Next of Kin

I sat down on the hard floor with a thump that would probably leave a bruise later. Did zombies even get bruises? But no, there was no way I could possibly be a zombie. It had to be a mistake.

Seemingly of its own accord, my hand reached up to trace the new scar on my face. It felt strange, dry, but raw and a little crusty. This new of a cut should be painful, should be bleeding, but I felt nothing. Did zombies bleed? They’d have to have a functioning heart…

With a hand that wasn’t entirely steady, I reached up to find a pulse. I felt around my neck, at first calmly, then with a growing sense of panic. It had to be there. It had to.

“Margot!”

I looked up to see my sister Tabitha, dressed to party in a short dress with a plunging neckline, standing a couple feet from the bars of my cell. I’d been too preoccupied with myself to notice her come in.

“There’s an hour left for visiting,” the werewolf told her, before settling back down with a newspaper.

“Oh, it’s fine, I only have a couple minutes anyway.”

I gritted my teeth at the flirtatious tone in Tabitha’s voice. “Did you come to see me or my guard?”

“Don’t be like that.” Tabitha pouted. “I don’t want to spend our remaining time together fighting.”

“Fine.”

“Oh, Margot, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have pushed you last night, and now just look at your poor face…”

“Pushed me?” I stepped right up to the bars. Tabitha stepped back. “What do you mean, pushed me? Do you know what happened?”

“You mean you don’t remember?” Tabitha fidgeted with the hem of her skirt. “Well, you were really drunk… You know what, that’s probably best.”

“I don’t drink, Tabitha. What happened?”

“Um…” She bit her lip. “Oh! I’m supposed to ask, do you have a will?”

I stared at her. “A will? You’re joking, right?”

“Well, you know, you are technically dead, so the lawyer said…”

“The lawyer?”

“Yeah. You know, what’s her name. Emily something?” Tabitha was staring at a spot somewhere over my shoulder.

“You went to see my lawyer before you came to see me. I know we don’t always get along, but this…” I shook my head. I didn’t even know what to think.

“Look, I should probably go. I have this…” Tabitha looked toward the door. “This thing, so… Anyway, dad says he’ll miss you, and Richard said to say he loved–loves–you, so…I’m just gonna go.” Tabitha walked away, her heels tapping a rapid rhythm across the floor.

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint
Illustration by Jessica Emmas

“Tabitha!” I called after her, but she didn’t look back even once.

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