A club that accepts only the best.
Zombie Destruction Derby Bowling Club
Zombie’s Bowl was known far and wide for its interior lit with neon zombies, pins painted with zombies, and staff made-up to look like zombies. A club, Zombie Destruction Derby, was captained by the owner of the alley, Larry “Bones” Lajinsky, a pimpled geek five years out of college. At the time, three members comprised the club, but one aspirant was facing the final test. Ruslan, at six feet six, all arms and legs, had just achieved a perfect game and demolished three splits. Now, he was walking to lane 13. Lane 13 was more than twice as wide as a regulation lane. It lacked an automated pin arranger, making it look like the entrance of a cave. The pins, twenty of them, had been placed by the other two members: kung fu black belt Kindy “K-toh” Loh and former Olympic hammer thrower Len “Smasher” Carolan.
Bones offered the black ball. Ruslan did the traditional bow.
Three knobby fingers dug into the ball and lifted it chest high. Three steps to gain momentum. The ball swung down and then up, for a second it hung motionless, then it plunged in an arc toward the floor. The fingers relaxed. A smooth thud shook the planks as the ball was guided and gyrated towards the pins. Near the end, the ball sharply curved into the center of the triangle. Boom! The formation scattered, crashing into each other and bouncing off the walls, a perfect strike.
A whoop filled the air as a fist provided the exclamation mark. High fives and back slaps accompanied the congratulations as Bones held the team jacket open for Ruslan. Purple with Zombie Destruction Derby in silver and a ball smashing into zombies, it was the dream of every crazy bowler in town to wear one.
Ruslan aaahed in content as his long hairy arms slid through the sleeves. A huge grin lit his bespectacled face. He was in.
Bones rested an arm on Ruslan’s shoulder. “We’ll be having your initiation on Monday at midnight, right here. The place will close at 11 so come in through the service door. Don’t be late.”
“I won’t. Not for all the tea in China.”
Smasher scratched the top of his head. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
K-toh took him aside. “It means he really likes tea.”
“I knew that. But, why China?”
As she explained the history of tea. Bones advised Ruslan to be prepared to bowl on initiation night.
Monday at 11:50, Ruslan, wearing his team jacket, entered Zombie’s toting his bowling ball and shoes. The place was empty save for Bones, Smasher, and K-toh.
K-toh noticed him first. “Hey, guys, Ruslan’s here.”
Bones turned. “Perfect timing, dude.”
Smasher put down a sledge hammer. “Put on your candles, cause I can’t wait to bowl them away.”
Ruslan paused, a puzzled frown creasing his forehead. K-toh shrugged and said, “We usually don’t understand him either.”
Laughing, Ruslan found a seat and tied on his shoes. “Which lane are we going to use.”
Bones spoke, “Lane 13 of course. I’ll bowl first to show you how it’s done. The wax has been removed so it’s a little tricky. Oh, before we start all of us will choose a number from 1 to 6. It’s ten dollars a game. Winner takes all.”
Swinging a sledge hammer in tune with a mental clock, Len plodded down lane 13 along the left gutter. K-toh strode along the right gutter shaking a can of spray paint, a pair of nun-chaks swaying in a back pocket of her jeans. No pins were arranged to block the view into the blackness at the end of the lane.
Ruslan dug his wallet out of his pocket and extracted a ten. “What are we betting on?”
“On the Derby, of course. 2, 4, and 5 are left.”
“All right, K-toh, anytime you’re ready.”
She stepped just inside the mouth of lane 13, and pulled a lever half way down. With a crash of thunder the wall within the darkness of lane 13 cracked open. With creaks and groans of heavy metal chains on massive gears it widened. Wails and shrieks followed, shaking Ruslan's courage. Peering deep into lane 13, he saw six gates, the type used in horse races. They were numbered from 1 to 6, but what riveted his attention were the swaying heads of the zombies within each gate.
K-toh stepped into the lane, and pausing before each gate, sprayed a red number on each zombie.
Screams of zombie rage reverberated along the wooden planks of the lane and snaked up Ruslan’s legs.
K-toh trotted back to the lever and pulled it all the way down. The gates slammed open. Zombies 1, 4, and 6 hobbled out, 2 and 5 were each dragging a leg, only 3, newly dead, came out at a brisk pace. They held their arms straight out, straining to get to Bones standing so enticingly in front of them.
Calmly he waited for them to bunch together, but 3 was pulling too far ahead. He went into his delivery and let loose. Ignoring the ball rushing in, 3 kept coming. In a second the ball crashed into her legs, sending her cart wheeling. Her half bald blonde head smashed onto the planks. The ball continued, knocking over 4 and 5 before veering off into a gutter. 1 and 6 were shoulder to shoulder with 2 two lengths directly behind. They hobbled and lurched past crawling 3.
Bones picked up his second ball and rolled it perfectly, hitting 1 and 6 with such devastating force, their legs were sheared off at the shins. The ball bounced then caromed into 2, sending him down. 3 was still crawling, her swollen gray tongue lolling out of her pulpy mouth.
Smasher stepped into the lane heaving his sledge hammer into the skulls of stopped 4, 5, 2, 1, and 6 while K-toh backed him up just in case. 3 was nearing 6, the leader. Smasher waited. K-toh brushed past and delivered the knock out blow.
Smasher yelled, “Hey, that was mine.”
K-toh snuggled up to Bones. “I wanted Bones to win.” Bones leaned over and they embraced, tongue kissing.
“You guys make me sick.”
Bones took his lips off of K-toh’s. “Ruslan, it’s your turn next... I, of course, mean the race.”
Laughing, Ruslan went to polish his ball.