Okay, I’m not really interested in vampires. All I know is that they are an ancient myth popularized in fiction by John Polidori and, later, Bram Stoker. So when Twilight fever hit I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. Some people loved it. Others hated it with a passion. Not one to make a judgment based on other people’s opinions, I read the first two chapters.
What did I think? Well I had this sudden, overpowering urge to write a spoof. But instead of a vampire I thought it would be fun to use a zombie. So here is the first chapter of “Ned: A Zombie Love Story” written in the style of Twilight. Any errors are intentional.
My name is Nelly Flounce. It was my last day in the city and the weather was really bad. I hated bad weather because it made me feel bad. Later, it became sunny but I hated the sun and that made my mood even worse. In the afternoon it was neither cold nor sunny. I hated that because it was boring. Soon, however, I would be in Skewer, where the weather was always miserable–which I hated.
I packed my fourteen suitcases, and a trunk, and a hold-all, and a little handbag, and a big handbag for the things that wouldn’t fit into my little handbag. I said goodbye to my mother who was so hopeless and useless and silly and clumsy and would probably be dead or destitute or walking the streets if it weren’t for me. I didn’t want to go to Skewer but my useless mother wanted to be with her boyfriend so I decided to go and live with Dufus, my miserable father. I called him Dufus because he was a dufus, but never to his face because I am a nice person and really very nice and believe in honoring my parents even if they are idiots.
And so, with the smell of burning martyr hanging in the air, I left my old life behind and started my new life and tried not to get too suicidal. I had thought about killing myself (of course) but my ridiculous mother did not even have a gun in the house and so that was that.
The drive down was depressing. I didn’t really want Dufus to drive us because I had passed my drivers-ed with flying colors along with math, history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, astrology, quantum mechanics, philosophy, business studies, sociology, and baking. Modesty would not permit me to insist on driving because, even though I was probably a much better driver than Dufus, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
We said nothing for the whole drive because I don’t like talking and neither did he and neither did we. So we said nothing. I watched the gray sky getting more thicker and more opaquer as the grayness drifted down to the gray streets below in grayness that was as gray as my mood.
My thoughts drifted to my new school and it filled me with a dreadful dread. Would I fit in? Would they like me? Did I really care? I never really fitted in at my old school because I didn’t have the expected tan because I didn’t like the sun.
‘Something wrong Sweetheart?’ Dufus inquired. I hated it when Dufus called me that.
‘No,’ I shrugged.
‘You’re awfully quiet and much paler than the last time I saw you,’ he continued.
‘I was just thinking about…’ I began. ‘I was just thinking about Mother and her boyfriend.’
‘Shrill?’ Dufus implied.
‘Yes,’ I reciprocated. ‘I just hope he will be able to make Mother happy.’
That was the last thing either of us said for the entire journey.
Soon we arrived in Skewer. I had never seen so much green. It seemed as if the greenness had taken over the whole town. Even the clouds seemed green. Even the streets. Even the grass and bushes and trees. Green.
We reached Dufus’ shabby old house and he said I could choose any one of the spare eight bedrooms. I sighed and shrugged. How typical of my idiot father to leave the important decisions up to me. I chose the one with the nicest view, overlooking the golf course and boating lake in the back yard.
The room was a bit cramped but it would do. I told father to put the billiard table in the corner out of the way. We sipped iced tea while the servant–Flung–spent the afternoon carrying my things up to my room.
‘I have a surprise,’ Dufus suggested.
‘A surprise?’ I returned.
‘Come with me. Let me show you.’
I followed Dufus past the stables and the Olympic size swimming pool to the hangar where he kept his silly automobile collection.
‘Here,’ he enthused, gesturing towards the fire-engine red Lamborghini. ‘It’s yours.’
‘Oh Duf..Daddy!’ I gasped, clasping my hands to my pretty red cheeks. ‘It’s simply awful. I can’t be seen driving that.’
‘Why not?’ he implored.
‘Because,’ I rebuked, ‘everyone will be so jealous and they’ll hate me and I’ll never fit in. Oh, you’re so thoughtless. I hate you.’
‘Then, how about this truck?’ he back-pedaled. ‘It’s a bit old but it’s still in good condition. I just had a new V8 put in and the bodywork done and I normally use it for drag-racing but…’
‘Oh all right,’ I moaned. ‘I guess that’s better. You really are a silly, silly man.’
I drove to school in my awful truck and circled the grounds a few times until I was able to find the brakes. I pulled into the parking lot and found a nice little space inside reception. The receptionist gave me a form to have signed by my teachers and a plan of the classrooms. I stood in the corridor, lost and alone and afraid, but also feeling somehow very pleased with myself.
‘You need help, do ya, do ya? Huh? Huh?’ a small voice pestered.
I looked down to see a short, blond, furry-looking boy with big eyes and a long tongue.
‘No,’ I glared. ‘I don’t need help.’
‘I’m Bark,’ the boy insisted. ‘You’re pretty. Wanna be my friend? Huh? Do ya? Huh?’
‘Oh all right then,’ I returned, ‘Just don’t make my clothes dirty.’
