Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode one hundred and fifty-one.
Tonight we present, Coffin: Zonbi, Part 1 of 1.
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Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Tonight, Will Coffin, urban shaman, and his tipsy roommate, Bunny Davis, receive reports regarding another practitioner of the occult arts.
Flash Pulp 151 – Coffin: Zonbi, Part 1 of 1
“What the #### was that guy’s deal?” asked Bunny, spitting a sunflower husk into the Eats and Treats’ trash barrel.
“He never sleeps.” replied Coffin.
“Huh? The ####?”
“He asked me to do it. He’s better off this way.”
“Was he serious, about the zombie?”
“Yeah, I think so. He’s generally pretty twitchy, but he looked especially rough today.”
The conversation had been a short one. Apparently the insomniac had been wandering about the south end of town, in the pre-dawn hours, when he’d come across a member of the undead. Unsure of how to proceed, the sleepless man had done the only reasonable thing: moved directly away, as quickly as possible.
The idea of informing Will had come the next morning.
Rising from the bench that made up his place of business, Coffin sauntered to the bus-stop. His crude-mouthed roommate trailed behind.
It was a poor time of day to push a vehicle through the city’s congested arteries.
Fifteen minutes into the ride, having replenished her fluid levels from a water bottle full of vodka, Bunny once again took up the subject.
“So, uh, what are we expecting? Is it anything like Return of the Living Dead? Tim used to love that ####ing movie, but I need a chunk bitten out of my ### like I need dental work by Godzilla.”
“Well, it’s not really -” his sentence was cut short by the look in his companion’s eyes. “What?”
“I – if all this other #### is real, if I gotta deal with ghosts and ####ing zombies, is… is Godzilla real too?”
Before responding, Coffin forcefully rubbed his eye with the palm of his hand.
“No.” He expelled a lungful of air through his nostrils. “There are varieties of zombies – it’s a bit of an umbrella term. I won’t know what exactly we’re dealing with until we arrive, but I’m guessing we’re not about to encounter a bunch of undead, 1980s-style, punk rockers.”
“Don’t be a smart ###.”
“I’m just saying we need to wait and see.”
* * *
Finding the wandering corpse in question was a simple enough matter, as Bunny wasn’t interested in asking after the lined-faced men who spoke only French to Coffin, and who consistently pointed him towards a particular paint-flecked townhouse.
As they approached, she noticed that all of the window screens had been ripped out, but their frames left in place – to her mind, combined with the black curtains beyond, it gave the rental the impression of lidless eye sockets.
Coffin thrust hard at the sharded edges of the plastic-hole that was once a doorbell, and a grating buzz emanated from somewhere in the interior.
“Maybe he’s sleepin’?” suggested Bunny, after five minutes of wobbling back and forth on the creaking fro