Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Robot Vampire Zombies

The angry mob of torch-bearing peasants descended upon St. Smeville's Cemetary. Their angry cries were periodically erased by the great churchbells tolling the gongs of the witching hour. Drizzle from a low-hanging cloud that failed to blot out the full moon sputtered on top of the torches.

The mob roared for violence.

"Burn 'em!" said one.

"No! Stake 'em!" said another.

"Smash 'em in the head!" retorted a third.

"Kick 'em in the shins!" said a fourth.

They arrived at a grave on top of a small hillock. A worn tombstone, too weathered to be read, sat where they congregated. Unlike the other graves in the cemetary, the earth had been turned over recently. No grass grew. It bulged out of the earth as it had not had time to settle since it had last been disturbed.

"This is it!" cried Alfred, a butcher who'd lost several buckets of blood that were destined for black pudding. "Start digging here!"

"That's where I saw 'em come last night!" Morlenko the clockmaker said.

"Alright, alright, hold your horses," replied Edith, the gravedigger of the town. Her muscles bulged as her shovel bit into the fresh earth and easily moved it out of the grave.

After half a dozen shovelfuls, a pale hand with long fingers shot out from the grave and seized the shovel. Edith started. She yanked the shovel with all of her considerable might.

She pulled a small, contorted man out of the earth like a magician with a creepy assistant revealing him from behind a hidden panel. The small man hissed as he rose out of the grave. He was short, thin and batlike. His skin was so light that the gentle glow of the moonlight shone from it.

"How dare you disturb me, the great Nurmen!" the man said, snapping the shovel in two.

"He's the one that's been down at my shop, drinking my buckets of blood!" Alfred the butcher cried, raising a heavy, brutish cleaver that he used to split bones.

"How could I? I am a robot!" Nurmen announced.

"And he's the one that's been stealing my lubicating oil!" Morlenko the clockmaker said, twirling a heavy chain with heavy pendulums on the end.

"How could I? I am a zombie!" Nurmen announced.

"Nay, I've seen you down by my place, eating the brains out of my cadavers," said Crepis, the undertaker.

"How could I? I am a vampire!" Nurmen said.

"Exactly!" said Alfred the butcher. "Don't work when you've got us all in one place, now does it?"

"Hmmm," said Nurmen, before he bolted down the other side of the hillock, lifting his black robes. His white knees flashed in the moonlight as he ran.

"Get him!" Alfred yelled. The townsfolk ran after Nurmen and chased him into a small grove of trees. The night grew darker as the canopy hid the moonlight. Their torches cast long, dancing shadows from the underbrush.

"Stay together," Edith said, holding her spare shovel in her hand like a battleaxe.

"Okay," said Nurmen, smashing her across the face.

"Stab him!" Alfred yelled to the carpenter, who'd brought several broken table legs. The carpenter jabbed one into Nurmen's heart.

Nurmen shook his head.

"I told you, I'm a robot."

With a lot of huffing and puffing and not a small amount of sloshing, Morlenko rolled up with a great acid battery on a cart.

"Shock him!" Alfred yelled to Morlenko.

It took Morlenko a few minutes to get his wires hooked up, but then he sent several thousand volts through Nurmen. The latter rolled his wide, buggy eyes.

"That will not work, for I am a zombie."

"Right, then," Alfred said. He swung his cleaver clean through Nurmen's delicate neck, cleaving his head from his body.

"That won't work, for I am a vampire!" Nurmen said.

"Yes, we know," Alfred said. Alfred dropped Nurmen's head into a sack, tied his body to a tree, and took him back to the butcher's shop, where Alfred would occasionally make him double check his arithmetic for customers.

The Moral: robot Nosferatu won't run out of batteries when you're trying to calculate a tip in a restaurant.

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