Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom

Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom

Chapter 1: Home Again

By Douglas E. Gogerty

"Where to Pal?" asked the cab driver.

"1313 Mockingbird Lane," Hugo Kenneth Stein Jr. replied.

"Oh? You headin' to the Stein reunion?"

"Yes," H.K. responded trying to keep to himself.

"It looks like you'll have nice weather fer it," continued the cabbie.

"Hope so."

"How was yer flight?"

"Fine," H.K. said resolving himself to having a conversation. "I sat next to an interesting character on the way in."

"Oh -- who?"

"A guy calling himself Montana MacInnes."

"Montana MacInnes the famous Zombie Hunter? What is he doin' in town?"

"He didn't say. Perhaps it was some sort of convention."

"Montana is the foremost authority on all things zombie. He has traveled the world lecturing and solving zombie problems. To think he is in our city. I hope that doesn't mean anythin'..."

"He had lots of stories. He just came back from China. From what he could gather, one of the Chinese spacecraft came back carrying some sort of virus or something. It turned an entire town into the walking dead. He went in to clean it up."

"He sure leads an excitin' life," the cab driver said as he turned onto the street where H.K. grew up.

"I don't know if I would like to face a zombie. What the...?"

"What is it?" asked the cabbie scanning the road.

"For a minute I thought I saw my grandmother. It couldn't have been her though. She has been dead for several years. My mind must playing tricks on me."

"Sometimes one blue haired lady looks like all the rest."

"I suppose you're right. Just pull into the driveway."

The cab driver pulled into the driveway and looked around. "For a family reunion there aren't many people here," he remarked.

"The actual festivities do not start until tomorrow. They're probably all over at my Uncle Frank's house."

"Oh. That'll be $16.50"

H.K. gave the cabbie a $20 and told him to keep the change. His mom's house had barely changed. For many years, it has been the same mauve color. H.K.'s Mom had it painted that color years ago despite some family member's objections. It was obvious that it was her house.

He walked up to the door and knocked. The door was open so he walked in and called out to see if anyone was home. No one answered. He looked around a bit and made his way into the kitchen. There was a bunch of cookies on the cooling rack and by them was a note.

H.K. tried to read the note, but was unsuccessful. The handwriting was atrocious and it looked like one word was cookie but spelled "kuukii". He assumed that someone made cookies and left a note indicating that he could help himself.

He sniffed the cookie and took a tentative bite. Just then a cold wrinkled hand fell upon his shoulder. A voice in a cold monotonous tone said, "Hello Butch!"

H.K. nearly jumped out of his skin, but "Bleah!" was all H.K. could say.

"Welcome home," continued the sonorous voice.

"Uncle Ben! You startled me," replied H.K. giving his uncle a hug. "I'm a grown man. Nobody calls me 'Butch' anymore. How are you?"

"Cold, tired, hungry, poor, under appreciated, unloved, unwanted, lonely, stiff ..."

"Okay, I get it."

"So did you hear about the bird that married a bell?" enquired Uncle Ben in the same monotonous tone.

"Uh oh," replied H.K.

"They had a real wing ding," finished Uncle Ben and then broke into an obnoxious laugh.

"Funny," responded H.K. without even cracking a smile. "That would probably be hilarious like your 'owl who married a goat' joke if it were like 1890. It is just that nobody uses the phrase 'wing ding' anymore."

"I've got more..."

"Save them for the party," H.K. replied quickly. "By the way, these cookies are horrible!"

"Hmmm."

"Do you know who wrote this note? It is completely illegible."

"Perhaps your mother's arthritis is acting up."

"You may be right, but that doesn't explain the terrible cookies."

"I suppose so."

"Where is everyone anyway?"

"They went to Frank's house. Your aunt and I were tired so we stayed behind to rest. I wonder where she is now..."

"Who was all here?"

"Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice & ..."

"Fine fine... Go find your wife. I'll make some calls."

"Good idea. Beulah? Beulah? Beulah..."

H.K. found the phone in the same place it had been since he had lived there. It was even the same phone. The same flip-up address book was still right next to it. He grabbed the address book and opened it to the 'S-T' section.

He spotted his name with his latest address written on whiteout. His address had changed so many times the whiteout was rather thick. Nevertheless, he was looking for Uncle Frank's number, so he continued his search.

After he located the number, he picked up the phone. There was no dial tone; the phone was dead. Like he has seen so many times in the movies, he pressed down on the button several times and said 'hello' into the receiver. There was no response.

"I wonder if Montana MacInnes knows an incantation to raise a dead phone," H.K. joked to himself as he hung up.

He chuckled for a moment and then chastised himself for making a joke as bad as Uncle Ben makes. He decided to sit on the porch for a while and watch traffic. Perhaps one of his old high school friends would see him and stop by.

H.K. sat on the old bench on the porch and relaxed. However, the neighborhood was quiet. There was no traffic. He listened closely and did not think he even heard birds chirping. There was just an eerie silence. All he could hear was Uncle Ben's monotonous voice saying "Beulah? Beulah? Beulah..."

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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?"

"Nope."

"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?"

"Nope."

"Two Thousand undead. That is how the story goes."

"Yep."

"Our problem is not nearly as bad," assured the doctor.

"Yet," responded Montana.

Halberd

"2000 with a homemade halberd -- that is quite impressive. Please -- take a seat," the mayor said motioning towards one of the available chairs.

"Listen Mr...."

"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."

"K"

"It is actually kind of funny how it started."

"Well?"

"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."

"Kids!"

"Well, actually the boy will turn 26 on April 1st. She's 23."

"Still..."

"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.

"Oh?"

"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."

"Thirteen."

"Thirteen?"

"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..."

"Pardon?"

"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.

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Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom

Chapter 3: Meet Me at the Lemonade Stand

By Douglas E. Gogerty

H.K. sat on the porch for several minutes, but not a single car drove by. There were no cars on the highway. It was quiet. It was as if the town had been evacuated, but there was a brief window that allowed him to enter. Of course, the town did roll up the sidewalks at dusk, but that was no excuse for the eerie silence.

