When Jane Hawkins finished giving her daughter a vigorous scolding, Meredith was sent to her room with slouched shoulders and a sullen look in her eye. Norene and I joined the woman in watching until the child disappeared into the house.
Jane sighed. “I swear, the worst part of our getting turned into zombies is that not only will I never get to see my children grow any more, they’ll hardly have the chance to mature either.”
“Cold comfort that none of you will be around long enough to grow to hate each other,” I said.
Jane shot me a sharp, assessing look, before nodding cautiously. “Not much comfort at all, cold or otherwise.”
“Why shouldn’t cold be comforting?” Norene asked, as if we hadn’t just been having a conversation about the rather short lifespan of the average zombie. “Wouldn’t it help slow the decaying process?”
Jane gave an indelicate snort, and I pulled a face. “Thanks for that, Norene, now I’m imagining a room full of frozen bodies in varying stages of decay.”
Norene wrinkled her nose. “Ew, why would you imagine that? You’re not hungry, are you?”
Jane looked to be restraining a laugh.
“Not any more so than earlier. As for why, I should think it’s because you mentioned cold and decaying in the same breath.”
“I just meant that zombies might fare better in winter or in cooler climates. Which makes it lucky you all live here, rather than somewhere warmer, I suppose.”
“Right, because I’m ever so lucky to have been turned into a zombie,” I shot back.
“I am,” Norene countered, oblivious to my growing temper. “Lucky you got turned into a zombie, that is.”
“Excuse me?” I demanded, focusing all of my attention on my banshee housemate.
“Otherwise I wouldn’t have met you, and that would be a shame,” she continued blithely.
Jane let out a strange sort of choking sound, and I snapped my head around to glare at her as her shoulders shook with restrained laughter.
“What’s so funny?” Norene asked a moment later, seeing that my attention had been diverted.
“You two bicker like an old married couple,” Jane gasped, attempting to arrange her face into something resembling calm.
My lips quirked up in a half smile in spite of myself. “The oddest of the odd couples, the renegade banshee and the vegan zombie, I murmured, low enough that it could be mistaken for disgruntled grumbling.
“What do you mean by odd couple? We’re not a couple. Or are we? Can friends be couples?”
Of course Norene managed to hear me, I thought sourly as Jane gave up her attempts to restrain her laughter.