A zombie invasion threatens an American city. Sister Mary is the only one who can stop it.
"Hey Sister Mary, how ya doin t'night? It's always good to see ya. Say, if you see Mr. Thomas would you tell him his dinner is gettin cold? He's been acting kinda funny lately.", says Mrs. Thomas, a short round woman.
"Yes, Mrs. Thomas I'll do that. Have a good night now."
Minutes later Mary rounds the corner of some industrial buildings. There she sees a figure crouched over a dog, looking suspiciously like he's eating it. In fact he is eating it. As she gets closer she realizes it's Mr Thomas. He doesn't look well. He looks like death warmed over and served with the left overs. He turns his head and sees her. His zomby eyes widen at the sight of fresh meat. Mary crosses herself. The undead Mr. Thomas starts shambling toward her as fast as he can shamble. Mary pulls out her cross and makes sure the street light is glinting off it for maximum effect. Mr. Zomby Thomas slows his charge and starts grabbing at the reflection on his face. He grabs his nose, which he dents, then his cheek, putting his finger through it and finally his eye. His inability to touch the reflection only agitates him.
This is not the effect Mary had intended. She takes a step backward, still holding up the cross in front of her. The zomby quickly approaches her, his left hand outstretched. Mary begins to pray audibly. The zomby does not stop. It closes in on her. Mary crouches as he approaches. She launches herself upward and grabs the wrist of the zomby's outstretched hand at the same time. She gives it a mighty jerk as she continues skyward in a graceful, twisting arc over his head. Up goes Mr. Thomas' arm. At twelve o'clock high the shoulder stops moving.
A sickening crunching sound is accompanied by the separation of Zomby Thomas' hand from the rest of his arm. Mary watches him below her waving his handless arm, the useless veins and muscles flailing about, blood morbidly absent.
Sister Mary lands behind the zomby, as surprised as Mr. Thomas that she is holding his wriggling hand. "Well that's a fine how d'ya do", she exclaims for absolutely no reason as she shakes the hand in greeting. Meanwhile, Mr. Thomas is thumping his stump of an arm against his right hand, babbling angrily and pivoting to face Mary.
The undead Mr. Thomas is no longer interested in some trinket around her neck. He wants to suck the living marrow from her bones. The zomby swings with his left arm. Mary blocks the blow but her hand gets tangled in the veins hanging there. Seeing his advantage he pulls her toward him. His fetid breath blasts her face assaulting her senses, as if the entrails of the poor animal he had been snacking on were slapping her full force. The zomby grabs her throat with his right hand. Mary is stunned. With crushing efficiency he squeezes and babbles with glee. Mary now has only seconds.
In a surprise move designed to distract the zomby Sister Mary jams his dismembered hand in his mouth. The zomby's incomprehensible babbling stops. The same cannot be said for his hand on her windpipe. He tightens his grip on her wind pipe. Mary can see the blackness from the lack of oxygen creeping in at the edges of her vision. In a last desperate attempt Mary lashes out. She punches with her remaining strength and lands a blow on the zomby's shoulder. His right arm seperates slightly from his body.
His fingers loosen around her neck. Mary gulps air like a stranded fish. She cocks her knee and delivers a merciless blow to the zomby's crotch, it just makes him stagger backward and take her painfully with him, but his fingers are losing their grip.
Mary recites the rosary and delivers an exceptional combination. First her right fist than her left. The blows land on her opponent's mid section. She cocks her knee and jams her foot in the zomby's stomach. Mr. Zomby staggers backwards and his right arm separates from his body with a hideous tearing sound. There stands Mary with an arm sloping from her throat. She pushes it aside as if it were hair hanging in front of her face.
Mary continues her attack. She thrusts her right palm upward against the zomby's chin. The blow is so furious that his head crumples in on itself and swings backward off his shoulders. For a moment time seems to stand still. The zomby's body stands motionless yet headless. Very slowly the torso rocks back and forth and finally topples backward. As it does so Mary delivers a loud, "Amen!".
Mary surveys what has become of Mr. Thomas, his disembodied arm protruding from her neck. "Oh, your wife wanted me to tell you your dinner is getting cold", she says peevishly. She then grabs the fingers around her neck and pries them off one by one. She flings the arm to the ground and quickly walks back the way she came.
