Cosmic Latte

Submitted into Contest #60 in response to: Write a post-apocalyptic story that features zombies.... view prompt

56 comments

Funny Thriller

The color of the universe and the walls of my house match almost perfectly. I don’t know how to feel about this. Should it make me feel more secure because in some meta way I am out in the universe even when I am at home alone, safe on my couch while I sip from oversized coffee mugs, watching the clouds roll by like massive white poodles out my window? Or should I be concerned that the universe is so dreadfully blah, instead of some raging orange or deep thoughts purple? I don’t know, but I think about it a lot anyway. I think about it as I stir my morning coffee with my pinky, because it’s cold on my porch and the coffee is hot. I think about it a lot especially then because of the name the scientists gave the universe’s color. 

Cosmic latte. 

Sounds like a Starbucks drink. Maybe it is a Starbucks drink but I wouldn’t know. I don’t go there anymore, haven’t for a while now. It seemed cliche to me, to take my laptop, take my dizzy with stories head, take my inky words heart, to the place where everyone was doing the same. All typing. All those fingers clack clack clickety clack clack clacking on their keyboards or, for those really intent hipsters, their typewriters. Ha. A friend of mine had a typewriter. She lives in Manitoba now, where she does somersaults every morning and writes novels about snakes and cats and manages a lighthouse, spotlighting a new world every week. But yeah, she had a typewriter, and it worked out for her. Maybe I should get one too. Anyway, there’s been news this week that breaks me away from all of the cosmic latte stuff and whether or not I should repaint my walls. You know what it is? 

Zombies. 

That, folks and wokes, was decidedly the roughest transitional sentence in the history of all bad transitional sentences. Cosmic lattes to Starbucks to typewriters to Manitoba novelist friends to zombies. Ah, but how else am I to start the story? It’s been a week, that’s certain. Sort of all started when I woke up last Monday and I found a row of sharp tooth marks in the soft wood of my windowsill, like the bitemarks of a puppy, but I don't have pets. I had a betta fish named Louis Violetta, but I fed her too much after forgetting when her mealtimes were. My house plant lives above my bed, but you know most plants don’t bite. I named it Audrey 2 anyway, just because I’ve always wanted to be like Seymour, minus the whole carnivorous disaster thing. The singing, though, and the defending pretty girls against their sardonic dentist boyfriends, that was neat. Mm, getting off track again, but right, zombies. It wasn’t my first guess, okay. My first guess was that I was still dreaming, and that at any second a bowl of baked bean bologna would dump out from the sky and it would be raining canned meat like it always, for some reason, does in my dreams. My next guess was that because I hadn’t put on my glasses yet, or because I’d spent too much time doing Sharpie work last night, my eyes were playing tricks on me and my dumb face, but it wasn’t that either. 

Like I said, it was zombies, and they weren’t even fourth on my guess list. 

Seventeen tiny sharp razor holes in my windowsill, and I was worried about whether or not I had enough breakfast cereal to tide me over till lunch, when I would pour the exact same cereal into a different bowl and call it lunch cereal instead. Needless to say, I ignored them when I couldn’t find the solution, and went on with my day. It wasn’t until much later, about the time I got home from Waffle House with a sackful of garden picked pickles for my friend (who had an unhealthy obsession with them, for reasons unknown to me) that I realised something was wrong. A notification popped up on the top of my phone screen and I froze. 

Be Warned, Stay Home 

That was normal, right? It had been a rough year for the universe, certainly not a cosmic latte but instead, I don’t know, a flesh melting lava? Of course I should be warned. I slid the notification away. Of course I should stay home. I guess that meant I should cut down on the trips to Waffle House, but the thing was, when it comes to Waffle House, I abide by no laws. 

Someone else texted me and I flinched. It was an article that they’d shared with me and the headline was disconcerting to say the absolute least. 

Zombies Take The City, 2,000 People Infected and Dangerous, 786 Infected and Contained. 

So that was naturally when everything, all the bitemarks and the smell in my attic and the way hardly anyone was out in the streets today and the way the people who were out looked at me like I was either bizarre or really, really brave, made sense. 

Zombies. 

Who would’ve thought I’d live to see the apocalypse? 

