by Ash Krafton
We don’t talk much. I suppose not having functioning vocal cords is a big part of that but, honey, I don’t blame you for our lack of communication. I just wish our relationship was a little different.
Even if you blinked once in a while to make me feel like we were connecting. Some tiny affirmation that you know I’m here. I love you to the point of incineration, to the point where I can’t breathe because the conflagration steals the oxygen from my lungs. It’s why I did this all for you.
Stealing your body was no easy feat. You know I’m a good person, wouldn’t hurt a fly (never mind commit a felony) but I did it. I had to. You lived a stony life, chasing death and begging for release but I know you didn’t want to die. Not permanently–
So hiring a zombie priest wasn’t as big a deal as I might have once thought. It was no different than finding a lawyer or a mechanic or some other necessary evil.
Maybe if I knew you were going to die, I could have interviewed a couple zombie raisers. You know, look into their portfolio, ask about their zombie philosophy, their success rate and refund policies. Stuff like that. Maybe I could have found someone capable of actually putting some animation in the animating. But I was in a bit of a rush and had a limited window of opportunity. It had to be done while you were still fresh. Not that I’m complaining–
Because you’re here. I really do like that suit on you and you look so handsome with your hair combed like that. Today we’ll do all your favorite things — we’ll go for a drive and we’ll sit on the front porch and we’ll go for a slow walk in the moonlight. I’ll even put in that Three Stooges DVD I found in your coffin.
That way you won’t mind so much when I change your embalming fluid and scrape the mold from the back of your neck. Curly makes you laugh. I think it’s laughing, anyway, that long hollow rasp like a splintering tree. You make that sound whenever the Stooges slap each other. I don’t know why that sound upsets the dog so much because laughter is such a beautiful thing in and of itself–
We don’t talk much. But I suppose that’s still better than not being able to talk at all.
Pushcart Prize nominee ASH KRAFTON is a speculative fiction writer whose work has appeared in several journals, including Niteblade, Ghostlight, and Silver Blade. Ms. Krafton resides in the heart of the Pennsylvania coal region and is an active member of Pennwriters, a national writers group. She’s co-editor of the Pennwriters Area 6 blog at pennwritersarea6.wordpress.com and maintains her own at ash-krafton.livejournal.com.