Written by Ken Carman
Had I seen too many movies?
I admit I spent my popcorn munching youth watching Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead type fare’. Or maybe it was from watching Twilight Zone all the time, or Alfred Hitchcock flicks.
Except I thought I knew exactly what to expect when the dead clawed out of their coffins and then dug themselves out of their own graves. They came down the hill from Oak Hill Cemetery: my mother, my neighbor, the preacher I hated, the teacher too quick with the paddle, the murderer who killed the lady across the street. The sound of the moaning was horrible and the night before just right; dark, spooky; yet a full moon peaking out now and then. That was last night, and it was perfect: quiet as a blade of grass, gently brushing thier gravestones with an annoying “whisk, whisk, whisk…” the exact kind of atmosphere any self respecting ghoul would sloppily drool all over himself for.
Do ghouls respect themselves? After what has happened to our little town, I wonder.
We should have figured it out that something was wrong. Very wrong.
Why would they rise from their graves at 10 in the morning?
Children screamed. Dogs howled and left town. Cats did what cats always do: stare and look away as they lazed in the hot summer sun. At 10 am it was already 100 degrees. The stench was incredible.
A couple of brave; I would admit now “foolish,” souls ran out with their guns, swords, knives and bats… but nothing seemed to stop them. Besides, after a while we all just stared like our cats at them, only we couldn’t look away. Our loved ones, the bullies, the bastards… they just walked by us. They ignored us.
What the hell?
I; one of the many formerly “brave” souls, finally started to plead with them, “What do you want? Why are you here? Do you even remember me?”
One of the dead, a once sexy seductress who had worms feasting, looked through me, but said with her raggedy, raspy, rotting, vocal chords…
“I could kill for a shower.”
Then she showed her rotted teeth to me with a growl as if to bite. No one dared do anything to stop them after that. Yeah, they had us fooled.
How would you feel if you were locked in a small box for years and years, other than crazed? What would you long for? We never guessed…
Now we can’t get rid of them. They stay in the showers all day, all night, trying to eliminate a smell that will never: ever, go away. But they do drag themselves out every once in a while and then empty our fridges; threatening us if we don’t refill them with more food…. hoping to satisfy a hunger that can never go away. Cleaning up after them is impossible. Only plumbers are getting rich: what few there are. Once they see what plugs up the plumbing they quickly decide they’d rather do something; anything, else for a living.
The dead don’t bite. That’s a myth. They do lay in our beds, on our couches… spreading their stench everywhere. Their stench is impossible to get rid of. The best place for the dead is in the shower. It cuts down on the smell.
Nothing “kills” them, and even the legs and arms hang around if you cut them off, and drag themselves everywhere. They even reintegrate whole bodies out of puffs of blood red mist when you use dynamite on them.
Who could have guessed the dead; many who worked good, steady jobs when they were alive, would be such freeloaders?
There’s nothing we can do. The expense alone almost makes me wish they would kill me so I could become one, instead of put up with one.
Damn, I hate house guests.
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