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Excerpt from

Bucky Sinister

The pink VW Beetle ahead of my van swerves all over the road. Fucking clowns, dollars to doughnuts, I bet you. The windows are blacked out just like they like them. There's a chance it could be full of Clown Sympathizers, so I can't just lob a grenade at it. Not that a few less CS freaks would be a big loss, it's that I can't afford to get written up again. Besides, I'd ruin my bounty that way.

After I slam on the brakes the car swerves around and circles the van. Now I' m sure it's clowns. They can smell me, and they' re hungry. No telling how many of them are in there.

Through the driver' s side window, I crawl out and get on the roof. I let them circle as long as they want. They' ll stop when they calm down a bit. I unholster my Uzi and take the safety off. I chamber a round. I' m ready when they are.

The VW stops. The passenger side door creaks open. The first clown pops out of there, all fangs and rainbow hair. I let him run at me, I want a couple out of there before I open fire. I want them to make a commitment to eating me. With one hand on the Uzi, I use my other hand to get out a cigarette and light up, just to make it look like I don' t care.

These clowns are starved. It' s hard to tell when they' re wearing baggy outfits, but you can see it in their sunken cheeks, those piranha-like eyes, and the way those serpentine tongues flick in the air, smelling what they think is their next meal. They want to eat me, that' s for sure.

Thank god their feet are floppy and keep them from running with any kind of agility. Anything else except for zombies would be all over me by now. It' s the main advantage humans have over them. Almost anyone can outrun a clown at short distance, but a clown has more endurance. The hungrier it gets, the more energy it expels. At some point, you have to turn around and take your stand against the whitefaced freaks.

Once seven clowns empty out of the Beetle, I open fire. I squeeze the trigger, short bursts to avoid jams. With an Uzi, I don' t have to be accurate, I just have to point in the general direction and the weapon takes care of the rest. The bullets fly through them like they were made of cotton candy on the inside, I' m hitting two or three of them with each bullet. If I miss one, I' ll hit another with the same shot. In less than ten seconds, my clip is empty.

The Uzi fires at six hundred rounds per minute, and it only holds thirty-two rounds in a clip. That should be enough for anyone in a normal situation. But with clowns, it' s never a normal situation. I guarantee you that. I pop another clip in and wait. Right when you think you' re done, another clown always shows up. They can always fit another one in the trunk, or under a seat, or somewhere. Fucking clowns.

Sure enough, another straggler pokes out of the Beetle. He has markings like tears on his face and a big frown but he can' t fool me. I ain' t sorry for a one of them. The moment you start feeling human for one, he' ll chew your throat out. Just because they have faces and expressions don' t mean they feel a thing except for hunger.

I unload a full clip into him. That' ll give him something to cry about. He dances like an electrocuted mime. I ain' t just saying that either, I' ve seen a mime fry before. Saw this one in El Paso get hung up on a fence when I was chasing it out of a pasture. But that' s another story. Mr. Sad Face does the death dance for me until the Uzi clicks empty.

I reload for safety' s sake, and get down off the roof. Got to burn the Beetle or some other wild clowns will adopt it like a hermit crab taking an abandoned shell. I have a gas can in the van for just this purpose. I get it and walk over to the Bug. The entire desert smells like gunpowder and burning clownflesh. Ain' t a stink as sweet if you ask me, and I don' t care if you aren' t, I' m a going to tell you anyway. Dead clown smells like strawberry and sugar covered funnel cakes when it' s fresh and elephant shit when it' s old.

As I walk to the beetle, I pluck the noses off each clownface. Not only is it the way I get my bounty tallied, it' s how you tell if the clown is playing dead; if it makes a honking sound, the fucker is still alive. They' re squishy, like foam rubber, and I stuff them in a special pocket. Got eight today, I' m going to eat right this week. There' s these street dealers that sell an illegal wrinkle remover made out of them. Works so good, a dab of it will make a man' s scrotum look like a cue ball.

I' m right up against the Beetle when I see an off road four by four hauling ass up the desert sand. It' s coming at me fast. My first instinct is to open fire, but I don' t know what' s driving it. Could be anything. Wish I had an RPG right now, blow it straight to hell and ask questions later, right? But all I got is the Uzi, and that won' t get through the engine block. If it' s a day vampire or a smart zombie, a bullet won' t do much good. I may need this gas can after all.

“Stop! Put the gas can down,” I hear. It' s coming from the truck. Guess it' s a human after all, unless it' s a new supersmart zombie that can talk and shit. I put the can down, but, with my left hand, I cautiously finger my Flame In A Can bottle.

“You stop,” I say, “Or I' ll fill your truck fulla holes!”

The truck stops short, and the door opens. A woman gets out. She' s kinda hot but I don' t think she' s looking for a date right now. She' s wearing desert camo, military issue, but she could' ve bought it at any army surplus.

“Hey, put it down, the can, put it down,” she yells as she runs to me. She' s holding up some kind of badge that I' m supposed to recognize but don' t give a shit about.

“This ain' t no place for a badge!” I say. “You best have a gun with you.”

She gets up close, and I was right about her being hot. She' s got these brown eyes the exact color of the rifle stock on my favorite AK-47. She' s got this build, like small, but powerful, I can tell she got some fight in her. On her hip, she' s got a Kassel Fighting Knife, with the platinum knob on the hilt. You can' t buy you one of those, you have to earn that shit, right? She' s ex-military and kicked ass to get that piece of hardware. That' s the final straw with me, I' m hers if she wants me. Then she says the two words to me that are a huge turnoff.

“Federal Zoologist.”

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