SHE’S A BITER • by Stephanie Kincaid

I think Grandma is a zombie. She never talks; she just kind of grunts and moans. She also smells really bad, and she slobbers a lot. It’s not that big of a change, really. But I’m still pretty sure she’s a zombie.

I don’t say anything about it to Mom and Dad, because I don’t think I’m supposed to know. Adults think kids are so dumb. Unobservant, that’s what they think I am. Bet they don’t even know I know that word. I have a lot of time to read, hiding in the basement all day, and I learn all kinds of words.

For instance, I learned that another thing you can call a zombie is a revenant, which means somebody who comes back from the dead.  You’d think that would be a good thing, since you’d get to see family and friends you haven’t seen in a while, with them not being alive and all.  But when the dead people started coming back, they didn’t want friends anymore.  They just wanted dinner.

That’s why we live in the basement. The zombies think the house is empty, because nothing ever moves up there, and they can’t hear us or smell us down here. Mom and Dad bought a lot of canned food when the news stories about the zombies started, so we have plenty, at least for now. Mom makes some kind of smoothie for Grandma in the blender every night. I don’t know what’s in it, but it looks nasty, and it smells worse.

Dad thinks somebody is going to find a cure someday. He says the government knew about the disease before it ever got out, and they might even have an antidote already, just not enough to fix everybody yet. Mom says Dad is full of it. I don’t know what “it” is, but it doesn’t sound good.

I think that’s why he brought Grandma down here. When we started living in the basement, he went to the nursing home and came back with Grandma. That was when I first thought she might be a zombie. He’d never made her ride in the trunk before. I think Dad hopes that if we keep Grandma down here, she won’t get shot for biting people, and the doctors will be able to make her better someday.

Grandma is very cold, and her skin feels icky and fake, but I kiss her goodnight anyway. Even though I’d bet a whole year’s allowance that she’s a zombie, she’s really well behaved. She’s never tried to bite me or Dad, and she’s only tried to bite Mom once or twice. (Mom says “See, I knew she never approved of me.”) She mainly wanders around stumbling into things. She doesn’t even mind if I make her up like a clown with Mom’s makeup. Mom isn’t wild about that, though.

The most interesting thing about Grandma, back when she was alive, was her teeth. The first time she took them out, I was awestruck. Awestruck is what you are when people do amazing things like taking the teeth out of their heads or coming back from the dead… although that one isn’t that impressive anymore. Anyway, that’s why even though I secretly know that Grandma is a zombie, I’m not afraid of her. I don’t know where Dad hid her teeth, and neither does Grandma.

Stephanie Kincaid is a California transplant who now resides in Oklahoma with her calamity-prone but much loved husband. She enjoys everything from great literature to terrible horror movies.

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