Below is an excerpt from the short story I wrote for Zombie St. Pete under the name Chonny Sanchez. It's titled Tiaras and Cold Feet. Some of you have been asking where you can find the book (which sold out at the release)--ZSP is taking pre-orders for the second printing if you write an email to email@example.com. Enjoy!
...Kathy and Max took their seats. The lights went dim and the MC danced out onto the stage, wearing a tuxedo covered completely in silver sequins as he belted out the pageant’s theme song, looking like a musical string of Christmas lights with a dying battery. Behind him was an enormous backdrop bearing the pageant name in silver cursive, with a row of flamingos wearing high heels embroidered across the bottom.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s bring out our first contestant in this year’s Junior Pretty Flamingo competition, Jessica Brown! Jessica describes her perfect day as coloring with crayons!”
Let the games begin, Kathy thought. She watched the first five girls come and go without cause for concern, listening to the MC announce each of them from the stage, the exclamation points punctuating his voice.
“Contestant Number Six. Chrissy Karp. Chrissy describes her perfect day as adopting a homeless puppy!”
Upon hearing her name, Chrissy emerged perfectly poised, like some dwarfed pinup in her doll-sized polka dot bikini. She continued without a beat, stopping to pose and flash a smile that was flawless, thanks to a porcelain flipper that covered her recently lost baby teeth. Kathy’s heart dropped past her knees. Even she had to admit that Chrissy was breathtaking.
So enamored with Chrissy’s swimsuit presentation Kathy almost overlooked her own daughter climbing up the side of the stage. The first thing she noticed was the child’s skin. Was it the spotlights casting that grayish blue shade on it? Then she saw Brandibelle’s mouth was blood red.
When will she learn to stay out of the makeup kit? Kathy fumed to herself.
Max put his head in his hands, mentally throwing in the towel on any hopes of a JPF crown for Brandibelle.
Parents began to shout.
“What is that kid doing on stage?”
“Someone get her down!”
“I think she’s bleeding. Where’s her mother?”
Everything happened so quickly. Kathy got up from her seat. In that same instant Chrissy did a quarter turn to face Brandibelle who, now standing behind her, bit into the soft flesh just below Chrissy’s collarbone. Brandibelle turned her head almost mechanically, ripping an Oreo sized chunk out of the baby smooth skin. The wound sprayed blood like molten lava, hot and red, across Brandibelle’s cheeks as she began to chew the sinewy hunk of meat. Some of the audience members gasped. Nearly all the others turned to each other in disbelief. Kathy sat back down.
“Who approved such a disgusting routine?” a particularly straight-laced mother asked. “It’s totally inappropriate.”
“I believe it’s the work of that Max Starr guy. I’ve heard he’s a real genius.”
The woman to the other side of the two turned at the mention of his name. “Do you think this is what the judges are looking for? Something different?”
Max was in too much shock to correct them.
As Brandibelle worked her way to Chrissy’s abdomen, the MC dropped the mic, suddenly looking very ill. In a few uncoordinated motions, Brandibelle bit into her waist, peeling the skin down from Chrissy’s ribcage to her bellybutton like a half-wrapped birthday gift. A jack-in the-box of intestines and organs popped out onto the wooden stage floor. The MC’s color was changing by the moment, a cobalt blue flush washing up over him. Brandibelle crammed two fistfuls of ropy guts into her mouth, the blood like a fresh coat of lipstick as she eyed the MC, hungrily. The suspension of disbelief had gotten the best of the audience who remained oblivious to the severity of the situation.
Finally, a father, Chrissy Karp’s in fact, spoke out. “Will someone tell me what the fuck is going on here? I didn’t dish out three grand in fees to watch a B horror movie.”...