He got off the bench and went inside. He checked the phone, but it was still dead. He was beginning to feel like the last living cell in a dead body. Just then, a cold wrinkled hand fell upon his shoulder. He jumped up startled, but once again, it was Uncle Ben.

"Perhaps you should lay off the coffee Butch," Uncle Ben said in his monotone way.

"It is just that it is so quiet around here," replied H.K. attempting to regain his breath and cringing at being called 'Butch' again.

"It is definitely not like the owl who married a goat," responded Ben.

"Yeah! Hootenanny," replied H.K. attempting to sidestep the 'joke'. "Where is Aunt Beulah?"

"She is upstairs. She likes the quiet."

"Can I borrow your truck Uncle Ben -- please?" asked H.K. attempting to ease into it, but he ended up just blurting it out.

"My truck?" inquired Ben. "The red rocket? Ole Red?"

"Yes."

"The mighty red sled? The red green show?"

"Yes."

"The 52 pickup..."

"Yes, *your truck*!" interrupted H.K.

"No," replied Ben curtly.

"Aw come on!" begged H.K.

"If you took the truck, we would be trapped like weasels..."

"Huh?"

"If, for example, a great zombie horde came this way," began Ben in his typical unemotional tone. "We would not be able to get away. You wouldn't want that on your conscious would you?"

"What are the odds of that happening?"

"I have never computed them."

"But..." began H.K.

"Your bicycle is still in the garage. The exercise would do you good."

"Is that some sort of 'fat joke'?"

"Am I laughing?"

"Uh -- that was *my* joke..."

"Ah!" responded Uncle Ben with a flat facial expression. "Very funny."

"I guess biking is it then."

"I guess so."

"No chance you would change your mind?"

"No chance."

"Very well then."

"I guess so."

"I'll be off then."

"I guess so."

After giving up trying to get the last word in on Uncle Ben, H.K. went into the garage. His ancient 10-speed was hanging on a hook in the garage. His mom had never thrown anything away without permission. Someone once offered her 50 cents for the bike, but she could not get hold of H.K., so she did not sell it.

The tires were flat, so he had to search the garage for the pump. He searched through the pink cabinets in the garage. "No man would have pink cabinets in his garage," H.K. thought to himself. "This is definitely my mom's house..."

He found the pump in one corner, and proceeded to pump up the tires. He also found some lubricant to spray on the chain. H.K. thought, "It has been years since I rode "'ole blue', 'the blue bomber', 'the blues traveler'."

He chastised himself for being like Uncle Ben. "That apple not falling far from the tree thing was too true in this family!" H.K. scowled.

He opened the garage door, and tested the old 10-speed in the driveway. He did a couple of circles, and the aging bike performed just as he remembered -- not very well. It had terrible brakes, it would not shift to the lower sprocket, and it did not want to stay in the upper gears. It was going to be just like old times -- a ten speed with only one working speed.

After his test was complete, he needed to decide where to go. He remembered seeing the old woman as the taxi pulled onto his mom's street. Where was she now? He did not watch where she went, but she should not be too far. Thus, H.K. decided to check that area first.

It was just a block away, and 'ole blue' would have been more trouble than walking. Thus, he walked up the road. There were still no cars and silence remained all around. The image of the blue-haired woman became clearer and clearer in his mind. The more he pictured her in his mind; the more it looked like his dead grandmother.

The woman was wearing the same type of flowered dress that H.K.'s grandma wore. She had the curly, blue wig that grandma wore. She was very petite like grandma was.

H.K.'s thoughts began to wander towards his grandma and how she always baked cookies for get-togethers. "While her cookies were not the greatest," he thought. "They sure beat the awful ones that were made for this reunion."

He knocked on a few doors up the block, but no one answered. He was sure he saw her come this way. Had she got in a car and left? Where was everyone? What was going on?

Since his 10-speed was ready, he decided to ride it to the center of town. Perhaps there was someone by the high school. Maybe there were some old acquaintances at the grocery store. Maybe he would see someone on the highway into town.

H.K. got on his bike and rode on the bike trail next to the highway towards the town square. He did not see one car on his way, nor a pedestrian walking the path. The town seemed empty. The silence hung heavy in the air.

At the first residential street, he got off the bike path and began searching for movement or sound. He was beginning to become tired. He was in worse biking shape than he had realized. It had been too long since he rode last. He was going to need a break soon. That is when he heard it.

He was not quite sure what he heard. It was like a moan. It was like a call. It was like a cross between a moan and call. Nevertheless, it was a sound. It somewhat sounded like a young child shouting. He thought the call was "lemonade," but where did it come from?

H.K. pumped his bike a little harder and tried to find where the cry had emanated. He tried to remember where the kids ran their stands in this neighborhood. The word 'lemonade' kept ringing in his ears. It was the only sound, other than his squeaky bike, he had heard since he had left home. It was the only sign of life.

He rode for a little while, but the silence had returned. There was the one cry he had heard, and the city returned to silence. He turned one corner and spotted it. There on the corner of two normally busy streets was a table with a crude sign. The sign was almost completely illegible. Lemonade, if that is what it said, looked like 'Lemoonaad' but that was being generous.

H.K. pumped as hard as he could to get to the stand. He forgot that his bike had terrible brakes and he flew right past. He did manage to stop several yards away. He dropped his bike and ran back to the stand. He looked around, but there was no one there.

He was breathing hard, and lemonade would be refreshing now. There was a pitcher on the table next to a set of paper cups. The pitcher had a yellow liquid and a few mangled lemons. It looked like an active stand, but where was the kid?

He looked around but saw no one. The weather was nice, but it was not a good day to have a stand because the town seemed deserted. Clearly, the call came from this place. H.K. decided to knock on doors of the closest homes. No one answered. Was he dreaming? What was going on?

He was hot and thirsty, so he decided to just leave a dollar and take some lemonade. He poured some lemonade in one of the glasses and took a drink. The sour liquid bit at his throat and he spit it out. There was no sugar in it and it was warm.

Hot and thirsty, H.K. sat down defeated. Anger and frustration began to build within him. Where was everyone? He sat there, quivering with fury, stammering as he tried to come up with a real crusher. All he got out was, "Lemonade!"

