Wonder if I should title these.
It was a warm night in Charlotte, humid and still light out, and Tom was sawing his Aunt Sadie’s head off. He was having some trouble getting through the connecting tissue in the spine, but he was pretty sure he would get through it pretty quick with that new hacksaw of his.
Now you can say Tom was being unkind to a relative, but really, she had it coming. You don’t just die five years ago, and then show up at your house. Seeing as she was an abomination before God, Tom and I had no problem with tying her down in the backyard and making sure she stayed dead this time. She;d hollered and hooted about Revelations and God for a while, and said Tom and I were the real abominations, but then I, Melvin Terwilliger Jones, his husband, turned her jaw into a jigsaw puzzle with one good kick. She’d been a self righteous bitch when alive, and death had not improved her temperament.
All the excitement had made me dizzy. I have diabetes,so Tom went and got me my pills. Tom was always good about looking after me. All we had was each other. You settle down as a gay couple in the South during the 60’s, you’d better be ready to kick ass, or surrender yours. Neither was an option for us. But we’d both been in the closet, met in a bar in Spartanburg, and things had just clicked. People say that sometimes you wander the world,and when you find the right one, you just stop where ever you are. So that’s how Tom and I ended up living in Charlotte when the world went to shit.
That’s what we were figuring on what was going to happen, anyway, when the bitchiest of Tom’s dead relatives had shown up on our doorstep. She’d probably figured it was hers anyway still, since it had been in life. We’d settled the estate years ago, and Sadie had never married. Probably looked like two saltines down there when she died. Dry country, I tell you.
So she was still gurgling and spitting and trying to cuss us out when Tom decided that chopping her head off was a good start. He sawed through that last piece of gristle and Sadie stopped hissing. She didn’t turn into ash or anything cool like that. Tom and I were covered in blood and gore. I was trying to decide how to clean up when the screaming started next to us.
Sadie’s house was in an okay part of the city, commonly known as NoDa. It’d had some rough parts, but it was getting really arty and pricey. You’d think an older gay couple would be happy about it, but no. Living through watching lots of our friends die from AIDS, beatings, and general hatred from the world had made us sort of closed off. Besides, we were still from the South, thank you. Church BBQ and Duke football were about as social as we’d get.
Along with gentrification came new neighbors, and the Hendersons had moved in about a year earlier. They were nice enough people,grew pot in their backyard, but not really our kind of people. I mean, they were Yankees. And they were both standing and screaming ,locked in place.
Tom started towards them, but I pulled him back. Anything we would have to say would be lost to them, right now. I still don’t know why we were so calm about it. Maybe it was all those years of horror novels Tom reads, or my job as an EMT. Or maybe we were just in shock as well.
I grabbed the hose from the garage while Tom piled Sadie into a large leaf bag. She’d been a tiny thing, so she fit alright. IF it had been my mom or Tom’s dad, though…
It was suddenly silent, The Hendersons had stopped screaming. Now they were both staring, their fists in their mouth. Glad they didn’t have kids, those two. After a few years of diapers, these two would have needed a psych ward. After a few years of every substance known to man, a dead body is a half hour job, max.
I stopped for minute, thinking about our girl, Mandy. One of Tom’s sisters had passed giving birth to her. We pulled a few strings(my ex-boyfriend was now in the state senate) and were one of the first gay couple allowed to adopt in the South. Yes, there were death threats and flaming shit in bags on our doorstep. But we never looked back.
I figured since this might well be the apocalypse, I should call her. She’d be home from Duke in two weeks, but the dead rising might be worth telling her about.
Tom grabbed my shoulder and pointed. More folks were running in the streets, people chasing after them in funeral clothes. Except the naked folks, who I assume had been cremated. They did seem all ashy. Tom said we should move inside, and I agreed. Tom sat down in front of the computer, looking for news. I just sat in my recliner and clicked on the TV.
There was nothing on the news about this, which I found bizarre. Until I realized that CCN was playing a tape of yesterdays broadcast. All the networks were. I wondered why, then the buzzing started.
Tom and I went back and looked skyward. It was an entire flight of F-16’s flying so low as to make the house rattle. Tom just looked sad, took me by the hand, and kissed me on the cheek. He whispered one word in my ear.
I felt tears start streaming down my cheek. We’d met in Spartanburg, but that was not what we were both doing. We were both working for the NSA. We’d left when we’d started dating, but by then,we were both tired of the spook show and wanted out.
Before we left though, we’d seen what the government’s plans were for ELEs, extinction level events. The plans had different names, but they were all the same. Find the problem nuke it till it glows.
We knew then we’d never get out in time. We hoped Mandy would be alright, carrying on with friend’s help. Tom sat down on the couch, me next to him, WE held each other close, and then we were gone.
So that’s why I’m telling you this, as you pin me to the wall, sir. I don’t know where I’ve been, or where Tom is, but can you help me find him?