THE HILLS ARE ALIVE...WITH THE SOUND OF SUCKING
Maria von Trapp is sweet, innocent, and can sing like an angel. Oh, and she's also a bloodthirsty vampire.
When Maria is kicked out of the zombie-infested abbey where she's been residing for the past 612 years, she's forced to take care of the family Von Trapp, a rowdy clan in need of some serious discipline... or vampirification. After Maria turns the Von Trapp children into children of the night and marries the Von Trapp patriarch, the family seems destined for eternal (really, really eternal) bliss. But the Nazi Undeath Squads are on the march, intent on ridding Europe of bloodsuckers. And Maria will have to do everything in her power--supernatural or otherwise--to save her vampire brood.
Sixteen going on seventeen members of our legal team have instructed us to tell you, even though it should be obvious, that My Favorite Fangs was not prepared, authorized, licensed, approved, or endorsed by any person or entity involved in the creation or production of The Sound of Music film, or any version of the stage musical. That seventeenth wouldn't take our call because he was too busy drinking his tea--a drink with jam and bread--to weigh in.
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St. Martin's Griffin
August 07, 2012
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Excerpt from My Favorite Fangs by Alan Goldsher
HOUSED ON WHAT the majority of Austrians agreed was the most rancid corner in Salzburg, the nameless Abbey was an eyesore, so painful to look at that nobody looked at it. Its asymmetrically constructed grayish-brown and brownish-gray stones, its cracked windows, its spiked wrought-iron front gate, and its rotting vegetable garden were a blight upon the city's otherwise gorgeous architecture. And then there was the Abbey's stench, an almost-living-and-breathing odor that some likened to that of a leprosy-sufferer, while others said it was reminiscent of a decomposing stag. Thus the general public avoided and/or ignored the Abbey, which was just how the Abbey's Sisters of the Undead wanted it.
As was always the case, the moment the sun ducked under the horizon, the Abbey's Mother Zombie let out a nausea-inducing moan that rattled the bottles in the underground "wine" collection. (Why is "wine" in quotation marks, one might ask? Well, one would have to figure it out for one's self, but one shouldn't have to think too hard, considering the presence of a Vampire in our story.) The remainder of the Abbey's inhabitants followed suit, and the combined cacophony of their groans caused every dog within ten kilometers to howl as if their tails were being tied into knots ... as was also always the case.
The 173 Zombies who made up the Abbey's population dressed identically--black robes, black shawls, black sandals, and black head-coverings--and as the Abbey was badly lit--and as all the inhabitants were unable to stand up straight--it was difficult for the untrained eye to tell the Zombie Sisters apart. The only way to discern one of the beings from another was by her shuffle: Zombie Sister Brandi, for instance, had her mortal life terminated in a terrible female deer accident--after she fell off of her gigantic doe, Golden Sun, the beast stepped on her left leg five, six, seven times, crushing Brandi's poor bones into powder--so she moved with a disjointed, distinct limp that could belong to nobody but her. As a human, Zombie Sister Cinnamon, on the other hand, died during childbirth, thus when Mother Zombie sucked her brains from her skull, Cinnamon's body was in pristine shape, so she was able to glide across the cobblestone floors with ease. (It should be noted that "glide" and "ease" are relative terms when it comes to Zombies, as an undead glide was far slower than that of a mortal glide, and in terms of ease, nothing comes easy for the brain-damaged undead.) And then there was Zombie Sister Chesty LaBumm, who was so emaciated at the time of her expiration--her family was impoverished, and she had passed away from starvation--that even with Mother Zombie's reanimating kiss, the periodic infusion of mortal brain slime, and the weekly silicone injections in her bosom, she did not possess the strength to move faster than the slowest tortoise.
While darkness enfolded the rancid Abbey, all 173 of the Zombie Sisters made their way toward the Auditorium of Worship. The Auditorium was, relatively speaking, an attractive room, replete with stained glass windows that were not all broken, rows of splinter-filled wooden benches that could more-or-less support the dead weight of the undead, and a workable altar that housed a mold-covered, nine-meter-high shale statue of The Being Whose Name Shall Not Be Uttered. With its palpable odor of burnt garlic, rotting raccoon carcass, and semi-fresh human feces, it was the ideal setting for a Zombie prayer gathering.
