Cheryl stood in the doorway seeing her children off to school, when she heard a familiar knock on the back door. She sighed. Had there ever been a day without Edna showing up? She slowly walked towards her, suppressing her discontent. Edna was her best friend after all. She had given her lots of support when Den was killed in the war.
“Hi Cheryl,” Edna said, “Any luck with the job interview?”
That was typical Edna. No ‘how are you today?’, but straight to the point.
“Well, it’s a good job and I stand a fair chance. But it’s from four o’clock till midnight, just like your job. So who would look after the kids?”
“Oh bugger, why is it never easy?”
“Coffee?” Cheryl asked and filled the kettle without waiting for an answer.
“Don’t you know anyone else who could look after the kids?”
“I’ve run out of relatives now that grandpa died. And everybody here faces the same problem. Not that there are many people left nowadays.”
She put a spoonful of the precious powder into two mugs, then poured some hot water on it. After that they sat silent for a while, blowing in the mugs to cool the brewage down. Cheryl let her mind wander over the horrors of the past years. Sixty percent of the population gone, the whole society wrecked. They had won the war against the zombies in the end, but the price had been high.
“It’s a shame your granddad passed away. He could have looked after the kids and would probably have helped you with other things as well.”
Yes, Cheryl thought, I bet he would have. He would even have kept me warm in bed, the bastard.
“Don’t know love,” she said. “Why is everybody so afraid of them zombies? Why did we have to fight them? They just wanted company, friendship. They wanted to be with their loved ones. That’s all.”
“Oh Cheryl, please don’t say that. We couldn’t let it happen. The good Lord would not have approved of it. We would have all gone to hell. And they are not exactly the sort of people you would want to be seen dead with, are they?”
“Well, I just don’t know. But as you said, it’s bad luck that grandpa is gone.”
But while she was contemplating this sad fact, an idea began to take shape in her mind. Suddenly she rose from her chair.
“I’m sorry Edna, but I have to get to the morgue. There is something I must check before it’s too late.”
The next day Edna was a bit surprised when she saw Cheryl’s granddad sitting in the comfy chair.
“Is he back?” she asked. “I mean, is this such a case where someone looks dead, but isn’t?”
“Oh no, Edna,” Cheryl said, “he is as dead as a zombie.”
“But is it legal? People are not going to like this, I can tell you.”
“That’s why I ask you not to tell anyone. Will you promise me that?”
“Yes, yes. Of course. How did you manage to get him out of the morgue?”
“Don’t ask, love.” But Cheryl continued: “You know that fat bastard Wills. He wanted to fuck me right there. But I said he could lay me once, the very night he would deliver grandpa properly thawed. That was last night.”
“Cheryl, you’re a real devil you.”
Cheryl shivered and didn’t feel like a devil at all.
Edna looked at Cheryl’s grandfather for a while.
“But what is your granddad actually doing? He’s just sitting there not moving a finger.”
“Well, at least the cat no longer pukes in that chair of his. And it’s not what he’s doing, it’s what he could do.”
“What do you mean?”
“I told the kids that grandpa would eat their brains out if they didn’t behave and make their homework.”
“Oh my, that’s absolutely killing, Cheryl.”