Wednesday, October 14, 2009

When Zombie-Squirrels Attack!

I've been blogging for a year. It's a strange realization but a good one. I tend to look at some blogs like a vanity project, a way for people to make the minutae of their life seem important. In truth, I suppose that's what this blog is in its own way. Yet, looking at it from another point of view, this blog is fun for me. I love the idea of having a writing assignment every weekday unless I'm indisposed. I love having a forum for which to let my imagination and mind ramble.

Most of all, I love having a place to ramble about my life and my writing and have people read it. For that, I thank all of my readers. It's fun to have you around.

Yesterday, I asked for suggestions from readers as to blog topics. A good friend of mine gave me a suggestion based on my zombie blog from yesterday. Why not write a story about zombie squirrels?

Naturally, I immediately thought this was a good idea. Being the Monkeypants I am, I knew I couldn't spend any time thinking about the story. I had to just write it. I do my best writing on the fly, flinging it down on paper and letting the words form their own story. Thus, in honour of Ms. P, my friend from Texas, I decided that for my first year anniversary, I'd do something different. I'm always talking about writing fiction but have never done it here. Not unless you count my rants as fiction.

Which I don't. Naturally. In my mind, I am completely right and justified in my opinon.

Thus, I present to you a cautionary tale, a tale of many squirrels who found a way to take over the world, just as I always imagined they would. Please note, this is a work of fiction. I take no responsibility for the behaviour of actual squirrels. The characters in the story are completely fictional. Or, you know, I sort of based them on someone I knew and changed their name hoping that they don't recognize themselves. It's a bit longer than usual so I apologize for that but I hope it's a fun read.

Without further ado, I present to you...

Staged Attack: Squirrel Zombies from Hell!

It began on an Autumn day. There had been signs of it, of course, but no one had noticed except Fiona but that was only because squirrels had always irritated her. She thought of them as rats with giant tales. Most of the people thought they were cute but Fiona knew better. Ever since the squirrel had tried to steal her lunch one day as she ate in the park as a young girl, she knew they were sneaky little creatures. One moment she had been eating her sandwich and the next, a furry bodied creature had hurled itself at her little lunchbox, rooting around until he found something it wanted. It had taken her pretzels. She’d had grapes in there too but the squirrel who’d robbed her clearly wasn’t concerned with his health.

On this particular October, day, it was sunny. The suburban street upon which Fiona lived was starting to look more like a forest with the ground obscured with fallen leaves in all shades of reds, browns, yellows and greens. She had left for work a little later today since her boss was going to be out of the office. As she backed out of her garage, she heard a very small thud, muffled by rubber. She felt a bump as she rolled backwards; clearly something had been in the way of her tire. Curious, she backed up a little further and stopped the car. Apprehensively, she got out only to discover that somehow, she’d hit a squirrel. It must have scampered by just as her car was rolling over the same spot.

Somehow, it had escaped a state of being wholly squished. It still looked relatively whole, just a little flatter. A pool of thick-looking blood lay under its head and its teeth were bared almost in a frozen grimace. Fiona sighed and contemplated shoveling it up. Since she was already running late, she decided she’d have to wait until later. Instead, she gently kicked it off her driveway onto the grass so that she didn’t make more of a mess of the corpse. She’d put it away tonight. That was the last she thought about it until the evening.

She made good time that night, pulling into her driveway and remembering the dead squirrel as she did so. She parked the car, went into her house and decided to dispose of the corpse now before she could get too comfortable and put it off again.

She pulled out her shovel and grabbed a grocery bag and then she headed to the spot where she’d kicked the squirrel.

It was gone.
She looked around, confused. “Lost something?” she heard someone call. It was her neighbor, Matt. He was an odd little man, twitchy and small. She called him The Dog Whisperer in her mind because Matt and his wife had three dogs that would constantly yap and bark whenever she went outside. She’d been living there for a while now and kept waiting, as promised, for the dogs to get used to her. Matt’s solution was to scurry out of the house and grab one of the yappers, hold it up to the fence and try to get Fiona to pet it. Fiona was fed up of petting the dog because it did no good. Matt wasn’t exactly chatty so it resulted in Awkward Neighbour Moments.

“Yeah,” she said. “I hit a squirrel this morning and was going to clear it up but it’s gone.”

Matt was silent while he regarded her. He did that a lot. He stared a lot but said little. “Well,” he said, “Maybe a dog ate it.”

“Ew!” she said without thinking.

“My dogs eat squirrels all the time!” he said, a note of resentment in his tone. “It’s not that disgusting. My wife and I have tried making squirrel stew too.”

Fiona felt her stomach churn a little. It didn’t surprise her but it wasn’t something about which she wanted to hear more. “That’s nice,” she said, politely. “If the squirrel wasn’t gone, I’d have given it to you.”

