Friday, December 29, 2006

Zombie Car

Originally posted 3/7/06

"What the hell happened to your car?" RJ asked me one evening. "It looks like you had zombies in it."

Well, here is the horrible truth. I had zombies in it.

See, I was driving through Crawford, Texas a couple of years ago. It was a little out of my way to Roswell, but I heard there were interesting things going down there and decided to check it out myself. How else would I become an expert on all things alien conspiracy?

Flipping through the meager radio selection (Pretty Hate Machine was already stuck in the tape deck at that time), I stumbled upon that most feared horror movie foreshadowing - the Emergency Broadcast System. "Unusual hydrocarbons have been detected in the petroleum supply moving through Houston, Corpus Christi and Crawford. The refining processes in those areas may have allowed these chemicals to escape into the air. No health threat is expected at this time. Please avoid the industrial areas of these cities if possible and listen for further instructions."

Now, you should always be careful of non-emergencies that end up on the Emergency Broadcast System. It's generally used as the Emergency Downplay System. Don't panic, but you're about to die!

As I tried to find a news station, I spotted two hitchhikers on the side of the highway. And what do you know, one of them was my childhood friend, Brandy.

I pulled over and reached across to unlock the passenger door. Too late, I saw the gruesome reality of the situation.

These were zombies. Not your average "BRAINS!" zombies, but Land of The Dead style, with rational thought. They've learned to drive trucks and use automatic weapons and tan human hides.

Brandy Zombie tore into the car. Her companion leapt at me from the backseat, tearing up the cheap ceiling liner of the Saturn.

Fortunately, I had OnStar, and the zombie attack triggered a helpful voice from somewhere outside of Dallas. OnStar is designed for just such an unimaginably traumatic situation, as evidenced in their advertising, like the one with the caption Daddy, are you sleeping?

"OnStar, how can I help you?"

"I'm being fucking attacked by zombies!"

"Okey dokey. Are these the viral contagion zombies or alien hydrocarbon zombies?"

"Uh... the second one?"

"Okey dokey, just sit tight!"

"Sit tight? Are you fucking kidding me? I'm about to look like the ceiling of my Saturn and...."

Suddenly a loud, high pitched shriek blasted from every speaker in the car. It hurt my ears, but it was apparently even more painful to the zombies. They covered their ears and began to scream. The shriek was followed by the voice of Scott Stapp, which finally drove the zombies from my car. I took off down the highway before I could even close the doors.

To make a long story short, OnStar rules. It saved me from the zombies. But my insurance would not cover the busted speakers or the claw marks in the ceiling. So my car will always bear the evidence of that fateful day.

And that is why my car looks like a P.O.S. True story. For real.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Elise Goes Blind

Originally posted 2/13/06

Most people thought Elise was kind of weird. She frequently claimed she could see the backs of her irises or feel the blood as it travelled from her heart to her fingertips and back again. Elise, though, didn't think any of this was strange. She simply hadn't allowed the experience of living to desensitize her to the machinery of living.

Occasionally anyone can see the random movement of cells and fluid on the surface of their own eyes. Elise actually paid attention to it. On this morning, the movement was particularly vivid. Every particle in her body seemed to be excited and dancing; every particle in the world around her danced along. The water and walls all shimmered with possibility.

Every day Elise saw something new. She was convinced that other people simply weren't looking, or for some reason, not seeing.

This morning, as she hurried through the rain to her office building, she began to notice the rain light up as it landed on fellow pedestrians. The harder she looked, the more persistent the effect became. Slowing down to look around, she found a rainbow reflecting off the sea of people, barely enveloping each one of them.

In the dry, dim lobby, the colors didn't disappear as she'd expected. They became more distinct, with each person in the lobby giving off a different glow. This was something Elise had never believed in - but then again, she had never not believed in it either. She could actually see people's auras.

Her supervisor, Craig, bumped into her. "I'm so sorry," she blurted. "I guess I'm just kind of wandering this morning."

"I'm sorry," said Craig. "Want me to hold the elevator for you?"

Craig's aura was a bright orange. Elise considered him intense and ambitious, and kind as well, and thought it suited him perfectly. She stepped into the elevator.

To test out her new skill, she decided to go see Margaret, a bitchy gossip from the IT department. Though Elise considered few people enemies, she knew that if her work didn't require a friendly exterior, she and Margaret would be just that. Margaret didn't care who she talked about or if the stories were true. She didn't care how the pain she inflicted twisted people inside. Despite herself, Elise hated her.

Elise stopped outside of Margaret's doorway, forgetting what she had intended to ask about. She was surprised to see Margaret bathed in a soft pink. She was even more surprised when she noticed her own hand on the doorknob and the dark, ugly cloud surrounding it.

This wasn't what she wanted to see at all.

Elise never noticed the backs of her irises again.