Remix of Depeche Mode, by Reaps007 on Youtube…
I got to grips with the rules of the blindfold touch game eventually. It was the object that Crispin Dry was drawing on me with that I was supposed to guess, not the Thing he was drawing. That made it much easier, to my vast relief.
So obviously the first object was an ice cube. The second was also easy – I’ve handled enough human scalps in my time at University to recognise the tickle of tanned hide and hair. The third was harder – I hazarded an Ugli fruit, a cauliflower floret, a sock full of marbles, a stitched leather catcher’s mitt, and even an artichoke, before giving up. I was kicking myself when Crispin told me it was a shrunken human head. I should have known that one.
The fourth object was another easy guess, but it was the noise that gave it away. I felt the dig of something sharp clustered against my belly, through my Pizza Heaven work fleece, and the soft feathery tickle against my bare arm. There was an unmistakable crooning sound, followed by an uncertain cluck.
“A live chicken,” I announce, triumphantly. I hear Crispin’s echoing undead chuckle.
“I see I will have to be more creative, Sarah Bellummm,” he says, in his now-familiar zombie moan.
Still blindfolded, I hear him moving things around on the tray. I wonder if there’s any danger of that drink appearing any time soon. Typical male. They invite you in for a coffee, and it turns out they have no coffee in the house after all, just a waxworks dungeon and a complete box-set of Playboy Mansion.
I jump out of my skin, as the next sensation I feel is a mechanical vibration against my hip. My sudden movement seems to startle Crispin also, because I hear something metallic clatter on the tray.
“What is the matter, Sarah?” he asks.
“It’s okay, it’s just my mobile phone,” I say, feeling the rhythmic buzz a second time.
I squirm around to reach my pocket, and prop myself up on my elbow, pulling the blindfold up to see the number. Caller ID informs me that it’s Cramps University Hospital. Yes!
“It’s the hospital,” I tell him, and he looks disappointed. “They’ve promised me an autopsy session if a suitable research donor is found… maybe there is a fresh one in that has the right paperwork.”
“You must answer, by all means,” he says, and replaces the forceps regretfully on the tray.
He picks up a hi-ball glass instead, containing an iced pink liquid garnished with mint and lime, and I hold my free hand out eagerly to accept it as I press Connect. Ooohh – Sloe Gin Sling! My favourite…
“Hello?” I say into the phone, and take a huge gulp of Gin Sling before the sting of alcohol on my tongue reminds me that I’m not allowed into the morgue under the influence. Damn! I hope I have breath mints on me.
“Sarah, it’s me,” says Miss Blah-blah-blah, my housemate.
“Hello – what are you doing calling me, hombre?” I ask. “I’m working, I hope you realise.”
“Sarah, I’m in Cramps hospital. My boyfriend didn’t believe me when I said I had the termination today. He came round and we had a fight. We started to have make-up sex but then he said he was still angry with me, and bit my thumb off. They’re going to try and reattach it. I’m in the Emergency Room now, will you come and sit with me? I’ll make sure you get paid for the rest of your shift.”
“Oh, you mean now?” I grumble. “I’m with a customer…”
“I will take you wherever you need to go, Sarah Bellummmm,” says the perfect zombie gentleman beside me, deftly tidying the tray.
I nod, and swallow the rest of the Sloe Gin Sling. Phew. I could use a few more of those.
“I’d really appreciate it, Sarah…” Dumb-Ass whines in my ear, over the phone.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll see what I can do,” I say, and hang up. “That girl gives retards a bad name. I need to get to the hospital. She’s had another bedroom mishap with that delightful human butcher she calls a boyfriend.”
“We must go immediately,” Crispin nods, getting to his feet and offering his gray-skinned hand to help me up. “I will take you in the Cadillac.”
I allow him to lead on, wondering hopefully if that means there will be more cocktails to look forward to on our return… At least now I don’t need to worry about the breath mints.
* * * * *
We enter the hospital via the rear transport entrance on the lower ground floor, and make our way to the elevators that will take us up to the Accident & Emergency department at the front. Two porters and a nurse pass us, wheeling a cadaver wrapped in white sheets on a trolley, and I hear a low guttural sound from my delectable zombie companion. It hotwires my adrenal glands directly to my heart rate.
“Is it the smell?” I whisper, wondering what has caused his reaction.
“The rigor,” he murmurs. The elevator doors open in front of us. “This way.”
We head into the elevator, and the doors close, sealing us alone together in the bare metal cell. I press the button, and the lift grinds into life.
The atmosphere is suddenly electric.
“What is it?” I squeak, aware that his eyes are drilling holes into me.
“I cannot go out in public like this,” he tells me.
“You should have said,” I complain, my heart now sinking. “Why did you offer to come? You could have stayed behind, out of sight…”
“No – not like that…” He flaps his hands a little awkwardly, reminding me of a forlorn Edward Scissorhands. “The hospital – that corpse – it is too much…”
What could he mean? I stare bewildered into his jet-black eyes, willing him to open up to me. He casts his eyes hopelessly down at himself.
“I have a Zomboner,” he admits.
“What?” I look down at his fly, horrified, and hurriedly look away again. “Is that all? Er, I mean, not in that way, I mean to say – it’s very impressive, in fact – but what I actually mean – why don’t you just style it, dude?”
“It is my first,” he says, wretchedly. “Since passing… I would hate for it to fall off…”
I close my eyes and heave a sigh. All that mental rehearsal (with frankfurters in coat pockets while thinking about Ace Bumgang) is going to come in handy now, I tell myself.
“I’m an expert in handling dead bodies, at any stage,” I tell him, summoning up all of my confidence. “And I haven’t lost an extremity yet. You will just have to trust me.”
He looks imploringly and awkwardly at me.
“We can kiss,” I suggest, in barely a whisper. “If it will make you feel better at the time…”
He turns slowly towards me. For some reason I wonder, at the back of my mind, if those breath mints would help me now…
The original above (slightly censored). Warning: Contains Madonna, bless her 🙂
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords