Excerpt from Aftermath: Boise, Idaho

Excerpt time. Aftermath: Boise, Idaho

From: Part Three- Miss Gray and Mr. Harrison.

“Ahem. Miss Gray?” A low voice, of authority, banking and Wall Street matters. The low gritty voice of a walking corpse. Zombies don’t talk, damn it. They grunt and try to eat you. Everyone knows that. Everyone! The zombie in the bright canary suit. She faced him, having been caught staring out the big window.

“Yes? Um. Sir?”

“Are you okay? Is that letter done? We don’t have it yet and we’re late getting the invitations out. We’ve had to deal with the PR for all that FF nonsense. Honestly, what do those people want? Such hysterical overreactions on their part all the time. Every little thing magnified a thousand times. Of course, that can be made to look very bad! We need to get back on track, Miss Gray.” She nodded. His smell … ripe decay hidden by some powerful men’s cologne. Old Spice can’t fix everything, she thought.

“I’m doing it now.”

“Great. And did they tell you cheese and crackers tomorrow? Havarti.” His eyes held red bulgy veins. “Jodi’s bringing her potato salad, it’s a last minute decision. She enjoys making things with eggs these days. Humor her, I say.” Hannah blinked, her mind just going blank for a long, long time at this random, weird spate of information and office politicking. Fuck the potato salad, we’re going in, boys! Oh the strange things that ran through the brain tissues at times.

“Okay. Fine. Havarti.” She was not even sure that was a cheese. Was it?

“Can you come into my office, Miss Gray? I have another matter I wish to discuss with you, if you have a moment.” Canary zombie actually let his eyelid droop a bit. A wink. A wink! She clenched her hands. Alone with a zombie. But he was just one. She could kill him if she had to.

“Uh … sure.” Hannah followed the zombie into his big, square office, which had a large framed print of a … yes, nuclear explosion that graced an entire wall by itself. Bikini Atoll read the caption. A gigantic black metal and oak desk, a Mac, a printer on a small table, and a nameplate that read Harrison P. Squack. Squack. Was that a real name? He closed the door and she spied three things to use as weapons. A letter opener, a glass sculpture of a naked baby—a cupid?—and the picture itself of that nuclear explosion. The frame could be broken and turned into a stabby. Glass shards could be jabbed into face or body. She had learned, she had learned, oh yes, to make weapons from thin air. Yep.

“Have you told Kevin? About us?” He spoke as if they were dear friends, more than friends. As if they knew each other. Really, really knew each other. What had the giant zombie canary just said?

“What do I tell Kevin, Harry? About what?”

“You know I hate being called Harry. Ah, baby. Sweetie! I know you’re angry. I’m not good at this. I’m not a relationship sort. I know you said we could make it work… I’m working on that, okay? But you gotta break it off with Kevin. I’m old-fashioned. And he’s trouble and no good for you. But you girls seem to like that type. I don’t get it.” Harrison sat on the edge of his desk, saying these absurd, soap opera words to her, in an office run by zombies. She had died and woken up in hell, for sure.

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