Night of the Undead Snow Monkeys
Edited by Chelsea Sutton
Copyright © 2014 Jeff Folschinsky
All rights reserved.
To my friends who encourage the insanity.
I have to admit, Japanese snow monkeys are the most adorable things that I ever did lay my eyes on. It’s too bad that I had to start blowing them apart with my late husband’s, God rest his soul, 12-gauge Remington pump action shotgun; but what else are you supposed to do once they’ve turned undead?
Now granted, some could take the position that the reason they were that way is arguably all my fault — considering I shot down that alien flying saucer that crashed into that monkey sanctuary over by the old Wilson place, releasing some sort of radioactive type stuff which first killed the monkeys and then brought them back to life, turning them into the undead menace that threatened to destroy all life as we know it.
I don’t like to live in the past though, so I try not to dwell on these types of things for too long. I find that it’s a very unhealthy state of mind to be in. How was I supposed to know all this was going to happen?
If I had known that those government fellows had invited the aliens for an intergalactic get together, I most likely would never have shot down their spacecraft with my hand-held land-to-air rocket launcher, which I just so happened to have around for religious purposes.
People should take responsibility for their actions though, so I figure, this is quite possibly, maybe, thirty-percent my fault.
Looking into the cute little faces of those monkeys, one couldn’t help but feel bad about their situation. That is, until I started blowing their faces off. After that, I really didn’t feel one way or the other about it.
“I’m out of ammo. How about you?” I yelled at Cousin Tommy, who had come over to Aunt Gertie’s Gas ‘n Sip to warn me about the approaching undead Japanese snow monkey onslaught.
“Gertie, I never had a gun to begin with. Why in tarnation do you keep asking me that question?” he yelled back at me.
“Cousin Tommy, in this day and age, what self-respecting Texan walks outside their front door without carrying a weapon?”
“Never had any use for one, until now,” he replied, while decapitating a monkey with his garden hoe.
Isn’t that the way of things? People always think, “Oh, guns, yuck.” But all of a sudden undead Japanese snow monkeys show up, and then everybody is whistling an entirely different tune.
People always looked at me strangely when I said that the good Lord told me to arm myself for the coming apocalypse. I would give them all a big old, “I told you so,” if I weren’t a good Christian woman. Deep down they know I was right all along. And you know what? That puts a big old smile on my face.
I do wish the good Lord on high would have told me how much ammo I needed though. Since I was now out and using the butt of my late husband’s, God rest his soul, shotgun to fend off the undead Japanese snow monkey menace.
“How many of these gosh darn things did they have at that sanctuary?” I yelled out to Cousin Tommy who was finishing off another monkey with his garden hoe. I couldn’t help but wonder why, of all the things to grab as a weapon, he grabbed a garden hoe. He probably figured if it was good enough to get rid of snakes, it was good enough to get rid of undead Japanese snow monkeys. Whatever the reason, one couldn’t help but be impressed with his skill in using it to dispatch them.
“Lord if I know, ”he finally answered, after another deadly swing of the hoe. “Obviously, quite a few.”
Now, the Japanese Snow Monkey Sanctuary was the brain child of Little Lump’s last mayor, Big Bob Vogelberg, who all of the sudden got a bee in his bonnet about the whole thing, and pushed the sanctuary proposal through all the necessary legal channels and found the funding somewhere in the town’s non-existent budget. A week after it was finished though, Big Bob had himself a heart attack in his bathroom. For some reason he was stark naked and surrounded with issues of National Geographic. No one was really sure why, although there were some speculations I would rather not get into.
All I know is that he’s gone and now we’re up to our rears in undead Japanese snow monkeys. Beyond that, any other conversation on the subject is purely academic, as far as I’m concerned.
“There’s just too many,” Cousin Tommy yelled, while wildly swinging his hoe around.
He was right too. There just seemed to be no end of them in sight. I swear, with this many monkeys, they wouldn’t have lasted that long at the monkey sanctuary, regardless if that flying saucer crashed into it or not. The smell alone would have driven everyone in town to kill them, which I know is not very animal friendly of me, but really, you try smelling all of these things without having a homicidal thought or two.
The monkeys were nearly on us, when from above we heard: “Don’t worry Momma, I’ll save you!” My boy Elroy was shouting down at us, flying around with one of them alien jetpacks that he “acquired” from that Alien Ambassador. Mr. Ambassador was temporally an involuntary guest of ours, and I guess was in such a hurry to leave that he forgot all about it.
