A Little Gershwin

Summertime,
And the livin’ ain’t easy
Z’s are prowlin’
And the threat level’s high

Your daddy was rich
And your mamma was good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry

One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up moaning
Then you’ll spread your jaws
And you’ll take your first bite

But till that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With daddy and mamma standing by

Summertime,
And the livin’ ain’t easy
Zack is growlin’
And the danger is nigh

Your daddy was rich
And your mamma was good lookin’
So hush little baby
Zack is around, so please…
Don’t you cry

Hope

She screamed. She grunted. She bit into the gag. For hours, they watched as she rocked back and forth, jumped into and out of the bath they prepared. She sweated. They mopped her brow. They waited. Finally it was over. In a burst of bloody gore, it ended. They all breathed a sigh of relief. It was over. She glowed.

It was a girl. Krezner quickly calculated an Apgar of five. The child would survive. For what, he couldn’t tell. “I’ll name her Hope,” the mother said. Father was left blank on the birth certificate.

Krezner’s professional demeanor nearly cracked. You have got to be shitting me. “A beautiful name,” he said as he straightened his bowtie.

That night, the Z’s heard her moans and came lurching in force from the north and from the east. Hale and MacDonald from the fourteenth and Renna from the eleventh bit it that night. Or more appropriately, were bitten and were taken out of their misery, may they rest in peace.

They say Hope never dies.

The Fall

People used to rake leaves out to the curb into giant piles to get sucked up by giant vacuums attached to dumptrucks..
Kids would play in them and get killed by passing cars.
It made me wonder what kind of idiot parent would let their kids play in the middle of the road and what kind of idiot driver would drive through those leaves, knowing that idiot kids would be playing in them?
Seemed to happen somewhere every year.
Never did make sense. Never seemed to stop.
People aren’t just fools. They’re damn fools.

Steve dropped his ZED and ran toward a pile of leaves today.
By the time I could react, he was in the air above them.
I think he realized his mistake while he was in midair. It was like he tried to twist his body around so that he’d stay there, hovering.

He came up screaming.
It looked like he drowned in that leaf pile.
When I was a kid, that would have been the way to go, swimming on dry land.
Not anymore.
I’ll never look at another pile of orange leaves without seeing a corpse under them.

Thanks a pile, Steve.

Idiot.

Hollow Be Thy Name

Our father, who art in heaven,

A hot shower with clean water. For as long as I wanted. And central heat with clean, fluffy towels when I get out. White cotton towels like angel’s wings. Clean sheets and a woman who wasn’t trading it for rations. There’s heaven for you. That’s all. Nothing more.

Hallowed be thy name;

Did I say hollow? Did I think it? Oh crap…

Thy kingdom come,

If this is thy kingdom, I wish I’d bet on the other team! We looked forward to this for two thousand years? You sold us a load!

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

So you want us to kill Zack. I get it. But really, is this going on up there too? I really could use something to look forward to besides frozen Zack.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And peanut butter. Crunchy.

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.

I killed six Zack today. One of them took down Boondoggle. Right in the calf. That guy was always making impossible things out of rope. He had a real talent for knots. Sorry, but this one is asking a bit more than I can take today. I don’t know how we’re going to replace that guy. He was cool, in his own weird way. Zack’s going to pay for that tomorrow. I don’t give a damn.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Too late for that. How many deadly sins did I commit today? Wrath, lust, sloth, greed, glutton, and envy. Six out of seven. All but pride. Just like yesterday and the day before.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

Thine maybe, but not ours. We’re cold and hungry and under siege and losing for ever and ever.  We’re not going to make it through January. If the Z’s don’t get us, winter will. We could really use some intercession if you’re not too busy. Or maybe a cargo plane full of supplies if it’s not asking too much.

Amen.

Amen.

**********

Father Joseph was always struck by the beauty of seeing grown men tear up in the sanctuary at the sound of the most fundamental of all prayers.

B-easter

Joseph gathered up his followers and joined forces with a dozen or so pagans and the fortieth squad of Corpse Corps. They headed out for the hill by the water tower at Thornden Park. It had always been one of his favorite spots in Syracuse.

Never before had a mass been delivered so quietly or so well armed.

They stood at sunrise, facing east, and Joseph delivered an Easter prayer that he remembered from the Internet back when it existed.

In his basso profundo voice, he rumbled

God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son
you conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today raise us up
and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us….

And somebody, subconsciously sensing the pollen bursting forth on the spring breeze, trying in vain to resist as Persephone tickled her nose, sneezed as the sun burst over University Hill.

They heard the moan immediately. The crocuses were not the only thing springing forth from the matted grass.

They never returned to Hancock.

It’s not known whether or not Father Joseph survived long enough to perform last rites. If international mail service ever begins again, he will be nominated for beatification.

Love in the Time of Solanum

It was a world of want, of need, yet everything was for sale. Everything had a price.

And the price of love was too high. No one could afford it.

Who would invest in another mouth to feed? Who would want to have to back up the words “in sickness and in health” when sickness was far more likely than health? When poorer was far more likely than richer? When a little body heat wasn’t worth the cost of sharing food?

Love was for sale in the Zone, but only on a short-term basis. And everyone knew it.

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