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Tales From The Oddside(7)

By:Al Bruno III


"Leon?" For ahilarious moment he was utterly bewildered, his square head lookingback and forth to try and find me. "Up here!"When he finally foundme he just started screaming up at me, "You are in big trouble!Dad is seriously pissed!""I just went for awalk.""A walk? You'vebeen gone all day!" He waded out into the water to get a betterlook at me, the water was up to his knees.I glared down at him,"I lost track of time. So what?""You're out ofyour mind!" The expression on his face was like he was lookingat something disgusting, "Delores told me she saw you up here!"Bile rose up, leaving asour taste in my mouth, "She saw me, so what?"</ol>


"She saw what youwere doing! She told me-"A stone the size of abowling ball crashed down on Leon, crumpling his skull. He collapsedface down into the water surf, blood clouding the seawater.I scrambled to my feetto find Nannette standing there."You killed him."I said.She nodded inagreement, "Do you care?"I know I should havefelt something but instead I just sank into her arms. "What am Igoing to do?""That's yourchoice."I want to be with you."I said, "I want to be with you forever."</ol>


The rain pelted us, theclouds were getting darker. It didn't matter, I felt safe as a babyin her arms, "Then join us.""What about Leon?"Nanette released me,and stepped to the edge "The sea takes care of it's own.""I'm ready then.""No." sheshook her head, "You must sever your ties with this world beforeyou can join mine."A cold determinationflooded me, "I understand.""Go then, andreturn here when you have finished." She kissed my forehead andthen dove into the sea.I turned and startedwalking back to the cabin. After a few minutes I turned back to lookfor Nanette. Through the storm I saw four hazy gray figures standingby Leon's body. I assumed they were the police but as I watchedlifted it up and carried it into the sea.</ol>


*My Dad startedscreaming at me from the very moment I stepped into the cabin, motherwas silent and reproachful. The tingling I had felt on my chest andbelly was worsening, it was almost painful. I pretended to listen asI went over to the kitchenette. It didn't worry them in the least tosee me reach into one of the cabinets and pull out a steak knife. Iwonder if they thought I was going to make myself a sandwich, Iwonder even now what they saw when they looked at me.Of course Dad was hoton my heels, at moments like this he can never resist giving me ahard poke with his finger. I counted his footsteps on the cabinfloor. When he was right behind me I stabbed. The knife was dull butmy strength was more than enough to make the skin of his neck dimpleand split.His scream was raggedand his mouth was wide enough for me to see the end of the bladepoking onto his throat. Somewhere far away, Mom was screaming.I withdrew the knifefrom the man at my feet and stabbed down a few more times just to besure. After all, I had made a promise. Mom didn't try to run when Icame for her, she was almost resigned as I slit her throat.


*There was enoughkerosene left in the cabin's rusty heater to get a good fire started.I watched the cabin burn for a little while, watched the flameslicking at the roof to struggle and sputter at the harsh downpour. Ifelt nothing; I hadn't felt anything at all since I left Nanette'sarms.Then I came back hereand waited. I lost myself in the sound of the ocean washing up on therocks. If you close your eyes it sounds like applause. The storm hasleft the beach is deserted, but she said she'd be here.She promised.The tingling under myskin was painful. I tore at the white blouse I wore and scratchedmadly at the scabs. They broke easily. The flesh beneath them wasgray and slimy."Rachel."Standing on the rockyoutcropping gave me a full view of the ocean and the darkeningclouds. I couldn't see her but I could feel her, she was close andshe was waiting.</ol>


I looked down, the tidewas still out but I understood now that the water has always beendeep enough. I stripped out of my clothes and leapt into the ocean tojoin her.TALES FROM THEODDSIDELiving Dead NerdbyAl Bruno III</ol>


I can’t really blamewhat happened on some kind of horror movie outbreak or evil spell. Ijust woke up one morning and I was dead.Dead,totally dead but walking around, no pulse but a head still full of<I>StarTrek</I>trivia. I was 16 years old and it looked like I wasn’t going to begetting any older. So weird. I’m still not sure what I am really.Am I some kind of a zombie or vampire or something? Has this everhappened to anyone else? Even Wikipedia couldn’t tell me, maybewhen I’m done here I’ll make an entry.Mycomplexion had always been pale and my parents never listened to mereally so the whole <I>Ican’t go to school because I’m only breathing out of habit.</I>excuse didn’t fly so I still had to shamble on out to catch the busfor school.The ride to AllenPalmer High School was always rough, insults and blunt objects getthrown at me not matter how close I sit to the bus driver. That daywas no different, so I guess we can add dead people to the thingsthat metalhead stoners have no respect for.</ol>


