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An excerpt from: LOVE IN THE TIME OF ZOMBIES by KIRK SHIMANO

CHARACTERS JOE – a walking bundle of homosexual neurosis TODD – Joe’s potential object of affection – a kind soul masked by sarcasm REX – a fratboy with a heart of gold SHELLY – a gal who knows how to take charge, and does MELINDA – an unassuming retiree

THE TIME Three days after the zombie outbreak.

THE PLACE A deserted cabin in the woods

( JOE, TODD, SHELLY, and REX have found refuge from the attacking zombies in an abandoned summer cabin. TODD and SHELLY have just returned from exploring the cabin’s other rooms. JOE resolves to finally express his attraction for TODD. ) JOE So what’s behind door number one? TODD It’s actually just a pretty typical bedroom. Some closet space and some old clothes. No running water, unfortunately, but I did find a toolbox. SHELLY (to REX ) And there is a bed. REX Oh really? I think I better go investigate then. SHELLY I’ll go with you. Just to make sure you, you know, don’t get lost or anything. ( SHELLY and REX exit, giggling like schoolchildren ) JOE Well. I guess maybe we should start boarding up the window? TODD Yeah, good idea. Can you hand me that hammer over there? ( TODD begins to hammer in some boards ) JOE You’re pretty handy with that hammer. Are you handy? Like a handyman? You know handy?

TODD I guess. I used to work at Home Depot. JOE Oh really? I love Home Depot! All those tools that are designed specifically to do just one thing. Like those wrenches that fit exactly one type of nut. It almost gives you a sense of purpose. You know, seeing something that knows exactly what it was designed for. TODD It was just a summer job. JOE Right. Need any help there? TODD You can hold that end of the board down. JOE Sure thing. TODD So do you only get this chatty when you’re nervous? JOE Is it that obvious? TODD Well, we may be facing a zombie apocalypse. I think you’re allowed a couple dumb remarks. JOE But how do you stay so calm? TODD Well, it’s you actually. ( beat ) With you running around like a hysterical little girl, I just feel calm in comparison. JOE Hey! That’s not nice.

TODD Sorry. My ex used to always tell me that I had a mean sense of humor. I was trying to work on that before he, well, you know. ( A ZOMBIE ARM bursts through the top of the window. TODD bangs the hand with his hammer ) ZOMBIE GWAAAH! TODD Hand me another board, will you? ( JOE hands TODD a board. Their hands brush against each other ) Your skin is really soft. JOE Thanks. End of the world is no excuse to stop moisturizing, you know. TODD I didn’t take you for the type to know that sort of thing. JOE Gay points for me, I guess. TODD Oh yeah, it’s cool. I like a guy who isn’t exactly what I expect. ( Another ZOMBIE ARM breaks through. JOE shoots his gun, causing the arm to retreat. ) ZOMBIE GWAAAAH! JOE Well, I’m just glad you’re so good at keeping your cool, whatever your inspiration might be. We wouldn’t have made it out of the shopping mall otherwise. TODD I should be thanking you for your marksmanship back there. What are you, exmilitary?

JOE Not quite. TODD Cop? JOE Laser tag. But I’m flattered you’d think so. TODD What can I say? You’re a man of many surprises. People must tell you that all the time. JOE No. But I’ve always wanted them to. ( The ZOMBIE ARM punches through the top of the window with renewed fury. TODD shoves a board against the window and begins hammering frantically ) REX (offstage) Oh shit! SHELLY (offstage) Run! ( REX bursts into the door, looking disheveled. The door shakes with a fierce banging ) REX Somebody help me with this! TODD You’re not going to bolt her in there! REX She said to!

