Nine Inch Nails, remixed by Reaps…
I jolt awake, at the sensation of sliding helplessly down off the washable hospital-hospitality chair. Quickly catching myself, and prising my eyes open, I’d much rather be in a hospital-hospitalised bed right now, the way I feel at the moment.
Blimey. Did I actually kiss the zombified Crispin Dry in the elevator, while helping him with his little (okay, not so little) localised rigor mortis problem, or did I dream it?
I run my tongue over my teeth, thankful to find that there are no bits of zombie tongue left lodged in there. I remember that overwhelming mossy scent, of old black wool suit, and even older Old Spice. The sensation of falling into those two hypnotic pools of jet that his eyes had become…
My stomach feels strangely empty, and even my head feels weightless. I feel as though if I try to stand up and walk anywhere too soon, I’ll be lurching uncontrollably all over the place.
Slowly, bits of my memory return. Oh yeah. I’m here to sit with my dear housemate, er… fuck… maybe I never even knew her name in the first place. How does she expect people to remember her anyway? She’ll be a statistic sooner than a bride, with the ones she can pick. What was it today? He bit her thumb off during sex! I grin triumphantly, as my brain gets something right for once.
I look across towards where her gurney should be, but there’s just a space in the bay. Odd.
Maybe she went to surgery already.
* * * * *
I think she was pleased to see me. Hard to tell with her head being the shape of a football at the moment. The only expression she could do being ‘half-finished Halloween Pumpkin.’
“Don’t you think it’s time you dumped him?” I remember saying to her, when I was shown through. Crispin excused himself to find a vending machine that would meet his exacting requirements, leaving us to our girls’ talk.
“Oh noooo,” Dufus-Features protested, waving her bandaged club-hand, in defence of the sadist currently fulfilling the job-spec of ‘abusive boyfriend’ in her life. “He really loves me. And I can handle him. You have no idea how bad he used to be. He’s really making an effort to change. I’m his best therapy, he says.”
“By which you mean, he uses you as his punch bag?” I remarked. My stomach growled weirdly and horribly at the sight of all the blood-soaked gauze, and I had to sit down on the horrible Health & Safety hazard of a chair, more slippy and slidey than trying to ride an eel. I was feeling dizzy already. I wondered if I should have asked Crispin to sneak some more booze in with us. It looked like being a long night, on only one Sloe Gin Sling. “I hear his last dumb slut, Chelsea, now has a smile to match her name that he gave her. As a parting gift.”
“Exactly. He’s SO much better now, you have no idea,” Brainwashed Prick said, her one bloodshot eye (that I could still just about see) all misty with delusional erotomania. Or maybe it was only the Chloramphenicol. “Remember, you have to kiss a lot of frogs, before one starts to turn into a prince.”
“I really don’t want to know about your Batrachiphilia as well,” I replied. “Don’t you ever watch CSI? Guys like him don’t get better. They’re serial offenders. They get worse. Soon as you’re trapped in a false sense of security with them, you think everything’s hunky-dory because he hasn’t slammed your head in the washing-machine for a few days, and the next thing you know you’re flying out of the woodchipper all over the garage ceiling.”
“Oh, Sarah, you’re so melodramatic,” Miss Dunce’s Cap of the Year told me.
“One in three,” I warned her. “The statistics say one in three murders isn’t a domestic. The two in three are the ones that don’t get on the news. The open-and-shut cases. Phone call to the police, confession, arrest. Is that how you want to end up?”
“Now I think you’re just being mean. Because if you’re a woman too, really you’re only jealous,” Shithead snapped. “Don’t deny it. Every woman I see is secretly eyeing him up. You could never handle a bad boy. You’re going to end up a lonely old spinster, with a room full of eyeballs in jars. Whereas I’ve been designing my wedding dress, Googling honeymoon locations, and planning baby names.”
“Really?” I asked, not feeling the slightest inclination to prove my gender to her current state of mind. Which seems to include the fantasy that every other woman around fancies a bit of assault and battery. “What did you name the one you had sucked out at the clinic this morning, because your Mr. Perfect was about to cut off your ears and nose and feed them to you for forgetting to take the Pill?”