He sat there on the ground for a while with his knees bent up and his head in his hands. Suddenly he felt a hand touch him on the shoulder. He jumped up and his heart leapt even higher.

"Sorry for startling you," said the soft feminine voice.

"Another person..." H.K. mumbled to himself.

"You see," she continued. "My car broke down about a mile from here, and you are the only one I have seen or heard from in a long time."

The feminine voice belonged to a tall blonde-haired woman with stunning blue eyes. She had filthy black hands, she was sweating profusely, and her clothes were very crumpled, but other than that -- H.K. found her stunning.

"When you called out 'lemonade'," she continued "I came as quickly as I could. Why are you running a lemonade stand when everyone else was evacuated because of the zombies?"

"Zombies?" he asked.

"I would have been long gone, but my car failed... Your handwriting is awful," she added after reading the sign. "Are you mentally handicapped or something?"

"Huh? What?" H.K. stammered. "No -- I just got into town and I was looking for some people. I thought I heard someone yell 'lemonade', and I came here. When no one was here, I became frustrated and that is when I yelled."

"Is 'lemonade' a swear word for you?"

"It's just..." H.K. started but could not think of something to say. "Did you say zombies?"

"Yeah, but I do not think it is as big a threat as they make it out to be. I have been walking for quite some time, and you are the only thing I have seen. My name is Laurie by the way..."

Just then, a ghostly pale young man emerged from a nearby house. Part of his head was smashed in and his brain was exposed. He shambled out of the house with a horrific limp. The shin had been shattered, and only flesh kept the leg together.

The look of the child was quite disturbing, but the smell was something else. It reached the couple quickly. It stung their eyes and choked their throats. It was a terribly disorienting stench.

The child limped closer and closer while the two stood there in shock. They grabbed each other at the site of the young creature. The undead child got closer and closer. He was nearly in reach of the two when, in an awful, dismembered, throaty moan, he yelled, "Lemonaaaaaaaaaaaaade!"

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Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom

Chapter 4: The First Dead Un-Dead

By Douglas E. Gogerty

"Uh -- um," stuttered Dr. Schneider. "You see -- when the town hired you -- we hired *you*."

"What's your point?" enquired Montana MacInnes.

"At no time -- you know -- did we think -- you see -- you would work with a townsperson."

"Listen Mr...."

"Doctor," interrupted Dr. Schneider.

"Right -- Dr. Schneider -- I am new here. I have no transportation. While this town is not that big, it would take days for me to clean this place up -- without your help."

"But..."

"Then it is agreed," Montana asserted as he pulled out a pad of paper and pencil from his bag.

"But..."

"Let us get the names of the risen dead," Montana said as he searched the disturbed graves.

Dr. Schneider looked around nervously as Montana wrote down the names on the gravestones. There was no point in arguing the issue as Montana was correct. He would need a ride at the very least. None of this was mentioned in his brochure, but Dr. Schneider should have guessed that some sort of arrangement needed to be made.

"Besides," added Montana. "You will not be able to get passed the guards."

"Well," squirmed Dr. Schneider. "*I* probably could."

"If that is true, the first thing we need to do is firm up the quarantine. We would not want to infect the outside world. Are you sure you wouldn't rather just kill the two that cast the spell? It would make things a lot easier..."

"I'm sure."

"Alright then, I'm finished here. Do you know any of the people on this list? You know, where they used to live?"

"Let me see..." the mayor said stroking his chin as he searched the list. "This name -- I think he lived just up the road. He was a kid that was hit by a car if I remember correctly."

"Let's go," urged Montana as he trotted towards Dr. Schneider's car.

The mayor reluctantly picked up his pace to get to the car. He unlocked the classic Mercury to find that Montana was already sitting in the passenger seat. He was about to lecture Montana on proper car etiquette when they both heard a call.

1976 Mercury Cougar XR-7

"Did that sound like someone just yelled, 'Lemonade' to you?" asked Dr. Schneider.

Montana had grabbed his halberd, was out of the car and running down the street before the mayor knew what was happening. Dr. Schneider started his car and followed behind the running zombie hunter.

Montana MacInnes jumped over fences and cut through yards, so Dr. Schneider had a difficult staying with the running man. He came to a stop just short of a 10-speed bike discarded on the road. He did not know where the zombie expert was, but he was sure he was headed this way.

He looked to see a young man and young woman become suddenly transfixed by something. He could not see what. Then he heard a cry different than the first one, but the word could have been the same. Nevertheless, an awful, dismembered, throaty voice yelled, "Lemonaaaaaaaaaaaaade!"

Montana appeared out of nowhere with his halberd in his hand. Dr. Schneider got out of the vehicle and spotted the pale young man limping horribly towards the young couple. A second later, the child's head was off and it rolled under the table. A thick black substance oozed out of his neck, and he fell with a sickening thud.

"I highly recommend we get out of here," Montana said calmly.

He ran towards Dr. Schneider and the two followed behind. "What the...?" started the mayor.

"I suggest you duck behind the car," insisted the zombie hunter.

Following his lead, the quartet ducked behind the car. As if on cue, the corpse exploded with an awful kersplat spewing black goo in every direction.

When the glop settled, the zombie expert asked, "Did anyone get hit by anything?"

Everyone checked and answered in the negative. Montana MacInnes introduced himself to the couple. H.K. Stein and Laurie Ball introduced themselves as well.

"Mr. Schneider?" H.K. enquired.

"It is Dr. Schneider,"

"Oh! Lowell, Mr. -- er -- Dr. Educated! Have you moved out of your mom's house yet?" asked H.K.

"I am the mayor of this town -- I'll have you know."

"Wow! Mayor!" H.K. said with a touch of sarcasm in his voice. "But, that doesn't answer my question."

"It is none of your business," insisted the mayor.

"I see you're still driving Ugly John," joked H.K.

"This car is a classic," protested Dr. Schneider.

"I hate to break up this fine reunion," added Montana. "But I suggest you all get into 'Ugly John' as you call him -- and fast!"

