Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom
Chapter 2: Meet Montana MacInnes
By Douglas E. Gogerty
Dr. Lowell Schneider was the town mayor. For several years, he had taught English at the local high school. Eventually, he moved out of his mother's house and went back to school to earn his PhD. He was away for several years, but he could not stay away. He returned, and ran for mayor.
As the new mayor, he was authorized to do anything to take care of the developing problem. He arranged to bring Montana MacInnes into the town's confidence. He sat anxiously at his desk waiting, when a knock came at the door. He got up, and answered it.
"Come in Mr. MacInnes," said Dr. Lowell Schneider. "We haven't got much time."
"Thanks," replied the six foot four inch Zombie expert as he scanned the room. He dropped his large satchel and took off his hat that covered his long thick wavy hair. His hardened face looked beyond his years, but he was clean-shaven. He could not grow a beard even if he wanted.
"I heard about your adventures in the woods of the northwest," began Dr. Schneider as he took his seat behind his desk.
"Thanks," Montana replied shifting his weight back and forth.
"Terrible business that 'Dead Earth' thing."
"Yep," the still uneasy Montana replied. He removed his long black leather duster and placed it over a chair.
"It has earned you quite the reputation."
"Yep," he replied as he began pacing back and forth.
"Please, make yourself at home," continued Dr. Schneider. "Can I get you anything?"
"I would like to hear more about your time in the mountains near Seattle. Is there anything that you can add to the stories I have heard?"
"Two Thousand undead. That is how the story goes."
"Our problem is not nearly as bad," assured the doctor.
"Yet," responded Montana.
"2000 with a homemade halberd -- that is quite impressive. Please -- take a seat," the mayor said motioning towards one of the available chairs.
"Doctor," interrupted Dr. Schneider.
"Listen Dr. Schneider, the longer we waste time telling pretty stories, the more this could get out of hand. So, could we get on with it?"
"Of course -- we do have the area quarantined. No one goes in or out without my approval. Thus, it cannot get terribly out of hand."
"It is actually kind of funny how it started."
"A brother and sister wanted to have their dead cat back. They checked a book out of the library, made a potion, read an incantation, and there cat rose out of the ground."
"Well, actually the boy will turn 26 on April 1st. She's 23."
"The cat was revived but so were several others in the cemetery."
"Take me there. I will need to see the book, and I want to examine the potion."
"Fortunately, they ran off and left everything on a grave marker. Those items are still there."
Montana grabbed his coat and gear and Dr. Schneider escorted him to the doctor's 1976, Sea Island Green, Mercury Cougar XR7, two-door sport coupe. Montana put his stuff in the back seat and sat in the passenger seat as the mayor got behind the wheel.
"Nice car," remarked Montana.
"She's a classic," replied Dr. Schneider as the two men began making their way to the cemetery.
It was a short drive and Montana was silent the entire way. He scanned the streets for movement. Dr. Schneider had tried to start a conversation, but Montana shushed him. He wanted to have an estimate of what he was up against, and the conversation would distract him.
The two men arrived at the cemetery and Dr. Schneider parked the car in the nearby lot. They walked the short distance to where the brother and sister had drawn a pentagram on the ground. In the center, they had placed a small pot on some twigs and made a small fire. Montana lifted the pot and gave it a sniff.
"They forgot the garlic," observed Montana.
"I wonder what side effect that will have..."
"Here is the book they used."
"Your local library has books bound in human skin?"
"It was in our rare books section. They were not supposed to be able to take it out of the library."
"Well, a little 'Klaatu barata nikto' and you have yourself a problem."
"You didn't just raise more dead did you?" the nervous mayor said as he looked around.
"Don't worry, those words don't mean anything. I heard them in a movie once..."
"I guess I am just a little on edge... You can see the disturbed graves around you."
"The spell made 13 people rise from the grave -- not counting the cat. Now, tell me when and how this incident was reported."
"Across the street from the cemetery is the high school. The night janitor, Robert DeFonzio, was cleaning up the school kitchen when a former lunch-lady walked into the school cafeteria. She began making meatloaf, creamed corn, and garlic bread lunches. Mrs. Doris Phipps had died 2 years ago. She hissed at him when he tried to stop her. He ran and called the police. That was about 12:15am."
"Was he bitten?"
"No, but we got several reports of the recently deceased entering homes and doing common activities."
"Doris did her usual routine as if she had just gotten out of bed. That is what she would have done when she was alive. That is typical."
"But the results were awful. The meatloaf was inedible. Well -- less edible than what she used to make."
"She doesn't have any higher order functions. But it is strange that she wouldn't reflexively use the same recipe..."
"Similar stories from all across town. Inedible pies, cookies, etc."
"Probably the garlic..."
"Nothing. Go on..."
"The town has been completely sealed off?"
"Except for the brief window to let you in. Hopefully, no one else entered the town at nearly the same time."
The zombie hunter groaned and shook his head.
"But we did not let anyone out during that time without checking," assured Dr. Schneider.
"How do you want to proceed?"
"What do you mean?"
"We have two options. Kill the spell casters. This breaks the spell, and the 13 -- plus the cat -- fall where they stand. Problem solved -- except for the auxiliary bite victims. They will have to be cleaned up manually."
"Uhhhhhh -- and the second option?"
"Take care of the 13 and the others manually," sighed the zombie expert.
"We'll take that one!"
"They always take the hard way," Montana muttered to himself. "Do you realize that that option requires a house to house search? It could take a long time and be very expensive."
"You have my choice," assured the mayor.
Reluctantly, Montana agreed to the terms and the two men returned to the classic automobile. He grabbed his bag out of the back seat of the car, and placed it on the hood. He opened up the bag to ready himself for the fight ahead. He took off his shirt revealing his bulging muscles.
Dr. Schneider noticed a few of the scars on the zombie hunter's body. After watching the man for a few seconds, he felt a bit self-conscious as the muscular man continued to get ready.
Montana grabbed a long sleeve t-shirt and covered his nudity. Over the shirt, he put on some padding to protect his elbows, biceps, and forearms. They looked like ordinary rollerblading pads. Once those pads were securely fastened, he struggled to put on a flack vest.
"Superstition," Montana said.
"What?" enquired Dr. Schneider, who was momentarily lost in thought.
"I put the vest on after the arm pads because of a silly superstition. I got the vest after the pads. Thus, I put it on second even though it would be much easier to put on the vest first."
"Oh!" replied Dr. Schneider as if he was barely listening.
The zombie fighter left his jeans and his stained boots on. He strapped on some padded chaps over his jeans. Finally, he pulled out the head of his halberd.
"Did you bring the pole?" enquired Montana.
"It is in the trunk," replied the mayor.
The mayor opened the trunk and pulled out a seven-foot wooden pole.
"It is impossible to fly with a long pole. I'm impressed that it fit so easily in that trunk!"
"She's a classic!" replied Dr. Schneider. "Did you need a butt-cap for your ash-pole?"
"Nope," replied the zombie hunter as he attached the head of his halberd onto the long pole. "Let us kick some zombie decaying butt!"
"Let us ... ?" asked the nervous former English teacher.