“Ralph dear, Rusty is scratching at the door again.”
The talk show was just starting to look good , those siamese twin sisters were really at each other throats and the host could barely keep them apart, and *now* the goodamn zombie needed walking?
“Susan , sweetie, come on, this is getting good, I'll take Rusty out later, ok?”
“The poor thing is driving me nuts with all this shuffling and moaning, honey, and this is your turn, you know. Now off you go, you boys need some fresh air. I'll keep the couch warm.”
Poor Rusty did look restless, allright. And a bit mouldy here and there, too – crap, Ralph would have to take him to the deadshop the next day for a good clean up, before the wife started bickering about that , too.
“C'mon Rusty old boy, time to rattle those old bones of yours.”
The zombie let out a deep, raspling groan, the way he used to when he was genuinely happy. Good old Rusty.
Turned out the usually quiet suburban streets were a little bit crowded that saturday afternoon; too many grunting husbands walking their pleased undead corpses.
Buying and selling zombies was still ilegal, off course, but adoption was encouraged by the authorities. The formely living were pretty much harmless, and useless too, more of a traffic nuissance than anything else . They posed no real threat to public health, and would be discretly disposed off when their numbers grew too large. Wich, to many, seemed like a damn waste.
The living dead were actually quite cute, what with all their silly stumbling around and bumping at things , falling at each mistep and moaning helplessly all the time .
“Heh. You are all righ, aren'tcha Rusty boy? Yeah, that's it, who's my buddy, huh, who's my buddy? Yeah, that's a good zombie !”
Ralf and Susan had just picked Rusty the month before. Because, you know, most of their neighbours had their own zombies by then (the Thompsons had two , and were proudly talking about adopting a third one, the greedy sons of bitches), and anyhow the wife was yaping yaping yaping all the godamn time about staying home all day, all by hersef (never mind those long phone bills and the cable tv , oh no, no sir, ever).
So off they were to the morgue one fine saturday morning and, well, there was not much tho choose from at the time, all leftovers from tornados and a flood up south and, jeez, too many car accidents... no one dying peacefuly in their beds these days, no sire .
Susan was a little ansious and cranky so they end up taking what was available, but,ah, what the hell, no regrets there, really.
“Who's my best buddy, huh, who's daddy's best...”
There he was, on the other side of the street : Bert, the insurance guy, and his brand new living dead filipino, smiling and waving like a godamn politician on parade – fuck, he just spotted Ralph, pointed the ficker like a mock-up revolver and winched on that old car-dealer-intimate way, and just strolled past, not even waiting for Ralph's yellow smiled reply.
There went the good spirits. Ralph felt more like kicking happy Rusty the rest of the way, but, hell, what's the point.
The two of them got quite a start at the turn of a corner, though, when a little girl walking hand in hand with a a fat lady started yelling like her hair was on fire at the sight of decaying fellow crawling her way.
Ralph had to keep poor fumbling Rusty at bay as the lady passed by, that reproving look on her shine face, holding the frigthned girl close.
“Heh, don't worry sweetheart, he doesn't bite.”
And, sighing as the pair went away:
“That makes two of us, doesn't it Rusty old boy? That makes two of us...”.