A Zombie Hunter and The Boobie Doll
By Stephanie Greenhalgh
Sunlight glinted through the leaves of the large oak as Caine and Nolia enjoyed a little down time. Completely engrossed in the latest Charlaine Harris novel, Nolia sat cross-legged with her back against the tree. A sly smile tugged at the corners of her mouth while she twirled a strand of brunette hair through her fingers, her eyes moving from side to side. Caine’s gaze intent on the Sudoku game on his phone.
Nolia’s phone buzzed. Lazily, she reach for it and smiled when her best friend’s name popped up. “Yo, what’s up?”
The hysterical voice on the other end had her sitting upright in record time. “We’re on our way,” her voice all business. Focused and serious, the athletic beauty clicked the phone shut and faced Caine.
“It’s Natalie’s sister, Lydia. She went to a cheer competition in Vegas. She was supposed to be home earlier today but never got on the plane. Natalie called all her friends, but they all thought she left. She was coming home early for a special mother/daughters birthday dinner.” Nolia informed.
“What do we know?” he asked. Natalie, an accomplished seer, had many inventive ways to gain otherwise difficult information, and Caine was certain she had already exhausted a variety of resources.
“She checked the looking glass and saw zombies.” Nolia met Caine’s gaze
“On it,” the bald buff biker dude said. As the resident zombie hunter, he had his own wide reach of resources for the weird and supernatural. In a matter of seconds, he sent out an alert to friends and other zombie hunters. Not even a minute ticked by, before his phone blew up, Caine’s baby blues scanned the plethora of incoming texts.
“A couple of local grease balls were seen grabbing a blonde girl near the airport. They hang at a local club and zombie habitat, my favorite.” He grinned, “I’ll head out there and check it out. Think you could give me a magical lift, babe?” He leaned in, brushed her neck with his lips, and gave her his best crooked grin.
“Yep, I think I have just what it takes to concoct the perfect Hickory Grove to Vegas portal.” She winked, and her shoulders straightened with pride. Caine didn’t doubt the reigning queen of realm traveling. His girl had mad skills.
When they walked through the front door of the second story apartment Nolia and Natalie shared, a leggy blonde stood over a looking glass. “We’re on this, Natalie, don’t worry. We’ve already got a lead and Caine is heading to Vegas to check it out. Plus, I have all the necessary ingredients to get him there in the next15 minutes,” She gave her friend a gentle hug, then got to work in her small but efficient kitchen.
Before long, Nolia had the caldron in front of her boiling and toiling. Natalie paced and Caine watched stoically, while Nolia expertly added a pinch mandrake and eye of newt to the already simmering pot. After a brief chant from an old tattered booklet, a swirling bluish cloud engulfed the breakfast nook. Nolia raised her eyebrows and nodded expectantly toward Caine.
“I’ll text soon, babe.” Caine pulled Nolia into him and kissed her, running his hand down her back to her bum to give her ass a good-bye pat.
“Be safe,” she said, with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Always. And don’t worry, Natalie. I’ll have your sister back in a jiff.” He said, then leapt feet first into the swirling blue cloud and disappeared.
Moments later, the portal burped and spit Caine out in Las Vegas, Nevada. He shimmied to an abrupt stop right in front of ‘The Boobie Doll’ strip club. His core contracted as he balanced himself and allowed his insides to slide back into their regular space. Once he settled, the zombie hunter cocked his head from side to side until his neck snapped, crackled and popped. “Well, all right. This looks like my kinda place,” he said with a crooked smirk in place. Cracking his knuckles, Caine walked into a very dark and very seedy gentlemen’s club.
Zombie habitats could be enjoyable as long as you didn’t disrupt them. If one had a sick twisted sense of humor, habitats could be amusing to watch. Caine stared at the zombie bartenders, patrons and strippers. One look at the gray goo flopping around on stage and Caine cracked up.