JOE Oh god oh god oh god. Shelly! Can you hear me? REX She’s still armed. We’re all dead if we leave that door open. TODD How many zombies are in there? Joe, he’s your friend, talk some sense into him. JOE I don’t know. I mean, we can’t give up this one secure spot. REX You know I don’t want to do this. TODD You’re a coward. JOE You’re right. We should try to save her. Except maybe it’s too late. TODD And you’re useless. JOE Let’s secure that door. ( JOE and REX finish boarding up the door ) REX I don’t believe it. I’ve known Shelly for such a short time. JOE I’m sure she’ll make it back somehow. REX I mean, all we had was two days worth of sex. JOE Three days. Actually, you probably had even more than three days worth.

TODD If you’re so concerned then maybe you shouldn’t have locked her in a room full of zombies. JOE Where do you get off calling me useless? Just because I like to think things through – SHELLY ( banging on the front door ) IT’S ME! OPEN UP! ( REX runs to the door and opens it. SHELLY enters. Her clothes are bloody. In her left hand is a torn zombie leg. She uses it to beat down an unseen foe. ) SHELLY KISS MY ASS YOU ZOMBIE PIGS! ( JOE and TODD bar the door so nothing else can come in ) REX Babe. You are so hot right now. SHELLY Stuff it, fucker. REX You told me to leave you! SHELLY I said “run.” That’s a little different from “lock me in a room full of zombies.” REX I knew you could handle yourself. SHELLY I’m surprised you had time to notice that while you were busy saving your own ass. REX

I can’t help if I have an overdeveloped survival instinct. SHELLY I’m not interested in your excuses. REX I’m sorry. SHELLY Yes, that’s one way of putting it. JOE I just don’t understand why the zombies are so aggressive. SHELLY Yeah, I’ve never been swarmed like that before. JOE It’s almost as if they have some connection to here. REX Well, what do we do – oh! ( As REX sits on a chair something jabs into his skin. He reaches into his pants and digs around, producing a pair of keys from his nether regions ) REX Oh, I musta sat on this when Shelly and I were -- wonder what they’re for? TODD I’ll try it in the other door. ( REX holds the keys out to him. TODD jerks back in disgust.) Hey, why don’t you just come with me. ( REX and TODD leave. JOE wanders over to the mantle and picks up a photograph ) JOE I wonder who the owner of the cabin was. They look so happy here.

SHELLY Just because they look happy doesn’t mean they were happy. This is Photoshopped. JOE Killjoy. SHELLY No it’s true. That used to be my job, Photshopping family portraits. Taking the zits off graduation photos. Removing certain guests from weddings. Slimming down fat kids. Look here, the shadow on the shoulder is missing. JOE Well, maybe she just had a huge goiter. SHELLY Or maybe this picture used to have his ex-wife? ( SHELLY looks at the other photos ) Photoshopped. Photoshopped. Photoshopped. I’m telling you, strip off all of the effects and you’ll find the grimy untouched background layer of the real world. ( TODD and REX return. REX carries a thick, rubber hazmat suit. TODD is wearing gloves, holding the keys out at a considerable distance ) REX There is some weird shit in there. TODD Test tubes. Beakers. A giant exam table. It’s some sort of lab or some – ( There’s a THUD as the wall shakes. Weapons are taken up ) SHELLY Why don’t they give up.

JOE It’s so out of character for the zombies. ( There’s a timid knock )

TODD Well that’s even more out of character. REX It’s a trap! The zombies are getting smarter. SHELLY I say we shoot first and dissect it in that lab after. ( There’s another knock, followed by a mumble ) JOE That sounded human. REX What if it’s someone that needs our help? SHELLY Well, we know how you handle that. JOE We should open the door. TODD Yes we should keep talking about opening the door. Ok, Mr. Man of Action, I’m going for it. JOE Are you sure? REX No, he’s not. TODD Cover me Shelly. JOE I got you. ( There’s another knock. TODD edges to the door and flings

it open. There’s an old lady, MELINDA standing there ) MELINDA Oh. Hello there. I really do hope you didn’t track any mud into my cabin. I just mopped the floors yesterday.

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