Brain Development

I woke up this morning to some strange noises coming through the bedroom window that overlooks our backyard. A couple of zombies had got themselves mired in the muck of the wetland area that starts just beyond our back fence. Most of the time the zombies work their way out of there and wander off, but with all the rain lately, it's swampier than usual. These two were getting riled up about their predicament and I knew they needed to be dispatched before their growls attracted more undead to the area.

"Can you take care of that?" Deborah asked sleepily from beside me.

"What is the date today?" I asked rhetorically. When she didn't reply, I continued, "It's May 9th...so technically it's my day."

She moaned grumpily.

"But I am nice," I said. "So I'll do it."

Deborah and I have a system to resolve disputes about chores and obligations. Odd dates are my days, which actually means I get to decide who handles the chore in question. She gets to be in charge on even dates. Being as it was an odd date, I could have made her do it, but I didn't want her to start her week grumpy at me. She works triage at the hospital and deals with infected patients all day, so she didn't need the added burden of braining a couple backyard rotters.

The muck back there was too treacherous for me to navigate safely, but the zombies were fairly close to our fence. One of them was pretty ragged, but the other looked newly turned, so I suspect the latter had been the former's victim some time during the night. Maybe the victim had been fleeing the ripe zombie and had gotten stuck in the muck, easy prey for the plodding predator in pursuit.

I couldn't quite reach them with the long pickaxe, so I used a rope to lasso them and drag them closer to the fence. I took care of the fresher corpse first, getting the rope around its neck and slowly dragging it out of the mire until I could bash its skull with my hatchet. I foolishly tried to use the same approach on the more decayed zombie, but it was so far gone that when I got the rope around its neck and pulled, its head came clean off and flew toward me, almost hitting me in the head had I not ducked in time.

I heard laughter as the skull rolled across our backyard and I looked up to see Deborah mocking me from the open upstairs bedroom window.

"That's not funny," I said, as I followed the rolling head across the yard. The zombie skull glared at me with its filmy grey eyes and gnashed it's teeth at me before I split it in two with the hatchet.

"Thank you, honey," Deborah said cheerfully from the window. "Do you think you could mow the grass today too?"

"It's still my day," I responded, picking up the two halves of cleaved skull and tossing them over the fence, where they sank slowly into the muck. "But sure, I can mow. You have to make breakfast though."

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