The night left with a strangled howl. Everyone had gone to sleep safe and sound that dark October eve. They awoke to the rendering of gnashing and the sounds of yipping. Yipping that ripped into the marrow of one’s bones. The world’s poodles had turned Zombie: Toy, Miniature and Standard alike. The day of the Poombies was upon us, and heaven help us all.
The first we knew about it was when Old Lady Schmidt came screaming down Elm Street, her Daisy ripping at her heels. It’s eyes were a blazing red, and it launched itself at Old Lady Schmidt right in front of our house. Mom had called us out to the porch, scared and trembling, yelling at my dad to do something. By the time he had gotten the rake from the front yard, it was already too late.
Daisy was gnawing away at her once beloved mistress. Blood was all over the place and mangled in her hair; Daisy was attacking Old Lady Schmidt’s head. I assumed it wanted her brains. Aren’t zombies, even poodle zombies, after brains?
Dad whacked Daisy around a few times, but that did nothing but turn the Poombie’s (that’s what the newscasters started calling them, before the airwaves went dead) attention to him. Mom yelled bloody murder for Dad to get back to the house. “Idiot” and “Moron” were a few of her choice words, seeing how a rake just wasn’t all that good a weapon in the first place. She had run back inside, upstairs, to where they kept the “in case of burglar/rapist” registered revolver, and was aiming it at Daisy’s head as it shambled-ran towards Dad’s retreating back.
The blast staggered Daisy, but she kept on coming. Mom let off another couple of rounds, taking the top of the Poombie head with three well placed shots. Daisy fell over, twitched, and then was still. I started to approach it, to just take a look, but both Mom and Dad pulled me back (Dad physically; Mom with a yell). Good thing too. Daisy’s jaws snapped, and her…its…little Toy legs began to move. We all got back inside very fast and locked the front door. Then the back door, and then the windows.
Molly, my older pain in the wazoo sister, had stayed inside through all of this. She was glued, as usual, to the TV. This time, I couldn’t blame her. Every station, and I mean EVERY station, had news reports on the Poombie attacks. Animal Planet got its best ratings ever (which were reported that night, before all the screens went dead). The four of us sat on the couch, huddled together, and watched the world go to the dogs.
Well, Poombies. No other dog seemed to be affected. If anything, next to cats, other dogs were prime fodder for Poombie attacks. Once they were all gone, squirrels, rats, and other assorted rodents were decimated. Who knew Poomibes could climb trees and burrow into holes in the ground? The battles in the sewers were reported all over. Forget the septic tanks…it was the first time I was glad we had one, backing up at times or not.
Once the TV stations died out, and then the radio stations, we knew we had to leave. We waited the night out, all of us sort of sleeping in the living room. Daisy was scratching at our front door and would have head butted it, if she still had a head. Howls and yips were sounding all over the neighborhood, and not a few “blood curdling screams.” Dad said they were blood curdling, and since I had no idea how blood could curdle, or what curdling was, I just went “uh huh!”
“Seth, pack up as much clothing and batteries as you can in your backpack. We’re not staying here!” my Mom ordered. I packed as best I could. Molly did it in Molly fashion-fast-and Mom had all of our canned or packaged food in the car. Which, thankfully, was in our closed garage. Dad helped with what he could, packing up some of his tools that he thought would come in handy as weapons. An Awl is a good thing in a pinch.
We all piled into the car, Dad behind the wheel. Mom had the gun ready (and more ammo then I would have thought one would have for a house gun) and Molly and I got in the back seat. Doors locked and seat belts on (it was the law), Dad opened up the garage door.
OK..if you’ve ever been scared of the ending of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” then you know what we experienced. Row upon row of Toy Poombies, Miniature Poombies, and big old hairy Standard Poombies sat, red eyes glazed over and tongue lolling. They were quiet, but each one of their blood splattered heads followed us as we backed out of the garage. Dad gulped loud enough for us to hear in the back, and I’m pretty sure Molly peed herself (I could smell it, and I knew it wasn’t me, then). Mom cocked the gun and just stared around her. She was shaking a bit: I noticed it when I wasn’t staring back at the staring red eyes.
Dad got to the street, and just put the car in drive. Daisy-Poombie leapt onto the hood of our car and tried to butt the windshield. All the Poombies let out an awful yip howl.
“FLOOR IT!” Mom screamed. Dad did.
The Poombie that was Daisy went flying over the car from the force of the acceleration. Molly and I laughed at the idea of the flying dead dog. We laughed until tears came streaming out.I had turned around to look; so did she.
All the Poombies were chasing us.
“The Walking Dead” season two starts tomorrow night, Sunday, October 16th on AMC (check your local listings for time). This is my “I have been waiting a long time for this season to start” TV show. It comes at a good time, now that Dr. Who is off until the Christmas Special (and then for way too long a break). The only shame is that it is on at the same time that Dexter is on, but…no contest.
Why Zombie Poodles (aka Poombies)? Let’s just say my son and I had an experience one night with a Poombie driving a car next to us, and let’s leave it at that. Trust me, you’ll sleep better at night. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this.