Elroy found it, immediately put it on and activated it, launching him straight into the air, right before all this undead Japanese snow monkey nonsense began. Last I saw, he was headed straight for those gun happy Johanssons. He obviously got that contraption under control, before being riddled with buckshot.
As happy as I was to see he was okay, I was wishing he was away from the impending onslaught of these undead Japanese snow monkeys of doom. That was until he flew over the heads of the front line of them, setting them all on fire, creating a fiery barrier between us and the rest of the approaching undead Japanese snow monkeys.
“Yeehaw!” Elroy shouted, as he created his fiery wall of salvation.
“Elroy,” I shouted, “you done good, now get yourself home and put that alien jet pack away. It is not a toy.”
“Don’t, ‘but Momma’ me. Now you fly that jet pack thingy out of harm’s way, and try to take out a few more undead Japanese snow monkeys on your way out of here.”
“Oh, okay Momma, ”Elroy said with a bit of a pouty face, as he steered himself over another group of undead Japanese snow monkeys, leaving another wall of flame in his wake, as well as the smell of burnt monkey hair, which I honestly could have done without at that point.
I have to say, he’s a good boy. Dumb as a stump, and a constant pain in my rear, but a good boy nonetheless.
“Gertie, now’s our chance, let’s get out of here!” Cousin Tommy shouted.
“Let’s get to the Domino hall.”
“The Domino Hall? Why on earth there?”
“Oh, I was just in the mood for a game or two…it has four walls and a thick door! Why do you think?
The Domino Hall is a lone building behind Ian Smiggly’s welding shop. Ian’s son Jonas Smiggly used to use the building for some sort of chemistry business that he and his friends were participating in. For some reason, Sheriff Buckley had a problem with this, so he raided the place, and Jonas and his friends are now doing five to ten years over at county correctional.
I’m not really sure what all the fuss was about, but whatever they were doing stunk up the place something fierce.
This didn’t stop the old-timers from taking the building over and converting it into a place for them all to play dominoes. It’s more of a clubhouse than anything, but if those old-timers don’t want you to get in, then you’re not getting in.
Sheriff Buckley found out the hard way when he tried to perform a surprise visit to investigate rumors of gambling.
The members of the Domino Hall had been in the middle of a game and had no intention of stopping it for the Sheriff or anyone else for that matter. I’m not sure what that door is made of, but it took the full brunt of Sheriff Buckley’s shoulder, a crowbar and some sort of hand held battering ram he had in the trunk of his squad car. After everyone finished their game thirty minutes later, they opened the door to a bruised and worn out Sheriff and asked if he minded keeping it down.
Thinking about it now, Cousin Tommy wanting to go there seemed to make perfect sense, but because of his snippy remarks, I wasn’t about to let him know that.
“Well, let’s go,” I continued, “I guess it’s as good of place as any.”
Good idea or not, it was no excuse for being rude.
The Domino Hall isn’t so much a hall as a little cinder block building that Ian Smiggly built to keep emergency rations. Apparently, the Smigglys are what are known as Doomsday Preppers. He accidentally hit it big when he sold all of his internet stock the day before the bubble burst, avoiding all the financial calamities that came afterwards. Convinced that the financial institutes were falling apart and the world would soon be descending into social anarchy, he bought property out on the edge of town and built a bunker for himself and his family. When the world didn’t descend into anarchy, and finding his new neighbors were unwilling to use the barter system to pay for things, they decided to leave. Unfortunately, they were unable to find someone to buy their property so they found themselves stuck here. Ian Smiggly had to use what little money he had left to buy the local welding business.
This move seemed logical for Ian since he had invested so heavily in welding equipment. He had been convinced that he would have to be making constant repairs to their bunker, from fending off roaming marauders trying to steal their supplies.
The cinder block building next to his business, though, was a colossal failure. A typical summer in Little Lump, Texas averaged at about one hundred and five degrees, which basically turned the cinder block building into a giant oven, cooking anything that he kept in there, as some unfortunate rats found out the hard way when they tunneled under the wall trying to get to Ian’s supplies. Ian’s son Jonas added some ventilation and some windows to keep the place cool when he was using it, but came under immediate suspicion when he blacked out the windows when he started his little “business venture.”
