Authors: Andy Griffiths
He'd already lost his parents.
He couldn't bear to lose his gran as well.
Not that he need have worried.
Gran stood up, looked around her and then did an extraordinary thing.
She started to spin around on the spotâsnipping and snapping the air with her pincer-fingers.
Within moments all the mutant zombie maggots around her had lost their heads. Then, before they had a chance to repair themselves, Gran spun herself forward, cutting a deadly swathe through the hapless and increasingly headless sea of maggots back towards the Great White Bum. She was like a one-woman tornado, extracting maximum damage on the mutant zombie maggots.
Eleanor shook her head in admiration. âAwesome,' she said.
âNot bad,' said Zack's bum. âNot bad at all.'
Zack nodded. âThat's my gran,' he said, proudly.
But just as Gran was about to reach them, a mutant zombie maggot dodged her pincers, grabbed her around the waist and started pulling her back into the frenzied mass. Gran tried digging her fingers into the ground in front of her, but it was no use. The mutant zombie maggot was too strong.
âAawww,' said the Great White Bum with mock disappointment. âJust when she was doing so well, too.'
Suddenly there was a loud whoosh and Zack saw a flash of silver fly through the air. A large fork had embedded itself in the mutant zombie maggot's flesh. The mutant zombie maggot spun around.
Gran jumped free and ran across the park at the Great White Bum with a bloodcurdling scream.
âCalm down!' said the Great White Bum, emitting great gusts of wind, which Zack assumed was laughter. As Gran got close it reached down and grabbed her in its rubbery hand. âYou'll give yourself a heart attack carrying on like that!'
âPut her down!' boomed the Forker.
Zack looked at the Forker and the Flicker. They were fully revived and about to unload a double-pronged blitzkrieg of fork and towel-flick power on the Great White Bum.
âDon't worry about me,' shouted Gran. âI'll handle this oaf. Save yourselves! That's an order!'
âThat's an order we cannot obey!' said the Forker, his hands no more than a blur as he assembled the biggest fork that Zack had ever seen. It was twice as big as the Forker himself, with prongs as long and wide as fence pickets. âStandby for MEGA-FORK launch! Count me down, Flicker!'
The Flicker smiled broadly. âFive, four, three, two, one!' he said, cracking his towel. The Forker hurled the mighty fork.
Zack saw the Great White Bum flinch as the four deadly prongs of the mega-fork surged through the air towards it.
But the Great White Bum was too fast. It emitted a powerful blast of gas which turned the mega-fork around in mid-flight and sent it hurtling back towards the Forker and the Flicker.
âIt's coming back!' cried the Flicker.
âWell don't just stand there,' said the Forker. âRUN you idiot!'
âYou're the idiot!' said the Flicker. âIt's your mega-fork!'
âLanguage!' said Gran, struggling to escape the Great White Bum's grip.
The Forker and the Flicker turned to run, but the mega-fork was travelling too fast. It plunged deep into the ground trapping them both between its enormous prongs.
âMega-fork!' said the Flicker, shaking his head. âWhat a stupid idea!'
âIt's never failed before,' said the Forker.
âHave you ever actually
it before?' said the Flicker.
âNo,' said the Forker.
Zack looked around him.
As usual the situation was not good.
The Great White Bum was holding Gran prisoner.
The Forker and the Flicker were trapped underneath a giant fork.
Eleanor was out of laxative capsules and Zack was out of sauce.
Oh, and they were surrounded by indestructible mutant zombie maggots.
Not a good situation no matter how you looked at it.
âPut me down right now, you fat lump of rancid lard!' said Gran, still struggling, âor you'll be sorry!'
âLanguage, Pincher!' said the Great White Bum chuckling again. âThe only thing I'm going to be sorry about is that none of you will be alive to see the
course of bumolution reach its natural conclusion! Once the mutant zombie maggots have done their work and eliminated all human resistance, they'll simply consume themselves and then the Earth will be mine. ALL mine.'
âAnd then what?' said Eleanor. âWhat in the univarse could possibly be the point of owning an empty, devastated planet?'
âAhh,' said the Great White Bum. âYou have so little imagination! But that's understandable; after all, it is your head talking and not your bum. Can't you see? It's not the Earth that I want. It's the entire univarse! But I have to start somewhere. The Earth is not much, but it will do.'
As the Great White Bum blathered on about his plans for the total bumification of the univarse, Zack noticed that Gran had passed out again. It didn't surprise him. He wasn't feeling too great himself. The combination of the Great White Bum's breath, incredible brightness, intense heat and overpowering perfume-bomb stench all combined to make him feel extremely light-headed and dizzy.
âWe're doomed, Zack!' whispered his bum. âWe're doomed and we're going to die.'
Zack blinked as he surveyed the hopeless scene in front of him.
It was hard not to agree.
All of the mutant zombie maggots injured by Gran appeared to have restored themselves. In fact, they looked more formidable than before. Some even had dangerous-looking black bristles sprouting out from their smooth white skins .Â .Â .
Hang on, thought Zack. Black bristles?
He wondered if he was starting to hallucinate.
âHey!' he said in a low voice to Eleanor. âDo those maggots have bristles or am I seeing things?'
Eleanor looked at the maggots and then nodded.
âYes,' she said. âThey do! But mutant zombie maggots don't have black bristles .Â .Â . not unless .Â .Â .' She gripped Zack's arm. âDo you think they're about to change into blowflies?'
âWell,' said Zack, âit's certainly possible. The Mutant Zombie Maggot Lord said they would.'
âOh no,' said his bum. âNot giant mutant zombie blowflies! That's terrible!'
