead them away – to act as a distraction.
“We’re not moving the trucks for anything,” Cooper said. His voice was gruff, but Helen suspected that he had withheld a bit of his anger because he was speaking to Alex. There could definitely be something between those two, she thought, pity. He is a tasty fellow.
The next thing Helen knew, she and a dozen or two people had climbed to the top of their smashed-car-wall and were perched there, nine feet in the air, with makeshift polearms in their hands. Alex was right beside her, wielding her rapier with an air of haughtiness. Helen supposed that the cool exterior allowed her to better compartmentalize – a critical skill for someone in her line of work. An ER doctor, sure, Helen thought, casting a glance at her friend, but Victoria was right to wonder – what the fuck kind of doctor carries around grenades?
“Hold tight, guys,” one of the National Guardsmen barked, steeling himself. His mates cheered – a decidedly cliché way to psych themselves up – and even though she was entirely cynical of the whole thing, Helen found herself bolstered by their fierce determination.
Aim. Stab. Yank. Aim. Stab. Yank.
It was easy enough to get into a rhythm. Helen felt much more confident this time. So much more, in fact, that she divided her attention between the flesh-eating ghouls at her front and the girl, Victoria, at her back. On the ground behind the wall, Victoria was running up and down the line with an armful of those cleaver-broomstick spears. Rather than duck, I shall have to start calling her my little Gavroche…
No sooner had she pictured Victoria with a little Dutch Boy haircut and scruffy 1830s Paris street urchin garb then she went to pull her spear back and found it stuck. This time, it was not an eyesocket that trapped her weapon, but the clavicle of a particularly obese woman who was missing her left arm, breast, and most of the flesh over her ribs.
She pitched forward as the angry cow stumbled, but this time her reaction was slightly quicker. Helen released the shaft and propelled backward. She landed on her ass, bruising her tailbone and nearly impaling herself on a broken antennae.
Oh fuck this, she thought, climbing to her feet. I’ll not risk my life up there.
Ten minutes passed and the entire tail the National Guardsmen brought back were dead. Re-dead. Dead again.
Body duty. Helen dreaded it, but it was a necessary evil and she wrapped herself up in garbage bags and Saran wrap – the classic body condom – to help drag the biters to the dump truck. Where they would transport a few thousand pounds of rotten, twice-killed and formerly re-animated corpses, Helen did not care. As long as they didn’t dump them in any water supply and they were downwind of the block.
“…yeah, well, they could be carriers of all sorts of disease, fellows. There’s few things that will kill a small community quicker than pestilence and plague. We have to get rid of all these bodies.”
Bode was nodding and Corporal Cooper, too. Even Simmons was listening to Salvatore’s words as if they were the bloody gospel spilling from the tongue of Christ himself.
Sal continued. “What I think we oughta do, is pull that truck way out in the distance, drop the load, and torch them. Fire is cleansing, right?”
“Oh, hells yeah.”
“Yeah, good thinking man.”
“That could work,” Bode stroked his chin. “Yeah. Good call, Sal.”
Helen felt a boiling, white-hot rage building behind her eyeballs. Are you fellows fucking kidding me?! When I suggested burning the fucking bodies two weeks ago, you gave me a look like I was the dumbest cunt ever to open her mouth and here you are licking that new guy’s balls like they’re made of fucking ice cream!
Her inner voice was shrieking and the anger echoed around in her skull. She had to get away before she grabbed one of those cocky assholes and boxed their ears until they bled.
“Of all the nerve,” she muttered. “I would’ve thunk these blokes were more evolved than your standard misogynistic twat, but apparently the pigs didn’t all die out when the plague hit. Fuck those hypocritical wankers. Fuck. FUCK!”
Helen stomped back to the Honeywell’s house and then up into her room. She slammed the door – it was petty and juvenile, but it soothed her pricked ego somewhat – and threw herself onto the bed. Next time, those bastards can do body duty all on their own. I won’t lift a fucking finger to help the lot of them. Not one finger.
In time, in the cool, dark sanctuary of the guest room, Helen’s rage dissipated and she fell asleep.
Her eyes snapped open and darted around. It was such a strange sensation, that disorienting fear that touched your heart when you awoke and could not tell where you were or why you’d jolted up so quick. Helen pushed herself out of the bed, retrieved the aluminum baseball bat she had taken to sleeping with, and peeked out the door.
Victoria stood defiant in the hallway with her little brown friend, Aly, at her side. Aleksandra was glowering at the pair, berating them for something. Helen sighed and rolled her eyes. What trouble could they really cause, sneaking out after dark? They won’t get past the wall, not with Cooper’s men out there, and why would they want to anyway? A boy? Several? I hope she remembers to take some condoms if that’s the case…
“Nyet, I do not want to hear excuses. You are not dressed for the bathroom. You are dressed for- for shenanigans, for trouble. The both of you, back into bed. I will not wish to tell Mister and Missus Lopez about this, but I will, if you persists.”
“Who is it?” Helen asked, yawning. The three ladies noticed her presence at last and Aly ducked behind Victoria as if she were terrified of Helen. “What is his name and did you remember your condoms?
Victoria’s face went a thousand shades of red and purple in the span of a heartbeat. “Eww!”
Helen shrugged, turning to go back to bed. “Stay inside, duck. It is dangerous out there, Alex is right, you know. Besides, men are pigs.”
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Note: Image is “Ice Cream” by becos from SXC.hu