a magical college zombie story

Some upstanding young men and women, college-age, stood on a lake. Three brace they were, clad in red and black: a young lady with bright blonde hair; three sober, brown young men; a younger girl with auburn hair; and finally a chestnut haired boy with eyes of green.

It was easy enough to see why they stood on the lake. For one, a lake is a rather placid and pleasant place to stand. The surface was lightly rippled from the falls some fifty feet behind them, but otherwise still. Only small perturbations. Perhaps from time to time a fish would flick its tail at them.

Secondmost, the near shore, the far shore, and the left shore were all covered and teeming with Zombies.

The zombies did not look rather pleasant or placid.

Some of the boys were clearly aimed at looking tough. They squared their shoulders and pulled up the cowls from their cloaks.

Julian, the green-eyed boy, said aloud, not really directed at anyone. “Welp. That is too many for me to kill on my own. But I really ought not lead novices against a number I’m not certain I can kill. Lady luck frowns on that, and then I lose my head. I could lead us back up the way we came, but these festerbags have seen us as well, which means something that thinks might have seen us, and a ravine filled with water is about as cheery as it gets for an ambush. And of course since I’ve got a gaggle of novices, no one here has a sending.”

“I uh–”

It was a bit of a hesitant squeak.

“I do.”

“Sorry, what?” He glanced around at the Zombies.

The auburn-colored girl tapped his shoulder.

“Wrong automaton. You want the one with a sending, right? Who WERE you talking to, anyway?”

He turned around. She was smirking.

“You. Are. …Ju? …Ja? …Jubblies? …I’m not close am I.”

The smirk had become a raised eyebrow halfway through the guessing game.

“June. You *were* close. You are *not* close to *anything* any more.”

She was rather pretty.

“Roight. I think best by talking. They don’t listen anyhow.” He gestured at the shore. “You can send back to the University? To a master?”

She nodded. “I can.”

Julian exhaled. “Okay. That’s, well, that simplifies things considerably. Could you tell someone with letters to come meet us at the bottom of Buttermilk Falls? I’ve got, oh, say, three dozen milquetoast zombies, some sort of animate contraption out of Lawnmower Man, and what smells like a Flesh Golem.”

It was autumn. A leaf wheeled past his face and settled on the water at his feet. It sent tiny ripples out in every direction, colliding with the lines from the rest of the group. June had watched it carom to the surface, and some background part of her mind wondered at how he wasn’t making any lines.

“And as a post-script, tell them I’m going to engage in 5 minutes.”

She looked up quickly, eyes a little wide.

“Don’t worry,” he grinned, “I’m not actually. But I’m also not going to stand here babysitting you kids for an hour. Are you actually a freshman? How do you know a sending?”

She brushed a loose strand of hair back behind her ear. While it was short all around, barely neck-length, this seemed to simply give it special fire to fight its guerrilla war against her eyebrows and nose.

“Well, I can just pretend if you’d like that better.” She closed her eyes and felt the message leave her. In her mind’s eye, it was a bright bird of luminescent blue, a pure concept darting along well worn paths between her and her best friend, from who, in turn she knew a way she could carefully pick, thought to thought, to one of the masters.

He made a face at her, which he assumed she didn’t see, as she appeared to be tranced. The lake under her feet rippled and puckered. He looked back at the shore, and squinted at a dark shape moving from the trees toward then.

June opened her eyes and a moment later she heard Julian cursing. “Well maybe now I wasn’t fibbing.”

This entry was posted in fiction. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.