ON THE RUN.
News that someone could actually kill a zombie by destroying the brain was a shock to me. I had always thought it was just a Hollywood story ploy that allowed the movie heroes to win. But Mr. Nez was now telling me that my life was truly in danger, that the Juan de Oñate group of zombies was after me, that I had to go into hiding.
“Why does Oñate want to kill me?” I asked.
“Oñate has five zombie bloodlines of non-human eating zombies at war with him–La Familia. You represent another, sixth, zombie mutant line. You represent the many descendants that can potentially go to war with Oñate and his army of zombies. If he kills you now, that problem is solved.”
“So it’s nothing personal,.” I said, taking it all in.
“It’s a matter of numbers,” Mr. Nez explained as we drove south on Huntington Drive. We passed Eastern Avenue and I had a memory flash of a dead cat I once found there, right after it had been hit by a car. The body was still warm. It had tasted delicious.
“The Juan de Oñate zombies number in the tens of thousands,’ Mr. Nez went on, “we don’t know how many thousand. They’re scattered about the U.S. and Latin America– a few in Europe and other continents. Zombies that don’t eat humans, like us, also number in the tens of thousands. But we think there are more of them than us. ”
“How can that be?” I asked, trying to put it together. “Aren’t there more progenitor mutants zombies in La Familia, I mean, on our side?” I asked.
“Yes,” Mr. Nez replied. “Besides myself, there are four more. Mendoza, Villa, Sandoval and Armendáriz. And yes, you’d think there would be more offspring in La Familia than the Oñate group. But Oñate was born in 1550, the other four mutants were born later in time, in a cluster: in the late 1800s. La Familia hasn’t had as much time to reproduce as Oñate has.”
We were now driving down Broadway, going through my old neighborhood of Lincoln Heights, toward downtown Los Angeles.
The numbers thing still didn’t make sense to me. I was determined to follow the logic of it all.
“But still,” I persisted, “there are five La Familia mutant bloodlines and only one Oñate mutant line. How can he have more offspring?”
“Oñate has one advantage over the rest of us.” Mr Nez said. “He doesn’t bother to get married.”
“Huh?” I said. All the time I kept thinking in conventional human terms. Now I realized that in the zombie world, things might be different.
“Since 1608, when he died, was resurrected and realized he was a zombie, he’s been kidnapping human women, raping them and fathering zombies. He kills the mothers after the zombie child born.”
“Wow!” I said. This was pretty terrible stuff he was telling me. I envisioned a mad zombie killing women and raising zombie children over four hundred years. It made me shudder.
Mr. Nez made a left turn off of Broadway and onto College Street and then drove down an alley and parked the car behind an aged two-story building.
“Come on,” he said, “we have to take a little walk .” He locked the car and we headed out on foot. Before long we were walking along Alameda street and soon arrived at Olvera Street.
“We’re here,” he said. He led me to one of the shuttered storefronts of Olvera Street–it was almost one o’clock in the morning and the street was entirely deserted. Mr. Nez opened the door to the storefront with an old style skeleton key.
Once inside, he didn’t turn on the light. He seemed to know this place quite well. In the darkness I heard him walk across the room and then I saw a door open. He flipped a switch and light suddenly appeared, coming from steps leading down into a basement.
“This way,” he said.
As I followed him down the steps, a question was still nagging at me. We came to another door, this one looking really old. I expected him to pull out another ancient key , but instead he placed the palm of his hand on the metal plate covering a small metallic box secured next to the door entrance. The metal plate clicked and swung open. Inside the metal box was a sophisticated keypad in the metal box. The pad was full of strange symbols. Mr. Nez’s finger flew over the keypad and I heard another click as the door opened.
“Welcome to your new home,” Mr. Nez said. He motioned for me to enter. But before I did I had to ask him the question that had been nagging at me.
“Mr. Nez,” I said, “WHY is Oñate doing all of this? Why is he so intent on fathering so many zombie children?”
“Lazaro,” Mr. Nez replied, “Oñate is fathering an army of zombies. When his army is ready, he intends on doing away with La Familia and then subjugate the human race.”
“Subjugate?” I asked.
“Oñate master plan is to conquer the human race and breed human beings as food for his race of zombies.”
Copyright 2013 Lazaro De La Tierra and Barrio Dog Productions Inc.