Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Notice a little less zombies around Salem of late? This morning on his way to work, Peter Horne (CinemaSalem’s Assistant Manager and Technical Director of the Salem Film Fest) defeated a roving pack of zombies. He was crossing Lafayette street near downtown Salem when six zombies shambled out of the park toward him.

Said Horne, “My first instinct was to run, but then I thought, ‘No. This is MY town. If I run, the zombies will just be here tomorrow on my way to work. And the next day. And who knows who else they might eat or infect.'” He noticed a large stick that had fallen from one of the trees in the park and ran for it. Weapon in hand, he ran in a figure 8 to confuse the mindless husks as they bore down on him. Two of them got tangled up with one another and went down, which left four on Peter’s tail. He slowed for a moment to allow the lead zombie to catch up with him. Just as he felt the zombie’s hand on his shoulder and heard the familiar “Braaaaaainnnssss” hiss out of its mouth, he spun and jammed the stick through it’s eye as hard as he could. He yanked back with all his strength, and the stick came loose, covered in rotten gore. The zombie fell at his feet, and the two right behind it tripped over the convulsing body.

A fourth lurched toward him and raked his face with its hands. Peter jumped backward and spun to find a park bench behind him. He leaped over the back of it, landing on bench’s seat. The zombie leaned toward him and Peter kicked it in the face. It came again. Peter sidestepped the zombie and pinned its neck between his foot and the back of the bench. He raised his foot and came down with all his might. With a sharp crack, the zombie’s head was rent from its body. Four zombies remained, having disentangled themselves from one another.

Two came up on him from the left. He launched himself into the air and drove his stick through both of the zombies’ faces at once. By this time a small crowd had begun to gather, but the two remaining zombies remained fixated on Peter, even though there were plenty of other victims around. One came at him, and Peter jabbed at its face. The stick tore flesh, but did not penetrate the skull. He swung wildly to fend off the other zombie, who pressed him from the left. The zombie, seemingly unfazed by the strikes, kept coming, grabbing Peter around the neck. Peter dropped to his knees to pull the zombie off balance, and as his attacker fell forward, its grip loosened just enough for him to twist away. He kicked wildly upward and rolled away. The zombie stumbled and Peter swung his stick hard, smashing its face. He bashed the creature over and over until it lay still. Just as he claimed victory over his fifth attacker, the final zombie grabbed Peter from behind. Peter let out a startled yelp and beat at the creature’s arms and hands with his fist. It wouldn’t let go. He felt the monster’s mouth at his neck. Horne recalls, “I knew I didn’t want to be an undead, mindless thing, and if I was going to die, I didn’t want it to be at the hands of the undead.”

Peter took of for the street, zombie in tow, clinging to his torso shouting, “Braaaaaiiinnssssss, Braiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiins!” He charged into Lafayette street in the path of a car, placing the zombie between himself and the speeding vehicle. The zombie was vanquished with a loud, squishy crunch.

Bloody and bruised, Peter rose, victorious, and very much alive. The police arrived on the scene and Peter was scraping thick, brown gore from his shoulders and the backs of his legs. When asked what possessed him to engage the zombie horde, he simply said, “Someone had to. Besides, I’ve seen enough zombie movies to be a qualified zombie hunter.” He was rushed to Salem Hospital where the doctors pronounced him free of the zombie contagion. He is currently on the mend, and well wishes can be send to peter@cinemasalem.com
The End.
Here’s what really happened. Peter was walking to work. A driver wasn’t paying attention to the road and hit him while he was crossing the street. So, seriously. If you’re behind the wheel of a car, watch where you’re going. Zombies are a reasonable foe. Cars are not.