Damn zombie. He’ll keep you up all night because he can keep it up all night, unless you’re adamant from the get-go about needing sleep and that you’ll call the cops if he tries anything weird. But, which would a twenty-first century gal rather have, a dead-live guy who gets off once and snoozes off, or a live-dead guy with a permanent stiffy who can go the distance and likes to cuddle? Nolo contendere, as we say in the law.
Go ahead, ask me how I know. I left the courthouse, bummed because I lost a murder case to the County Prosecutor who treated a live-corpse like a dead one. How the hell could my zombie client kill his dead wife? And I just happened by the In-Clue-Sive Club—one of the new downtown watering holes for the white-collar crowd—that’d opened its welcoming doors to every creature in the universe. Gay, straight, bi, living, dead, vampires, aliens, satyrs, allergy sufferers—you name it, they were all there sucking down grain alcohol, sugar alcohol, blood alcohol, sucrose, lactose, and fructose while Big Little Mamas (obese dwarfs with an amazing sense of rhythm) beat up their band instruments.
“What’s your sign?” a one-handed guy asked me as I sitting out on the second-story patio having a smoke.
“Cancer,” I said, trying to be funny. “How’d you die?” I’d read an article in Cosmopolitan—How To Melt His Cold Heart—that said zombie dudes like to be asked that up front so they know you know where they’re coming from.
He held up his right stump. “Hand got mangled in a molding press and that flesh eating bacteria took hold.”
“I’ve heard that’s wicked stuff. It attack your heart?”
“No. The hospital served me poisoned oatmeal after the amputation surgery. Botulism’s bad shit too. Mala in se.”
Bad in itself. Who but a lawyer would know that? “Bummer.” But not for me. We had something in common, and for a dead guy, he took care of himself. Wore camouflage make-up to cover the dark circles under his eyes, and Ralph Lauren Polo aftershave to cover up the formaldehyde smell. He must have read the Male Magazine article How To Pick Up Living Chicks. “I’m not looking for a relationship,” I told him right off. “And I have to go to work tomorrow. You comprende?”
The night air turned chilly, and he gave me his jacket. I noticed his t-shirt read: Say it Loud. I’m Dead and I’m Proud! He must have also noted I winced. “Believe me, I’m no militant. I borrowed this shirt from my brother.”
“He’s still alive?”
“Sort of. He’s a Congressman.” Yes, the article said women like humor.
We went inside and danced. One thing led to another, and I took him home. You know that talk about zombies being the new bad boys women love to hate? Not true. Never let a zombie nibble on your ear or get near your nipples—equally as exaggerated advice. Just keep a supply of thawed hamburger in the fridge, and he’ll behave. “You have to leave,” I told him after he ate.
“What’s on your agenda tomorrow?” Ask her questions about her work was listed in the article too.
“You sure are,” he said. Compliment her. Rule four. He was a real pro at this pick-up thing. “I read your trial notes while you were sleeping. I think you should motion for a mistrial. And if you don’t get it, make this a civil rights issue.”
“On what grounds?”
“The State’s expert witness isn’t a zombie. He’s a living doctor. What does he know about being undead? Were there any zombies on the jury?”
“I think there’s discrimination going on here. Would you try an African-American in front of an all white jury?”
The rumors about zombies not being very bright because of brain death were just that: rumors. I went to the kitchen to scramble some eggs and my floors were clean and as polished as my toaster. I could get used to a guy being up and around all night if he spent his time cleaning and baking apple coffee cake. “What do you do for an encore?” He’d come to the doorway, freshly showered and smelling of aloe vera lotion.
“Well….I ate all the Fancy Feast…and…”
I saw he’d put Sugar’s empty dish on the drain board. Inside was a bar of hand soap. The trash was full of empty tins of chicken chunks in gravy. Damn zombie. He got me to fall in love with him and then I find out he ate my cat.
©2012 Jenean McBrearty
Jenean McBrearty is a retired teacher who writes full time and spends her free time watching the news, drinking tea, and pretending she’s an exiled princess. Raised in California, she lives in Kentucky.