Sometimes the shit theypulled would make me get angry or even cry but that day none of itbugged me. Of course it made the shop class rejects even madder whenI didn’t react to them. Finally a textbook hit me in the back ofthe head and I turned in my seat to glare at them.Except I wasn’treally glaring on purpose, I thought I looked surprised because I wastrying to figure why in the Hell one of those idiots would have acalculus textbook. Still it shut them up for the rest of the bus rideand they left me alone from then on.Schoolwasn’t much of anything, I kind of just went through the motionsbut that’s sophomore year for you isn’t it? It’s like themiddle film in the <I>Lordof the Rings</I>trilogy, not good, not bad just kinda killing time until the ending.I wasn’t sure what myending was going to be now though, was I going to rot away and fallapart? I didn’t know, I still don’t but it doesn’t bug me much.After you’re dead what’s the worst that could happen?</ol>


Thenext week went on like nothing had happened, it was school, home andthen <I>Worldof Warcraft</I>.Of course now I didn’thave to worry about bathroom breaks messing up my raids.Occasionally I wouldget hungry- not the kind of hungry you know. It was like my boneswere aching, like I could feel them going soft. It was a hunger thatfish sticks and fries couldn’t touch. Thankfully my neighborhood isfull of cats, some of the stupidest cats you’ve ever seen.And plump too, likethose little chickens they serve at weddings.Bythe second week of my new ‘life’ things started to change, Ismelled a little but it was nothing that my Dad’s <I>HiKarate</I>couldn’t hide. People started treating me differently, even when Ismiled I had this look that weirded people out. I told the gymteacher I wasn’t going to play dodgeball, I was going to thelibrary and he just let me. Amazing!</ol>


My skin cleared up butmy grades stayed the same. You jocks even stopped calling me ‘Timmythe Tard’ not that I cared anymore. One guy did pick a fight withme, some seven foot tall freshman. He punched me a few times, itdidn’t much hurt and for once I hit back. One smach and he wascrying on the floor. Didn’t know my own strength. I sure as Hellgot called into the principal’s office for that but after herealized I was staring at his ceratoid artery and licking my lips hecut his speech about responsibility and citizenship short and justsuspended me for the a week.Not that I cared. MyMom hit the roof when she found out, my Dad actually seemed kind ofproud of me for once. One of the neighbor’s dogs went missing thatnight, I felt like celebrating.Since I was suspendedmy mom gave me punishment chores to keep me busy while she and Dadwere at work. That was ok by me. I liked the physical activity itkept me from just sitting around the house because when you’re deadthat’s what you do- just sit around a lot. You don’t get bored,you don’t think, you just are. You kind of let things happen toyou. Whatwas it my Aunt said? <I>Letgo and let God.</I></ol>


Not that God wassomething I worried about much either anymore. I do wonder sometimesif Jesus was just a nerd like me, if he was just someone that kepthaving to swallow abuse and insults until he just choked on it.Of course he got coolpowers out of the deal. All I got was this thousand yard stare.Well and I got laidtoo.Seriously. It was thegirl next door. Well across the street.You don’t haveanything to say about that? Well, anyway, she’s this gothy chicknamed Stephanie but she wants everyone to call her ‘Serpentina’.She doesn’t go to school anymore. They expelled her for sprayingthe tampon dispenser in the girls’ room with lighter fluid andsetting it on fire. I had been taking out the trash and I had justkind of zoned out. I didn’t even notice when it started raining.Stephanie- I mean Serpentina- came over and started talking to me,talking about how much she liked standing in the rain too and how Isure had changed. That never happened before.</ol>


She invited me in totalk but the next thing I knew we were making out on her parent’scouch. They were at work too. I was already hard, mostly because Ihad died with one of those piss erections I guess. She starts takingoff her clothes, showing me all the places she’s going to gettattooed and pierced as soon as she’s eighteen.Girl’s gonna be busy.Nowit didn’t feel like I expected, mostly because I was dead but I gotoff in other ways. She was so <I>warm</I>,I didn’t realize how cold I was until I had her on top of me. I lether do the driving, she kissed me and moved my hands to wherever shewanted to be touched. Then she guided me into her.<I>Sowarm.</I>And since we’re both guys here let me tell you that I was doing thefull on zombie groan if you know what I mean. You know what I mean?Serpentina was going crazy too, she kept complimenting me on mystaying power. I think we could have still been at it if I hadn’tfaked and orgasm and told her I’d call her later.</ol>