Zombie’s dilemma

A friend woke from a weird dream about a zombie invasion, and only having her cooking utensils with which to defend herself. She thought no one could follow the plot of her dreams. Here’s one I made earlier. 😀


It wasn’t fun being one of the undead. Since I’d been killed in a robbery gone wrong, I had roamed about trying to find something that remained always just out of reach.

Having been brought up a Christian, I believed in the simplicity of Heaven for the good, Hell for the bad. I was desperate, even though thieving from the supermarket had seemed a good idea at the time. The gun the cashier screamed I had used to threaten her wasn’t real; it was a toy I had purloined from their own children’s department, as a gift for a nephew’s birthday.

How was I to know that with the heightened terrorists’ scares they would have armed police on the premises? Returning to the scene of the crime, I was able to enter after dark without setting off any alarms. I wandered about for a bit, retracing my steps to the exact spot where the nightmare had begun. At least this time I could complete my mission. Reaching out towards the packet of fig rolls on the biscuit display, my hand passed straight though them.

This must be what they mean by purgatory.

Leaving the supermarket, I floated up the street until an enticing smell of baking attracted my attention. The front door was locked, but in my new state that didn’t prove to be a problem. Taking a deep breath, I thrust one leg through the door, and squirmed the rest of my body after it. From the upper floor, a noise like a grunting pig drifted down the stairs, and a quick investigation proved it to be a young man, probably about my own age, sound asleep. In between snores, snippets of a melody passed through his lips as he played air guitar.

Bored with watching him, I returned downstairs to explore. Outside it was a beautiful day, probably only about 70 degrees but I could feel the heat of the sun burning through my already peeling skin. It was weird that although I was dead, or at least I thought so, I could still feel changes in temperature, and I was still hungry. Another peculiar smell assailed my nearly non-existent nostrils – it was coming from the garage. As I went to pass through the door there was a horrible screech, which would have frightened the life out of me if I hadn’t already been dead. A cat had been dozing in the shade, but now it faced me, his fur stuck out, claws and teeth extended, and hissing for all he was worth.

I used to like cats, but taking no chances with him ripping the remainder of my skin from my bones, skirted round him using the parked car as cover. In one corner paraphernalia for a brewing kit suggested a reason for the strong smell of alcohol. Next to it were several bottles, all neatly labelled with the date and strength of the brew. That will go down a treat, I thought as I reached for one, as long as it didn’t flush straight out of the gaping holes in my skin. Grabbing the stopper, I twisted and turned with all my strength, but it refused to budge. My hand kept passing straight through it, and although I could feel it, I couldn’t even pick it up to hurl at the wall and relieve my frustration.

‘Who’s that?’ a voice drifted out from the kitchen. ‘Is that you, Tiddles? I hope you’re not causing a mess in there. If you’ve caught a mouse, I’d rather you didn’t bring it in to show me.’

There was silence for a moment, until a flash of movement showed Tiddles was not as brave as he looked, and had bolted out the door and disappeared somewhere over the neighbour’s fence. All I could hear was the sound of a few sparrows singing in the distant trees. More important, that cooking smell was wafting towards me, and unable to resist I went through the connecting door into the kitchen.

A lady was standing with her back to me, and my mouth salivated as she lifted a tray of biscuits from the oven, carefully placing them on the work surface and removing her oven gloves before sniffing the air in satisfaction.

‘Perfect,’ she said. ‘I’ll try one with a cup of tea just to make sure they taste as good as they look.’

Fig rolls 24.7.20

She turned towards the kettle, saw me, and let out a stifled scream. It was just as well she had put down the tray or they would have ended up on the floor as she jumped back, nearly knocking over a mixing bowl. For a moment we gawped at each other until she seemed to recover and grabbing a heavy-bottomed saucepan, waved it in my direction.

‘Don’t come any closer,’ she said in a squeaky voice, ‘I’m armed and I know how to use it.’

‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you,’ I said and although the words didn’t sound out loud, she looked at me as if she understood.

‘What is it? What do you want? I haven’t any money. Keep your distance. I’m phoning the police.’

I’d stepped forward to get another whiff of her cooking, but stepped back hastily as the saucepan swung in my direction, missing me by inches.

‘Fig rolls. You’ve made fig rolls.’

‘Yes, they’re my son’s favourite. You can have one, and then you’ve got to go.’

‘I can’t,’ I wailed, ‘that’s what got me into this mess in the first place.’

Her face softened, and for a minute I thought she was going to give me a hug, until she thought better of it when she saw my rotting flesh. Even so, she listened attentively as I told her my story – how I had no money, had tried to steal some fig rolls when the temptation became too much, and had died without tasting one. How I seemed to be stuck on earth until I had my final wish, but being between two worlds couldn’t hold anything.

She turned towards the tray of baking, then looked back at me before picking up one of the fig rolls.

‘Stay still, and open your mouth,’ she said as she estimated the distance between us. ‘Ready? One, two, three, catch,’ and she threw one towards my face. I wasn’t quite quick enough and it bounced off my cheek and rolled onto the floor. It took two or three tries, and the kitchen floor was now covered with crumbs, but eventually, success. I snapped at it like a dog and felt the still warm pastry with the delicious filling sliding down my throat. Ecstasy.

‘Thank you. Thank you so much. You’ve saved my life, er, I mean my death,’ I told her as I felt wings growing from my back, and heard choirs of angels singing in the distance. I felt myself being pulled upwards until I disappeared from her view, through the roof and into the heavenly sky.

‘What a peculiar dream,’ Paula thought as she prepared to get out of bed, and start the breakfast. It was only as she entered the kitchen and saw the floor covered with fig roll crumbs that she wondered how much was down to her writer’s imagination.

© Val Portelli July 2020



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