A woman running behavioral experiments on me is one of the things I hate most in the world. This Tracy-person had pulled it off without making a single hair on the back of my neck stand up—that’s some mighty juju. I would have liked to grumble at her about it, but I didn’t know her well enough to take the risk of venting my spleen.
In the end, I decided to finish my breakfast and get on with my project of the day: hunt and kill something nasty.
I could wax rhapsodically about my Buell motorcycle, but I won’t. It doesn’t do you any good if you embarrass your ride, but I love this machine to death. When the company shut down in 2009, I actually cried in my beer.
Still, when I had my Street Fighter cruiser, my world was as complete as could be. (Had I known that I’d lose the bike a few months later, I would have loved it just a little harder.) I don’t think the gang at Buell realized that their bike would be the finest machine on the planet for zombie motor-jousting. The seat angle and low-slung frame were perfect for it.
People often asked me why I didn’t lock the bike up. My usual answer was along the lines of “people are too busy trying to live, to bother with stealing.” The actual fact wasn’t so pretty. Theft, in the absence of effective law enforcement, often received the death penalty. Neighbors watched out for one another, because they had to.
Of course, zombies don’t care. For whatever reason, people who come back from the dead leave their moral compass behind in the afterlife. The closest you’d get to a code of ethics from a zombie boils down to, “Are you gonna eat that?”
God forbid you try to have a civilized conversation with one of them! Their filters don’t work either. If an idea comes to them: it comes right out of their mouth, and that could lead to uncomfortable honesty… at the best of times.
Once, I experimented with one of them.
“Hey, what do you think about this? I’m going to do my absolute best to kill you, and send you back so you don’t return.” I’d yelled at my target from across the street.
“I’m not going to let you do that!” He giggled like a complete nutcase. “I’m going to bite your throat out, but before that, I’m going to claw out your eyes and bite off your nose. No,” he paused, as if he needed to consider what he said next, “I’m going to break both your knees, rape you, and then pull your intestines out of your ass. I’ll use them do jump rope and get my aerobic exercise in for today! Woohoo!”
That one was a difficult kill. He gleefully shrieked everything he could do to my body as we fought. Keeping my concentration was difficult with that litany of awful things going around and around in my head. The tide started to turn in my favor when I landed a solid kick to his nuts.
He screamed, high and loud. “You pig-fucking bastard! I’ll make a bota bag out of your face for this!”
Have I ever mentioned that I don’t fight fair? I fight to win, and I fight to live. The Marquis of Queensbury rules can suck my pinkie toe for all I care.
I kicked him in the throat, and he rapidly lost interest in his testicles. Whatever else could be said for the undead, they still needed to breathe. How silly is that? Granted, crushing his windpipe wouldn’t kill him; he would run away and hibernate until it healed. I imagine, he’d have come looking for me afterward. Why give him that chance.
My katana slithered out of the scabbard the moment my foot touched the ground. I struck. The sword took him at eye-level, neatly, except for the tips of his ears. They dropped to the ground a moment before the rest of him.
I assured myself he was all the way dead, and kicked the top of his head down the sidewalk near ArtScape in Rosslyn. It skidded away like a hairy soup bowl, sloshing fluids as it went.
There was a small crowd of shocked normal people. They’d watched the fight from the beginning, as they paused on their way to whatever was next in their day. Not a single person cheered me on, and I was a little put out.
“Performance art.” I snarled at them. “Philistines! You don’t know performance art when you see it? Can’t you feel my genius?”
Maybe it was my insane laughter. I don’t know. They ran away as fast as their little legs could carry them.