He looked regretful. “Yeah, that is too bad.”

She looked around one more time, feeling Matt still watching her. “There are a lot of squirrels around at the moment,” he said. “Maybe you’ll hit another one.”

“Uh-huh,” she said.

Just then, Matt’s wife, Gloria, pulled up, always home later than her husband. She got out the car and cast a suspicious look at Fiona. She often did that, particularly when Matt talked to Fiona. “What’s up?” she asked them.

“Fiona lost a dead squirrel,” said Matt. Gloria looked surprised.

“Huh,” she said. “You know, I hit one this morning.”

“A squirrel?” said Fiona. “Really? That’s what happened to me.”

“Honey, did you clear it up?” said Gloria to Matt.

Matt shrugged. “Nope, didn’t see it.”

“That’s weird,” said Gloria. “It was pretty squashed.”

“Weird,” Fiona agreed, not knowing what to say. “Maybe a dog ate yours too?”

“One of the dogs ate a squirrel?” Gloria glared at Matt although it was his fault.

“Not one of ours,” shrugged Matt.

“Matt said you made squirrel stew once,” said Fiona. The words came out before she could stop them.

Gloria glare turned murderous. She slapped Matt on the side of the head. “Don’t tell people that!” she said.

Fiona backed away. “Alright then, well you both have a good night.”

“You too,” snitted Gloria. Fiona went inside, feeling sorry for Matt who cowed now in the wake of Gloria’s wrath.

She didn’t think anymore about the squirrel until she was making dinner. Usually, there were squirrels in her yard, chasing one another. Instead, she saw something that made her stomach flutter, just a little bit. Outside her kitchen window, on the sill, were six hickory nuts, perfectly aligned, equal distance apart.

Nervously, she went outside to look at the nuts. She often found them in various places, hidden around her yard. She knew it was the squirrels who left them, storing them for the winter. These ones weren’t placed in secret places like behind her propane tank on the grill or under a flower pot. These were in the open. It was uncanny how straight the line was.

Suddenly Fiona felt as though she were being watched. She turned and began to imagine the worst so she hurried inside, checking the back door was locked three times before she was satisfied.

Through the course of making dinner, she’d convinced herself that there was a crazy serial killer hiding in her shed and the hickory nuts were a sign that she was marked to be his next kill. She knew she wasn’t going to sleep well that night because her imagination would get the best of her.
Of course, she didn’t sleep that night at all but she wasn’t to know that then.


She was watching her favourite television show when she heard an ear-piercing shriek from outside her front door. Her first thought, though she knew it was a horrible one was, “good! Maybe the Hickory Nut Killer killed someone else instead of me.”
Then she immediately realized how mean that was. She had her curtains pulled and rather than open them to see what was going on, she opened the front door.

Immediately, she knew something was deeply wrong. Outside, on the street in front of her house, it was chaos. She wasn’t the only one peering out to see what was going on. She watched her neighbor from across the street bravely wander down his driveway to find the source of the scream. Immediately, a hundred oddly shaped objects flung themselves at him and he drowned in a sea of furry bodies. Fiona watched in horror as she realized they were squirrels. They moved…oddly, lurching as they scurried. In the darkness of the night, the darkness of the streetlights was not enough to provide much illumination.

Fiona kept the screen door pulled tight against the door frame, her nose pressed against the glass as she clung to the handle. Suddenly, something darted in front of her, seemingly swinging from the beams of her porch. She fought back the urge to squeal. Still holding the screen door handle, she reached over and turned on her porch light. Immediately, she had a gurgled chattering sound, almost like a hiss. The sound was familiar but also…distorted.

She tentatively tried to peer out of the screen door to see what was making the noise but then, without warning, the something that was making the noise swung down, the noise growing louder. Fiona couldn’t help it, she screamed. Dangling in front of her from the beam of her porch was the ugliest squirrel she had ever seen.
It hissed, it chattered, it screamed at her. With horror, she realized that the moving objects that were still on top of her neighbour were also squirrels. There were red ones, there were brown ones…grey ones. So many squirrels that they looked like one object, moving up and down like a quilt billowing in the wind.

The squirrel in front of moved closer and then she saw what was wrong with it. Its eyes were white, not the usual black pits she usually saw. He looked squashed as though he’d been…. She stopped herself for a moment, gulping, now afraid.

He looked as though he’d been run over by a car. Her car.

“Shit!” she said. “I’m under siege by a zombie squirrel.”

She wasn’t the only one. In front of her, neighbours were coming out of their houses. Some were ducking and soon she knew why as a large, hard, green ball was thrown at her window. It was a hickory nut!

“You put those on my windowsill?” she asked the zombie squirrel. He responded by hissing more at her. As far as she could see, he was alone.

