This is my first story for public consumption. The rating is probably PG, as it features vaguely sexual themes.
Zombies at the Fetish Club
By EM Willis
AN: This is a work of fiction, made up of whole cloth from my fevered little brain, and started at a time when I desperately needed some sort of distraction from the novel that has eaten my life. All names have been changed to protect … well, me, and if you recognize yourself in this, please take it in fun. If you don’t recognize yourself, please don’t be offended … I didn’t leave you out for spite. This little story was not written to offend, mock or insult anyone or anything or any institution.
I just wanted to write a zombie story.
Under the glare of the lights, the club looks kinda … tawdry. The equipment is well-used, if lovingly maintained, and the upholstry in some of the booths is getting badly worn. The tables are scratched and pitted, and the floor is painted concrete, also scratched and pitted. The windows are completely blacked out, in addition to having plywood nailed over them, and the posters hiding the wood are old and fading. The walls were painted black when the club first opened, almost ten years ago, and it had been a quick, nonprofessional job, so they weren’t in the greatest shape, either.
Saturday night is our big night. We start at nine pm, and play until the state tells us to stop (which is four am). We stop serving alcohol at two, but the fun keeps going for another two hours. We open at nine on Sunday, too, so sometimes we have to shoo out the determined partiers. Unless it’s a private party, we’re usually closed on Monday nights. We clean, restock, and get ready to do it all again.
However, tonight, the mess is beyond what a usual Saturday night can dish out. In addition to the shredded clothing, plastic wrap, spilled drinks, bits of rope, chain and wire, the occasional stiletto, used condoms and other detrius, there are puddles of blood … limbs … heads …
I’m one of the last of the civvies left in the club, and the officer taking my statement is looking a little green. I’d like to think it’s because of the mess, but, well, there’s a condom by his foot and we’re standing in front of the Saint Andrew’s cross, so it could be he’s put off by the club itself, and its more usual customers.
“Okay, Miss … uh, Trinket, can you tell me what happened?”
I gesture toward a table that is, miraculously, upright, with a couple of chairs nearby. “You mind if we sit down?” I give him a weak smile. “It’s been a pretty hectic night, if you don’t mind my saying.”
He looks around a moment, then at me, and I can see he’s studying the bloodstains and rips in my own outfit. “Sure,” he says, letting me lead.
I take a detour by the bar and swipe a bottle of water from below, shaking it at him. “You want?”
“Um, no thanks,” he says, swallowing. “I’m good.”
I shrug and head over for the table, settle in the chair and sigh as the weight leaves my feet. “Damn heels,” I mutter.
After letting me take a slug off the water bottle, he braves up again and says, “Miss … can I get your real name for the record?”
“Look,” I tell him, “we all use nicks here. I’m Trinket. Here’s my ID. That’s my real name, but please don’t speak it out loud. Write it down, but don’t release it to any press.”
He actually looks a little affronted. “I don’t talk to the media. That’s handled by the press agent.”
“Good to know. Don’t let your press agent use the real name. I don’t have anything to hide, but I do have a day job. I’d rather they didn’t know about my sideline.”
“I understand.” He’s busy writing down the info from my license. Close up, young uniform looks even younger. I’m willing to bet he’s less than a year out of the academy. Why they’d put him on a call like this, unless they’re wanting to toughen him up …
“So, you want my take on what went down here?”
“Yes. What happened from your perspective. What you saw, what you did, anything that would help us put the pieces together.”
Letting my eyes wander around the shattered club, with various uniforms and detectives and CSI bagging, sifting, photographing and whatever, I chewed on a nail that had been half-ripped off.
I came into work at around eight – enough time to set up, test the equipment and get an idea of the playlist for the night. Because Saturday is the biggest night of the week, I also checked the list I had scrawled from the previous night and the previous Saturday with the requests I’d try to work into the new list.
I don’t own the club, but I’m a major shareholder, in addition to being the primary lights and sound tech and resident DJ. I don’t do the scene, myself, but a lot of my friends do, and my contacts with them got me the gig in a part-time dungeon back in the day. When the club was in the planning stages, I was approached as a possible investor and definitely as the spinner. It’s worked out for me, and I have the most interesting weekends of anyone else I know at my day job. Except I don’t tell them about them – it’s doubtful they could handle it.