Without hesitation, the three piled into the car as Montana jumped upon the hood. They learned quickly that Montana knew what he was talking about and that they should listen to what he says. After they were in the car, they heard a strange mix of animal-like noises.

From all directions, strange looking dogs, cats, squirrels, and rabbits came running. There were hollow barks, strained meows, and odd whistles as the animals got closer. Montana looked at the animals as they converged towards his position.

"What is he looking for?" asked Laurie.

"I have no idea," answered Dr. Schneider.

"My guess," H.K. said. "Is that he is looking for the main zombie. If he eliminates the root cause, the rest will fall."

An undead robin swooped down upon Montana and he sliced it in half with his weapon. A sparrow was next, but Montana missed the small bird. A large German shepherd jumped against the driver side window startling Dr. Schneider. He watched in horror as Montana removed its head with one swing of the halberd.

Dozens of animals now surrounded the car. Claws and teeth were gnashing at anything and everything. Montana cut animal after animal into pieces. Nothing had any effect on the rest of them.

That is when Montana spotted the crippled cat attempting to make it towards the car. He was certain that she was the root of all of these undead animals. Like a pole-vaulter, he placed the end of his halberd on the ground and launched himself over the crowd of animals surrounding the car.

The zombie hunter landed a few feet from a squirrel trying to bite him. He kicked the animal out of the way, and made his way towards the cat. She hissed at him, but her head went spinning away with a swing of his weapon.

Montana ran as fast as he could to gain shelter as the entire collection of zombie animals exploded into a putrid black mess.

The stench of the undead boy had been bad. With the addition of the exploded animals, the stink in and around the car was sickening. Lowell turned the car on and sped away leaving the zombie hunter alone taking H.K. and Laurie with him.

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Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom

Chapter 5: Zombies Hate Vinaigrettes

By Douglas E. Gogerty

The mayor, Dr. Lowell Schneider sped off leaving Montana MacInnes alone at the Lemonade stand. Sitting next to him in the front seat was H.K. Stein. Laurie Ball also sat in the front seat next to the door. With a stunned look on his face H.K. asked, "What are you doing? We can't just leave him!"

"Those varmints that were surrounding the car just exploded! Do you have any idea what that could do to my paint job?"

"So while the world is coming to an end, you're going to wash the car?" H.K. enquired as he spotted the carwash a half a block away.

"It'll only take a minute," explained Lowell as he pulled the classic car into the carwash.

Lowell pulled his car into one of the empty carwash stalls. He opened the ashtray, grabbed a handful of quarters, and got out of the car.

"Can we have the keys to listen to the radio while we wait?" asked H.K.

"Sure," replied Dr. Schneider as he handed H.K. the keys.

The mayor pushed the door closed and realized that he got some of the black stuff on his hand. Disgusted, he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and promptly wiped his hands. He stuck out his tongue and gave a little shiver as he examined the tarry substance.

The fastidious former English teacher dropped a few quarters in the slot, and the water began coming from the carwash nozzle. He started from the top and began thoroughly washing his pride and joy of a car.

"AM Radio?" complained H.K. "It is probably original equipment."

"Why bother?" asked Laurie.

"You're probably right," responded H.K. as he switched off the radio and turned the car's ignition to the off position.

"How do you know so much about zombies?" asked Laurie.

"I read Montana MacInnes's book: Zombies from A to Z, but that last bit was a surprise."

"What?"

"When he killed the cat, which was probably the cause of all of the animal zombies, all of them exploded. He didn't mention that happening in his book."

"That sure was gruesome."

Dr. Schneider dropped a few more quarters in the carwash and continued to spray the goo off his car. The soapy water splashed off the car and went down the drain.

"With voodoo spells, it is difficult to determine how they will react," continued H.K. after a bit of thought. "Perhaps that is what these undead are."

"It made things easier. That man didn't have to decapitate all of those animals."

"Let us hope that they were all destroyed with that. Montana fought a few birds, if a duck or something escaped and migrated there could be big trouble nationwide."

"That Dr. Schneider is sure taking his time," complained Laurie as she watched the mayor drop a few more quarters in the carwash.

"He really loves this car. It was a gift from his mommy" explained H.K. as he reached over and honked the horn to get Dr. Schneider's attention. The mayor turned and was a ghastly shade of white. His eyes were black as coal and he had lips to match. He bared his teeth and hissed at the car's occupants. After that, he continued to spray the car.

Laurie screamed. H.K. slid over and got behind the wheel. He locked the door and started the car. He put the cougar into reverse, pushed the accelerator to the floor and sped out of the stall. Laurie gave another scream as she saw zombie rats crawling out of the carwash drain.

"Back to the lemonade stand!" shouted Laurie as H.K. turned the wheel of the classic car to get on the road.

Just then, they spotted Montana MacInnes jump a nearby fence and enter the carwash. In the wink of an eye, Dr. Schneider's head fell with a thud on the cement floor. Montana was out of the stall before the decapitated mayor exploded in cloud of soapy water and black spray.

Montana ran to the car and asked for his bag that was in the backseat. Laurie gave him his bag. She and H.K. watched as the zombie slayer pulled a few vials out of his bag. The expert examined the labels closely and put a few of the vials back.

A pot and a propane burner were the next things he pulled out of the bag. A few vials were emptied into the pot and a fire lit beneath it. When the pot began to boil, Montana began rocking back and forth and chanting.

After a few moments, the zombie hunter grabbed the pot and began sprinkling its contents throughout the carwash stall. He poured the remaining contents down the drain and ran towards the car.

Laurie opened her door, and slid over. The undead expert threw his bag in back, and got into the waiting two-door sport coupe.

"Go!" shouted Montana as the carwash erupted in a huge plume of green-gray smoke.

The merge-o-matic engine of the 30-year old mercury complained as the accelerator was pressed to the floor. The car eventually got up to speed as H.K. drove away from the carwash, which had erupted into a huge mushroom cloud of green smoke.

