Kim Nelson: Last Call (A Tale of Horror)

The night was already not going how Lana had planned, and she was pissed.

“Come on!” her friends had begged her earlier that week. “A zombie pub crawl on Halloween night! It’ll be soooo much fun. Don’t you want to get all dressed up?

“Not as a gross zombie. I want to wear my sexy Little Bo Peep outfit. I already spent, like, $50 on it. Plus, zombies are so totally played out,” she had pouted before finally caving in to peer pressure and forking over another $60 for the trolley fee.

Now, here she was, crammed into a packed Wrigleyville bar, bloated from overpriced Miller Lites while drunk dudebros got their fake blood smeared all over her white tutu. Her friends had all disappeared the second they arrived at the bar. No one seemed interested in talking to her or even worse, offered to buy her a drink. The night was officially a disaster.

As she turned to look for her friend Nicole, who was dressed as a sexy zombie Miley Cyrus, an inebriated zombie cowboy dropped a cup of beer onto Lana’s heels. “Ugh, seriously?!” Lana screamed, stomping off to the ladies’ room to clean up. In her first stroke of luck, the bathroom was actually empty, so she eased off her white platform heels and rinsed the sticky beer off in the sink. Thank God for vinyl stripper shoes, she thought. While she tidied herself up, a loud scream erupted from somewhere in the bar. Even though she suspected it was some sort of soundtrack or effect, it sent shivers down her spine. She couldn’t wait for Halloween to be over.

Lana put her shoes back on, straightened out her tutu, and pushed through the swinging door back into the bar to find all hell had broken loose. People were running in every direction, screaming in terror as blood spurted all over like a crimson fireworks display. A group of party-goers were crushed into a human knot trying to flee through the door, while others smashed the glass windows out with bar stools in an attempt to escape. Roughly half the people in the room had taken on a sickly greenish tinge and were turning on their friends, chomping on limbs and severing arteries; something had morphed them into murderous, bloodthirsty animals. A shrieking blond girl tried to run for her life, slipped on the blood-drenched floor, and was instantly leapt upon by three dead-eyed drooling bros who began to chow down on her exposed flesh like it was a hangover brunch. One turned his head to spit out a mouthful of blond hair extensions before diving back in for more brains. The bartender, who only minutes earlier had been hitting on a zombie sorority girl, now chewed hungrily on her ribcage.

Later, the Center for Disease Control would blame the random gruesome act of cannibalism on a tainted batch of Jaegermeister that had been laced with with an unidentified designer drug, creating a hysterical reaction and instant bloodlust. Standing in the middle of a Wrigleyville bar, watching the chaos unfold, Lana was not yet aware of this. All she knew was that she was not ready to die. She hadn’t yet met the corporate attorney of her dreams or adopted her dream Yorkshire terrier or her dream Asian baby. She hadn’t been to Paris or RPM Italian or seen the big screen adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey. Jenndolyn had finally gotten her highlights just right. She wanted to live.

“Oh hell no,” she said out loud, yanking her teetering heels off of her feet. In her peripheral vision, she saw a green crazy person charging her. Instinctively, she swung at his face with one of her heels and drove the stiletto deep into his eye socket. The monster groaned in pain and collapsed onto the viscera-soaked tile floor. Lana wiped his blood from her forehead with a piece of tulle from her tutu.

A wave of mutated freaks moved towards her, their scaly hands outstretched. She swung her Bo Peep crook at their leader’s head, but the cheap plastic broke on his skull, barely causing him to flinch. Cheap Legs Avenue piece of shit, she thought, then quickly scanned the area for a new weapon. Grabbing a bottle of Miller Lite Lime in each hand from a table, she smashed them against the bar and slashed them through the air. One of the monsters lurched at her and she jammed the broken bottle into his Adam’s apple with the force of 3 month’s worth of Pilates class behind it. Spinning around to face her next attacker, she kicked a monster squarely in the chest, pushing him down along with a phalanx of other green-skinned mutants. She grabbed a pool cue off the wall and held it poised, ready to take on whoever–or whatever–came at her next. A tube-topped monster who had been dancing on the bar leapt at her, but she rammed the cue into its soft green guts. A drooling, rancid walking corpse tried to grab at her next; she whacked its head off with the gun from a Big Buck Hunter arcade game.

Seeing a window of escape, Lana made a run for it. She climbed through the shattered glass, her adrenaline racing to the point that she barely felt the crunchy shards that poked through her fishnet-clad bare feet. Emergency vehicles had already blocked off Clark Street, with cops swarming in wearing SWAT gear. People were screaming, sobbing, and Instagramming. Amidst the confusion, she slipped into the crowd and disappeared from sight.

Survivors of the incident would speak for many years to come of the gruesome circumstances of that fateful Halloween night, and of a girl who took down 20 mutants by herself, who seemed to be fueled solely on the rage of a trixie having a bad night out.

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