I wore these damn shoes, and expected to ditch them not too long into the night, except I got so many compliments that I decided the pain was worth it to make some of these hardcases drool. They like their scenery, in addition to their play, so I wore the outfit and the shoes and spun the disks and the lights so they could have their fun.
Doors opened at nine sharp, with pretty Sweetpea as the bouncer. A big girl, she doesn’t back down to intimidation from the clients. Scared to death of spiders and roaches, but people dion’t faze her. Her partner, Jayce, works the bar. He’s into the scene, but only plays occasionally, and never at the club. Everybody loves him, and he’s one of the most energetic bartenders I’ve ever known.
Things started to heat up around ten, with the requests coming hard and fast, and the scenes beginning to coalesce from the negotiations that were going on in the booths. People came up to dance, and to start making use of the equipment. Most of them brought their own toys; whips, chains, restraints, et cetera, so I started to lay on the scening music. I brought the lights down a bit, adding some red gel, to give the place a little more atmosphere.
Lady Katrina and her big, blonde slave, Yen, were watching the action from their usual booth. I think something was wrong between them, because Yen wasn’t talking much or looking up at her as usual. I didn’t know what was going on, because I had left before they were ready to go. I hoped they would work it out before getting home. Lady Katrina just sat there and watched everyone else, talking only briefly to her friends as they dropped by. I saw Man BoyToy slide by, and slide right out again. It was probably too cold there for his harness. In fact, only folks I saw her talking to with any animation were Rey and Dagwood.
Mistress Ess had just come in, with some boy I didn’t recognize in tow. He got her a drink and then she tied him up to the whipping post and proceeded to flog the snot out of him. She’s a pro-domme, and I suspect he was some client of hers. Too bad for him. She really looked like she was in a mood.
Most of the regulars had settled in around eleven. There was Princess Wolfie, and Miss Thistle, Resin and Gold, Sergeant, Sinner, Frid, Orange, Posh, Rich and Franklin, the trio Priss, Beauty and Mint. I saw Lux and Nighty drop by to talk to Dag, Rey, Lady K and Yen, but they left after about half an hour. Cloud and Archangel came by, at Wolfie’s invitation, and they settled in like they were going to stay. We’re only licensed for fifty-five, so it was as close to a full house as we get. There were about twenty-five or so others, lookie-loos and players, that I didn’t know personally but had seen before. You have to know someone to know about the club, so we didn’t get people just coming off the street unless they were really lost.
Which is why is was so unusual to hear a commotion at the door about the time the night was really rocking. Pounding music, flashing lights, moans, sighs, screams – all that was normal. To hear Sweetpea raise her voice from the door was not. Well, that got Jayce’s ears up, and he was making a move to leave the bar to back his sweetie up when this big, beefy bruiser just brushed by Sweetpea like she’s not there. She was blocking the door, so she went down hard when this guy just swept an arm in front of himself and sent her flying.
You do not send Sweetpea flying. She’s six-foot, weighs around three-twenty, and is built like a linebacker. It was loud in the club, as I said, and the crash she made going down didn’t alert many to what was happening, except maybe me and Jayce.
This bruiser was making his way into the club, lurching like he had far too much to drink. Jayce came out from behind the bar like a charging rhino. He’s not as tall or heavy as Sweetpea, but he’s built and at the time, furious. He’s a playboy, but he loves his Sweetie and this guy had just committed a cardinal sin in laying a body part on her. I fully expected to be helping scrape stinking-drunk, unconscious bruiser off the floor in about thirty seconds.
Bruiser brushed Jayce out of the way like he was a gnat, sending him into Mistress Ess’ third flogging target. She shrieked like a banshee, the boy howled like a wolf, and Jayce screamed like a girl. This brought Mint, another big guy, to his feet, along with Sergeant, Dagwood and Man BoyToy.
We don’t get fights at the club. Sometimes negotiations go south, or a scene ends badly, but we don’t get fights. Here was this bruiser, swaying and looking like something the cat played with and dropped – torn clothing, bruises, what looked like blood – being surrounded by four dominant leathermen in full regalia, ready to do some serious ass-kicking with their shiny, leather boots.
