There is no Contingency Plan for the Zombie Apocalypse
Written by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustration by Mark Satchwill
It was 101 degrees outside but Esme had cracked the car’s window to avoid breathing in the stale alcohol fumes her partner was breathing out. The metabolized bourbon mixed with toxic levels of garlic from the pizza he’d eaten at lunch had formed an almost visible aura around him. The smell was so thick she wondered if it would explode if she flicked her lighter.
Some days she really missed smoking.
“We should all go out sometime,” Edgar said, for at least the fourth time since they’d clocked in. He was newly hooked up with a skanky badge bunny he’d met in a bar and was looking for validation for the relationship. Considering he’d thrown away four years of sobriety to be with his new love, Esme was not a big fan. She already knew more than she wanted to about “Lucinda” from the pictures on Edgar’s cell and the stories he chose to relate.
She didn’t even listen to the stories anymore, just nodded or grunted every once in awhile.
“You’re not listening Esme,” Edgar said.
“Sorry,” she said. “I’ve got a little bit of a headache.”
“Caffeine withdrawal,” Edgar suggested smugly. He drank Maker’s Mark like it was mother’s milk but didn’t like coffee. She had tried to be inconspicuous about her attempts to cut back on coffee in the wake of a scare with some breast cysts, but Edgar had noticed and driven her nuts with questions until she finally admitted what she was doing.
She was about to say something scathing about there not being sobriety chips for caffeine when the call came over the radio.
“Dispatch, say again,” Edgar said.
“You heard me Edgar,” the dispatcher said, in total violation of protocol. “You’d better get over there fast. The uni who called it in sounded pretty freaked out.”
Esme was already turning the car around.
“It was only a matter of time before they showed up in Los Angeles,” Edgar said.
“There is no ‘they,’ Edgar,” Esme said.
“You saw the memo, same as me,” he insisted.
“This is L.A.,” Esme said, “somebody’s shooting a movie.”
Edgar made a noise that sounded like “humph.”
Esme sighed. It was bad enough that everyone on the force had been working overtime on the homeless serial killer case. When the stories started coming in about cannibal attacks and zombies eating dogs, and the shift briefings started including warnings about designer drugs, everything got amped up another notch.
She knew Edgar was just clowning around to annoy her but some of the kids actually believed zombies were real.
But then, Esme guessed she couldn’t blame them when news stories were actually reporting that voters thought President Obama was better suited to leading the country in the face of an alien attack than Mitt Romney.
In the face of an alien attack, God help us, Esme thought.