After his unfortunate incarceration, the building remained vacant until the old-timers in town decided to take it over to play dominoes. It surprised Ian to find the building occupied one day, as no one seemed to have bothered to ask his permission. He didn’t mind the use of the building so much, but what really got his goat was finding an extension cord running from his shop to the Domino Hall to power the lights and air conditioner that they installed in the window.
Ian decided not to make a big deal about it though, since he didn’t want to agitate the locals more than his wife Margo already had. It was the shared opinion of the entire town of Little Lump that Margo Smiggly was just a little too big for her britches. Her big city, holier-than-thou attitude had managed to irritate just about everyone she had come into contact with.
Letting the old-timers use the building to play their game seemed like a small price to pay for a little good will, although eventually he felt justified in asking them to help pay for the increase in his electric bill.
As we approached the Domino Hall, I heard the distinct laughter of Pappa Rob, the grandfather of those trigger happy Johanssons who live on the land down the way from the Gas ‘n Sip. I was glad that he was there because I had a bone to pick with him, seeing that I distinctly heard his brood taking a couple of pot-shots at my boy when he was flying around on that jet pack thingy.
Now considering that I shot down an entire alien space ship, some might think that’s the pot calling the kettle black. The way I see it, though, is that firing a handheld land-to-air rocket launcher, that I just so happen to have around for the safety of God and country, is a far cry from trying to fill a poor, mentally challenged, slightly overweight man-child with buckshot as he was flying over your head while strapped to an alien jetpack. As humorous as that might have seemed at the time, it was just plain wrong, and I planned on giving old Pappa Rob Johansson a little piece of my mind when I saw him.
It sounded like we were in luck as we approached the door, as we heard none of the tale-tell signs of trash talk, cussing, or the occasional knife fight that would indicate the people inside were in the middle of a game.
However, when we knocked on the door, we were immediately met with the standard greeting of, “what the heck do you want?” That was not exactly how it was phrased, but why be vulgar if don’t have to?
“It’s me,” Cousin Tommy yelled through the door.
“We’re all full up, come back in a bit,” a voice yelled back.
“It’s an emergency!”
“When isn’t it?” another voice yelled back, followed by more laughter echoing inside the Domino Hall.
I interrupted Cousin Tommy before he could reply: “This is Gertie. Open the damn door before I blow it off its hinges.”
Now, around town, I have a certain reputation of following through with what I say, the result of which is not something I’m proud of or necessarily endorse. But when push comes to shove I find that it’s a handy reputation to have—for instance, when I need to get a bunch of men to open a door when they’re determined to act like a bunch of pre-schoolers.
Almost immediately, the door was unlocked with a loud click.
“Damn it Gertie, why do you have to be so ornery all the time?” Melvin Essley asked, as he opened the door. “We were just having a little fun.”
“I am sorry, but did you or did you not hear the word ‘emergency,’ come out of Cousin Tommy’s mouth?” I replied to Melvin’s less than apologetic statement.
“And exactly what is the nature of this emergency, if one might inquire?” asked Doctor Dan, who was sitting next to Pappa Rob and Jessie Truman. Jessie owns the local dress shop in Little Lump, which just so happens to be filled with some of the most God-awful things that you ever did see. I’m not judging—well maybe I am, but really, you try and take a look at some of those things she calls fashion and then tell me you don’t have the urge to claw your eyes out. Anyway, I’m not sure of Doctor Dan’s last name because, well…because I’ve just always called him Doctor Dan and have never inquired further.
“What do you mean ‘What emergency’” Cousin Tommy asked with surprise. “Have you not been paying attention? We’ve got undead Japanese snow monkeys attacking everything that moves.”
“Would you two mind shutting the door? You’re letting the cool air out, ”Pappa Rob shouted out, practically cutting Cousin Tommy off.
“Pappa Rob, did you not hear what Cousin Tommy said?” I shouted back, letting him know his snippy and rude attitude was not appreciated.
“Yeah, I heard him,” Pappa Rob replied. “Undead Japanese snow monkeys or not, it’s no excuse for letting the cool air get out.”
Hearing this, I shut the door behind us, because as much as it pains me to think it, Pappa Rob did have a valid point.
“Now come on and sit down at the table, ”Pappa Rob continued on. “We were about to start us up a new game, and you know the rules. If you don’t play, you don’t stay.”
