SEX! and other things that start with Q Ch. 1 The Dead Family

One deplorable afternoon, Half Dead walked out of his house with a decaying body thrown over his shoulder. Three-quarters down his walkway, his perky neighbor Sourire Fou bounced out of her house and perched herself on the edge of the privacy fence, her half-moon smile bright enough to vex his downcast eyes.

"What are you doing, Neighbor?" she shrieked in her annoyingly chipper voice.

"You could take it down a few octaves," Half mumbled, slamming the body down on the curb. He spoke up a decibel, "Just taking out the trash."

"Now now, Half, you know the rules of the Mediocre Ville: all trash must be put out by 7 am. It is currently 7:04 am. If you keep fumbling the regulations, I'll be forced to report you."

"Then I will be forced to murder you by cutting your body into several hundred pieces which I will separate equally into 100 bags which I will then place in the trash cans of each person who lives in this dumpy little town, including your own. And I'll make sure to fill yours last, at 7:10. Then I will invite your husband to have a beer and he will say, 'No thanks. I don't need to drink because my life is happy now that I don't have a satanic wife criticizing my every move. In fact, I might run for president and outlaw all wives from being as anal as my late wife was.' And I will say, 'Good for you.' And then we will become friends and start a band together and rock the world."

Sourire turned her head precisely 25 degrees to the right, her enormous smile still at its blinding 1000 watts, and screeched, "Could you repeat that, dearie? You know I can't hear you when you mumble."

"I said Okay."

"Oh. Okay. I'll let you off the hook this one time. Work harder to do better, okay buddy."

Half walked back into his house and slumped onto his threadbare love seat he'd gotten in '73, leaving the front door ajar. An orange and black tabby slinked into the den through the open door, followed by a gaggle of three kittens and one gosling. The five animals hopped onto the newer-yet-smellier couch on the opposite side of the room. Half looked groggily at them, sighed, and clicked on the television. He flipped mindlessly through the 500 channels until he came upon an interesting special on swords of the Samurai period. "I hate women," he sighed in despair.

"Me too," said his companion Beyond, who sat down beside him and offered him popcorn and a fresh can of soda, "Which is why I never married one."

"Lucky you. I made that mistake once."

Beyond blew a raspberry at Half and thrust a stubby hand into the yellow food. "You let that trained monkey talk to you again. You should take my advice and shoot her next time she so much as looks at you. I'll do it for you, since I know you have an aversion to guns."

"It's not so much the guns as the bullets. I'd be fine with bludgeoning her to death with the butt of a pistol, but I don't like the loud noise the gunpowder makes when you shoot one."

"Just as well. I don't think you have the muscle to hold a gun like I do. I'm the strongest in our union."

"Only because you screwed the Grim Reaper to get it."

"I did him a favor. How many hot bodies do you think he has chance to be with? By the time they get to him, they're usually cold, and you know as well as I that cold bodies aren't nearly as pleasurable as warm bodies."

"That's why I love you, Beyond. Because you make sense out of illogic."

"And I love you because you understand how brilliant I am when others would send me to an asylum."

They kissed. Beyond Dead said, "The next time Sourire talks to you, call me out there. I will cut her tongue out for you, even if it means revealing myself to the outside world."

Half smiled, kissed Beyond twice. "No need to risk your life for me. I can handle my own battles, my lovely one." He wiped the hair off Beyond's face, clarifying the pattern etched so violently into the skin.

"Thank you, my brave one. Now turn up the tube – I want to hear this episode."