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Zombies. Taking over Miami. Of course.

So the zombies got into my car today and demanded that I take them to Dunkin Donuts.

"You have got to be kidding me," I said. "Dunkin Donuts. It's the end of the world, and you want Dunkin Donuts."

"A, we're zombies, and gotta have coffee. B, we're zombies, and have no taste buds. We'll live with the donuts."

"In a place littered with Starbucks?"

"Starbucks was the first place to be torched, dudette. And then they put up anti-zombie protection."

That was the first time I'd heard of any such thing. "Anti-zombie protection?

"IT doesn't work," said the other zombie in deadened tones.

"And even if it did, you don't have any," said the first zombie.

They had sticks; I didn't. I started the car, and drove down to Miami. Cars had stopped all over I-95.

"It really is Armageddon," said the third zombie, although not all that distinctly since part of his jaw had been eaten.

"No, it's just Miami," I assured him. I opened up the window and screamed. "YOU COULDN'T HAVE FUCKING BOMBED I-95 WHILE YOU WERE DESTROYING THE REST OF THE PLANET?"
"You can't get too upset," said the first zombie. "People don't really choose their targets very well at the end of the world. We should know."

"Why, you do this often?" I said.

They didn't answer, and when I couldn't bear it anymore, I pulled off, to a little Dunkin Donuts just off I-95 that I knew well. (I'm all about Starbucks, but, I gotta admit to you, even if I didn't say it to the zombies, that Dunkin Donuts coffee is the bomb. Well, that's not the right thing to say, after the last days, so, rephrase. Dunkin Donuts coffee is the only taste of heaven in this nightmare we were calling Armageddon.) We tried the drive through, but no-one answered. "God. Coffee," moaned all the zombies in the most alert tones I'd heard from them yet, and when I saw them look at me, and begin to measure the potential caffeine in my bloodstream, I hastily parked the car and suggested we go in. We opened the window, which was cracked a little. Shouts and screams and a small demonstration against the war in Iraq by six people carrying placards identifying themselves as marines continued outside. Inside, it was dead. And not just in a zombie sense dead, either. Dead dead; the most we saw was one guy slumped over his table. We called out for help.

Minutes later, someone shuffled out, looking deadened, red eyed. "Coffee," we told her.

"You're dead. You shouldn't need coffee."

"You're a corporation. You need our money."

"A dead corporation."

"We're zombies. Coffee. Now."

When we reached my old office building near Miami International Airport I looked around at the broken buildings and realized that they looked pretty much the same as they'd always looked, if you ignored the billowing smoke clouds from downtown and the flames leaping from the airport. Just as well, I thought; I'd never liked either location much anyway. I parked the car and looked at the zombies. "Look," I said, giving zombie three a hard look. "Mind not actually consuming each other while you're still in my car?"

"Sorry," said zombie three. "But let's face it, the donut selection back there? Not much."

Zombie one looked at the building with disgust. "You're going to spend the day in there? The last day? Your very last hours before we eat your brain?"

"I wouldn't," I admitted. "But I left my iPod shuffle dock in that building last week, and without it, I can't power up my shuffle, and, honestly, I don't want to face these last few hours without my iPod."

"I hear you," said zombie two.

So we wandered in, the zombies and I, through the empty hallways that echoed with the sounds of zombies trapped in bathrooms. We left those zombies there – "They'll just consume themselves, and that way, we won't have to fight them later," and filled up my iPod shuffle to its maximum, and spent a final time or two surfing the net and playing Zuma deluxe. A good few hours. But I looked at the zombies, and the huge sticks they carried, and I could see it in their faces. Lunch.

"Morton's Steakhouse?" I suggested. I'd never been, and couldn't really afford it, but, what the hell. If you can't max out your credit cards during a zombie invasion, when can you?

Zombie two ate a bite of zombie one's shoulder, and then they all said, in unison, "Steak!"

So we emerged from the building into a vicious hail storm that left dents in my car. The rain made the zombies pause, just a little, so I dove ahead, into the rain, feeling the quarter sized hailstones hit my shoulders, dashing into my car, and shooting off. I don't know what happened to them, and I don't want to know. But as long as the power stays on, I'll be watching Dead Like Me, and when the power fades off, I'll be opening up a Neil Gaiman book, and letting the world end without me.

(The hailstorm was quite real. The Dunkin Donuts also was quite real. The rest, to reassure my mother, is just a zombie infection. And, final note: is anybody else worried that MS Word knows how to spell Armageddon?)

Edit: To clarify for worried Fort Lauderdale relatives, this blog entry was written in honor of National Zombie/Blog Like It's the End of the World day. Sorry about that, Aunt L.

I really have to start remembering just who is reading this blog.

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