Peace on Earth is at War

by

Jodi MacArthur

When you’ve got a politician knocking down zombies with stones from his backyard, someone’s bound to get politically correct all over his booty. And that’s exactly what the press is doing. Dozens gather in protest, but what is a guy to do when his yard backs a cemetery and them dead people won’t stop gnashing their choppers at ya? Yes, sir. Mr. Politician has a problem. His plight for peace goes on.

Zombies are cold, says one sign. Zombies shiver too, says another. Death is cold and Life is warm and it doesn’t take more than a simple mind putting two plus two together to figure that out. All them dead ones want is a cup of hot cocoa and a sweater. Another sign says, Give ‘em what they want and they’ll go away!

Farmer Eb’s not so sure about that. He’s got himself one of those butcherin’ yards, and hotdog on Sam’s Hill, them dern zombie cows keep arising like Lazarus on repeat.  He just sits there on the strong wooden fence his grand pappy built back in 1929, and he’s popping those stones out – aim, shoot, and fire- hard and fast like he’s one of them Yankee pitchers.

Zombie cows is a mooing, and it doesn’t sound so good. They is a mooing like they’re mad, like their rabid, like they just might have a couple’a fangs, and them fangs just might want something to plunge into. Farmer Eb is thinking they may want something more than hot chocolate and a sweater, but he keeps his mouth shut and minds his own business, just like a good farmer should.

If you don’t mind taking a crow’s fly a mile down the main road, we’ll make a quick drop into Mrs. Miller’s Drop & Shop Grocery & Gas. Only two weeks before Christmas and zombies are only half the cause of Mrs. Miller’s worries. The milkman ain’t brought no eggnog deliveries on account of them zombie people, zombie cows, and whatever zombie dead things be a’lurkin. Eggnog is cold, and so is death, and the zombies seem to have a thing against the cold stuff.

So Mrs. Miller cusses at the little TV screen, every time a scadoodling Missus Or Mister pops in to grab a quart of moo nog. Mrs. Miller was sick and tired of bein’ forced to be the Scrooge of Christmas, and that is enough to make anyone bah, humbug. And here’s the local schoolteacher for Shenanigan Elementary now.

“Good afternoon, Mrs. Miller, I don’t suppose you have a quart of eggnog, Tommy and Sue are just achin’ to get a taste of Christmas and Henry is just too sick for me to leave’im for the big city grocery.” The schoolteacher says this with such hope, such longin’.

Mrs. Miller does one of her practiced sighs, grits her teeth for what’s to come, and says, “I’m sorry, we just plum ain’t got none due to the dead up and walkin’ and all.” Mrs. Miller braces for the axe to fall, she’s bracing for it, and then chop! Jim Dandy ain’t got nothin’ on what the schoolteacher is about to pull.

“Mrs. Miller, my youngest is sick and I can’t make it to the big town. You’s the only store we’ve got around here and if one can’t expect a body to keep in stock one of the most important items that define Christmas, then by all the power that is within me, I’ll go down to the corner and start my own shop.” The schoolteacher fixes her hat, glances Mrs. Miller up and down, and leaves with a Hurumph!

Mrs. Miller cusses at the little TV in the corner. The louder she cusses, the more she sounds like a ticking time bomb.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Boom!

By George, Mrs. Miller decides to chase that schoolteacher down and give it back at her. It was Christmas. Christmas. What right did a schoolteacher have comin’ in and unloadin’ her undesirables on her?

She grabs the shotgun under the counter, rounds the corner of the cash register, runs to the door, and shoves it open. “What do you think you’re doin’ struttin in here and demanding Christmas moo nog as if I could just pluck it off the shelf? Ain’t you notice there’s dead things walkin’ around? Ain’t ya notice we’ve got our very lives to protect? Ain’t ya noticed I have a gun and you do-” Well, Mrs. Miller herself notices the schoolteacher isn’t payin’ her any mind. She is just standing there lookin’ up at the sky.