As they approached the Auditorium, the Zombies picked up a unison chant: Mortales spumae, et ne ius nostrum spirare auram, mors est satis, mors est satis, the loose translation of which is, "Mortals are scum, they should not be allowed to breathe our air, death is not enough, death is not enough." Once the Zombies were seated, the Mother Zombie took to the altar, and wordlessly approached the statue. With surprising reverence, she slowly caressed The Being Whose Name Shall Not Be Uttered with her right hand, beginning at his feet, working her way up to his nose. She then stood on her tiptoes and ran her acne-covered tongue over the top of The Being Whose Name Shall Not Be Uttered's head, after which she licked every millimeter of the statue, from top to bottom, and every bit in between. Following Mother Zombie's tongue bath, each Zombie approached the altar one at a time and licked only the statue's feet. (For centuries, each Zombie licked the entire statue, but once the Abbey's populace grew to 81 inhabitants fifteen years before, Mother Zombie decided it was prohibitively time-consuming to have each and every one slobber over the entire T.B.W.N.S.N.B.U. sculpture. Zombies had many tasks, and as they moved sluggishly from duty to duty, it wasn't logical to spend five hours in the Auditorium of Worship, and Mother Zombie was nothing if not logical.)
After the final Zombie Sister delivered the final Zombie lick, Mother Zombie gave her nightly benediction: Abite cretins terrae abi foetidus creaturis, abite sceleratos deformis, bathe secretion spiritalis entis cui nomen non dixisti, complectere foeditas, complectere foeditas, complectere foeditas, the loose translation of which is, "Be gone, cretins of the Earth, be gone, fetid creatures, be gone, hideous miscreants, bathe in the spiritual secretion of The Being Whose Name Shall Not Be Uttered, embrace the foulness, embrace the foulness, embrace the foulness."
In the fifth row, Zombie Sister Cinnamon turned to Zombie Sister Brandi and whispered, "When will Mother Zombie learn that not a single one of us understands Latin?"
Unfortunately for Cinnamon, her whisper wasn't whispery enough. "Do you have something to say, Zombie Sister?!" Mother Zombie roared.
Cinnamon stammered, "I ... I ... I ... I..."
Mother Zombie said, "You ... you ... you ... you must ... you must ... you must suffer." And then she took a golden cleaver from under her robe and threw it at Zombie Sister Cinnamon's neck.
The Mother had brilliant aim.
But Cinnamon ducked.
And thus ended the life--or, more accurately, the undeath--of Zombie Sister Blaze Starr, the unfortunate creature seated in the sixth row.
The Sister Zombies stared at Mother Zombie, and Mother Zombie stared right on back. As Blaze Starr's decapitated head rolled down the aisle, one of the Zombies in the back of the room mumbled, "This again?"
Mother roared, "Silence, you odious death mongers! One of you, feed Blaze Starr to the goats."
In unison, the Zombies chanted, "Lady, oh the lady, oh the lay hee hoo."
Mother Zombie nodded, the tiniest of smiles playing about her lips. "That's correct, my beloved ones. Lady, oh the lady, oh the lay hee hoo."
After the goats were fed, and after the service was completed, Mother Zombie motioned Zombie Sister Brandi and Zombie Sister Cinnamon to join her in the courtyard. Brandi and Cinnamon both turned pale--or, more accurately, paler; most undead are already quite pale to begin with, especially those who spend nine-tenths of their lives in a dark, dank dump like the Abbey--because nothing good ever came of those meetings. For instance, earlier in the month, Zombie Sister Foxxxy was summoned to the courtyard to discuss her cleanliness, or lack thereof. "Foxxxy," Mother Zombie had said with a quiet, albeit fearsome whisper, "we have discussed your fluid situation. Numerous times."
Foxxxy stared at the floor. "Yes, Mother," she mumbled.
"Your nightly discharge is completely covering the floor of the water closet."
"To clarify: I mean the nightly discharge."
"That's the yellow discharge."
"Contrary to your daily discharge."
"That being the brown discharge."
"We must also discuss your brown discharge, however."
"Why is that, Mother?"
"Because it's covering the entire floor of your sleeping chambers."
