|A Girl, a Goat, and a Zombie|
|Author||Laurell K. Hamilton|
|Series||Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter|
|Publication date||November 3, 2016|
|Preceded by||Crimson Death|
|Followed by||Wounded (eShort)|
"I can’t fix everything that’s gone wrong this election cycle, or elsewhere in the world, but I can write a brand new Anita Blake story to share with all of you. I’m putting it up for free for a few days to share some smiles and some good news, because we need more fun in our lives."
The story centers around the Curse of the Billy Goat that plagued Chicago Cubs baseball team since 1944 in Anitaverse. A man with his pet goat was asked to leave in the middle of watching a game, because the goat's smell caused complaints from other fans. Outraged by this demand, the man cursed the team to never win again. He regretted his words later, and even tried to break the curse himself, but the goat was dead by then and it didn't work. Neither did any other attempts.
In November 2016 the fans of the team raise enough money hire Anita to raise the man, William Sianis, as a zombie in order to give breaking the curse another shot. They choose her, as she's the only animator in the world powerful enough to raise an almost fifty years dead corpse as a zombie without needing to sacrifice a goat for the purpose.
There's a big media circus around the raising, with most major news services represented. The lights of the TV crews light up the night, and Anita brings out all the bells and whistles down to the ointment she doesn't usually bother with on her raisings. The control of the zombie is going to a Cubs fan, Mrs. Irma Wadowski, so Anita can't skip as much, beyond using her own blood instead of an animal sacrifice. Irma Wadowski goes a bit pale as the ritual proceeds, but completes her part successfully.
Thanks to the lack of animal sacrifice the zombie comes up as a shambling dead, but still sound of mind. He's willing to give breaking the curse another shot, but doubts it's going to make any difference without the goat. Anita gestures another Cubs fan forward, bringing along the zombie of Murphy the goat whom Anita had raised earlier. The goat s likewise shambling, but the zombies are both thrilled to see each other.
The fans take the happy zombies with a limo to watch the game they couldn't finish watching the last time around, and break the curse in the process. Afterwards the zombies are returned to their graves, and Chicago Cubs finally have their World Series win.