Also a valid point. Probably the only real rule that the Domino hall had. The annoying old coot was on a roll, I had to give him that. Cousin Tommy and I sat down.
“Now,” Papp Rob continued on, “since we have more than six players in here, because of this ‘emergency’ situation that has come up, we can’t play standard Moon like we were doing, so we’re going to have to play ‘Pirate Moon’ dominoes. Does anyone have a problem with that?”
Moon is a Domino variation of the card game, Moon. The object is to bid and take as many tricks as possible, trying to get to twenty-one points. It’s pretty much like playing Hearts or Spades. Now, if you don’t have any idea what those games are, go look it up or ask someone with a little more life experience than yourself, because I just don’t have enough patience to explain them to you.
Now the trick with Moon is that it’s a game for three to four people playing with a hand of seven dominoes each. You don’t have enough dominoes for any more people than that, so the old-timers at the Domino Hall came up with Pirate Moon, which is played with two game sets of dominoes so everybody has enough. The problem with this is that it opens the game up to people cheating, hence the name, Pirate Moon. To cut down on the fights that broke out, a rule was put in place that if a person was called out and caught cheating, that person had to leave the game, and thus leaving the Domino Hall because of the other rule: if you don’t play, you don’t stay. The spectacle of this type of playing made it the preferred game of the Domino Hall. Unfortunately for me and Cousin Tommy, the biggest players of it were the other people in the room with us. Safe as we might have been in the Domino Hall right now, chances were good that we wouldn’t be staying there for long.
“Well, the game is Pirate Moon, so everyone knows the rules, right?” Pappa Rob asked everyone as we got settled at the table. We all nodded our heads in confirmation. “Good. Let’s get started then.”
Hearing this, everyone put a weapon on the table in front of them. This was supposed to put everyone at ease, but really it just let everyone know that they were ready for business if any shenanigans got out of hand. If you know your opponents are armed, you’re less likely to try something. It actually works surprisingly well. I’m surprised the airlines have never adopted this strategy. I know I would be more at ease if I knew everybody at the airport was armed—all things being even and that type of thing.
“Tommy, what on earth is that in front of you?” Pappa Rob asked.
“A hoe,” Cousin Tommy answered.
“No, I was referring to your weapon, not the person you came in with, ”Pappa Rob replied, which was followed by the laughter of everyone else in the room except me. I just stared at him until he got nervous and continued, “well, let’s get started then.”
I usually find that a silent stare will get the best of someone, more than a snappy come back ever would.
Pappa Rob picked up the dominoes in both of his hands, crashed them down to the table and mixed them up, a smile on his face that reminded me of a shark I once saw at one of those natural history museums I went to as a little girl—which admittedly was awhile back, but it shows the kind of permanent impression it made on me.
We pulled our dominoes from the boneyard and began to calculate how many tricks we could win. In case you’re wondering, the ‘boneyard’ is the area where the dominoes are kept. Don’t ask me why it’s called that, don’t know, don’t care. Anyway, before we got started, we were interrupted by the sound of someone pounding on the door.
“For the love of all that’s holy, let me in!” a voice yelled out.
“We’re all full up in here,” Pappa Rob yelled back. “Come back later.”
“Rob, it’s Henry, open up, it’s an emergency. There’s demon monkeys out here trying to get me.”
“Don’t be such an alarmist,” I yelled back. “They’re zombified, so just don’t let them bite you and you should be fine.”
“Ah, one of them got a hold of my leg,” Henry yelled out.
“Maybe we should let him in?” Cousin Tommy asked.
“No, we are not letting him in. We’re already playing with six people.” Pappa Rob answered
“Maybe he can just sit and watch?”
“Sit and watch? What is the primary rule of the Domino Hall?”
“If you don’t play, you don’t stay, ”everybody answered in unison.
“If we ignore that rule, then we might as well just ignore all rules that govern a polite society, and if we do that, the agents of anarchy win; and no one wants that, or do they?” Pappa Rob asked, looking at everyone in the room suspiciously.
“No of course not,” everyone in the room mumbled defensively. It was kind of hard to argue with that kind of logic, even though my instincts were to do it anyway.
“Sorry, Henry, can’t do it, ”Pappa Rob yelled at the door, but Henry didn’t answer back.
“Henry?” Pappa Rob called out again, but still no one answered.
“Henry?” Pappa Rob asked one last time, but still no one answered. “Oh well, I’m sure he’s fine. So, let’s kick this pig. What’s everyone betting?”