Foxxxy mustered the strength to meet Mother Zombie's eyes. "That brown discharge didn't come from me, Mother."
"No? Who, then? Who did it come from? Who left brown discharge by your bed? Who in this Abbey would do such a thing?"
"I, um, I believe it was Vampire Sister Maria, Mother."
Mother Zombie moaned, then spit a gob of green goo on the wall; the wall steamed where the goo stuck. "Foxxxy, I'm aware that we tend to blame most of our problems on Maria. And that's certainly understandable, because Maria is a problem, and an unsolvable one at that. But the discharge by your bed isn't Maria's discharge. You see, it's common knowledge that any and all discharge coming from Maria is red. Any discharge."
"What do you mean, any discharge, Mother? I thought the different types of discharge were limited," Foxxxy asked.
"When you're a woman, there's plenty of discharge, Foxxxy."
"What kind of discharge, Mother?"
"You don't know?"
"I might have known at one time, but most of my mortal memories are a blur."
"It doesn't matter."
"But I want to know!"
"It doesn't matter!"
"But I want..."
Interrupting, Mother Zombie roared, "Never contradict me, Foxxxy! Never!"
"But I ... but I ... but I..."
"But you ... but you ... but you ... but nothing!" She pulled her trusty golden cleaver from under her robe and said, "Now put out your hand. The left one shall do."
"But I ... but I ... but I..."
"But you ... but you ... but you ... but shut up! Which finger do you wish to sacrifice?"
Foxxxy held out her hand and looked at the floor. "My pinky, Mother Zombie."
"Your pinky it shall be." And then Mother Zombie chopped off Zombie Sister Foxxxy's entire hand. After Foxxxy stopped moaning some six minutes later, Mother Zombie smiled and said, "Oh, dear me. My aim isn't what it used to be."
This was why nobody liked being called to the courtyard.
Presently, Zombie Sisters Brandi and Cinnamon knew better than to dawdle, so they hustled after Mother Zombie as if they were squirrels chasing nuts ... that is, if the squirrels happened to be undead squirrels slogging through the Seventh Ring of Hell with Sisyphean rocks strapped to their backs. In other words, Brandi and Cinnamon didn't move at a great rate of speed, as was the case with all zombies, a point that has now been hammered to death.
Once they caught up with Mother Zombie, Cinnamon curtsied, took a knee, and said, "To what do we owe the honor of a private audience, Mother?"
Brandi also curtsied, then kneeled down beside Cinnamon. "Yes, Mother, it's always a thrill to be invited to your office, because..."
Without warning--and with surprising quickness--Mother Zombie kicked Cinnamon in the chest, then punched Brandi in the jaw. "Both of you, shut it. Your grating voices and your lies about being pleased to meet with me make my undead soul cry out in pain, and I've neither the time nor the patience for this sort of blather. Be honest with me, Zombie Sisters: you're not honored to be in my presence."
Brandi and Cinnamon said nothing.
Mother Zombie nodded. "Silence means consent. But this comes as little surprise, as you both despise me. I'm perfectly content with that, though, because I, too, despise you. Let's finish this discussion so you can get out of my sight, and I, yours."
In unison, Cinnamon and Brandi said, "Yes, Mother."
"Silence! Not another word from either of you." And then, for the sake of symmetry, Mother Zombie punched Cinnamon in the jaw, then kicked Brandi in the chest. "Now. You two are Vampire Sister Maria's closest, no, only friends on the premises; am I correct?"
Brandi and Cinnamon said nothing.
Mother Zombie gave the Zombie Sisters simultaneous backhands. "Answer me, idiots!"
Near tears, Brandi whispered, "You said you didn't want another word from either of us, Mother."
"I say a lot of things, Brandi. You're intelligent enough to figure out which of the things you should take to heart. You two are intelligent beings. Correct?" (Incorrect. Brandi and Cinnamon were far from intelligent beings. For that matter, Brandi and Cinnamon were subhuman morons who were considered to be among the stupidest Zombies in the Abbey, and being that the Abbey was a haven of idiocy, that's saying something.) When neither responded, Mother Zombie repeated, "You two are Vampire Sister Maria's only friends on the premises, correct?" After a moment of silence, Mother Zombie said, "You may answer me now."
