Never Slow Dance with a Zombie
Author:E. Van Lowe

chapter Seven

My walk to school alone the next morning was rather peaceful A freak thunderstorm had hit the city the previous night, complete with sheets of pelting rain that left the morning air crisp and fragrant.

I arrived at school and went right to my locker. There was no Sybil standing there smiling at me like a maniac. How one person could be so cheerful in the morning had always annoyed me. Mornings were miserable--didn't she know that? I smiled. Life without Sybil was turning out to be quite excellent.

"Margot!" Sybil's voice rang out. It hit me like nails on a chalkboard.

I turned. Sybil was standing near the stairwell surrounded by a group of grungy-looking girls. Wait a minute. Aren't those Amanda's Twigettes? Why are their clothes all gunked up? And what could they possibly be doing with Sybil?

"Margot!" she called again.

Then it dawned on me. She'd hooked up with the it-girls at the carnival last night. She's blond and skinny. She'd been accepted into the Twigette sorority and was rubbing it in.

"I don't have time for you, Sybil Mulcahy," I called back. "And I can't imagine why anyone would." I added this last part for the benefit of the Twigettes. They needed to know their new friend wasn't even popular with me.

Hearing my voice, the girls surrounding Sybil stopped what they were doing and slowly turned toward me.

Oh, my goodness. Who did their makeup this morning?

The girls' skin was all green and crumbly, as if they'd gotten makeup tips from the Ministers. Wait a minute. Is that some hip, new fashion thing I don't know about? Amanda and her crew were always on top of the latest makeup and fashion tips. I was suddenly envious of their hideous green complexions.

The moment the girls turned away from Sybil she shoved past them and raced over to me. "Zombies!" she squawked. "Come." Before I could respond she grabbed my hand, yanking me down the hall and into the first-floor girls' bathroom.

"What is the matter with you?" I demanded as she slammed the bathroom door and leaned against it.

"Z-zombies," she stammered again. A low, rhythmic moaning began on the other side of the door.

"Zazombie? Is that what you call that green makeup your new friends are wearing? I think it looks ridiculous. Um... where did they get it?"

Outside the moaning grew louder, as bodies began slamming into the door.

"No!" Sybil grabbed my shoulders. "Listen to me ..."

Sybil launched into an incredible tale: "I went to the carnival last night. Most of the kids from our school were there." Her voice dropped an octave. "I was alone and not having any fun, watching everyone enjoying themselves. So, I decided to leave and got home just before the storm hit. I'm sorry we fought, Margot. I miss you," she said.

I still wasn't ready to forgive her. "Get back to your story."

She took a deep breath. "This morning I came to school early because I didn't want to run into you walking, and when I got here everyone was a zombie."

"That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. There's no such thing as zombies. You've been watching too many horror flicks."

Just then, the doorknob to the bathroom turned.

"Ahhh!" Sybil screamed as she skittered away from the door, retreating to the far wall across the room. As she cowered in the corner, the door began to open.

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