The town suddenly appeared to be full of life as ghostly white creatures shambled out of buildings towards the plume of smoke that was the carwash. One zombie ventured out in front of the speeding car, but H.K. did not slow down. The car was undamaged and the zombie got up and hissed as the car sped away.

"Where are we going?" asked H.K. after several blocks of just driving.

"Grocery store," replied Montana in a calm and cool voice.

"Pardon?"

"I need supplies," responded Montana.

With a few turns, H.K. made his way to the town's main road. He drove directly to the store where he had worked in high school. It had not changed in the many years since he had graduated. He pulled the car close to the cement pillars in front of the store.

"It's closed," declared Laurie.

"I can get us in," responded Montana as he grabbed his bag.

"Wait!" cried H.K. "You don't have to break any glass. Give me a second and I'll get us in."

H.K. jumped out of the car and ran around the side of the building. Montana also got out of the car and began sizing up the door. He was fumbling around in his bag when the lights of the store when up. A brief time later, the front door was open.

"Some things never change," declared H.K.

The three entered the store. "I need red-wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic..." began Montana.

"Is he making a salad?" whispered Laurie to H.K.

"Zombies hate vinaigrettes," joked H.K. "But seriously, we're dealing with voodoo zombies. Potions and spells make them rise from the dead. With the right ingredients, counter potions and spells can be made."

"Like at the carwash?" asked Laurie.

"Exactly!" replied H.K. as he led the group to the ingredients.

"I have some preserved amphibians in my car," volunteered Laurie.

"Seriously?" asked Montana.

"I'm an amateur herpetologist," replied Laurie with an air of pride.

Montana grabbed her and gave her a big kiss. "How are they preserved?"

"Some are in alcohol and some in formaldehyde."

"Great!" exclaimed the zombie hunter with a surprising amount of emotion. "Sugar and kosher salt!" he proclaimed.

When the group had gathered all of the supplies that the zombie expert wanted, H.K. ushered them out of the store. He made a list of the things they had grabbed and left a note with some money before he locked up the store. He jumped into the car and they sped off to where Laurie had left her car.

The zombie expert examined the contents of Laurie's trunk with wide excited eyes. He grabbed a few specimens and gave the contents a smell. A few he tasted the preserving liquid. When he was satisfied, he had a couple of frogs and newts.

"Air traffic personnel frown upon such things in carry-on luggage," explained the zombie expert.

He emptied the liquids from the jars and replaced it with sugar. He shook the jars for a bit. When he was satisfied, he then dumped out the sugar and replaced it with the kosher salt. After a few more shakes, he put the jars into his bag and shouted "To the lemonade stand!"

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Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom

Chapter 6: Est Ti Elundus Spheari Amundus

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Laurie Ball, H.K. Stein and zombie expert Montana MacInnes had gathered some needed supplies including a few animal specimens from Laurie's car. H.K. was driving Dr. Schneider's 70's classic car towards the place of their first zombie encounter -- the lemonade stand. Montana had the window open, and was holding his halberd along the side of the car.

"The zombies are going to be a bit more aggressive now," explained Montana.

"Why?" asked Laurie.

"Before," started Montana "they were in fairly passive. They were going about their business. However, an anti-undead spell has been used which has put them in survival mode."

"At the carwash," added H.K.

"Exactly," replied Montana. "I would have used a lesser incantation, but that fool Schneider took my supplies and washed that zombie fluid down the drain. I had to use a big one to hopefully get all the undead creatures."

"And prevent its spread," concluded H.K.

"Yes," Montana said. "Further, at the lemonade stand, I'm going to use another incantation. This will bring the creatures towards us. Thus, you should roll up the windows and stay in the car."

"Why does it have to be done at the lemonade stand?" asked Laurie.

"I need an undead corpse," explained Montana. "Preferably a first order one and we have that at the lemonade stand."

"Is this a good place to stop?" asked H.K. as he pulled the car up to the lemonade stand.

"I'll need you close, but that is too close," responded the zombie expert. "Pull into that driveway over there."

H.K. pulled the car into the driveway of a house two doors down from where the lemonade stand stood. Montana, with his halberd in hand, grabbed his bag of supplies from the back seat and walked over to the lemonade stand.

Montana picked up the container of lemonade and gave it a smell. He poured a small glass, gave it a taste and spit it out. He walked over to the car and asked if anyone had some lemonade.

"Not that I know of," lied H.K.

"Good," responded Montana as he went back to his business.

The zombie expert put the lemonade aside, grabbed the lifeless zombie head by the hair, and put it on the table. He was careful not to get any of the black fluid on him that was trickling from the neck of the severed head.

From his bag, he grabbed his propane stove that he used at the carwash. He pulled a large pot from the bag, and poured some red wine vinegar into it. He mumbled a few words, and poured the contents on the torso of the undead boy. Next, he poured some olive oil into the pot, mumbled some more words, and poured the contents upon the boy's torso.

Now that that part was finished, Montana put the pot upon the burner and filled it with the lemonade. He held the head above the pot and let some of the black fluid drain into the pot. He took out some vials and poured some of their contents into the pot. Finally, he removed a jar of salt. In it was a frog, which he collected from Laurie. He removed the specimen from the salt, and put it into the pot.

Montana grabbed his bag and walked over to the car. He opened the door and placed the bag into the back seat of the car. "Roll up the windows, and stay put," he told the occupants of the car.

H.K. and Laurie nodded and raised the windows of the car. They both watched intently as the zombie hunter lit the fire under the pot. Montana checked his halberd as he waited for the pot to boil. With the amount of liquid in the pot, it seemed like forever before it started boiling.

Laurie and H.K. were beginning to feel uncomfortable as the car temperature began to rise. Nevertheless, they did as the zombie expert instructed and kept the windows closed.

When the pot reached a full boil, Montana took the head from the table. By the hair, he began waving it over the torso of the child and chanting "Est ti elundus spheari amundus."

When he was satisfied, he placed the head upon the torso and grabbed the pot. He continued the chant as he swirled the pot above the torso.

H.K. felt the sweat pouring down his face. His insides felt as if someone were mixing them. He swayed in small circles with each movement of the pot. He struggled to keep his eyes from rolling into the back of his head.

