“Alright. Who do I talk to about funding?” I looked at Sarai.
“What, you want to start now?”
“Is there some reason to wait?”
“I just figured…” Sarai looked away.
“What?” I demanded. “That I’m not serious?”
“Of course she didn’t think you were serious,” the vampire snapped. “It’s a nice idea, but it will never actually work.”
“And why not?”
“Let’s see…” He held up a finger. “One, it’s probably not even possible.” He put up a second finger. “Two, no one will listen to a zombie long enough to even think about handing out money for some crazy experiment.” He put up a third finger. “And, of course, there’s no bank or investment service or anything like that here on the dead side to get funding from.”
I looked at Sarai, but she still wouldn’t meet my gaze. I crossed my arms. “Fine. How do I contact the living side, then?”
“You can’t cross over.”
I glared at the vampire. “I’m not trying to cross over. I just want to contact some people.”
“Not allowed to contact family either.” The vampire put his elbow on the counter and leaned his chin against his fist. His expression was one of resigned boredom.
I gritted my teeth. “Wasn’t talking about family.”
“I don’t see why not,” Sarai added, finally rejoining the conversation. “There’s no specific rule against it, and it’s easy enough to leave a message with one of the border guards or transitional authorities.”
“Don’t encourage her, Sarai,” the vampire growled. “Next she’ll be wanting to cross over and make a speech about vegan zombieism.”
Sarai gave the vampire a look that I wasn’t sure how to interpret, her eyebrows lifted and her lips pressed together. “Just because you’ve resigned yourself to the way things are doesn’t mean the rest of us have.” She turned to the zombie child. “Meredith, can you make it back to your mother by yourself?”
The child scoffed. “Of course I can. I’m not a baby. Mommy says everybody has to be able to take care of themself.”
Sarai smiled. “Of course.”
“Bye Sarai. Bye Vincent. Bye Margot.” And, apparently dismissed, the child turned and scurried off, quickly disappearing into the maze of streets.
“Come on, Margot,” Sarai said, heading back toward the gate. “I have an idea of who you could talk to.”
I hurried after her. Finally, someone who would listen and actually help.
“Your funeral,” the vampire called after us.