Michelle pulled up the zippers on her new pair of boots and stood to admire herself in the full-length mirror. The black leather, stack-heeled beauties reached her knees and were adorned with large silver buckles. They were more Mad Max than Pretty Woman and they made Michelle feel like a bad ass. She had to take them for a spin.
“Come on, Louis, let’s go.”
She hooked the leash to her little dog’s collar and strolled out her front door. Yes, it was impractical to walk her dog in a short skirt and knee high boots, but she rationalized that she was just breaking in the leather.
The afternoon was unseasonably bright and warm for early March, which Michelle hoped meant that Winter was finally packing it up for the year. As she walked down her block, she waved at her neighbor trimming his hedges and smiled at the cute bicycling guy who craned his neck to watch her as he passed.
She turned down the next street then stopped after a bit to let Louis inspect a mailbox post. Looking up, she saw a police officer standing on the sidewalk about twenty yards ahead. Louis saw the officer, too, and let out a low growl, his ears flat against his small brown head. Michelle tugged on his leash and shushed him. When she stepped forward, he didn’t budge, just continued to stare at the officer and growl.
“Louis! What is wrong with you?”
The officer walked toward her, and she was preparing an apology for her rude dog, but the sight of blood on his forearm stilled her tongue. As he approached, she noticed his gait was stiff and awkward and his uniform was torn in several places. However, what concerned her most was the awful gash across his chest that exposed his ribs. Or, at least, it concerned her that the officer didn’t seem concerned in the slightest. He kept advancing toward her, moaning and staggering in a way that was at once familiar and all too strange.
Michelle had seen Daryl Dixon fire his crossbow enough times to know what she was dealing with, however, she never expected to encounter a zombie outside of her television screen.
She turned and ran back the way she had come, Louis right by her side. When she saw that her neighbor was still in his yard, she sprinted up to him and held out Louis’ leash. “Mr. Campbell,” she said, trying to catch her breath. “This is going to sound odd, but can you watch my dog for a minute while I borrow your hedge clippers?”
Mr. Campbell regarded her with a raised eyebrow. “What’s this all about?”
“I promise I’ll explain after I’m done. Please.”
He still appeared reluctant, but he handed Michelle the clippers anyway and took the leash.
“Thank you!” she yelled over her shoulder as she jogged back toward the creature that used to be a police officer.
She saw the thing immediately after she turned the corner and she slowed to a walk, gripping the hedge clippers tight. It occurred to her that she was much calmer than she would have ever thought possible in this sort of situation. She knew exactly what she needed to do, and she was focused on her task.
The undead officer was only a few feet from her now and it lunged toward her. In one movement, she stepped to the side, lifted the clippers with both hands, then drove them into the zombie’s skull. It fell to the sidewalk, a heap of rotting flesh and bones. She took a moment to admire her work before yanking the clippers out of the now fully-dead creature then wiping the blades clean of blood and brains on the tattered uniform shirt.
As Michelle walked back to Mr. Campbell’s, she couldn’t help but feel proud of what she’d just done. She never thought she’d be capable of facing something as terrifying as a zombie without so much as a flinch.
Must be the new boots, she thought with a smile.
A while back, I received a very nice request from Michelle (of Steadily Skipping Stones) that I insert her into one of my zombie stories. I was at once flattered and terrified. I mean, immortalizing someone in a story is all kinds of pressure. But, I promised I’d do it so here it is. I hope you like it, Michelle. And I hope you get your own pair of zombie-ass-kickin’ boots one day.
If you would like me to write you into a zombie story, you have to get in line behind Lenore, because she’s next. After that, my schedule is clear. Just let me know if you’d prefer to be one of the living or one of the undead. I’d hate to kill you and have you be all pissed off at me. Who needs that, right?
And if you’d like to read my zombie stories for January and February, just go to my Zombie-A-Month 2013 page.