Short Fiction

Pop Princess Attacks Paparazzi

The bed sheets smelled like mold. She wrinkled her nose but laid down in them anyway. This was the first time in a week that she would sleep in a bed. Beside her, Ryan sat down. His face was pale and drawn. They had run quite a bit today to stay ahead of the zombie horde. Fortunately they found this farmhouse. She did not want to sleep cramped in some abandoned car again.

“You okay?” Ryan asked.

Caitlin gave him a wry look. It said that yes, she was okay. It also said that no, she was not okay because she was running from freaking zombies. “You know what I was supposed to be doing this month?”

Ryan thought for a moment. He should know. He and his annoying camera had followed her around for the past year. “You were supposed to start your new tour.”

“Yeah, don’t think I’d have much of an audience now.”

Ryan smirked. “Well, you would have a crowd. A crowd of people wanting to eat you, not hear you sing. But then, the way you sing? That might not be a bad thing.”

A smelly pillow sailed across the bed and nailed him. “Prick.”

“At least I had a real job.”

“You’re sleeping on the floor tonight…” she said, then stopped. There was a scratching at the window. They both went silent in cold fear. No, not again.

They waited but the scratching stopped.

Ryan slept in the bed that night. Caitlin gripped his hand the whole time.

* * *

The next morning Caitlin awoke with a start. She felt a stinging pain in her arm. Oh, no. No. No. No.

She quietly got out of bed and padded into the next room. She wanted to get a look at her arm. Under her shirt sleeve, she pulled off the makeshift bandage. The zombie bite was angry red. The teeth marks were a sickening black. She turned, suddenly vomiting on the floor.

No, this was not happening to her. It could NOT happen to her. She was Caitlin, best-selling, record-breaking, pop princess diva. Her tour, canceled on account to zombie infection, had sold out in minutes. She had been in every magazine. Even the trashy ones.

She was famous. She was not turning into a freaking zombie.

Carefully she covered the bite. Ryan didn’t know about it. He had not seen her bitten when they were trying to escape that last zombie attack.

This was not going to happen. She was sure of it. Everything in life always went her way. Always.

* * *

By afternoon, the pain was excruciating. She still had some of the pain pills, ones given to her by a friend back before that friend tried to literally eat her.

Caitlin shuttered at the memory as she dry swallowed them. Ryan scouted outside to make sure no zombies were around. In some bizarre way, his job as paparazzi was rather useful. He could spot celebrities through a crowd. He could spot zombies just as well.

“All clear,” he said, finding her standing at the front door. “Let’s try for the interstate.”

She saw the pistol tucked into his pants. “Where did you get that? I thought you lost the last one.”

“Found it in the kitchen. It’s fully loaded so we are in luck.”

“Since when are we lucky?”

“Well, we are both still alive, right?”

Caitlin thought about her infected zombie bite and frowned. She followed him outside. They walked in silence down the country road. Not too long after, they heard the blood-curdling moans of zombies somewhere behind. The horde had followed them.

* * *

The gun was ear-splitting loud. Caitlin screamed as Ryan pulled the trigger twice more. Both shots smashed into the head of the woman zombie. Her blonde hair was matted with brain and gore. She stumbled, fell, and then started to twitch toward them.

“Ryan! Behind you!” Caitlin screamed. Ryan shot the woman zombie once more and she was still. From behind, a decomposing hand grabbed his shirt. He twisted, finger on the trigger, and point-blank shot the head off. Blood splattered across his face.

The zombie fell to the ground and Ryan stood there in stunned silence. Caitlin grabbed his hand. Pain flared down her arm, down the whole side of her body. Sweat beaded over her pale face. “Let’s go! Ryan, we have to run!”

* * *

The next night, they both stood on the dirt floor of a shed. The shed had a window in it where the full moon shone through. Caitlin took no notice. She collapsed to the ground.

“Are you okay?” Ryan asked. He looked at her with concern.

“Fine,” she croaked out. She curled up in a ball away from him. Her whole body was on fire. Her mind was on fire. Any thought burned her. She just wanted to sleep. Make it all go away. She had taken the last of her pain pills and they did nothing to help.

* * *

Ryan awoke to a ghastly moan. He barely blinked and the zombie was on him. It tackled him, snapping teeth going for his neck. He struggled in panic and threw it off. He had no time to think. He reached for the gun and fired. The zombie moaned louder but he did not hear it, his eardrums had ruptured.

He burst out of the shed, screaming for Caitlin. In his panic, he had forgotten about her. He held the gun trembling in his hands. The zombie stumbled out of the shed.

Her eyes were bloody red. Her chest bloomed with blood from the bullets. Caitlin lunged for him. He cried out as he shot her in the head until the gun chamber was empty.

Caitlin, the rich and famous diva, fell dead to the ground. Her concert tour forever canceled.