TRANSLATE THE STORY

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Part VIII - Her favorite toy

Image by Jesse Querry

I took our plates off of the table, putting them in the sink. Looking out the kitchen window I was shocked at what I saw. There was a zombie chasing a dog in circles.It looked like the dog had been dragging a chain that was now caught on something next to our garage. Surprisingly, the dog wasn't barking or attacking. It would just move away when the zombie got o close. Luckily for the dog this was a slow moving zombie who also appeared to be missing both of her hands.. She must have been an orderly or a nurse in her previous life. She was wearing those greenish blue scrubs hospital employees wear. I actually have a pair of them same scrub pants. They make the best pajamas.

After a few moments I gestured to Chris to come to the window. His attention came back from his gaze off into space. He looked out at what I was pointing at and chuckled. I was a little taken back by his reaction.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"Oh common, it's a zombie with no hands chasing a dog in circles...What?! You don't see the humor in that?"

I said "not really" and turned to find my shovel. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw Alex standing in the kitchen doorway holding my shovel. He didn't say a word, walked to the backdoor, stepped outside and tapped the tip of the shovel on the ground, just loud enough to attract the zombie's attention. Chris walked to the backdoor and stood just on the outside of the threshold with Faith at the ready. He kept alternately looking towards both sides of the house in case anymore unwanted friends showed up.

Alex waited for the zombie to come to him. When it was in the best possible spot he swung my shovel. The zombie's neck snapped but it didn't go down. Still gnawing in Alex's direction it continued to approach him. It's head was sitting on it's right shoulder before rolling forward onto it's chest. Alex took a step back and brought the shovel swooping down again. This time he decapitated the damned thing. It's head rolled on the ground at Alex's feet. Amazingly, it was still trying to bite while it's body remained in a heap a few feet away. A few more hits of the shovel finished the zombie head off. Alex then approached the dog cautiously. It cowered at the end of it's chain with it's ears down and tail between it's legs. As soon as Alex had removed the collar it took off instantly. I guess it no longer wanted to be in the company of humans whether they were dead or alive.

This was the first time I had ever seen Alex show an ounce of backbone and it kind of turned me on. On the other hand I was kind of upset that he had used my shovel. I realize that sounds petty now but, like I said before, our relationship was far from perfect right now. When he was back in the house I wanted to give him a huge hug and smile. However, when he handed me back my shovel the only thing I could say, coldly, was "Find your own weapon next time." I didn't think I hated him but some part of me was obviously still very angry with him. He just gave me a sideways glance and exited the room to get out of his blood splattered clothes.

I excused myself from Chris and told him to make himself at home in the livingroom. Which he did happily, kicking his shoes off into a corner, putting both his feet up on my light beige couch and taking a brief sigh or relief. I guess he was just happy to lay on a soft surface after having slept on concrete night after night. I almost started to get upset that he was laying on my clean couch in his filthy clothes but let that feeling die quickly. Who cares about a couch that might have to get chopped up anyways for firewood or to board up doors? By the time I got upstairs Alex was changed, dressed and packing a small gym type bag. Evie's large overnight army diaper bag was already packed on the floor by his feet. Evie's was eating her apple puffs and stumbled over to me when I walked into the room. I picked her up.

"Alex, what are you doing?"

"I told you, Jamie, we are going to my mother's. It's apparent that you hate me and that zombie in the backyard is proof enough for me that we need to get away from town. It isn't safe here. You're still invited to come but I'm not waiting for you anymore. Evie and I are leaving." He didn't look up at me from packing his bag once.

"You would really just leave me here and take Evie?"

"Yes, I would. I'm done putting up with your bad attitude. You're either coming with us or you're not. Like you always say to me, you're a grown woman who can make good decisions..."

I just watched him finish packing his bag in silence. This morning I wanted to move out or for him to leave but now I wasn't so sure. I handed Evie off to him and began packing my own bag.

"Alex, just give me twenty minutes...I'll go with you...for our daughter's sake..."

I ran around upstairs collecting all of our important documents. Like our passports, birth certificates, social security cards, health records and bank statements. I wondered if any of these pieces of paper would even matter anymore. But I figured it's better to have them and not need them than the other way around. The next thing I packed was Evie's baby food. Alex never remembered to pack her food but I was pretty sure he had remembered everything else of hers. Lastly I grabbed the CD case with the digital pictures of Evie's life thus far. I imagined myself much older showing Evie her baby pictures from before the zombies showed up. How life had been easier and how you could relax outside without having a weapon by your side. Hopefully the world will be like that again...one day...

Alex woke Chris up from his fitful rest on the couch. He almost had a heart attack when Alex touched his shoulder and if he had had Faith in his hands he probably would have sliced the top of Alex's head off. We told Chris where we were going and said he was more than welcome to join us. He though about it for a moment and decided he would make the trip with us. He wanted to get away from town too.

We gathered what we were taking by the front door and I took the first trip out to the car. I put all of our bags in the trunk while trying to make as little noise as possible. Every creek and squeak from the car trunk and doors made me cringe and look around in every direction. I made sure the car was unlocked and that Evie's car seat was ready for her arrival. As I was withdrawing from the back seat something caught my eyes from the front of the car. I jumped out and standing on the opposite side, to the front of the car was a very chewed up man. He looked like someone had dragged his body through a lake full of large piranhas. He was slowly making his way in my direction and let out a loud moan. Something else caught my attention off to my right and to the side of our front porch. Another walking corpse shambled it's way towards the car. I grabbed my shovel from where I had leaned it against the side of the car and hit the piranha victim first. He was considerably taller than me so I missed his head and ended up hitting him in the shoulder. He stumbled and slightly fell on the hood of the car.

Alex and Chris had been watching from the front door and they both ran out together. Evie was in her dad's arms with her favorite stuffed mouse clutched in one hand. I turned for a split second just in time to see the second zombie lunge at Alex from behind. I thought it grabbed Evie and gasped. Chris looked back to see what I was gasping at and ran to help Alex. The zombie stopped for a second looking at something in it's hand, it was Evie's stuffed mouse. This moment of hesitation gave Alex the opportunity to get Evie strapped into her car seat and for Chris to teach the zombie what Faith was all about. The zombie in front of me was just too big for me to handle alone, instead I darted out a little further down the street, getting it to follow me. Alex jumped in the driver's seat and started the engine. Chris got into the passenger seat. Once I had lured the bigger zombie away from the car I ran back and got in the back seat. We drove away, swerving to avoid hitting the zombie in the middle of the street. Evie's favorite toy was laying on the sidewalk in front of our house. That little stuffed gray mouse had saved my daughter's life. I hope I can replace it one day.

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