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>Craziness on Westwood Ave
>Hey everyone, hope your day wasn’t as nuts as mine! Stick with me, you gotta hear this one and I need to ask you guys a favour.
“You’re a little shit, Miguel. He’s going to pick you.”
Juan always had a mouth on him, but to say something like that? It was too much. He hadn’t even managed to brush the dust off his shirt before my fist crunched into his lip, sending him down again.
“Stop,” someone shouted. Hands grabbed me from behind, pulling me away from the other boy. Someone knelt by him to make sure he was alright, but I didn’t get a chance to see who it was.
The Eastern sky lit up for hours this time. Smoke billowing out of whatever building had been bottle-bombed and the stench of charred meat reaching for the wind. Cajoling it to carry the warning to every survivor still making their way towards a pre-recorded radio message or following hopeful, dusty signs carved into tree trunks and telephone poles.
“Hi, I’m Stacey!”
Oh wow, hiya! It’s been ages since I had somebody cool to talk to in person. You’re cool, right? Yeah, ‘course you are. New to the whole ‘undead’ gig, I take it? Just last month? Yeah, I’ve got a couple of years on you but it’s really not that much. I remember all the changes, it’s super crazy. I guess your master has you covered on the basics and the mouldy old traditions… uh huh, they totally leave out the important stuff! No worries, I’ll fill you in. Oh, and you can call me Stace for short. Anyway, where was I?
Jake drove his convertible Mustang up Highway 1, the Pacific Ocean stretching into oblivion on his left, his girlfriend Samantha sitting far to his right, as if she planned to throw the door open and roll onto the blacktop at any moment. They were on their way to a little B&B that Sam had discovered online (one Yelp reviewer called it ‘kitschy but tolerable’), and although neither of them said so out loud, they both knew that if this weekend was a disaster, their relationship would never recover.
I’m one lucky son-of-a-gun. I’m not boasting or complaining. I didn’t create my good luck. It was something that just dropped on me. I’m not talking about that fool’s gold good luck of winning the lottery or a bet on the Kentucky Derby. I’m talking about the real meal deal like when you bend down to pick up a dime, and there’s a hail of bullets hitting the wall where your head was seconds ago. My kind of good fortune steers me out of harm’s way, and when I do enter the danger zone, I leave pretty much intact.
I was driving at 85. The night was darker than it should have been. There was nothing on the road, not in the windshield, not in the mirrors. I was so sure that we were not coming back. That we would go into the dark and then never appear at the other side of the road. She lay on the back seat staring at me like a voodoo doll. Oh, and she was dead. Did I tell you she was dead? She was. The wind whistled past me through the window like running away from something. The trees beside the road ran back. I looked at her once and she blinked. I turned back and focused on the road.