Zoey left Amore’s with Dog God’s time machine and the intent to save the world. As if carrying a 4×4 dog house out of a pizza shop wasn’t drawing enough attention, Zoey now had to find a discreet place to use the glorious dog house of time travel. Wandering through West Chester, she searched for an empty street. Zoey paused mid-step and peered down an alley. Dr. Richard B. Hind, Zoey’s philosophy professor, sat cross-legged and leaned his back against the brick wall behind him, slicing and eating a single hard-boiled egg. Zoey nodded to acknowledge his presence and resumed her search—she had to save the world, after all.

Finally, Zoey reached a quiet place, slapped Dog God’s time machine on the sidewalk, and stepped in. With knees to her chin and the top of her head hitting the roof of the time machine, Zoey had a fleeting thought that Dog God’s time machine was not comparable to Mary Poppin’s infinite purse situation.

There was a strange smell emanating around her. Was that her or the dog house? Zoey tried to lift her arm to smell it, but decided she didn’t really want to know. Also, she couldn’t move her arms.

Glowing and shaking in a super cliché low-budget movie kind of way, the time machine and Zoey zipped through time sonic fast. When she successfully teleported to the past, Zoey wriggled herself out feet first with her shirt sleeve catching on the sides and tearing, revealing a greenish-greyish rash on her forearms. She shrugged and tried to ignore the unsettling feeling settling over her.

Zoey nearly ran into herself with Rocky leading her past self in the 1980s-style tubular montage. Passing by, she had only one thought: “Wow, those pants make my nose look big.”

She could observe Zyler plotting in the Starbucks once she had arrived, but she could tell that he wasn’t about to put the plan in action just yet, which meant she had some time to kill. She pulled out her phone to check Pokémon Go, and after catching a rather agreeable Weedle, she opened Facebook to check if people even used that site anymore.

As she scrolled through her feed, which consisted mostly of pictures of her aunt’s uncomfortably obese cat, she happened upon some clickbait that caught her eye. Buzzfeed shared a link: “Are You Turning Into a Zombie?” it asked her in bold lettering. She paused. Was she?

The first few questions were pretty funny, admittedly. No, she had not been craving any brains recently. No, she did not see any organs falling out of her body. N—wait. That rash she had? She glanced at her forearm and frowned. That did look a little odd, now that she thought about it.

The questions continued, as did her growing concern. As she clicked ‘submit,’ she felt a chill run down her spine. The results popped up quickly, proclaiming that she was “most definitely becoming a zombie.”

She froze. Her reflection on the dim screen of her phone stared back at her, showing her oddly vacant gaze. Zoey was, in fact, a zombie. That complicated things a little. Now she had to save the world at half the speed.

Speaking of saving the world, she hadn’t looked at Zyler in at least 13 seconds. As she turned her head slowly, she noticed that he had moved through the excessively long line (Why didn’t he just use Tapingo?) over to the barista to order his black coffee that he’d never receive. Zyler was arguing with a gremlin dressed in horn-rimmed glasses and a lumberjack flannel as Zoey watched carefully. He seemed to be getting more distressed as he ranted to his small hipster friend, and honestly, Zoey was starting to feel bad for the guy. The feeling didn’t last long, however, because as she continued watching, Zyler dramatically activated the virus.

Chains burst out of Zoey’s pockets to match the outfits of the gay couple she had noticed sitting beside her in the cafe, their edgy black baseball caps now turned backwards. She felt an overwhelming clichéd wave of sadness, and she wasn’t sure if it was due to the goth look they were so clearly going for or because that meant their caps wouldn’t touch when they kissed.

Anyway.

Overwhelming angst started to overcome Zoey, but quickly faded because she was a newly emotionless and decomposing zombie. No time for angst when you’re a member of the legion of the undead.

Immediately, Zoey deduced that the virus was spread through the WiFi. The weird girl that accidentally ate her smartphone last week and didn’t own a laptop remained unchanged—she was still wearing khaki-colored shorts with brightly-colored knee-high pineapple socks. She couldn’t really pull that look off, but Zoey respected her for trying.

“NO! You are ruining my moment. Just be quiet. No one cares about the environment. Nobody is supposed to care about anything right now. What I was going to say is boost the signal. I need to boost the signal,” Zyler proclaimed loud enough for Zoey to hear.

She eavesdropped longer. He continued on to say that he needed to get to the top of a building to carry out the final part of his evil plan.

Zoey had to beat him there—and fast, but only as fast as a zombie can move. Her spleen, an abdominal organ involved in the production and removal of blood cells in most vertebrates and forming part of the immune system, fell out somewhere along the line, but she made it to the top of the library.

Zoey was actually pretty unsure of which building Zyler had planned to boost the signal on top of, but she figured the plot would bring the two of them together soon enough, so she prepared for a “final climactic showdown or something,” in the words of Zyler.

Samantha Fenimore is a first-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at SF875759@wcupa.edu.

Kirsten Magas a first-year student majoring in English and biology. She can be reached at KM867219@wcupa.edu.

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