Back to the Doctor

Zombie in Z Minor Part 1


December 18th


The three court musicians found their way to the same pub every Friday evening. Not yet 18 and given freedom for the first time was a potent combination for these young men who were just beginning to make a name for themselves. Their days were music and their nights were women and each one kept the secret from the others that they alone would become a great composer.

When the entire world is laid out at your feet, it's easy to not watch where you step.

As the day rolled over to the next they gathered their things and while still humming the sonatas trapped in their minds to each other they stumbled into the December night. By now the streets were mostly quiet, here and there a lone carriage made its way past and sometimes in the distance you'd see a man making his way home, but for the most part the streets of Salzburg belonged only to the three musicians and the music they sang to brighten the stars.

The smaller of them lost his footing and fell fast first into a shallow puddle in the cobbled street. His friends burst out laughing.

"Come on Wolfy, get up," the taller man, Jens, yelled at his friend. He wasn't just the tallest of the three; he also had broad shoulders and by far looked the strongest of all the court musicians who worked for Prince-Archbishop Colloredo. His powdered wig fell off his head as he bent down to help his friend up.

The last of the three, Ludolf, leaned against the building and laughed at his friends as they tried to gather themselves up. Ludolf's own wig was shoved into his pocket and his dark hair fell into his eyes as he struggled to catch his breath from laughing so hard.

"You two are pathetic!" He chided him.

Wolfy stared at Ludolf with his large, intense blue eyes. He was a waif of a man, but when he stared at you with those eyes you'd get a chill down your spine, as though it wasn't a human looking at you, but an actual wolf. When his father gave him the name Wolfgang, it must have been after he had stared into his son's deep blue eyes.

"You could-" Wolfgang hiccupped "-could help."

"Oh, you two seem to have everything under control."

They were finally relatively steady on their feet. Mozart plopped Jens' wig back onto his head – backwards – and the three continued on their way, gleefully singing at the top of their lungs as the December chill set into their skin.

"Wait, wait," Jens held out his arms and stopped his two friends as they passed over a bridge. He giggled, pointing: "Look."

Wolfgang and Ludolf laughed as a man stumbled across the bridge towards them, clearly even drunker than they were. He moaned as he zigzagged across the cobblestones. Ludolf began to mimic him, moaning as he bumped into his friends.

"My god I hope we don't seem like that to sober people," Wolfgang muttered to his friends.

"Wolfy, you always seem like that to sober people."

"Are you saying I'm-" hiccup "-I'm never sober?"

"Are you?" Jens asked.

"Ask me tomorrow when-" hiccup "-when I'm pinning you-" hiccup "-to the ground."

"You want to wrestle me?"

"Come off it, Sir Mozart," Ludolf teased, "you wouldn't even be able to beat me in a wrestling match."

The three of them were no longer watching the man stumbling towards them, they stood in a circle laughing with each other, not even hearing the moans that only grew louder as the man got closer, and closer…

"What?" Jens said as he felt a hand rest on his shoulder. He turned around and saw the drunken man standing directly behind him, his face now held up to the moonlight, staring directly into Jens'. Jens was taken aback, he breathed in sharply. "Oh my lord Jesus…"

The stranger's face was pale and had a sickly yellow colouring. His skin hung loose off his bones like an old man, but he didn't look like an old man; instead, he was like a dead thing whose skin has begun to rot and fall off. He had heavy dark circles around his blank, dark eyes that seemed to bulge out of his skull. He opened his mouth to moan again and Jens could see his brown teeth, the gums shriveled and pulled up, giving the man the jaws of a lion.

The jaws opened wide and, as Jens stumbled to move away, suddenly lunged forward and clamped down on his neck.

He couldn't scream, the sound came out like the gurgle of a sick stomach, so his friends screamed for him. Stepping back, too shocked for a moment to do anything until a sudden cascade of blood erupted from Jens' neck and began to drench the coat he'd only bought last week.

Ludolf reacted first. He ran up to the strange man and punched him in the ear, then grabbed his shoulders and tried to pull him off as Jens' eyes began to wildly twitch and his knees started to give out.

Ludolf finally succeeded in pulling the man off, but most of Jens' neck came off in his mouth. Jens' head folded back and a shower of blood sprayed the man and Ludolf as they began to wrestle with each other.

Wolfgang watched the body of his friend crumple to the ground, unable to move or make a sound as Jens' eyes pleaded up at him for a moment longer, and then went blank themselves.

A scream from Ludolf woke Wolfgang out of his trance. The man, the front of him completely dyed in blood, had clamped his jaws around Ludolf's forearm.

Wolfgang ran forward and punched the man's face, his jaw unclamped and came off, just as a ring on Wolfgang's hand caught on the man's eye socket and a chunk of flesh dripped off his face, exposing dark rotting muscle and skull.

Wolfgang could feel himself screaming, could feel the burning in his throat, as the corpse of a man stared at Wolfgang without emotion of pain and began to lunge at him. Ludolf tackled the man, quickly scrambling back to his feet and kicking him in the face before grabbing his friend and running.

Ludolf pulled Wolfgang through the streets, leaving his scream lying amongst the two bodies. There was no direction and no destination, but as long as they heard the moaning on the wind they kept running until their lungs were ragged and their legs burned.

After an eternity of running they realized the moaning was gone and all they were hearing was the cold Austria wind cutting through them like that man's teeth and cut through their friend.

To Be Continued…

(I had a hard time beginning this chapter, because I really wanted my drunk musicians to be singing – only I couldn't find anything for them to sing! I don't know any traditional Austrian songs and trying to find one is like pulling teeth. There is a lot about history I don't know, and I tried to keep things a little vague simply because I knew I would get the specifics wrong. I'm sure there will be a lot of anachronisms in this story, but let's try to remember for a minute that this story has Mozart meeting zombies. I wasn't really going for historical accuracy here. I didn't make the nickname Wolfy up; I yanked it from the seriously anachronistic Amadeus. I'm not entirely sure if there's any historical merit to Mozart having a nickname other than Amadeus – but what friends call each other Amadeus? Also, as I edited this I realized I must have subconsciously been describing Jezza, Captain Slow and Hamster - Ten points to anyone who got that, not because I marvel at your knowledge of useless trivia, but because anyone who watches Top Gear deserves ten points in life.)