No Zombie for a Neighbor
Part One: Complicated Plans
I woke up to find Theo not in the bed. Wondering if there was a problem with the children, I put on a robe and left to find him. He was standing in the kitchen with a cup of coffee in his hand. I saw that he was in pants with the bottom of them wet, so guessed that he had been active without me.
“You went outside?”
“We cleared the yard yesterday, so it was safe.”
“We are married, Theo.”
He nodded. I did not get the impression that he was holding back information, but only that he wanted time to think. I however stared at him letting him know that I wanted him to talk to me. He quit his nodding to ask a question.
“Do you drink coffee?”
“I worked in a coffee shop.” Realizing that really did not answer the question, I went ahead and spoke to him straight. “Half and half, if you have it, and I know that you have. Two level spoons of sugar, and one of half and half.”
He spoke as he fixed my cup of coffee. “There are two zombies and one dog zombie in the back yard. I killed one zombie. I see movement in the house. Looked up the Phillips phone number. I did not hear the phone ring, but what I heard said that we got zombies inside.”
Suddenly, our phone rang. We looked to each other with expressions of wondering if that would be the Phillips calling us back. Theo answered, then smiled as he spoke to whom I assumed was Annette.
“Yes, Livonia and I are a thing. She has agreed to help me take care of the children over here.” He was silent for a time, then said, “Yes, we might have some of our own in time. I am studying to be a pediatrician, so I warned her that I wanted many.” He laughed, then moved to the front living room to look through the curtain. “It seems relatively peaceful. Not at all like it was yesterday.” He listened for another period before saying, “I believe that will be more work than you realize.”
The man then spoke of what he had been doing. It seemed that Annette saw him moving about outside. I heard him tell her what he had told me. A few details did come out, as he had to reply to her comments about what she saw.
I heard him give an okay, then go silent. He did not remove the phone from his ear or move from looking out the window. I thus moved to where I could watch as well. I really could not see anything, but stayed present.
Due to the silence in the room, I heard Annette say, “Damn, that was louder than I wanted.”
“You’re good,” Theo replied. “Keep at it.”
“I’m going to need tools. I’m gone.”
He now moved the phone and terminated the call, so I asked, “What was that about?”
“Your mother’s gate.”
The phone rang again, and this time it was Rita’s voice. “I saw the activity. Do you know what Annette was doing?”
Theo replied, “She was checking on Livonia’s mother’s gate.”
Rita squealed, then forced Theo to tell her things about himself. He appeared charmed by the conversation. He held me, but I saw a smile on his face as he spoke to Rita. Only after a few minutes did they get back on topic.
“Listen,” I heard Rita say, “I am going to move the truck. Should be a quick run, a quick short drive, then that is all. We can lay low and let the zombies disperse again.”
Theo replied, “There are zombies.”
“I have eight shots left. I believe that I can make them good. I don’t need to open any door. Run straight, jump into the bed, then enter the cab through the rear window.”
“Remember, shoot for the head.”
Theo ended the phone call. He had been holding me, but I felt his embrace become stronger. He had never met Rita, except for the words on the phone. I could however sense that he cared for what would happen to her.
Gunshots sounded. Zombies turned. I could however see Rita dive into the bed of the truck. She paused to rub a shoulder, then climbed into the cab of the truck. More zombies turned as the large truck roared to life.
She did not drive far. I heard the scrape of metal as she simply drove from in front of the Mitchell’s driveway to that of my mother. I could tell that she set the brakes at the end of the drive.
Gunshots again sounded. This time Rita ran to the door of my mother’s house. I became worried hearing bangs, as no one had thought to warn my mother. The sound of a door slamming shut however brought me relief.
Neither one of us jumped when the phone rang this time, but Theo calmly answered. It was my mother telling us that Rita was all right. Theo spoke about some of the events, then smiled to me as he answered a different type of question.
“We don’t need a gathering of zombies like happened yesterday. Livonia and I are not doing anything for a while. Maybe later. Right now we still need to get used to each other.”
He spoke with my mother for a time, then ended the call. I followed him into the kitchen where he put the phone on the charger. He turned to me, then moved his hands to the robe. I spread my hands to assure that he saw what he wanted. One hand gently took one of my boobs as he spoke to me.
“Just checking that I could.”
“I was serious yesterday, and I felt that you were as well. I thus consider our agreement valid.”
He was not my first, and it seems that I was not his. He spoke about his other ladies. A couple seemed as dumb as the lady Al was about to marry. Most lost interest in him as he focused on his studies. He spoke of one of them probably becoming his wife should things have been different. At no time did I hear him speak of any complaints about his pact with me, and I felt the fact that I did not close the robe to declare how I felt about him.
The children woke up, and seemed glad to see me. Theo had to cook them breakfast, because I had Thomas and Titan in my lap with Claire sitting next to me. He did not complain, but cheerfully spoke to the children and me as he did the work.
After we ate, I mentioned taking a bath and getting dressed. Theo however spoke of taking one with me. I shrugged in response, although he was not smiling as he replied.
“I will go high and take the man, if you will go low and take the dog.”
“What weapon do you have? I all have seen you use is a gun.”
He had used my crowbar earlier. He now went searching through the house and came up with a cane. It was a length of dark mahogany with a slight extension for the hand. Theo mentioned his brother buying it thinking it made him look cool, although too much trouble to carry. He took my crowbar while handing the cane to me.
“I can do the work, if you can help set them up.”
I looked at him while saying, “I do have to pound a few times.”
He held the crowbar various ways as if asking my opinion about how best to use it. I commented about hard heads could be. He did ask if I wanted to use the crowbar, but replied that I had been knocking heads for the last few days while he sat in the house with the children. It was thus his turn. He held the crowbar while making his reply.
“Let’s just pull this off, then you can pick on me all you want.”
“I will, while having you naked in the shower.”
We told the children to stay still and quiet in the house. Theo and I put on some thick clothes. I had seen the pants, but now I saw the turtleneck and flannel shirt that he had worn. He raided his sister-in-law’s clothes for some rugged stuff for me. She was larger than I, but Theo wanted to assure that no accident ruined our relationship. I liked that, and the children seemed happier with the two of us looking like it was cold outside.
I had not had trouble with zombies, but I had the size and reaction to avoid their arms. That was what Theo actually feared. To get to the head, he had to bypass the appendages. As I saw him try to get into a position for the head, I saw a hand get Theo. Luckily, it only got his flannel shirt, so he backed up as we discussed how to plan our maneuvers.
The dog was taken care of first. I was just testing my ability with the cane. The undead animal was there attempting to reach its nose through the fence and bite. I stuck the cane through, then had it catch the collar. While pulling, Theo came down sending the crowbar through the animal’s skull.
With that done, I believe both Theo and I felt that we had a good system. I freed the cane from the collar and then the fence, then set myself to grab the human zombie. It did not have a collar. It did not even have a belt. The zombie was that of some punk who thought showing off his underwear was a major fashion statement. Why the pants had not fallen down, I could not really say. I heard Theo cheer when the cane did indeed grab the hem of the trousers. Ready to do to the human zombie what we had done to the dog, we told each other that we would do our part.
There was no way to say exactly what happened. I pulled, but I am a small lady. It took me several blows to break a skull with a crowbar. I thus expected to have trouble holding the zombie near the fence. What happened however is that when I pulled, the zombie flipped over the barrier and we suddenly had it on our side.
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
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