I live near the university so when I read the ad: Zombie Tax Service, I expected to find accounting majors earning extra money while putting their new skills to work.
Reluctantly I left my apartment. Took my little rusty bucket across the tracks to the proper address, (a rather dilapidated building) and was unceremoniously jarred when standing at the counter, a female zombie was perched on the other side!
Her jaw hung loose at the joints and she groaned she was eager to “get … me … in.”
I never have worked out my nervous issues with people, let alone females, so when she fingered her patch of hair (a dirty-blond mess resembling the shape of Florida) I could only mumble an affirmation that—yes, I needed my taxes done. Thank you.
My mouth must have hung open wider than hers as I tried to process what was happening. The stark room was cold and smelt of ammonia. God, where are you?
The lady zombie sat me down with “Fred”, which I read from a sideways hanging name-tag. Another “specialist” sat opposite him with his head down in his work. Yes both “specialist” were also groaning, living-corpses dressed in shredded business wear, working behind computers.
“Fred” made a queer panting sound at me for his opening remarks as I nervously my produced documents from under my perspiring armpit. Fred stared hard and slow. Then, without warning: “April is the cruelest month … ha ha ha,” Fred said to my astonishment, wheedling and moving his jaw in a vulgar, circular motion.
“T.S. Elliott. Stupendous.” I said with a bit of frantic laughter.
“Fred” ignored me long enough to adjusted the bandage wound around his nose, from which a yellow puss dribbled and burbled nonstop. One eye was missing completely, leaving an empty socket where maggot-infested brains were visible. His good eye, sea-glass blue, starred persistently at me.
A note about myself. I am a senior citizen, respectable, well-read. A bit of a hermit I suppose. My wife is dead. I don’t know much about zombies except for what I read in the TV Guide. But as “Fred” went to work, pecking the keyboard and staring at me with his circulating jaw, I began to wonder when they’d taken over. Was I that much of a shut-in?
The lady zombie dragged herself to the door, closed and locked it with astute singularity.
Too late I realized, shit, life had come to an end.
“What are you claiming?” came the harsh whispery voice of “Fred.” The old PC from which he worked flickered a sick green on his bandage.
I gulped in precious breath. I didn’t want to die! Nipps, my cat, would never forgive me.
The other zombie stood up, scraping his chair against the floor. He was moaning, a sound which I interpreted, (thanks to Nipps) as a distinctly hungry moan.
The female zombie was moaning too with murder in her eyes.
Fred was leering and joined in the chorus of hungry moans. My panicky and darting eyes caught Fred’s screen. It was nothing by gibberish.
“A-April is the cruelest month.” I repeated Fred’s words from earlier. No joking! It can’t end like this. I can’t!
“BREEDING LILACS OUT OF THE DEAD LAND!” I suddenly screamed, clinging to the last thing I did have.
the stench of death approaching
“Mixing memory with sweet desire!” I stood now, facing death down.
The computer knocked over. The screen went blank.
I closed my eyes. Calmer now, remembering. “We went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten, and drank delicious coffee, and talked … for an … ”