The scenes that had been going on were interrupted by the screaming and out-of-scene roughness. The tops were angry, a lot of the bottoms were angry, and some were needing some care in a quiet place. The onlookers were outraged at this blatant disregard of the rules of the club, and at this interloper’s rudeness. There were shouts for the guy to get out, nasty names, threats – and I was reaching for the volume on the disks when the bruiser reached for Mint, pulled him off his feet and … bit into him!
Mint was ex-Army, ex-special ops, ex-nearly-goddam-everything, and he did not go down easily. Before the other three closed in to help him, I saw Mint do some sort of spin-pivot thing that dislodged the bruiser from him, but caused him to let loose a loud yell of pain. And after that, the shout that changed the night for all of us.
You never think it would happen to you. You laugh, you make up jokes, you spin wild tales about how you would handle it, but you never expect to be faced with a real, in-your-face, do-or-die zombie attack.
As if Mint’s shout had been some sort of signal, the door broke open and several more shambling, ruined creatures came through. One went for Sweetpea, still trying to guard her door, but this time Jayce was also there, and he broke a chair over the rotting thing’s head. Sweetpea followed up with a kick that sent the thing back out the door, but we all knew that wouldn’t keep it down for long.
Lady Katrina had jumped to the top of her booth’s table, knee-length dark-brown braid swinging and unfurled a single-tail whip from somewhere, balanced on ice-pick heels, Victorian skirt swirling around her ankles. “You have to take their heads off!” she shouted. “Head shots!” Crouched next to her on the table, Yen was busily unscrewing the three-inch spikes from the collar around her neck and her wrist bands.
Shaking off the impulse to dash out, grab Lady and Yen and beat feet out the door, I focussed on my board. I brought up every red light in the house, killing all the others. We could see and recognize each other, but I had heard that zombies didn’t really have good eyesight. Hell, some didn’t even have eyes. Some insane thought in my head said that if we couldn’t see the gore in technicolor, fewer of us would freeze up and become snacks. This way, it looked like a videogame. I left the music loud and pounding.
Mistress Ess, having freed her trembling toy, switched out her flogger for a cat-o-nine-tails, with nasty steel tips. She snarled at the approaching zombie, even more pissed than she had started her evening, and lashed out, shredding the thing’s face. Dagwood, Man BoyToy and Sergeant had subdued the bruiser who chomped Mint, and Sergeant put the thing out of its misery with a well-placed boot to the face. Mint had been pulled away from the fight by Beauty and Priss, and they were desperately trying to staunch the blood from his hideous neck wound.
Mint pushed them away and got to his feet, swaying only a little. I was close enough to hear him say, “It’s too late for me. I’m going to take down as many as possible. Don’t come near me when I go down.” He then turned and shouted, “Katrina! When I get back up, take me out!”
She shouted something back to him in Cherokee, and he gave her a sad smile before kissing Beauty and Priss, then waded back into the fight. I felt tears prick my eyes, as I had always had a bit of a crush on Mint, but there was nothing I could do to help him. There were, however, several bottoms and slaves who had been interrupted out of intense scenes, and were just not able to get the brain power to react. If they weren’t removed from the room, they were going to die.
I ran from my booth and hit quick releases, all the time screaming, “Get to the back room! Run!” Those who were still stunned I grabbed and shoved, herding them as best I could toward the storeroom behind the bar. On the way, I ducked in and grabbed the lone shotgun that resided under the register, never loaded, never fired. Grabbing the box of shells as well, I followed my charges to the door of the storeroom, pushing in any laggards. Several of the other customers had followed, including a few I knew, and ended up in the room as well, so I told them, “Take care of them. Don’t come out until I tell you it’s safe!” Then I slammed the door closed in their faces, shoved shells into the gun and took a position with my back to the door, boomstick cocked and ready.
Sinner and Frid had teamed up, and had a pretty good gig going. Sinner would lure the zombie close to the St. Andrew’s cross, then zip around, hop onto a chair and drop his chain around it’s neck, pinning it in place. Frid had appropriated someone’s spreader bar, and with unerring aim, shoved it through the zombie’s eye. Sinner loosened the chain, Frid jerked back, the zombie dropped, and Sinner would go dancing after another one. Miss Thistle was playing lookout, armed with a shock stick, and warning Frid when anyone or anything else came too close.