âDon't panic,' said Zack. âRemember the giant blowflies that chased us in the Sea of Bums? It wasn't us they wantedâit was the poopoises, because of what they were made of. And there's no poopoises around here, so we should be perfectly safe. But I sure am glad I'm not the Great White Bum.'
Eleanor smiled and nodded. âThis should be good,' she said.
The mutant zombie maggots were changing fast now.
The heat and light generated by the Great White Bum's enthusiasm for itself and its deluded quest had provided the perfect conditions for supercharging the mutant zombie maggot metabolism.
They all had bristles.
Most were growing legs and wings.
A few were even sprouting the giant proboscises which Zack remembered only too well.
The sound of frantic buzzing filled the air as the giant mutant zombie blowflies tested out their new wings. Before the Great White Bum had stopped talking and realised what was happening, they rose in a thick black swarm all around it.
Zack, Eleanor and Zack's bum turned and high-fived each other.
But the giant mutant zombie blowflies didn't attack the Great White Bum.
They couldn't attack it.
The giant zombie mutant blowflies began to fly away, clearly as repulsed by the perfume as they had been when they were mutant zombie maggots.
The Great White Bum laughed. âThis really must be my lucky day!' it said. âAnd it's not my birthday till next week!'
Zack and Eleanor and his bum looked at each other in utter despair.
The giant mutant zombie blowflies would now fly away and breed, producing ever-increasing amounts of new mutant zombie maggots which would spread all over the planet in a matter of weeks.
And the Great White Bum was still alive.
A tear rolled down Zack's cheek.
He wasn't going to save the world after all.
He couldn't even save himself.
âDon't cry,' said his bum gently.
âWhy not?' said Zack.
âBecause I have a plan!' it whispered.
âWhat could you possibly do that we haven't already tried?' said Eleanor.
âWatch this!' said his bum. It detached itself from
Zack's body and floated up in front of the Great White Bum.
âWhat do you want?' said the Great White Bum.
âDid I hear you say it was your birthday next week?' said Zack's bum.
âYes,' said the Great White Bum. âNext Wednesday. Why?'
âWell, in that case,' said Zack's bum, âplease allow me to give you an early birthday present!'
âIt's not necessary,' said the Great White Bum. âI already have all I desire.'
âBut not all you deserve,' said Zack's bum.
âWhat are you talking about?' said the Great White Bum.
Zack's bum's only reply was to bend over, summon all of its energy and blast its deadly payload all over the Great White Bum.
âMany crappy returns of the day!' it said.
ack's bum's early birthday present instantly neutralised the effects of the perfume bomb.
The result was as swift as it was dramatic.
The Great White Bum's natural odour blasted through the air like a sonic boomâonly there was no soundâjust a sickening wave of stink.
Zack watched as the giant mutant zombie blowflies picked up the scent, circled around and returned in a thick swarm. âQuick,' said Zack to his bum. âHide before they smell you as well!'
Zack's bum made a beeline for Zack's trousers.
âGet us out of here!' said the Flicker, still trapped under the prongs of the mega-fork with the Forker.
Zack and Eleanor ran across and tried to lift the fork out of the ground. But it was no use. The mega-fork was in too deep. And within moments the air around them was filled with giant mutant zombie
blowflies. They ran to take cover in the drain. âWe'll be back,' called Eleanor.
The giant mutant zombie blowflies were attacking the Great White Bum from all angles, bombarding him with the yellowish-green gunk they used to help soften and partially digest their food before eating it.
âBlast you, you infernal giant mutant zombie blowflies!' yelled the Great White Bum, as it danced around using Gran as a flyswat. âAnd blast you, Zack Freeman, AND your meddling bum!'
âLanguage!' yelled Gran as she went whizzing through the gunk-filled air, occasionally colliding with a giant mutant zombie blowfly.
But the Great White Bum was fighting a losing battle. Without its perfume shield the enormous bum was helpless against the relentless onslaught of the giant mutant zombie blowflies.
Finally it did the only thing it could do.
The Great White Bum crouched down and blasted off from the Earth with as much thrust as it could muster.
Zack watched as the Great White Bum soared into the air with the cloud of giant zombie mutant blowflies in hot pursuit.
âGran!' yelled Zack. âWe have to save her!'
âAre you mad?' said his bum.
âNo,' said Zack, climbing out of the drain. He ran to a giant mutant zombie blowfly that had been stunned in the attack. âI'd do the same for you.' He quickly unrolled some toilet paper from his belt and lassoed it around the giant mutant zombie blowfly's neck. Then, grabbing hold of one of its bristles, he
swung himself up onto the giant mutant zombie blowfly's back.
âI'm coming with you!' said Eleanor, swinging herself up behind Zack. âIt's payback time.' She sat behind him and put her arms around his waist.
âGood luck!' yelled the Forker.
âWe'll just wait here!' yelled the Flicker.
Zack and Eleanor waved.
âI hope you know what you're doing!' said Zack's bum.
âMe too!' said Zack, converting the lasso into a set of makeshift reins and flicking them hard against the giant mutant zombie blowfly's throbbing thorax. With a start it jumped up into the air and joined in the pursuit of the Great White Bum.
âWhere did you learn to ride giant mutant zombie blowflies?' said Eleanor.
âIn the bum-fighting simulator,' said Zack. âIt was one of the few things I wasn't completely crap at.'
âLanguage!' yelled Gran from up ahead of them.
The Great White Bum zig-zagged and looped and flew at tremendous speeds in an attempt to shake the giant mutant zombie blowflies, but nothing worked.
Zack managed to gain on the mob of blowflies and draw to the front. He reached over and, using the giant mutant zombie blowfly's proboscis like a fire hose, blasted the Great White Bum with goo.
âWatch out where you're pointing that thing!' said Gran, who seemed to be bearing the brunt of the goo attack.