Mrs. Miller figures she’ll look at the sky too, and what she sees… What she sees floating out of the clouds and landing soft and easy like snowflakes would make you plum faint, out like a light, just like Mrs. Miller does on the dirty floor of Drop & Shop Grocery & Gas.

Peace On Earth is at war and that’s no lie. What makes Mrs. Miller faint, and the schoolteacher stare at the sky, is the same reason Farm Eb halts from his stone.

Peace comes a floating on wings of a feather, and amphibians the color of green beans. Yes, sir, they be turtles. “Turtlin’ doves,” whispers Farmer Eb.

Farmer Eb hears a soft hiss as the first turtling dove lands on a zombie cow awaking freshly from the dead. A snap, crunch, and a munch later there isn’t more than snout left of that ol’ cow.

And so it goes, there is more and more of them turtles with wings filling the sky, and them zombie cows start rising faster and quicker. And before you know it peace is taking a big bite out of the freshly dead.

If we can just jump over to that rascally politician getting ready to be politically corrected-ly abused, we’ll see reporters not only snap shooting them flying green beans with wings, but also snapping Mr. Politician laying down his last stone and watching in amazement as the turtling doves eat in droves.

Them critters are bringing peace in a swoop of peanut butter that ain’t never tasted so real before. They just sort of clean up the place, like Uncle Mo scarfing down leftovers of Christmas dinner!

Mr. Politian squats down to look one of the critters in the eye, and just as he squats on down there, one lands on his behind. Boy howdy! Did the crowd have something to laugh at!  Which means, they didn’t have anything to gripe.

Mrs. Miller awoke to being shaken by that nasty schoolteacher we left standing to watch the green earlier. They both shake hands, and it just so happens that the milkman comes by within the hour, delivering several cases of Eggnog.

You see, the moral of this story, boys and girls, is sometimes the greatest things happen when you least expect them. You could keep a pile of stones handy, or sweaters and hot cocoa, dependin’ on which side of the fence you be fallin’, but I say it’s better to believe. Believe in the impossible, believe in Christmas, and turtling doves will deliver.

BIO:  Jodi MacArthur serves imagination raw on an open flame.
Bring your fork to www.jodimacarthur.blogspot.com
Published online and in print, she is working on her first novel, Devil’s Eye.

25 Comments »

  1. 1
    Laura Eno Says:

    Fabulous, Jodi! Them turtlin’ doves takin’ care of the zombies…who would have thought? Excellent, girl!

  2. 2

    Oh my gosh, Jodi, that was so funny. I was is so entertained all the way through.. This is a story you can’t stop reading. How can you stop and not know what comes next?

    I love this sentence: “Peace comes a floating on wings of a feather, and amphibians the color of green beans. Yes, sir, they be turtles. “Turtlin’ doves,” whispers Farmer Eb.” Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Well done, Jodi! :-)

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Wisneski, Deanna Schrayer. Deanna Schrayer said: RT @Wisneski: #12days – Day Two – Two Turtle Doves – @JodiMacArthur doesn't disappointment with her zombie cows! http://ow.ly/Mi8S […]

  4. 4
    Kathleen Gilbert Says:

    Jodi,

    Where do you come up with these ideas? Very original and entertaining. Turtlin Doves–Love it. Thanks for the awesome read…

  5. 5

    You do bring in on, Jodi! Fabulous. I love the sound of this piece. “Zombie cows is a mooing, indeed!

    Clever, inspired, entertaining, just wonderful.

  6. 6

    Ugh. Am sick now in my coffee. Great job Jodi!

  7. 7
    trev Says:

    YEE and/or HA!!

    I thought it couldn’t get any better than zombie cows, but noooooo. You upped the ante and gave us turtling doves. Awesome and a half.

