I see the body

     I see the body when I’m putting the beer in the chest freezer to chill it.  It’s buried in ice cubes & has on an oxygen mask with a hose running to a canister just outside the freezer.  “What the fuck is this?”
     Jake comes over & says, “Oh, that’s a body.”
     “I know that; isn’t that fucking dangerous?”
     “No, you just need to know what you’re doing.  Make sure it freezes to death instead of suffocating & then keep it cold.  As long as it stays frozen the whole time it can’t come back & they can still use the body parts.  There’s big money in that, because, you know, normally when people die they come back & so there aren’t any organ donors.  Wealthy people are still getting old even if since they built the walls around the city & they’re supposed to throw anyone bad off enough to need a transplant out to die or fend for themselves.  It’s a blackmarket thing, the same people who used to sell heroin.  Or at least that’s who I sell the bodies to.”
     “So who the fuck is this?”
     “Bob.  That annoying guy from two apartments down.  He broke in here the other night & was trying to steal a bottle of tequila & a loaf of bread.  I heard somebody & I didn’t know it was him or anything & I smacked him in the back of the head as hard as I could & he fell down passed out on the floor, probably because he was already drunk.  So I just shoved his ass in here.  The other two I did were customs.  I’m not sure if they were people who needed to be taken out or just people that would make good donors.  This is pretty much the only way the mob takes people out now.  It kind of doubles the income of it.  They said they’d give me five thousand for Bob instead of the regular ten thousand, but what the hell else am I gonna do with him?”
     “What are you gonna do with twenty-five thousand dollars?  There isn’t even anything of value for sale in the city.”
     “I know, I want to try to get out of here.  I wanted to get out of New York even before the zombies started.  Supposedly for a hundred thousand dollars you can get a ticket to one of the agricultural city states.  It’s a lot better of a life there & a lot safer to live in too.”
     I hear the ice moving & we both look down & say, “Fuck.”
     Jake says, “I’ll get my prybar; I’ll be right back.”
     But Bob’s already climbing out of the freezer.  He pulls off the mask & falls down while he’s straddling over the wall of it.  I go over to him & start kicking him in the head, first taking out his teeth & then the eyes & I keep kicking until his body stops trying to move.  I haven’t actually had to deal with one in over a year & it’s really strange because I’m a lot less desensitized to it than I thought I would be.  It’s kind of creepy, like taking a drug that you really hate but use to love.
     Jake comes in with his prybar & says, “Damn, Eric, you made a fucking mess.”  There’s blood still leaking out of the face & there are teeth & little chips of ice all over the floor.
     “Sorry.  I kind of freaked out.  I haven’t seen one in a long time.”
     Jake gets some paper towels & he’s cleaning the shit up.  “I need to make a call.  I’ll tell them I somehow unplugged the freezer.  They shouldn’t care that much since it wasn’t special order or anything.  Or do you just want to help me get somebody else?”
     “No, man, this is freaking me out, I gotta go.”
     “Come on, you’re the one who left the freezer open.  Let’s just get the couple next door; it’ll only take fifteen minutes.”
     “Okay, whatever.”
     He makes a phone call & tells them Bob’s girl came looking for him so he has two bodies, but hers won’t be ready for a while because it just happened.  So they’re coming tomorrow for the pick up instead of tonight.
     Jake has a key to his apartment that he filed down so it’ll work on any of the apartments in the building.  He’s just got a roll of duct tape & a baseball bat he’s taking in with him.  I’m following him & I know this is way too screwed up.  Maybe the world’s been reduced to this, but I haven’t been.
     He rips off two pieces of tape to gag them & he does the girl first & then the guy.  He’s got both knees dug into the girl’s back so she can’t really move & he’s leaning his left forearm on the guy's throat while he keeps hitting him in the head with his right his right hand that’s clenched around the baseball bat.  He’s lost control.  He’s over doing it; he’s gonna kill the guy.  & as soon as I think it, I hear the neck snap.  Jake snaps out of it saying, “Oh, shit.  Eric, do you have your gun?”
     I’m just staring.  He’s already coming back.  It didn’t used to be this fast.  It used to take at least an hour from death to rise.
     The woman under him makes a sudden move & Jake falls down & drops the bat.  I see her reach under her pillow & she pulls out a shiny gun & shoots Jake in the chest as he’s starting to get up & it jerks him up & then back against the wall & he slumps to the floor.  She’s turning to shoot me when her boyfriend grabs her & he’s trying to bite her, but he hasn’t broken through the duct tape yet.  I leave.  I should run, but I’m too freaked out to.  I go to Jake’s & I go into his room & open his night stand & take out his gun & twenty thousand dollars.  I need to find a way out of this city.

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