My last edition of the project turned out pretty heavy, so this time I wanted to write something a little more lighthearted.
This is one of the more traditional writing prompts out there. I’ve stumbled across it a hundred times without noticing it, let alone feeling a spark. But for some reason, today it made me giggle more than usual, and I knew it was the one I wanted to use.
Disclaimer: Again, I take no credit for the writing prompt used today. It is an idea I found, which is the point of the whole project.
NOT QUITE A FORTNIGHT (…with zombies)
By Kimberley Imrie
The door chimed, blown shut again by a cold blast of wind. Wednesday sighed, lifting her wine glass. You’d think they would learn to be on time by now. Show up for seven, Monday said. Wednesday glanced at the wall clock as Monday waved to the bartender on her way over. Seven twenty-five.
“Wednesday! How are you, honey? It’s been so long!” Monday swooped over and took Wednesday’s face, kissing her cheeks.
Wednesday stared at her, nonplussed. “It’s been two days.”
Monday giggled and waved it off. “Two days or two years. Same thing.”
“Well no it-“
The chime cut them off, a knot of people walking through the door. Thursday swore, slamming the door behind him as a cold gust of wind lifted his coat. His scarf got caught in the door as it closed.
Friday snorted a laugh, unbuttoning his coat and hanging back to help Thursday wrestle free.
Sunday watched them with a curious expression before she headed to the table. “Hey guys. You’re early. I’m so glad I was able to see you.”
Monday stood, pulling her into her psudeo-european greeting. “I know. We wanted to claim a table for the night. How are you?”
Wednesday rolled her eyes. “We were supposed to meet at seven, and there’s only one other table taken. I was the first one here anyway.” They ignored her and she grumbled, lifting her glass and gulping a quarter of the contents. After a moment she looked around. “Where’s Tuesday? I thought she was coming with you?”
Friday tossed his coat on the back of his chair. “She didn’t want to come. Something about having a cold.”
Thursday gave the door a final dirty look before joining them. “She’s probably lying in bed crying into her pillows again.”
“You should be nice.” Sunday set a pitcher in the middle of the table, a stack of glasses beside it. “She has a hard time with things. We need to try a little harder to get her out. I want to bring her dancing again. Man, that was a fun night.” She gave a soft smile, looking at the dark brew in the pitcher with a wistful gaze.
Monday gave a hearty sigh. “It’s never too late to change your life, after all.”
They all stared at her, but she didn’t seem to notice, standing up like she was preparing for a formal proclamation. “I want to talk to everyone. I’m so glad we’re all here.”
Wednesday smirked. “Except for Tuesday.”
“Except for Tuesday. We’ll talk to her about it later.” Monday gave a sanctimonious nod.
Monday’s eye twitched. “Yes, and Saturday. He’ll show up whenever he does. May I continue?”
Wednesday gave a gracious nod, gesturing for her to go on, still grinning. Few things amused her as much as pissing off Monday.
Monday straightened her shirt. “As I said, I want to talk to everyone.”
Wednesday sighed and leaned back in her seat, draining her glass. This was going to be good.
“It’s been a long year, and we’ve all been working hard. Goodness knows a lot has happened. In light of the efforts we’ve been putting in, I have been considering something that might help.” She paused, looking over the group. Everyone stared at her and she cleared her throat, continuing as if she heard a chorus of ‘tell me more!’. “I’ve been thinking it would be a great idea to-“
The door banged opened again. Saturday barged in with a laugh. “Holy shit! Have you guys seen what’s happening out there? There’s a rave or something going on in the streets. People are going nuts. Someone just told me to turn on the news.”
Monday’s eye twitched again as she snapped her mouth shut. Wednesday watched Saturday stride over to the bartender and point to the tv, her cheeks warming as she chewed her bottom lip. They’d known each other forever, but something about him still struck her. He was handsome and easy-going, and only drank too much some of the time. Everything in his world was awesome, and he couldn’t seem to figure out why no one else saw it that way. It annoyed the others, but Wednesday found his happiness contagious.
The hockey game on the screen shifted to the news. Saturday headed toward them, walking into the rail as his eyes stayed on the screen. Friday stood up and joined him, bumping fists as he focused on the report as well.
