“You’re spleen’s out again,” Darlene scolded.
Bob sighed and pushed it back in, past the loosely knit flesh, where he was bitten long ago. “Darlene, you’re always busting my balls about this crap. Ed’s got a testicle dangling halfway down his thigh and Marlene doesn’t even tell him to get a new pair of pants without.”
She snarled as best she could without lips, her bloody teeth showing. “What are you telling me Bob? You’d rather be with Marlene? Is that what you’re saying? Because the neighborhood knows she’s a tramp and I know she’s already been shambling into bed with half the men on the cul de sac. Have you infested her, too? Huh, Bob? Why aren’t you answering me?”
The screeching was giving a headache. Or there were vultures plucking at his decaying skull. Either way, he was shocked at first, then wiped the surprise clean. “Because, Darlene, you are always hammering me about stupid crap. Didn’t you hear there are kids out there with baseball bats?”
“Urban myths, Bob. There haven’t been kids out there for years. And don’t you dare take that tone with me.”
Bob stood up as best he could, straightening out his femur which normally poked out of his leg. She never had a problem with his femur, he thought. Just the spleen. “I’ll take whatever tone I damned well please, Darlene, because this isn’t happening. You’ve been festering in my home far too long. And those kids, those aren’t urban myths. Frank’s dead. Did you know that? Frank’s got splinters in his skull. It wasn’t an accident.”
“Was he at the construction site? You all get so worked up bout nothing.” She became dismissive, waving off Bob’s comments. First she would batter him emotionally, and now she’ll just pretend he’s inconsequential. No. Not today.
“I want you out of my house.”
“Since you’ve crawled in here and I had to help get your legs moving again, you’ve been driving me into the grave. Before, if I wanted my damned spleen hanging out, my spleen hung out. If there was a bird gnawing at my eye, I ate the bastard. I didn’t just wave it away because it’s not clean. We’re dead, Darlene. Who cares what I put in my mouth? And from what I’ve heard, Marlene’s not the only one who puts anything in her mouth.”
“Excuse me?” Now she stood up, shrieking loudly through the groans of the neighborhood.
“That’s right. I know you were getting your grave dug up by Jim. Jim and I are drinking buddies, Darlene. Think you’re the only one with friends?”
“Why didn’t you say nothing bout it?” She furrowed her brow.
“Because I love you. Because I’m your stiff. But you pushed too far. Now get out before I find a crowbar to do you myself.”
He waved her away, and sniffling, Darlene said, “Good bye, Bob. I’m sorry.”
She shuffled through the grass, and onto the pavement, and Bob went to watch as she was soon on the street. Then he heard it. Hooting and hollering, and all the neighbors started to groan more loudly, looking at what was coming. Could it be food? It had been years since there was meat. Or would it be those teens? Human teens were the worst, their blood lust knowing no bounds.
Then it happened. There were kids, riding through on bikes, wielding baseball bats and two by fours. “Darlene,” Bob shouted, and she turned, reaching out to him.
“Yes, my love?” And then it happened. A kid hit her head so hard she dropped to the asphalt, dead. Again.
Fantasy Writer and Cartographer
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