The inhabitants of Rainbow Sparkly Happy Fairy Valley woke up one morning to find a most unusual visitor had arrived during the night.
“Brrraaaains…” their new friend said.
Twiggly the unicorn whispered to Jub-Jub the fairy, “I don’t ever like to say anything negative about anyone, but I think our new friend needs a bath. He kinda smells.”
Jub-Jub nodded and flew up out of the reach of their new friend as he lurched forward to give her a hug. Hugs were a good thing. Hugs were encouraged in Rainbow Sparkly Happy Fairy Valley, but seeing that his clothes were covered with the remnants of whoever his last meal was, as well as bits of his own rotting flesh, she didn’t want to get “new friend” on her pretty leafy outfit.
A rotund cat in an old-fashioned suit came forward. “As mayor of Rainbow Sparkly Happy Fairy Valley I want to welcome you. I’m Rumpletum the Mayor. May I ask what your name is?”
“Brrraaaaains…” replied their new friend, while still trying unsuccessfully to give a great big hug to any of the inhabitants of Rainbow Sparkly Happy Fairy Valley that would stand still.
Mishmash the Patchwork Boy spoke up from the back, “Hey, everybody, I know! Let’s play hide and seek with our new friend!” The rest of the community found this to be an excellent idea, and before you could say licorice bubble-bub bush, their new friend Brains was the only one left standing in the town square.
When they met later in the hollowed out tree that was home to Chipperskip the squirrel, the normally upbeat and smiling inhabitants of Rainbow Sparkly Happy Fairy Valley looked tired.
Harmony the frog was the first to say what they all were thinking. “I don’t think I like our new friend Brains.”
A collective intake of breath came from the rest of the crowd, but no one contradicted him. Emboldened, he continued. “In fact, I’m frightened of his hugs. You saw what happened when he caught Diggeroo the badger. Now Diggeroo wants to give the not-nice hugs. I’m not afraid to say it, I’m scared.”
“But what can we do?” whined Chipperskip the squirrel.
“We can try a sparkle fairy conversion.” Queen Katherine’s sweet voice calmed her assembled subjects. “I’ve been having Jub-Jub save up her fairy dust for just such an emergency. It worked on Vampire-Man, and look at how popular he is now.”
It was extreme, and the inhabitants of Rainbow Sparkly Happy Fairy Valley usually tried to solve their problems with love and hugs, but in this instance, hugs were the problem. Armed with only bags of fairy dust and determination, they set out to find their new friend.
He wasn’t hard to find as he moaned his name out repeatedly and his voice carried for some distance. Cautiously the citizens surrounded him. Jub-Jub the fairy flew over him and released the first volley of her sparkle fairy dust.
It adhered to the blood and other bodily fluids covering him. Even after only one application, he already looked better. He stopped shambling forward and lowered his arms, a puzzled look on his face.
“It’s working!” she yelled. “Everybody, use your fairy dust.”
Cautiously the inhabitants of Rainbow Sparkly Happy Fairy Valley came forward and flung their loads of sparkle fairy dust all over their new friend Brains. Well, everyone except Humpalump the donkey, but that was okay, as everyone already knew he was a fraidy-cat.
Straightening his back, Brains spoke something other than his name for the first time. “Thank you, my new friends, my real name is Joseph. I’m so sorry for the problems I have been causing, but I’ve been sick and now you’ve made me all better!”
Katie knew Mom would be calling her downstairs anytime soon and began putting away her toys. She placed her brother’s action figure in an old shoe box at the bottom of her toy chest, as the paste that held on the glitter wasn’t quite dry yet.
When Katie arrived in the kitchen, the smell of pancakes made her mouth water. As she got into her chair, she found that Mike the hideous troll was annoying Mom as she finished fixing their breakfast.
Mom looked exasperated. “Mike, if you can’t keep track of your toys you’ll have to do without. We’re not buying you another one. Just yesterday, I had to buy your little sister a new stuffed badger after you used that horrid doll of yours on her old one!”
He crossed his arms and his face screwed up in annoyance, “But mom, what’s the use of having a Zombie-Joe ‘Action Figure’,” he stressed the last two words, “with biting action, if you can’t bite something with it?” Seeing he was getting nowhere with her, he sat down at the table and quickly stuck his tongue out at Katie while their mother couldn’t see.
“Anyway, I said I was sorry,” he said unconvincingly as he tried to kick Katie under the table. She dodged the blow with a well-practiced move.
Mom turned around and glared at him, “Well, you’re just going to have to figure out where you put it — your father and I aren’t made of money, you know.” With a visible effort, she calmed herself and began plating the pancakes.
Katie picked up her glass and took a sip of orange juice to hide the smile on her face.
Brian J. Hunt is the editor of several books on vintage art including “The Outlandish Art of Mahlon Blaine”. He wants to continue to stress that he ISN’T a zombie-centric writer despite the fact that three of his four sales to EDF have involved zombies. He is currently working on a post apocalyptic zombie novel. (D’oh!) You can find links to his published stories at gumballfiction.com. His tribute website for legendary bad sci-fi author Lionel Fanthorpe can be found at PelTorro.com and his website antiqueweird.com has been a web classic since 1996.