“EWWW,” Tina squealed, staring at Mr. Sampson’s arm lying in the middle of the floor. The appendage had been dangling low for most of the day and some of the kids had been taking bets as to when it would fall off. Tommy Jordan cheered, yelling out the time of 1:42. He had said 1:45 and since his was the closest to the exact time, he was the winner.
Mr. Sampson stood there a moment looking at his arm, then shrugged his shoulder … the one still attached and bent to pick it up. The arm made a sucking sound as he lifted it off the ground. A trail of blood and gore was left behind on the floor, while some hung from the open cavity, dangling like strings of bloody thread.
“That is so gross,” Sissy Foreman said, looking away, but then peering back at the scene, disgusted and impressed at the same time.
Mr. Sampson grunted something to the class and then walked out of the room, presumably to the nurse’s office to have the limb reattached.
That was so awesome,” Tommy shouted, holding out his hand and collecting his winnings from his friends.
“It was disgusting,” Tina said, turning her dainty nose in the air. My mother called the school board and told them if they didn’t do something about Mr. Sampson she was going to pull me from the school and send me somewhere else.”
“Where would you go,” Sissy, her best friend asked, followed by gasps of “oh no’s,” from Karen Little and Susan Fynch.
“I don’t know,” Tina said, “maybe Allendale. I hear they don’t allow zombies to teach.”
“Really,” Frank Lawson asked. “I thought the Zombie Reunification Act said it was illegal to discriminate against zombies and half zombies.”
Tina sniffed, “The Zombie Reunification Act is bogus and should never have passed. It will be overturned. I heard the President was going to sign to have zombies banned from all aspects of society.”
“But that’s unconstitutional,” Jimmy Becker said, standing up with an angry look on his face. Rumor had it his mother was a zombie now. No one had seen her for weeks and Sissy’s mother worked at the butcher shop and she said Jimmy’s dad had come in last week and bought a whole cow, including the brains. Then he’d bought some pig brains and sheep brains as well.
“You’re just upset because that means your mommy will be sent to the slaughter house,” Tina sneered. “My mother says she was always a bit strange anyway.”
“My mom is NOT a zombie,” Jimmy snarled, clenching his fist and daring anyone to say otherwise. The kids all just laughed at him though, except for Missy Black. Her father was a zombie. She didn’t want anyone to know though. They might make fun of her too, so she just kept her head down and pretended to read her book. Her mom had told her they were probably going to move soon. There were places where zombies were accepted. Noy many though.
With the new medicine, most zombies were harmless. Every now and then one of them would forget to take their pill in the morning and go out and bite someone. No one wanted to risk shaking a zombies hand for fear he wouldn’t stop at shaking and rip their arm off, or take a nice healthy bite out of one of the fingers. Missy’s dad had been working on a car when the owner decided her dad looked like a zombie treat and bit his head. Now he had a hole on one side and Missy’s mom made him wear a hat to cover it up.
Mr. Sampson cleared his throat as he entered the room, bringing the class back to attention. His arm was reattached, but now his right ear was hanging a little lower than the left and his nose looked like it was a bit wobbly. There were also a few maggots wriggling around a sore on his cheek. Sissy and Tina both squealed and looked away while Missy and Jimmy smirked at them. Jimmy hoped one of their parents would get bit by a zombie, and then they would know how it felt to have a mother or father that ate brains and had strings of intestines hanging from their teeth.
Mr. Sampson turned and said something to the class. No one really understood what he was saying since it was mostly grunts and groans, but no one was really listening anyway. They were all staring at his nose, which was now turned sideways on his face.
“Double or nothing,” Frank whispered to Tommy, hoping to win his money back “which do you think will fall off first, Mr. Sampson’s ear or his nose?”
Copyright© 2018 Lisa McCourt Hollar. All rights reserved.