Collapsing Shack, AZ—The story you are about to read is true, sadly…except the crawdad part and most of the dialogue. OK, the premise is true, the rest is bullshit. After nearly half an hour of grueling work, the infamous zombie author Michael D. Griffiths believed his zombie Christmas story was ready for publication. He could not have been more wrong…
I eventually caught up with the local legend and when I say local, I mean the local bar. And when I say legend, I mean he holds the record for the most women turning him down in a single night. And here we all thought Zano’s record would hold. Happy hour is the best time to catch him and thankfully Flagstaff only has about thirty likely establishments. When I found him, in the back of the Green Room, he was sobbing over an empty pitcher of IPA. After I agreed to buy Mr. Griffiths another pitcher, he had this to say:
"I was told there was going to be a zombie Christmas Anthology and started to write a story for it. I mean come on, my zombie novel Eternal Aftermath has sold nearly twelve copies. But anyway, I wrote this tight little story about a group of guys who have to fight their way through a zombie infested town so they can get medications for some sick kids on Christmas Eve. It passed the Flagstaff writing group with flying colors. They loved it! Hell, Zano was even considering modifying it for the Daily Discord. I mean it’s got zombies, an X-Mess message, and all that Yule time sentimental crap tied up in a nice red bloody bow. But what does my publisher say?
"No, no, no, no, no, I want, like, zombies in a Santa suit eating children."
He really said that. Dude?! What the hell?! Even I can’t write stuff that sick. Perhaps I should stick with my cannibal mutant anthologies and Santa Claus can bite me."
When I asked the melancholy author if he had any plans to rectify the situation, he said, "Look, I tried my best and I blew it. Now I won’t be able to afford to get Christmas presents for my family this year, unless you count these crawdads I’ve been saving since last summer in a bucket in my bathroom. But I forgot to refill the bucket last month and they’re not very active. Well, they’ll be easier to wrap now. Kind of smells like an Asian fish market in there, though. Cheaper than replacing the Poo-Pourri, I suppose. Heck, they might not be eatable anymore, but I’ll let my family make their own call…after I ship them back east."
When I asked if he meant shipping the family or the crawdads back east, he took a large swig from the pitcher and blew a wave of foam barward.
A hardy "PthHwaaaw!" was all he managed.
He drinks right out of the pitcher, by the way. For those scant few of you who don’t know him personally, Mr. Griffiths is a 7-foot tall Nordic-Viking type dude (NVTD).
Once the pitcher was done, he got up to leave, but as he started downing abandoned drinks off a nearby table, he yelled this across the bar at me, "Christmas Zombies, Bah Humbrains! Christmas is for sissies anyway. I’ll show them a whole new meaning of terror when I release my Zombie Ground Hog Day series."
Then Mr. Griffiths stumbled back over to me and slurred, "I don’t want to drop any spoilers, but let’s just say loads of children will be eaten by giant undead rodents and every time he sees his shadow, he’ll vomit acid. I might tie it in with that Bill Murray movie and have them relive that glorious day over and over again. Did I give too much away?"
I asked him when the deadline was for his publisher for this original zombie x-mas story, and he said, "Now! It’s due now! If he wants Gore, how about Al Gore trapped at Santa’s flipping workshop, with ice melting all around, surrounded by armies of undead cannibalistic climatologists! I’ll give him Gore…I’ll give Gore!"
He then chugged his last confiscated pint and stormed out of the bar, shouting incoherently about cannibal anthologies and the mutant hordes. Oh, and he left me with the bill for both pitchers, the usual.