She heard the thud of nuts hitting her windows. She wasn’t the only one. Other people were emerging and, each time, a posse of lurching squirrels moved towards them. Unable to watch, Fiona slammed her front door closed, hoping the sound would be enough to scare the zombie-squirrel away.

She leaned against the door, not wanting to move. Her window was still being pelted by hickory nuts.

Then, she head a crashing , splintering sound outside. Falling to her knees, she crawled along the ground and raised herself up just long enough to open the curtains. She fell back to her knees with a scream as a hickory nut landed exactly where her head would have been had the glass between the nut and Fiona not existed. Fiona looked out of the window. She couldn’t believe it. A car had been tossed onto its roof. She watched in fascinated horror as an army of zombie-squirrels turned over another one. Their tiny bodies lacked the size to do it alone but as a group, they were numerous enough that the car toppled over as if it weighed nothing.
Her phone rang and she squealed again. For a moment, she had a horrible vision of a pack of the demented squirrels dialing her number. Then she snapped herself out of it. Strange things were happening outside but she didn’t think the zombie-squirrels were able to dial the phone.

She grabbed the phone. It was Matt from next door. He and Gloria had her number because she’d kept an eye on the house a few times while they went on vacation.
“Hello,” she said, her voice shaky.

“Fiona, it’s Gloria. Are you seeing this?”

“Yes! What the hell is going on?!”

“I talked to Connie who lives on the other side of me and she talked to Thelma from down the road. Apparently, it’s happening all the way down the street.”

“Did you see what they did to Glen?”

“Yes! Did you see what they left of Glen?”

With horror, Fiona peeked out of the window. Where Glen had once stood lay an inanimate object, his head half chewed off. “Did they eat his brain?” she found herself asking Gloria.

“YES! That’s what I thought too!”

“Are you ok?”

"For now. But there’s one on my porch. It’s all squashed and bloody.”

“Does it look like the one you hit with your car?” Fiona asked.

There was a pause. “Oh my God!” said Gloria. “Yes, it does! Do you think it’s the same one?”

“Yes. Call Connie. See if she hit a squirrel. Then call me back, ok?”

“Ok!” Gloria hung up quickly.

While she waited for her phone to ring, Fiona crawled towards the kitchen. She flicked on the light without standing up. Immediately, there was the sound of crashing thuds. More hickory nuts, she thought. Damn.

She bravely crawled into the kitchen and hesitantly flicked on the back porch light. It was far brighter than the front one. Immediately, she screamed with terror.

Outside, on her lawn, just staring at her, lurching slightly as they stood in ranks were thousands upon thousands of zombie-squirrels. Some were bloody. Some had brains leaking out of their eyes, some had limbs that were crushed. They all looked…dead.

Her phone rang and she turned off the light. Maybe not being able to see them wouldn’t be so bad.

“Gloria?” she said.

Gloria’s voice was trembling. “Connie hit one yesterday. She called Bert from down the street. He hit one the day before. Both times, they went missing.”
“I think I found them.”

“What do you mean?"

“Be careful but look out the back of your house.”

“Matt,” Fiona heard Gloria say. “Go look out the back.”

There was a pause. “Holy Fuck!” Matt’s voice, usually quiet and timid, was raised in a bellow of horror.

“Guess they’re in your yard too,” said Fiona. “Is it just here?”

“Let’s turn on the news!”

“Good idea!” Fiona turned to a local channel. In the background of her phone, she heard a simultaneous tone and knew Gloria had selected the same station. Her heart sank. The newscaster looked shell-shocked and was in the middle of speaking:

“ seems that the entire U.S. is under attack except Hawaii and Alaska due to the lack of squirrel populations in these regions. What we’ve pieced together is that these “Undead Squirrels” staged a plot in which many of their numbers were ‘killed’ or ‘murdered’ over the past few weeks. They did it in shifts so as not to raise suspicion. The remaining squirrels have found a way to resurrect their dead who return to life, infected with Squirrel Flu. In these rodents, this manifests as a state of being dead without….actually being dead. It also results in the strange need for squirrels to eat human brains. The Flu is deadly to humans and spread by a squirrel bite. In addition, it seems to give squirrels ridiculous strength and deadly cunning though we believe now that this may have been existent before the spread of Squirrel flu as evidenced by this planned attack. Experts suggest avoiding being bitten by squirrels.”

“Oh, SO not helpful!” said Gloria from the other end of the phone.

“Agreed. What I want to know is WHY they want to eat brains?”

“What kind of question is that?”

Well, I’ve always been curious about zombies. Why do they eat brains? I mean do they taste good? Is there a nutrient in them that they need to stay zombified? Why?”

