I originally wrote this on June 12th but it wasn’t going anywhere. So I figured I’d just finish it best I could and post it.
The death of my grandmother happened suddenly. She was in the hospital and had been throughout the weekend (Memorial Day weekend) and that’s why I went home to visit. But when I left her, spirits were high, her color was good, and she kept asking about when she could get home.
I returned to New York on Monday night and started preparing for my trip to Spain. I was dutifully working on Wednesday when my cell phone rang. Checking the caller ID to make sure it wasn’t some idiot, I picked up the phone. My mom then informed me that my grandma had passed away that afternoon.
A little shocked because she looked good when I left, I gave my condolences after conference calling with my dad and sister and mom and hung up the phone to begin preparing for a stressful next few days of making preparations to get to the funeral in Scranton, PA.
Everything went very smoothly and when Friday night rolled around I found myself at the viewing.
Viewings are pretty creepy. The idea is you get to see the person one last time before they’re buried. In reality what you see is a dead body, hard as a stone and with a facial expression so creepy you’ll pee your pants and shiver and then say “Man that was pee-your-pants-and-shiver creepy!”…and redundant.
I was milling about the parlor talking to relatives I’ve seen recently and ones I haven’t seen so recently when all of a sudden I heard a blood-curdling scream. I didn’t even have to look.
“Fucking zombies.” I said whirling around.
My grandma’s arms, which were resting at her sides just seconds earlier, were now straight in the air as she lay in her coffin. Next thing I know she’s getting up.
I’ve made it my career to hunt down and kill zombies and I don’t know if you seen one before (ahem, you’re welcome!) they are quite scary. And even though typically one zombie doesn’t worry me this zombie was my grandma. Not only that, but I was fully aware there were two more viewings going on in this funeral home that would be chock full of zombies by the time I got around to them.
So here’s the predicament: Kill my undead grandmother, or kill the other zombies first, and then make my way back to grandma.
I’m sure as you all know if a zombie gets its hands on you, you turn into a zombie, and since I didn’t want the rest of my family becoming zombies, I chose to go after grams first.
From underneath my duster* I pulled out my sawed-off shotgun. It’s a pretty sweet little number. I always keep two shells in it should an occasion like this ever arise.
Shrugging I said: “I love you grandma. But you’re a zombie. See you in hell.”
BLAM. Right in her zombie-face. My family members shriek and I know they’ll never forgive me. But when you’re a zombie-hunting vigilante, sometimes you just have to deal with stuff. Stupid, petty, family stuff like “who’s doing the dishes tonight?” or “but I set the table yesterday!” and “I can’t believe you killed the zombie-grandma!”
As I push my family out the front of the funeral home and start backing out, the other zombies are in hot pursuit. Luckily they’re slow zombies. Those fast ones are terrifying…and fast. I catch another pair of zombies in the chin – one wearing a blue leisure suit, the other a purple sunday dress with silver trim. Probably someone’s great Aunt and Uncle at some point. Now? Just two dead zombies dressed up like someone’s great Aunt and Uncle.
I slam the doors behind me as I reload my 12 gauge. Click, click, snap.
The reanimated corpses barge their way through the funeral home doors, splintering them. Then the weirdest thing happened. A funky bass line starts. It is familiar. It is timeless.
The lead zombie, sporting some sort of torn leather jacket/pants combo begins twitching to the beat.
He dies and brains go everywhere.
“I will NOT tolerate choreographed dances to Thriller!” My grade-school 1st cousins look disappointed and grossed out. They’ll thank me in a few years when they realize they don’t have a serious case of the munchies…for their siblings.
My family members make it to their vehicles and rush to safety. The streets are desserted.
“Why is there ice cream cake all over the street?” I pose to a nearby undead as I shove the tubes of my sawed-off into his mouth. He moans. I squeeze the trigger. “Wrong answer, you devil’s turd!”
A few more reloads and the zombies are all gone. My gun, still smoking from a hard day’s work, is fire hot. I holster and trudge through the zombie carcasses, being sure to stomp skulls as I come across them, just in case.
I reflect on the choices I have made in life. Well, the choice. To kill zombies. Sure I’m not going to be the most popular or best-smelling guy, but damnit, I save lives and that’s okay by me.
Smiling I walk down the street back to my family, my shoes covered in blood and ice cream cake. I love ice cream cake.
*I always wear a duster.