I sent the text saying I had pickles to my friend and set the phone down, leaning hard against my counters. My fingers were cold again. I read the headline again and decided this could only be settled over Little Debbies and Netflix reruns, so I texted my buddies and partners in high sea crime. They’d be here soon, and if there was anyone I wanted to spend my last hypothetical days with, it would be them. My parents had left for the moon a few months ago, so they were safe. I would call them later, make my amends and say my farewells. Or maybe, once my friends got here, I would be so inspired to not die and become one beige splotch in the vast universal coffee mug that we would make a run for it. 

Me: guys come over, the world is ending 

Pickles: do u have my pickles

Me: duh are u coming to get them 

Me: please I don’t want to be zombie food alone

RainbowA: yeet b there soon 

Me: awesome who else will be companions in our last hoorah 

Me: I have ice cream and a tv 

ShipCaptain: It’s a Thursday, isn’t it?

Me: Actually yes it is

ShipCaptain: Ahh how fitting, I could never get the hang of Thursdays 

Me: yeah well get the hang of public transport and get over here 

ShipCaptain: will do 

Me: I wish Z didn’t live in Manitoba 

QueenBrocolli: dude we all do 

ShipCaptain: ain’t that the truth 

ZeBabs1336: Just because I’m in Manitoba doesn’t mean I can’t see your messages 

Me: we’re being nice 

QueenBrocolli: yeah 

ShipCaptain: always and forever 

RainbowA: *rolls eyes* 

Me: okay, love you guys, be here soon and don’t get caught up in zombieland 

I signed off the chat and sighed. If only I knew for certain they would all make it here safely. I was also feeling eerily calm for an apocalypse, but you know what they say. Calm before the storm. I shot off a text to a few more folks but they said they were with family but would call me later. Later. Never had a single word seemed so futile. A green, decaying zombie hand smacked my front window with a sickening splotch of a sound and slid, sludgy skin leaving slime stains on the glass. Ah, and Wednesday was cleaning day, so now all my hard work had gone to waste. 

“Alexa, play Let It Go.” 

No sound. I didn’t have an Alexa anymore. Sold that baby on Craigslist after one too many three am scares. Plus I could use the money, so it wasn’t a great loss. After all, there was always Spotify. As I swiped through my dozens of playlists, a battering of dismembered limbs peppered the outside of my house. To the tune of the Sesame Street playlist I made to play when babysitting the kids down the road, I bit my nails and resisted the urge to make myself another gallon of chamomile tea. They should be here soon, I thought. Why weren’t they here? I clicked the messages app again. 

Me: guys I’m getting worries lol where r u 

*your message was not delivered* 

My internet connection had gone out, apparently, but the tinny voices of Elmo and Ernie still played on, an upbeat tune to a somber moment. I slipped into my boots and brushed my hair with an old salad fork, reapplied ChapStick as though it were a zombie shield and headed back to my room. My suitcases, halfway open and belongings scattered across the floor and bed, would have to be coming with me. I didn’t bother packing clothes for the trip; I wanted weapons. 

After all, this was the apocalypse, not Coachella. 

I had to go find my friends and I didn’t know how I would do that, not exactly, but what is exact about the end of the world? Nothing, except that it’s mostly likely ending. I sent a text to my parents, saying I hoped to talk to them before my brains got eaten like overripe cotton candied ramen noodles, then stopped at the kitchen to cram the contents of my cupboard into my snacks bag. They could be a weapon too. I snatched knives and belts and an old set of bowling pins. 

ShipCaptain: can we watch sherlock pls

My phone buzzed and I was never more relieved to hear it. 

Me: We can honestly watch whatever you want. Are you on your way?

ShipCaptain: will be soon 

Me: ah well I just left the house to save everyone 

Pickles: rhonny why 

RainbowA: so overdramatic I literally don’t have a car give me a sec girly 

Me: sorry i wanted to drop everything and find you what 

QueenBrocolli: go back insidddde and be safe weirdo 

Me: but it’s scary 

ShipCaptain: but do you want to die or what dude like make up your mind

Me: thanks guys love you too also though, I can’t go back inside

ZeBabs1336: why not? 

I couldn’t go back inside because a.) I had locked the doors and left my keys on the stupid beige kitchen counter and b.) um, remember those bite marks were on the inside of the windowsill? 

