Lunch With a Zombie: Chapter Eight

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"We should call his family," said Ducky. "This looks like sleepwalking. My brother used to sleepwalk so badly, my parents had to tie his leg to the bed so he wouldn't wander down the stairs."

"If we wake him suddenly, could he have a heart attack?" asked Zain.

Priya took the Professor's shoulder and gave it a gentle shake. "Wake up Rudolph. Wake up!"

When that didn't work, they tried grabbing him. Gently at first. Then they tried poking. Tonya watched Ducky pinch him, hard, but the Professor didn't notice.

"I refuse to be a part of this. You're going to hurt him," said Zain. "You should just leave him alone until he wakes up by himself." He started walking back up the path.

"Where are you going?" asked Ducky.

"Don't say I didn't warn you," said Zain. "If he gets hurt, his family can sue you."

"Wait!" said Ducky. The professor kept lumbering away from campus while Zain headed back the other way.

"Let Zain go," said Tonya. "We have to stop the Professor or he might walk into the road and get killed."

"How are you going to do that?" Priya asked. "You're half his size, and you're a cream puff."

"I can do this. You just have to want it badly enough." Tonya rushed up ahead of the professor and placed herself in front of him, straight-armed her hands at chest height and planted her feet. This time when Rudolph kept coming, Tonya resisted with all her force, for at least half a second, until he tipped her back and she lost equilibrium, crashing back onto her ass. Before she could react, the Professor raised a foot so large it blocked out the sun. He was about to bring it down on her head!

Suddenly, she felt Ducky's arm around her waist as he pulled her aside, barely averting the Professor's trampling feet.

"Thanks." She stood up, brushing wet leaves from her jeans.

After that, the three of them tried shouting and even kicking at the backs of the Professor's knees. They could make him stumble, momentarily, but nothing could stop or wake him. Giving up on individual efforts, they all grabbed onto his legs and dug in their heels, but soon found themselves water-skiing along the path, their feet slipping across muddy leaves. Two skinnies and Tonya were no match for the sheer forward momentum of Professor Rudolph.

"It's like trying to stop a rhino," said Ducky "What do we do now?

"Call the zoo?" asked Tonya.

"He ruined my good shoes," said Priya.

"We can't do nothing," said Ducky.

"Call the cops," said Priya. "He's a clear and present danger to leather goods."

"Not funny," said Ducky. "C'mon, maybe if we all grab the back of his jacket, we can at least slow him down."

Nothing helped. The Professor moved inexorably forward like the 'Unmoved Mover' he so eloquently described in his philosophical lectures.

"Let him go." Priya was panting. "We can follow him. It's all we can do."

"We need professional help," said Tonya.

"Who? Campus police? The O.P.P.?" said Ducky.

"They'll laugh at us," said Priya.

"You have a point." Tonya couldn't imagine the Ontario Provincial Police driving halfway across the region for a runaway sleep walker. "So we steer him clear of obstacles until he wakes up naturally." Although the unnaturally blue film over his eyeballs made her wonder if that were possible.

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