Charlie watched on in anticipation, as a fragile looking woman poised a gun at her prey with shaky hands.Unbeknownst to the girl, her undead stalker waited for her in the shadows. He made an anxious guttural sound from where he stood obscured; hidden in the threshold of the back entrance of a run down bakery. He was in positon, facing the dark alleyway. He was waiting. She entered the mouth of the alley, with caution, but not enough.
Without warning, the Zombie pounced. Charlie was on her feet in no time. She pushed the girl out of the way, just in time to save her from her attacker. The girl screamed and the gun slipped from her clutch.
Reaching across the frantic girl, Charlie paused the infamous arcade game; Zombie slaughter five, and turned to face the scowling customer.
"Sorry," she offered. "This level is a bitch, but I've beaten it several-"
"She bothering you Miss?" The sultry voice of a young bar maiden cut in.
The amateur Zombie Hunter turned towards Violet, the bartenderof Wilds Bar and Grill. "What is wrong with her? It's just a stupid game!" The girl shrieked, annoyed at the interruption.
Vi flung her arm out, hitting Charlie square in the chest to keep her from retaliating, and scaring off yet another customer. She reached in her apron. "Here's your fifty cents. Sorry about the inconvenience."
The girl grabbed her change, mumbling something about a whack job under her breath, and walked away as fast as her stilettos would take her.
Vi turned on Charlie, who ignored the look of annoyance on her face. "Some people! Who goes to a Zombie stake out in high heels?"
"You need help Girl!" Vi said, as she walked toward a recently vacated table to clear off the mess.
Charlie grinned, as she watched her best friend lean over too far, exposing a decent amount of cleavage. Where Charlie was smooth and soft, Violet was hard and sultry. Subtle, but hard muscle was noticeable under her ebony flesh. "Is that an invite?" Charlie dared.
Vi responded with a playful wink, but she quickly changed the subject back to the video game. "I should just have my Dad take that stupid game back."
Charlie gasped. "You don't mean it Vi."
- "Seriously, this Zombie obsession of yours, is getting out of control."
"Come on! You were at the cemetery with me that night. You saw him!" Charlie protested.
Vi glanced around to make sure that the few remaining regulars hadn't overheard. "We were both very drunk that weekend. I believe that you think you saw something, but you didn't. It was the effects of alcohol. That's all," she said dismissively.
"So now you're denying it altogether? You never saw anything now, is that how it is?"
Vi looked away confirming Charlie's accusation.
Charlie reached in her pocket for some change. "For the game." She slammed two quarters on the table, before storming out of the bar herself.
As she walked to her apartment she cleared her head, and calmed her rage.
With her mother checked into rehab, and her father out of the question, Vi was all Charlie had. She didn't make friends easily, with being the town charity case and all.
She could always lie to save her friendship. Yes, she could do that....
She would play Vi's game for now, but sooner or later they were going to have a serious talk. Until then, she would lie and say that the man who resembled her dead neighbor was simply the fault of her drunken imagination. If it meant making Vi happy, then, just maybe it was worth deceiving herself over.
She unlocked the door to her studio and threw herself down on the couch. She closed her eyes hoping for some reprieve tonight, but to no avail. The dream continued in the same manner it had for the past month, since the incident...
After having one of her reoccurring anxiety attacks, Charlie had veered away from the party until she left the property entirely.
Drunk and seeking solitude, she stumbled into the cemetery, with Vi suddenly tailing her. She sat, with her back against a cool headstone, steadying her breath. Vi seated herself beside Charlie and offered her a sympathetic look.
Before her friend could start in on the "Are you okay" routine speech. The sound of leaves crunching under someone's shoes, set them on guard.
A familiar looking man, in his finest black suit, made his way towards them. His movements were restricted. He walked with an apparent limp.
"C- can we help you sir?" Vi asked.
Charlie's heart stilled as the man nearing them become recognizable.
Mr. Watson made the same guttural sound as the Zombie in her video game. He eyed her with a hungry glint in his eyes. He licked his dry, chapped lips and reached out to touch the exposed skin on her arm.
She studied him, while Vi jumped to her feet. Without coherent words, she had a good feeling she knew what he wanted. Her. Flesh and bone and all the gooey in betweens. Only it wasn't possible for Mr. Watson to want anything. He had died of old age last summer...
He opened his mouth, which expanded to an abnormal length. It was a massive abyss, in which he could consume her whole. Charlie blinked and his mouth turned back to normal, well dead guy walking- normal.
Vi grabbed her hand to tear her away from the man. She wouldn't budge, she was transfixed on the distorted version of her once friendly, butterscotch bearing neighbor.
Vi tugged her harder. "We have to go. Now Charlie!"
Finally she snapped out of it. Suddenly, the dead man disappeared, as if he were some kind of mirage. They broke off into a run....
Charlie's alarm sounded hours later.
As she had been doing for the past month, she walked to the window and pushed the curtain aside. Across the street sat Mr. Watson's dreadful, yellow, A frame house. It was desserted, and unoccupied by the dead, just as it should be.