There was another pause. “Fiona?” said Gloria. “Now’s probably not the time to ask that.”

“You’re right,” sighed Fiona. “Besides, squirrels can’t talk. We finally get attacked by zombies and they turn out to be squirrels. Not that I’m surprised.”

“I am,” said Gloria in a small voice. “I fed them and everything. I bought them peanuts!”


“I think they’re cute.”

Fiona groaned. “They’re evil. This proves it!”

“You always did say that,” said Gloria. Her voice was still tiny. “So, what do we do?”

“I don’t know,” said Fiona. “What’s going on out the front? Maybe we can make a run for it.”

Fiona sided up to the front window and looked out. The street looked like an apocalypse had hit it. On the overturned cars sat more of the zombie squirrels. There were little fires surrounding the cars.

“Think you could get in your car?” she asked Gloria.

Gloria’s swallow of fear was loud even over the phone. “No,” she said. “No garage. They’d get us before we went out.”

“I could try to get mine out. I think I can weave between debris. I can sneak out through the garage, get in the car and drive. If I unlock the doors, you and Matt can try to dive into the backseat.”

There was a pause. “Honey,” Gloria said to Matt. “Fiona thinks she can get her car out and maybe we can run for it.”

There was a crash. “They broke the window!” screamed Gloria.

Fiona knew it was now or never. “I’m coming!” she yelled.”Be ready to run!”
“Ok, hurry!” yelled Gloria. “They’re coming!”

Fiona didn’t hesitate. She grabbed her keys and ran to the garage, making sure to turn on the light to make sure there weren’t any zombie-squirrels there. There weren’t, thankfully. She sidled too her car and, with trepidation, reached back and unlocked the back doors. Nervously, she hit the button to open the garage door and then, not waiting until it all the way up, slammed the car into reverse and hit the gas. Skidding out, she felt bodies crush beneath her tires and her heart triumphed at each bump.

She saw moment from Matt and Gloria’s house and suddenly, the couple ran out of the front door, Matt swinging his baseball bat and trying to fend off the growing battalion of zombie-squirrels.

Gloria, protected by Matt’s swings, darted towards Fiona’s car. She threw open the door and dived in. Matt, however, was not so lucky. None of them had noticed but an ocean of squirrels had been building behind him and in one swift, coordinated lurch, they dived on him.

“MATT!” screamed Gloria. “NO!”

It was too late. Matt’s brain was already visible through a chewed skull. “Close the door!” screamed Fiona. Yet the hesitation was just long enough. Suddenly, the car was covered with furry bodies, flinging themselves wildly at Fiona’s car. Gloria heaved the door closed but Fiona could no longer see where she was going.
“I got bit.” Gloria’s voice was hoarse from the back seat. “One of them got me.”
Fiona turned. She couldn’t drive anywhere, anyway.

“I think we’re too late.”

"Where are we going to go anyway? They’re everywhere.”

“Maybe we can wait it out until morning?” asked Gloria. “Maybe they were wrong about the Squirrel flu.”

“Maybe they’re already working on a vaccine.” Fiona tried to sound hopeful.

“My husband just got eaten by squirrels.” Gloria choked on the last word.

“Zombie-squirrels,” added Fiona, under her breath.

“What are we going to do?” Gloria whined.

Fiona tried to focus but it was hard when every moment meant yet another cloud of zombie-squirrels was flinging itself at the car. She tried to drive but she was blinded, her windshield a cloud of reanimated corpses.

There was a crash. “We hit one of the cars,” she said.

From the backseat, Gloria didn’t respond in human talk. Instead, the air was filled with a demonic chattering.

“Crap,” said Fiona. She looked back. Gloria was writhing in the seat, her face twisted in pain, her hands poised as though she were holding a giant hickory nut.

For a moment, Fiona contemplated running for it but there was nowhere to go. She knew that now. Yet she couldn’t die here, not imprisoned by zombie-squirrels with a human-squirrel on the backseat. Instead, she opened her door. Immediately, the sound of the swaying, undead squirrels filled her ears. She kicked out at them blindly, her feet striking cold but animated bodies. “Bastards,” she said.

She closed her eyes and tried to run. The darkness and the squirrels were ready, their devouring teeth…waiting. In her mind, she made it to her house, to the safety of her living room.

In reality, she didn’t even make it to the porch.

And, though to a human ear, it sounded like a wild chatter, the sound of the zombie-squirrels wasn’t incomprehensible. If a human had stopped to listen…really listen…they would have been able to make out the sound.

It was laughter.

Copyright 2009, Captain Monkeypants.


Kat said...

Creeeeeepy! And very entertaining!

ptarone said...


Fe said...

whoa... I'll never look at a squirrel the same again. Can't wait to see the movie adaptation. :-)
Happy Blogoversary!