Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dead Rite chapter 4.04

He wandered back into the kitchen and looked at the contents of the fridge. There was a packet of sausages well within the sell-by. Whether Amanda was a vegetarian zombie or not, it was unlikely she'd eat them. He added a packet of bacon (four rashers left) and placed a six-pack of eggs ready on the counter along with a packet of butter. He opened several cupboards before shouting through to the bedroom. "Where's your frying pan?"

Amanda's voice trilled with stress. "You'll have to use the grill. I don't fry."

"Okay." He returned to the kitchen, unable to resist adding, under his breath, "You will if you people see you like that, dear." The gill pan was big enough to stretch over two of the hob burners so he lit both, lopping off a third of the pound of butter to melt in the tray and adding the sausages and bacon as soon as it began to hiss. Being a demon meant you never had to worry about heart disease. With the bacon crispy and the sausages turning a shade of burnt sienna, he dropped in four of the eggs and moments later, while the yolks were still runny, turned off the heat and dumped the whole lot between two slices of bread.

Amanda reappeared just as he was licking the egg yolk off his tie. "How do I look?" she said.

"Hideous," he replied, picking up one of the remaining eggs. "Here. Catch."

She wasn't quick enough and it spattered against her forehead. "What the fuck?" she said.

"First time I've heard you swear. Your reactions are too slow. You should eat the eggs. Raw. They have protein which your body can still metabolise. Do eggs count as meat for a vegetarian or not?"

"Not." Amanda frowned. "Raw?"

"Certainly." He threw her a cloth to wipe her face. "What's that in your eye?"

She didn't look her best. Without full control of her fingers, her make-up looked shabby and amateurish. Eye shadow spread out from her lids in a smear of fawns and umbers, the mascara lumpy as mashed potato. Most disturbing was the eyeliner pencil, currently describing a horizontal arc from the edge of her eyeball. "I pressed a bit hard," she said.

"Just a bit." Jasfoup leaned forward, pressing her eyeball with the finger pads of his left hand and grasping the pencil with his right. "Ready?"

"I can't feel it anyway."

Jasfoup tugged but was taken by surprise when the eye slipped through his fingers and came free of the socket, still attached to the pencil. Amanda looked discomfited by the turn of events.

Jasfoup bit his lip. "Oops," he said. "I'll have this sorted in a jiffy. It's an occupational hazard, I suppose, though I've never seen a zombie apply make-up before." He tugged the pencil free and stoppered the hole with clear nail varnish. "There. Good as new."

"How odd," she said. "I can still see through it. You haven't scrubbed under your nails today."

"What? Oh, that's just dried blood. Nothing to worry about. You can still see through your eye, even when it's not attached?"

"I just said so, didn't I?"

"Yes, it's just..." He returned to the living room and sat on the edge of the sofa, careful not to get any of her vomit on his suit. "How very odd."

"Careful with the waving about," she said. "You'll give me vertigo."

"I wonder how far the connection goes." He stood up. "Stay here and I'll go into the kitchen."

"Are you going to wash up? I saw the mess you made. It's disgusting. I don't know how you can eat all that meat."

"Just open your mouth and swallow. You must have done a bit of that in your time." Jasfoup winked. "Right. Shout when your vision blacks out." He walked as far as the sink. "Can you still see?"

"Yes. It makes me feel sick, though."

"Try to keep it on the sofa. Less cleaning up then."

Jasfoup placed the eyeball on the window sill, gazing out across the small patch of brown the landlord had described as a garden. "Try going to the front door," he called.

"Would you cover my eye up? Seeing two things at once is doing my head in."

"Sure." He placed an upturned coffee cup over it. "Better?"

"Much. I'm at the front door."

"Can you still see out of this eye?"

"No. It's all dark."

"About twenty yards connection then." Jasfoup lifted up the cup.

"Oh! Now I can again."

Jasfoup looked at the cup in his hand and laughed to himself. The fundamentals of sight depended on light hitting the retina. Something that didn't happen if it was under a cup.

"Shall I go outside?"

"No! Wait there." Jasfoup opened several drawers looking for a piece of string. Failing that, the roll of clingfilm on top of the fridge served, once the eyeball was wrapped in one end, as a means of lowering it out of the window.

"This is giving me vertigo."

"Tell me when you lose your sight."

"I will. Oh!"

"What?"

"I can see through the window into the flat below mine. It's disgusting in there."

"More than in here?" Jasfoup reached the end of the clingfilm and hauled it back up. He walked back through and returned the eyeball. "You have at least forty yards," he said. "More than that I can't tell."

"Thank you." She put it back in its socket and rotated it until she could see again. "Better?"

"Much." He looked at her. "The film of decay over it might be a bit problematic, mind. It doesn't look natural."

She shrugged. "Maybe I'm better off this way. I was never a very good secretary. Perhaps I'll make a better zombie."

"Until your tendons rot away which I have to say, you're not helping. Have you got a sewing kit?"

"In the drawer under the telly, why?"

"I need to stitch up the gash in your arm. If you go out with that you'll have flies laying eggs in it."

"Should we go to the hospital?"

"They'll only pronounce you dead on arrival and then you'll be stuck in a morgue. That puts a real downer on your clubbing, I can tell you." He held the needle to the light and deftly threaded it with black cotton.

Amanda took a step backwards. "Cotton? Really? Shouldn't you use sterile surgical thread?"

"Why? You're already dead. We just need to close up the wound." Jasfoup patted the arm of the sofa. "Now sit."

"What about a local anaesthetic?"

"What about it? You won't feel it. Your nerve ending don't work any more. You didn't notice cutting your arm open, did you?" Jasfoup rolled up the sleeve of her blouse, masking his distaste for the cold flesh. He tied of the thread and gave her a neat row of stitches. "There. All done. There'll be no flies on you. Not on that wound anyway."

2 comments:

stephanie said...

That's my kind of sandwich!

How interesting about the eyeball! I wonder if Julie would have any use for the knowledge. Probably not.

It was kind of him to do the stitches.

Leatherdykeuk said...

I thought about Julie as I wrote it. Something may occur to her.