Suddenly, Montana placed the pot back on the burner and ran over to the car. Laurie opened the passenger door and a blast of hot air escaped the car. The rush of cool air felt good to H.K.

"Holy crap!" shouted Montana as he got to the car. "I forgot the garlic!"

Montana grabbed his bag from the seat behind Laurie. After a brief search, Montana took the garlic from the bag and stripped a single clove from the head. He returned the rest to the bag and threw it into the back seat.

"Keep this door closed from here on out," he told Laurie before he ran back to the pot. Laurie closed the door as Montana threw the new ingredient into the pot. After a quick stir, the zombie expert returned to chanting "Est ti elundus spheari amundus."

Laurie screamed as she spotted the first zombie shambling towards the lemonade stand. Suddenly there was another and then another. Montana chanted louder and louder as he removed the pot from the fire and started to swirl the pot over the child's torso. H.K.'s head was spinning as he struggled to remain conscious.

Closer and closer the zombies ambled. The ghostly white creatures came from all directions. They emitted a guttural moan as the approached the lemonade stand. Their yellow eyes affixed upon the chanting Montana MacInnes.

The zombies were closing in on the zombie expert. They limped and shuffled nearer and nearer. Eventually, one reached the yard where the lemonade stand was set up, but she stumbled over the curb. She began crawling towards the chanting zombie slayer.

A second undead person and then a third reached the lemonade stand. Montana could wait no longer; he took the boiling hot potion and poured a small amount upon the torso. The remaining liquid he splashed upon as many zombies as he could reach.

Montana grabbed his weapon and ran. The agonizing screams of the zombies in the yard broke several windows in the area. Great clouds of gray-brown smoke began steaming from the splashed undead. The yellow eyes of the unaffected zombies in the area flashed with red. H.K. fell unconscious. Naturally, Laurie screamed.

Using his halberd, Montana decapitated several zombies that were not splashed with the potion. He was working his way back towards the screaming Laurie. Streams of smoke were filling the air, and bursts of black liquid were adding to the gruesome fireworks display.

The now aggressive zombies were no match for Montana and his zombie-slaying halberd. With each undead whose head was removed, a spray of black liquid erupted. Montana was covered in a viscous black fluid.

He noticed the pale H.K. unconscious in the driver's seat. He told Laurie to stay put as the black liquid dripped from his body. The panic in Laurie's eyes began to subside as the zombie slayer went after a few more zombies.

When Montana had finished off the last zombie in the area, he jumped into the center of the plume of gray-brown smoke. The cloud changed from a brownish color to the color of blood as the zombie hunter was engulfed.

Just then, a ghastly white figure sat up next to Laurie. His eyes were blood red and his tongue was black. Laurie tried to scream, but no sound came out. She thought about opening the door, but the words of the zombie hunter rang in her head. She was trapped, so she fainted.

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Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom

Chapter 7: The Gruesome Line-Up

By Douglas E. Gogerty

H.K.'s skin felt cold and clammy. His head was still swimming. The last thing he remembered thinking was that he must remain conscious. Nevertheless, he blacked out. He had a fuzzy dream of Laurie turning white with her mouth agape then she fell unconscious. In the dream, he struggled to see if he could help, but she seemed too far. "Did she turn into a zombie?" he thought before he blacked out again.

He now found himself on the grass looking up at the sky. He did not remember getting out of the cougar, but he was out. His tongue hurt as if he had bitten it. He wiped his mouth and found blood. He indeed had bitten it at some point.

With his consciousness being slowly restored, he began to look around. Next to him, in a similar reclining position as himself, was Laurie. She was slightly pale, but she began to stir also. Clouds of a blood red mist were dissipating all around.

Montana was busy placing the heads of the corpses upon the former lemonade stand in some sort of gruesome line-up. "Ah," he spoke to H.K. "you're awake."

After the cobwebs cleared a bit more, H.K. replied, "Yes, I guess I am."

"How do you feel?"

"I don't know..."

"You drank the lemonade didn't you?"

"Uhhhhh -- yes," H.K. responded reluctantly.

"You must have good zombie resistance in your family," responded the zombie expert.

"Huh?"

"The incantation and the potion I created would have turned most people irrevocably into an undead creature. In all rights, you should be one of these heads."

"But, you drank more lemonade than I did," H.K. stated as his head became clearer.

"While that may be true, I inoculated myself with a little frog alcohol before hand."

"What brought me back?"

"Probably when I broke the spell, you were also released. I didn't need the spell any longer when I finished off the last zombie in the area, so I let it go."

"What is going on?" asked Laurie as she came to.

"Welcome back," replied Montana. "We are just having a chat now that we are temporarily out of danger."

"Temporarily?" asked Laurie.

"Thirteen corpses were brought back to life with the original spell. There may still be some of those originals out there, and there may be some residuals as well."

"Residuals?" Laurie and H.K. asked at the same time.

"Normal people, who for one reason or another, have turned. Like that Schneider fellow."

"What would cause them to -- er -- turn?" Laurie asked.

"Usually a bite," replied Montana. "However, any fluid exchange could also result in a transformation."

"Ewwwww! Zombie sex..." replied Laurie with a look of revulsion on her face.

"It doesn't have to be that -- um -- intimate," replied Montana.

"Like a kiss," added H.K.

"Exactly," continued Montana. "It could even happen if you shared some food with a zombie -- like a cookie or some lemonade."

"In Lowell's case, he got some zombie blood on him," H.K. included.

"Lowell was a zombie?" asked Montana. "Who's Lowell?"

"Mr. Schneider," replied H.K.

"Doctor," Laurie said jokingly rebuking H.K.

"Right!" laughed H.K.

A flash of guilt for making a joke on the newly departed went across both their faces. They were still suffering from the effects of the shocks they had encountered. At least, that is how they rationalized it in their heads.

"His first name was Lowell?" asked Montana. "Anyway, since you two are from these parts. I was hoping that you could put faces to names -- as it were."

"What?" the pair asked with a slight look of horror on their faces.

"I have a list of the original thirteen," replied the zombie expert patiently. "If we can determine who is still out there and where they may be, we can end this adventure."