More kept coming in the door, and pretty soon the whole club was overflowing with leather warriors and the undead. Princess Wolfie must have decided her trademark play would make a pretty good weapon, as she doused a zombie with alcohol then tossed a match. When the zombie’s flaming lurching proved to be a hazard to the other good guys, Resin grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the zombie out, followed by Orange ramming a broken table leg into it’s head. I think the two teamed up after that, making good use of that fire extinguisher. Wolfie took the hint, and shifted to using the furniture on the attackers, actually herding them toward the more lethal fighters.
Sharp cracks had me looking over at Lady Katrina again, as she snapped that whip out and around a zombie’s neck. Yen, still crouched at her side, threw something, and I watched a spike appear in the center of the zombie’s forehead, buried in more than three quarters of its length. Zombie fell, the whip snapped back, Rey hacked the dead thing’s neck with a butcher knife he found god-knows-where, then the whip cracked out again.
Posh and Gold made their way over to me, Gold limping heavily because her knees had given out. Giving them a single look, I opened the door behind me and ushered them in. Neither were warriors. After giving them the same instructions I had given the rest, I shut the door and went back to guarding. I hadn’t fought a zombie yet, but I wasn’t going to let anything happen to the people I was defending. And I kept repeating to myself, “Head shot. Head shot.”
Jayce had managed to drag Sweetpea away from the door and they both came staggering toward the storeroom. Sweetpea went to the door, but had to wait until I banged on it and cleared her in. Jayce, on the other hand, eyed my shotgun and thrust out a hand. “Gimme,” he demanded.
“Nope,” I replied, keeping an eye over his shoulder at the rest of the fighting, not wanting to be blindsided while arguing with a headstrong defender. “Get in there and watch over Sweetie and the others. They need someone strong to keep them from panicking.”
He eyed my heels, micromini and determined scowl. Then he shrugged, squeezed my elbow and followed his wife into the storeroom. “Watch yourself,” he ordered, just before the door closed.
“Right,” I muttered, watching horrified as Sinner tripped on his way around the cross and fell, then was dogpiled by a bunch of rotting monsters.
“Dagwood!” I shouted. He waved a hand to show he was listening, even as he pounded a zombie’s face to paste. “I’ve got twenty shells! Herd ’em over here one by one and I’ll take them out! And keep the others out of the line!”
He nodded and spun his current, reeling opponent toward the Lady on the table. “Katrina,” he barked, “take this one for me!”
The whip cracked, and the zombie went down with a scarily-accurately thrown spike in its eye. Dagwood’s boy finished it.
Dagwood then slapped Sergeant on the arm, pointed out a target, and they moved in. Ess’ steel-tipped cat herded the chosen undead in the right direction, and the two Leathermen grabbed its arms, stretched them out so it couldn’t bite either of them, and dragged it toward me.
Okay. Crunch time. Line up the shot and, for God’s sake, don’t miss!
I’m a decent marksman. And at this range, I’d have to be blind to not hit the zombie, but I was afraid of the splatter and shrapnel hitting Dag and Sarge. “Let go!” I yelled at them.
The instant they released its arms, I pulled the trigger. Zombie brains went everywhichway and the body dropped to the floor. I let out my breath with an explosive whoosh, and watched the two men go to round up another one.
Princess Wolfie had found a new weapon. Somebody had a freaking machete in their playbag, illegal as it was, and she had it in both hands hacking away. Her long red hair had come out of its bun and whipped around her. Good thing the zombies had lousy coordination – that hair would make a great handle if one could catch it.
The shotgun blew away another zombie, and I slammed another two shells in. Behind me, I heard the storeroom door creak. “Shut the damn door!” I screamed at whomever was peeking out, not bothering to turn to find out who it was.
“Cops are coming!” Jayce screamed back.
“Do they know what the hell they’re running in to?”
“I told them!”
“Get back in there!” The door slammed. The shotgun barked.
Frid shrieked as she drove the spreader bar into a dead and walking Sinner’s head.
