Death Envy: One Horny Zombie

“Know any girls we could call?” Michael asked between mouthfuls of mashed potatoes. Brian had never seen anyone attack their mashed potatoes with such gusto before. He took mental note: the dead love mashed potatoes. While he was taking his mental memo, Michael was waiting for his answer. He gave up and tried his question again, “Do you know any girls we could call?”

Brian thought of Stephanie, but, knew she had an affinity for the dead, so, out of jealousy, answered, “No.”

“That’s too bad, I’m as horny as I am hungry and I’m absolutely starving. So, if you have any ideas, they’d be most appreciated.” Michael returned his mouth to the downing of potatoes.

“What’s it like, being dead?” Brian was fascinated.

“I dunno,” he said, cheeks bursting with potatoes.

“But, weren’t you there? You were just dead.”

“But I don’t remember anything.”

“Nothing?”

“No.”

“Oh,” Brian sat back, disappointed. He thought the least he could get out of this assignment was a little enlightenment. “What’s the last thing you remember?” Brian wasn’t sure if Michael was chewing on the answer or just chewing on the potatoes, for he chewed in silence a long time, before he spat out,

“Dying.”

“How?”

“It’s really quite embarrassing, actually.”

“Come on.”

“No. That’s too personal and pathetic, so, no, you die and tell me about it, and then we’ll talk.” Michael used his bare right wrist to wipe any extra potato from his lips and cheeks.

“I haven’t died yet,” Brian said, stupidly.

“No? Good for you. It’s not a fun experience, let me tell you. It’s pretty scary, and like I said, pretty pathetic… if you go like I went.”

“How’d you go?”

“Forget it. Death was not my choosing, technically, but, my life is, so that’s where we’ll leave it.”

“So, when you say you don’t remember death, you mean everything?” was the best Brian could come out with.

“I don’t remember anything,” Michael said sharply, wanting to kill all discussion of his death.

“Wow, that’s a huge part of your…” Brian eventually gave up searching for the perfect word and settled for, “existence unknown to you.”

Both men let that lay where it was. This was the only man Brian had met to awake from death, but, he was unimpressed with their kind already. Were the dead always such jerks? He hoped no more of them came back. It seemed when you died, the art of conversation died right along with you, Brian figured. He eventually asked, gamely, “Tell me about your life before you died. What did you do, back when you were alive?”

“I am alive,” Michael was starting to think the man across from him was an idiot.

“Yeah, but, as soon as you finish your potatoes, you’re going to go back to being dead, right?”

“No.” Now Michael was sure the man was an idiot.

Brian licked his lips, eyes bulging in disbelief. “We can’t afford for everyone just to die whenever they want, off schedule.”

“What do you mean, ‘off schedule?’ People die on schedule?”

“Of course. There’s a queue and you die according to your number. There’s only so many buttons and so many people to look after the buttons, that if we allowed people to die here there and everywhere, there wouldn’t be enough to look after the dead, and then what would we do? It’d be a disaster. Chaos.”

“What if you die early?”

Brian blinked, not sure if he’d heard him clearly. “You can’t die early. There’s a strict schedule to follow. If not, there’d be more dead than we could handle.”

“Well, what about accidents and suicides and stuff like that. There must be some of those.”

“Dying by accident really puts you back of the button line, cause, that’s your fault, so, you can’t expect a button to just be ready for you, because you died by accident. So, there can be some kind of decomposition before you get put in a button, so, it’s never advised to die by accident. And suicide, well… that’s your choice, just like it’s our choice not to put your impatient ass in a button.”

Michael realized he’d awoken to a crazy world. There didn’t seem much to say. Did everyone think like this guy? He supposed they did. These were the manifests of a society gone completely ape shit. “Hey, do you still have baseball?” he asked, hopefully.

“Baseball?” Brian said the word for the first time.

“Yeah, baseball. Tell me we’ve still got baseball.”

“Sorry, what’s baseball?”

Michael wondered if there was anything left to live for. “So, you sure, you don’t know any girls we could call?”

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