A Casual Undeath

Jamie watched the zombies. Each night at exactly 9:37 they walked past her house. The migration from East Hill Cemetery to West Hill was now a tradition. Every night Jamie sat on her back porch and waited for them to cross. Some of them knew her. Others just sauntered on by. Jamie only cared about one of them though.

Near the back of the group a teenage boy named Felix marched. He still looked only slightly dead. His skin wasn't peeling away, nor were his teeth falling out. The only way anyone could tell Felix was dead was by the small infection above his left wrist. That's where the spider bit him.

Jamie remembered when it happened. They had been watching the nightly zombie march while playing checkers. Felix was winning. Jamie recalled that Felix had really wanted potato chips that night but they didn't have any. As the zombies passed they would wave or say hello to relatives, especially Felix's uncle Joe.

Joe had the best sense of humor. Supposedly he even laughed when he was dying. He had died of a bullet that ricocheted off of a small pink sippy cup. No one ever found out who it was that shot the bullet, but Joe had thought that it was hilarious the way the sippy cup only had a scratch. He still did.

Anyway, after Felix said goodbye to Joe he turned back to the checkers board. Every time he had a piece that needed to be kinged he would gently say, "king me," then lean over and kiss Jamie on the cheek. She would blush, and then swear to slap him the next time he kissed her. She never did though.

After capturing Jamie's last piece, Felix leaned back against the porch's railing and sighed heavily.

"What now Felix?" Jamie asked.

"I'm just thinking you deserve a real kiss after being such a good sport about loosing."

"Felix!"

"Okay, okay. No kiss then." Felix adjusted himself against the railing. He never even saw the black widow that was making its web beneath his arm. Jamie remembered how he had set his hand on the spider's leg, and how the spider, frightened, ran up his arm and bit him above his wrist. At first, neither of them moved nor spoke. There wasn't a hospital within 50 miles of the area, what could either of the sixteen years old really do.

Jamie didn't remember much after that, but she did remember that Felix leaned over and kissed her lightly before he let out his last breath. She held him for what seemed like hours before he woke up again. He smiled his normal smile, and then stood up and walked to West Hill Cemetery.

Now Jamie sat alone and waited for Felix to walk past the house. He would stop in front of her and blow a kiss before continuing on to West Hill. She had no idea why every night they walked there, and why each morning they walked back to East Hill, but she was glad to see his face.

A year after Felix's death Jamie still sat on her back porch and watched them march. On the anniversary of his death, she took out the dusty checkers and set them up as they had on that night. Soon he walked by and blew his nightly kiss. The year had hurt his body, and he had begun to decay.

Once out Felix was out of sight, Jamie leaned against the porch railing and sighed. She never saw it, but she felt the pinch. The black world that followed was brief and confusing. There was no up, no down, no left, or right. Jamie looked at her hands and realized that she couldn't see them. It was strange to float in such a way.

Hours passed and light soon entered her dreary eyes. She sat up and looked towards West Hill. They were making their morning trek back to East Hill. Near the back she saw Felix marching along. He looked as good as he did the night they had played checkers. There was no decay, no lifeless stare. She walked up to him and saw his eyes brighten up with life.

"Felix?"

"Yes Jamie?"

"I wasn't a sore looser. Can I have that kiss now?"

He pulled her close and kissed her. Jamie felt the blood rise to her cheeks. Maybe, she thought, being undead, has really made me alive.