A Cherokee war-cry pealed out. Mint went down again and stayed there.
The shotgun barked again. And again.
I lost track of how many zombies I shot. Everything was a blur of screaming, shouting, blood and gore. My whole world narrowed down to Dagwood and Sargeant and the targets they hauled before me.
Then the police came. They charged through the door in full riot gear and assault rifles, but thankfully did not just start blasting. And they seemed to be able to pick out zombies from defenders pretty quickly and well.
When a broad figure appeared in front of me, I automatically sighted down the barrel but Dag grabbed it before I could pull the trigger. “Trinket!” he shouted, “stop! It’s a cop!”
For a second I just stared at the helmeted, motionless figure in blue. “Is he alive?” I asked Dag, hoarsely.
He managed a choke that, on another night, might have been a laugh. “Yeah, he’s alive.”
“Okay.” I let go of the gun, letting him place it on the floor. Then Dagwood took my arm and started pulling me toward the front of the club, and my booth.
“Shut down the music and bring up the house lights,” he shouted in my ear, pointing.
Nodding numbly, I stumbled the rest of the way into the booth and started flipping switches and turning dials. The silence was sudden, and deafening. I thought the shotgun had deafened me. It honestly took me a minute to realize that the screaming had stopped and there were no more whips or heavy impacts.
Because the window of the booth was spattered with body fluids, I had to step out to look around. Police in riot gear were searching dark corners and the back, while a few had started to gather the survivors into a group. The place was absolutely wrecked.
One cop was headed for the back room. He knocked on the door and loudly identified himself a couple of times before Jayce cautiously peeked out. Then he and the others we had protected began to stream out of their refuge, some weeping in relief and looking at the police with a regard I had never seen from them before. For their part, I had never seen cops treat leatherpeople as gently as they were doing.
The group of fighters were being identified, checked for injuries by paramedics and questioned. I walked back into my booth and sat down and waited for my turn.
“That’s what I remember. We held out pretty well.”
The young patrolman is staring at me, with either awe or disbelief, I can’t tell which. Then he glances down at his pad and the scribbled notes he’s jotted down as I talked. “That’s … pretty comprehensive,” he says.
I shrug. “Most of the time I was out of the way and able to see what was going on. I’m a watcher by nature.”
He shudders, then nods. “Okay, Miss … Trinket, I think that’s all I need. We’ll be in touch if there’s anything else.”
“So I can go home?” The idea is lovely, but now that I’m calmer, I’m wondering what else is outside the club’s door, lurking in the shadows. Looking around, I can see that I’m one of the last civilians in the club.
“Do you need a ride?” he asks, concerned at my suddenly less-than-certain tone.
Quickly affecting an air of complete nonchalance, I shake my head. “Nah, I’ve got a car less than a block away. Streetlights all the way.”
A card is pushed over the table toward me. “If you need someone to talk to,” he says softly, “call these folks. They can help.”
I take the card. “Thanks.” It’s a business card for a group of counsellors. It says, “We Specialize in Zombie Attack Victims.” Who knew?
Outside, the night air is just this side of cool, and for a moment I just stand there, breathing. It’s 3 am and the city sounds are hushed, a background sigh. Suddenly I remember that I didn’t ask if anyone else was hurt. We lost Mint and Sinner, and I think Beauty and Priss, maybe Wolfie. How many others?
The thought makes me want to cry. I drop my gaze to the sidewalk and begin to put one ridiculously high-heeled foot in front of the other.
My head jerks up. Yen. “Hey.”
“Thought they’d never let you out of there.”
I shrug, trying to pretend I’m not ridiculously relieved to see her. “Yeah.”
She steps away from the wall she’s been leaning on, and puts an arm around my shoulders as we start walking again. “Ma’am’s in the car.”
“No injuries, but taking down Mint was hard on her.”
“Yeah.” After a few more steps, I ask, “How about you?”
“Not a scratch. Better now it’s over. You okay?”
I shake my head, staring toward the car and the woman in the front seat looking back at us. “No. But I will be.”
Lady Katrina gets out of the car and leans against it, waiting for us.
At least my family’s safe.
Until the damn zombies attack again.