Everyone shouted out how many tricks they thought they could win, and with that, the game got on its way.
Everyone jealously guarded their hand, and watching their opponents, giving looks that both tried to hide how much of a disadvantage or advantage they had, while at the same time trying to scare the bejesus out of the others. It’s an acquired skill, one that Cousin Tommy obviously did not possess—as his constant mumbling of, “oh my, oh Lord, this isn’t good,” clearly indicated.
“Gosh darn it, Cousin Tommy. I’m trying to concentrate over here,” I blurted out, trying to get him to shut up, more for his own good than anything else, as the other players were starting to look at him with the hungry eyes of predators about to devour their next meal.
This just added to his anxiety of having an obviously bad hand. An anxiety that was probably compounded by the fact there was a slow pounding at the door, followed by a low guttural monkey screech, which was inevitably followed by Pappa Rob yelling out, “we’re all full up in here, come back later!” That single mindedness was one of the things I begrudgingly liked about Pappa Rob. Whether it was an extra player or undead Japanese snow monkeys, rules were rules, and once a game got going, those doors opened for no one.
“So Pappa Rob, I’ve got a bone to pick with you,” I said, as I organized my hand.
“Really? How refreshingly unexpected of you.” Pappa Rob responded with what one couldn’t help but think was a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
“Well,” I continued on, ignoring his rude attempts to shut me up, “your son and his boys took some pot shots at my son earlier today. Now, I’m not pointing the finger, but one can’t help but think that type of attitude is a product of their upbringing.”
“You’ve probably got a point,” Pappa Rob answered. “But the question is, are you going to gab, or are you going to play? Because if you’re going to play, you can stay, but if you just want to gab, then there’s a door right there with your name on it.”
The door actually did have my name on it. My late husband, God rest his soul, whittled it in there when he installed it for the Smiggly’s, but that’s not at all what Pappa Rob was getting at.
I placed my domino down with the matching number, completing my move. In no way should that be considered me backing down from him, only me not wanting to be rude in holding up the game.
There was more pounding at the door, but this time I yelled out, “the man said we’re in the middle of a game!” cutting off Pappa Rob before he could roar out again like a lion defending his territory. I could tell from the look on his face that he was greatly annoyed by this, which I have to say was the desired effect I was hoping for. There’s more than one way to get under a cat’s skin, and yes, I know that’s not the way the saying is supposed to go, but I think it still applies.
As we continued around the table, each player made their move, each one more skilled than the last. I know this because each of the players announced it as such when they put their domino down, yelling out something like “bam,” “boom,” or the every so popular, “how do you like them apples?” A saying I’ve never really been a big fan of, even with my fondness of the fruit.
With such vibrato being thrown around, I think it caught everyone off guard when Cousin Tommy won the hand. What was even more off-putting was when he won the next two. After the forth hand went to him, everyone was beginning to think that they had been played. Whether it was that or a lucky streak, everyone at the table adjusted their posture to let Cousin Tommy know it was on now.
An uncomfortable silence settled around the room, and I don’t say that to be poetic. Have you ever heard that if sharks stop swimming, they’ll die? Well, Texans are the verbal equivalent of that. If they stop talking, it’s a sure sign that death is shortly on its way. And by the feel of the Domino Hall at that moment, death was certainly knocking at the door. Actually, the knocking was just those darn undead Japanese snow monkeys.
“We’re in the middle of a game for the love of all that’s holy!” I yelled out, breaking the silence and tension of the room.
Papa Rob shot me a look that was half annoyed, half impressed. “Yeah, what the lady said!”
And with that, normality had returned to the Domino Hall. Well, that is until Cousin Tommy won the next hand.
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They came in peace, unfortunately the good folks of Little Lump, Texas didn't get the memo. They’re really embarrassed, especially Gertie who managed to shoot down several of the alien’s space ships with her holy land-to-air rocket launcher. Little did she realize in doing so that she would be unknowingly creating a far bigger danger for Little Lump that could spell doom for them all. To her and everyone else’s disbelief, undead Japanese snow monkeys are slowly approaching the town and now Gertie and Cousin Tommy must fight their way to safety through the undead simian horde who seem to have a real bone to pick with Gertie. With ammunition running low and few places to hide. Gertie will have to use all of her wits to survive the night. This is the second book in the hilarious Tales From Little Lump series.