With some hesitation, Laurie and H.K. began to examine the bodiless heads arranged in a row on the lemonade stand table. Montana instructed them to say something if the face looked familiar. He did not want to bias his results by giving them the names and have the pair put faces to this list of names.

Laurie recognized a man who was once in her herpetology club. She had remembered the news reports of another one's death. A third was her great aunt's next-door neighbor's second cousin once removed. It was a long story that she did not want to get into. She told Montana the names and he checked them off the list. She did not recognize any other faces.

"Mrs. Phipps," declared H.K. sadly. "She was a lunch-lady when I was in school. Old man Conifer -- a grumpy old man who used to chase us off the lake. Mr. D'Cheuer was a retired French teacher who used to substitute for our French teacher Mrs. Anderson. Mrs. D'Cheuer is here too."

H.K. had a strange sensation come over him. He was remembering happy times but the gruesome face of death kept disrupting those childhood memories. These people were old when he was a kid, it is no wonder they have passed on. That did not stop the fight between the happy memories and the grim reaper.

"Do you have any first names?" asked Montana.

"They were adults when I was a kid," replied H.K. "We didn't use their first names. It was always Mr. this -- Mrs. that.

"Do you know when they died? Or do you have any other identifying information?" enquired the zombie expert.

"I think Old Man Conifer died from a heart attack in -- uh -- 1983 -- I think. The others were alive when I left," replied H.K. "I don't know if it would help, but Mr. D'Cheuer got a nasty scar from when he fought in Korea."

"Korean War Vet..." replied Montana. "That does help. Weston and Linda -- got them. Harold Conifer is checked too. I think I can safely assume that is Doris Phipps."

"Doris! Yeah! I'm surprised Mrs. Conifer is not here," added H.K. "She must have not been buried next to her husband."

"Perhaps," replied Montana. "Anyone else look familiar?"

"This guy looks familiar, but I cannot place the name."

"Think," prodded Montana.

"He always wore tweed suits with the suede elbow patches. He had one of those scottie dogs. He always had a book on his pocket, but I am drawing a blank on his name."

"Anyone else look familiar?"

Laurie and H.K. both replied that they did not recognize anyone else. Thus, Montana let them look at the list. Laurie and H.K. began searching the list for familiar names.

"Claude Fogerty," declared H.K. "That is his name."

"Are you sure?" asked the zombie expert.

"Positive," responded H.K. as he looked over the list further.

H.K. saw Mr. Conifer's name. He read Mr. and Mrs. D'Cheuer's name. As he worked his way down the alphabetic list, he saw Mrs. Phipp's name. Then he saw it -- Mrs. Ruth Stein. There on the bottom of the list was his grandmother.

Frantically, he searched the faces. None of them belonged to her. His undead grandmother was still out there. They would have to go after her. The cold clammy feeling he had when he woke up returned, and he dropped to the ground with a thud.

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Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom

Chapter 8: My Grandma is a Zombie (The End)

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Montana MacInnes was collecting the heads of the unidentified zombies and placing them in a sack he had pulled out of his duffle bag. H.K. Stein had fainted and was lying on the ground. Laurie Ball was attending to him.

"Are you all right?" Laurie asked as H.K.'s eyes opened.

"Huh?" H.K. said trying to clear the cobwebs out of his head.

"You fainted," she replied with concern in her voice.

"Grandma Stein..." H.K. began.

"Is dead," interrupted Montana. "Her form has risen from her grave, and is a danger to the community."

"But..." complained H.K.

"No buts!" the zombie expert asserted. "If you know where she is, you must take me to her."

"I will," whimpered H.K. "It is just -- I don't think -- um -- I could take -- er -- seeing her decapitated and explode in front of me."

"I will take that into consideration," replied Montana.

"It'll be all right," assured Laurie. "Why do you suppose she did not come like the rest?"

"We live quite a way from here," answered H.K. "She probably is on her way or something."

"The pull from 'home and usual life' and the 'group zombie' are usually the only forces that affect a voodoo zombie," Montana began. "Someone who lives a long way from their grave usually do not feel the pull from home."

"I thought I saw her when I got to town," admitted H.K. "I wasn't sure it was her."

"Sometimes one blue haired lady looks like all the rest," added Laurie.

"True," replied H.K.

"There must be an inordinately strong pull from your home," added Montana. "Do you have any idea why?"

"We were having a family reunion," answered H.K. "Lots of relatives being there perhaps..."

"Perhaps," Montana responded. "Could you open the trunk?"

H.K. got off the ground and dusted himself off. He stretched and checked to see if he was hurt. He landed in the grass so his faint did not cause him much physical damage. He walked over to the waiting cougar and opened the trunk.

Montana put the sack of heads into the trunk and pushed it closed. He opened the passenger door and threw his bag into the back seat. He motioned towards Laurie to get in and he grabbed his halberd. He rolled down the window as H.K. got in and started the car.

As usual, Montana held the halberd out of the window along the car as H.K. pulled the car out of the driveway. H.K. drove slowly. He did this partly to allow Montana to see anything moving, but he also was not looking forward to seeing his grandmother decapitated and stuffed into a sack.

The trip was uneventful. The trio was quiet and somber on the drive across town. Laurie smiled at H.K. in an attempt to assure him it was all right. H.K. politely smiled back, but his eyes betrayed his true feelings. He was dreading what was going to happen.

Eventually, the classic, 'sea island green' car pulled into the driveway. H.K. had traveled down that road many times, but never before had he dreaded the sight of his parents' house. Montana grabbed his bag from the back seat, but H.K. just sat behind the wheel. Laurie patted him on the thigh, and sat beside him.

"I could use something to drink," Laurie said eventually.

"Okay," responded H.K. with a polite smile.

The pair went into the house as Montana was once again making some concoction in a pot. They walked through the house and into the kitchen. H.K. walked straight to the refrigerator and opened it up.

"What would you like?" he asked.

"What do you have?" she replied.

"Let's see... There is water of course. There is some sort of lemon-ish-flavored drink, but no lemons were harmed in the making of it."