Cinnamon said, "In this instance, friend is a relative term."
Brandi said, "If you're being technical, Maria isn't a friend, so much as a somewhat tolerated associate."
Cinnamon said, "We've tried to be friends for realsies, but she's proven to be, well, a problem."
Brandi said, "A big problem."
Cinnamon said, "You see, Vampire Sister Maria is a bit of a flibbertijibbet."
Mother Zombie said, "What in the Devil's name is a flibbertijibbet?"
Brandi explained, "A whore."
"Ah," Mother Zombie said. "Flibbertijibbet. Whore. Makes sense to me. I'm not sure how Hammerstein would feel about it, but, you know, fick him."
"Who's Hammerstein?" Brandi asked.
Mother Zombie said, "None of your business. Getting back to Maria..."
Cinnamon said, "Now that I think about it, Maria might be more than a bit of a flibbertijibbet."
Brandi said, "You mean Maria is a huge whore?"
"Yes, Brandi," Cinnamon said, "I mean Maria is a huge whore."
Mother Zombie said, "We need this huge whore business confirmed." She cupped her hands over her mouth and roared, "Zombie Sister Jazzmine! Zombie Sister Diamond! Zombie Sister Bubbles! Join us in the courtyard immediately!" Twenty-seven minutes later, Jazzmine, Diamond, and Bubbles knelt beside Brandi and Cinnamon. Smiling, Mother Zombie said, "You made it in record time. Now tell me, my darlings, how do you feel about Maria?"
Jazzmine said, "I think I speak for my fellow Sisters when I say that she's the worst Vampire we have ever met, but we suck it up and deal."
Bubbles snickered. "Vampire. Suck it up. Nice."
Mother Zombie screamed, "Shut it, Bubbles!" To Jazzmine, she said, "What's so awful about her?"
"What isn't awful about her?" Jazzmine asked. "She ignores every established Abbey rule, she's unattractive as all get-out, and that hair. I mean, would a little conditioner once in a while kill her?"
Zombie Sister Diamond added, "And can we talk about her behavior in the cafeteria? She puts piles and piles of food on her tray, and never takes a bite. It's always, 'I want blood' this, and 'I want blood' that. And yet she never leaves any dessert for the rest of us."
"So not only is she a whore," Brandi noted, "but she's a selfish whore."
Mother Zombie nodded. "A selfish whore indeed."
Cinnamon told Mother Zombie, "Though we all agree Maria is a selfish whore, I don't want you to throw her out onto the street."
Diamond said, "I concur. Despite her selfishness and her whorishness, we need somebody like that around here. The lot of you are truly disgusting, of course, and a day without true disgustingness is like a day without holding a moonbeam in your hand, but when Maria brings home a bloodied corpse, it's far from your run-of-the-mill repulsive. It's ... it's ... it's magically repulsive. Watching her suck those dead bodies dry is foul. Nothing is more vomit inducing than seeing a Vampire have lunch, and a day without throwing up is like..."
Bubbles interrupted, "... a day without holding a moonbeam in your hand. We all agree."
"Here here," Jazzmine said, "Quite the will o' the wisp, Maria is."
"Goodness, all these new phrases," Mother Zombie said. "I'm out of the loop. What's a will o' the wisp?"
Brandi explained, "A whore."
Jazzmine said, "No, Brandi, a flibbertijibbet is a whore. A will o' the wisp is a magical being who elevates everything around them with their mere presence."
Bubbles asked, "Can a flibbertijibbet be a will o' the wisp?"
Diamond said, "No, but a will o' the wisp can be a flibbertijibbet."
Bubbles reasoned, "But a flibbertijibbet can elevate everything around them with their mere presence ... or at least they can elevate one thing around them with their mere presence, if you know what I mean." (They all knew what she meant. Even Brandi.)
Cinnamon asked, "So is Maria a flibbertijibbet, or a will o' the wisp, or some sort of combination of the two?"
Jazzmine said, "She might not be either. Maria is as unpredictable as the rain..."
At the same time, Bubbles, Cinnamon, Diamond, Jazzmine, and Brandi said, "She's a whore!"
"Oftentimes a pain."