|Post Apocalyptic Barbie
Author: Mizzuz Spock PM
One-shot. Seeing Karla Simmons naked had been on the list—oh, yes, that had definitely been on the list. But she wasn’t supposed to be dead and clawing at the bathroom door. Entry into the Review Game's February WCC.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Suspense - Words: 2,160 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 2 - Published: 02-07-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2772834
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Ta-dah! Here's my entry into the Review Game's Writing Challenge Contest for February. The prompt this month was "Ballet is woman" as quoted by George Balanchine.
It is exactly 2000 words. Whew! It was originally 753 words over. xD
This was not how Mark had planned spending Prom Night.
In a hotel room, sure. But on top of the bed—not under it. And seeing Karla Simmons naked had been on the list—oh, yes, that had definitely been on the list.
But she wasn't supposed to be dead and clawing at the bathroom door.
The soft whale-song moan she'd been singing since he'd locked her in there an hour ago flooded the room. The constant scritchscritch of her nails against the smooth wooden veneer of the door acted as a strange sort of metronome, and a chill raced up his spine.
To think, he'd been about to—
With that thing—
Mark brought a hand to his mouth and squeezed his eyes shut, desperately trying to shake the image from his brain. God.
God, that was almost too much to think about. Though he couldn't seem to help it.
What if she'd—?
No. No use playing the What If game. Mark pressed his forehead to the carpet and tried to remember how to breathe normally.
It didn't happen, he consoled himself. It didn't happen. Thank the God you don't believe in that it didn't happen.
He waited there, under the bed, listening. Terrified to move. He heard the doorknob rattle and he slowly raised his head, eyes wide. The door was still closed. Mark let out a sigh of relief.
His eyes wandered over to the smashed glass vase by the mini-fridge, a good three feet away from him. The sharp, jagged pieces seemed to wink at him in the dim light of the hotel room. Tempting. Very tempting.
But Mark couldn't force himself to move. What if—
His eyes slowly slid back toward the bathroom door. The knob rattled again and Mark sucked in a deep breath, heart like a hummingbird in his chest.
Would she figure out how to open the door?
Or was Karla as stupid dead as she was alive? He could only hope she was still a blonde at cold-unbeating heart.
A low, ghost-like wail escaped from the bathroom and Mark whimpered. Dammit. Stop being such a baby and just—
There was a loud thud, as if Karla had thrown herself against the door. Mark tried to swallow and suddenly realized how dry his mouth was.
The broken lamp smiled at him from across the room.
Just do it.
He pulled himself forward, wriggling out from under the bed like a caterpillar breaking forth from its cocoon, and scrambled across the floor toward the shards. He'd barely got his hand around the biggest one—a pocketknife sized piece—when he heard the door fly open, slapping the adjacent wall with a loud thwap!
The room fell deathly quiet, and all Mark could hear was his pounding heart—a Jumanji drumbeat in his ears.
He slowly rose to his feet, trying to ignore the hesitant sound of shuffling behind him. Heavy breathing from the thing creeping up on him.
He spun around, nearly tripping over his own feet, and came face to face with—
He didn't have time to think. His body acted on pure instinct. He lunged back, dodging the attack. Or—more accurately—trying to.
The end of the crowbar kissed his nose with a sickening crack, and Mark stumbled backward, stunned. Then he sank to the floor with a shriek that would have made any high soprano jealous.
His hands flew to his nose and a loud, cat-like whine escaped his throat. Blood poured through his fingers, a river of red spilling everywhere.
"Oh, God." A girl's voice. High-pitched. Shaky. Practically a kid's voice. "You're alive?"
"No sseht!" Mark said, a new wave of pain hitting him like a firecracker exploding in his face. His nose throbbed. Tears welled up and spilled over. He moaned, a sound that was met with an eerily similar reply from behind the bathroom door.
"I thought you were one of them."
Through teary eyes, Mark managed to get a glimpse of his attacker. The first thing he noticed was the shoes. They were old, worn so much that the laces were fraying, and there was something that looked suspiciously like hamburger meat sticking out from beneath them. Mark's eyes slowly traveled upward, past the ripped, blood-stained leggings and the blue tutu splashed with blooms of red, almost like tie-dye.
She was a young girl. Fifteen. Maybe sixteen.
Her face was round, like a baby's, and framed by wisps of platinum blonde hair that escaped her ponytail. She stared down at him, the frantic look on her face quickly transforming into an annoyed expression, strangely absent of fear and sympathy. She turned the crowbar over thoughtfully in her hands. "Look, I'm sorry," she said, though she didn't sound sorry at all.
"Sawhey duh'int fick ma nohs!"
A sigh. "You might as well stop talking now. I can't understand a word that's coming out of your mouth."
A pig-like grunt erupted from the bathroom, and there was a loud thud as Karla threw herself up against the door again. Mark cringed.
"Your date?" Miss Tutu raised an eyebrow and a slightly unsettling grin crossed her face. She pivoted on her feet so fast that Mark barely had time to register she'd moved.
He watched her, heart sinking, as she neared the bathroom, crowbar raised in a position to strike.
Was she trying to get herself killed?
Her hand wrapped around the doorknob and Mark blurted, "NO!" Another wave of pain hit him full in the face and he crumpled back to the floor, a bleeding mess on the carpet.
