Jim works in roofing and is missing digits on both hands. He strips down, and bends over the soft edge of the La-Z-Boy. He points to a long metal panel on the coffee table, stamped on one side with a seal that says “Val-U Homes”. I imagine the metal edge grazing his fingers, blood leaching into his work jeans. Pam positions herself in front of Jim. I grip the metal with both hands and hit his bare ass with the panel.
Alex had a nasty habit of twirling her hair, twisting it into beetle-dense knots, and tearing out the entire cluster. It always amazed her that her scalp never bled from this nervous ritual. She figured there was not much blood between her skin and her skull in the first place, and imagined what a fat scalp would feel like, if its spongey loam would burst with blood at the slightest hair tug. This was arguably the skinniest part of the body, an area that would remain skinny regardless of global tumescence.
His parents built the cottage out here on the fork so they could use it for vacations. It was small and they painted it all white, on the inside and the outside. They built shelves and filled them with things they found on the beach: seashells and dead starfish, a rusted anchor, and sea glass. When I first arrived, Sidney tried to tell me about everything they’d collected, but I didn’t care then, and I didn’t want to know.
Now when the screen summons up Politician X, I do a start. Not because I’m dreading your elation at his latest surge, but because you’re dead, and I will never holler at another human like I did with you.
They both went inside and busied themselves for the rest of evening. The next day, Pamir picked up Adam from school and told him they would spend the afternoon indoors again. He left Adam in his room to play with his toys while he worked on the latest zombie episode. Afterwards, he went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. He was standing at the sink when he heard Adam’s voice.