* * * * *
Maybe I was a bit harsh on her. But seriously, the guy doesn’t even deserve the honour of ending up pinned out as an actual anatomical diagram on the body farm. If something happens to him, I hope it comes with the label Body Never Recovered. Maybe I’ll ask Ace Bumgang whether they have one of those things that crushes cars into a small cube at the breaker’s yard. Then Miss Fucktard could get herself referred to a hostel or refuge, or for counselling (instead of the morgue) by the police or her doctor or whatever – to stop her hooking up with the next optimistic slimeball psycho who stalks her with the best intention of adding her to the notches on his shovel-handle. They must think all their Christmases have come at once when she stumbles half-deliberately into their laps, having spiked her own drink to make it that bit easier for them. I’d have to get another housemate, but the way things are going in Super-Twat’s life, that eventuality doesn’t look too far off anyway.
Hmm. Crispin Dry is taking a while. I can see a nurse and a receptionist at the far end of Accident & Emergency, but otherwise it’s strangely quiet. What on Earth could there be to take up a zombie’s time in a hospital?
I slide off the slippery chair and decide to have a stretch, and a wander around. I do feel a bit of vertigo as I stand. Yeah – one drink and then fall asleep, always a sign of a crap night. I lurch slightly as I aim for the nearest door into the corridor, and follow the EXIT signs, meaning to get a nip of fresh air.
The doors are still open, as the Emergency department is 24-hour here, what with the plethora of brain-dead hopeless romantics getting methodically dismembered by their choice of partners these days. So it’s a relief to step outside into the front car-park, and feel the cool night air blow away the cobwebs between my own ears, taking my housemate’s idiotic illusions with them.
The breeze also brings the sound of a distant piano from across the main road. Feeling in need of a musical ear-worm (to remove the remaining irritating echoes of Douchebag’s recital of gross sexual perversions she chooses to list as her boyfriend’s ‘good points’) I head over there, to get a better listen.
It’s Hookah’s, the Cypriot restaurant. The waiters are just starting to clear and re-dress tables for the next day, while one couple still sit at the bar, finishing their coffee.
And in the corner, through the window, I see the grand piano. My breath stops altogether as I see the pianist is none other than my new zombie acquaintance, Crispin Dry.
I push the door timidly, and bells tinkle to announce my entrance. He stops playing abruptly, and turns.
“No, it was good,” I say, encouragingly. “I love Franz Ferdinand…”
A takeaway box is by his feet, and I see him nudge it under the piano, embarrassed. As I get closer, I think I see a restaurant logo I’m not familiar with… Yuman Tisseus, or something exotic like that.
“I came back earlier, but you were asleep, Sarah Bellummm,” he says, reproachfully. “They took your friend to surgery…”
“I guessed as much,” I nod. “Budge up. More music, Maestro, please.”
He fondles the piano keys lovingly, as I park my still decidedly dizzy butt on the tapestry seat beside him.
“I remember… learning,” he ponders aloud. “While I was alive. But it’s so hard to tell now. Memories after death are not the same as living memories. They are mixed up with the total memory of Universal life. So they may not be my memories at all.”
“I agree. I think you may be channelling Bladerunner right now, in fact,” I remark.
“I was worried that you might not be happy, after the elevator thing earlier,” he says sadly, not meeting my gaze.
“What?” I reply, amazed. “No! You give great elevator thing. No complaints there.” I’m secretly relieved, as I’d been worrying about the same. My advantage in handling corpses regularly, seems to have made up for my lack of relationship experience in that department. I mentally notch another one up on my list of skills. I decide to push for yet one more, while the mood is right. “Do you think the waiters would mind if we make out on this piano?”
The strains of Do Ya Wanna hesitate slightly, as his prehensile gray fingers seem to lose track of the keys.
“I think perhaps it would be an idea if we close the lid first, Miss Bellummm,” he nods, eventually. “No point tempting Fate…”
If you’re over 18, you might be allowed to watch the original above…
…And if you are affected by any of the horror in this horror parody, I suggest you talk to the police…
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
Also available for all other devices, and online reading, on Smashwords