He didn't see what happened after the door was opened. But he heard it:
An angry, undead snarl. The sound of a metal bar repeatedly bashing in a skull. That definitive crunch of bone breaking. A loud thudawhump as a body fell to the tiled floor…
A few seconds later, the ballerina came out of the bathroom, whistling. She held the crowbar in one red-stained hand, swinging it cheerily back and forth at her side. In her other hand, she held a white towel. "This is for you," she said, tossing the towel at Mark, who didn't hesitate to press the cloth to his nose.
"Tanku," he mumbled, pulling himself upright.
"No problemo." The girl stalked over to the table in the corner of the room, to where a bottle of champagne and two wine glasses were sitting, untouched. She took a seat and glanced at the bottle's label. "Moet and Chandon?" she laughed. "Weak."
Mark shrugged and pulled himself to his feet. He stood there in the center of the room, swaying for a moment, before asking, "Whoeryu?"
"Who am I?" The girl pulled the champagne cork out with her teeth and poured herself a glass, though most of the bubbling champagne ended up on the floor. "Post-Apocalyptic Barbie."
Mark stumbled over to the table and took a seat across from her. "Why are you here?" There were four floors to this hotel. Three-hundred rooms. What were the odds she'd stumble across him?
"Call it fate, I suppose. I just picked random keys from the desk. Didn't expect anybody to be in this room, since all the others were empty…" The girl cupped the wine glass delicately between her fingers and took a sip. Then she glanced over at Mark, annoyed. "Why didn't you kill her?"
Mark shrugged and pulled the towel away from his face. He stared down at the splotch of red that covered it. "I've never killed anyone before." He knew it was a lame excuse, even before it left his mouth.
Barbie snorted and downed the rest of her champagne before throwing the glass over her shoulder. It bounced off the wall with a tink and shattered on the floor. "You've got a car, right?" The girl didn't waste any time getting back on her feet.
Mark nodded hesitantly. "A truck…" he said. "Why?"
Barbie grinned. "Perfect." She twirled the crowbar in her hands, then turned to head out the door. "Let's go."
"Go? Go where?"
"I don't know. You can stay here if you want." Barbie flung open the door that led to the hall. She poked her head out and looked both ways, her ponytail flopping back and forth as she did. Then she turned back around to face Mark and said, "But the survivors always come together in the movies, right?"
Survivors. Something about that word made his skin crawl. "There's more dead people out there," he said, bringing the towel back up to his nose. "Iddn't ther?"
She nodded again. "The coast is clear now, though," she added quickly. She stuck her head out and checked again, just to make sure. She pointed at Mark with the crowbar. "Check the parking lot. I took care of a couple on my way here."
Mark pulled away the curtain and glanced down. There were several figures stumbling around the cars. He let the curtain fall back into place and turned to look at Barbie, wide-eyed.
"Twenty. Maybe more."
Barbie grinned. "Fun," she said. "Your nose stop bleeding yet?"
Mark grimaced and pulled the towel away. "Yeah." But he was going to be feeling the pain for weeks. He brought a hand up and gingerly touched his swollen nose.
"Good." Barbie sprinted out of the room, leaving Mark behind in a cloud of confusion. He started to move after her, slowly. She appeared back in the doorway, letting loose a frustrated sigh. "C'mon, let's go." She waved for him to follow. "We can't hang around too long. If there's zoms running loose here, they'll be heading this way soon enough."
Mark tripped after her, then, as an afterthought, returned and grabbed the half-empty champagne bottle off the table. Somehow, he managed to avoid looking into the bathroom to see Karla's dead body.
"Good thinking," Barbie said when he joined her out in the hall. "Even if it'll only work once."
Mark shrugged. "Better than nothing, right?"
They made their way down the hall in silence. When they reached the stairs, Mark stopped. "Can't we just take the elevator?"
"Negatory," Barbie said, taking the steps two by two. "Trapped a couple in there earlier."
Mark struggled to keep up with her. "You couldn't just kill them?" He didn't bother to hide the sarcasm in his voice.
"There were a lot down in the lobby, okay?"
When the two reached the bottom floor, Mark gazed out over Barbie's handiwork in awe—bodies littered the floor like a war zone.
"You did all this by yourself?" He looked at her with new respect.
Barbie shrugged. "Was easy," she said, twirling the crowbar in her hands.
They made their way through the maze of corpses until they were standing in front of the glass revolving door, staring out at the world that awaited them.
Barbie clutched her crowbar. "Ready?"
"Nope." Mark was having difficulty breathing.
"Okay," Barbie smiled. "Let's go."
As soon as they left the building, the zombies seemed to know it. The undead stopped, as one, and slowly craned their necks to stare at them, a chorus of moans escaping their throats.
Barbie didn't waste any time. She lunged toward the nearest zombie with a shriek, crowbar lodging into its skull.
She was…graceful. That was the only word Mark could think to describe how she moved. Her legs swung back and forth, kicking down zombies that came at her from every angle. The girl flung her crowbar left and right, blood and brain bits flying everywhere. It wasn't long until her zombie-slaying ballet came to an end, the crowbar coming down in a final blow, driving deep into the eye socket of the last corpse standing.
"What was that?" Mark stared.
Barbie blew a loose strand of hair from her eyes. "Balançoire." She sniffed and pried her crowbar from the zombie's head, then turned back to face Mark, a grin spreading over her blood-splattered face. "Now which one's your truck?"
A/N: Be sure to head over to the Review Game (link in my profile) and check out all the other awesome entries this month! Voting for the winner opens February 8 and lasts until the 14th.