“What do you mean a rave, Sat?” Wednesday wandered over, her eyes straying to the tv.
“Hey, beautiful.” Saturday shrugged. “I dunno. The club down the way has its doors propped open and the music is blaring across the street. There’s a whole bunch of people dancing I think. Though its more like that ecstatic dance shit. It looked cool, I almost joined. Then a big fight broke out and I figured I should just follow the plan.” He laughed.
Friday chuckled. “I did that before. Those people are machines though, I don’t know how they do it. Weirdest date I’ve ever been on.”
“Hey, shut up.” Thursday pointed to the tv, a scowl crossing his face.
Wednesday crossed her arms and watched. A red banner marched across the bottom of the feed, a harassed looking female reporter appearing on the screen.
“Good evening. The CDC has just released an emergency announcement. There has been a biological attack on the country. We repeat, there has been a biological attack. They are urging people to remain calm and get to the closest safe place they can reach. If you are inside, do not go out.”
Their smiles faded, even Saturday’s perpetual grin. Thursday turned to him with a furrowed brow. “A fucking rave?”
“Uh… I might have been wrong.”
The tv blinked, the video cutting to static. Wednesday stared at the screen with wide eyes. A biological attack? What did that even mean? Why didn’t she say anything else? What was happening? Her voice shook. “She didn’t say what kind of attack…”
Friday shrugged. “It’s probably nothing. They’re just sensationalizing it like usual.” He poured his own glass of beer and sat, sipping the thick foam. “By the time the Guiness is gone, they’ll be telling us a Russian traveler had the flu.”
A low moan sounded from the back of the bar, shuddering and sticky. They all froze.
A woman screamed, and chaos erupted.
A man leapt over the table, their pints shattering on the floor, a wash of amber puddling around them as he grabbed the woman and bit her shoulder. Monday screamed, her chair skidding as she threw herself back. Sunday stared like a deer in headlights, frozen by the carnage. The bartender hid behind the bar.
“HOLY SHIT!” Saturday launched himself over the pool table, grabbing a cue from the rack like he knew what he was doing with it. The woman screamed again as the man on top of her tore a chunk of flesh in his teeth, tugging the sinew free as blood spurted his face. The woman fell silent.
Wednesday stared in horror, shaking herself and pulling to her feet, searching for a weapon. Thursday was already up, his chair in his hand as he slammed it against the man’s back. The wood splintered and he fell flat.
They stood in shocked silence, staring with wide eyes, their heavy breathing the only sound.
Friday finally spoke. “…did we get it?”
They didn’t need to wait for an answer. The man burst to his feet with a snarl, the chair’s debris scattering. He leapt at Thursday, driving the other man to the ground. He was fast, scary fast, his movements jerking him like he was on strings, no longer in control of his nerves.
They exploded into motion. Friday grabbed Thursday’s arm, pulling him free as Wednesday snatched the heavy pitcher from the table, silently lamenting the wasted Guiness as she cracked the man across the head. A deep growl reverberated from his throat as his attention fell on her. His eyes were red, beyond bloodshot, his expression inhuman.
“Oh… hell…” Wednesday danced back as the man leapt for her. Friday pulled Thursday to safety as Wednesday brandished her now broken pitcher, sure she was going to die. Suddenly, the man froze, collapsing in a lifeless pile. Saturday stood behind him with wide eyes, blood staining his pool cue as the man slid from its length.
They stared at each other, Sunday helping Thursday to his feet. “Wednesday, are you okay?”
“Uh… I think so. Jesus, thank you Sat.”
Saturday blinked at her. “Don’t mention it.”
Thursday panted as he straightened, seeing a smear of blood on his arm and wiping it off with a shout. “Really? Fucking zombies!?”
Monday grabbed a towel from the bar, peering at the cowering bartender with worry before scrubbing the blood from Thursday’s arm. “Honey, zombies aren’t real. I’m sure he was just… on… drugs? I do think we should get home soon. Maybe we can all head to my place? It’s close.”
Friday shook his head. “No way. They said to stay indoors. I’m not going out there until we know what’s happening.”
Sunday looked them over, her eyes shining. “At least we could be here together.”