There was almost definitely a zombie somewhere in my house. 

If the apocalypse had a color, what would it be, and would Lowe’s carry that paint too? 

Me: why don't we just meet at Waffle House instead?

September 20, 2020 23:07

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56 comments

Zilla Babbitt
11:33 Sep 21, 2020

Aw, I see the reference to me! Thank you 🤩

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Rhondalise Mitza
01:26 Sep 23, 2020

Of course!

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Scout Tahoe
00:43 Sep 21, 2020

Loved the first line! Just amazing, Rhonda. Cosmic Latte is such a great title!

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Rhondalise Mitza
02:30 Sep 21, 2020

Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it, it was hard to incorporate but I've been playing with the idea for the last week or so. Cosmic Latte is a real science thing and while the concept is bizarre, it's also so so simple.

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Scout Tahoe
02:50 Sep 21, 2020

Huh, interesting. I thought you made it up :)

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Zilla Babbitt
23:40 Sep 22, 2020

Your poem is lovely! Have you read "Making a Fist"? It's a poem too, I noticed the line reference in your biopoem. --that's a cool word. A poem in your bio. Biopoem. Get it? Sigh. Of course. I'm rambling now.

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Rhondalise Mitza
23:54 Sep 22, 2020

I just looked it up and read it now but I hadn't read it before, no! And yes, biopoem is a very cool word. Love it and all the rambling. :) it's been a long day for Reedsy, huh?

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Scout Tahoe
22:55 Sep 22, 2020

Oh. My. Gosh. I just read your bio, Rhonda, and I was blown away. You're an amazing poet. Wow--just wow. If there was a bio award (which there should totally be) you'd win it. Incredible.

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Rhondalise Mitza
23:29 Sep 22, 2020

Yeah! So I decided to put some poetry of mine in the bio since they aren't long enough to submit as actual stories, don't fit with the prompts, and I may need them for other contests so they aren't technically published. :)

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Scout Tahoe
23:40 Sep 22, 2020

Great idea! You go girl!

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Grace Reardon
12:37 Sep 22, 2020

Hey Rhonda, long time no see! This story is real dope, love the humor and the references to the other Reedsy authors. One day I hope to be on the leaderboard and to be friends with y'all. Haha today I am bringing out my inner texan. Anyway I loveyour stories, keep writing, and I hope you check out mine!

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:28 Sep 22, 2020

Aw, of course you can be friends with us. It's not high school anymore, our table is open to all. :) Really though, just join our conversations whenever you can, it's pretty cool. I will definitely check out your stories, Grace, and being from seriously like one state over from Texas, I also refrain from saying y'all on a daily basis.

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Grace Reardon
13:32 Sep 22, 2020

Thanks Rhonda, it'll be fun to talk to some fellow authors and role models more often. Also sorry, the "y'all thing" did not mean to be offensive. I was born in Texas and my friends make fun of my accent, lol. Thanks though, keep up the good work!

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:35 Sep 22, 2020

Oh no, it wasn't offensive, I was just saying I do the same thing. I live in Arkansas but I'm from South America so I have a weird accent going on there. :)

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Grace Reardon
13:40 Sep 22, 2020

Haha, I can relate. Anyway I hope you win the Face your Fears contest! I'm posting mine later, so make sure to check it out!

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Haha, me too. Kinda. I live in Virginia and I say ‘y’all’...which isn’t TOO weird, but everyone is like “you guys” or “peeps” and I’m just busting out my “HEY Y’ALL” ‘WASSUP Y’ALL” “SUP Y’ALL” “Y’ALLY’ALLY’ALL IT’S A Y’ALL PARTEH” Lol

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Zilla Babbitt
23:41 Sep 22, 2020

"Where'y'll'b'n" is an actual word, too.

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Amany Sayed
00:09 Sep 23, 2020

Same girl! I'll especially do it while texting haha

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Rayhan Hidayat
13:12 Sep 21, 2020

This is such a fun story. There’s something refreshing about being super chill during a zombie apocalypse. I love it. Keep it up! 😙

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Orenda .
03:34 Sep 21, 2020

yeeeeeeee amazing huhuuhuhuhu....and DOOM has struck youuuu i'm sure i'm queenbrocolli, aren't i? :)) this was so good, honestly.