The more he watched, the more he chuckled, until he heard a commotion from the back. The laughter froze in his throat. Quickly, he ducked behind a curtain to eavesdrop unnoticed. Turning, he found himself in the private room of a gelatinous male zombie getting a lap dance from a lady stripper zombie. Caine was certain she was losing her implants and maybe an eyeball. Unaware of the intrusion, the zombies continued their song and dance, but the voices outside distracted Caine.
“Get in there! The big guy wants to talk to you!” A foul fat man grumbled as he yanked a petite blonde by the hair.
“Let me go!” she yelled, kicking and contorting in any attempt to free herself from fatty’s slimy paws and leering eyes.
THWACK! The meaner, but quieter of the two goons, hauled off and smacked her. Blood spurted from her lip and she cried out in pain. “Easy now,” the chattier of the two asshats added.
Clenching his fist from behind the curtain, Caine resisted the urge to jump over tables and dim-witted zombies to pummel the two captors. He took five deep breaths. He didn’t bother with ten, if he couldn’t refrain in five, then whatever he was up against didn’t deserve the extra seconds. Grudgingly, he breathed deeply and allowed the two goons to drag the girl into the back room.
Leaving the cloak of the private room, Caine gingerly made his way through the zombie horde. It would a huge disaster to disrupt the herd while planning a one-man rescue. In an attempt to keep disruptions to the bare minimum, Caine even endured a lap dance with one gooey stripper zombie before he made it across the club floor.
Finally, Caine got the back door. Putting his ear up to the door, he listened carefully, before he turned the knob slowly and peeked into the room. A blonde girl sat gagged and tied to a chair.
“Lydia…” He whispered. Closing the door behind him, he crept into the room.
Her eyes smiled and she sat up straighter.
“You okay?” He whispered, pulling his dagger from the sheath tethered to his thigh. With one quick movement, he sliced through the plastic ties around her wrists, freeing her. “Let’s get out of here. Ready?”
Lydia nodded, pulling off the duct tape covering her mouth. As the pair turned to leave, Caine’s eyes widened and his crooked grin broadened when he pulled open the door. At least a dozen dead and drooling zombies stood before them, looking for an afternoon snack.
“Well, shit. I knew that seemed too easy. Change of plans, kiddo,” He said before he grabbed the girl and threw her over his shoulder. “Phone’s in my back pocket, Lydia. Grab it and text Nolia. Tell her I’ve got you and we’re ready,” Caine instructed. The frightened girl nodded reaching for the phone. “And hold on.”
Even with a girl slung over his shoulder, Caine spun on one foot and kicked the first decaying dead person in the face. One of his round-house kicks took out at least six zombies as they systematically tumbled like dominoes. With the miniature crossbow tethered to his arm, Caine sent tiny silver darts into the necks of three more ghouls. Then a female zombie from behind the bar stood drooling in front of Caine. She was larger than the rest with nails like talons. Grunting and moaning, she lurched forward. With little effort, Caine’s heel made contact with her jaw. As her gooey head caved in, Caine whipped around to unleash another round-house. At the same time, Lydia flung her silver necklace toward the last of the zombie mob. Between the kick and the silver, the large bartender zombie stumbled backward, taking out the last four drooling dead guys like bowling pins.
“Hold on, Lydia. We’re almost home.” Caine said as they bolted out the front door to find a bluish cloud swirling before him. With a satisfied grin, he tightened his grip around the girl before he jumped in and the two vanished from the desert.
The pair shimmied to a stop back in Natalie and Nolia’s apartment. Caine steadied himself and gently set Lydia down. Natalie rushed to embrace her sister, while Nolia sauntered over with a satisfied smile. “Well done, handsome.”
“It was all for you, babe,” he said, as his eyes took in every inch of her, like he hadn’t seen her in a year.
Leaning on her tip toes, she wrapped her arms around his neck. He pulled her closer, lifting her off the floor. “There’s more to this, though babe, all those girls are in danger. Lydia was their guinea pig. These grease balls are planning to grab more when the rest of the cheerleaders leave tomorrow. They are trying to increase their zombie stripper horde.”
