I wish it didn’t take the zombie apocalypse to do the thing.
In the end, I think this sort of confrontation yielded the best possible results, really.
I mean, when half the city is on fire and the other half is interested in ending you, there is next to no room for I-statements, tears, or next steps.
There’s the worst sort of bathroom breaks, where the sheer wet pressure of your bladder forces you to stop nearly wherever you can. Or just continue to run, saliva and tears wicking off your face, wet pant legs flapping against your ankles, sticking to your thighs, sometimes lower back.
Nobody tells you in the horror movies about the Fear Shits, right?
The last time I saw him before it all went to single syllables and short sentences, he was on the second floor patio of a mutual friend’s place. About three months ago, if I had to guess. I remember the second floor because I thought that if I pushed him over the side of the bannister, he’d probably only break an extremity. Not enough to make it worth the jail time. Not enough to make it worth a lawsuit. Not enough to have to explain to friends, or “friends”, who would still listen to anything I had to say why I did what I did. If they’d believe such a fine upstanding shitbaggy bag of shit could do such a thing.
I have to say that it was a fucking early Christmas miracle that nothing attacked me while I chopped the sonofabitch to cobbler.
By then, I think I was covered with enough of the dirty bastard to pass for one of them myself. I tell you, a miracle that no one I knew saw or stopped me from killing one of the few people-people there were left on the streets.
Chess Parker had it coming. Nobody in this entire country’s recorded history of motherfuckers had it coming more than that one.
He actually looked happy to see me.
Pulling over his pissyellowpricelessfuckingJeep
I saw that goddamn smile on his face
and I knew I had to take it off his face as soon as possible.
Replaced with the look of confusion was a little better.
Replaced with the fear for his life
… probably the best.
Is it fair for the me to say that I can’t remember everything?
What happens to the teller by the side of the campfire who loses the thread to the story, and there’s no more whisky in the round?
I saw his face, heard the chuckle of greeting, car door slam and felt near tangible waves of exhaustion and relief in equal parts.
I was stunned.
How did he make it without a weapon?
He charisma’d his way through an attack on the undead?
And So Clean, like he was going to history class. Just another fucking Wednesday.
Fucking miracles, man. His fucking skin—his skin reminded me of a pig’s.
I thought of that and his smell and his hands all over me and just went to work on him. I just went for the at a forty-five degree angle, like you would when you are clearing small trees or woody obstacles.
And I tell you, it worked.
He rocked back, I did it again but his arms were in the way—Like my arms were in the way when I tried to push him off?
No, Please.—Again with the No, Please.—
You’ll fucking kill me? You’ll fucking kill me?
—Say my name one more time before the wailing scream starts.
Then it ends, and I wonder if it was just me yelling this whole time.
The street is as quiet as it ever was.
Rock back and swing one more time. It’s the first time I miss, taking some of the top part of the scalp off. I realize I havetohaveto leave now because I’m still in my old neighborhood. There are neighbors probably still hunkered down—right?
It was only ten weeks by that time—yes? I thought that people I used to say “hey” to were probably still there behind the shades. —Probably eating the last of the stale cereal and canned goods if they hadn’t all hopped on the FEMA train and survived the worst.
He was so loud.
I remember thinking I said no pretty loudly, too.
I feel like I never stopped saying no.
Where the fuck were my neighbors now? Where the fuck was my community then?
The best part of the end of the world
is all the people
you don’t miss.
Rushelle Frazier is a queer black feminist writer currently based out of her hometown of Worcester, Ma. She is also a permaculture educator, herbalist, urban farmer, counselor, and poetry organizer. Rushelle is a finalist for the 2015 Worcester Slam Team and co-coordinator of Choice Words Poetry Series.www.rushellefrazier.com. “Clean Living During the Apocalypse: What Needed Doing” is available in her chapbook Heavy Honey from Doublebunny Press.