Pink flowers glow with the morning sun behind them. These glowing apple blossoms bounce on angular branches stretching skyward. A gentle breeze moves the branches so the pink petals, like a mass of tiny ballerinas, sway to the same symphony.
Beneath this tranquil canopy shadowy figures move slowly. They cling to the shadows avoiding the sunlight spilling through the trees. Their gestures seem to move ahead of their conversation. As they approach a woman's voice can be heard, "...so I told her all about the
attack...". A man's voice cuts her off with some urgency, "Did you tell her you were attacked by a zomby?".
"No, I told her the man was not feeling well and could have used our attention sooner. Really, brother, I am no longer a novice. I know Mother Superior will not believe there are zombies living next door."
"So, you didn't tell her you destroyed it either.", replies the man.
"Of course, not. I would have had to tell her I killed it. Which I'm not certain I did, anyway. This is the undead we're talking about."
"You're absolutely certain? I mean, this man's wife said he was acting strangely not that he was a rotting corpse on the hoof."
"Brother Jacob, I know we don't often...OK never deal with the undead. But when a decomposing man grabs you like you were prime rib and his breath smells like a tomb what other explanation is there?"
"Point taken. Score one for you. But a more disturbing question is, is this an isolated incident? It's not the only strange occurrence in the neighborhood recently. Something's up and it's not the local gang trying their hand at extortion."
Mary stops, she looks at Brother Jacob, as if for the first time. A smile tugs at the side of her mouth. Brother Jacob looks deep into her eyes. They stand, locked in each other's gaze. Time seems to slow. Their hearts synchronize in rhythm.
Their eyes embrace each other. There hands reach toward each other, as if commanded by an unseen force. Their bodies move toward each other. Mary's brain mutters something about, "lead us into or not into, temption..."
Brother Jacob is a monk or brother in his late thirties. He's plump and somewhat attractive dispite his thinning hair. He usually has a spring in his step and likes to laugh. When he's not teasing the newest members of his order he likes talking about brewing beer and the merits of Italian food.
Right now his attention is completely taken by Mary. As they stare into each other's eyes they fall into synchronous orbit. Two bodies finding the other's gravitational pull irrisistable. Brother Jacob slides his hand around Mary's waist. She raises her hand to his shoulder. Their looks of longing transform into smiles as their faces move ever closer. Their lips purse, in anticipation. Mary's head tilts to one side.
Brother Jacob can't seem to decide which side to tilt his head toward. He tilts it first to the left, then to the right. The anticipation is killing Mary. She grabs the back of his head.
At that moment their revere is disrupted by someone panting hard as they run through the orchard.
"Sister Mary!", a young woman's voice rings out.
Sister Mary and Brother Jacob exchange momentary looks of uncertainty and longing. They quickly disentangle themselves. Without a word Brother Jacob deftly disappears into the shadows. A novice to the nunery, Althea, runs up to Sister Mary. She stumbles and tries to speak as she gets close. "Sis...sister."
Mary stops her, "Sit Althea. Sit down and catch your breath. Nothing is so important that you must go without oxygen. If you pass out your effort will have been in vain." Even as the words leave her mouth Mary wonders what could be so important. Is the school on fire? There's no smell of smoke. Is the Pope coming for a visit tomorrow? No. Not enough notice. What could it be?
"You wish to make a confession, Althea?" Asks Mary.
"You don't want to go to confession."
"I don't blame you I didn't want to go to confession when I was your age either. I would run from the priest and hide in a tree. In fact one time..."
"No, Sister Mary. Your confession."
"My confession? You want my confession? But you can't..."
"No. No. Father Rolfsmeyer wants to hear your confession."
"I don't understand. I don't have anything to confess." Without thinking Mary looks in the direction of Brother Jacob. She does have something to confess. Was Althea spying on them? How could she know they were meeting in the apple orchard?
"Sister Mary all I know is; the Abess told me to tell you that Father Rolfsmeyer is ready to hear your confession."
"The Abess told you? Father Rolfsmeyer?" Suddenly it all became clear. The trees opened their branches and the sun shone brightly on Sister Mary's face. A quartet of tiny angels
ushered in the sun beams. "Oh yes, yes, yes. I am scheduled for confession today. I completely forgot. Thank you so much for the reminder." Which was not strictly true but close enough.
