Today I’ll be sharing with you an exert of Jack Wallen’s ‘The Last Casket’
one | a hell of a show
Everything has changed
Standing here alone again
It’s time for my revenge
You put me in this casket
But this won’t stop me
You need to burn in hell
No need to run away
I will find you anyway
…Bride of the Monster
Wham! The crunch of the heavy Ibanez ARZ-Series guitar against the back of the zombie’s skull sent a screeching feedback through the Blackstar Club 50s speaker head. The sound momentarily stopped the undead bar fight.
“Kitty,” Todd Flash shouted. “Run.”
Kitty Casket was at the lip of the stage, surrounded by zombies, mic in hand and ready to crush any skull to get within striking range.
“Come on, baby,” Kitty squealed, “it’s open mic night.”
With a quick windup, Kitty drove the back side of the mic through an eyeball of the nearest undead groupie. The pop of the optical membrane sent chills down her arm and bile up her throat.
“Oh hell,” Kitty protested. “I think I’m gonna barf!”
Kitty withdrew the blackish-brown goo covered mic and the zombie dropped with a hollow, wet thud.
The shout came from behind.
The raging voice belonged to Mike Machine, drummer with the face of innocence and the beat of evil. Kitty knew better than to not comply. The second she dropped to a crouch, a golden cymbal flew over her head and embedded itself into the neck of a monster. The beast didn’t drop.
“Fuck,” Tom screamed as he continued forward.
“Tom, don’t,” Kitty pled.
Tom was never one to listen. He jumped and landed the sole of his creeper into the symbol to finish the job.
The head and the symbol crashed to the floor.
“Come on, ya ugly bastard.” Billy the Bat was still cranking out power chords as he shouted threats to the undead audience; the shock of hair on top of his otherwise bald head danced a shocking jig. With each chord the zombies stuttered – as if the sound was too painful for the dead.
“Billy, the zombies say you suck,” teased Kitty.
“Oh yeah,” Billy replied. “They can suck on this.”
Instead of battling back the approaching undead duo, Billy began playing a rockabilly take on Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train.
The zombies weren’t impressed and marched onward.
It was Tom Mooner to the rescue. He hefted his Fender Squire above his head and dropped it down to cave in the skull of one of the zombies.
“That’s how it goes,” laughed Tom.
One moaner remained. The entire band gathered together, encircling the monster.
“Here zombie, zombie, zombie. Kitty wanna play. Rowr.” Kitty teased the zombie. When it turned to face her, Billy the Bat ran a switchblade into the base of its skull. As the zombie dropped, lifeless again, to its knees, the band booed and hissed.
“What? I killed it.” Billy protested.
“Yah, but we were feeling kinda playful. Ya know, give the fucker a show and then, blamo, cave in its frontal lobes.”
“Hey, they’re all dead. We did it.” Kitty was glowing with pride. “That was a hell of a show.”
Billy the Bat cleaned off his knife as he spoke. “Our best yet…if you take into consideration our entire audience was comprised of the undead. Actually, this kind of sucked. We need real, living people to play for.”
“And to pay us.”
Tom’s interjection sucked the wind out of the band.
“This damned apocalypse,” Kitty started, “it’s impossible to find gigs. Before, our only competition was the likes of Nekromantix and Horror Pops. Now we’re facing down the living dead and empty venues. I thought the apocalypse would bring a sort of perfect storm for us. I mean, come on, this is our schtick. We own this theme, right?”
The band nodded their heads in unison.
“So why in the hell can’t we find gigs?”
Billy raised his hand.
Kitty hissed. “Oh for God’s sake, Billy, this isn’t a classroom. Put your hand down.”
“Did you ever stop to think no one wants live music now because of the noise? I mean, it is noise that attracts the undead, right?” Billy challenged the group.
Kitty stepped in close to the guitarist. “What are you saying, Mr. Bat?”
Billy’s eyes darted to the left and the right, his lip quivered slightly, and his forehead broke out into a sweat. “I’m saying…I don’t really know what I’m saying, actually.”
Mike Machine stepped in to save the day. “He’s saying we need to find some isolated club where our ear-splitting decibels won’t attract the attention of the less-than living.”
“You mean the Mengelites?” Tom Flash interrupted.
The band booed.
“Oh come on, it’s a catchy name.” Tom defended himself. “Seriously, it makes sense. The Mengele Virus is what did them in…hence Mengelites.”
“It’s offensive,” Kitty spat. “It’s almost as if you’re glorifying one of the sickest Germans to ever exist.”
The idea that the virus which brought about the apocalypse was an extension of Josef Mengele’s work didn’t rest easy on the hearts of Germans. Most survivors on the planet were quick to forget that point. To many of Germanic descent, it was a painful reminder of yet another very dark time of their people.
“Come on,” Tom chimed in. “Let’s pack up so we can try to locate this Nirvana that Mike mentioned.”
After a round of groans, the band began the slow process of packing up their gear and loading it into the Kitty Mobile. The van was a take on the Scooby Doo Van, only with a predominantly feline theme. Splashed on the side of the van was the band’s logo and Kitty’s coiffed and lipstick’d visage. The van had already been attacked by numerous zombies as well as a few groups of living humans who simply had enough of walking. Unfortunately, there was little extra room once the gear and the band were on board.
Before leaving the club, Kitty made one last walk-through in search of food and booze. As she stood in the exit, she turned back and purrred before hitting the lights and strutting out to the van.
Meow, sexy kitty, meow.
* * * * *
The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie
AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in June, here’s the complete list, updated daily:
Jack Wallen is an award-winning technical and fiction writer who’s work spans numerous topics, genres, and scopes. The path to becoming a professional writer was certainly the one less traveled for Jack. Originally, Jack’s artistic bent led him to a career as an actor. Working on Broadway and with regional and Shakespeare theatres across the country, Jack is proud to have held his own as an actor for over twenty years.
But, as they say, all good things…
Before the economy had a chance to completely destroy the theatre arts, Jack decided to take his final curtain call during a production with the heralded Stage One Theatre for Young Audiences. It was, however, during that long career that Jack discovered he had a knack for the written word. His first, full-length novel was written between 2000 and 2003. That book, A Blade Away, eventually became his first published work. It didn’t take Jack long to fall in love with the creative process of writing and he followed that first book up with the cult-favorite, Shero.
It wasn’t until Jack woke up one summer morning with a simple question on his mind, that he would finally dive into the craft of horror fiction tooth and nail. That question, “What would it be like to transform into a zombie?”, led Jack to pen the first novel in the I Zombie series — I Zombie I. From there, Jack dove into the deeper waters of horror and has never looked back.
You can find out more about Jack and his work over at his homepage, http://monkeypantz.net/.