After the Zombies Came: Day 12

by Jay HOLLEY
 

Suzanne had found the yellow Buick lifted above her head on bulky hydraulic jacks, its dirty oil filter dropped onto the concrete floor beneath the engine. She unlatched the small triangular vent window and pushed the glass open with her palm. She was cruising at 55. Pulses of icy air tapped against the scabs on her forearm as the window shook with turbulence. Suzanne nudged with window and it found a steady angle. The air rushing over chrome trim whistled a perfect B-flat. She thought of Rick of Rick’s American Auto, who’d marked her arm as he lunged for her brain. He must’ve been attacked and turned while reaching into the Skylark, she’d reasoned weeks ago and told herself again. She imagined Rick’s zombification and death a dozenth, thirteenth time. She’d beat his skull to fragments with a stainless steel ratchet and she still felt queasy about her brutality. She’d smashed and smashed through brain and bone until she split the back of Rick’s skull and the ratchet clicked against the concrete slab of the garage. She’d looked into the puddle of matted hair and blood and spit where the zombie’s face used to be, where a human’s face used to be. The Skylark crested a large hill and Suzanne spotted a tattered pair hitching across the valley. She pressed her running shoe hard against the accelerator and thought about her second kill, using a shotgun, so much easier than the first. She remembered walking into the wood-paneled office of Rick’s American Auto still dizzy from Rick’s attack. Behind the glass of a picture frame Rick stood in front of a race track leaning proudly against the Buick, a small trophy in his hand. She’d erased this man in the picture, or what was left of him, this man handsome in a blue mechanic’s jacket. She’d vomited on a catalog of mufflers and exhaust system accessories. She liked vehicular slaughter so much better. It wasn’t a guaranteed kill, she mused, but it was was relatively safe. Speeding toward the pair Suzanne took mental note of age, sex, and race. A black woman: tall, young. Middle-aged white man: plump but not quite fat. An accountant, perhaps. The accountant turned his head toward the automobile while Suzanne squealed with glee. There wasn’t time for them to avoid the Skylark; Suzanne barreled through them. She imagined their necks snapping as they rolled over the windshield but had no inclination to check. Looking at the still bodies in her review mirror she thought about taking a nap.

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