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By C. Victor C Drax
—You don’t understand —I try to explain—, I think I have a problem. —Of course you have a problem! —No, no. Look, I think I’m dead. —Whatever your parents do to you is not my business, young man. You should have thought about it before biting Miss McGruder.
In the book of Principals with the Longest Twig up the Rectum, this was chapter one.
—Principal Montoya— I start again —, I woke up today and I wasn’t breathing. My heart doesn’t beat. He looks at me for a few seconds, his eyes like beans behind those XL glasses. —If you were feeling sick, you shouldn’t have come to school. And, anyway, that’s no excuse for biting a poor old lady. Don’t you have a heart?
—I said I do; it just doesn’t beat. Principal Montoya sighted and arose from the chair. He opened the door of his office. —Is not funny, young man. Go home. You’re suspended. With my elbows on my knees, I think on how, when you die, nothing really changes. This prick never listened to what I had to say in my life. Why did I think he would after my death? Sighting, I pick up my bag and wake up from the chair. —Think on what you’ve done —says Montoya. —I’m gonna go see a coroner, or a mortician. Walking beside him, he puts a hand on my shoulder. The contact is so sudden, it’s repulsive. —If your parents beat you up, come see me.
For a moment, I’m on the verge of telling him how stupid his suggestion was and that I didn’t think he would listen to me about that, and not about my complete physical death. I don’t say anything. I rather have the insufferable Montoya.
I go out to the sunlight and nothing happens. This morning I woke up, started my cheap, common routine, until ten seconds after the sheets are away from me, I realize I’m not cold. I’m not sleepy. I go to the bathroom and splash some water in my face. Looking myself in the mirror, the little drops don’t moist my skin, they stay there, all over, not really entering, superficial, the same way water stays on the floor or over a table. A quickie: I panicked, took my pulse and I didn’t have, tried to check my breathing and I didn’t have. I punctured my hand with a needle and it didn’t hurt. Hoping it was something caused by the last night supper, or the lunar cycle mixed with my horoscope, I resumed my day. On the first course, math, Miss Greta McGruder asked me something about trigonometry. I bit one of her boney hands and ate two of her fingers. I screamed, she screamed, everyone screamed. I tried to apologize, but because she was lying on the floor, going into shock, she didn’t hear me. From all the riot going on, the Principal came running and, well, I already told you the rest.
Nobody is more shocked about this than me. If you ask me now, I can’t tell you why I did it. She pointed her finger at me, like the arm of a dying tree, and biting her seemed the most logical thing to do. I know trigonometry is a pain in the ass, but come on, I exaggerated. It was something I did not knowing why, chewing the flesh and the bones without knowing why I was doing it. And, in case you wonder, it tasted like chicken.
Walking, stunned and with my hands on my face, dragging my feet for the emotional impact, I was absent from the world. If I’m dead and I walk, and I eat people, I’m a zombie, right? But I can talk and think, and use complex tools (I even took a bus in the morning), so… what? —Dude! I raise my face and I see someone who shouldn’t be there. Pancho died two weeks ago and, last time I saw him, he was in a casket. Two questions: 1) How did he got out?; 2) What is he doing here? I backed down, my eyes about to fall from their sockets. He approached and stretched his hands to me, opening the yellow and twisted mouth, dribbling, its teeth, like tablets of an old cemetery. Out of my mind, I’m falling to the ground but he picks me up and embraces me, a bear hug that pulls me off the ground and drowns the scream in my throat. —Dude, you’re the greatest! With this much pressure, it’s a fortune I don’t need to breathe. —I knew you wouldn’t let me die, man! Pancho puts me on the ground again, but he doesn’t let me go. Embraced, printing myself in his chest, I notice his lack of breathing, his dead heart. Good to know who plays whom in this act. Pancho pulls me away from him and his eyes are swimming in tears. There’s a million things encrusted in his throat and he doesn’t know which one to say. Lo and behold, Pancho, a gorilla-like zombie in the verge of exploding like an Energizer bunny with emotional overload. —Dude, you gotta forgive me for all the times I hit you when we were little. You know we are the greatest buddies ever, man! I was gonna say there’s no problem, but he embraced me again, strangling me between his arms. —My buddy! My brother! My rib! —Pan… Pancho… my ribs…
—Oh, dude! —he releases me— You okay, dude? I nod. —Yeah, I’m okay. It’s not like I need to breathe. I look around. The people are starting to give us that funny look. I don’t know if it is because we are two living dead meeting in the street or because Pancho is way too nice with me. —Did I hurt you? —No, Pancho. Look at me. I’m a zombie too. He looks at me carefully, bending his head to a side. He smiles and point at me with his indexes. —Dude! Oh, Dude, that’s amazing, man! Overpowering every resistance I can make, he embraces me again. —We’re two zombie pals —he says—. Dude, we should get like a tattoo, or something. A tattoo that says… “Pancho and Stephen: The Demolisher Duo” —Isn’t that a porno title? —No, those are “The Demolishers”, part one, part two and part three, with Kathy Spread’em and Suzy Suckit.
That’s a great memory for a dead man.
—Oh, Dude. I knew you’d bring me back. I find a way to tap him in the shoulder. —Pancho… I didn’t bring you back. He pulls me away from him, still holding me in those gorilla hands. —You didn’t…? I shake my head, denying. —No, Pancho. I woke up like this. —Dude, that’s fuckin’ great! I’m halfway between freedom and another hug when he asks me, and himself:
—Dude… who did this to us?
(To be continued…)
Victor C. Drax