At the entrance to Price Town, Alien Jones assembled a massive pile of laptops (ten percent off because Price Town has the best prices in town!), tablets, and game consoles, all hooked together with cables. Somehow, he connected that mess to one giant battery he formed by connecting thousands of smaller batteries together, and then attached everything to a dehumidifier which was, in turn, rigged up to a leaf blower.
“Switching from suck to blow now,” Alien Jones said, inadvertently paying homage to Spaceballs. “Does everyone have their Sarah Lyons Fleming approved bug-out bags?”
“Affirmative,” VGRF replied. “And remember, if you see a zombie like Jaime Johnesee’s ‘Bob,’ don’t shoot him.”
“That’s quite a contraption, AJ,” I said. “But what did you need the troll doll for?”
Alien Jones held up the tiny little plastic guy I’d found for him. It had a tuft of blue hair popping out of its head.
“I just think they’re adorable,” the Esteemed Brainy One said.
“OK then,” I said.
“Is everyone ready?” Alien Jones asked.
“One more thing,” I said.
I walked to the clothing section, grabbed a mannequin, tucked it under my arm, and rejoined the crew.
“Why are you bringing a dummy?”
“Insert joke about Bernie here,” I said.
Bernie was too busy admiring his duel 9mm automatics. (Conveniently located next to the toy aisle, come on down to Price Town!)
“This isn’t just a dummy,” I said. “It is a…decoy human.”
“My sweet Video Game Rack Fighter,” I said. “Earlier this year, my life was saved thanks to the wisdom of one of the wisest sages in the self-publishing game.”
“Not the decoy wallet story again,” VGRF said.
“The decoy wallet story indeed!”
I put the dummy down, then pulled one leather bound wallet out of my jacket pocket and a second velcro wallet out of my pants pocket.
“This wallet,” I said as I held up the wallet in my left hand, “Holds my driver’s license, credit cards, and money. To be relieved of it from the likes of a common street hoodlum would be an arduous ordeal for certain.”
“All you have to do is call up the credit card company and have them cancel your old card,” VGRF said.
“This wallet,” I continued, ignoring my girlfriend’s protestations while holding up the wallet in my right hand, “is a distraction. NAY! An illusion. A decoy!”
“I’m sorry I asked,” VGRF said.
“It contains one expired credit card, exactly three dollars, no more, no less, and a punch eleven and get your twelfth sub free at Sub Shack coupon.”
“How many punches?” VGRF asked.
“Ten. Come to think of it, I’ll be damned if some degenerate mugger is going to walk away with my free sub.”
I switched the sub punch card to the real wallet.
“A few months ago, as I was strolling down the street, a villainous desperado jumped out of an alleyway and demanded I turn over my wallet. Turn it over I did, yet little did he know I turned over a decoy. I walked away safe and sound and did not have to spend an hour on the phone waiting for an operator to replace my cards.”
“So if your decoy wallet was stolen, then what is that?” VGRF asked. “A decoy, decoy wallet?”
“No,” I replied. “A REPLACEMENT decoy wallet.”
“What if the mugger gets mad that you only have three dollars and blows your head off?” VGRF asked.
I pondered that question for a moment. Failing to think of an answer, I chose to ignore it.
“Moving on,” I said as I picked up the mannequin. “This is a decoy human. If the zombies corner us, I can fling it in the opposite direction. They’ll go after it and by the time they wise up we’ll be long gone.”
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” VGRF said.
“No,” I said. “The decoy wallet is a brilliant invention brought to us from Dave, the wisest of all the self-publishing sages. Dave is truly a gift from the creator, sent here to Earth to share his wisdom and advice on decoy wallets, book covers, and the lousy service at Olive Garden.”
“Oh right,” VGRF said. “Johnny, Sean and Dave of the Self-Publishing Podcast. You love those guys. Why don’t you call Dave? He co-authored a zombie book series.”
“What?” I asked. “VGRF, please. As if a renowned celebrity/decoy wallet enthusiast of such a high stature would ever, EVER take a call from a peon like me. I love you baby but come on. Get your head out of your ass.”
“Whatever,” VGRF said. “Just a thought. Let’s roll, Alien Jones.”
The little guy yanked the cord on the leaf blower and started his device up.
“Remember,” he said. “This is a primitive recreation of a vaporization cannon, so it will only be capable of firing one shot. After that, we’re on our own.”
“Got it,” I said.
“Open the gate on 1,” my intergalactic colleague commanded.
AJ had set his space phone up so all I had to do was hit a button to make the security gate open. The Esteemed Brainy One was able to hack just about any electronic device with that thing.
I hit the button. Slowly, the gate rose. The zombies, who’d been standing there for over a week, just biding their time, yearning for a chance to tear into our flesh, stampeded toward us like a herd of wild buffalo.
Alien Jones pulled the trigger and a bolt of blue light reduced over a hundred zombies into nothingness. Their particles simply floated away.
We walked into the mall’s main thoroughfare. It was dark and we weren’t able to see anything. I shined my flashlight and was able to see a group of zombies gathered around a waterfall in the center. They were too busy bumping into each other to notice us, but that would surely change.
The waterfall had stopped flowing days earlier and had become just a mere tepid pool of water.
“Turn out the light,” Alien Jones said. “It attracts them.”
I did as instructed.
“Take my hands, humans,” Alien Jones said. “I can see in the dark.”
VGRF and I each grabbed an alien hand. Bernie, the odd man out, grabbed hold of my backpack strap.
The Esteemed Brainy One led the way. I could hear the zombie gurgles and groans grow louder.
“Are we there yet?” Bernie asked.
“No,” AJ answered
“How ’bout now?”
I could hear footsteps moving towards us.
“Humans?” Alien Jones asked.
AJ let go out our hands, outstretched his, and made another force field bubble, misting all oncoming undead.