Flying Zombies is nearing completion. Until it’s available, here is the beginning:
“Fuck vampires!” yelled Dennis March. He knew his face was bright red and he knew the whisky was strong on his breath, but Kev needed to listen to reason. “I don’t care how many bubblegum brained teenage dipshits buy into that shit. They’re for pussies and I’m no pussy.”
Kev Walmann rolled his eyes. “Sit down, Dennis. Take a breath. Hear me out and get your sweaty hands off my desk.”
Dennis plopped back into the chair, just a metal fold-up. What kind of asshole keeps a shitty stiff seat across his desk? “I’m not doing it.”
“Hear me out at least. Damn. Like you’re so fucking high and mighty. You had no problem with aliens when that was big. You haven’t even heard the story and you’re already throwing a hissy fit. And trust me. You’re in no place to throw a hissy fit.”
Kev was referring to the disappointing performance of his last movie. ‘Wild West Wiccans’ was bad, sure, but a director can only do so much. When the idea sucks and the script sucks, the movie sucks. Not even a director can change that. “Fuck you. I’d have never signed on for that shit if I wasn’t promised funding on an original. Cowgirl witches and I’m supposed to make that cool? I told you from the beginning.”
Kev lit a cigarette and offered one to Dennis who took it from the pack, snapped it in two and threw it back at him. Kev smiled.
“No more poppy teenage bullshit. No more wasting my time and tarnishing my name with stupid mindless outdated fairy tales about blood sucking homosexuals.”
“Just read the script for Christ-sake. It’s an offer. My people want this film made with or without you. They specifically requested you. I vouched for you. You’re a great filmmaker, Dennis. Sure you’ve had some duds-“
“You’ve had one dud, but people still remember the greats. ‘Handi-cap Apocalypse’. ‘Pinball Baby Bash’. ‘Monster Maze’.”
“You don’t have to tell me. I know my movies are awesome. It’s the mongoloid pool you got chopping and dicing words together with their eyes closed to get a movie made to make a quick buck that churn out duds like no tomorrow. I’m not playing that game anymore, Kev. From now on, I’m writer, director, the whole goddamn crew. You get the money and I make a badass blockbuster with that money. That’s how this works.”
Kev exhaled a thick cloud from deep in his lungs. “No.”
The word was strange. “The fuck you mean no?”
“No, that’s not how this works. You think I go to my boss, break his cigars and tell him what to do? Hah! No. I do as I’m told. I’m offering you this script. I’m offering you a paycheck and bonus based on how well you do your job. It’s just a script. Sure, it’s about gay vampires, but you know what’s in right now? Gay is in. Vampires are in. But Dennis March is not. Not unless he changes it up. Does something unexpected. ‘The Queers of Dusk’ is unexpected.”
“No it’s not. That’s exactly what’s expected. And it’s funny you think you’re my boss. Real fucking funny. You should be a comedian.” Dennis stood up and pushed his script forward on the desk towards Kev. The title in bold read, ‘Flying Zombies’.
“Zombies? You’re going to turn down vampires for zombies? Are you shitting me? Zombies went out like five years ago. That’s grampa shit. You can’t be serious.”
“As terminal cancer. Call me when you are.”
“I may be funny, but I’m always serious. I’ll read if you read.” He held his script out toward Dennis who against his better judgment took it with a snarl.
“Thanks. I was running low on toilet paper.”
“Glad you could use it. A hard ass like you needs his tee-pee thick.”
“Comedian. I’m telling you. Look into it.” Dennis left the office, putting on his black shades in the elevator as he eyed the thinner than usual script. Just eighty pages of winy teenage melodrama involving gay vampires. On the front page in bold, as if it mattered, was ‘The Queers of Dusk’. He would read it. Thoroughly. And then return it to Kev with a list of reasons why his would not only make more money, but still maintain a sense of artistic decency. Still be something an intelligent person could sit through entertained as well as the mindless masses that would already love it anyway.
Downtown Los Angeles, the heat was heavy and the traffic heavier. His black dress shirt and pants didn’t help. He undid his black tie and pulled a cigarette from his breast pocket. His buzz was wearing off and he could feel the need for more pulling at him. It was a long walk back to his apartment and he stopped at the first convenience store for a fountain drink and a flask.
What was the world coming to? thought Dennis as he walked, his step pepped from the cool iced vodka and lemonade. Kids obsessed with their own sex and sucking down other people’s blood. It was crazy that this was what they wanted. How could it be that this was popular? At 32 years old, Dennis understood he couldn’t really understand. But it didn’t matter. ‘The Queers of Dusk’ would get made with or without him. And if it was with him it meant a paycheck. He was well off enough, but you could never be sure. The world could go to shit at anytime. It’d be safer to have a larger stockpile. Maybe even convert the cash to gold. The word was the country was going down. Dennis didn’t watch the news, but it seemed to be what everyone was talking about. He was sure if he heard the word ‘economy’ used again in public he’d stab the person with the nearest anything possible. Maybe piling up was the answer, for when the shit really did hit the fan. If anyone was going to survive the end of the world, it’d be him and whoever was lucky enough to cash in on the ride.
He finished the drink by the time he was in the elevator up to his apartment. Wobbly and feeling nice, like he might actually be able to pull this fag-pire shit off after all, he stumbled in through the door and avoided the cardboard boxes on his way to the kitchen. Sloppily, Dennis tossed ice, tequila and margarita mix into a blender. He let it go as he opened the sliding door out to his balcony.
California is nice, he thought. Fuck New York. Fuck Sally. Fuck everyone in that stupid fucking city. California. He breathed deep looking out over the ocean. Far out into the distance, black clouds had formed and seemed to billow his way. Just try it, thought Dennis. You can’t handle us.
He spilled more than he made into the glass and slurped the slushy liquor off the counter. He chugged until he felt the brain freeze coming and the simultaneous burn of his throat, cooling and warming him, the best of both worlds.
He moved the couch to face his porch and dug out a bottle of pills he’d stashed in the cushion. Kolonopins. He’d taken them from Sally as a final ‘fuck you’ when he moved out and figured now was as good a time as any to pop a few.
With ‘The Queers of Dusk’ on his lap he swallowed three and washed them down with the cold green ooze of margarita.
Gay vampires, thought Dennis still not believing it had come to this. What’ll these writing room monkeys think of next?