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ZOMBIERELLA & Other Fairy Tales with Braaains.

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The Fairy Tale of Zombierella

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a man named Archibald who took for his second wife a real asshole. None of his neighbors liked her, for she put plastic flamingoes in the yard and gave away toothpaste on Halloween. This new wife, Helga, possessed two daughters even more abhorrent than she. Peyton left her laundry all over the house, obsessed over Taylor Swift, and hogged the computer. Shanlee bullied the kids who worked at Nugget Explosion.

Archibald married the evil Helga despite the fact that his daughter, Zombierella, hated the woman and her demon spawn. The feeling was mutual. Helga, Peyton, and Shanlee burned with jealousy over Zombierella, for the rotting girl was gentle of spirit, smart, devoted, talented at flower arrangements, and mostly intact. Except for that hole where her spleen used to reside.

Since the Zombie apocalypse had swept the kingdom a couple of years ago, undead was the thing to be. Everybody did it-the king, the queen, the bachelor prince, Taylor Swift.

Each morning, the loathsome threesome visited Zombierella in the barn, where they imprisoned her for the night. Peyton would say, "Zombierella, bite me! The formerly handsome Zombie prince can't marry a Human."

Shanlee would plead, "Chew on me! I despise being middle class and pandered to by disingenuous politicians. I need to be part of the upper echelons; I want to do the pandering!"

Helga would flick cigarette ashes on Zombierella and say, "I demand you turn my daughters. They deserve to be Zombies more than you do, you sorry sack of gray flesh!"

This daily ritual made Zombierella despondent for three reasons. First, it annoyed her. Couldn't they think of anything new to say? Why didn't they ever want to discuss the weather, or last night's Dancing with the Zombies? Second, her name wasn't "Zombierella." They gave her that demeaning nickname when the health inspector first bit her at Nugget Explosion. "Titsarella" was her name-an ancestral moniker she'd lived up to. Third, no matter what the nasty threesome did, Zombierella's father wouldn't defend her. This betrayal caused her eye sockets to leak, and she didn't have much moisture left.

Zombierella's only friends were the charming woodland creatures who frolicked around her lonely barn. They were her only food, too, since she refused to gnaw on her stepfamily. Denying the vile women became her sole pastime.

Sometimes Zombierella lunged at Peyton as if to chomp, but at the last minute, eviscerated a barn cat instead. Once, she struck a bargain with Shanlee to poison Helga in exchange for Zombiehood. Helga puked for a week, yet Shanlee remained a pretty, pink Human.

Despite these amusing diversions, Zombierella's desolation swarmed upon her like flies on an open wound. All girls, perky or putrid, dream of meeting someone to love. She desperately wanted to run away, for the evil harpies forced her to work harder than the lowest slave who ever lived. Or died, as the case may be. O, the degradation! To be on the winning side of a murderous apocalypse, yet still rattle about in chains and rags like a common Human. It was not to be borne!

One day, while Zombierella was arranging corpse flowers decoratively beside the barbeque pit, an emissary from the king arrived at the front door. Alas, Zombierella could not see the goings-on; her grill-tether was shorter than Shanlee's temper. Zombierella strained and pulled, even attempting to rip off her hand to be free, but the royal vehicle clattered away too swiftly.

Peyton sprinted into the back yard and shrieked like her idol. "Zombierella, guess what? The king plans to throw a ball to find a bride for his son!"

Shanlee followed, flicking her shiny hair about. "Turn me into a Zombie, you mangy mutant! If I don't become royalty, those losers at the mall food court will think they've won. Do it now, or else I'll chop off your arm and use it as my personal ass scratcher."

Peyton pouted. "No, bite me first. As the eldest, I will be the Zombie princess."

"No, me!" Shanlee screeched.

Zombierella rolled her eyes so hard one of them popped out and hung by a nerve.

Helga sashayed from the back porch, where she'd been observing her daughters' useless threats. "Zombierella," she said, her voice purring with cunning. "Do you want to go to the ball?"

With a gasp, Zombierella swatted her loose eye away and swiveled her remaining peeper to peer at her stepmother.

"Yes, Zombierella, I'll allow you to attend the party... but only if you change both my daughters. Think of it! You'll get to dance and wear a beautiful ball gown. You've worn those clothes since you died, haven't you?"

The Zombie girl glanced at the dirty, remaining scraps of the Nugget Explosion uniform she'd sported the day she became Zombiefied. She slumped against the barbeque. What a dream! To dance with a Zombie prince, and in a satin gown-no chains clanking from her neck! (Unless he was into that sort of thing.)

But Zombierella would never, ever bite either of those nasty girls. Too many times had Peyton stolen one of her toes in the night, just for spite. And Shanlee, well, Shanlee was a shithead, and fuck her. Defiantly, Zombierella shook her head "no."

"You fool!" Helga hissed hellishly. "I will fillet you like a salmon and eat your remains on a bagel. With cream cheese!"

Zombierella cowered, for she knew how good Zombie flesh tasted when paired with soft cheeses and a pinch of smoked salt.

Helga lunged at her step-daughter, only to be yanked back by the girl's father.

"Are my sweet ladies having a bit of a tiff?" Archibald popped a tablet of Oblivioustoitall™. (Oblivioustoitall™-the drug of choice for fairy-tale fathers!)

Helga composed herself, for she generally pretended not to be a meanie in front of him. "Nonsense. We never fight! I merely informed my three cherished daughters about the king's ball. Zombierella has finally agreed to turn Peyton and Shanlee, so that a daughter of mine... er, ours... might become the Zombie princess."

Upon swallowing another pill, Archibald declared the plan to be peachy keen, and he wandered off. The stepsisters hauled Zombierella into the house and down to the basement. They waved their yummy, smooth skin in her face, begging to be bitten. Nevertheless, pride is a juicier meal than Human flesh, no matter how succulent. The brave Zombie girl could not be swayed-not with bribes, not with threats, not even when they bolted her in without even the smallest bit of rat to eat. O, cruel fate!

Zombierella knew she was screwed and cried fat, brown-blood tears that splashed onto the earthen floor. She would miss the ball-and probably starve to death without tasting the family's new dog, Seventeen. This was no way for a Zombie to die again! Hath not a Zombie eyes? (Or, at least, eye?) Hath not a Zombie hands, organs, intestines, cartilage, muscles... mmmmmm.

A piteous howl of hunger tore from her mouth as she drooped to the dirt floor theatrically, like the versatile Zombie actress, Marrow Streep. For days she lay there, absentmindedly snacking on her forearm, until the morning of the party dawned. One last time did her stepsisters beg to be Zombiefied. Although weak with malnourishment, Zombierella refused. They kicked Zombierella in her spleen-hole and went upstairs to dress for the festivities. The poor Zombie heard Peyton scream for more hairspray, and Shanlee for more bra padding. Finally, after every tissue in the place had been sacrificed, every air molecule sullied with sprays and fixatives, night fell, and Zombierella's family left for the ball.

Suddenly, in the basement black, a light flared. It glowed and glowed, until it was really glowy. From within that glow, a voice called, "Zombierella! I am here to help you!"

A dazzling Zombie woman stepped from the light. About her flowed a long, white dress-one nearly free of blood splatter! Zombierella had never witnessed such glamour. The lady reached out a pasty arm. "Zombierella, I am your Fairy Zombmother. I've heard your cries of despair."

It would've been nice for Fairy Zombmother to have come 'round all the other thousands of times Zombierella sobbed for justice, but whatever...