Sunday, June 1, 2014


So she stayed in the penthouse with Madam Blavatska and learned many things. Opal could yodel like Heidi, clog dance like an Appalachian Squaw-Woman and recite Shakespeare like a puny, little, flesh eating Helen Mirren . The zombie lifestyle apparently takes one many places and she was to be a queen. They even gave her a smattering of Chess Theory based on the 'Take No Prisoners' approach of Arpad Issikopf, the great, nineteenth century Hungarian master. He's a zombie too, but the human branch of the family never came to grips with that, so officially, he died in The Great War. But they take the fat checks he sends every Christmas. And to digress a bit, Issikopf is a noted zombie explorer, always on quest for bones, or artifacts that might shed light on the early days of the breed. Oh, if you've been with us a while you've heard the Creation Myths (actually more than myths) about the microbe contaminated quicksand and all that. But he wants to see how they lived and who they ate.  He, himself, tried to devour a live, suckling pig. They say human meat is basically the same as young, tender pork. The Mad Hungarian wanted to test that out. While he was able to keep it down, the porcine flesh did little to reverse his insidious decomposition, so he assumed there must be a necessary chemical, or cellular component found only in human meat. To this day that elusive compound had not been identified, though all flesh eaters acknowledge its existence.

One late afternoon they were out on the terrace observing the humans far down below. Madam Blavatska said - Life eats life. They are the same as we. Every morsel humans eat is primarily organic material. That means it once was alive. Rocks sustain nothing. We are, in a sense, humans with a more refined appetite. Never feel shame. It is how we are. Lions do not eat apples. Opal didn't answer. She just watched the people and thought about the different textures and flavors each possessed. As the light waned and the streets grew darker, she thought about something else.

There once was a teacher, a hard woman with red, lacquered nails like talons. She was tall. Not young, but schooled in the ways of obfuscation. A few thought her attractive. Others disagreed. On hot June days recess was longer. Classrooms were stifling. Painted cinder-block walls radiated a thick, damp, clammy warmth. Even with the bees, outside was better. 

The hard woman guarded the drinking fountains, three, lazy, gurgling spouts in a long, sink-like trough. Each 'little piggy' got three quick gulps, then a sharp poke from a lacquered nail and banishment out to the sizzling, concrete schoolyard. Resistance was futile. Those foolish enough to try got 'pink slipped.' And pink slips stayed in your record..

Eight year old Opal hated that woman. She had allergies. Her throat got so dry. Her lips grew white and papery. She'd get in line and wait. But every time, just before she drank, the hard woman kicked her out of line.... Not you! - she barked. You were here twice already!....... Opal knew the innjustice. She felt it keenly. Other children did too, but they were helpless. Opal quietly stood in the shade, leaning against an ever so slightly less fiery portion of the red brick wall. She breathed slowly. She numbly endured, dreaming of innocent, third grade revenge. Perhaps this was the time?

Opal asked her mentor if she might venture out that night.  The 'Madam' sensing her purpose (telepathy being one of her talents) consented, arranging for a car and chaperon.

A bit later under cover of true darkness, Opal went out to have her revenge.... and just thinking about it felt good.....

(more next time)


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