I’ve wanted to try something new on my blog for some time. Since it is so close to Halloween, I am going to release a few pages at a time of a pulp fiction story that I wrote – and love. It’s a dark comedy. I’ve been told that zombies are passe, but I still had a lot of fun writing this. We are at the beginning of a presidential election and politics are running rampant. But maybe this story will be more fun than the evening news.
Please let me know if you enjoy this story and I’ll keep it going – just for the fun of it.
ZOMBIES ARE PEOPLE TOO
Three-day trials were the worst. It was a big case when it took at least three days to present all the discovery documentation and every argument you could come up with. A two- week trial had the advantage of a big settlement; a half day trial was just a bump in the road. But the three day-ers were the worst. They took up all your time and never paid what you hoped they would. This one was going to take three days, and the client would probably never finish paying.
Jeremy applied another coat of glue to his ear, and then dried it with the hair dryer. Another conversation with Dr. Smith about the meds needed to happen soon. The dosage still wasn’t right – or things wouldn’t continue to fall off. He rose an hour early today just to be sure he looked right. Not good, just right. It was amazing how proficient he was at make-up without looking like a hooker. He always assumed it was a girl-thing knowing how to use concealer in just the right place, but guys could learn to use it too – if they had to.
On top of everything else, he would have to buy stock in a deodorant factory soon. He used so much more than before. He looked through the fog in the mirror He took a shower every day and then sprayed his entire body with deodorant. Just in case. He didn’t really sweat like he used to. There were a lot of things he didn’t do like he used to. But if the room was warm, he could start to smell like rancid hamburger meat left out on the counter too long. No one liked that very much, especially a judge.
Since the newly amended Civil Rights Act, judges had no choice but to accept his kind in the courtroom, or even have dinner with them. The culture was changing to accept all types of people of every color and cultural background. Religious groups had to be accepted as long as they didn’t harm anyone. Gay and lesbians could now marry and have a family, so why not accept the newest form of mankind – zombies. Or maybe they weren’t really new.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended not long after the vampire debacle. When scientists found a way to manufacture human blood, the creatures came out of the woodwork. They were everywhere. So it wasn’t long before a movement was at hand to make an anti-zombie serum as well. Not really anti-zombie, Jeremy was still a zombie, but with the right meds, he could control the urges and not decay until it was time. As long as he took his meds – and managed to get some scrambled cow brains with his eggs now and then – he could keep it together. The same could not be said for his ear today. There was still a crack that he couldn’t get filled with glue and covered with makeup. And he had to leave. Maybe Nadia could help when he got to the office.
Nadia Ciesielski, his legal assistant, knew about trying to keep up appearances. The tall, rail-thin woman always wore black, which made her pale skin more ghostly. He didn’t know how long she had been one of them. He never asked. It seemed rude, and besides she knew her job and kept him on the straight and narrow. He didn’t ask if that was really tomato juice sitting on her desk next to the computer. He just assumed it was juice and he didn’t need to know anymore. Maybe it was just an energy drink. She drank the giant can, black with a fang logo on the outside, and did her job. She was a young and attractive woman, in a ghoulish sort of way, though it seemed she never dated. But then again, he hadn’t had a date in some time either. That was sort of how it was with their kind. Civil Rights Act or not, they were still not accepted in some circles.
Jeremy was a street lawyer, not the white-collar corporate type that never got into a fight, but the kind that had to make a living no matter where the money came from. So some of his clients weren’t pure as the driven snow, but they had the money to pay. Or they got the money somewhere. They deserved representation too. It was best not to judge. That was a job for the guy behind the bench.
Then he was bitten. Life was tough since the day the client he picked up at the County Jail bit him on the shoulder. At first it didn’t occur to him why he was feeling sluggish. He cleaned the wound and went back to work in a different shirt. At least he wasn’t wearing his one Armani suit that day, or it would have been ruined like the shirt. But that night as he watched the news and had a mad craving for a rare steak, he realized where the symptoms were coming from. And he knew a guy, who knew a guy, who could get anything. Legal or not, the meds were out there. Street drugs could be used until he could see his doctor who would then send him to a specialist. Supply and demand. The oldest form of economics kicked in when needed. The new supply of zombies demanded a cure, and they got one.
One thing about it, no one wanted to bite him anymore now that he was sick. Going to get a client out of the drunk tank was a breeze these days.
“Your briefcase is packed in the rolling bag. I put the exhibits on the top along with the index. I took them to the Courtroom for you earlier so you wouldn’t have to pull it. Legal pads are on the table and here is your favorite pen. By the way, it was a little warm in there, I wanted to warn you.” Nadia wiped a thin finger across her lips.
She was great. She learned early on that it was best if she did the heavy lifting for him. Most men would be offended if a woman pulled the bags. But most men couldn’t afford to have a hand fall off in the courtroom, so he accepted her help. Besides, she appeared to be incredibly strong for her frail looking body.
“Thank you Nadia. I don’t know what I’d do without you. You must’ve come in early.”
“I don’t sleep very well. So I decided to come in rather than rattle around the apartment. Good luck today and text me if you need anything.” She pushed him toward the door.
Nadia was right. The courtroom was warm. Jeremy pulled the knot on his tie loose and opened the tiny button that shirt makers thought so important under the collar. He always had trouble with that button even when his fingers had feeling. Real feeling, not like they had now. And then he remembered Judge Lacy – Racy Lacy in some circles – didn’t allow what he called “casual dress” in his courtroom. Jackets had to be buttoned, at least the stylish one-button look, and neckties worn. Even the female lawyers wore jackets. No amount of talk was going to convince him otherwise. It was the law – his law.
“All rise.” The bailiff called the courtroom to order as the judge took his seat. The small, warm courtroom held only three other people in the gallery – probably just people who were curious. The two tables up front near the judge were filled with the attorneys, their clients, and the discovery materials. The distance between them was barely far enough apart that they couldn’t read over each other’s shoulders.
Jeremy leaned forward whispering to his client. “Dirk, just bear with me a little this morning until the expert witnesses are called. That’s the real meat of this case.” The word meat ran a shiver up Jeremy’s spine. He had to find time to talk to his doctor. His client nodded that he understood.