I hear the Pizza Heaven scooter protesting as it approaches up the mile-long driveway to my enormous stately home, and my equally huge anticipation is turgid, almost vibrating. I’ve never called out for pizza before. Chinese, Korean, sushi, fish-and-chips, shish kebab – many times. The little two-stroke engine is making those annoying noises, only slightly more annoying than the noises that Mrs Fritatta makes when I ask her to change the sheets for me – on the occasions that I’ve had a few too many braaaiiins, or a Jägerbomb cocktail more than three inches deep.
Good Lord, the suspense is killing me… Fuck. I can already smell her braaaiins.
My black stretch Cadillac limo is parked at the foot of the steps, the engine and exhaust still ticking quietly as it cools, as I have only recently arrived home. She will have to pull in behind. My eardrums pucker tightly, straining to hear every detail.
Footfalls scale the enormous marble steps. I wonder what shoes she is sporting now. Boooots?
In spite of the clear view of the morsel on my stoop from the security camera, my hitherto apathetic prostate leaps to attention at the press of the buzzer. Thank God, the damnest thing – it still has life in it! Ignoring the intercom, I loosen the resulting wedgie and attempt a nonchalant saunter across the grand entrance hall, hoping to build up my visitor’s own sense of anticipation.
She evidently gets a shock when the door is opened silently between us. She looks as though the world has just dropped out of her bottom. Or mine, for that matter.
Standing in front of her, my matt-black tie undone and just-dead hair hypnotically dishevelled, is me, Crispin Dry – vending machine magnate, entrepreneur, and the sexiest corpse she’s recently seen – at least, since 4.23p.m. last Thursday, in a wheelie bin under the silver birch tree at the Body Farm, or so the reports tell me…
What does she see in him? A mere Forensic Anthropology donor subject? Bastard…
“Mr. Dry!” she squeaks, terrified – and immediately thrusts the pizza box under my nose. It does not avert the even more delightful smell of nervous pizza-delivery girl.
“Miss… Belllummm…” I slur, and feign innocence. “What a pleasant surprise. Do come inside. The kitchen is just this way.”
I turn in the doorway and shamble into the opulent entrance hall, beckoning for her to follow. Come hither, baby.
She has no choice. Sarah Bellum pulls the gigantic door closed behind her. I wonder if she now knows how Gretel felt, upon entering the gingerbread house…
My kitchen is vast – like a bowling alley. When I open the great refrigerator, and start selecting my condiments, I know she half expects to see the bottles deposited mechanically onto the shelf, like a set of ten-pins.
My spine tingles, sensing her tentative approach. Fuck. I never felt this alive in the presence of a woman – even when I was alive…
“I’ll just leave it right here, shall I?” she suggests, sliding the box onto the glassy-smooth granite counter-top. I picture her sliding across it herself, in turn.
I know what I’d rather eat.
“Join me, Sarah Bellummm,” I say, surprising her. “I believe you might be famished, after your long day…”
She looks doubtful, and a flicker of jealousy flares unbidden, in my left gonad, while its master remains cold and unaffected. Bugger. It had better not fall off.
Dinner with me will scupper her usual Friday plans, of waiting outside Bumgang & Sons’ Breaker’s Yard with a Chinese Meat Feast. Ace Bumgang always pretends to be surprised, which actively encourages her for some reason, and sometimes he even takes it with him. He’s usually in a big hurry to meet up with his friends at the boys’ club, Gentlemen Prefer Poledancers – which I am privy to, as I own the place. It means he’s telling her in his own special way that he’s not settled for anyone important yet… Why is he stringing her along? Isn’t it perfectly clear they’re not suited?
“Well – I think the last thing I ate, was a sip of chicken soup, from the vending machine at your office earlier…” she admits, timidly.
“Toooo long,” I agree, and give her a devastatingly wonky nod. “Take a seat. And close your eyes. I have a surprise for you.”
A big surprise, baby. I consult my downstairs menswear department hopefully, but still an armed response from there is pending. My other appetite, however, is already open for business, at full throttle. Braaaiins.
She slips off her George and Mildred and tries to make the most of her helmet-hair as she arranges herself on the seat at the counter. I dart her a meaningful look, still foraging in the refrigerator, and obligingly she closes her eyes.
I wonder if she expects a big tip.
You won’t be disappointed, my love. Haha. My inside leg measurement remains obstinately unchanged. Bugger.
“Is that your Cadillac outside?” she asks, passing the time with small-talk, while I’m putting dishes on the counter in front of her.
“It is just a courtesy car,” I say, dismissively. “The Bugatti and the Maserati are away for servicing, and I only use the Diablo on holiday weekends, when I go hot-air ballooning.”
“Hmm,” she murmurs, disbelieving. Probably picturing more guys like Ace Bumgang, who have a couple of sports cars, a racing bike and a speedboat scattered around, as petrolhead mechanics always do… but she has no idea of what lights a businessman’s candle in the motoring department. A fleet of 1.2L commuter compacts, if anything…
“I hope you are hungry,” I say, rather darkly, interrupting any of her fantasies intruding on us about Ace Bumgang. “I have an idea of your tastes already. Open wide.”
She promptly rearranges herself on the seat.
Braaaiiins! Oh dear Lord – I wish I had something to put there! Perhaps I will have to get a clockwork one…
“I meant your mouth,” I croon, hiding my regret, and she slams her knees together again, like a barn door in a tornado.
Nervously, she lets her mouth fall open, in a textbook Q.
“Put your tongue in, pleeeaase,” I moan softly.
Her tongue is like an inviting ramp. Lead me to your braaaiiins… I can almost peer right into her skull. It’s so beautiful. A man could get lost in that empty space for days…
The Q becomes an O, as requested.
Her stomach rumbles immediately in response as I feed her the first tidbit, and she chews enthusiastically.
“You approve?” I ask, hopeful.
“Yum,” she nods. “Is there more?”
I will not admit to her that it is my own recipe. Not yet. I have been trying to perfect these Korean Fried Fingers all week.
“Nine more, I believe,” I confirm, as she runs her tongue around her teeth to dislodge any gristly bits. She coughs on something dry, and removes a crispy fingernail from her cheek, which I quickly brush aside. “I think we have found your acquired taste exactly.”
“Do you have anything to drink?” she asks. Her eyes are still rapturously closed, all thoughts of the tanned, toned and droolworthy Ace Bumgang evidently forgotten.
So keen! Her thirst makes my own liver turgid with agreement.
“Be patient, Sarah Bellummm,” I whisper. “I am sure I have a cocktail worthy of you.”
I shock her with my intimate tone.
“It’s as if you were expecting me,” she gasps, blushing.
“But of course,” I say, so close to her ear, she nearly swoons off the chair. I inhale surreptitiously, savouring her heady, pulsating aroma. My stomach acids pump, in a most gratifying response. “I even made sure to re-stock the vending machine in my bedroom, right before you arrived…”
Nothing between us but braaaaiiins, baby…
READ CHAPTER ONE HERE: GREY MATTER 1
BUY THE ORIGINAL ZOMBIE ADVENTURES HERE: THE ZOMBIE ADVENTURES OF SARAH BELLUM