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:36 Sep 21, 2020

💖yes ma’am

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Orenda .
06:40 Sep 21, 2020

he heeee

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Amany Sayed
01:16 Sep 21, 2020

This was just... I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I am 'pickles' correct? ;)

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Rhondalise Mitza
01:20 Sep 21, 2020

Yes you are pickles. :)

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Amany Sayed
01:23 Sep 21, 2020

Ah, perfect :)

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Amany Sayed
01:18 Sep 21, 2020

I have just informed the rest of the crew to read. They should arrive shortly

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Rhondalise Mitza
01:21 Sep 21, 2020

Hooray! I look forward to seeing them.

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Orenda .
03:32 Sep 21, 2020

I HAVE ARRIVED, GOD RHONDA!! :n

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I HAVE ARRIVED

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Amany Sayed
03:49 Sep 23, 2020

Hey Rhonda, if you're ever free in between enviromental science studies and playing with your bunny and writing awesome poetry I'd be really grateful if you could check out and leave me your feedback on my most recent :)

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Amany Sayed
00:08 Sep 23, 2020

I absolutely adore the poem in your bio! A quote I kept thinking of for some reason I wanted to share with you 'Lift your head up princess, your tiara is falling' Bye now! :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
00:14 Sep 23, 2020

body and self positivity dudes! :)

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Amany Sayed
00:16 Sep 23, 2020

:)

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17:48 Sep 21, 2020

Awesome job! And I like your new profile pic (Or maybe it's not new, idk)

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Okay, so, Amany sent me an urgent message saying go read it. It was fantastic!! YAY I THINK I’M RAINBOWAAAAAAAAA! Wow, I really need to do a nod story by now...ooh, should THAT be my short test story to do one last try at getting a story approved? Maybe. Idk. Anyways, great read! I LOVE the title, and all the nods were so fun to guess. Awesome job!

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Rhondalise Mitza
02:29 Sep 21, 2020

Yes, you're RainbowA! :) Good work, agent.

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Maya W.
14:32 Sep 22, 2020

Hey Aerin! Where do you all message?

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Hmm? My friends and I just chat in comments, I guess. I’m confused. Whuh?

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Maya W.
15:27 Sep 22, 2020

Oh, okay, I thought you guys had a chat on discord or whatsapp or something, lol.

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Rhondalise Mitza
18:09 Sep 22, 2020

Hey, Maya! We just chat in the comments but I have a different Reedsy group on Instagram if you have an account.

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Maya W.
18:27 Sep 22, 2020

Okay! I'm MayaHelen2 on instagram.

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Avery G.
00:39 Sep 21, 2020

Wow, this was amazing, Rhondalise! I loved it! Cosmic Latte does sound like a starbucks drink. Anyway, great job!

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Rhondalise Mitza
02:30 Sep 21, 2020

Thannnnk you, Avery!

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Avery G.
20:12 Sep 21, 2020

You're welcome!!!!

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09:37 Sep 27, 2020

This is so awesome that I cried like the world was ending when my laptop died right in the middle of reading it. Seeing that I'm not even a teen yet, this kinda scared me for the 'zombies' part but the rest was cool. Oh, and search up cosmic latte because it's the most frequent colour in the universe. This is going to be my next fav drink when it's invented by presumably a mad scientist.

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Cynthia Scott
16:35 Sep 26, 2020

Great humor!! Loved the cute metaphors throughout, as well as the ending.

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Corey Melin
04:31 Sep 23, 2020

Enjoyed the read. Especially the tooth marks inside the house. Is she the zombie? 😆 Dialogue is always great. Superb zombilla read.

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14:43 Sep 22, 2020

Hey, Rhondalise would you be kind to watch the first video it's on Harry potter. https://youtu.be/KxfnREWgN14 Sorry for asking your time, I would ready your story

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:34 Sep 22, 2020

I watched the video and commented, thank you for sharing!

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18:00 Sep 22, 2020

Welcome!

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Maya W.
14:29 Sep 22, 2020

Awesome story! I love the interactions with the friends, and you packed a lot of character motivation into not a lot of words, which is always great. Would you mind reading my newest story, Demons Down Under the Sea? Thanks!

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