‘Okay, okay,’ Bark whimpered. ‘I won’t. You’re first lesson is Ancient Greek. This way. So, whaddya think of the weather? Huh? Huh?’
‘I hate it,’ I hissed. ‘Does the sun never shine here?’
‘Twice a year,’ Bark intoned. ‘June third and August ninth. Hey, here’s your classroom. Good luck. And if you need help, just call.’
He yelped happily and was gone. Bark was the friendliest person I had ever met. He was also the most annoying, but I needed to be tactful. As a nice person, I did not like to offend people–no matter how irritating they were.
The morning passed and it was lunch time. Bark found me and herded me towards the canteen.
‘Come sit with us,’ he beamed. ‘Everyone, this is Nelly.’
‘We’re so glad you came to sit with us,’ a plain-looking cardigan-wearing girl gushed. ‘My name’s Betsy.’
‘Hi,’ I shrugged, eyeing the nasty-looking contents of my lunch-tray.
‘And I’m Colin,’ a heavy, bespectacled boy with greasy hair ingratiated.
‘Hmm,’ I nodded. ‘A pleasure I’m sure.’
I sat and played with the awful food while the others chatted, mostly about me, even though I hated that. It was then that I caught a glimpse of a boy sitting in the corner. He was beautiful and distant and beautiful and oblivious to the people sitting around him. Every girl in the room was watching him but he seemed not to notice. He had an air of strong indifference that made my knees go weak at the knees.
‘Who’s that…that…boy?’ I whispered. ‘There, in the corner.’
‘That’s Ned Nubbles,’ Betsy sighed. ‘He’s the most beautiful boy in the school. And he’s looking at you!’ she screeched. ‘Ned Nubbles is LOOKING AT YOU!’
There was a clunk as Betsy slid to the floor in a faint.
‘He’s so…he’s so…perfect,’ I blustered.
As I uttered this, I glanced across to the boy–Ned Nubbles–who was looking back at me with cool disinterest. I tried to look away quickly to indicate that I was interested but hard-to-get, but his eyes moved with almost inhuman speed and he was gazing at the back of his hand..
Fiddlesticks, I thought. I hate it when that happens.
The bell rang and Ned was gone. I followed Bark to Advanced Russian, unable to shake the beautiful vision of the beautiful boy from my mind. As I entered I realized that the only spare seat was next to him.
As I approached Ned glared at me with an intense look of such intense hatred. It was as if he was staring right through my skull. I looked away and tried not to look at him. For the whole lesson he sat, completely still. Once I caught him looking at me and foaming around the mouth so I subtly used a carefully constructed wall of textbooks, sticky tape and elastic bands to avoid our eyes meeting. At the end of the lesson he left quickly. I was confused. What had I done to offend this beautiful boy? Why did he obviously hate me?
The next lesson was Very Advanced Biology. We had to identify body parts from a dead frog. I had done this before at my previous school. It was so pathetically easy that even a moron could do it with their eyes closed.
I found a spare seat and waited. Then he walked in. To my horror, he came over and sat next to me. I felt my knees start to give. Thankfully I was sitting down.
The teacher gave us the instructions and left us to it. I started with the first item on the list.
‘Back,’ I read.
Ned touched the back of the frog. Brilliant. He was much quicker than me.
‘Leg,’ I followed.
Ned’s hand shot forward. So fast. Blindingly fast.
His hand was on the corpse’s foot. He was making me look bad. This time I would be ready.
My hand shot out and fell on the frog’s face. There was the crunch of bone as I swatted down a little too hard. Then Ned’s hand dropped onto mine. There was a flash of electricity between our skin. I could smell hair burning. I gasped and pulled my hand away.
‘Sorry,’ I implored. ‘I didn’t mean to…’
Ned turned to me. His eyes locked onto mine. They were like orbs of shining coal in a sea of perfect pale skin. I felt the hairs on my face lift and a flock of goose bumps ran across my feet. It was like looking into the face of a supermodel from a fashion magazine. His flawless skin was without blemish and so shiny I could almost see my own reflection…
‘Nggggg,’ Ned growled. His voice was like the soft crashing of an oil slick on some distant shore.
‘It was my fault,’ I stammered.’ I have done this before. It was so easy and I…oh look, we’ve missed one. How silly. We still have to locate the brains…’
Ned gave a low moan and seemed to tense up. His beautiful features became tortured and a flash of something terrifying and horrible flashed behind his beautiful eyes.
‘Braaaaiiinnns,’ he groaned, looking at me with a hungry look that made me feel so scared and yet so excited.
The bell went and Ned quickly turned and shuffled towards the door. I followed, feeling confused and bewildered and depressed. I walked to the car park and climbed into my truck and just sat there feeling sorry for myself. I had survived my first day in this damp salad bowl of a town. Surely things could not get any worse. I reversed out of the rubble of the reception and into the car park. Suddenly, Ned appeared and walked across to his car. He looked so perfect in his perfect clothes and his perfect hair. As I watched him climb into his vehicle and glide off into the distance I felt a pang of something in my chest. Was it love? Probably, but I wouldn’t be sure for at least another chapter.
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