*Ben Rogers Note: In an effort to stream line things through the transcription process I’ve abbreviated the names. B is for me and Z is for Zebediah.
I sit across the table sweating bullets as the undead man shambles across the room to take a seat. I’m trying to keep my distance from him over the table because he reeks. Bad. Really bad. It is a hot day here and no amount of deodorant or vapor rub is going to block this stench. I almost asked the inevitable ‘What died in here?’ question, but looking at my companion for the day I realized that might be a bad idea.
We talk for a few minutes, as I try to get used to the raspy, grunt like pattern of speech. Zebediah can’t complete whole sentences so I’m trying to get in tune with his short responses to insure that I get the transcription correct.
He is wearing loose bib overalls, with no shoes or shirt. I can see the stitching around one shoulder and make a note to ask about this. Trying to quell my curiosity, I stick to my planned list of questions and will do my best to hold off on anything impromptu until the end. I will also make sure the door is open at all times just in case I need to make a quick exit!
B: So Zeb, let’s start out with some easy questions. Can you tell me about yourself before you became a zombie?
Z: Was a mailman. Put stuff in boxes. Had wife.
B: Well that’s interesting! You delivered mail and were married. What happened to your wife?
Z: Ate her. To busy nagging to notice was munching on brain.
B: Wait. You mean to tell me you ate your wife’s brain?
Z: Not just brain. All of her. Hungry!
B: What do you mean hungry? Tell me more about this if you can.
Z: Woke up in grass. Stomach hurt. Hunger. Wife not using brain.
At my stunned silence, Zeb got up slowly from the table and walked over to a stand by the door. To say I got jumpy at this point was an understatement. A zombie within three feet of me? I was freaking out. As he turned around I saw in his hand a couple packs of air fresheners that you would hang in a car. The pine tree ones.
He went back to his chair and sat down opening each packet, rubbing each cardboard tree, and laying them on the table.
Z: This help smell.
B: You are aware of the decay?
Z: Yes. Nose not work. I know smelly.
B: Is your body falling apart?
Z: See stitches? He points to his shoulder. Me sew arm on.
B: How did it come off?
Z: Dog saw bone. Started nomming. Pulled arm off.
B: That had to hurt!
Z: No pain. Hard to get Brains though.
B: Speaking of Brains, why is it you and your brethren seem to enjoy them so much?
B: They taste sweet, gotcha. What are your favorite brains?
B: Wait, you eat animal brains?
Z: Shrugs. You, chocolate. Me, squirrel brains.
B: What are the worst brains?
Z: Know it all. Seem like brain full but empty!
I know my wife is going to be pissed but watching this guy is heart wrenching. His skin and bones, personality and loneliness just make me want to take him home. I can put him in the back garage and fix it up so that he is as comfortable as an undead person can be. Plus I’ll have unfettered access to a zombie for writing research!