“I know. That’s why I’m holding on, handsome. We’re going back, you and me. I’ve concocted a potion to trap them in a prison realm, then we’ll hand the off to Xander. He’s the wise mentor and he’ll know what to do with them. Plus, this way, no one else will get hurt.”
“You are brilliant and it’s so freaking sexy. I’ll get a hold of a buddy of mine and make sure that habitat gets cleaned up after we’re through.”
“Handsome and helpful. Only two of the many reasons I adore you.” She let her lips brush across his lips, then found his cheek before she let go of him and turned toward Natalie and Lydia. “You two get to your mom’s for your special dinner. I’ll text you later,” Nolia said, blowing a kiss in the direction of her best friend.
“Thanks, guys! I owe you!” Natalie gushed and pulled her sister closer. “Give ‘em hell and lock those bastards up!”
“You know it,” Nolia turned back to Caine, “Ready?”
“Yep,” Caine stepped behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close.
Nolia reached into the travel bag slung across her body, then tossed a pinch of something into a stone bowl on the kitchen table before she chanted, “MOTARIOUS TRAVELIOUS IMMEDIOUSATED LAS VEGAS.”
Within moments, a swirling blue whirl erupted. Grabbing a small vial from her bag, Nolia gathered a small bit of the blue purplish swirling portal. “For an easy get-a-way,” she said securing the vial back in her travel bag. Turning to face Caine, she reached around his neck and held on tightly, “Go when you’re ready,”
Caine jumped in with both feet, but before long, he was skidding to a stop in the same private room he had hidden in not that long ago. “What were you thinking when we went thru?” Caine chuckled, releasing Nolia.
“I wanted to land in a safe place. What on earth is that?” Nolia pointed to the gyrating glob of goo as she danced for the male.
“Don’t ask, but it’s better to not disturb. The rest of the club is on the other side of these.” He opened the curtain a crack to see what lay ahead. “It’s quiet out there, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
“Man, this place stinks,” Nolia crinkled her nose as she squeezed between Caine and the curtain to get her own view. “I’d like to capture these two asshats and get home. Where do you think they are?”
“My guess would be the storage room in the back.”
“Then, let’s go,” Nolia brushed passed the curtain and tip-toed across the room. The amount of zombie goo was simply unreal and she had on her new Chuck Taylors. Caine followed without a care about his shoes. Work boots were meant to get dirty and he had a job to do.
As they approached the door, Nolia opened a charm on her necklace and poured a handful of pink dust into her palm. Then she brought her forefinger to her lips and mouthed, “On three.” Caine nodded, as she counted down with her fingers. When she had a fist, Caine burst through the door, leading with his crossbow. Deftly, he sent two tranquillizer darts flying across the room.
Shocked, the men reached for their necks, as numbness began to seep into their blood. Nolia walked in with a polite smile plastered to her face and a handful of disappearing dust in her palm. “Until we can figure out more about you, we’re going to keep you and others safe,” she said before, blowing the dust in their direction with one big breath. The goons’ eyes widened and their bodies swerved and swayed, until they slowly distorted into tiny fragments of dust floating in the air.
Satisfied the danger had been neutralized, Nolia reached into her bag and pulled out a small steel box. When she opened the rectangular box, the pentagram carved in the bottom illuminated. A bright purple hue glowed throughout the room. The floating dust roared to life as the box jumped and bucked. Nolia gripped it in her hands until the box consumed all the dust and the lid snapped shut. A quiet calm filled the zombie strip club.
“Damn, I’m glad that’s over,” Nolia sighed, clipping mystical a padlock to the outside. “Let’s get these two fats cats home to Xander. He can figure out if they’re a threat or just stupid,” Nolia said, closing the gap between her and Caine and placing one arm around his neck, “And I’m certain he won’t have any intel until tomorrow at the earliest, so I think we need to celebrate our small victory with a night out.”
“Now, that’s an idea I can get behind.” He pulled her close.
Nolia retrieved the vial with the blue purplish liquid from her travel bag. She snapped her wrist, flinging the vial at the wall. “Hickory Grove,” she said. Within moments, the blue swirl sucked them home.