“So is this a loony bin or something?”
Kryss (short for Crystal but DON’T EVER CALL HER THAT) is milling around my hospital bed in an oversized sweatshirt and strategically ripped jeans, a skull-and-crossbones clip holding her bangs. She’s here under duress with orders from the principal to deliver my assignments. Her bored eyes stare at me from above the pink, stretched, pregnant-belly flesh of a bubble gum bubble.
“Nah, just a regular hospital,” I reply.
The bubble pops. Smack smack. Her low, monotone drawl: “Um… But there’s like… posters of brains all over the place.”
“That’s because this is the neurology ward.”
“Nerr-al-ah-jee. What’s that mean.” Smack smack.
“It’s where all the brain doctors do their brain stuff,” I explain.
“So it’s a loony bin.” Smack smack, blow.
“No, it’s not. And please stop using that term. The stigmatization of mental health is a very real problem in our–”
POP. “You just said brain doctors were here.”
I try not to groan. “I mean doctors for brain tumors, brain surgery, that kind of thing.”
She smacks for a long time, maybe thinking but it’s hard to tell when her eyes give me no signal she’s got a pulse. Finally she says, “I wonder if this is like, where the zombies would go first.”
“You know, ’cause there’s brains here. Do you think they keep ’em in jars?” She looks over her shoulder, as if expecting to see a nurse wheeling a cart of freshly de-headed brains past the door. “It’d be like, a zombie cafeteria.”
“I don’t think they have brains just… sitting around. It’s not a Frankenstein lab.”
“It could happen, you know.” Smack smack.
“A zombie outbreak.”
For the first time her eyes show a little flicker of consciousness. More than a little, in fact. Suddenly she’s staring at me very intently from that frame of dark eye liner.
“There’s been like, studies and stuff,” she goes on. “By like, scientist guys. I watched a documentary about it. Well, like half of it. Or like a few minutes of it. Anyway, zombies could happen.”
“Well that would be a very… grave… situation.”
“I already have a plan,” she says, ignoring my snickering.
“Yeah. A Zombie Survival Plan. I already have a bag packed with first aid and canned food and bullets and stuff.”
“Yeah, my dad has a gun. Someone wants to pull your face off like a lasagna noodle, you need a gun. So I’d take my dad’s pistol and ride my bike out of town to the water tower, then I’d sit on top of it and pick off any zombies that came near. It’s perfect. I mean, I’d have unlimited water.”
“What about the bullets?” I ask.
“I already said. They’re in the bag. Duhhh.”
“No, I mean, bullets aren’t unlimited. What about when you run out?”
“That’s why I’m taking karate lessons.”
Sigh. The zombies sure won’t find any brains in this one.
This was part of a larger scene in my WIP before I cut it, having changed things that unfortunately left no room for Kryss. But I liked it so much that I wanted to post it somewhere, and Halloween Week seemed a fitting time! Hope it made you cackle as much I did. 🙂