Dulcie tore her apron off and threw it at the attacker. She knew undercover operations weren’t her strength, especially with her outright refusal to wear anything but her flapper’s outfit while in public.
A gunman recoiled as the apron hit his face, the others opened fire, hoping to catch a glancing blow on the well-dressed cop. This was supposed to be a simple case; investigate the mysterious disappearances in The Chicken Shack. Of course, there was no such thing as a simple case and The Captain knew Dulcie was no such thing as a simple girl. The people eating unappetising sounding “Clucker Stuffers” had been waiting to strike, and once she reached the counters, there they were.
“You gentlemen wouldn’t let a lady go freshen up before you start shootin’ again, would you?”
The rattle of gunfire striking the curly-fry trays answered her. Dulcie was losing ground fast, she heard the attackers walking towards the counter. Here to place an order of, “Killing Detective Dulcie in the Face” with a side of, “Proving The Captain right”. She hated that particular dish more than any of the others.
The meat was the problem. It didn’t take a genius to notice that the store had stopped ordering any. Dulcie had put two and two together from the missing people to the mysterious meat. Damn, she’d had a “Scrawny Chicken Sandwich” and something that pretended very badly to be a salad.
“You made me into a cannibal!” That was the last straw. She ran to she where she hid a pair of pistols, and dodged a hail of bullets. Behind the counter was a maze of metal and slowly-cooking people-bits.
A shooter wearing a chicken mask went into a crouch and managed to get real close. Dulcie was still trying to tug the pistol out from under the greasy counter. How many years of burned skin, sweat, fat and bits of sizzling human had covered the counter? With their lax policy on cleaning, Dulcie guessed she was fighting with the remnants of maybe a hundred people, living and dead. Chicken-Mask was almost on her. The others were still trying to jump over the counter, but a diet of human burgers made them out of shape. It would have been funny if not for Chicken Mask. Dulcie stopped groping for the pistols and went for spatulas. They had been left in the bubbling fat, so she threw one and Chicken-Mask put his bare hand in the way. Wrong move. He screamed and bought Dulcie a couple more seconds.
She finally reached the guns and hoped that they weren’t gunked up with all the grease in the air.
“Worst mission ever,” she said. “Terrible for my pores.” She remembered the posters for all the missing people, and they were seeping into her skin even now.
Dulcie opened fire in the gap between the trays of desserts and the bubbling fries. One of the attackers fell. She shot Chicken Mask before he could recover. The last two started shooting everything. She ducked and aimed at their feet through the gap under the counter, doing her best to ignore the rotting hand left under there. They fell, screamed and she got back up to finish them off.
“Why’d you do it, fellas? Surely it’s easy enough to get meat without killing folks?”
A voice came from the door to the staff room, “You don’t understand. The meat makes us pure. Better. Even more human.”
It was the manager, Ian. He had a meat cleaver in one hand, a revolver in the other.
“Why would you make a cannibal cult in a fast food chain?”
“Why would you get your chicken, your actual non-human chicken from a fast food chain? It’s quick and it tastes good.”
Dulcie had the cover, she had the guns. She pulled the triggers. Two clicks. Damn. With her low attention-span, she always forgot to count her bullets.
“I guess we’ll be having us a Dulcie burger real soon,” Ian said. “Come with me into the back room and I’ll make it painless.”
It would give her time to think, to work out a plan. She dropped the guns and raised her hands. “Just go easy on me, okay? I haven’t ever been cannibalised before, I don’t imagine I’ll like it.”
“That’s okay, it’s kind of a once in a lifetime experience,” he licked his lips. She was taken into the back room and down a flight of stairs. There were dead bodies on slabs, one already carved up. It was when she saw the fat corpse that Dulcie knew it would be okay. The body was dressed in astronaut’s clothes, all apart from the helmet.
“Say, is that an astronaut?”
Ian looked at it, then back at her, “We found him dead by a dumpster dressed like that. Don’t try to distract me.”
Dulcie smiled as he raised the cleaver. There was a ‘thunk’ and the manager of The Chicken Shack collapsed.
Astronaut Jones, Zombie Detective, stood there behind him, meaty fist held high. “You’re under arrest,” he groaned.
“The Captain sent you after me, Astronaut?”
No one knew his real name, just the one on his uniform. They never even knew if he was a real astronaut, but he fought crime and played it by the book.
“I’m your new part-ner,” he said. Dulcie was a rule-breaker and a wild card, The Captain’s best bet was to pair her up with a zombie, after all, who would be better at following simple orders?
“Fine,” Dulcie said. “We’ve got two wounded attackers upstairs and a lot of meat I wouldn’t give to anyone but the dead.”
Astronaut Jones licked his grey-green lips and said, “Good. This has giv-en me a taste… For jus-tice.”
DULCIE ST. CLEMENTS AND ASTRONAUT JONES WILL RETURN IN ANOTHER THRILLING ADVENTURE!