Wednesday made a sound in her throat. “Sun, stop. Friday’s right though, we shouldn’t-“
The door chimed as it opened. They all shouted, readying their makeshift weapons and spinning toward the new arrival.
Wednesday took a step forward, her pitcher sagging in her hand. “…Tuesday?”
The girl stumbled into the pub, tripping over the steps. Saturday bolted over and helped her up as Wednesday slammed the door closed, turning the lock. She stared in horror as Saturday pulled Tuesday to stand. A jagged gash dripped blood from her arm. Her skin was pale, her eyes rimmed with red.
“I-I changed my mind after you left… so I decided to walk.”
Her feet gave out from under her and she collapsed into Saturday’s arms. He carried her to the padded chairs in the corner. “Jesus, she was bitten.”
Thursday gave him a dirty look. “You think?” He grabbed the cloth Sunday used on his arm and pressed it to her wound.
Tuesday gave a jerky nod, looking between them. “I think they’re drinking too much over at the Copper.” Her words slurred. “One of them jumped on me and bit me. How crazy is that?”
Wednesday covered her mouth, trying not to cry. Tuesday always got the short end of the stick. They did what they could for her, but nothing seemed to go her way. Why couldn’t she be at home crying into her pillows like Thursday said?
Monday approached, her eyes wet. “Look, we don’t know how this spreads. It might not mean anything that she was bitten. If we believe it, we can be it, right?”
Wednesday shot her a dark look, cutting off Thursday’s retort. “Seriously, Monday? Stop pretending to be optimistic for once.”
Monday sniffed, bursting into tears. “I’m sorry, I’m just not sure what to do.”
Friday jogged to the bar. “Dude, can I get some water? Oh seriously, stop hiding.” The bartender shook his head where he crouched. Friday rolled his eyes. “Whatever, I’ll get it myself.” He brought the water to Tuesday, helping her hold it. “Here, Tuesy. Just drink slow.”
Wednesday shifted between her feet, unable to keep still. Movement startled her out the window. People were moving around the streets, ambling along. A man screamed as two people grabbed him and dragged him out of her sight. They hadn’t noticed the pub yet. Her breath caught. “We need to close the blinds… now!”
Saturday’s eyes widened and he jumped to his feet beside her. Sunday hissed a breath, joining as well. Within a minute, they closed the blinds and flicked off the light, before rejoining the others around Tuesday. She didn’t look good.
“It’s ok, guys.” Tuesday said. “I just have a cold. I’m pretty tired though… I might lie down for a bit.” Her eyes were red. Beyond bloodshot. Her skin was grey.
Wednesday sucked a shaking breath, torn between running in fear and sobbing in grief. She contented herself with holding Tuesday’s hand. Friday spoke, his voice wavering, as Tuesday shifted in the chair, getting herself comfortable. “What do we do?”
Wednesday shook her head. “I don’t know.”
“It’s Tuesy. We have to help her.”
“I don’t know. What if she…” She trailed off, unwilling to continue.
Thursday glared. “What if? You wanna kill her?”
“No! I just don’t-“
Tuesday let out a rattling breath, opening her eyes again. “Hey Monday, didn’t you have something you wanted to talk about?”
Monday sniffed, swallowing back a thick sob. “I booked us a vacation together this summer. That’s all.”
“Oh. That sounds nice.” Tuesday’s eyes fell closed once more.
They watched, the air thick with unspoken words. Tuesday twitched, a faint tremor passing through her limbs. A low growl sounded from her throat.
They all backed away, a tear rolling down Wednesday’s cheek.
It happened in an instant. The growl twisted into a snarl, Tuesday’s arms jerking and stiffening. The glass behind them shattered, a shotgun clicking and firing.
Tuesday fell still, her expression settling into peace.
A man stood at the window, a black duffle bag over his shoulder, a loaded tac vest weighing him down. A silver sequined bandana wrapped his head.
Shock paralyzed the room. Thursday was the first to speak. “Leap Year!? Who the hell invited you?”
Ridiculous, right? I set out to write a bar fight, and somehow there were zombies. I think my love of Shaun of the Dead took over. Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope you had as much fun reading it. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read!
I can’t wait to see what the week looks like to you!