Bryce, Dane and I sat in a park one day during a break from a Horror Writer’s Convention in Los Angeles that we were attending. The conversation for that particular break was rather childish. Bryce and I argued about who was truly the King of the Zombies.
“Bryce, it’s gotta be me. Five books published and I grew up in Pittsburgh!”
“Sorry Ben, but I’ve got twelve published, four of which are award winners, plus the ‘Oasis’ series.”
I had to play my trump card.
“I’ve met Mr. Romero.”
On a normal day, this just brings a conversation like this to a halt, but Bryce must have been feeling as ornery as a mule that day.
“I know that Ben. You’re quick to remind us of …”
At this point Dane broke in. This never happens in arguments between Bryce and I because we amuse him way too much when we bicker.
“Gentlemen, I think they are the Kings of Zombies”
Following Dane’s locked gaze into the park, Bryce and I turned our heads to see a hockey team coming our way. Not a pee-wee team, not a minor league practice squad, but the LA Kings. Twenty-two rotting zombie hockey players coming straight at us. Most of their ankles were twisted at odd angles. Ever try walking on hockey skates? Some dragged their sticks behind them like they couldn’t drop the last link of normalcy before they became undead. Full pads and sweaters covered in blood and tattered looking as if they went through a human sized chipper shredder.
People fled in fear as this gaggle of jocks came towards us in a mob formation, ready to feast on our brains. It began to drizzle about like a yard sprinkler. Not a lot of drops, but big cold ones. On a normal day this would have made everyone run from the park, but damn it, we are horror writers and we came to this show prepared.
Bryce reached into his backpack and pulled out a pair of nickel plated 9mms with extended clips in them. Glancing at him standing there, he reminded me of a male version of Angelina Jolie in ‘Tomb Raider.’ Dane whipped out a collapsible crossbow that he usually carries for the vampires we run into. I can smell the garlic at the other end of the bench. Me? Well, I live by the motto ‘Go Big or Go Home.’ Twin Desert Eagle Fifty Caliber hand cannons. I prefer the old fashion hollow-point rounds. Basically a small entry wound with a HUGE exit point. They work great for zombies.
It was an undead blood bath. I honestly don’t think any of us missed a head shot that day. The rain helped wash away some of the gore when we were done. It looked like someone just blew up twenty two ketchup filled pumpkins.
After checking to make sure we got them all, the weapons went right back into our packs, and off we went to get cups of what passed for coffee in LA.
An observer would have overheard Bryce and I arguing over whose damn fault it was that we were at this convention again.
“Last year we went to New Orleans and what did we get? Hippy werewolves. Whose idea was it? Yours, Bryce.”
“Oh yeah? Two years ago it was Chicago and we all know how that turned out…..”
The whole time, Dane’s shoulders shook as he tried not to pee himself laughing.