  8. 8

    Yay! Thanks for reading everyone. I consider this more or less one of my masterpieces. I cried so much while writing this. Just couldn’t stop laughing! Esp since it was right after I had written ‘Burning Yesterday’ For Michael Solender’s contest.

    So glad you enjoyed. I’m tickled as can be.

    ~J

    Ps. In this case, Trev, YEE and/or HA!! is very appropaite

  9. 9

    Great piece! I love the writing in dialect.

  10. 10

    Jodi,
    That is brilliant! Your imagination for creating unusual characters and plot is amazing. I like the twist of Peace on Earth is at War

    Peace On Earth is at war and that’s no lie. What makes Mrs. Miller faint, and the schoolteacher stare at the sky

    A clever poem in the midst!

    Truly enjoyed it

  11. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wisneski: #12days – Day Two – Two Turtle Doves – @JodiMacArthur doesn’t disappointment with her zombie cows! http://ow.ly/Mi8S

  12. 12
    Harry Says:

    JoJo this is excellent, easily awesome and a half as Trevor says! I so wish I’d thought of the Turtle Dove idea!!! Love it all but out of this great line: and hotdog on Sam’s Hill, them dern zombie cows keep arising like Lazarus on repeat……I am definitely going to start working “hotdog on Sam’s Hill” in as my new favortie exclamation!

  13. 13

    i had coffee come out my nose… all of it was a delight, jodi. from the dialect to the zombies (who can’t love zombies?) to the ‘turtle doves’.

    you never fail to entertain me, fill me with writers envy nor make me strive to be a better writer.

  14. 14

    How sweet! Good and bizarre!

  15. 15
    Deanna Schrayer Says:

    Absolutely love it Jodi! You had me rolling and about to pee my britches. Fantastic job!

  16. 16
    suzie bradshaw Says:

    OH my Jodi!!! You did it, you went and made me laugh til I wet myself. It’s already been said but wow, zombie cows! Loved it and then the turtlin’doves made their appearance. I am blown away girl! Fantastic!

  17. 17

    Jodi!

    Thanks for participating in this project of mine and thanks for writing such a great story!

    I love seeing how you ran with the idea. . . zombie cows. . . how perfect!

    Jim

  18. 18

    Hillarious! Well done Jodi :)

  19. 19

    Wow… I think it Twain were to write a zombie-esque piece, it might read like this…

  20. 20

    Thank you SO much everyone! I’m tickled and blushing and happy as can be.

    Thanks to Jim for inviting me. If he hadn’t I never would have written this. And I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed writing. Looking forward to the next 10 days.

  21. 21

    Jodi, your voice in this is so very strong, you had me hooked right from the start. And although I can’t say I’m a zombie fan (cows, or any other kind) I thoroughly enjoyed your turtlin’ doves. It’s a real gem.

  22. 22

    As an Aussie it took a bit to get the dialect working in my head (my issue, certainly not yours Jodi!) Zombie cows (definitely my favourite) but also the strong image of throwing stones (made me think of the whole bibical thing – he who has not sinned cast the first stone!) and how the zombies by mere presence were turning the world upside down.

    Then the turtling doves – a little like the chickens in choppers come to save the day in “Cow’s With Guns”. Bravo Jodi… well deserved all the comments.

  23. 23
    Annie Says:

    I’m with Jodi re Cows with Guns reference – whether it was intentional or not.

    You have a distinctive writing voice, with a natural entertaining storytelling lilt to it.
    This post certainly brightened my day – thanks!!

  24. 24

    Hi Jodi !!

    I’ve been meaning to comment because this was the first story I read here and I was completely mind-blown. Totally got a complex wondering whether I should have submitted humour-horror with zombie Olympic swimmers or something!

    Wish I could write like this, with such careless elegance! Your use of language is superb, the characters are so much fun. I was initially confounded but I was cheering at the end when the mutant turtle doves came to save the day!

    I don’t think I have ever read something like this, or laughed so hard in a long time!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    Happy Holidays!

    ~ Nishida


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