Chapter 47: The Battle of Plaidstravaganza

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When she'd first heard Kris's plan, Kim had expressed sincere doubts about the efficacy of engaging zombies in a protracted ground war. And although she'd heard the fighting raging overhead while she'd been trapped in Silvio's horrific basement bedroom, she'd had no way of knowing what was actually happening. But now, seeing it with her own eyes, Kim was awestruck by the horror and devastation she saw before her. Hindsight being 20/20, "let's use plaid to lure the men in and then the zombies will kill them" turned out to be exactly as dumb a plan as it had appeared at first glance.

For one thing, there were simply too many men and not enough zombies. The maximum number of zombies you can reasonably fit in one store is like, a dozen, tops. But the men just kept coming--wave after wave, streaming in through the door, the little welcome bells continually jingling overhead. Even a highly trained and motivated crack team of zombie assassins would've struggled to keep up.

But unfortunately these zombies weren't that trained or motivated. The thing about about war is it will always be the side who has more to lose that fights the hardest. You can try to conscript an army and force them to fight, but if the other side has more at stake, more to defend, then they're going to win every time. And the zombies clearly did not want anything to do with this. They wanted to be left alone to wander the streets, and stand in the crowds in clubs and bars, and hang out at the mall in Dubai. As a general rule, zombies do not enjoy working in an elegant little boutique, nor do they desire to prevent random men from accessing the plaid items in said shop, and they definitely do not feel strongly about murdering those men the moment they walk into the store.

Even juiced up on Kim's emoji magic, their fighting skills were not that impressive. They kept forgetting what they were supposed to be doing and just wandered off and stared at the wall, or each other.

"See this is my whole thing about post-apocalyptic zombie stories," Kim said to Regalia, as they stood off to the side, watching the battle rage. "I just don't think zombies fundamentally pose a very realistic threat? Their hierarchy of needs is basically a flat line."

And so, because the zombies did not want to kill the men, the men were killing the zombies. Brutally.

It was almost understandable from the men's perspective. They'd come running in, excited about all the plaid they'd heard about. Their eyes would get wide and sparkly as they entered the store, the selection somehow even more impressive than they'd imagined. They'd walk over to the displays and start oooh-ing and aaah-ing and holding up different patterns against their skin to see what looked the best. Then they'd noticed that the mannequins hovering nearby were actually zombies, and they'd scream and freak out and start attacking them.

The men found the zombies threatening in their creepy other-ness. The zombies were interrupting their shopping, making them feel uncomfortable when all they wanted to do was relax and shop for some great deals. And then as more men entered the store, they'd see other men yelling and fighting the zombies, and the new men would immediately pile on. The men were massacring the zombies, tearing them apart in their quest to get to the plaid. After a certain point it seemed the men didn't even realize the zombies didn't pose much of a threat, they had simply become an angry mob who were super into the magical plaid and all too eager to kill anyone or anything that stood in their way.

Kim was utterly horrified.

"This is utterly horrifying," she said to Regalia. "Those poor zombies. They were just people lost in the game and now they're getting killed because of Kris's dumb plan? She's just making everything even worse! And this is partially my fault because I helped bring the zombies here."

"Excuse me?" Regalia said, turning to Kim.

"I unwittingly Uber'd the zombies up from Miami."

"I have many follow-up questions," Regalia said, stepping back from Kim.

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