Wind Shares

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Swamp of the Dead

“Holy shit,” observed Hillary. “Zombies.”

“Those aren’t zombies,” Brad said. “I think those are egrets.”

“Awk,” said one of the egrets.

“Let’s agree to disagree,” Hillary said. She pulled her sawed-off shotgun out of her bag and began firing into the clutch gathered on the swamp.

“I think those things are endangered,” Brad said, wincing at all the blood and feathers.

“Zombies aren’t endangered,” Hillary said matter-of-factly. “They’re everywhere.”

“Let me ask you something,” Brad said. “In all the time we’ve been doing this, how many times has it actually turned out to be zombies?”

“Twice,” Hillary replied. “At least twice.”

“We don’t know for sure that guy was a zombie,” Brad pointed out.

“We shot him in the head and he died, didn’t he?” Hillary explained. “That’s what zombies do. Ergo, he was a zombie.”

“Well, then, what about that other guy?” Brad asked. “The one in Detroit. What about him?”

“Let’s agree to disagree,” Hillary said.

God!!” Brad yelped. “Stop saying that! When you say that, it just immediately cuts off any debate, and makes it impossible to— Do you have any idea how annoying that is?”

“Maybe you are a zombie,” Hillary said, slowly turning the shotgun towards him. But then she dropped the gun and smiled, a smile that did not reach her eyes. “Ha-ha. I am kidding,” she said joylessly. “I know you are not a zombie.” But with every night she spent awake staring at him and worrying, she was less and less sure.

“Can we go now?” Brad asked. “I’m hungry.”

“All right,” Hillary said. “I think we’ve done all we can here.” Hillary got back into the van. Brad started to climb into the passenger seat beside her, but she stopped him with a look.

“You know the rules,” she said. “Back seat. It’s safer.”

Brad rolled his eyes and groaned, “God, Mommmm…” He clambered into the van’s back seat and buckled his seatbelt.

As the van pulled away from the campsite, he noticed that the oak leaves were starting to yellow. “I bet the other kids are going back to school about now,” he said, half to himself.

“You know you can’t go back to school,” Hillary told him. “It’s full of zombies.”


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