Mary enters the small chapel. It seems lonely in its emptiness. Light struggles through small stained glass windows high in the stone walls. A few votive candles on either side of the chapel gleam through the gloom. The aging wooden pews march in straight lines toward the small alter. An elderly nun mumbles a prayer as she fingers her rosery. Crammed in the back of the chapel is the confessional.
"Yes, father. Forgive me father for I have sinned."
"We can dispense with that Mary. Thank you for seeing me on such short notice. We have had reports of unusual activity in the neighborhood. I would go so far as to say it is of an apocolyptic nature."
"Can you provide more details father?"
"At this time that is all I am at liberty to say. What I can tell you is that as a devoted Papal agent you have been appointed to investigate."
"I am honored father."
"I have a special communique from the highest authority. It will tell you everything you need to know. Listen to it closely and then destroy it." Father Rolfsmeyer opens the window seperating them and pushes a briefcase through. The handle gets stuck at the top of the window.
"Father, it's too big.", whispers Mary loudly.
The nun in the pew saying her rosery clears her throat. Father Rolfsmeyer tries again, leaning the briefcase to the side. Mary, a bit distressed, "Oh, Father, it won't fit."
"But it must! This is very urgent.", Father Rolfsmeyer isn't even trying to keep his voice down. The confessional shakes as he forces the briefcase. Mary pulls from her side of the window and lets out a grunt. Father Rolfsmeyer also grunts as he pushes. The confessional rocks. The nun in the pew ignores them.
"Can you...? I'm almost there.", exclaims Father Rolfsmeyer.
"I...I. Wait, not so fast. We don't want to break anything" Mary manages to push the wooden window away from the briefcase a fraction of an inch. "Oh! Father, it's almost there! Yes! Yes!" The nun in the pew suddenly looks agahst. Mary pulls hard on the briefcase it comes flying through the small window making a crunching sound as the window comes with it and Mary is flung against the back of the confessional. All she can manage through gasps of air is, "Oh my."
Mary exits the confessional with the briefcase and a satisfied smile on her face. She walks through the chapel smoothing her habit and adjusting her headgear. The elderly nun stares at her as she goes, a look of envy on her face.
Mary disappears into the apple orchard once again to find a secluded spot. She must be alone. After so much commotion she must meditate. She looks around to make sure she can't see anyone and no one can see her. Mary sits between two trees, crosses herself and says a quick prayer. She opens the briefcase and looks into it. A puzzled look spreads across her
face. A pamphlet lies on top of a square box that is built into the briefcase. The title of the pamphlet is: Operating Instructions.
Mary skims the pamphlet mumbling the instructions aloud as she does so. "Pull glossy red strip labeled 'Red Strip'. Pull gently blah, blah, blah. Back up two or three paces immediately after pulling the red strip.
The device will assemble itself automatically and be in listening mode." Tossing the pamphlet to the side, Mary pushes the briefcase away from her and firmly grasps the red latex strip labeled "RED STRIP". She pulls the strip, it begins to unravel a bit and suddenly stops, as she backs away. The silver case follows her. Mary repositions the briefcase and puts her foot against it. She tries again. The red strip pulls away from the box in the briefcase. Mary, walking backwards pulls the tape upward. The strip stops again. She gives it a frustrated tug and it rips off where it exited. In her hand Mary holds a long streamer of red latex fluttering in the breeze. Mary stands amidst the apple trees looking at the red strip in disgust.
Mary looks into the silver briefcase. She can see a small bit of the red latex sticking out of the slot from which it came. She pries at it with her fingers. There's not enough there to grab. She tries grabbing it from different angles, nothing seems to work. She puts her face very close to it to get a better look. In frustration she grabs the remains of the strip with her teeth. A piece comes off in her mouth. She bites it again and like an angry dog she tears at it shaking her head. The strip spools out of the slot into the air. Mary instinctively snaps at it, gobbling and filling her mouth with it. Her mouth full she swats at the red tape spitting from the case. Making little progress she hops into the air and spins around, wrapping herself in red latex.
Suddenly the tape stops. Mary, with a jerk, wraps herself right up to the briefcase. With a loud snap the box flies open; unfolding. Mary is pulled with it flailing about as it unfolds in a dozen different directions. She continues to be swept through the air as the contraption takes on the rough shape of a confessional. Mary finds herself suspended in the middle with headphones cockeyed on her head.
She can barely hear the message begin, "Your mission, which you will be priviliged to accept..."