"Isn't there a family reunion going on here?" she asked.

"They're not big drinkers," responded H.K. "But there is some 'Cold Duck' and here is some of my Uncle Frank's homemade wine."

"Is the wine any good?"

"There is one way to find out..."

Just then, Laurie screamed "Zombie!"

H.K. turned with a start. His heart had jumped into his throat.

"Who is your friend?" asked Uncle Ben in his usual monotone.

"Uncle Ben," H.K. said with some relief. "Uncle Ben this is Laurie Ball."

"Nice to meet you," Laurie said with some embarrassment.

"I get that zombie comment a lot," replied Uncle Ben with his obnoxious laugh. "Who is your friend in the driveway?"

"That is Montana MacInnes, famous..." started H.K.

"No!" yelled Uncle Ben with more emotion than H.K. had ever heard.

As Uncle Ben rushed towards the front door, Laurie asked, "What is with him?"

"I have no idea," replied H.K. as he walked towards a window facing the driveway.

Uncle Ben knocked over the pot before the zombie expert could restrain him. Montana easily wrestled the old man to the ground and pinned him to the grass. Once again, Laurie screamed as two ghostly pale women shambled down the stairs and walked out the front door. H.K. was on the two women's heels and Laurie followed shortly afterwards.

Montana let Ben go and grabbed his halberd.

"Wait!" shouted H.K. "Aunt Beulah isn't a zombie she has just been fighting a long illness!"

"She's a zombie all right," returned Montana.

"Please -- no!" sobbed Uncle Ben. "They won't harm anyone..."

Confusion caused everyone to pause for a moment, but then Montana stated, "There is only one way to be sure of that."

"Stop!" shouted H.K. as he rushed to get between the zombie killer and his aunt and grandmother.

"Please -- listen," begged Uncle Ben. "Look at their necklaces."

H.K. was still confused, but it stopped the zombie expert in his tracks. They looked like ordinary pearl necklaces to H.K. Montana turned to look at Uncle Ben and asked, "Are those what I think?"

"PN-3000's from your own catalogue," replied Uncle Ben.

"So you have successfully..." started Montana.

"Yes," responded Uncle Ben with clear relief in his voice.

"What the hell is going on?" asked Laurie and H.K. in unison.

"Ruth! Beulah! Inside!" commanded Uncle Ben.

The two women turned and shambled past Laurie and entered the house. In amazement, H.K. watched the two do as his uncle commanded. Montana nodded his head, put his halberd down and said, "Very well."

"Please sit," Uncle Ben told Laurie and H.K.

The pair did as requested and sat on the front porch. Montana gathered his things together and put them in his bag. Uncle Ben paced back and forth a few times thinking of what to say.

"Butch," Uncle Ben started in his normal monotonous tone. "Beulah had Alzheimer's, and there was supposed to be this miracle drug. However, this drug had not received FDA approval and was thus, not available. However, I used some contacts to obtain it. Needless to say, the drug didn't work exactly as promised. In fact, it killed my wife."

"How long has Aunt Beulah been -- you know -- undead?" asked H.K.

"A couple years," responded Ben. "I found that I had an ability to control her to some degree."

"A zombie whisperer?" asked Laurie.

"I suppose you could say that," responded Ben. "Some zombies are naturally drawn to me."

"His pull likely amplified the normal home pull and drew your grandma so far from the cemetery," added Montana.

"The call went out to evacuate, and I knew I couldn't get Beulah past the roadblock, so I stayed behind," continued Uncle Ben. "I was shocked to find Mom here and baking cookies."

"Why didn't you tell me any of this?" asked H.K.

"I thought you knew," replied Ben. "Since you made it past the roadblock, I thought you were here to help."

"That idiot mayor," replied Montana. "He let anyone pass the roadblock after our plane landed. He was unlucky enough to get through during that window."

"So, what they say about when you 'assume' is true," replied Ben with his jarring laugh.

"What is the deal with those pearl-like necklaces?" asked Laurie.

"They are the PN-3000s," replied Montana proudly.

"They are necklaces that will decapitate a zombie by remote," added Ben. "They also have a 'dead man's switch.' So, if I do not press the button every 12 hours, they automatically -- um -- er -- de-zombify. In case anything happens to me."

"What about bites and such?" asked H.K.

"In the beginning," replied Uncle Ben. "Beulah nipped at me. However, I have some sort of natural ability to fight off the zombie effect. So, I fought it off."

"You showed that ability as well," added Montana. "I am also mostly immune -- save a zombie opening up my skull and chomping directly upon my brain."

Uncle Ben laughed heartily at the joke and continued, "So you see, everything is under control here... as much as possible anyway."

"Can you really take care of two zombies?" asked Laurie.

"Sure," replied Ben. "They do not need to eat anything; they just need a place to stay out of trouble."

"It sounds like there is no danger here," stated Montana boldly.

"That may be all of the zombies," added Laurie.

"They did cause me a few problems with whatever you did in town," replied Uncle Ben. "But, they are much calmer now. Now if you excuse me, I should attend to Mom before she starts baking more of her awful cookies."

H.K. and Laurie were satisfied with the story and followed him inside. They opened the bottle of wine and toasted to a fine adventure. It was awful, so they decided to drive Montana to the roadblock. The cab driver was there talking to the authorities still trying to get through. The final heads were identified and therefore Montana declared that the case was closed. Or was it?

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  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks for the kind words Kerry. I too am very read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Christian! I too had a DOS computer. read more
  • Christian: A great story, i remember my first computer with DOS read more
  • Kerry Glasscock: Good story. I love that Dwayne. nice work! read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Susanne. You are correct, the OS of computers has read more
  • Susanne: Nice read, shame computers havent improved several years later (mainly read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Hey Rushan! Sadly no, I do not have one. Thanks read more
  • Rushan: Nice work.do you have that kind of one?thanks.. read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Joyce. I appreciate your kind words. We do have read more
  • Joyce: Douglas, I just want express and my true admiration before read more

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom category.

M.O.P.S. in Space is the previous category.

Nebrion's Quest is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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