Mommy Says

“Mommy says the Immortals will come to punish us if we don’t eat our rations.” The zombie child took another slurp of her brain juice.

The vampire snorted.

“But that’s just one of her stories. She’ll be cross, though, when she finds out I missed one again,” the child added. She didn’t seem at all bothered by this fact.

“I thought there was no contact between the dead side and the living side.” I shot an accusatory glance at the vampire. “That’s what the werewolf said.”

“Augustus,” the vampire muttered, turning away to fiddle with one of the machines behind him.

“Of course there’s no contact,” Sarai agreed. “Too much risk of unsanctioned transformation.”

I looked from her to the child, then back again. “But I thought dead creatures couldn’t have children.”

Sarai shrugged. “Most of us can’t. Meredith, her mother, and her brother were all turned into zombies a few months ago.”

I blinked. “Oh.”

“It was an accident,” the child explained. “See, we were supposed to meet daddy in the city—on the living side—but our guide brought us to the wrong side. Then there was a brain crazy zombie just past the gate, so…” she shrugged, and finished off her brain juice. She got up and set the empty cup on the counter of the vampire’s window.

“And they let you in?” I demanded, shocked. “Even though your were at the wrong gate?”

“It’s pretty common, actually,” Sarai said. “Nobody much cares who comes into the dead side of town.”

“How could I never have heard of this?” I demanded. That elicited another snort from the vampire, who had turned back to follow the conversation.

“Nobody much cares what happens on the inside of the fence. Least of all the folks on the living side. I believe I’ve mentioned that a times or two already,” Sarai chided.

“But that’s just—it’s wrong!” I protested.

“It’s life,” Sarai countered.

“When Hugo says it isn’t fair we got stuck on the dead side, mommy always says life’s not fair,” the zombie child put in.

“Just keep your head down and eat your brains, and you’ll do fine.” The vampire set another cup full of grey liquid out on the counter. “Here. Drink up.”

“How many times do I have to say it?” I demanded. “I’m not going to eat brains. I’m vegan.”

“Yeah, until you go brain crazy,” the vampire said.

“I won’t,” I insisted.

“Mommy says all zombies go crazy if they don’t eat their rations.”

“I’ll figure something out.” I crossed my arms. “I’ll find an alternative to brains. A vegan alternative. You’ll see.”

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